While some poker players love to gamble on any casino game, others prefer not to risk cash on what they perceive to be luck-based games. But those conservative players might not be aware that there is a strategy you can employ when playing blackjack, a skill that can virtually wipe out the house edge.
By following a solid and easy-to-understand basic strategy, poker players can expect to significantly increase their chances of profiting from any given blackjack session.
Why The House Edge Matters
The house edge is the amount by which the casino is expected to win from any slot or table game. In blackjack, the house edge for unskilled players is 2%, meaning that for every $100 you bet, you are expected to lose $2. However, following the basic blackjack strategy brings that casino house edge down to a negligible 0.5%, meaning it is reasonable for you to assume you can just as easily profit on a session as lose.
A low house edge, combined with knowledge and a bit of skill, means blackjack does not have to be considered a luck game. Okay, it relies on the luck of what the next card might be, but you can say that about poker, too. The skill determines whether to take that extra card, based on what you believe it could be and the reward you might get for the risk.
With that in mind, let’s look at the key blackjack moves to save you cash. It will be the best chance you have of winning money regularly out of all the online casino games available.
It’s All About The Tens
The first thing to get your head around is that because jacks, queens, and kings are all valued 10 in blackjack, it’s always more like that the next card will be that value. With 52 cards in the deck, 16 will be valued ten.
A solid blackjack strategy does not have to be complicated, like heads-up poker strategy. means always assuming the next card is likely to be a ten. In this way, you can make better decisions about whether to stand or to take another card. But you should do this only while considering what the dealer’s upcard is.
For example, if the dealer has a poor upcard, like 4, 5, or 6, and you assume the downcard is a ten, he has a poor total of 14, 15, or 16. He must draw another card and will likely go bust. You can, therefore, reasonably stand on any total of 12 or above. Why risk taking another card yourself and busting when it’s likely the dealer will go on to bust?
Using the above example, if your total is 8, 9, 10, or 11, you can consider doubling down rather than simply taking another card. As it’s likely the dealer will bust, you have twice as much to win – and even if the dealer survives, you will likely end up with a total close to 21 and win regardless.
Now, consider what might happen if the dealer’s upcard is strong, like a 9 or 10. In this scenario, his next card is likely a 10, and he will make 19 or 20. You must now be a little more aggressive in taking an extra card to get close to 21 yourself. But don’t spend extra money doubling down or splitting.
Other solid blackjack tips that will improve your profits include:
• Do not split tens. You already have a likely winning hand of 20, so why double your stake to risk getting no winning hand at all?
• Do not take insurance. Appealing as it might sound, taking insurance when the dealer’s upcard is an ace is statistically a losing proposition.
• Use a playing chart. Available widely on the internet are free charts that give you the optimum play, whatever your two cards or the dealer’s upcard might be. Refer to this chart to make smart decisions.
• Always double down on 10 or 11. Unless the dealer’s upcard is a 10 or ace.
Try The Strategy And Save Cash
Just as it is in poker, you still lose money even when playing blackjack with a good strategy in place. But it’s all about giving yourself the best possible chance.
Remember that wafer-thin house edge of 0.5%. It means that over time, losses will be minimal, and you always have the chance of making some money occasionally. Plus, if you play like this in live casinos in Las Vegas, which are opening again, you might find you get free drinks while you play. It all makes for a cheap night out.