How To Win Big Blackjack

12.03.2021by
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  1. How To Win Big At Blackjack
  2. How To Win Big Money Playing Blackjack

One of the popular myths surrounding blackjack in casinos is that the average player can get an edge over the casino if he just plays his hands correctly. In other words, a lot of people think that you can win at blackjack just by mastering basic strategy.

  • Tips for the Blackjack Table. You'll need to think about more than what is on the table to win at blackjack. Although you'll make your moves independently, remember that everyone at the table is also playing against the dealer and the way other's play and act can affect your own game. Even with a solid strategy, a chaotic table can throw you off.
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  • The object of the game is simple: beat the dealer by getting a count as close to 21 as possible without going over 21. While it’s all about the cards, skill is a key part of the game. Knowing how to play your hand, maximize your profits, or minimize your losses is.
  • How To Win At Online Blackjack Like the number of tables to use in basic strategy for blackjack, there are many concepts of card counting as well. You’ll need to experiment with various ones to see what really works finest for you.

For instance, you should stand if the dealer’s face-up card is a 6 or below and you have a hard 16 (say consisting of a 7 and 9). Hit if the dealer shows a 2, or double down on cards 3 to 6 if you have an Ace, 2, 3, 4 or 5. You can make a strong hand with soft cards if you draw a high-value card.

But basic strategy isn’t enough to win at blackjack in most instances.

You need an additional strategy – an advantage technique – to get an actual edge over the casino in blackjack.

This might mean counting cards, but there are other ways, too. I’ve written extensively about counting cards in blackjack in the past.

But today I want to take a different approach.

Here’s how to win at blackjack WITHOUT counting cards.

The First Step to Winning at Blackjack Is Mastering Basic Strategy

In blackjack, you have a finite number of potential situations to deal with. The dealer can only have one of the following face-up cards: ace, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, or 10.

And you can only have one of a handful of potential totals, starting with a total of 3 and going up to a total of 21.

Blackjack

And many of those situations offer obvious strategic decisions. You’d always stand with a total of 21, for example. It’s an automatic winner. You’ll also always stand with a total of 20. You have far too many ways to bust in this situation to ever make it worth your while to hit in that situation.

The same holds true for a lot of your smaller totals, too. Any hand totaling 11 or lower is impossible to bust, so you’ll always at least hit in that situation.

But for many hands, you must compare what you’re holding with the dealer’s face up card to determine the playing decision with the highest expected value. In a lot of these situations, your expected value is negative. Imagine having a hard total of 16 against a dealer’s face up 10, for example. You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t in that situation.

But, in those situations, some plays have a lower negative expectation than others. Your job is to make the play that loses the least amount of money in the long run.

Luckily, basic strategy is easy to memorize and implement. When you use basic strategy for every blackjack decision, you reduce the house edge to its theoretically lowest possible number. In most casinos and under most rules, this means that the basic strategy player faces a house edge of 1% or less.

You still can’t win in the long run with a house edge of 1% or even 0.5%.

But your probability of being a winner in the short run improve dramatically.

How To Win Big At Blackjack

An average blackjack player with no knowledge of basic strategy is probably giving up between 2% and 4% of their house edge.

Advantage Play Techniques and Blackjack

An advantage play technique is a way of playing a casino game that gives you an edge over the casino. The most common advantage play technique is counting cards, but that’s not your only option. You can win at blackjack without counting cards, even though it’s probably the easiest way to get an edge.

How does card counting in blackjack work?

Counting cards is just a means of roughly tracking the ratio of high cards (aces and 10s) to low cards in the deck. When the deck has a higher proportion of high cards, the player is more likely to get a blackjack. That’s a 2-card hand that totals 21, and players love this hand because it pays off at 3 to 2 odds.

Bet $100 on a hand of blackjack, get dealt a natural, and you’ll get a payout of $150.

Card counters raise the size of their bets when their probability of getting a blackjack goes up based on the count.

And counting cards isn’t hard, either.

