Online Blackjack Strategy to Win More Money

The whole point of having a strategy for online blackjack is to win more. And winning more means more money. There is one play in online blackjack that can increase your profit faster. It should also be a big part of your online blackjack strategy as well.

Doubling down is one of the basic plays in blackjack. It is when you double the amount of your original wager and only receive one more card. If you win the round you win double the amount you would have normally won because you doubled your original wager.

It has the same potential of winning a round as two rounds of blackjack. In effect, if you double down at the right moments (read: play according to basic strategy) you can earn twice as much money as you normally would. That is what makes doubling down such a strong play in online blackjack.

If you can double down when it is most advantageous (again, read: play according to basic strategy) you can reduce the houses edge by 1.6%. This is all because you are winning twice as much money in one hand as you normally would.

Let’s take a look at the math. You are playing online blackjack and are wagering $10 per round (flat betting, another good online blackjack strategy). At the beginning of a new round you are dealt a hard 10 against a dealer’s 7.

According to basic strategy, you should double down here. And you do. You increase your wager from $10 up to $20. In this case we will say that you are dealt a 10, giving you a hard 20. The dealer only makes it to a hard 18. You win. But because you wagered $20 you receive a payout of $40.

If you had not doubled down and still won, you would have only won $20. Instead you made $40, which is a nice increase to your bankroll.

But you can see how doubling down helps you to increase you profit from online blackjack as long as it is used correctly in your blackjack strategy.

Blackjack Strategy: Strategies vs Systems

Being that it is a game of skill, it is no surprise that blackjack is played with a strategy. Unless you wish to lose scads of money and in that case you play however you want. But for blackjack players who want to turn a profit, they will use a strategy.

Over the course of yesterday and today I compared flat betting in blackjack against progressive betting. I showed how progressive betting is not all that it is said to be and that it can cost you more money in the long run. What I did not talk about is what a progressive betting system in blackjack is.

First off, let’s you and me get one thing straight—a strategy and a system are two different things. A strategy is a plan of a blackjack player plays his hands. Strategy can be worked with to fit different situations in the game. For example, if the cards are running high, the blackjack player who is playing with a strategy can adapt his playing accordingly.

A player who plays by a system does not have that adaptability. He must abide by his system. Which means he plays the same way no matter how the cards are flowing, and in doing so, he loses opportunities along the way to make blackjack even more profitable.

An example of a betting system that is commonly used in blackjack is the Paroli progressive betting system. This is the betting system that Player B used in the comparison I spoke of.

In the Paroli betting system, a player will begin with a base wager. If he wins he will increase his wager by double. He will then keep increasing his wager by doubling until he loses a round, at which point he will return to his base wager.

If a blackjack player were using a progressive betting system like the Paroli system and happened to notice that the cards were running high, he would be unable to deviate from his betting system to take advantage of it because he cannot upset his system.

That is the difference between a betting strategy for blackjack and a betting system. So while a betting strategy may require more time to make a larger profit, it is safer in the long run to use than a progressive betting system in blackjack.

The Epic Tale of Progressive Betting in Blackjack Strategy—The End

Throughout yesterday we followed two blackjack players—Player A and Player B—through a few rounds at the blackjack table. Or it could be both of them playing blackjack online. Whether they are playing blackjack online or in a casino does not matter since the effect of progressive betting is the same no matter where you play.

After all, you still stand to win around 42% of the time and lose the other 58% regardless of whether you prefer to sit at a blackjack table or play online.

And that brings us to the conclusion of our tortoise and the hare version of blackjack and progressive betting.

We learned that in Part I that Player A and Player B both won four rounds, leaving Player A with a gain of $40 and Player B with a gain of $100. This shows that a progressive betting system can be profitable in blackjack.

However.

In Part II we learned, with a win-loss-win-loss streak that Player A broke even; he won $20 and lost $20 in those four rounds. But Player B, because of the progressions of his betting system, wound up with a net loss of $20.

