What Not To Do In Blackjack

There are many experts out there who want to tell you everything you are supposed to do in a game of blackjack, but I am here to tell you what not do in blackjack. Blackjack is perhaps the best game at the casino because it is a perfect combination of skill and chance. There are many tactics to use, and not use during your game; let’s sort through these tips and tricks.

First of all do not underestimate the power of your gut instinct. Many experts want to over complicate the game and give you advice about all of the aspects of the game you need to pay attention to, and these are important. It is also important to recognize the simplicity of the game and not get too overwhelmed.

Do not forget that you are playing against the dealer. The dealer wants the casino to win; therefore modeling your behavior after the dealer will not bode well for you.

Do not use insurance unless you count cards. Insurance only benefits card counters because you do not want to use it unless you are certain that you do not have a winning hand.

Don’t forget about the surrender option, but also be very selective when using it. Only use it if you have a nine or ten and your cards total 15 or 16, and the dealer also has a nine or ten.

And finally don’t go into a blackjack game without knowing the rules. Whether you are playing in Vegas or at casino.com be certain that you know all of the rules and regulations of your particular game. Every blackjack game is different, be sure you know how to play yours.

When to Double Down

I have always been a fan of the Double Down ever since I started playing blackjack. Did you know it is actually incorporated into the blackjack odds, and by not utilizing it, it actually increases the house edge. It’s true. You are supposed to double down, whenever you can, of course.

I received most of my information from Google when I first started playing, and wanted to know all of the nitty gritty details.

Doubling down is actually defined as doubling your bet after yo9u have received your first two cards.

This move affects the house edge in a variety of different ways. When doubling down during a normal shoe game (8 decks) the house edge will be .55%. Doubling down after a split reduces the house edge by .13%.

Now comes the fun part: determining when to double down. Double down always works best when the dealer is at his weakest. He is in this vulnerable state when he has the cards: 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6; these cards greatly increase his likelihood of busting.

One of my favorite moves, although one of the riskiest, is doubling down with a ten when the dealer has a nine, or with an eleven, when the dealer has a ten.

The best advice I can give is not to hesitate. Like I said before doubling down is computed into the house edge. Always make your move when the time is right. I’ve scratched the surface of this stellar move, now it’s up to you to go try it out.

Learning Blackjack from YouTube

Did you know there are over 3,500 different blackjack videos on YouTube? It’s true; YouTube has become a valuable instrument to learn pretty much anything. I’ve learned how to play the drums, as well as crochet a scarf. The possibilities are literally endless.

Now the tricky part is finding the best channels on YouTube, simply typing in blackjack can lead you to thousands of time-wasters that aren’t worth your attention.

Some of my favorites are: TheCasinoGuru and BeatingBlackjack do some very informative videos. BeatingBlackjack is lead by some ordinary guys who have a passion for the game, and everything about it. They do stripped down tutorials that is easy to comprehend and follow along with.

When it comes down to it you’re going to choose a video that fits your style. Just make sure you type in “How To” in your search, no matter what you search.

I once wanted to learn different Craps bets so I typed in “Craps Bets” in my YouTube search and ended up watching a ten minute video trying to sell me a DVD about craps. Don’t let this happen to you.

Another great too is to search exactly what you are interested in learning. Try searching “How to count cards in blackjack” or “When to double down in blackjack”. You will find that there are still thousands of videos that will fit your needs.

Any way that you learn the game is going to be beneficial to your wallet, and the more you learn the better you will be. Also practice makes perfect, especially online!

Single Deck Blackjack at Bodog Casino

Playing blackjack for me is one of the most rewarding activities I engage in. I usually play online, seeing as the closest casino to me is nearly two hours away. Lately my favorite site to play at is Bodog.

I usually play roulette at Bodog Casino, so I decided their blackjack had to be just as good, if you want to play online black jack for real money this is the place.

Not only do they have a payout percentage of 94.3%, they also have no limit to their welcoming bonus amount. They will match any amount you deposit.

I played for free for a while, until I decided I was ready to wager some real money.  I picked 1 deck blackjack, because it’s new and I’ve been dying to play. These is a 25$ minimum bet, and the speed of play is relatively longer because more cards are drawn to achieve 21. It is next to impossible to get a pure blackjack.

Not only did they just add single deck blackjack, but also double deck blackjack, which has a slightly faster pace of play.

