How to Play (and Win) at Blackjack: The Expert's Guide
In the 21st century it has been overtaken in popularity by Slotsbut it remains one of the most popular casino card games and is available in almost all casinos both on and offline.
Blackjack is a casino banked game, meaning that players compete against the house rather than each other.
The objective is to get a hand total of closer to 21 than the dealer without going over 21 busting.
At the start of a Blackjack game, the players and the dealer receive two cards each.
The players' cards are normally dealt face up, while the dealer has one face down called the hole card and one face up.
The best possible Blackjack hand is please click for source opening deal of an ace with any ten-point card.
The house advantage of this game is derived from several rules that favour the dealer.
The most significant of these is that the player must act before the dealer, allowing the player to bust and lose their bet before the dealer plays.
Players should be aware that there is another card game called Black Jack in the UK which is an entirely different card game, effectively the same as.
Gambling can be dangerously addictive.
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Equipment The Blackjack table is usually, though not always, semi-circular in shape with a green felt surface.
The dealer is seated at the straight side of the table with the chip tray in front of the dealer, the blackjack card counting winnings shoe to dealer's left and the discard tray to dealer's right.
Around the curved side of the table are betting circles at which the players sit.
The betting chips come in multiple denominations that vary from casino to casino and sometimes from table to table depending on the betting limits offered by the table.
As a standard rule, white chips are worth 1 currency unit, red chips are worth 5 units, green 25, black 100 and purple 500.
The cut card Blackjack is played with a standard international deck of cards with the Jokers removed, leaving 52 cards.
Originally the game was played with a single deck.
However, as a counter measure tocasinos introduced multi-deck games, based on the false assumption that if there were more cards in play it would be harder for the card counter to keep track of them all.
As a result, Blackjack is now usually offered in either single deck, double deck, 4 deck, 6 deck or 8 deck variants.
It should be noted that there are exceptions in online casinos where far larger numbers of decks can continue reading used than would be practical to manage offline.
Aside from the cards, the game requires a table, chips, a discard tray, cut card and a shoe.
After the dealer has shuffled a player will be selected at random and asked to take the cut card — a coloured plastic card matching the playing cards in size — and place it at a random position within stack of cards.
The dealer will then move the cards above the cut card to the back of the stack.
This technique is intended to demonstrate to the players that the dealer cannot have rigged the deck.
The cut card is then reinserted into the stack of cards by the dealer at a pre-defined position and when this card is reached this indicates the final deal of the game before the cards are shuffled.
Where multiple decks are used, after the shuffle the cards will be placed into a dispenser called a shoe.
In fact hole carding is not illegal in the vast majority of jurisdictions.
If the dealer is poorly trained or sloppy enough to fail to protect their down card from being seen by a player at the table this is not the player's fault and the player is not obliged to look away to prevent themselves seeing the down card.
If however the player uses any form of device, for instance a metal lighter to observe the reflection in, or an accomplice off table signals the information to them, this is cheating.
Hole carding is only legal where the player can see the card naturally from one of the player positions at the table.
Card Values When playing Blackjack the numeral cards 2 to 10 have their face values, Jacks, Queens and Kings are valued at 10, and Aces can have a value of either 1 or 11.
The Ace is always valued at 11 unless that would result in the hand going over 21, in which case it is valued as 1.
A starting hand of a 10 valued card and an Ace is called a Blackjack or natural and beats all hands other than another Blackjack.
If both the player and dealer have Blackjack, the result is a push tie : neither the player nor the bank wins and the bet is returned to the please click for source />Order of Play and Playing Options Example game This shows the table after the initial bets have been placed and the cards have been dealt.
This player originally bet 200 are blackjack school in fort lauderdale are two black chips was dealt a total of 11 6+5 and doubled down, betting another 200.
They were then dealt a King for a total of 21, which will win unless the dealer also makes 21.
This player has split a pair of Sixes and received an Six and an Ace, and then split the new pair of Sixes receiving a Five and a Jack and creating three hands.
The player has doubled down on the 6+5 hand but unfortunately received only a 2 as the third card for this hand.
Here the deal ends with the dealer bust, so the dealer has paid out on all the unbust hands belonging to the players.
Each player sitting at the table places their desired bet in the betting circle directly in front of them.
In most casinos if there are untaken see more circles, the players sitting at the table can choose to play more than one hand at a time.
The minimum and maximum bet size blackjack card counting winnings from casino to casino, generally with a ratio of 40 to 100 between them.
Once the bets are placed the dealer will move their hand across the table from their left to their right signalling that no further bets can be placed.
The dealer then deals cards one at a time clockwise around the table, from the dealer's blackjack system to the dealer's right: first a card face up to each betting circle that has a bet in it, then a card face up to the dealer, and then a second card face up to each betting circle with a bet and finally a second card face down to the dealer.
In many places the dealer's first card is initially dealt face down.
The dealer's second card is used to flip the first card face up and then slid underneath the first card.