You just subtract 1 from the count every time you see a 10 or an ace.
You add 1 to the count every time you see a card worth between 2 and 6 points.

If you’re playing in a game with multiple decks, you adjust that running count to account for the extra decks of cards in play. That’s as simple as estimating how many decks are still in the shoe and dividing the running count by that number.

For example, if the running count is +8, and you estimate that there are 4 decks left in the shoe, the true count is only +2.

Why does this matter?

Because you raise your bets proportionally related to the count. You’ll bet more when the count is +8 than you would if the count was +4.

Top 10 poker sites for us players. Not everyone wants to learn how to count cards, though.

You Can Win at Blackjack Without Counting Cards by Getting Lucky

The house edge in blackjack is a long-term phenomenon. In other words, your short-term results might look like anything. You’re mathematically expected to lose between 0.5% and 1% of your action at
the table in the long run.

But, in the short run, anything can happen.

So, one way to win at blackjack without counting cards is to keep your session short and walk away when you’ve won a specific amount of money. This is called having a “win goal.”

Most gamblers who use win goals set a win goal based on a percentage of their bankroll. For example, you might sit down at a $10 blackjack table with a $200 bankroll for the session. Your win goal might be 50% of that $200 – or $100. In that case, if you ever get to a point where you have $300 or more in chips, you walk away from the table and book your win.

Since blackjack is a negative expectation game, you’ll have more losing sessions than winning sessions over time.

But, unless something weird happens, you WILL inevitably have some winning sessions.

Another Way to Win Is to Bet Really Big and Negotiate Better Rules
Don Johnson is a living example of a blackjack player who won really big at the game without counting cards. He won over $6 million on blackjack in a single evening. Here’s how he did it:

To start with, he had mastered basic strategy. Everyone who’s ever been interviewed about him said that he played perfect cards. If you want to duplicate Johnson’s success, start with mastering basic strategy.

The next thing he did was negotiate with the casino. High rollers like Johnson, who bet $10,000 or more per hand, don’t have to play by the same rules as the average casino-goer.

It’s common for high rollers to get loss rebates. This means that the casino offers a player a discount on his losses. For example, if the casino is offering a 10% discount on your losses, and you lose $100,000, you only really lose $90,000 because of the rebate.

Win

Some casinos also give high rollers bonus money to gamble with up front just to get them started gambling. Online casinos do this all the time, but brick and mortar casinos save this kind of treatment for their higher rollers.

Don Johnson negotiated a 20% loss rebate on his action the night he won all that money in Atlantic City.

On top of that, he negotiated specific blackjack rules that reduced the house edge to a tiny percentage. They played with a hand-shuffled, 6-deck show, and the dealer was forced to stand (rather than hit) a total of soft 17.

In total, all the rules changes wound up making this blackjack game a game with a house edge of only 0.25% — making it almost an even money game.

But on top of that, because of his loss rebate/discount, he was only risking 80 cents for every dollar he stood to win.

He had to buy in for a million dollars, but he was guaranteed a 20% discount on his first $500,000 in losses. Also, he wasn’t required to lose the entire million. He could lose the $500,000, quit, and get his $100,000 rebate – leaving him with “only” a $400,000 loss.

On the other hand, if he started winning – which he did – he could just keep playing.

And that’s how he won over $6 million without counting cards.

Other Advantage Techniques in Blackjack

Counting cards isn’t the only strategy for getting an edge at the game of blackjack. Advantage players use other techniques, some of which are well-known.

Dealer tells is one of these techniques. This describes the tendency that a dealer has to give some kind of physical clue after looking at his or her down card. The savvy blackjack player can then adjust his decisions based on the information he gleaned from the dealer tell.

Shuffle tracking is another advantage technique. The idea is that even though decks of cards get shuffled and randomized, they don’t get completely randomized.

If you can keep up with clusters of cards that are heavy with 10s and aces, you can raise the size of your bets when the dealer gets close to using those cards.