Looking at Player B we see that while his progressive betting system pulls in money on a winning streak, he stands to lose what he gains and then some if he does not hit a winning streak.

And playing without a winning streak is a more realistic approach to blackjack considering that, like I said above, you stand to lose around 58% of the time in blackjack. Knowing that you stand a greater chance of losing, even if you are using basic strategy, means that your chances of hitting a winning streak are not high. And without several winning streaks and not a lot of losing, the profitability from using a progressive betting system will not payout in the long run.

While it will take longer and might not be as thrilling, flat betting is the safer and more enduring way to earn a profit in blackjack, your best odds at making money in other words. Which makes Player B our tortoise and Player A, with his snazzy betting system, the hare of blackjack.

The Epic Tale of Progressive Betting in Blackjack Strategy—Part II

Where did we leave our players in our tale of progressive betting for blackjack strategy?

We left our Player A and Player B—our tortoise and hare—at the blackjack table. Both players had each won four rounds. Player A had won $40 as a result, while Player B had won $100 as a result of his progressive betting.

Clearly Player B is feeling quite relaxed and enjoying his blackjack playing. And he is probably feeling pretty confident that his progressive betting strategy will put him ahead in blackjack—unlike poor Player A who is flat betting.

See how it is reminiscent of the Tortoise and the Hare?

With the $40 compared to the $100, progressive betting has the edge. Not unlike the hare’s edge over the tortoise.

Now we are going to take our players for a little up and down playing. The next four rounds go like this: win, loss, win, loss. For Player A, he will be wagering $10 each time. Player B’s wagers will look like this: $10, win and increase to $20, lose and drop back to $10, win and increase to $20, and lose.

When you break the math down you can see that Player A will break even. He will have won $20 and lost $20 overall, and his bankroll be exactly where he started.

But Player B, well that is a different story. He won $10 in the first round, then increased his wager to $20 and lost. He then dropped back down to $10 and won. So he then increases his blackjack wager back up to $20, but he loses that round too. So in rounds one and three he won $20, but in rounds two and four he lost $40, which gives us a net loss of $20.

This is the moment when the hare realizes that he has goofed off far too long in the race and that the tortoise is ahead him, heading for the finish line.

As for you, you are beginning to see the down side of using a progressive betting system as a part of your blackjack strategy. But how will the story end for Player A and Player B? Check back tomorrow to find out!

The Epic Tale of Progressive Betting in Blackjack Strategy—Part I

It is not uncommon to see players using a progressive betting strategy when at the blackjack tables. They seem content with their system but I am not sure they are aware that a progressive betting system just does not pay off in the long run in blackjack. And how you bet is a big part of your blackjack strategy since your aim in blackjack is to make money.

Like usual let’s take a look at an example and compare flat betting in a game of blackjack to using a betting system in the same game of blackjack.

In this example players A and B are playing at a $10 minimum table and both start out betting $10. Player A is our flat bettor and player B is our progressive bettor.

Both players have played four rounds of blackjack. This could be online blackjack or blackjack in a brick and mortar casino. It does not matter where it is being played considering the effect of both bettering strategies will work the same in both types of blackjack.

In four rounds player A has wagered and won, brining in a total of $40. Player B has also won all four rounds but because he has wagered $10, $20, $30 and then $40, he has won $100.

In this instance the point goes to the player B and his progressive betting system.

This example shows us why players tend to resort to progressive betting systems when playing blackjack. They see it as an easy way to win money and make a profit when playing blackjack. Not to mention faster.

Do you recall the tale of the tortoise and the hare? The hare assumed that because he was the naturally faster animal he would win the race; he goofed off and played around with confidence. He figured he had the better method.

Check back and find out what happened to player B and his progressive blackjack betting system, and which player is the hare and which is the tortoise when it comes to blackjack.

