THE ULTIMATE GUIDE ON BLACKJACK
In this guide you will find everything about BlackJack!
First we will go through some fun historical facts.
Then I will show you some great techniques.
Sounds good? Let’s dive in…
1: Black Jack: Basic Info
In this chapter I will explain what Black Jack really is.
I will show you how the game has been developed.
Then in later chapters I will show you some great techniques.
Black Jack is one of the most famous card betting game that exist in the world. The game is also known as twenty-one and it is usually played between several players and a dealer. Each player competes against the dealer and players do not play against each other.
The game is played with one or more decks of 52 cards and it is the most widely played casino banking game in the world. In fact, the most popular version is the one entailing six decks (312 cards).
Indeed, the game of blackjack is so popular, that it has multiple variants, so you can enjoy various aspects of the game while having a lot of fun. Blackjack has many rule variations, depending on a country and on a casino.
The game Black Jack is rather very easy to learn. Its other name – twenty-one – indicates what the game is really about.
Blackjack inspired many other casino games, including Spanish 21 and pontoon.
The first written reference to this game is found in a book by the Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes (who is most famous for writing Don Quixote). Interestingly enough, Cervantes himself was a gambler. The most entertaining thing is that in his tale “Rinconete y Cortadillo” there are a couple of cheats working in Seville who are proficient at cheating at ventiuna (Spanish for twenty-one). This implies that ventiuna was played in Castile since the beginning of the 17th century or earlier.
When twenty-one was introduced in the United States, gambling houses offered bonuses to allure the players. One such bonus 10:1 payout if the player’s hand consisted of the ace of spades and a black jack (either the jack of clubs or the jack of spades). This hand was then called a “blackjack”, and this name remained as the name of the game.
I will show you here some easy tips on the game, how to play it, and how to win it as well. I will give you some popular betting techniques and analyze them. This will definitely be a useful guide for anyone who is interested in this popular casino game.
The goal of the game is to beat the dealer in either of the following ways:
⦁ Achieve 21 points on the player’s first two cards (called a “blackjack” or “natural”) without a dealer blackjack
⦁ Get a final score higher than that of the dealer, without exceeding 21
⦁ Let the dealer draw additional cards until their hand exceed 21
Each player is dealt two cards. In some casinos the cards are dealt face up while in some casinos they are dealt face down. In the U.S. the dealer is often dealt two cards with one up and one down. For instance, once the player has placed his/her bets, the dealer gives one card face up to the player and another one to himself. Another round of cards is then dealt face up to the player, but the dealer takes his second card face down.
The way the cards are dealt depends on the rules of the house, so you need to get acquainted with them before you start playing.
2: Value of Cards and Your Options
In this chapter I will explain how cards are valued in BlackJack.
Then you will see some important terms in the game.
You will learn some great betting tips!
As for the value of cards, the value of cards two to ten is their face value.
Face cards (Jack, Queen, and King) are all worth ten.
Aces can be valued one or eleven points, depending on which value is needed. A hand with an ace valued as 11 is called “soft”, which means that the hand will not bust by taking an additional card. The value will become one to prevent the hand from exceeding 21. Otherwise, the hand is “hard”.
A hand’s value is obviously a sum of these card values.
If in your first two cards you get an ace and a ten, it gives you sum of 21. This is then called blackjack or a natural. This means you automatically win unless the dealer has the same score.
If you don’t have a blackjack, you are given a few options.
The first thing is to check the two cards you have in hand and the dealer’s face-up card (if you are playing this variant with a face-up card) and then you can see what decision to make.
HIT: You can ask for the third card. And you can keep asking for a hit until you decide to stand or else bust
STAND: You can decide that you are not taking any additional cards. If you are not taking any additional cards, the dealer can then play his or her hand.
DOUBLE DOWN: You can double the amount of your bet + an extra card + stand
SPLIT: If you have two cards which have the same value, you can split them into two separate hands. This means that the bet is the same as the original, but basically you are doubling your bet.
SURRENDER: You can surrender half your bet if you think that it is possible to lose the hand.
INSURANCE*: If the dealer’s card which is face up is an Ace, you can take insurance. This means a bet which is half the value of your original bet. In essence, you are wagering on the dealer getting a blackjack.