Hole carding is similar to dealer tells. It’s when a dealer accidentally reveals his actual down card when he looks at it to check for blackjack. The advantage of knowing which 2 cards the dealer has is obvious from a strategic perspective.

Other advantage play techniques exist that advantage players don’t share in public, too.

Conclusion

Counting cards is definitely the easiest way to win at blackjack, but you can without this technique. It’s harder to do, though, and I recommend learning to count cards if you’re serious about becoming a blackjack winner.

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Since blackjack is the one casino game where skill truly matters, it’s important for players to test different strategies and start incorporating them into their gameplay. But before you test any of the blackjack systems out there, there’s a simple truth you must realise – every valid blackjack strategy is based on logic and maths. Therefore, the best strategy you can adopt right away would be to leave your superstitions behind, forget about your ‘winning rituals’ and trust only the numbers. Now that we have that out of the way, let’s take a look at the best tactics you can adopt to help you win at online blackjack every time you play.

Tip #1: Pick the Right Casino

Players often ignore this all-important step, so I decided to start precisely with it. I cannot emphasise enough how big of a factor picking a good casino site is for your future success at beating the game. And that process is not even that hard – the trick is to pick a reputable, well-known casino that features a lot of blackjack games and generous bonuses that you can use on them. Here are three stellar examples:

Blackjack SiteRatingHighlightsWelcome BonusTrusted SiteTerms and Conditions
888 Casino7 RNG Games , 36 Live TablesUp to £100 + £88Get Bonus!
Full T&Cs apply. 1st deposit only • £20 min deposit with code • Valid for selected games only • Bonus wins capped at £500 • 30x wagering – req. vary by game - in 90 days • UK - deposit balance available for withdrawal at any time • Withdrawal terms & T&Cs apply.
Ladbrokes Casino15 RNG Games, 10 Live Tables£50 Welcome BonusGet Bonus!
Full T&Cs apply. 18+. New Casino players only. Deposit required. Min stake £10 on qualifying games. 40x wager reqs (bonus only) on selected games. 24hrs to accept. Bonus valid for 48hrs. Certain deposit types excluded. Bets covering >70% of Roulette table excluded.
Betway17 RNG Games, 30 Live Tables100% up to £250Get Bonus!
Full T&Cs apply. * New customers only. Opt-in required. 100% Match Bonus up to £250 on 1st deposit of £20+. 50x bonus wagering applies as do weighting requirements. Debit Card & PayPal deposits only. Irregular gameplay may invalidate your bonus. This offer is valid for 7 days from your new account being registered.

But how in fact does your choice of casino impact your winning chances? Truth is that not all online casinos are safe and trustworthy. Moreover, even if you have won fair and square, some of them might refuse to pay out your winnings. By choosing a licensed and regulated casino, such as the ones we recommend, you secure yourself a fair chance at winning and, most importantly, guaranteed payouts.

Tip #2: Pick the Right Blackjack Variant

Picking the right game variant is yet another important part of an all-encompassing blackjack strategy. The most important detail about each game is undoubtedly the house edge – the lower it is, the better. Here is a comparison between the house edges of some of the most popular online blackjack games in the UK:

As you can see, the house edge of these games is already quite low (just for reference, most slot games have a house edge of 4%-6%). Still, this is the first thing you should check before trying a new blackjack game. There are, in fact, some online blackjack games that have a house edge over 1% and even over 2%. If your goal is to win and not just to have fun, then you should definitely stay clear of those.

Tip #3: Know Your Game Inside Out

Not all blackjack games are made from the same mold. In fact, there are hardly any two blackjack variations that have exactly the same rules. Therefore, applying the same basic strategy for different games simply won’t work. Every little detail about the game matters as it affects the house edge. You can learn about the specific rules of each variant from the help section of the game. Here is what information you should be looking for if you want to find the best blackjack strategy for the game you’ve chosen.

