Blackjack GamblingBlackjack Basics Guide

The basic premise of the game is that one is trying to get Blackjack or reach 21 or under but have cards totaling more than the dealer. The ultimate goal is to get a formal Blackjack which is a face card and an Ace at the same time and dealt right off the bat. One can essentially reach twenty-one by having more cards dealt, but a true Blackjack is the ultimate goal.

 

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Blackjack GamblingGetting Ready To Play Blackjack

Blackjack tables allow five to seven players depending on the format and some online casinos have higher or even lower numbers of players depending on their preferred method. The players all sit or virtually sit in a semi-circle in front of or facing the dealer. One chooses a table based on the minimum and maximum bets posted for the table. There are tables, both real and virtual, for varying bet amounts and thus one picks based on how much they want to play per hand.

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Blackjack GamblingThe Blackjack Bet and Deal

Once a player sits down or positions them at a table virtually, they are considered on deck for the next hand to be dealt. Once the prior game has concluded, the player places their bet by offering the minimum bet or higher, but not exceeding the maximum bet posted for the table. Once all bets have been placed and acknowledged by the dealer the dealer then deals to all players.

One card is dealt face down to each player until all players have one card and the dealer deals one card to himself that is also face down. The second pass of cards gives all players one more face down card and then the dealer gives himself a second card that is face up. This is where players can have a view in to the hand the dealer is holding. This is crucial as face cards will signify a higher valued hand, once a dealer shoes a face card or an ace that can be used as either a one or eleven; players need to use their own best judgment to determine what to do next.

Blackjack GamblingHit Me or Stand

Once players have their two cards, they look at those cards and determine if they have a high or low hand; or perhaps an automatic Blackjack. In the case one has been dealt a face card and an ace they will want to stick their hand and not accept any more cards. Those who have hands under 15 need to consider whether an extra card will push them over the 21 limit or if a hand is very low valued the player will want to signal to the dealer to deal another card so that extra card can be added to the total amount as the player tries to get as close to 21 without going over. This continues until all players have signaled a stand and no more cards are dealt.

Once players have all stopped receiving cards, the dealer flips over his face down card to show his full hand. If the dealer shows less than 17 he must take another card and attempt to hit close to 21. The winner is determined by the player with the closest and highest hand that has not gone over 21 or whoever has Blackjack.

Blackjack GamblingCaveats to Blackjack

A few caveats exist within Blackjack that all players need to know about before sitting in on a game. One issue is when a player has blackjack and the dealer does as well or if a player has a total of 20 and so too does the dealer; it is known as a push and neither wins or loses. The player keeps their bet but does not win anything. A push can make even a great hand worth nothing in the end and is a common occurrence when playing in smaller groups.

A different situation is where one is dealt a high valued hand right off the bat and want to double their bet. This is where the player places a matching bet to their original to one side of the first bet and signifies that they are doubling down. This then tells the dealer that the player wants just one more card and the dealer places that card horizontal across the others and the player cannot look until the other hands have been dealt and finalized. Those who succeed in doubling down find that the third and last card they get give them just enough to get to 21 or just under that number and win the hand and double their winnings.

Splitting a hand is another blackjack option that is allowed when a player is dealt two matching value cards such as two tens or two queens. This then allows the player to split the hand, place a subsequent bet for that second hand and get a second card for both cards. one issue with splitting is that those cards are now face up and others at the table can clearly see what one has and since many split face and high value cards it can remove players and make one only be in competition with the dealer.

Blackjack is a fast paced and fun game that is relatively simple in concept and a great way to play table games for those not quite suited for highly competitive and logistical games such as mah jong, Poker or Baccarat

Blackjack GamblingBlackjack Card Counting Guide

While Blackjack will always remain a game of chance there are means to learn when a given deck is tipped in the player’s favor instead of the dealer’s. These means are called card counting, which is the method player’s use to keep track of the odds of winning against the house.

First and foremost, counting cards is not a simple task. It requires the player keep track of large amounts of information while simultaneously performing mathematical calculations every few minutes. The hardest trick, though, is to look natural while doing it. It is a balancing act that takes a player weeks, if not months, of practice. In addition, card counting can be a dangerous enterprise that may result in bans from casinos if the player is not cautious.

Blackjack GamblingThe Basics

The principle idea behind card counting in Blackjack is that high cards favor the player while low cards favor the dealer. As a result, a player can determine whether to bet more or less depending on his or her chances of winning, which allows them to lose less money while gaining more when the cards are in the player’s favor.