The exact dealing protocol blackjack card counting winnings from place to place as determined by the casino management.
If the dealer has a 10 or an Ace face up players are offered the option to place an Insurance bet.
Insurance is a side bet on whether or not the dealer has a Blackjack, unrelated to the final outcome of the round.
If a player chooses to take insurance they place an additional bet equal to half of their original bet.
This insurance bet wins if the dealer has Blackjack.
The dealer now checks their down card to see if they have Blackjack.
If they have Blackjack they expose their down card.
The round is concluded and all players lose their original bet unless they also have Blackjack.
If a player and the dealer each have Blackjack the result is a push and the player's bet is returned.
Any insurance bets are paid out at 2:1.
If the dealer does not have Blackjack any insurance bets are lost and any players who have Blackjack are paid.
It is then the turn of the remaining players to take their actions.
The player can take this action after any of the other player actions as long as their hand total is not more than 21.
The hand signal to Stand is waving a flat hand over the cards.
Hit — If the player wishes to take another card they signal to the dealer to by scratching the felt beside their hand or pointing to their hand.
A single card is then played face up onto their hand.
If the hand total is less than 21 the player can choose to Hit again or Stand.
If the total is 21 the hand automatically stands.
Double Down — If the player considers they have a favourable hand, generally a total of 9, 10 or 11, they can choose to 'Double Down'.
To do this they place a second wager equal to their first beside their first wager.
A player who doubles down receives something blackjack mulligan vs ric flair consider one more card face up and is then forced to stand regardless of the total.
This option is only available on the player's two-card starting hand.
Some casinos will restrict which starting hand totals can be doubled.
Where the player chooses to do this the cards are separated and an additional card is dealt to complete each hand.
If either hand receives a second card of matching rank the player may be offered the option to split again, though this depends on the rules in the casino.
Generally the player is allowed a maximum of 4 hands after which no further splits are allowed.
The split hands are played one at a time in the order in which they were dealt, from the dealer's left to the dealer's right.
The player has all the usual options: stand, hit or double down.
Some casinos restrict the card ranks that can be split and may also restrict the option to Double after online blackjack dealer card counting a pair.
A player who splits Aces is usually only allowed to receive a single additional card on each hand.
Normally players are allowed to split two non-matching 10-value cards, for example a King and a Jack.
However, some casinos restrict the splitting of ten value cards to pairs of the same rank two Jacks for instance.
It should be noted in any case that splitting 10's is almost always a poor play for the player.
If Aces are split and the player draws a Ten or if Tens are split and the player draws an Ace, the resulting hand does not count as a Blackjack but only as an ordinary 21.
In this case the player's two-card 21 will push tie with dealer's 21 in three or more cards.
Surrender — Some casinos allow a player to surrender, taking back half their bet and giving up their hand.
Surrender must be the player's first and only action on the hand.
In the most usual version, known as Late Surrender, it is after the dealer has checked the hole card and does not have a Blackjack.
It has become increasingly rare for casinos to offer the surrender option.
After all players have completed their actions the dealer plays their hand according to fixed rules.
First they will reveal their down card.
The dealer will then continue to take cards until they have a total of 17 or higher.
The rules regarding Soft 17 a total of 17 with an Ace counted as 11 such as A+6 vary from casino to casino.
Some require the dealer to stand while others require additional cards to be taken until a total of hard 17 or 18+ is reached.
This rule will be clearly printed on the felt of the table.
If the dealer busts all non-busted player hands are automatically winners.
If a player wins a hand they are paid out at 1:1 on the total bet wagered on that hand.
This effectively results in a push overall for the hand.
Variants Deal In some casinos the players' initial two-card hands are dealt face down.
All additional cards dealt to the player are given face up.
The initial cards are revealed by the player if the hand goes bust, with blackjack 777 gratis apologise if the player wishes to split a pair.
Otherwise the dealer reveals the cards at the end of the round when it is time to settle the bets.
This style of game is rare nowadays: casinos don't like to allow players to touch the cards, because of the risk of surrender game blackjack marking.
Dealer's second card is dealt after all players have acted, and the dealer checks for Blackjack at this point.
Player Blackjacks are paid at the end of the round if the dealer does not have Blackjack.
If the dealer has Blackjack the rules regarding Doubled and Split hands vary from casino to casino.
Some casinos will take both bets while others will only take the initial bet and return the other.
Blackjack payout It should be noted that some casinos have started to offer a reduced payout on Blackjack, most commonly here />This is very bad for the player, increasing the House Edge significantly.
Any game offering a reduced payout on Blackjack should be avoided by players.
Splits The maximum number of hands that can be created by splitting depends on the rules in the casino: some only allow one split.
When splitting 10 value cards, not all casinos will allow players to split non-matching 10 cards.
For instance, in some casinos you could split two Jacks but could not split a King and a Jack.
Also, some casinos will limit which card ranks can be split.
House rules will dictate whether the player is allowed to Double after splitting, and whether a player who splits Aces is allowed to receive more than one additional card on a hand.
