Different Payouts Effect Blackjack Odds

Not all blackjack players are aware that how the rate of a payout can affect their blackjack odds. In some cases the effect on one’s blackjack odds is quite significant.

In most cases you will not find anything other than a 3-2 payout for online blackjack. The only exceptions to this are blackjack variations. These variations often carry even money, or 1-1, payouts in their games. But in normal blackjack games online the payout is 3-2.

Players need to be more watchful in the brick and mortar casinos. Payouts are not always posted and many players do not bother to ask, only finding out too late that they are playing at a table that does not pay 3-2.

It is important to check or to ask what the payout is before beginning to play. Not only does payout affect your money, it also affects your blackjack odds.

This is because you odds are based on your opportunity to profit from a round of blackjack. House rules can decrease these opportunities, therefore decreasing your odds, but often these are less than 0.2%. Not that you should disregard house rules that decrease your odds, but changes in payout can be even more substantial.

Players have heard of blackjack games that are offering a 6-5 payout, but there are some that are starting to pop up that are offering 7-5 payouts. Even though 7-5 is a little better than 6-5, neither one is going to do you any favors in terms of your blackjack odds.

A game with a 7-5 payout reduces your blackjack odds by 0.45% right off the bat. Just because you would be receiving less money. And those 6-5 payout games, those reduce your odds by 1.39%, which is a pretty big jump.

If you were playing with basic strategy and started in with the house having a 2% house edge, the house edge could be reduced to 0.5%. But if the payout is 6-5, then you just went to 1.89% odds in the house’s favor. You would be almost back were you started.

And those blackjack variations, like Super 21, with the even money, 1-1 payouts? Just that 1-1 payout takes 2.27% of your odds away from you and gives it to the house.

Always make sure you check what the blackjack payout is before sitting down to a game. You do not want to lower your blackjack odds simply by not checking to make sure you are playing in a 3-2 payout game. When going to play blackjack always look for 3-2 payout games.

New Blackjack Variation: Switch

All right, blackjack players, we have another blackjack variation on our hands. Or on our tables actually. So far this one seems to be limited to brick and mortar casinos, and has not made the jump to online blackjack…yet.

This new blackjack variation is called Blackjack Switch. And it sounds pretty much like it is.

In this variation players must lay down to bets of equal amounts. They then are dealt two hands of two cards each. The dealer then deals cards to himself and then checks to see if he has a natural blackjack. Once he has checked and he does not have one, then players are allowed to play out their hands.

Playing out your hands in Blackjack Switch is not quite ordinary. You first playing decision to make is whether or not to switch your cards. In this variation players can swap the second cards of each hand with each other.

This gives players a little relief in that if one of your hands is a hard hand, you could switch the second cards and possibly relieve yourself from having a stiff hand.

But what players need to keep in mind is that sometimes switching is not always needed. It takes careful thought on whether to make the swap or not.

Once a player decides whether to switch their second cards with each other, he then plays out his hands like any ordinary hands. You can still use basic strategy here. But there is not strategy for when to switch your cards and when not to. That is a judgment call on your part.

While I do not like variations as a rule, this one does not have side bets, which are usually the worst aspect of blackjack variations. But like any blackjack variations, there are downsides to this game.

For one thing you will run through your bankroll faster because you are playing two hands at once. And because there is no real strategy advantage to playing two hands at once, you are actually decreasing your blackjack odds because you are giving the house more opportunities to take your money.

On top of that, if you are dealt a natural blackjack you are only going to be paid even money. Sot that is another hit against your blackjack odds. You have already handed them the advantage by opening yourself up to losing money by playing more than one hand at a time. But now you have given up your 3-2 payout as well, which normally fives a nice boost to players.

Since this one does not have side bets, I would say to play it for a couple of rounds just to give it a try. But if you are wanting to make any money off of blackjack then you will want to stick to regular blackjack.

Do You Really Know What Insurance is?

When it comes to insurance for our cars and homes we sometimes feel as if we are being ripped off. We tend to groan and take a grudging feeling towards it. We have to pay and pay and pay.

And yet a good many blackjack players do not have an issue insuring their hands in a game of blackjack.