It pays 3:2, insurance pays 2:1, and you can split up to two hands. I played for about thirty minutes and ended up being up $20 which I was proud of considering it was my first time playing single deck blackjack.

I play a lot, and I have grown accustom to 4 to 6 deck blackjack, so playing with 1 and 2 decks was definitely a new experience, but a good experience.

Blackjack Tips

When sitting around a blackjack corner, you know that you are only playing against the dealer, no matter how many players there are. What if there was a way to get an edge on the dealer? What if you could sneak into their head and know the psychology of what is in their hand?

I am going to share with you a few tips about dealer’s “tells.”
Learning the dealer’s “tells” is a skill that must be perfected to be useful. It involves facial expressions as well as subconscious movements. Sitting down at your first table, you will not really know what I’m talking about, but with practice and a keen sense of your surroundings, this skill will become second nature.

Of course every dealer is different, your best bet is to survey the casino and familiarize yourself with the different dealers. Get a feel for which one you think is giving away the most info with their demeanor. Some are stone cold, while others have a more lackadaisical approach to dealing.

Your second step is to figure out the dealer’s hold card, or facedown card. Unlike you, the dealer is not playing with his or her own money, so they tend to be a little less careless with their “poker face.”

Pay attention to how long the dealer looks at their hold card. Also how much the card is bent plays a key role in figuring out what the dealer’s card is.

If the dealer is holding a paint card, they will look at it for almost a nanosecond. They know as soon as they see the color, they have a ten.

If their card is a stiff card (2, 3, 4, 5, or 6) they will bend it more, and higher. They also do this for an ace though, so you have to be careful, and pay attention to the cards that are already on the table.

Ok check back often for more Blackjack tips you can take to the table!

Probability of the 10 Hole Card for the Dealer

A lot of blackjack players will fall back on what was once a pretty standard way of playing your hand: play as if the dealer’s hole card is worth 10. This was seen as a way to play with the worst case scenario. No one ever questioned this so-called blackjack strategy, not even when it was noticed that the professional players did not play this way. People shrugged it off and assumed they had some highly intense blackjack strategy.

But this was until checking out the math and probability of cards and hands and rules became more common place. Or until players wanted to became more prudent and wiser in how they played out their hands. It was then that the probability of that hole card being worth 10 became known.

There is only a 31% chance that the dealer’s hole card will be worth 10, as compared to the 69% chance it could be worth any other value.

This prompted a wake-up call among blackjack players. They began to question why they were playing their hands out based on an idea that only had a 31% chance of happening. It seemed kind of silly. And it is. Now they knew why the professional blackjack players never played on the assumption that the hole card was a 10.

This is when basic strategy really took off, and I mean really. It offered players a better strategy, one that was sounder and offered a better house edge: 0.5%. And since then the only players who play blackjack on the assumption that the dealer’s hole card is worth 10 are those who are still new to the game; but they are pretty quick to learn this is not a sound blackjack strategy. They join the rest of us playing on the 69% probability that the hole card is worth something else. In other words they join the rest of us playing according to basic strategy.

What Can Basic Strategy do for you in Online Blackjack?

Online blackjack already offers players one of the best house edges in the online casino industry. Prior to any blackjack strategy, online blackjack has a house edge of 2 to5% depending on the individual house rules. In our current climate most house edges for blackjack online sit at around 4 to 5%.

When playing blackjack in a land casino there are more strategy options available because you are playing face to face with real cards and a real dealer, not virtual cards dealt by the Random Number Generator. One of the biggest differences between land casino blackjack strategy and online blackjack strategy is card counting. In online blackjack there is no card counting because there are no discards in online blackjack; think of it as being like playing with a Continuous Shuffle Machine in a land casino.

The loss of card counting is blow to online blackjack strategy since card counting can potentially give the player the edge. But without discards there can be no card counting. So. Moving on, what do we have?

The strongest online blackjack strategy tool that players have is basic strategy. Sometimes online players become tired of hearing about basic strategy. But the reason you hear about it so much and from so many sources is because it is the strongest strategy tool. Playing every hand according to basic strategy can drop the house edge down to 0.5% over time. And that gives online blackjack the lowest house edge out of all the online casinos games. This means that it has the most stable potential to turn a profit for players and to win them real money at online blackjack.

So when you are going to set about playing online blackjack, pull up a basic strategy chart and play exactly how it tells you to. You will not win every hand but your edge will go up and that means you can make more money over time from online blackjack.

