Blackjack Strategy: From the Basics to Card Counting

Though there is no specific origin of Blackjack, it is thought to derive from France at the start of the eighteenth century. It is believed to have been a combination of two popular French casino-based games of the time: Chemin de Fer and French Ferme. Blackjack is still played in casinos worldwide even centuries later, and there are more ways to play than ever, including through the use of mobile Blackjack, online Blackjack, and Blackjack apps.

Blackjack can be played by professional bettors but is also a popular game to be played by beginners as well on UK casino online. Players love the game because it is fast paced, able to keep interest and attention. Blackjack is not just a game of luck, it is also about skill, played with the aim of beating the dealer in order to win the round.

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How to Play Blackjack

To play Blackjack, each player is dealt with two cards by the dealer having placed their bets. One of these cards faces upwards and is visible to all players, the other facing downwards is not visible to anyone yet. One at a time, the dealer, who is also in possession of their own two cards, turns the downward facing card over for each player around the table. When this has taken place, each player is required to make a decision as to what they want their next move to be, to see if they can beat the hand of the dealer. The dealer receives his cards last and is the last to make their decision. Whichever way you decide to play Blackjack, this remains the same always.

Beating the dealer is done by attempting to get your cards as close to the value of 21 as possible, without going over (known as going bust). Holding your nerve is a key element to playing Blackjack, as you must decide whether to stick or hit based on the individual denominations of your hand and their total.

Blackjack is played using all cards of a deck. The Ace card and picture cards are all played to the value of 10. Being dealt an Ace combined with either a picture card or a 10 card, no matter what suit it is from, means that you will get a bonus as you have Blackjack.

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Blackjack Strategies

Basic Blackjack Strategy

The more you play Blackjack, the more you will learn and the better you will become at making the right decision. Whilst learning the ropes with Blackjack, it is advisable to play with lower value chips so that you are able to try out new strategies without taking too large a financial risk. As you advance in Blackjack skill, you will become more aware of the rules. This is actually the case in more ways than one when it comes to Blackjack and here’s why the player has the advantage:

The dealer gets a much smaller pay out when they win a round as they are only in receipt of 1:1, unlike the player who would gain 3:1 when they win a round. This is beneficial to players because they are able to win more money, play for longer, and are not impacted so dramatically if they lose a round or two. Once the game is in play, the dealer is very limited on the decisions they can make. they must hit until he has reached the sum total of 17, unlike the player who can choose to stand when they are at a sum total of 12 if they wish to. This results in the player being much less likely to go bust than the dealer. Players are also able to make additional choices during a round of Blackjack unlike the dealer, as the player is able to double their bet and split if the cards required to do so appear.

Having spoken of all of the disadvantages the dealer has, it seems only right to point out the singular advantage of the dealer and that is that they are always the last player to be dealt their cards so they have seen all other hands in play before their turn.

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What is the Blackjack Strategy Chart?

Going professional as a Blackjack player or playing Blackjack for large amounts of money, requires strategy; luck. Chance on its own is not enough to rely on. Due to this fact, Blackjack Strategy Charts have been created in order to help players succeed at the game. There are three different chart types of blackjack strategy, all of which can be memorised to enhance play, though it is essential that you are playing with the right Chart in conjunction with the correct game.

Blackjack Strategy Charts are able to help players make the best decision as to whether to hit, stand, double down, split and even whether they should surrender. To do this, the player must visualise the chart he has memorised. Along the top of the chart laid out in a horizontal fashion are the numbers of the dealer’s singular up hand. Descending down the left-hand side is the total of the players’ hand. Follow each line and see where the two lines meet. This will give you a point of reference which will either have a colour, letter or both with it. If the point where the two lines meet has an “H” in it or is yellow in colour, then it would be wise for you to choose to hit on your next go. If the point where the two lines meet has an “S” in it or is green in colour, then it would be advised that you choose to stick when the time comes for you to make your next decision. The Basic Blackjack Strategy Chart is laid out in a very simple, easy to navigate manner, so is ideal for beginners to memorise and use in their next Blackjack game.

Gambling Terminology

There are many terms in Blackjack that would be helpful for you to know but to get you started so that you can learn how to play, there are three basics you need. They are:

  • Hit – When you require the dealer to play another card for you in the quest to become closer to reaching 21 and to try to beat the dealer;
  • Stand – Where you choose not to take another card from the dealer because the risk is too high;
  • Bust – When the value of your hand has exceeded 21 in its sum total.

Advanced Blackjack Strategy – Card Counting

Counting cards is not literally the counting of cards, as the name would suggest, which is why it has the alternative name of “tagging”. Instead, as each card is assigned across the table, be it for your hand, the dealer’s or any other players’, you need to take note of what it is. If a card is between the number 2 and 6 then you should make a mental note to add one to a running score in your mind. If the card is an Ace, number 10 or any of the picture cards, then you should subtract one away from the running total in your mind.

From your mental calculation, you will be left with a positive or a negative number which has a meaning behind it. A positive number suggests that the cards remaining in the deck will be of higher values and this should encourage you to place a higher bet. A negative number is exactly the opposite, so the cards in the remaining deck will be lower and it would be a wise idea to decrease your bet. The counting card method is a favoured playing strategy for experienced players, as it is difficult to master, but increases your likelihood of winning a round and has the potential to prevent big financial losses from occurring frequently.

Playing Blackjack in Worldwide Tournaments

There are many places and ways in which Blackjack can be played, and with our increasing reliance on the internet, it probably won’t surprise you to learn that the World Wide Web features highly in relation to the game of Blackjack. This is for multiple reasons, though the most popular reasons are due to its convenience, speed, and safety, as well as the fact that in some countries where gambling is banned, online Blackjack playing can still be accessed.

Blackjack tournaments can be played by players from anywhere in the world. They can participate in playing Blackjack from the ease and comfort of their own homes. This can be done either through an app on a phone or tablet, directly through a website, or by playing Blackjack Live.

The latest phenomenon in the Blackjack world is that of Live Blackjack, where, through the use of high definition webcams, a real-life human dealer can be seen at a Blackjack table, who can see players participating from anywhere in the world, follow their instruction and can even chat with them if they require. Worldwide Blackjack tournaments are able to happen in this way as they are so lifelike it is like being in a real casino.

The internet has not yet been flooded with huge amounts of Live Blackjack options for players, so there is sometimes a wait for participation and the tables can have up to ten players. But, if you are happy waiting, you will definitely enjoy participating in Live Blackjack Tournaments whilst remaining in the comfort of your own home.

Betting on Online Card Games

Other than the fact that there is no human dealer in online Blackjack, there are no differences to playing Blackjack online to the Blackjack you would play if you were in a casino. The only exception to the rule is that of Live Blackjack, where a human dealer is visible and can be communicated with in real time. Whether you are playing casino Blackjack or online Blackjack, your aim remains the same: to beat the dealer. You want to get 21 or the closest card combination to 21 as possible without going bust.

Blackjack played online is loved for its convenience. It can be played at any time of the day, from any location as long as there is a form of wireless internet connection, so on the go Blackjack playing is never an issue, which is great news for frequent travellers and commuters.

Blackjack can be played through apps and websites which are incredibly safe to play on as well as being safe to transfer money to and from. Anonymity is another reason people enjoy playing Blackjack online and not to mention the fact that they don’t have to leave the house to play if they don’t want to. Actually, come to think of it, you don’t even have to get dressed to play Blackjack online if you don’t feel like it!

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