As a player you will come across insurance no matter where you play blackjack. If you play blackjack online you will find it. If you play in a brick and mortar casino you will still find it. It is the casinos’ one way of getting some extra money no matter where you choose to play.

Insurance is presented to players when the dealer’s up card is an Ace. This is because an Ace is necessary to have a natural blackjack, and it is not as common in the deck as the cards worth 10 are.

The way that insurance works is that at the cost of half of your wager you can protect your wager in case the dealer does have a natural blackjack. Insurance pays 2-1. So on a $10 wager insurance is $5. If the player were to lose then he would lose his $10 wager, but receive $10 because of his insurance.

However insurance is more deceptive than that.

Insurance is really a side bet on whether the hole card is worth 10 or not. An insurance bet has nothing to do with the outcome of the actual game, only with what the hole card is. It is possible to lose your insurance and still win the round.

And because you can lose your insurance and still win the round you are going to lose more money over time. This is because even thought the casino is paying money, it is not as much because they are still taking money from you.

This is why in all forms of blackjack—online blackjack included—insurance is a bad play. Hang on to your money and enjoy the thrill of gambling that comes from playing blackjack…without insurance.

New Jersey Might Be First State to Regulate Online Gambling

New Jersey is one of the leading regulators of the brick and mortar casino industry. So it isn’t any surprise that those in the U.S. are eyeing them as the potential first to regulate online gambling for their state.

In fact, there are two bills in the state’s Senate and Assembly. And they both have bipartisan support too.

What these two bills are aiming to do is allow brick and mortar casinos the chance to apply for licenses to operate some online gambling services, which are to include online blackjack.

The way the bills are structured is that brick and mortar casinos that would like to add online gambling services to their casinos games would have to pay a $200,000 licensing fee for the first year. This would be followed by $100,000 renewal fee every year thereafter, as well as having the profits from online gambling games taxed 20%.

There are those that are opposed to these bills, saying that by legalizing and regulating online gambling within New Jersey the amount of people addicted to gambling will increase. However, to address these concerns, the two bills also have in them that $100,000 each year will be put into programs to prevent gambling addictions and to help those with gambling addictions.

You have to love a bill that wants to legalize online gambling and is still concerning itself with gambling addiction.

Recently California tried to put through a bill that would legalize online gambling in their state, but was met with opposition from tribes in the state. The bill never passed.

New Jersey has a more favorable chance of getting their bills passed because they don’t have any tribes within their state that are recognized by the federal government.

We’ll have to sit back and see how this one plays out. But here’s to hoping that New Jersey can get these bills passed and be the first state to legalize online gambling. Perhaps if the federal government sees states beginning to legalizing online gambling, they’ll work on it themselves.

What Basic Strategy is and What it Isn’t

Every now and then the time comes when I need to clarify some things about basic strategy. It amazes me that as easy as this strategy is, it is constantly misunderstood or misrepresented. And then it all has to be all untangled again.

Let’s start with what basic strategy is so that if you don’t take all of this away from reading this, you will at least have this much. Basic strategy is the best strategy tool available to blackjack players. It has the ability to lower the house edge from around 2-5% to 0.5%. Once that house edge is down to 0.5%, blackjack then has the lowest house edge. That alone makes basic strategy worth the time to use.

It is the easiest strategy tool to use. It’s most common form is that of a chart. The left side has all of the possible player hands, while the top has every dealer up card. Take the line with your hand on it and see where it intersects the line of the dealer’s up card that is showing. The play that is at the intersection is the best statistical play for that situation.

Basic strategy is free and legal to use in all casinos. This means that those who play blackjack online can use it just like those in a brick and mortar casino can. There is no cost to use this chart—you can find them on the Internet easy enough. And, yes, you can bring the chart to the table with you to play with.

Now, what basic strategy is not.

It is not a guaranteed win for every single hand. So while you will not win every single hand that you’re dealt, you will win more hands if you follow the chart.

Casinos would like for you to believe that basic strategy will allow you to win every hand. But think about it: if it were a guaranteed win, would it b legal to use in casinos? No. It would not. But it is legal to use.

