It’s common to get an idea of winning bags of money playing blackjack after watching movies like Rain Man and 21, with their glamorous and high-stakes blackjack scenes.
But is it really possible to devise a foolproof blackjack strategy – or is it just another fairy tale?
The answer is a bit longer than a simple yes or no. This blackjack strategy guide will take you through everything you need to know when starting out with this game.
We will cover everything from different strategies, blackjack games, and the top sites like Ignition to play blackjack online.
Ready to learn what makes a kickass blackjack player? Read on!
How to Win at Online Blackjack – Beginner’s Steps
One of the best ways for someone to learn the ropes is through a blackjack basic strategy chart. This gives you a surface-level idea of what your next move should be for your specific situation. Below you will find an image of a basic blackjack strategy chart.
You simply need to add up the total of your two cards and then find the corresponding column relating to the dealer’s face-up card. Then you’ll see what the most optimal move will be. This could be to hit (H) for another card, stand (S) with your current cards, double down (D), or split (S) your hand.
These types of blackjack charts are pretty intuitive to use. For example, if you have a King and a 3, your total hand value will be 13 (10+3). If the dealer’s face-up card is a 6, then the move to make according to the blackjack strategy card is to stand.
The best thing is that you are able to print out this basic strategy chart and bring it with you if you’re going to be playing blackjack in person.
If you’re sticking with online blackjack at casinos like Ignition , you can have the basic strategy chart open in a separate window so you can consult it during the playing session.
Blackjack Basic Strategy Every Player Should Know
Once you understand the basics of blackjack and have been using a basic strategy chart for some time, you’ll likely want to add extra layers to your gameplay. This means learning some of the simple strategies that people use to increase their chances of success while playing.
Here’s a quick look at some of the principles to keep in mind:
Avoid Insurance: Most blackjack variations allow you to take out insurance if the dealer’s face card is an Ace. Statistically, this is never going to be the right move over the long term due to the additional stake that you need to cough up.
Don’t Split 5s or 10s: While it can be enticing to split your 10s as you feel you might have a good chance of getting two blackjacks, you’re better off sticking with the 20 single-hand in the long run.
Double Down When You’ve Got a Hard 11: No matter what the dealer’s hand might be, it’s always better to double down when you have a hard 11.
Always Split Aces and 8s: When you have a pair of Aces, you can be looking at significant gains when you split them, while 8s will either allow you to maximize your winnings or limit your losses depending on the dealer’s hand.
Surrender is Sometimes an Option: Surrendering your hand means getting half your stake back for giving up on the hand after the initial cards are dealt. It’s advisable to surrender if you’ve got a hard 15 and the dealer’s hand is 10. The same goes for the player holding a hard 16, and the dealer has either a 9, 10, or Ace.
How to Learn Basic Blackjack Strategy
When it comes to basic blackjack strategy, there’s nothing much to it except taking the time to learn the various rules before you go to play. Here are some quick tips to help you do so:
Print Out a Basic Blackjack Strategy Chart: The simplest way to incorporate the best principles is by using blackjack strategy charts. You can print one out and have it in front of you every time you play blackjack to ensure that you’re making informed decisions.
Make Flash Cards: As well as having a basic blackjack strategy chart, you can also make flashcards of some of the basic strategies, like doubling down with a hard 11 or not taking an insurance bet. You can quiz yourself about the best course of action with these cards.
Practice at Home: Many leading blackjack online casinos like Ignition will have a free-to-play mode. You can use this to practice blackjack while you’re learning the ropes. Not having real money on the line will lessen the pressure. You can alternatively practice with physical cards.
Advanced Blackjack Strategies
Now that you understand the blackjack basic strategy, you’ll be able to take the next step and start learning about some more advanced techniques. This will allow you to up your game even more.
We’ll walk you through some of the most important things that experienced blackjack players do.
We’ve all seen movies or documentaries about people who made a fortune playing blackjack by counting cards. It makes it appear like you are guaranteed to make money by employing such a strategy.
Sometimes they depict teams of people working in tandem to try to trick the house, while others act as lone wolves. In reality, this type of blackjack strategy is not going to be feasible if you’re looking for a foolproof way to lower the house edge – and it’s not possible to use it online.
This is because casinos do their utmost to prevent this shortage from working, either by throwing you out of a physical casino or simply by adding more and more decks of cards to the game. However, it is a good idea to learn the core principles behind card counting.
The basic idea is to try to lower the casino’s house edge by betting more when the advantage swings in your favor. Higher-value cards in blackjack are more beneficial to players, so you count cards to try to better predict when these will appear.
The simplest card counting system sees you assigning values to different cards like so:
|2, 3, 4, 5, 6||+1|
|10, J, Q, K,||-1|
This means you update the total every time that a card is dealt. If, by the end of the round, the total is a positive number, then you could have an edge and might decide to bet more the next round.
The bigger the positive value, the more a person might bet. The opposite is also true if there’s a negative total. You might decide to decrease your stake or not bet at all in the next round.
There are different types of blackjack card counting systems that you will come across. The above is commonly known as the ‘Hi-Lo’ method. Other systems can be more complex, assigning different values to each specific card and incorporating side counts or certain ratios.
