Every game in a casino, whether it be online or at a land based casino, see’s the house having the edge. This is how casino’s make their money. That’s not to say you won’t win at casino games. A lot of people do. It means that on average, the casino will win a certain percentage on each game. For example, Roulette has a house edge of around 5.5%, which means that if you bet $10, on average you will win $9.45 back. Blackjack has one of the lowest house edges in all casino games, with an average percentage of around 0.5%. However, certain strategies must be put into place to achieve this percentage and a certain amount of discipline must be applied to keep it. This is what we will be explaining in this article – Blackjack strategy to increase the odds in your favour. This strategy is essential if you want to take a step away from being a casual player that the casino’s make their money off and towards being a winning player.
To be a winning blackjack player you must pay attention to the cards you, the dealer, and everyone else at the table is dealt. There are some simple calls to make depending on what cards are out on the table. These calls are easier to play if you are playing online as you can use the blackjack chart we have created below. However, if you are playing in a live casino then you must memorise these as live casino’s may not take too kindly to you sitting at the table with the chart in front of you, even though, technically there is nothing wrong with it.
Give it a go yourself. Pick any online casino (we recommend William Hill Casino for UK and European players or Rushmore Casino for players in the US – two excellent reputable online casinos) and play some blackjack using the table below. The table will show you the calls to make based on the best possible odds determined by the cards you see on the table.
Another way to increase your odds in Blackjack is through card counting. Although we will be talking about card counting in another article, I will give you a brief idea as to how it works and how it can make you a lot of money from it. This method actually turns the odds in your favour and a lot of people have made huge amounts of money from this method.
Card counting works by tracking the ratio of high cards to low cards and allowing you to know when you are most likely to be dealt a monster hand so that you can make a bigger bet. It’s frustrating when you bet $50 on a hand and you are dealt K6 against a dealers Q, or a 97 against an A. But what if you knew when there were a lot of Aces, Kings, Queens, Jacks and Tens coming? You could bet big knowing that there is a greater chance that you will be dealt KK, QQ, JJ, where you have the chance to split or double up – meaning when you win, you win big! There is also a greater chance of hitting Blackjack, which pays 3:2.
Now that we know you can win from card counting, how do you actually do it?
Contrary to popular belief, card counting does not require much skill or mathematical abilities at all. You’ll be surprised at how simple it is.
Card counting is based on a simple, yes SIMPLE, Hi-Low system, where each card that is dealt out on the table, whether it be yours, the dealers or other players’, is given a value of either +1, -1 or 0. So long as you can count up and down, for instance 1,2,3,4,3,2,3,4,5,6,7,6,7,8,7,8,9,8,9,10 etc, then you can card count!
When you’re at a blackjack table, wait for a new deck to be brought it. Blackjack is usually played with 6 full decks and it is best to start your counting when the deck is fresh as then you will see the most cards from those decks.
Start your count at 0 and wait for the cards to be dealt. When the cards are dealt, look at what they are and assign a value of +1,-1 or 0 to each card and add the total up. Here are the values you should put on each card:
A (-1 Value)
K (-1 Value)
Q (-1 Value)
J (-1 Value)
10 (-1 Value)
9 (0 Value)
8 (0 Value)
7 (0 Value)
6 (+1 Value)
5 (+1 Value)
4 (+1 Value)
3 (+1 Value)
2 (+1 Value)
For example, you are dealt 3,4
The Dealer is dealt 7,9
and the player sitting next to you is dealt 6,2
Now, what is the count?
Well a 3 has a value of +1, a 4 has a value of +1, a 7 has a value of 0, a 9 also has a value of 0, an A has a value of -1 and a 6 has a value of +1.
Simply add these up as you go and work out the final count:
+1,+1,0,0,-1,+1 = +2
So the count at the end of the first hand is +2. When the next hand is dealt, start your count at +2 and do the same thing.
It is always best to start off by betting small. The way you make money is by betting bigger when the count is high (usually around +12 to +16), which is when you know there are more high cards such as K’s, Q’s, J’s, 10’s and A’s left in the deck and so you have more chance of hitting blackjack, more chance of high splits, better chance of hitting insurance bets when the dealer shows an Ace and it’s also when the dealer is more likely to go bust as they have to hit on hands such as 13’s, 14’s, 15’s and 16’s. even when the count is high.
So hopefully that has explained the basics of card counting in blackjack and how you can use this and the blackjack strategy table below to increase you odds at the casino and become a winning player.
Good luck and give the table below a go on your next visit to a blackjack table.