The reason that casino want you to think that basic strategy is a guaranteed beat-the-house type strategy is that they’re hoping that you’ll try it, lose a couple hands, and then quit using the chart because you’re disgusted that you didn’t win every hand. If you quit playing with it, you’ll play by guessing and intuition and you’ll lose more. So you quit using it and they get more money.

So to sum it up, basic strategy is NOT going to win every hand for you, nor will it beat the game for you. But it WILL lower the house edge to 0.5% if you play every hand according to it; and it will cause you to win more hands than if you played without. It is the easiest blackjack strategy available for you to use, and you can take the chart with you to the casino, or play with it in an online casino.

In short, basic strategy should be your favorite blackjack strategy and you would love it.

What Busting in Blackjack Really Means

Busting is awful. It’s such a letdown when playing blackjack, especially if you’ve been on a decent run. Things are going well, the cards are flowing, and then it happens, you get dealt a stiff hand against a higher dealer up card and bust. The high of winning is over. Bummer.

Busting is just a part of the game of blackjack though. It’s part of the risk of this game. You might not win. And not winning in this game could mean that you hit for more than 21. It doesn’t matter if you prefer online blackjack over blackjack in a brick and mortar casino, busting happens. It even happens if you’re playing a variation of blackjack. You can still bust there too.

To the majority of blackjack players busting only means losing. But busting isn’t just about losing a round and some money. It has a hand in your blackjack odds.

No, really, it does. Busting actually feeds into the house edge. So it can be said that busting increases the house’s edge and decreases your own blackjack odds.

Busting can increase the dealer’s odd and decrease yours because you are the player. And the player plays out his hand first. And if the player busts at the end of his turn he is done and his money is collected. Even if the dealer busts later, it won’t matter to the player because the player’s bust is already over with.

It is this—the busting before the dealer’s turn and losing no matter if he busts himself—that increases the dealer’s odds.

Odds is about making money. When you have better chances of making money or flat out win, your blackjack odds increase and the dealer’s decrease. But if you lose and the dealer gets your money, then the house edge goes up.

And because the dealer gets your money when you bust regardless of him busting or not, it increases his own odds. So busting isn’t just about losing a round, it’s about the trade-off of blackjack odds.

New Multiplayer for Online Blackjack

I actually heard tell of something new that might be coming down the road for those who like their blackjack online.

Online blackjack tries to capture the essence of the game and make it easily accessible through online casinos. But there is one aspect that they have not yet been able to duplicate.

In a brick and mortar casino, blackjack players can sit at the same table, and while they are all trying to beat the dealer, they talk amongst themselves. This makes blackjack one of the few social casino games in which players can interact without competing with each other. Unfortunately online blackjack hasn’t yet been able to duplicate this. Until recently.

We’ve heard about poker sites in which you are playing against other players rather than just the computer dealer. This makes for a more fun-filled and interactive game for everyone involved.

Well it seems that this concept of a multiplayer game might be making its way into online blackjack games.

Players don’t have to worry about losing their money to another player though. One of the key aspects of blackjack—be it online blackjack or blackjack played in a brick and mortar casino—is that this is a game in which the player is only playing against the dealer. And that will still be true.

However, anyone who plays at a multiplayer table online will be able to socialize with other blackjack players just like they would if they were playing in a brick and mortar casino.

In my research I’ve heard commentary that this multiplayer concept would open up a whole new characteristic to the game of blackjack. But the truth is that this isn’t a new concept—this idea of socializing with other players. It is how blackjack is played in brick and mortar casinos. And in software developers trying to duplicate the experience, it shows how much they are trying to recreate the casino experience online.

If multiplayer online blackjack tables could be developed and made widely available, then online blackjack would be coming as close as possible to replicating the casino experience over the Internet.

Looking for Low Stakes Blackjack?

Not everyone wants to lay down $10 or $20 for each round of blackjack. Sometimes we only want to play for fun but we still want to make a little money. Maybe we’re only out with friends and not looking for some serious blackjack. That’s when you need to find a low stakes game.

Unfortunately it isn’t easy to find low stakes blackjack games in the brick and mortar casinos. They do exist but they will usually come in the form of $5, and sometimes we don’t want to pay that much. We only want to have a little fun—come on!

But thankfully there is a place that we can turn to if we want some truly low stakes blackjack: online casinos.