  • How much does a blackjack pay?
  • How many decks are in the shoe?
  • Can you double on any two cards or only with specific total?
  • When can you split your hand and up to how many times?
  • Are you allowed to double after splitting a hand?
  • Are you allowed to hit split aces?
  • Do you have the option to surrender and in which cases?
  • Does the dealer hit a soft seventeen?
  • Is there a 5-, 6- or a 7-card Charlie?

How To Win Big Money Playing Blackjack

Another particularity you should be aware of when searching for a suitable online blackjack strategy is that there are some blackjack games that bear the same name but have different rules and, consequently, different house edge. This is due to the fact that the games are provided by different software developers. For example, Classic Blackjack by Microgaming has a house edge of merely 0.13% while the game of the same name developed by NetEnt has a house edge of 0.35%. A big difference, indeed.

Tip #4: Use a Basic Blackjack Strategy Card

Hopefully, you’ve followed our tips for playing blackjack and have already chosen a specific game to play, where to play it and you’ve familiarised yourself with all its rules. Now it’s time to find a basic blackjack strategy card specific to your game of choice which will help you make the right decision in any situation.

Below, you can see an example of a strategy card that’s especially created for Playtech’s Blackjack Pro. The image clearly shows how you should play against any given dealer upcard according to the hand you’re holding. The complete strategy chart for each different blackjack variation should consist of three parts – one for hard hands, one for soft hands and one for pairs.

The easiest way to find an optimal blackjack strategy chart for the game you want to try is to generate it yourself using one of the many blackjack basic strategy calculators you can find online. Using these strategy cards is very suitable for beginners since they are extremely easy to read and at the same time they are math-based. Still, there are some things that these cards don’t cover. They don’t tell you what to do with the side bets, how much to bet and whether card counting could help you. Those are exactly the topics that we’re going to cover next.

The Perfect Blackjack Strategy for Side Bets

As we have already established in the previous paragraphs, strategy cards can be very useful when playing most blackjack games, especially for the beginners. Yet, as you may have noticed, they don’t cover any side bets whatsoever. After all, the perfect blackjack strategy is the one that takes into account all aspects of the game and this includes whether or not to place bonus bets and if yes – how much to bet.

The truth is that blackjack is a casino game with an extremely low house edge. On top of that, skilled players are able to reduce this minimal advantage even further by adopting various blackjack strategies. This is why, in the hopes to increase the house edge and, consequently, the revenues, the casinos started adding extra decks to the different blackjack variations and came up with different side bets. And while these side bets definitely add fun and variety to te game, they make players lose money, slowly but surely.

So, it’s easy to see that the best strategy for blackjack side bets is actually not to place any! Just stick to the strategy cards until you’ve gained enough experience to start testing more advanced tactics.

What About Card Counting?

When most new players hear the words ‘blackjack strategies’, they immediately think of card counting. While this strategy may still be possible in some brick-and-mortar casinos (although, in general, it’s against the house rules or at least it’s frowned upon), it is virtually unfeasible in online casinos where the deck is shuffled after each hand. The only exception to this rule is live dealer blackjack. So, if you want to try some card counting techniques while playing online, your only option is to play live blackjack games.

But what actually is card counting and can it really help you beat the casino? Card counting is a blackjack technique that helps you follow the number of high and low cards in the shoe thus giving you some insight as to what type of card might come next – a bit of knowledge that can, indeed, tip the scales in your direction. The easiest card counting system in blackjack is called Hi-Lo and works like this: for each low card (2, 3, 4, 5, 6) you see you add one point and for each high card (10, J, Q, K, A) you deduct one. The higher the count, the bigger the chances to get 10-valued cards, which are generally considered ‘good’ for the player (and bad for the dealer).

Which Is the Best Blackjack Betting System?

As we have already established, using a blackjack strategy card can help you make the right decision in any given situation, but it doesn’t answer the important question players always ask themselves ‘How much should I bet?’ As you probably already know, there are many betting systems out there, many of which claim to be a sure way to beat any online blackjack game. A huge part of those systems are progressive betting systems which are based on the idea that if you’ve lost a number of times, you’re bound to win soon. This, of course, is not true and is often referred to as gambler’s fallacy – a mistaken notion that has claimed many victims through the ages.