Card Counting and Reducing Losses Per Hour

Yesterday I began talking about reducing your losses per hour in blackjack. While it is possible to reduce your losses per hour in online blackjack by slowing down your rate of play, some of the other ways of reducing losses are limited to playing blackjack in a brick and mortar casino.

One of those ways was discussed yesterday: making bets on another player’s hand. Between playing at a full table (same as slowing down your rate of play in online blackjack) and making wagers on another player’s hand, you can reduce your average loss per hour of $7 down to around $3.

But for blackjack players who are also card counters, they can reduce their losses per hour a little more.

This might sound a little backwards but bear with me. If you are playing at a table that has had a few hands of high cards leave the table. Save your spot, leave and then go play at another table. The reason for this is that, after a few rounds of high cards, you can expect that the run will be coming to an end. And you do not want to be making larger wagers when the run ends and the low cards start running. Low cards favor the dealer and you stand to lose more then.

On the other hand if the cards run low for several hands, say you see more than eight low end cards in a row and passing out of play, it is then time to start upping your wagers again.

This bit of blackjack strategy takes more time to work with and become good at but it can pay off in the end in reducing your losses per hour in blackjack from the average of $7 down to around $1. These are the best odds for a blackjack player who is trying to reduce their losses per hour.

Remember—play at a full table, make a few bets on another blackjack player’s hand and balance when to play at a blackjack table and when to bow out.

Reducing Losses Per Hour

In blackjack—be it online blackjack or casino blackjack—the point is to make money. That is where your blackjack odds come from, your opportunities to make money in blackjack.

So logically it stands to follow that the more you lose per hour the les opportunity you have and the more your odds decrease. So it follows that if you can cut down your losses per hour you can in turn increase your odds a bit.

So what can you do to reduce your losses per hour?

For starters play at a full table, or as full of a table as you can find. A full table, meaning seven players, will average around 55 hands per hour, which comes to around $7 lost per hour. If you were to play one-on-one with the dealer you would be looking at 220 hands per hour with about a loss of $28 per hour. So knock of the seemingly macho one-on-one stuff and pull up to a full table.

Obviously a full table is not an option when it comes to online blackjack. When playing blackjack online it is just you and the dealer. In this case you would simply slow down your rate of play. Play a round and go get a drink, check your email, go to the bathroom—something! The whole point is to not play as many hands in an hour.

The less hands you play per hour the less opportunities you have to lose money. Realistically, since the house has the edge even with basic strategy, there are more opportunities to lose money—which is why you want to slow your rate of play down.

Another little trick you can use if you are playing blackjack in a casino is to bet on another player’s hand.

If you know that the guy next to needs to double down on his hand according to basic strategy but he is hesitating, cover the extra money for him. This way if he wins you will win a part of his winnings, even if your hand loses. In this way you can keep from losing as much money on a hand, or even make a little extra.

If in an hour you can work in at least two wagers on another guy’s hand for $30 each, you can make back around $4. I know, it is not a lot, but it is better than nothing; and look at this math: Let’s say you are playing at a full table (and you should be by now) you are losing around $7 per hour. But with wagering on other player’s hand you can make back $4, well your losses per hour are now down to $3 per hour instead of $7.

There is another way of reducing your losses in blackjack, but it is going to have to wait until next time.

True Odds in Insurance

When it comes to odds in casino games, many are actually quite accurate, or true. I know, surprising considering how the casino like to take money. However, at least in most games the odds are true. One of the exceptions though is an insurance bet in blackjack.

First off, what are true odds?

True odds are quite simple. Odds are true when they are even with the payout. Meaning the payout has to be the same as the odds of landing that payout. Take roulette for example. In a game of roulette there are thirty six numbers. If you were to make a wager on one of those numbers and won that round you would receive a 36-1 payout. And that matches the odds of landing one number, which is naturally thirty six to one.

Now let’s take a look at insurance in blackjack.

If you were to win an insurance wager you would receive a 2-1 payout. However true odds on insurance are not two to one.

