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.

Double Attack Blackjack

There seems to be a new blackjack variation surfacing in casinos. As of yet I have not heard that this new variation has made it over into the world of online blackjack, but there is always the chance it will happen, after all other variations have crossed over. The new variation that has popped its head up is called Double Attack Blackjack.

The basic principle behind this variation of blackjack is that players make their wagers, the dealer’s up card is then dealt at which point players can make an additional wager up to being equal to their round wager; then the player’s starting hand is dealt. Yes, you read all of that right; the dealer’s up card is dealt first which allows players to then increase their wager if the dealer’s up card is in favor to bust.

There are some other really nice player favorable rules in this blackjack variation. For starters players can double down on any number of cards, including splits. Late surrender is also offered, which is a very nice blackjack play. And the dealer has to stand on all 17’s, hard or soft.

But like any blackjack variation that offers some really nice player favorable plays and rules, there are also the downsides. Natural blackjacks only pay even money. But one of the biggest kickers is that this game is played with 48 card Spanish decks which means the 10 cards have been removed leaving only the face cards to count for 10.

Overall this blackjack variation has a house edge of 0.62 when using a modified version of basic strategy. Those modifications include hitting a hard 12 and hard 13 against all dealer up cards. As for hard 14, instead of standing against a dealer 2 or 3, you will hit just like you do against a 7 or up. No doubling down against soft hands with less than a total of 16.

If you are in a casino that is offering Double Attack Blackjack give it a try, but start out wagering small until you become accustomed to the run of Double Attack. And if you really want to make the most of the modified basic strategy and the rules of this game, do not take the second increased amount bet and stick with playing Double Attack on one wager.

Shuffle Tracking in Blackjack

Just about every single blackjack player out there has heard of card counting. Even casino patrons who only play a few rounds of blackjack for a break from their preferred casino game have heard of card counting. But what many blackjack players have not heard of is shuffle tracking.

Shuffle tracking is another ‘counting’ skill that the elite of card counter work into their counting strategies. This particular skill involves tracking the clump of cards that come after the shuffle card to see where or in what zone the newly shuffled deck the clump of cards is in.

Let me break it down a bit more. Prior to dealing at the blackjack table, the dealer will have a player cut the deck. Where that cut is made a shuffle card is inserted. When the shuffle card appears, the dealer reshuffles the deck and the process begins again.

What this has to do with card counters is that sometimes the count goes positive and the counter is ready to increase his wagers. And then the shuffle card appears and that means that all those high cards are behind the shuffle card. This is where the shuffle tracking comes in. Shuffle trackers will watch the shuffling very, very carefully to see where that clump of rich cards goes. Then the shuffle tracker will cut the deck so that the clump of high cards from before the shuffle are on top. This allows them to wager high right off the bat; they still get their money from counting cards, and the high wagers from the get-go confuse the casino personnel since card counters never wager high at the beginning of a new shoe.

But shuffle tracking is not a simple skill to learn. Shuffle trackers must learn the shuffle patterns of the particular casino they want to try their skill at. They then have to replicate the shuffle at home to learn how to keep pace with the shuffle in order to track the clump they want to cut to the top. It takes a lot of practice and skill. Without careful practice and careful tracking a player could lose the clump of high cards unknowingly; not being careful and not practicing and preparing ahead of time can result in the loss of a lot of a player’s bankroll.

This is one blackjack skill that requires a lot of practice, more than card counting. And while casinos have naturally taken precautions—complicated shuffle patterns and continuous shuffle machines—players will still try their hand at shuffle tracking. Just make sure that if you want to work shuffle tracking into your blackjack strategy to practice a lot. And I do mean a lot.

Blackjack Players, When in Rome…

When in Rome do as the Romans do right? Well if in Rome they are enjoying blackjack aimed bonuses, that means to enjoy them too right? Right!

Well over at the online casino Rome Casino there are several bonuses that are good for those playing table games and that means that all of you online blackjack players can take advantage of them too.

First up part of the Weekend Warrior bonus specials include an unlimited 15% cash back for table game players. This means that you can get 15% of your losses back in a cash back from playing online blackjack. Not a bad offer for kicking back on the weekends and playing.

Playing during the week? Not to worry, online blackjack players, there are weekday bonuses for you to take advantage of during the week too. They are coming to you from the Weekday Labor bonuses. Online blackjack players can either take advantage of various deposit bonuses with different percentages (check in with Rome Casino each week to see what is offered), or online blackjack players can take advantage of the same unlimited 15% cash back that is available to you on the weekends.

Looking for something that is only available to a smaller crowd? Copia’s Cash Back Bonus is only available to online blackjack, roulette and video poker players. And that is a pretty small crowd considering that it is not available for online slots or online poker players. This special bonus is for a 25% cash back. Nice chunk of money there.