The plain and simple truth is that no betting system on its own can help you beat the house, but some can help you improve your odds even more when combined with other blackjack strategies. For example, when using card counting and basic strategy, you can allow yourself to increase the bet amount when the count is high, as then the strategy cards are considered to be ‘more correct’ and your chances at winning are higher. But, as we already said, this can only work if you’re playing live dealer games. The best betting strategy for RNG games, on the other hand, is to simply bet the same amount over and over again while wagering some convenient casino bonus – a topic that we’re going to discuss a little bit further down the page.

Tip #5: Test in Demo Mode

Now that you have a complete overview of an all-encompassing online blackjack strategy, you probably feel ready to finally start playing. But before you go and bet real money, it’s highly recommended that you first test your skills with play money. Going back to our example with Blackjack Pro by Playtech, we’ve prepared a demo version of the game below that you can try for free. Don’t forget to use the strategy card that we presented to you to secure yourself the best odds.

Something else that you can do while playing in demo mode is to practice your card-counting skills, even though in all RNG games the shoe is virtually shuffled after each hand. After all, there are no demo versions of live blackjack, so your only option is to practice on their computerised versions.

Tip #6: Sync Your Bonus and Blackjack Strategies

Some of the biggest advantages of playing on the Internet vs playing at land-based casinos are undoubtedly the generous bonus opportunities that online casinos offer. Even if the casino has a slight advantage in any given game, playing with extra money that isn’t actually yours and being allowed to keep the winnings surely gives the players some edge. When it comes to blackjack, combining the already low house edge of the game with a solid math-based strategy and a suitable bonus is the most certain way to beat the casino. Of course, every bonus comes with its terms and conditions that are sometimes favourable but other times – not so much.

First of all, there’s always a wagering requirement that you have to fulfil before you can withdraw the winnings generated from the bonus. This requirement in most cases is set at 20 to 40 times the bonus plus the deposit amount. Furthermore, it’s important to take into account the fact that blackjack games don’t contribute at 100% toward the wagering requirement due to the fact that they have a pretty low house edge and give the players great winning odds. Usually, the wagering contribution for the game is set anywhere between 5% and 10%, the higher it is, of course, the better. Other important details you should take into account are the validity period of the bonus and the minimum deposit required to claim it.

All that said, let us present to you an easy-to-claim bonus that is perfect for beginners and offered by a casino that has a great array of blackjack games with both classic and innovative variants – Ladbrokes. At the moment, they offer a 100% bonus up to £500 to all new players that make minimum deposit of £20 at the casino – a pretty sweet deal, if you ask me. If you agree with me and are ready to start playing for real money, then click the link below and you’ll be safely redirected to the official website of the operator:

Sure enough, this is not the only available bonus offer that is suitable for playing blackjack online, in fact, most UK casino sites give you the opportunity to wager bonus money on all their blackjack games. So, if you want to find more great opportunities to play blackjack with bonus money, then make sure you also check out our dedicated bonus page.

Final Thoughts and Advice for Long-Term Success

In conclusion, the best blackjack strategy you can adopt is the one that fully corresponds to the game variation you’ve chosen to play. Be careful to only use a game plan that has been created for the particular type of blackjack you’re playing. Otherwise, you won’t be able to achieve the results you expect.

Beginners, find yourselves a strategy card for the variation you play and stick with it. Combine it with a good bonus and you can expect a moderate return in the long run. Your number one priority should be to practice and learn. The more experienced players can, on the other hand, test their card counting skills against some unsuspecting dealer at a live casino of their choice – remember, you can see them, but they cannot see you! Furthermore, to make sure that you get the whole picture as to how to beat this game, you can also take a look at some game strategies analysed.

Last but not least, don’t forget to have fun! After all, it’s a game and its main purpose is to entertain you. Not getting too stressed about winning is a good tactic as it will help you keep a cool head and make better decisions while playing.

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