Blackjack Is Your Best Casino Game Bet
There are no sure bets in casino games, but blackjack may be the closest you can come. While you should not expect massive payouts, experienced gamblers agree that blackjack is the game where players stand the best chance of winning consistently.
The Basics of Blackjack
The goal in blackjack is simple: You want your cards to add up to 21, or closer to 21 than the dealer. If you go over 21, you bust and lose the hand. If the two initial cards dealt to you in a hand add up to 21, that’s called a Blackjack or a Natural. Figures tabulated over thousands and thousands of games show that blackjack players will win about 44% to 48% of the time.
A player’s skill reduces the risk of losing and increases the odds of winning playing one of the most popular casino games in the world.
Playing Only Against the Dealer
In blackjack, no matter how many players are at the table, you are competing against only one: the dealer. Poker also has strong odds of winning, especially for experienced players. However, in poker you must out-think multiple players, making winning money more difficult. How you decide to play starts with understanding the dealer’s face-up card. If it’s a face card or an Ace, the dealer has a high chance of winning.
There are several ways that you can beat the dealer:
1. If you get blackjack
2. If the dealer busts (goes over 21)
3. If you get closer to 21 than the dealer does
You can increase your odds of winning by making good decisions during the game, and your decision-making can be enhanced by knowing the probabilities of various card value combinations. Blackjack odds charts are available online.
• Dealer’s up-card is an Ace—the dealer has an 11% chance of going bust.
• Dealer’s up-card is a six—the dealer has a 42% chance of going bust.
Learning Blackjack Strategies
A major difference between a casino table game like blackjack and a floor game like slot machines is that blackjack requires thinking through scenarios. Players who learn the game of blackjack can develop strategies to increase their chances of winning. Learning and practice will boost the amount of money you might win.
Key terms to learn include:
• Hit: asking for another card
• Stand (or “hold”): stop taking cards
• Soft hand: counting the Ace as 11 instead of 1
• Split: separating two cards of the same value to create two blackjack hands and betting on both, thus increasing the chance of winning
• Double-down: doubling your bet and only taking one more card.
Important factors in playing blackjack to win:
• Knowing when to hit and when to stand/hold
• Knowing the house rules, which differ based on the casino and the style of blackjack game (see below)
• Learning and practice
Playing blackjack online for free is a good way to increase your understanding of the rules and strategies, learn where you need to improve, and build confidence in your game knowledge. A huge advantage of playing blackjack at online casinos is that you can develop and use a “cheat sheet” to guide your decision-making as you play; typically you can’t do that at brick-and-mortar casinos.
Leveraging the Odds of Winning
Blackjack is a game of statistics.
- Each deck has a certain number of cards
- There is a specific number of face cards
- Probabilities of different counts at specific times can be estimated.
Here is where having a cheat sheet is handy, especially when playing online. Land-based casinos may not allow them.
The above-mentioned winning percentage of 44% to 48% means that out of 100 hands, on average a player can win 44 to 48 times. How often a player can expect to see specific situations—like a soft 17 or facing a hard 12 to 17—can be found on probability charts. Understanding these statistics helps set expectations for beating the dealer and winning blackjack at the best online casinos.
More Table Games to Beat the House
Though blackjack provides the best winning odds, there are a few games with odds that are similar and almost as good as blackjack, depending on how you bet:
- Roulette has about a 45% chance of winning on red/black and odd/even numbers. The probability drops considerably when betting for the higher payout.
- Craps has good odds if you aim for the outside bets on the table, because the ones on the inside strongly favor the house.
- Baccarat is a popular card game like blackjack. Players bet on the cards dealt to the player, the banker, or a tie. Whoever is closet to nine is the winner. Less thinking is necessary and a greater degree of chance determines the outcome.
Types of Blackjack Games
Blackjack’s origin is said to be France in the late 1700s, then IN THE 1800s it gradually grew in popularity in the United States. There are several popular variations of blackjack games. Knowing the rules in each blackjack style is vital to successfully winning money.
Twenty-One Blackjack, also known as Classic Blackjack or American Blackjack, is the most popular blackjack game version.
Spanish Blackjack uses six or eight decks and is played without tens.
Pontoon is played with 8 full decks of 52 cards each. Different versions are available in the U.K., Australia, and Malaysia.
European Blackjack uses six decks. The dealer stands on a soft 17, and a player may only double on hard totals of 9 to 11.
Las Vegas Blackjack has a few rules unique to the Las Vegas Strip. There is no re-splitting of aces or doubling-down after splitting.
Atlantic City Blackjack allows a player to double-down on any 2 cards, and doubling after splitting is permissible as well.
Always check local rules for blackjack variations when playing at any of the best online casinos. Practice, master the game, win, and then test yourself by playing the many variations of blackjack. Blackjack takes practice in applying basic strategies. Get started playing for free online to test your knowledge, and then play for real money to become another blackjack winner.