There are also special weekly bonuses in addition to the Weekday Labor bonuses for players to check back for. Rome Casino certainly likes to take care of their ‘Romans’ who are playing online blackjack with all those cash back opportunities.

Splitting 10’s vs. Standing on them

A lot of blackjack players wonder about splitting a pair of 10’s, is it really worth it? To give credence to their question, a pair of 9’s is split in most cases. So why split a pair of 9’s and not a pair of 10’s? After all, a pair of 9’s unsplit is a hard 18, and that is more than 17, which is the hand that everyone begins to stand on.

But here is the thing with a hard 18 when compared to a hard 20: there are three hands that the dealer could either hold or hit to that would flat out beat a hard 18 while there is only one hand that the dealer can hold or hit to which would beat a hard 20. Looking at it that way, there is no way to doubt that a hard 20 is stronger than a hard 18.

That is only looking at the strength of a hard 20. To further back up the idea that it is better stand on a pair of 10’s rather than splitting them, let’s take a look at what you can win or loss when splitting or standing on a pair of 10’s.

The two best upcards to come up against with a pair of 10’s is a 7 or an 8. This is the best case scenario. Standing on that pair of 10’s will on average make you $0.77 or $0.79 per $1 wagered. Splitting that pair of 10’s against that 7 will only make you $0.25 per $1; and the 8 will cost you $0.01 per $1.

Worst case scenario your pair of 10’s comes up against a dealer’s 10 or Ace. The player will lose $0.44 or $0.34 per $1 respectively if they split the pair of 10’s. However, standing on that pair of 10’s against that dealer 10 or Ace can make the player $0.56 or $0.65 per $1 respectively.

This is why your blackjack strategy should include standing on a pair of 10’s all the time. So not only is there logic to back up standing on a pair of 10’s, there is also the amount of money you can win when standing on a pair of 10’s as opposed to either less money made or money lost when splitting. So trust me when I say you are far better off standing on a pair of 10’s.

PokerTek Finishes First Round of BlackjackPro Rollout

I may have to take back my words when it comes to PokerTek’s BlackjackPro automatic blackjack table. Back in November of last year I made it known that I was on the skeptical side of BlackjackPro. And really, can you blame me when one of their features allows the casino to set the game up with their own rules? Such a feature allows casino operators the ability to set up another blackjack table or blackjack variation with rules that are not player friendly.

However, response to the BlackjackPro system has been positive. Hopefully this means that players are not only taken with automated blackjack tables but also with blackjack games whose rules are not stacked more than normal against them.

A quick reminder: BlackjackPro automatic blackjack tables feature a center screen with six seats around it. It is on this screen that players see the game happen rather than on seven individual screens. This helps to improve group play and camaraderie at the table, which I can now commend as it has been a success.

As for the rollout, the entire batch of original BlackjackPro tables have found homes, with the last of the automated tables installed at the end of last month. This means that ninety six BlackjackPro tables have found homes in land casinos and on cruise ships. And the demand for them continues:

“Demand has exceeded our inventory during this initial rollout phase with our available supply now fully absorbed. In response to the favorable product performance and customer demand, production is underway to provide additional inventory for second half installations,” said Mark Roberson, PokerTek’s CEO.

This means that PokerTek will continue to build BlackjackPro tables with the ProCore system. The BlackjackPro tables have been the saving grace of PokerTek, so let’s hear it for blackjack! Considering the success of the BlackjackPro automated blackjack tables, it seems that players like them. Just please be wary of the rules the casinos set them up with as well as side bets that are set up in how the casinos program them.

Unlimited Online Blackjack Bonus

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We like unlimited. And we also like boosts to our online blackjack bankroll. It is especially fun to get off to an online blackjack start when we receive a nice boost from a Welcome Bonus. Here is an online blackjack welcome Bonus that is sure to get players off to a good start: Aladdin’s Gold Unlimited Welcome Bonus.

Yes, you read that right; I did say ‘unlimited.’ New online blackjack players can claim the Welcome Bonus for online blackjack and other non-slots games as many times as they would like during their first seven days at Aladdin’s Gold.

Here is how it works: new players to Aladdin’s Gold have a special screen when they log in where they can choose to claim the unlimited online slots bonus or the other games bonus; online blackjack players will be going with the other games bonus as the online slots bonus is not good for playing online blackjack. Once the new player has chosen they bonus, they can head to the cashier’s section of Aladdin’s Gold and make their deposit. The bonus money will be credited to their player account as soon as the deposit clears. Players will have access to that special Welcome Bonus screen for their first seven days at Aladdin’s Gold.