Rate of Play in Blackjack

There is one aspect of the house edge that players have direct control over. I know you are thinking, what could that possibly be? After all the house has a built in advantage from playing last, which the player cannot control. And even though a player can control how they play out their hand—something the majority of casino games lack—players in blackjack cannot control what cards they are dealt. So what is left that is in the player’s hands in blackjack that they can control?

Their rate of play. Quite simply put, the rate at which plays through rounds of blackjack. If you play at a fast rate, making quick decisions and hurrying through the execution of your plays, you are playing more hands compared to someone who slows down their play, playing at a relaxing pace without all the haste.

At first you might think, ‘So what? What is the big deal? So what if I play faster than someone else?’ but think about this: the more hands you play in an hour the more money you stand to lose. Check it out.

Let’s say you are playing in a game of blackjack with a flat 2% house edge. Based on the meaning of house edge, you will lose $2 out of every $10 you play. Let’s now say you play sixty hands in an hour; you have an expected loss of $120 in an hour. You may lose it, you may not. But based on house edge, that is your expected loss.

Now let’s say you only play forty hands of blackjack in an hour. Your expected loss based on the house edge in blackjack is only $80. That is a $40 difference for slowing down each hand from one minute to one and a half minutes. A thirty second increase per hand and you will have cut your expected loss by 33%.

Slowing down you rate of play lessens your expected losses in blackjack, which does not leave as many opportunities for the house to win and take your money. Blackjack strategy tidbit for today is to slow your rate of play down.

Splitting Aces in Blackjack

Splitting is a sometimes tricky play in blackjack. Many players do not execute it at the right times, but that can be reversed with practice and by applying strategy. But perhaps the trickiest to logic out is splitting Aces.

When dealt a pair of Aces, you have the choice of playing it as a 22, which is just silly, or of playing it as a 12, making it a stiff hand. Or you can split the pair of Aces and wind up with two individual hands each starting with 11. This is a much stronger way of starting a hand than with a 12.

The only downside to splitting a pair of Aces is that most casinos will only allow a player to receive one card on each Ace once they are split. The same rule often applies in online blackjack games as well. That is how good the odds are on split Aces—the casinos must insert a rule that limits what a blackjack player can do with their split Aces. There are some blackjack games and blackjack variations that will not limit a player to one card per Ace, however.

But even with the one card per Ace rule, splitting Aces still carries good odds on winning. Players have a 60% chance of winning when they split a pair of Aces, leaving only a 40% chance for a loss. In fact there is no dealer up card that a player goes against in which the odds are below 50%. Staring down a face card with a split pair of Aces still has players with a 54% chance of winning.

The reason behind this is that the Ace is the strongest card in the deck. Add to that the fact that there are more ten value cards in the game; those ten values cards, while not giving a split Ace a winning blackjack, they do give the player the next highest hand: 21.

Bear in mind that while the odds are in favor of the player when it comes to splitting Aces in blackjack, the odds are not 100%–bear in mind that there will be losses. You cannot win every time, but splitting Aces have a better shot of winning than if you were to not split them.

What is Basic Strategy?

The term basic strategy is tossed around all over sites with blackjack advice. It comes up when experienced blackjack players are imparting advice to novice players. And it is always recommended as the place to start with blackjack strategy.

But what the heck is basic strategy anyway?

Basic strategy is the simplest form of blackjack strategy available. Its most common appearance is a chart. Across the top is every single dealer up card, and down the left side are all the two card starting hands that a player could be dealt. Where the line of a dealer’s up card meets the line of a player’s hand is a play, either hit, stand, double down, split or in some cases surrender.

The play where the two lines meet is the best statistical play for the dealer up card/player hand combination. It is not a guaranteed win, but it is the best possible play for the player to make in that instance.

Over time playing perfect basic strategy can lower the house edge to 0.5%. And by perfect basic strategy I mean playing every single hand according to that chart, no deviations. This can sometimes be hard since players do not always want to put down the money to double down or split. But in the long run it pays to do so.

Basic Strategy is also perfectly legal to use in casinos and online casinos. Some brick and mortar casinos will even give players basic strategy charts—but they do so in hopes that the player will believe that they are supposed to win every time, become frustrated and stop using the card, resulting in erratic play which in turn results in more money for the casino.

The best that a player can do is to use the chart knowing they are not going to win every single hand, but that basic strategy will help their odds in the long run. The purpose of basic strategy is to increase money making opportunities, and the better the money is, the better the odds are. Stick with basic strategy.