How To Beat Blackjack

Blackjack would have to be one of the most famous and widely-played casino games of all time and can be a whole lot of fun, however no casino game is fun when you’re losing, right? Wouldn’t it be great if you could always beat blackjack?

Well, in this article I’m going to talk about some ways you can increase your odds of winning in blackjack and possibly make yourself a few dollars while doing it.

In blackjack, you already have the highest odds of winning of any casino game out there. Mathematically, your odds are exactly the same as the dealer, the only reason he has an edge over you is really only because you can’t see his second card. Compared to other casino games, you’re already doing pretty well.

To make certain you’ve got the best odds, you need to make sure you’re betting smart by following a few small rules. While these won’t actually make your odds better (there are ways of doing that however which are easy to find) these methods will ensure you’re doing as well as you can.

Firstly, ensure that you’re always standing on a 17 or above. Mathematically, you have a better chance of beating the dealer by standing on a 17 or higher, than you do of getting a card that will make your total lower than 21 but without going over. You may have a ‘feeling’, though unless you’re a proven practitioner of ESP or something, you have no way of knowing what card is going to come up next. Use your head and not your heart.

Next, you should always have a blackjack betting table (guide) next to you when you’re betting. This is simply a table of betting that tells you whether you should be standing, hitting, doubling, or splitting depending on what your total and the dealer’s total is. As this is something you physically need to carry around with you, you can’t really take it into a casino for fear of being ejected by a large neck-less security guard, however you should find it easy to use one in conjunction with online gambling. You can find these quite easily anywhere online and they’re usually free.

As far as betting is concerned, there are ways to increase your odds of winning in the short-term – for example using the Martingale betting method – however in the long run this is only setting you up for an immense loss which is generally unrecoverable.

How Martingale works is that every time you lose, you simply double your bet on the next hand. When you eventually win, your bet will have been large enough to cover all of your losses from the previous rounds, plus made you a small profit. The thing with Martingale is that because casinos enforce betting limits which dictate how much you can actually bet on a single spot, there are only so many times you can double your bet.

With most casinos, you’ll find that you’re only able to double your bet around 10 times, which if you’re speaking in terms of odds means you’re only covered for 10 consecutive losses. This will on average happen every 38 hands, or you have a 2.6% chance of this happening. These odds are extremely high for such a large loss and because of this I would never recommend using Martingale…trust me, I found this out the hard way myself.

Apart from that, there are ways out there which are guaranteed to increase your odds in blackjack, however I’ve just listed some of the quick and easy ways to do it. If you’re wanting the hardcore stuff, you’ll just have to go searching on the Internet!

Blackjack Card Counting, Will It Work for You? It’s Not Easy, Here’s Why

The purpose of Blackjack card counting is to know when the shoe decks at the table contain cards that are favorable to you, the player, thereby knowing when to make a larger bet.

Many casinos now use continuous shuffle machines (CSM’s), where the cards are automatically shuffled after each hand. It is impossible to count when these contraptions are used.

The movie 21, Starring Kevin Spacey, is a dramatization of a true story about a group of six MIT students that beat Vegas casinos for millions by mastering card counting techniques while playing blackjack. It gives a pretty good account of how the system works. The movie is based on the book, Bringing Down the House, by Ben Mezrich.

The Objective of Card Counting

As per the aforementioned, the objective is to know when the decks contain cards that are favorable to you, the player, thereby knowing when to make a larger bet.

You would do this by mentally assigning a point value to the cards being dealt and keeping track. Even if you are math skilled and are able to hold a running count in your head, there is still no guarantee. If the shoe is favorable, it may be the other players at the table or even the dealer, who are dealt the better cards.

Contrary to what most people think, card counting is not illegal. However, if caught you will be asked to leave the casino. Their personnel, advantaged by the eye in the sky view, pit bosses, floor persons, and dealers are all trained to spot counters.

Count Strategy

A simple strategy works like this: Assign the following point value for reach card dealt: any 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 are (+1). 7, 8, 9, are considered neutral, so do not count them. 10, J, Q, K, A, are (-1). Do the mental tabulation. If the count is +4 or higher, it means that lower value (unfavorable) cards have been dealt and higher (favorable) cards remain in the shoe. The opposite is true when the count is below +4 or in the minus field. Mentally continue the accumulative running count after each hand until the next shuffle. This many sound easy, but the rapid pace can be confusing. One mistake could blow the count in the wrong direction. If you still think you would like to try your hand at counting, here are some helpful tips:

First learn simple basic strategy. Without it counting is meaningless.

Practice. Practice. Practice. Try it at home with multiple decks first. Try counting in groups of 3 or 4 cards each to represent individual players. Tabulate up to 20 to 30 cards to simulate a full table of seven players per round. Speed is important.

When you’re ready, choose the right table. Look for the slowest dealer, a table with favorable rules, and a shoe game with the least number of decks. Sit down to buy in at a fresh shoe immediately after the shuffle. Note that some casinos do not allow mid-shoe entry into a game.

Favorable rules for the player are: Blackjack pays 3/2, split any pair, double down on any two cards, double after split allowed, and dealer stands on all seventeen’s.

Don’t get greedy. Keep your bet spreads low, to a range of 5 times the table minimum. For example, at a $10 table, never bet more than $50 on a favorable count. If you keep jumping from $10 to $100, you will get caught.

Don’t be obvious. If you try to act like the World’s dumbest blackjack player while playing perfect basic strategy, you will get caught. Remember, practice, scout, select, play, and have fun.

Good Luck!