On the surface, Blackjack may sound simple enough- try to achieve a card hand as close to 21 as possible, and beat the dealer’s hand. However, the deeper you dive into the strategies and calculations of the odds of winning, the trickier it gets to understand blackjack.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a math genius to learn these blackjack strategies, all you need is some patience and determination, and you’ll be all set to win- or at least, tilt the odds in your favor- in your next game.
The Odds in a Game of Blackjack
The Odds in a Game of Blackjack The Return-to-Player rate (RTP) in most games of Blackjack is generally between 98.8% – 99.7% but could differ from casino to casino, depending on the rules that are enforced in that particular game. Even with all these variations, blackjack is still considered among the games with the highest RTP rates, which may be one of the reasons why it’s such a popular game. There’s also a ton of myths surrounding this seemingly straightforward game, but that’s a story for another time.
Blackjack Strategy #1: Calculating the House Edge
Before sitting down at a blackjack table, it’s important for players to understand their odds of hitting a win or indeed, a blackjack. One of the more precise ways of calculating the house edge is to use a blackjack house edge calculator, of which there are plenty online.
Otherwise, players could also analyze the rules set in that particular game to gauge the approximate house edge. Among the more common rules that affect the house edge are the Soft 17 rule, the Late Surrender rule, and whether the player can split their cards. These rule could either increase or decrease the house edge, which would help players estimate their chances of winning games.
Blackjack Strategy #2: Knowing When to Hit or Stand
While some players might rely on their instincts to decide on whether to hit or stand, in order to maximize the chances of getting a good card hand, players should base their decisions on a blackjack strategy chart. These charts’ information comes from probability calculations, which show how likely that a card with the value(s) needed will be received by the player.
The information on these charts may differ based on certain variations in the game of blackjack being played, such as the number of card decks being played, the soft 17 rule and more. Hence, unless you’re a math whiz, you’d have to pick the right strategy chart to memorize, which is dependent on the variations of the game you are likelier to play.
Blackjack strategy #3: Counting Cards
Contrary to popular belief, counting cards is not illegal in casinos. Of course, it tends to be frowned upon, as you are lowering the casino’s house edge even further, so it would be advisable to do it discreetly.
That said, if you are planning on becoming a professional blackjack player, card-counting is a necessary skill. Essentially, card-counting involves keeping track of the high- and low-value cards that are played throughout the duration of the game. It would take a long time to master, but is a skill that trumps the blackjack strategy charts as the game goes on.
To the casual player, blackjack may seem simple enough, but to truly master it, with all its variations and different probabilities, is anything but. Of course, players looking to join competitions or play blackjack regularly would find the pay-off rewarding, but, as most other skills, it will take time to learn all the strategies by heart.