Factors that affect your strategy
There are two things that everyone willing to learn the basic strategy for blackjack must know: hard hands and soft hands.
A hard hand is a situation where you receive two cards, and none of them is an ace. Hard hands are played differently than soft hands; therefore, it is essential to know the difference. To help you understand the concept better, below are some of the examples for the same:
● When you have a queen and a 6, the hard total will be 16.
● When you have a 9, a 2, and an ace, the hard total will be 12. In such situations, the ace is considered as a 1. Otherwise, the total would be 22, which means you lose.
On the other hand, a soft hand is a case wherein you receive the first two cards, and one of them turns out to be an ace. In such a situation, the ace is considered 11 unless you draw another card which leads your total to surpass 21. Below are some examples of soft hands:
● Having an eight and an ace will give you a soft total of 19. You can choose another card in such a case, for if you receive a picture card with the highest value of 10, your total would still not exceed 19.
● By having an ace and a 6, you can have a soft total of 17. Like the first example, you can go for another card as the total would not exceed 21, and you can count your ace as 1.
Dealer’s up card
The other thing that you need to consider is the dealer’s up card. This is because the dealer’s up card reflects on how likely it is for the dealer to go bust. Consequently, it affects your decision-making. It is quite common for players to form their strategy based on whether the dealer has a higher card than 7 or 6 or equal to these numbers. There are two things that you can make out from the dealer’s card:
● If the dealer has a card equal to or higher than 7, then it usually suggests that you need to play more aggressively as the dealer can end up with a high total.
● If the dealer’s card is less than 6, he will draw a card and go bust. Therefore, you can keep your gameplay slow and not too aggressive.
Another reason why the dealer’s up card matters is that it will influence your decision about splitting as well as dubbing down.
If you are an absolute beginner at blackjack, chances are you are having trouble understanding all those complex strategies that the veterans have learned over time. So, a conservative approach is the best for you since it is easy to learn and implement. The first thing you need to do is keep track of all the streaks that you experience while playing blackjack. Yes, this means that you need to keep track of all your losses as well as your wins.
It is recommended that you raise your stake bit by bit as you win. A common mistake that people make is raising their stake right after winning for the first time. This can make you lose all at once, ultimately pulling down your confidence. So, raise your stakes slowly, and you will surely find yourself winning.
1-3-2-6 strategy for betting
The name of the strategy sounds a bit complex but don’t worry! It is well suited for absolute beginners as well as people who have some experience in the game. While discussing the conservative strategy, we suggested raising your stakes a bit after every win. But how do you decide what is less and what is more? This is where the 1-3-2-6 strategy helps you. Moreover, this strategy is based on the finding that wins mostly occur in longer streaks in the blackjack game.
The name of this strategy denotes the sequence of betting you should follow after every win. If you are wondering what happens if you lose in between, the answer is you will have to start all over again. For instance, consider a situation where you are betting $10 for a game. Further, let’s assume you won the bet; the next thing you will need to do is take your bet to $20. If you lose, you can go back to the betting for $10 and proceed the same way.
This strategy is extremely beneficial as it ensures that you do not lose too much at the same time while you play blackjack. Moreover, this strategy serves as a perfect solution to the confusion most beginners face: “how much should I increase my bet?”. With this strategy, remember to choose the suitable options: hit, stand, double-down, split, surrender, etc.
This strategy is not as basic as the other one that we have mentioned above, so it may take you a couple of tries to get accustomed to the strategy and win through it. Moreover, this strategy is quite aggressive, so many beginners stay off it. The Martingale strategy can make you win big because it includes a huge risk that you need to be prepared for.
This strategy is based on the assumption that you will at least win a single game of blackjack throughout your session. Thus, it needs you to follow just one rule, which tells you to keep doubling your bets every time you lose. You must be wondering how this works, so let us explain.
You must have noticed that once you have lost again and again while playing blackjack, eventually you win. With the martingale strategy, you will win at a time when your bet is higher than all the previous rounds. Consequently, it allows you to recover everything you have lost and hope to keep playing if you win again. You will need a massive sum of money for this strategy, so be prepared.
Another rule that you need to follow is to stop once you go over your initial bankroll. This strategy only fails if you are having bad luck. The rest of the time, it can help you win huge winnings.
Reduce the house edge
You can reduce the house edge to under 0.5% in blackjack, which causes the odds to be in your favor. Don’t worry! You will not be doing anything illegal while trying to lower the house edge. Below is what you can do:
● A variant that is often used to reduce the house edge by 0.6% is early surrender. However, the only problem is that many casinos of today do not offer early surrender and offer only late surrender. The logic behind early surrender is that the player gives up half of the bet and throws their hand away before the dealer gets to checking the hole card; this further lowers the house edge.
● You can double down on more than two cards to decrease the house edge by 0.2%. To further decrease the house edge, you can even double down on three or more cards or the total.
● Drawing cards to split aces can also decrease the house edge by 0.14%, which is a lot.
Advantage play for beginners
Apart from all the tricks and strategies mentioned above, you can go for another option, i.e., advantage play. This phrase is commonly used to describe a method of gambling that puts the odds in the player’s favor. This is not cheating, as you are not doing anything outside of the prescribed rules or gaming conditions.
One of the most loved advantage play techniques in gambling is counting cards while playing blackjack. A lot of people believe that they need sharp memory to count the cards, but that is not it. Card counting is done by using a heuristic system that determines the ratio of high cards to low cards in the deck. There are two possibilities that you can draw from this:
● If the deck has a large number of high cards as compared to the low ones, it means that a card counter will raise her bets.
● On the other hand, if the low cards are relatively more in the deck, a card counter will lower her bets.
You might have gotten an idea of where we are getting at. What you need to do is think about which hand offers the biggest payout? Blackjack is the answer. You need the ace and the 10 to get a blackjack, and those are the 2 highest cards in the deck. If the deck has more aces and 10s as compared to lower cards, then it means you have a better chance of getting that 3-2 payout.
Other tips that can help out:
Aside from all the strategies we have mentioned above, there are several other tips that can help you win at the blackjack table. These are:
● You should memorize the right way to stand, hit, split, and double down. This can help you cut the house edge by 1-2%.
● Do not play insurance unless you are counting cards and you are absolutely sure of your decision. Many blackjack experts have claimed that going for insurance bets raises the house edge up to 6%. Moreover, even if you have a blackjack, you will only get the advantage of winning your actual bet.
● Make sure that the decision of the players around you is not impacting your bet in any way. Always keep in mind that you are playing alone and against the dealer only. Many people get influenced by other players at the table even when they are going in the right direction.
● Avoiding the first base chair can be advantageous to you. Make sure that you look at the dealer before you join the table. Do not go for the first base chair if the dealer is rushing or seems to do so. This will get you more time to review your hand as well as the dealers up card.
● Use a basic strategy card. As a beginner, it can be exhausting learning all these different strategies and implementing them. Therefore, going for a strategy card can help you out.
Blackjack has claimed the position of the best game in the gambling arena because of many reasons. One is that it can be learned with a little bit of practice by absolute beginners as well. Moreover, blackjack offers “agency” to players, which is quite rare in the gambling arena. Unlike slot machines and most of the games, you are making decisions in blackjack rather than praying for better luck than the next guy. Therefore, you have some amount of control and decision-making power in the game.
Thus, blackjack is easy to learn, fun to play and offers the players the best odds. By playing the game more and more, you will only get better. By researching a bit more, you can even learn how to get an edge over the casino. All you need is the passion for blackjack and the patience to study the game in a complete sense.