As for the dealer’s hand, these would be some rules:
⦁ The dealer is the automatic winner if you bust or surrender
⦁ The dealer wins if his total hand value is 21 or closest to 21
⦁ If the dealer has a total of 16 or less, he or she must hit
⦁ If the dealer has a total of 18 or more, he or she must stand
⦁ If the dealer has a hard 17, he or she must stand
⦁ If the dealer has a soft 17, he or she must hit
*Please read on, to see what insurance exactly is. This is what really makes the game intriguing and engaging.
The side bet’s main purpose is to protect your hand against the possibility of the dealer having a blackjack. Because if the dealer has a blackjack it automatically means that the player loses.
If a dealer’s card which is face up has a point value of 10, he or she will first want to check if he or she has a blackjack.
However, if a dealer has an Ace as an upcard, before looking at the other card, the dealer needs to ask the players at the table if they would like to take insurance.
If the player wishes to make this side bet, they must place an extra bet of half the initial bet on the table.
When all the players make a decision, then the dealer can check what is his/her second card and whether he/she has a blackjack.
Now, if the dealer has a blackjack, those players who took out insurance will lose the original bet.
However, they win the insurance bet and collect odds of 2:1.
Ultimately the player has come out even on the hand.
This means that the player does not win more money, but neither will he or she lose any money.
On the other hand, if the dealer still does not have a blackjack, the players who took insurance now lose their insurance bet and the hand continues as normal.
When it comes to insurance, there is also a catch. The insurance is taken so that you can protect yourself in case the dealer has a blackjack, but even though insurance might look like a really great deal, the percentages are different.
It all depends on the number of decks used in the game. The house edge on the insurance side bet varies:
Single deck – 5.9%
Double deck – 6.8%
4 decks – 7.25%
6 decks – 7.40%
8 decks – 7.47%
The insurance bet is by far in favor of the house. The percentages above ultimately reflect how likely the casino is to win the bet.
Let’s put it into perspective. Imagine you place a €100 insurance bet, the casino will win €106 if you lose. This means that for every €100 wagered on insurance, you are only to get back €94, losing €6 in the process.
The best advice would be to take insurance when you hold a 21 in hand, you will probably want to insure it.
When you have a blackjack at the same time as the dealer, this is called push.
When a push happens, you don’t receive any money for your blackjack.
If, in this case, you take out insurance, it will result in a push, but you will collect 2:1 thanks to the insurance side bet. If the dealer does not have a blackjack, you are losing the insurance bet, but collecting 3:2 on the blackjack.
Once you are familiar with all the rules, you may start applying certain strategies for more advanced players. This means you will be able to know when to double down, when to play hard and soft hands, etc.
Experienced blackjack players know when to use insurance and when not to. Taking insurance at an appropriate time can reduce the house edge albeit by a small margin.
⦁ One interesting thing you can do when playing Blackjack is to play multiple hands. You can often see pro blackjack players playing multiple hands at the table. They do this to inject some fun into the game. If you, for instance, play two hands at the same time, you are increasing your chances of winning because you are placing two bets instead of one. However, try not to be tempted to play multiple hands continuously because it can end up costing you big especially if you have a smaller bankroll.
⦁ Like in all other casino games, you have to watch for your bankroll. For instance, you can take smaller bets and thus reduce or even eliminate completely your chance of being ruined at the table. To be sure about your bankroll you need to know what you are doing but also what other players are doing. You need to follow the game. “You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em”
⦁ Many gamblers would tell you that to play the game you have to be “read people’s faces”. It means to decide on your strategy based on how shy or bold your opponents appear to be. If all the players are making small bets, it would be best to make a large bet.
If, on the other hand, there are few who bet on larger sums, it would be best to bet just enough to maximize your bankroll you are risking. It is said that by making smaller bets continuously with a couple of opportunities to make bigger bets, you can fight both styles of players at the table.
Keep this in mind also when you are the one winning. It can give a chance to your opponents to surpass you. Although you will still keep coming across poor cards and you will be surpassed from time to time, the trick is to risk a medium-sized bet to match the players who are ahead.
When it comes to your way of betting, it is said that the best way is to use a mix of small and large bets, since the players who are placing medium-sized bets usually don’t take a lot of money. Placing a medium-sized bet should only be for one of two reasons: either you are in the lead or your bet is big enough to help you accomplish a pertaining goal.