While we have already mentioned insurance bets earlier in this guide, it is worthwhile diving a bit deeper into the topic to showcase any potential merits or drawbacks. An insurance bet is the side bet that you can place if the dealer’s up card is an Ace.
If the dealer ends up getting a blackjack, then you’ll get a 2:1 payout but still lose your main stake. The house will typically only allow you to have an insurance bet stake that is no more than half of your main wager, so the best that you can do is break even.
The house edge on an insurance bet is 6%, which is a lot bigger than the 2% house edge seen with a typical type of blackjack variant. Therefore, you are better off mathematically avoiding insurance bets.
Another strategy that is often seen with advanced players relates to composition-sensitive hands. Basic strategy will tell you to do the same thing if the value of your hands stays the same, no matter if it is made up of 2-8-4 or a 10-4 combination of cards.
Some experienced players will take different approaches in this scenario as they have a composition-dependent strategy.
Having a 10 in your hand makes the chances of you busting slightly lower as it takes up one of the high-value cards in the deck. This is something that might be a bit too much for the more casual or beginner player to take into account, but the fine margins can make a difference over the long run for people who are playing tons of hands.
As well as strategies that are focused on blackjack gameplay, there are also some general types of betting systems that are deployed across all kinds of casino games.
These typically outline how much you should be betting in a given round. While you won’t find a way to guarantee yourself a return, deploying one of these strategies can help you often stay in the fight for longer.
One of the most commonly seen betting systems is Martingale. This simply sees you setting a base stake and doubling your wager every time you have a losing hand. The Martingale system is actually one of the most effective roulette strategies you can use.
When you win, you rest your stake back to the base amount. This is a system used for different types of casino games that offer even money odds on certain bet types, including roulette.
The D’Alembert system sees you setting a base stake that represents one unit. Every time you lose a hand, you will increase your wager by a single unit. If you win, then you reduce your next bet by a single unit.
A more advanced option is the Paroli system. This sees you doubling your stake each time that you win. Once you have three consecutive wins, you reset the stake back to your initial sum. If your bet is a loser, you drop the stake back to a single unit the next round.
Other types of betting systems will also be seen from time to time in the blackjack space.
Following a particular approach can help you become more disciplined with your playing sessions, but it won’t be a guaranteed way to generate profits or avoid losses. You need to know exactly what the risks might be before proceeding with a given system.
Choosing the Best Blackjack Game
Many different types of blackjack games are out there waiting for you to play. Some of them will be very similar to the basic versions of blackjack, while others will be vastly different. That’s why you should take some time to understand the differences before playing a certain game.
One of the first things to look out for is the payout of the game. The return to player (RTP) rating indicates how much of a house edge is in place.
For example, the best-paying online blackjack game is often Blackjack Switch with an RTP of 99.87%, which means that the house edge is just 0.13% (100%-99.87%) with perfect play.
Another high-payout option is Early Payout Blackjack (99.5% RTP), which you can play with a live dealer at Ignition .
Choosing games with higher RTPs means that you’re maximizing your chances of long-term success. The odds at which certain blackjack games payout for given bets also vary.
While ordinarily, you would get a 3:2 payout for getting a blackjack, some operators are now only paying out 6:5. This is something to definitely watch out for as you’re getting less bang for your buck.
The number of decks in play might vary, with some variants only using a single deck at any given time, which can help people who are trying to card count.
Some variants allow you to play multiple hands at once, while others carry side bets, such as players being able to bet on getting a pair as their initial hand (Perfect Pairs Blackjack).
Finally, certain rules might be a part of some games but not others. One of the most commonly seen rules is surrender. This allows you to give up your hand when the cards are dealt, and you get half your stake back.
Weighing Up the Options
Players will choose to surrender if their chances of success when comparing their hand against the dealer’s up card aren’t looking too rosy. Then there’s the question of whether the dealer stands on a soft 17 or not.
Ultimately, it’s a good idea to experiment and try different types of blackjack games. You might surprise yourself and enjoy a particular title that you hadn’t expected to like so much. Once you’re aware of the basic rules before you start betting, you’re good to go.
Extra Considerations When You Play Blackjack Online
If you're playing blackjack online, then there are some additional things to know about. These additional aspects generally add to your overall experience. You’ll come across welcome offers when signing up for online casinos like Super Slots .
These are most often deposit bonuses. You’ll need to read the terms to figure out if the bonus money is usable on blackjack or not, as sometimes only slots are playable with the funds.
Table games like blackjack typically only contribute a certain proportion towards the wagering requirement, whether it is 10% or 20%. One of the big benefits of playing online blackjack is that you’ve got a much better range of choices.
There’s an abundance of variants typically available, as well as a good mix of betting limits and even free-to-play options. You also will find live blackjack games that make the online playing experience even more realistic.
These types of titles are exploding in popularity due to the authentic feeling that they provide.
Best Sites for Using Your Online Blackjack Strategy
While a long list of real money online casinos offer blackjack games, some are better than others. We have quickly reviewed some of the very best options, so you can figure out which one might be the best fit for your needs.
