Blackjack Strategy and Tips

Looking to improve your blackjack gaming skills? Read this post to find the best blackjack strategies and tips you can use to boost your winning chances.

Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games. If you already know how to play blackjack, you need to master a few blackjack strategies and tips to boost your winning chances. Regardless of your skill level, blackjack strategy and tips will give you an edge over the casino. In this post, we’ll look at the various blackjack strategies and tips you can apply.

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What is blackjack card counting?

One of the most effective strategies for blackjack is card counting. It determines whether the dealer or player has the advantage in the next round. The strategy is about keeping track of high and low cards left in the dealer’s hand. If you’ve previously played blackjack, you already know that high cards profit the player, while low cards are in favor of the dealer.

The most popular card-counting strategy is the Hi-Lo. In this strategy, high cards are assigned a value of -1, and low cards are assigned a value of +1. The other cards are neutral or worth 0. Start counting from 0, add the card’s value to the total, and keep track.

The goal of card counting is to determine the proportion of high cards. You’ll then count cards that have already been dealt. This will help you figure out the concentration of high cards compared to the remaining cards.

You should also know the difference between the true count and the running count. A running count is the total to which you add a number once the cards are dealt. As the value of the running count increase, the edge starts shifting toward the player. However, the dealer gets the advantage if the total moves to a negative. The true count is the figure you get when you divide the running count by the number of remaining decks. The role of a spotter is to count cards until a favorable count is determined. Read on to learn more about blackjack strategies and tips.

blackjack strategies and tips

The most common blackjack strategy

You can employ a few blackjack strategies and tips to increase your chances of winning when playing at real money casinos. Below, we look at some of the most common blackjack strategies and tips you should consider.

Surrender

Surrender is a strategy in blackjack that any player can guess easily. Players who surrender in blackjack, get half of their wager and the house keeps the other half. This is a great strategy to apply when you know you’re destined to lose the hand. There are two options for the surrender strategy. The early surrender strategy reduces that house edge by 0.62%. The later surrender allows you to do the same once the dealer turns their cards. So, you will only be awarded half of your wager if the dealer’s hand is not a blackjack.

Examples include:

  • Surrender 16 against dealer 9 through Ace.
  • Surrender 15 against dealer 10
  • Exclude soft 16 and a pair of 8s.

Split

The blackjack splitting strategy is when a player receives two identical cards and splits them. You will then be dealt another card on each. While splitting is a great strategy, it’s used when employed at the right time with the right cards in the right move. The advantage of splitting is that you will have twice as much money, which is great if the dealer looks weak. If the dealer goes on to bust, you’ll have twice as much money. It’s highly recommended to split aces because there’s a high probability of making 21, twice. You should also split eights, regardless of what the dealer shows. Note that the splitting potential of other pairs reduces as the size of the pair declines. Here are more examples:

  • If the dealer shows 7 or less, split 7s
  • If the dealer shows 6 or less, split 6s
  • If the dealer shows 9 or less, don’t split 5s, instead double down
  • Don’t split 4s
  • If the dealer shows 4 to 7, split 3s
  • If the dealer shows 3 to 7, split 2s

Double

Doubling is one of the best blackjack strategies and tips. This blackjack strategy is when you double your wager in the middle of a hand and you get an extra card in return. It might be risky but it’s a great way to increase your payout. So, when should you double?

  • Double a hard 9 when the dealer’s up card reveals 2 – 6. By a hard 9, it means there is no Ace in your hand
  • Double soft 16 – 18 against the dealer’s low cards
  • Double 10 – 11 against lower dealer cards

Hit and stand

When you receive your first two cards from the dealer, you’ll decide whether to ‘hit’ or ‘stand’. When you stand, it means you’ve contended with the cards you’ve been dealt, while to hit means you want another card to improve your hand. If you have a total of 11 points or less, you must hit because your hand will improve. Also, if you have a total of 8, it’s a good idea to hit because you have a higher chance of making a good hand. It’s also recommended to hit if the dealer’s card is of higher value, such as 9, 8, or 7 as they are likely to make 21. Here are more examples:

  • Hit if the dealer has an ace and you have an 11
  • Hit if the face-up card of the dealer is a 10 or an ace, and you have a 10
  • Hit if the dealer reveals a 2 or 7 through ace, and you have a 9
  • Hit whenever you have a 5, 6, 7, or 8

Additional blackjack rules to keep in mind

For any blackjack game, it’s essential to consider a few more adjustments when the dealer hits on soft 17. Here are a few changes to keep in mind:

  • Double 11 against the dealer’s Ace
  • Double soft 18 against the dealer’s 2
  • Double soft 19 against the dealer’s 6
  • Surrender 15, 8’s, and 17 against the dealer’s ace
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Blackjack strategies for a single deck

The single-deck version of blackjack offers beginners a great chance to apply various concepts. The only downside is that these games are becoming less popular because of the increasing popularity of card counting. So, why is single deck blackjack easy to learn? Because it has fewer cards. Most blackjack strategies and tips you find online work best when applied to single-deck games.

The good thing about single-deck blackjack is that there’s little to debate over when to hit, split, stand, or double down. When the dealer has a weaker face-up card like a 3, 4, 5, or 6, you can have more confidence in the next move. You can stand if you have a poor value starting hand, like 13 – 16. And, if you have two identical cards, you can split with a larger number of them, hence increasing your stake and potential winnings.

Blackjack strategies for four and eight-deck games

Although many versions of blackjack have the same statistical probability, it’s easy to create broader blackjack strategies and tips that work for the various versions of the game. The most important factor to keep in mind is the number of decks. The other variable is whether the dealer stands or hits on soft 17.

The six-deck version is the most common variable in this game. Some of the basic blackjack strategies and tips for 4 and 8-deck games are to always split 8s and aces, don’t split 10s and 5s, only split 2s and 3s when the dealer has 4 to 7, split 6s against the dealers 3 to 6, double 13 or 14 against the dealer’s 5 top 6, double soft 17 or 18 against the dealer’s 3 to 6, always hit hard 11 or less, and always stand on soft 14 or more.

How to improve the use of blackjack strategies

Like strategies for any other casino game, you need to practice, well, when using blackjack strategies and tips, there are a few things you can do to improve how you apply strategy to the game.

Play free online blackjack games – The advantage of playing free online blackjack games is that they give you the opportunity to try new blackjack strategies and tips without investing your hard-earned money. You can try different blackjack strategies and tips to see which works for you at most Philippines online casinos.

Narrow your game choices – While the strategy essentially applies to most versions of blackjack, you may want to narrow it down to a few versions you’re comfortable with.

Quit when you’re ahead – This is quite obvious. If it’s working for you, quit the game when you’re still on a winning streak. This will ensure you keep a profit.

Conclusion

Learning the different blackjack strategies and tips is a great way to increase your winning chances. While there is not a 100% proven way of winning, through strategy, you can reduce the house edge and ultimately make a profit from your wagers. There are a few blackjack strategies and tips you can apply to blackjack games, depending on which one works best for you. It’s also important to choose a reputable Philippines online casino that guarantees safety.

FAQ

Blackjack strategies and tips may vary from one version to another. There's a small difference between single and multiple-deck blackjack strategy.

Yes, blackjack has the lowest house edge, which is usually 0.5% to 0.6%.

Absolutely! You can count cards in a casino. However, if the casino notices you’re counting cards, they will ask you to leave.

If done correctly, card counting can increase your winning chances.

Unfortunately, no. There are no proven blackjack strategies and tips.

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