With all the variety of offers in the world of gambling blackjack game has not lost popularity for many years, and the number of its fans is only increasing. There are a couple of reasons for this. First of all, the success is due to the simplicity of the rules, because the participant is not required to use special skills and complex manipulations.
Secondly, as in any card game, the number of victories and the size of the winnings depend directly on the player, his experience, and actions. The chosen scheme for the game can lead to both triumph and defeat. In this article, we’ll take a look at the blackjack basic strategy.
History of the blackjack game
The game of blackjack allows the player to legitimately gain a small mathematical advantage against every land-based casino. This will require mastering strategies and special techniques.
In its modern form, the 52-card deck has existed since the fourteenth century.
With it the most logical gambling contest — on a set of 21 points. This is how it was played in all European countries: French Vingt-et-Un, English Twenty-One, Spanish Veintiuno, described by Cervantes in several works.
Blackjack is an American invention. It is believed that the 21-point game was particularly popular with the natives of France who lived in the southern United States. Until the XX century, the history of gambling entertainment was not reliably known.
The game in its modern form appeared in the 1930s in Nevada in legal casinos. Black Jack is a combination of a black jack with an ace of the same suit. Originally it was paid 10 to 1. The name of the card layout carried over to the game.
Since the post-war years, the rules of blackjack have not changed much.
This card discipline is mandatory for all establishments around the world. In the United States, it shares the 1st place in popularity with craps.
Rules and purpose of the game – blackjack guide for beginners
When starting a game of blackjack, in addition to strategy, it is important to know and remember its rules. This is a game of chance in which each card is assigned points depending on its value:
Card Type |
Value |
Juniors |
At face value: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 points |
Seniors |
10, Jack, Queen, King - 10 points |
Ace |
1 or 11 points |
The player's task is to beat the dealer. To do this, there are the following ways:
- Beat the dealer when comparing scores;
- Force him to overcall — to exceed 22;
- Get a BJ combination that wins instantly if the dealer cannot have the same hand;
- Collect a bonus combination that pays immediately (not in all rules).
When winning on points, the player receives 1 bet. Payment for BJ — 3 to 2 (one and a half bets), for bonus combinations — according to the rules of the establishment. At equality of points or at BJ at opponents is declared a situation of push (draw). In this case the bets made are returned.
Game play
Cards in blackjack are stacked in a special tray — shoe. The game is usually given half of 6-8 decks. There are 7 boxes on the table. It is allowed to bet on several of them.
The following describes how the distribution at American rules in online casinos one-on-one against the dealer on the only box. The first 2 steps will be standard:
- The user places the chips;
- The player receives two cards in the open. The dealer deals himself two as well, one of which is not shown.
The first group of situations is when someone has a possible BJ:
- When a player has a BJ and the dealer has neither an ace nor a ten open, there is a 3-to-2 payout without continuing the hand.
- If there is an ace on the casino box, an offer of insurance is mandatory.
- When the user has accepted it or declined it, the dealer checks his hand for the fact of BJ.
Checking is also done when the dealer has a ten, but insurance is not offered. If the dealer has a BJ, the player loses the main bet. The insurance payout is 2 to 1. If the customer has a BJ, a draw is declared. The insured BJ is paid 1 to 1 (equal money situation).
The second scenario is when BJ is impossible:
On the first 2 cards, the player has three options: don't take, take or double down with the only extra card.
The option to fold a bad hand for half a bet (Surrender) occurs in about 15% of the rule variants on the internet.
With a pair on the box, a fourth option appears — to split the pair. In doing so, a new independent hand is formed. When splitting, the player must deliver another chip.
If the user overcalls, there is no continuation of the hand — the bet is picked up by the casino.
When the player has declared that his points are sufficient, the dealer reveals his second card. If he now has 17 or more points, the hand is compared.
At 16 or less, the dealer should take. An overcall is a win for the player.
When the user has better points, there is a 1 to 1 payout, in case of a draw the bet is returned, in case of worse points the chips are taken by the casino.
Popular blackjack strategies
In the late 1940s, and then in the early 1960s, two groups of mathematicians independently created a card-setting system that reduced the casino's advantage to 0.5%. The basic strategy of the game is unchanged to this day and many times retested in practice and in repeated calculations.
In the 2000s, up to 20 new rules were created for online casinos. For all there is a different scheme of the optimal set of cards. Therefore, the career of a Blackjack player should start with the American standard.
Card counting
The simple answer to the question of how to play blackjack and steadily have a small advantage is to memorize the cards that came out. There is a simple system for this purpose. Here is how it looks like:
- Numbers 2-6 are given +1 point;
- Figures and aces are rated minus -1;
- The remaining denominations are not counted.
As cards are dealt, the initial zero balance changes. The current value is divided by the number of remaining decks. The resulting figure is the exact count. When it is positive, the rate is increased, as well as adjusted the BS (basic strategy) with the help of special tables — indices. If the exact score is negative — reduce or stop the game.
If a land-based institution of 6 decks in the game gives at least 3, the visitor will be on the plus side of the distance, receiving at least +0.5 bet per 100 hands.
Card counting works on electronic models of blackjack. Only improving the return here will get at best 0.3% when playing a few hands.
Increasing the bet
In online casinos, if you know the BS, the casino has an average advantage of 0.5%. It is overcome by raising the bet. There are two schemes:
- With a minimum step after each unsuccessful hand, with no doubling. The end of the cycle — any winnings;
- Increasing the bet when a certain loss is obtained.
Which blackjack strategy is better?
Let's name the best ones, which are used by an experienced casino players to this day.
