Blackjack Strategy Guide
Playing Blackjack with a clear and focused strategy is critical if you want to stand a chance at “bringing down the house”. The casino employs all the tricks of the trade, from automatic shuffling machines to different variations of Blackjack, but with a solid Blackjack strategy you’ll be able to minimise the house edge and turn the odds in your favour.
Carry on reading to find out all you need to know about Blackjack strategy. Then simply start using these tactics to get even more enjoyment and value out of this popular game.
In the world of online Blackjack a good strategy is vital, however, before you can put your Blackjack strategy into play, you need to understand one very important thing – your aim is to beat the dealer, and not simply to get closest to 21 (as is the common misconception). There are a couple of ways to do this – either you score a higher point total than the dealer while avoiding going bust, or the dealer goes bust.
There is no 100% guaranteed one-size-fits-all strategy for Blackjack because there are so many variations with different rules. Because of this, each game of Blackjack has its own basic strategy that you can follow. These are mathematical formula that you can apply to each hand you play, based on what the dealer is holding. Below is our hand chart showing a South African Online Casino basic Blackjack strategy you can follow to help you become a more successful online Blackjack player.
Basic online Blackjack strategy will give you the best results but, there are other general strategies you can follow to improve your game, including:
- Insurance – New players often take insurance if the dealer holds an Ace as his face-up card in order to protect their hand in case the dealer holds Blackjack. Sounds tempting but actually it’s advised not to take insurance. Unless you’re a card counter, you have better odds if you carry on playing the hand.
- Splitting – You can split your first two cards to create two separate hands, which is a good strategy to take if you hold two 8’s or two Aces, because those don’t sum up in your favour.
- Surrender – This is not commonly used, but it is a good strategy if you hold a 15 or 16 total, or if the dealer has a 9 or up. You’ll surrender half your bet and proceed to the next hand.
- Doubling Down – This is where you place a double bet and hit for another card. This is the best strategy if you hold a total of 11 from your first two cards, or if you have a 9 or 10 (except when the dealer holds a ten).
- Card counting – This is best left to the pros, and requires immense concentration and practiced skill to be successful.
More Blackjack Tips
Bankroll management is one of the most crucial aspects of Blackjack. You can learn your strategy inside out, but it’s no good to you if you keep running out of Rands. Bankroll management doesn’t lower the house edge, but it does help you to stretch out your funds for as long as possible. The first thing to do when setting up your bankroll management plan is some basic maths based on for how long you plan to play and how much you plan on spending per hand.
Another important decision to make from the outset is what your win-and-loss limit is. Decide upfront at what point you’ll cash out your winnings, and how much you are willing to lose before calling it quits. The general rule is to leave the table once you’ve increased your bankroll by 30-40%, or once you’ve lost maximum 50% of your bankroll.
Another tip is to go with a popular online Blackjack version, because they are favoured for good reason. Some of the most popular Blackjack versions include Pontoon, European Blackjack, and Blackjack Switch. One thing to look for when choosing a Blackjack game is the payout. Try to avoid games that pay out 6:5 on blackjack, as your odds are as much as 4x worse than when you play at a 3:2 table.
Final Words on Blackjack Strategy
Before heading out to the tables, practice your Blackjack strategy and stick to it! Whether you prefer general Blackjack tactics or basic Blackjack strategy, you can minimize the already low house edge of the game. Take a look at our hand chart, engrave it to your Blackjack brain, and reap the rewards!
Remember that discipline is probably the most important strategy of all, yet most often the least practiced. Set yourself limits, stick to your original bankroll plan, and keep in mind that a rational Blackjack player is a winning Blackjack player!