As an example we are going to assume that you are not holding any ten value cards; obviously the dealer has an Ace and you do not know what his other card is. We are going to look a single deck game to make the math easier to see.

In a single deck game there are sixteen ten value cards, which means that there are thirty three cards that have other values. This means that there is a 33-16 chance of the dealer having a card worth 10 for his hole card. Reduce 33-16 and you have 2.0625 to 1.

And that means that you should be paid $2.06 for every $1 of your insurance bet. On a $10 insurance bet you should be paid a total of $20.63. Instead you receive $20. Since you do not receive $20.63 the odds on an insurance bet are not fair, which further makes insurance a bad bet in blackjack.

Oh, and the amount that you should be paid goes up the larger your insurance wager is. So the larger your insurance bet is in blackjack, the more unbalanced the odds are.

Knowing When to Double Down on Soft Hands

Soft hands tend to throw some blackjack players off. Most tend to play them as if they were hard hands. Sometimes this works and other times players are not playing their blackjack hands to the greatest advantage.

And you should want the greatest advantage.

Even if a player is playing according to basic strategy the casino will still have the advantage. It does not matter if you are playing blackjack online or in a brick and mortar casino, the house will still have around a 0.5% advantage over you.

And because they will always have the advantage over the player (other than skilled card counting players) you should always want to play your hand to the greatest advantage in blackjack.

Stiff hands and soft hands are the hardest hands to play. There is nothing you can really do about stiff hands other than play them according to basic strategy. But soft hands do not have to be played like a hard hand—they have flexibility that other hands in blackjack do not.

Doubling down is one of the strongest plays a player can make in blackjack. It takes the most off the house’s edge out of all the plays and blackjack rules: 0.6% is knocked off.

But many players do not know when the best times to double down with a soft hand—they are on the tricky side after all. There is actually an easy rule to go by to know when to double down:

Add up your non-Ace card and the dealer’s up card. If the total is 9 or higher then go ahead and double down. But if the total of your non-Ace card and the dealer’s up card is less than 9 do not double down. Easy right?

On Card Counting and Blackjack

While basic strategy offers players a wonderful, easy and legal way to lower the house edge it only takes you so far. As far as 0.5% still being in the house’s favor. And while that house edge is not as great at the 8% to 12% that players are up against at a slots machine, the casino is accepting for two reasons:

1. Not every single blackjack player will play according to basic strategy, nor will they play every hand according to it, deviating and thus keeping the house edge above 0.5%.

2. And the house still has the edge. As long as they have some kind of an edge they are a happy casino.

But then along comes those wily card counting blackjack players.

Casinos very much do not like card counting blackjack players. This is more about money than anything. On the surface card counting evens out the house edge and can even, for the skilled card counter, tip the edge in favor of the player.

If these card counting blackjack players were playing for fun or for fake money the casino would not care at all if the house edge slipped in favor of the player. But when money is involved, well that is another story.

When the house edge is in favor of the house, they stand a greater chance of making money off of the players. But when the edge goes to the player, the casino winds up paying more money to the player—something that they do not want to do on a regular basis. A slots jackpot here, and an honest 3-2 payout on a high-end wager to a non-card counting player, sure they are okay with. But a player who is taking regular advantage, no.

That is why if you are going to be a regular card counting blackjack player there is another skill you need to acquire: appearing that you are not counting cards.

Pit bosses, when they suspect that a player is counting cards or that something funny is going on, will come over to the table and strike up conversation with players. And often players will talk with the other players at the table or even with the dealer.

It is the player who with the bets going form $5 up to $50 suddenly that is not talking that will catch their attention. So the other skill you need to teach yourself to go hand-in-hand with card counting is the ability to keep an eye on the cards, keep your count and still interact with the other players, the dealer and even the pit boss if he stops by.

The point here is to be social and to appear that you are not counting cards when you really are. If you can interact with the others while playing blackjack the casino staff will not think that your mind is focused on counting. But then they assume that card counting blackjack players are not smart enough to do two things at once.