Basic system
To achieve perfection, you need to start with the basics. Here the basic blackjack betting strategy system comes to help players. It is based on a mathematical algorithm that has been tested over years of use and a computer simulation program. Precisely following its instructions, you can achieve excellent results, reducing the casino's chances of winning to the minimum values.
The basic scheme of the blackjack game is available in the form of a matrix. Such a table will be an invariable assistant for the novice gambler, as it can be downloaded, printed and checked with it at first:
On one side is the value of the dealer's first card, on the other side— the sum of the player's cards. At their intersections are cells with moves that are recommended to be used by the participant in such a hand.
The letters S and H in front of the player's column are abbreviations for "Soft" hand (when the player has an Ace) and "Hard" hand (when there’s no Ace).
Often in the basic strategy table, actions are listed in abbreviated form — here’s a basic ones:
- D (double) — doubling the bet;
- S (stand) — fold a card or skip a move;
- H (hit) — to deal a card;
- SP (split pot) — dividing the available cards into two hands that play independently of each other.
For example, the player has a queen and a five — it’s 15 points, and the dealer has a seven — 7. Check the table, in the right window (Hit), so take one more card.
Benefits of the basic betting system:
- Convenient format. It is presented in the form of a table, where in one column the player can easily find the combination of cards that appeared in his hand, and in another - the value of the first card dealer.
- Precise instructions for further actions. This will help to navigate the available options: refrain from further selection, take another card, double the bet, skip a move or split - to divide the cards into two equivalent hands.
There are other game strategies for winning at blackjack. The most simple and effective are «Wagering», «Passwords» and «The Hi-Lo Method».
Wagering
The essence of this method is that the player time after time makes bets of equal size regardless of the outcome of the previous game. And in the case of winning and losing the value of the bet does not change.
This blackjack strategy is designed for the long term, because at first it may seem to the user that he lost more than he won. If you continue to follow the system and after hundreds of games to analyze the results, you can see that the number of losses will be no more than 1%.
Wagering does not require a large bankroll, which gives it a big advantage over other methods. Increasing the initial bet is used only when splitting and doubling. According to statistics, it makes up no more than 4% of all games.
Did you know: Some strategies are designed for the short term, while others are designed for the long term. For example, the «Wagering» system gives results in the distance.
Passwords
The method is based on the statement that wins and losses come in series. The main task of the player is to get on a winning streak and win three bets in a row.
After each winning streak, the bet must be doubled. When the first bet wins, the subsequent bet increases, if it loses — decreases to the minimum.
For example, the first bet is $2. The player does not change its size until winning. When losing the next bet is again equal to $2, when winning - doubled and is equal to $4. If the bet again lost — reduced to the initial $2, if won — doubled 4x2 = $8.
Before playing, beginners are recommended to determine the maximum limits of bets in advance. It is worth considering the type of blackjack, your financial capabilities and experience of participation. In this case, the system is perfect for stability lovers and cautious users.
Did you know? The «Paroles» system was developed by Victor Bethell in 1910, and its name comes from the Latin word «par», which means «equal».
Hilo method
This almost perfect blackjack strategy is based on assigning card values from -1 to +1, depending on their face value. For better understanding, here is a step-by-step instruction:
- Step 1. The picture cards and aces coming out of the deck reduces the player's chances of getting blackjack or enough points to beat the dealer. Therefore, a ten, jack, queen, king and ace are valued at -1 point when the score is kept at zero.
- Step 2. The seven, eight, and nine that have left the shoe have no effect on the count, so their value is 0.
- Step 3. One point is added to the score for sixes, fives, fours, threes and twos. The output of the lower cards strengthens the player's hand, so they are given a plus value.
This is how it works in practice: the player watches the cards and notices which cards were involved in the deal. For example: a queen, an ace, an eight, two fives and a jack. Sum up the points for the cards: queen-1 + ace-1 + eight 0 + five +1 + five +1 + jack -1 + jack -1=-1.
Now the user can estimate his chances of winning:
- -2 and below-. Low probability of winning, it is worth refraining from raising bets and ending the game;
- 2 points and above. It is possible to double the bet.
Other tips on blackjack tactics
Tactics are all techniques that do not involve card-setting decisions. Experienced players have determined in practice how to win at blackjack. Let's list the main ones:
- Look for casinos with the number of providers from 50. Then there will always be good rules.
- Start on 1 hand. After victory, expand to 2, 3, 4 boxes until you get 7-12 initial bets. Then go back to 1 box.
- Play fast. On about 20% of electronic models it is possible to get up to 500 hands in an hour. Speed is important to get out of the minus at an increased rate.
- Find at least 3 Blackjack models in the catalog with good rules. As the session progresses, alternate between them, winning 5-10 bets on each.
Many gamblers ask the question: «How to win at blackjack?». A wide variety of strategies allows both an experienced player and a beginner to find the best option for themselves. To choose the methodology that will work for you and bring success, we recommend testing several of the above systems live with your friends or in the free version of the game — rooms and mobile apps.
FAQ on blackjack basic strategy
What are the best non-standard rules for a player?
Winning 7-7-7 and 6-7-8 combinations at once and at increased odds. Or paying a one-suit BJ 2 to 1. Both rules improve the result by about +0.5%.
What kind of payoff is more realistic?
In large online casinos you can find about 10 different blackjacks, where if you know the strategies, the return to the player will be from 99.75%.
If you play with an RTP very close to 100%, what betting margin is needed?
Mathematical modeling shows that with a 90% probability the player will stay in the range of plus or minus 30-35 bets per 1000 hands.
What is a treble?
Otherwise known as a triple. It is a re-raise after a double.
What is an early and late fold?
In American rules, there are two options to surrender a hand for half a bet: before the dealer checks the box for BJs or after this action.