3: Betting Strategies
In this chapter you will see some famous betting strategies.
I will give you the insight into their advantages and disadvantages.
After this you can master your winning techniques!
The most important thing in any casino game basically is to set up a bankroll. Be sure about how much money you have, how much money you can spend and what will be the amount under which you are not going to go.
There is this betting system called the Martingale Blackjack Betting System. It originates all the way from the 18th century, from France. The original theory was that a player could prevent a loss in even money bets by doubling each bet each time he or she lost. This tactic was actually used for roulette, but it has been used now for many games.
Many players actually apply this system at the blackjack table. They double each bet after each loss. It is for sure that this could help you recover all your losses with a single win. On the other hand, it is truly risky since if you are constantly losing, you could end up losing large amounts of money.
Moreover, if you are playing blackjack and the table has a bet limit, you won’t be able to recover your losses if you are constantly losing.
I am now coming back to the importance of bankroll – if you have a small and limited bankroll, it is very risky to apply this kind of strategy.
There is another betting strategy which requires some patience, but it should help you preserve your bankroll for a long time at the blackjack table. This system is called Oscar’s Grind Blackjack Betting System.
In this system, a player must make a minimum bet (one unit). The main goal is making a profit on one unit. If you win first hand, the next bet should still be one unit. If you lose at first hand, your next bet should still be one unit.
Then, if you win the second hand, the next bet should be doubled. This is done with each next winning hand – the bet increases.
This keeps on going until the player has achieved a profit of one unit, at which point, the player must start the progression all over again with a bet of one unit.
Furthermore, keep in mind that you can also come up with your own betting strategy and that is great if it works for you. So, try and find your own tactic, based on the casino, based on the players you are playing with, based on the game, and of course, based on your bankroll.
4: Playing Online
In this chapter we will go through advantages of playing online.
You can also find some useful links.
Playing online blackjack is really great. It offers a lot of possibilities and it is really fun. The best thing is that today we can all play this game and we can choose any casino we want.
So many variants of blackjack emerged on the Internet. The rules are the same, but there are slight variations. You can learn these depending on the online casino you are entering.
You can download specific casino software or choose to play directly with no required download.
Each online casino gives you the choice whether you wish to play for real money or just for fun. Depending on the casino, you can get bonuses.
One of the main advantages of playing online blackjack is accessibility.
There are so many available gaming options online and it is more convenient than traveling to a casino. Today, digital 21 is so accessible and you can play it from the comfort of your own home. For players who enjoy playing solo rather than with others, who aren’t overly fond of noise and crowded areas, and beginners who want more control over their first few serious games, online casinos are the ideal platforms to take advantage of.
There are plenty of games tailored to every kind of player and their personal bankrolls, and the pressures some may feel while playing at a real life casino are immediately lifted. We also don’t have to worry about high and low rollers in the web environment.
Another great thing with online blackjack game is that there are a lot of available banking options (from credit and debit cards to direct bank transfers, E-Wallets, etc.).
There is a great advantage of playing online because if you are just a beginner, there is no pressure as there is in a live game. You can learn online, through tutorials or you can play for free. Thus you can experiment with many gaming strategies without having to worry you will lose money.
Furthermore, it is natural that every gambler would want to find the most generous table, but finding it can be difficult, especially if you are playing at an establishment without any nearby competition where they simply do not have the need to compete to match odds and payouts.
But online casinos can offer bigger payouts, lower house edges and bonuses. It is also great that internet casinos offer games with a minimum bet of $0.50 per hand.
Online casinos offer great welcome bonuses for first-time players and/or free cash after a small initial deposit. Constantly you have tournaments and rewards programs are offered where players can earn points which are then transferred to withdrawable money.
And also one important thing is that playing the game of blackjack online helps you keep a more accurate track of your winnings, losses and moves. You can follow your statistics and ratings so easily: everything is written automatically for you. It can also keep a record of how much money you have spent, and can help you analyze whether or not you are using a good strategy. This can help largely in winning next rounds and learning your best systems of play.
This is why online blackjack can be much more profitable while it is fun to play it from the comfort of your home.