We decided to put together a short description of a few things all Blackjack players should know about.
When to Double Down
Doubling down a hand increases your bet size to double the original amount wagered. In exchange for the doubling of your bet you receive one and only one card from the dealer. There are a couple rules to live by when considering doubling down. The easiest one to remember is when you are dealt an 11. In this instance, you will always double down regardless of what the dealer is showing. Because the most populous card in the deck is a 10 you will get 21 often.
The next rule to consider is what happens pertaining to a 10. When you are dealt a 10 you will want to double down only when the dealer shows a 2 through a 9. Doubling on a 10 or ace is foolish as the odds are then in the casino’s favor.
The last card you should double on is a 9. In this instance, you should only double when the odds are in favor of the dealer going bust. In other words, you will only double down when the dealer is showing a 2 through a 6.
With no other cards should you double down. With cards over 11, this rule is fairly self-explanatory—doubling down gives you a high risk of busting while increasing the amount that you can lose. This rule even goes for when you have an 8 up against a dealer’s 6. Even if you think the dealer will bust, it is most cost effective to hit, rather than double down. Hitting ends up being a much more profitable play over the long run.
How Can You Beat the Game
Beating online blackjack is an extremely difficult task. For one, casinos would not put a game up on their site if they thought they were going to lose money by doing so. This implies that pretty much any virtual blackjack game you find will cause you to go broke if you play it for long enough.
If this does not deter you from testing your skill and luck online, there are a few things you can do to maximize your winnings and minimize your losses. For one, you cannot profit with a straight flat betting system. You must vary your bet from hand to hand in order to gain an edge over the casino. One method that works well is to let your winnings ride on a hand. If you win a hand, slightly increase your bet size for the next hand. Doing this allows you to vary your bet with a higher degree of safety since your bet will be comprised of money that was not yours to start out with. After you lose a hand, go back to your original bet size and work your way up again. You will lose some big hands in this manner, but you will also win a few big hands.
Trying to double up your bets after losses will quickly get you into trouble. When you do this, you run the risk of losing money that is already yours. Any doubling up system also will quickly exceed table limits. Although table limits might seem high at first, they are set low by the casinos’ standards in order to protect them from such a system.
Should You Use a Martingale System
The Martingale betting system works well in theory. You double your bet each time you lose, so that when you finally win, you net a profit. Once you win, you reset your betting so that you are back to your original bet size. This allows you to make a profit slowly since the amount you will win is always just a shade over what you have previously lost. This method of betting works only when there is a fifty-fifty outcome.
In practice, this does not work. For one, no bankroll is big enough to weather out the variance that can occur in a game like blackjack. Suppose you lose ten hands in a row. The amount that you would lose with a $1 base bet is $1,023. It is possible to lose even more hands in a row than this. If you lost fifteen hands in a row, your total loss would be over $32,000. This is uncommon, but very much a possibility. There are table limits in place that would prevent a game from getting this out of control. When the system dictates that you would need to bet this much, a common table has a limit of $500—your bet would be impossible to place and the system would fail you.
The Martingale system might work on paper, but this is something that the casinos know of, and have measures in place to prevent from occurring. Having a set table limit is a concrete and easy way for them to protect against the losses that a system like this would cause them.
How to Win at Blackjack Tournaments
Playing in a blackjack tournament can be a fun way to mix up the grind of playing normal blackjack against the dealer. In a tournament, you are attempting to win more money than the other players. Typically, there are a few rounds of play in such a tournament with the people near the bottom being eliminated at the end of each round. Survival is a big part of blackjack tournaments.
Because you are playing against other players, you want to ensure that you are making properly sized bets. If you start out with $1,000 in chips, betting all $1,000 on the first hand might seem like a good idea as, if you win, you will take the lead early. This strategy might be good for someone with a large bankroll that is willing to play many tournaments, but this is not a good strategy for the short term. If you bet your entire bankroll on the first hand, you stand a good chance of losing during the first hand you are dealt.
The contrary approach is also problematic. If you are betting too little, your opponents who are betting more will pull away from you. Therefore, you need to find a happy medium. By betting in a manner consistent with the level of competition you are playing against, you stand the best chance of staying relevant and dangerous in the tournament.
Basic strategy should always be strictly followed in the beginning rounds of the tournament. This gives you the best chance of enduring the early cutoff marks. If you are still alive toward the end of the tourney, you may find it appropriate to split and double on hands that you typically would not. If these strategies appear and you stand the chance of passing a competitor in chip stack size, these usually frowned upon strategies might be profitable to you.