1. Ignition – Best Site to Play Online Blackjack Overall
- 30+ live blackjack tables
- Multiple single-player blackjack games
- VIP tables with bet limits up to $20,000
- $3,000 welcome package
- Blackjack guides for beginners
- Fees on card deposits
- Same-day payouts only possible via crypto
As one of the top online casinos and poker sites around, Ignition is always going to be a top-quality option for anyone who wants to play real money blackjack . Its casino website is beautifully designed, allowing for a seamless experience on all types of devices.
You’ve got a good mix of regular blackjack variants, including Single Deck Blackjack and Zap It Blackjack. Then there's the live casino, which has more than 30 different live blackjack tables.
The staking limits vary, with the minimum bets being as low as $5 and the upper limit being as high as $20,000 in some cases. All of the dealers are highly experienced.
The icing on the cake is the 300% first deposit bonus worth up to $3,000. This bonus is split 50-50 between poker and other casino games (including blackjack).
There are plenty of other interesting promotions, as well as an enticing loyalty program. Ignition really is a top all-around blackjack casino.
2. Super Slots – Best Variety of Online Blackjack Games
- 40+ blackjack games
- Dedicated high-roller live blackjack tables
- Progressive jackpot for hitting three diamond 7’s
- 250% match welcome bonus
- High withdrawal limits
- Can’t play blackjack games for free
- Games could use a better categorization
While the name might suggest that Super Slots is only focused on slot games, it actually has an impressive offering for fans of blackjack. There’s an entire secant dedicated to this game type, so you know that the operator means business.
Over 20 different variants are available to play, including some that are exclusive to this online casino. The ones that especially caught our eye were 21 Burn Blackjack and Five-Hand Vegas Blackjack.
Then there’s the live casino with over 25 blackjack tables coming from multiple studios. You have the ability to chat with friendly dealers during the gameplay.
The entire Super Slots platform is very intuitive to use, and new signups will be able to get a whopping 250% first deposit bonus up to $1,000!
3. Black Lotus– Best Blackjack Site for High Rollers
- Multiple live dealer blackjack variants
- Multi-Hand blackgames games
- Cash bonus on live dealer blackjack
- Up to $7,000 welcome bonus
- Dated website design
- Can’t try games for free
Black Lotus has been around for a few years now and has built a reputation for prestige, catering to high rollers. This doesn't mean that there isn’t a place for smaller stakes players, with the game library attracting all sorts of characters.
There’s a nice mix of blackjack titles available, each of which brings something a bit different to the table. The live casino is stocked with a variety of interesting table games, with some huge limits being in place.
The current welcome offer will give new signups a 200% first deposit bonus, so you can kick off your new account the right way. What’s more is that the bonus money will be usable on your favorite blackjack games at Black Lotus.
Guide to Playing Blackjack – FAQs
Is Blackjack a Game of Skill or Luck?
While there are elements of luck with classic blackjack, there is definitely some skill required to play the game to perfection. You make a lot more decisions with blackjack than most other casino games.
Do Blackjack Basic Strategy Charts Work?
Blackjack perfect strategy charts increase your winning odds by allowing you to make the best move in any given situation. Therefore, they do work when it comes to playing the game perfectly – but they are by no means a foolproof way to win.
What is the Best Blackjack Strategy?
There is no fool proof blackjack strategy that guarantees you a return every time. There are some general principles that are good to follow, while people often use betting systems like Martingale or D’Alembert.
Therefore, for the best possible outcome, it’s a good idea to combine the basic blackjack strategy with a betting system.
Tips for Winning at Online Blackjack
If you're ready to dive in headfirst and start your own online blackjack experience, then we wish you well! Before you do so, here are a handful of quick-fire tips that hopefully will stand you in good stead:
Have a Plan: Whether you’re sticking to a standard blackjack basic strategy or a more advanced type of system, it’s a good idea to have a plan. Sticking to it can ensure that you stay disciplined and don’t spend more than you should.
Try Different Games: As there are so many great blackjack variants out there, it would be rude not to experiment and see which one tickles your fancy the most. Whether it’s Single Deck Blackjack or Speed Blackjack, there’s a tremendous range of options.
Utilize Bonuses: All leading online casinos like Ignition will have welcome bonuses available to new signups. A lot of the time, you can use the bonus money on blackjack games, so your initial bet can be with the house’s money rather than your own cash.
Know the Rules: Whatever variant you go for, make sure to familiarize yourself with the rules before starting. Take a look to see if the dealer stands on soft 17, what the payout is for certain bets, and look at any potential side bets that are in place.
Ready to Use These Blackjack Strategies?
Hopefully, after reading this blackjack guide, you are ready to start playing the game.
There are plenty of nuggets of useful information that you can use to hopefully avoid the typical beginner mistakes and get stuck into some exciting game sessions.
Playing online is a breeze, especially when you use a platform like our top pick Ignition . The sign-up process takes no time at all, with the games ready and waiting within minutes.
As long as you’re playing in a responsible manner, you should have plenty of fun times ahead.
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