Blackjack GamblingAssigning Numbers

In card counting every card is assigned a digit. Cards of all suits ranging from two to six are assigned as +1. Cards of all suits ranging from seven to nine are listed as 0, or neutral. The remaining cards, or high cards, of all suits are assigned a value of -1.

Pretend, for a moment, that there is one player at a table and the dealer. After the first two cards are dealt the player sees he has an eight and a nine, totaling in a combination of seventeen. However, as a card counter, it is important for the player to place card totals in the back of his mind. Instead, focus on the assigned values. Eight and nine are middle cards, so they are both assigned 0. Meanwhile, the dealer’s top card is a three. So, the player’s hand totals 0, and the dealer’s totals +1, which makes the table’s count +1. The player decides to stand, so the dealer flips over her second card and produces a seven. Seven’s value is 0, so the table’s value remains unchanged.

Blackjack GamblingIt Can Never Be That Easy

The example above is considered a running count and is only applicable if the table uses a single deck of cards. Sadly, there is probably not a single casino in the world that uses a single deck of cards for a table. Otherwise, card counting would be too easy!

The next step is to ascertain what is known as a true count. A true count figures multiple decks of cards by dividing the table’s count, or the running count, by the deck of cards being used by the dealer. In the example above, the running count ended at +1. So, to learn the true count the player would divide 1 by the number of decks being used, which we can safely assume will be four.

So: ¼ = .25

Blackjack GamblingWhen to Bet

It should be clear by now that the casino will stack most of the odds in their favor as often as possible. The chances of tipping the odds in a player’s favor come slowly, if at all, and can usually only be seen after many hours of play.

Statistically speaking, the recommended time to bet big is when the true count is greater than or equal to four, though realistically it may never go above two. The reason for this is simple. Remember how each of the cards is given a numerical assignment of either +1, 0, or -1? Well, when numerous small cards are played, which have a positive value, it means the decks become loaded with higher cards. As a result, the player has a better chance of receiving high cards and beating the dealer.

Sadly, due to the number of decks casinos use, a good advantage over the dealer is around .5% to 1.5%, which may not seem like much but it can certainly be enough to make a great deal of money very quickly.

Blackjack GamblingHow Much to Bet

Betting strategy is a complicated subject, but it should be touched upon briefly. If a player suddenly begins to double his or her bets and begins to win large amounts of money he or she are on the fast track to being noticed by the dealer and the casino’s management. Instead, players should vary bets occasionally to avoid suspicion. Of course, the goal is to come out far ahead, but chips will come and go like leaves on a brisk wind for most Blackjack players. The key is learning how to deal with the swings, and how to remain hidden among casual players.

Blackjack GamblingIs it Legal?

There is nothing illegal about counting cards in the United States of America because it is a method that does not involve any kind of technology, assuming the player is doing all the calculations in his or her head. However, most, if not all, casinos do not encourage card counting, or any means a player might use to gain any kind of an advantage to any game. Casino owners reserve the right to not allow players to enjoy their games.

Blackjack GamblingOnline Versus Real Casinos

Most online gaming websites shuffle the deck of cards after every hand dealt, making card counting completely worthless to gain an advantage. However, not all sites shuffle after every hand, and just because they do does not mean it is not excellent practice! A player can learn the feel and pace of the game and take notes on paper, instead of doing it in his or her head, to ease into the game while playing online.

Card counting is an excellent method to gain the upper hand over casinos, but the advantage will not produce itself quickly. Players should be patient, persistent and practice often to make the most out of card counting.

Blackjack GamblingTypes of Blackjack Games

Blackjack is known as one of the most commonly played casino games in the world. Also known as twenty-one, this comparing card game allows players to compete against a dealer. The purpose of blackjack is to beat the dealer, which can be done in several ways. If the first two cards a player is dealt reaches a total of 21 points, then the player automatically wins against their dealer. Being able to achieve a total score greater than the dealer, but without surpassing 21 is also another way a player can win blackjack. Finally, a player is able to win blackjack by letting the dealer draw extra cards until their hand exceeds 21.

The traditional game of blackjack and its rules are not generally seen in casino play. There are however several 21 inspired blackjack variant games which have been modified or created for casino use around the world. Popular variants include European Blackjack, Vegas Strip Blackjack, Bonus Blackjack, Spanish 21, Double Exposure Blackjack, Atlantic City Blackjack, and Vegas Downtown. Each blackjack variant is unique in how they are played, including the rules that make up that variant game and how a player can win.