As for the bonus it is a 100% deposit match bonus. As previously stated, it is unlimited and can be claimed however many times a new online blackjack player would like. There is a 50 xs wager requirement on each bonus though so keep that in mind when you are claiming your bonuses; it is always nice to have extra to play with, but you have to meet the wager requirement before requesting a withdrawal.

Once the wager requirement is met, online blackjack players can request a withdrawal. There is also no maximum withdraw amount either, but the bonus money cannot be withdrawn. All bonus money will be removed once the withdrawal is made.

On the whole, the Welcome Bonus at [insert_php]echo $casino2name;[/insert_php] is quite generous considering that online blackjack players can claim it as many times as they would like in the first seven days, and that there is no maximum cashout on the bonus.

Best Times to Bet in Online Blackjack

When playing blackjack in a land casino, often times blackjack players will take their cues of when the best times to bet are from other players at the table that they perceive to be more knowledgeable about blackjack and blackjack strategy than they themselves are. I am talking about the times to double down and split pairs. In some cases this works out just dandy, and in other cases this does not work out so well.

But in online blackjack there are no other players to take cues from when it comes to betting in online blackjack to know when to double down and split pairs. It is just you and the game, and you have to determine the best time to bet. No other players to influence you. So if you are still getting your online blackjack game or betting strategy feet under yourself I do have a suggestion: basic strategy.

Basic strategy is the online blackjack player’s best tool for knowing the best times to bet. Not every hand has the best odds for doubling down and splitting. Without other players to learn from, basic strategy provides the best information to determine the best times.

A basic strategy chart is made up of the dealer up cards across the top with all player starting hands running down the left hand side. This chart will tell players when the best times to double down and split pairs are.

For example, most players know that most hard 10 and hard 11 dealer up card combinations are good to go for doubling down on. But did you know there are some hard 9s that have pretty good doubling down odds? Or did you know that there are eighteen soft hands that have good double down odds?

Granted, players cannot always double down on any hand in some online blackjack hands. But if players have that option there are soft hands that should be doubled down on. And pairs! There are eight instances where you should double down on a pair of 5s and not split.

That is the kind of information that basic strategy provides. And it provides it for free while being a perfectly legal strategy tool. Basic strategy is the online blackjack player’s best way of determining which are the best times to bet and double down or split pairs in online blackjack.

Chinese Blackjack Player Ai Weiwei Released

Blackjack players in the international community have something to celebrate today: the release from Chinese police custody of Ai Weiwei. Weiwei was arrest back on April 3rd and he has been held on what blackjack players and activist and politician view as suspicious circumstances.

Once arrested he was held on economic crimes. What created all the outrage among blackjack players who knew Weiwei as a brilliant yet kind player and among the international community was that he was an artist and activist in a country that has come under fire for extreme censorship. Weiwei spoke out often against such censorship and voiced his opinions about the Chinese government, which is why many feel he was arrested.

But his detention is over and Weiwei has been released under the agreement that he pay taxes he evaded paying, not speak about his internment and to not leave Beijing for a full year unless the Chinese government gives him permission to do so.

Blackjack players who knew Weiwei or have heard of his skill at the tables in Atlantic City are just happy to have him back on the outside. Back in April the blackjack community had organized several blackjack and poker tournaments to raise money. That money was used to lobby for the release of Weiwei, to impart trade restrictions against China, the most populated country in the world.

That is how much Weiwei meant to the blackjack community, who knew him as a quiet well-mannered player who willingly gave out tips and pointers on how to improve other players’ game and blackjack strategies.

Blackjack Background

Have you ever stopped to consider how online blackjack, or just blackjack in general, got to be so popular?

The game of blackjack goes as far back as the 1700’s when it was called Vingt et Un in France. This is why it should come as no surprise that Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte played blackjack; in fact, it is has been reported that it was his favorite card game and the one he played most often. So think of it this way when you are playing out your hands of blackjack online: you and your blackjack mind are in the company of Napoleon.

So you picked up that blackjack was not always called blackjack. Vingt et Un is French for 21. This is why the game is commonly called 21, which makes sense considering that the point of the game is to beat the dealer without going over 21; 21 is the star hand in the game—it is the hand players cannot go beyond and it is the hand that awards the highest payout.

So if the name of the game is supposed to be 21, where did the name blackjack come from? The game was so popular in the 1920’s American casino scene that it was nicknamed blackjack as slang for 21. This is derived from having a hand made up of the Ace of Spades and the Jack of Spades; it was the most popular hand, and even today there are some blackjack variations that payout even more if the blackjack is made up of the Ace and Jack of Spades.

When playing blackjack, be it blackjack online or in a casino, you now have a sense of history. This is not just a casino game with really good odds and house edge; it is a casino game with a strong history and popularity.