While brick and mortar casinos can only go as low as $5, the majority of online casinos’ minimums for blackjack are $1.

Low stakes blackjack online allows players to play for fun yet still make a little money. And they can do this from the comfort of their own homes.

Another benefit for low stakes is that it’s a good transition from practicing using the free play modes online casinos offer to playing for real money. Playing with play money is a completely different feeling than playing for real. Playing low stakes allows novice blackjack players to become accustomed to having their actual money on the line. But low stakes blackjack online allows them to get used to winning, and losing, real money, and at the same time it allows them to make some money.

Low stakes blackjack games are also a fun way to try out a new strategy, especially a new betting strategy. This allows you to see how a new strategy works for you and whether it’s effective or not. And in the end, you haven’t lost too much money in trying a new piece of strategy.

Be it giving a new piece of strategy a trial run or just wanting to play and enjoy the game low stakes blackjack games are a good way to go.

Perfect Pairs Not So Perfect

Part of the reason we like to play blackjack, or any casino game for that matter, is the thrill that is gambling. The excitement of not knowing whether or not you’re going to lose your money or make some money.

Some blackjack players are more addicted to that thrill than others. These thrill seeking blackjack players will most likely do one of two things. They will either become higher denomination or high stakes players, or they will turn to blackjack variations with side bets to get their thrills.

It’s obvious where the thrill comes from in a high denomination or high stakes game comes from. But having two bets is what holds the thrill of blackjack variations.

One such variation is Perfect Pairs Blackjack. This variation can be found for online blackjack as well as brick and mortar casino blackjack.

In this variation the actual game of blackjack isn’t played any differently. No, this variation is all wrapped up in the side bet.

The side bet is a separate wager that has nothing to do with the actual game of blackjack. In this one, the player makes a separate wager on whether the first two cards he is dealt will be a pair. Not necessarily of the same suit, just matching in value, like two 4’s.

Yes, that is the great and mighty side bet of this blackjack variation. And there are players out there who will actually wager on that. Which is unbelievable because any shrewd blackjack player knows that side bets are just another excuse for the online casinos and brick and mortar casinos to take more of your money.

So add this one to the list of blackjack variations not to play, regardless of whether you find it online or in a casino.

Legalizing Online Gambling: Struggle of the Politicians

What needs to be done for the good of this country’s revenue seems to be taking a backseat to the clash of Democrats and Republicans. It’s no longer about do we legalize online gambling for revenue, but about who’s in power.

And it’s a back and forth thing.

First a review. Representative Barney Frank has introduced two bills to the House. One is written to do away with the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). The other bill is to pave the way and lay the foundation for the U.S. to have a regulated internet gambling industry. And that would mean revenue for this country, which is badly needed.

On top of Frank’s bills is one introduced by Representative Jim McDermott. McDermott’s bill is designed to set up taxation of a U.S. regulated online gambling industry.

Now comes the political power struggle.

UIGEA was supposed to go into effect in December, however, lobbying created a six month delay. Frank’s hearing for his bills was supposed to happen before the rules take effect.

So the Republicans get UIGEA created and the Democrats delay it so that their Frank could come in and try to get his bills passed, which would wipe out UIGEA and get the U.S. geared up to have its own regulation. (Republicans-1, Democrats-1)

Next, Frank’s hearing is delayed and the implementation of UIGEA is in less than three weeks. So it’s now unlikely that Frank’s bills will get passed before UIGEA goes into effect. (Republicans-2, Democrats-1).

Now here’s where it gets a bit clever. Frank is going to wait to have his hearing on his bills and McDermott’s. Why wait though? Why not fight right up until June 1st?

Think about it, if UIGEA goes into effect there will be millions of Americans who won’t be able to play their blackjack, poker and slots. They will be quite unhappy to have a preferred form of entertainment taken away “for their own good.” And in November is an election…

You see where this is going.

The Democrats are hoping that if enough online gamblers are angry enough at what the Republicans have done that it will give the Democrats the edge. With a majority, the Democrats can push through Frank’s and McDermott’s bills, opening up a source of revenue for the U.S. And giving us back our access to our blackjack, poker and slots. (Potentially, Republicans-2, Democrats-3)