Blackjack GamblingAtlantic City Blackjack

The variant Atlantic City Blackjack requires the dealer to draw cards that total 16 or less. Players are able to double down any original hand or split any original pair. Players are permitted to double after a split, however re-splitting is prohibited. Each player should also keep in mind that only one card will be permitted on split aces.

In order for players to make the most of this game, strategy is key. A condensed optimal strategy is a simple tactical method for most players to recollect and use. This strategy allows a player’s hand to be constantly changed throughout hits, while the dealer’s up-card remains unchanged. Enabling the player the opportunity and ability to focus on a dealer’s up-card rather than their own hand, allows the player more time to strategize as their hand is being played out.

Blackjack GamblingBonus Blackjack

The object to Bonus Blackjack is to create a combination from only the Ace and Jack of Spades. One can expect this bonus blackjack payout to land them a 50 to 1 winning. There are a few rules that make this game unique including the ability for any player to double down and taking a single hit on their dealt hand. Players are also permitted to split their hands, allowing the ability to double their original wager while splitting their initial hand. In bonus blackjack, splitting is permitted for up to four cards. A dealer will always stand on a 17 and permanently has a single face up card and single hole card. Players are able to double down after splits or hits and in the event of a push or tie a players bet will remain untouched.

Blackjack GamblingDouble Exposure Blackjack

This rare but extremely profitable variant of the blackjack game is any player’s best bets to win big if they are fortunate to come across this game in live or online casinos. Double exposure blackjack is intentionally named “double” due to the fact that both of the dealer’s cards are exposed to players. The majority of double exposure blackjack rules are common among other blackjack types, however there are a few rules that any player should be aware of before playing.

A player should be aware that the dealer will always win on all ties, this rule can only be broken when the player has blackjack. Players are only allowed to split once after there is no re-splitting. In double exposure blackjack a player can expect to be paid even money rather than the common 2:1 and 6:5 pays found in other blackjack styles.

Blackjack GamblingEuropean Blackjack

This particular variant of blackjack uses two complete decks of playing cards, totaling 104 cards in all. The object of this game is to obtain a hand value that is greater than the house without going over 21. During play, the dealer is allowed to look at his or her hand at any time and will always be obligated to stand on 17. Players that have been dealt a hand equaling 9, 10 or 11 are allowed to double down. During play hands can only be split once, leaving the player with two separate playing hands of blackjack. However, if a player decides to split a pair of aces they expect to be dealt numerous cards to each ace. In the case that a player’s ace is dealt a ten, this would be classified as a 21 hand and not blackjack. Players should always keep in mind that ten valued cards are now allowed to be split.

Blackjack GamblingSpanish 21

A variation of blackjack that can be picked up quickly if you already know how to play standard blackjack. Typically this variant is dealt from a six decks, but can be seen played using eight decks. In playing Spanish 21 one should keep in mind the rules for the game can vary from each casino. The main rule that makes this variation different from standard blackjack is that is offers its players a surrender option. A player is able to perform a late surrender, which allows them to surrender half of their bet or surrender after doubling down with a double down rescue. Other rules players should keep in mind when playing Spanish 21 include that a player’s 21 automatically wins, a player is allowed to double on any unset number of cards, a player is allowed to double after splitting even after splitting aces, players are able to re-split aces and the player’s blackjack always wins over a dealers blackjack.

Blackjack GamblingVegas Downtown Blackjack

This variant of blackjack earned its name based on its location of being found in the Las Vegas downtown area. Using two regular playing decks of cards, Vegas Downtown Blackjack allows players the ability to split any two cards that have the same value. A hand can be split up to three times and will allow its player the ability to have a total of four separate hands to play. If a player decides to double down on any two cards, they must place another bet equal or greater to their initial bet. Expected winnings with Vegas Downtown Blackjack can include a blackjack hand paying 3:2 and winning insurance bets paying 2:1.

Blackjack GamblingVegas Strip Blackjack

Another variant that can be found along the Las Vegas Strip is Vegas Strip Blackjack. This is a hole card game, which means your dealer is always dealt 2 cards – one of which will be face up and the other face down. This variant in particular orders the dealer to stand on any hard or soft 17. Players should always keep in mind that when playing Vegas Strip Blackjack they are allowed to double down on any 2 cards and in addition can double down once they’ve split their cards up to three times. When splitting, players should understand that aces can only be split once and if they decide to split aces those cards will only be dealt 1 card a piece.

Before rushing to play any variant of blackjack it’s always recommended to read up on the rules first to ensure the player can win big. By keeping these blackjack variation rules in mind, all variant blackjack games can be easily played by any blackjack player as they are very similar to standard blackjack.