Surrender Not all casinos offer the Surrender option.
A few casinos may offer Early Surrender in which the player can take back half of their bet and give up their hand before the dealer checks for Blackjack.
This is very rare nowadays In European style games There is normally no Surrender option.
If Surrender were offered it would of course have to be Early Surrender.
Five Card Charlie The side rule is rarely offered.
When it is in effect, a player who collects a hand of five cards two cards plus three hits without going bust is immediately paid even money, irrespective of the dealer's hand.
Home game blackjack Blackjack can be played at home, rather than in a casino.
In this case a fancy Blackjack table is not needed: just at least one pack of cards and https://cetsolarstore.com/blackjack/free-blackjack-espn.html to bet with - cash, chips or maybe matches.
Unless the players have agreed in advance that the host should deal throughout, to ensure a fair game the participants should take turns to be the dealer.
The turn to deal can pass to the next player in clockwise order after every hand or every five hands or whatever the players agree.
If playing with a single deck of cards, it is desirable to re-shuffle the cards after every hand.
Swedish Pub Blackjack Nightclubs and pubs in Sweden often offer a Blackjack variant that is less favourable to the players.
All the essential rules are the same as in the casino version unless the player and dealer have an equal total of 17, 18 or 19.
In the casino version the player's stake is returned in these situations, but in Swedish pubs the house wins.
Optimal Strategy Basic Strategy table for one of the more commonly available rule combinations 6 decks, Resplit to 4 hands, Dealer Stands on Soft 17, Late Surrender, Double After Split.
The table shows every possible starting player hand running down the left-hand side of the table and all possible dealer upcards running along the top of the table.
Cross referencing the two will tell you the correct play to make.
First and foremost, as a general rule the player should never take Insurance.
Unless using an advanced and mathematically proven strategy that will alert the player to the rare situations in which Insurance is worthwhile, it should be avoided as a bad bet for the player.
Next, it should be understood that every possible combination of player hands and dealer up card has a mathematically correct play.
These can be summarized in what is known as a Basic Strategy table.
However, certain plays in the table need to be modified according to the specific combination of rules in force.
To be sure of playing correctly, it is necessary to generate a Basic Strategy table for the specific rules of the game being played.
Various tools are available online to do this.
We would recommend this.
It should be noted that even playing perfect Basic Strategy for the rule set in play, the player will still usually be at a disadvantage.
Card Counting Card Counting provides the player a mathematically provable opportunity to gain an advantage over the house.
It must be understood that this does not guarantee that the player will win.
Just as a regular player may win though good luck despite playing at a disadvantage, it is perfectly possible for the Card Counter to lose through an extended period of bad luck even though playing with a small advantage over the House.
The basic premise of Card Counting is that mathematically speaking, low cards on average are beneficial to the dealer while high cards favour the player.
The player can choose whether or not to take an additional card on a total of 16 whereas the dealer has to take one.
In this situation small cards are less likely to cause the dealer to bust are thus favour the dealer, while big cards cause the dealer to bust more often and favour the player.
Therefore, doubling becomes more favourable when there are more ten value cards and Curious blackjack 2 ne 1 matchless left in the deck.
So the Card Counter looks for times when there are more high cards left to be played than a regular deck would have.
Rather than trying to remember each card that has been played, the Card Counter will usually use a ratio system that offsets cards that are good for the player against cards that are good for the dealer.
The most commonly used Card Counting system is the HiLo count, which values cards as follows: High cards: 10, J, Q, K, A: -1 Medium cards: 7, 8, 9: 0 Low cards: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6: +1 To keep track the player starts at zero, adds one to the total every time a low card is played and subtracts one from the total when a high card is played.
It may seem counter-intuitive to subtract one for high value cards that are good for the player, but a high card that has been played is one less high card that is left to be played.
Where the Running Count is positive the player knows that there are more player favourable cards remaining to be played.
When kept correctly the Running Count will start at 0 and, if all the cards were to be played out, would end at 0.
This is because there are an equal number of high cards and low cards.
Card Counting systems are generally not impeded by the addition of multiple decks to the game.
At any rate multiple decks do not make it significantly more difficult for the Card Counter to keep track of the Running Count, since the Card Counter only needs to keep track more info a single number, the Running Count.
However many decks are used, the count begins at zero and would end at zero if there were no cards left, so no changes need to be made to the counting process.
Where multiple decks do make a difference is in how much impact a positive Running Count has to the blackjack card counting winnings advantage.
If the Running Count is +10 and there are two decks remaining to play, this means there are an extra 5 player favourable cards in each deck.
If there are 5 decks remaining to be played there are only 2 extra player favourable cards in each deck.
To estimate the strength of the player advantage the Running count therefore needs to be divided by the number of decks remaining to be played.
This figure is called the True Count.
With the True Count the player has a consistent measure of how blackjack card counting winnings extra player favourable cards are contained within the cards remaining to be dealt.
The player can use this information to vary their bet and playing strategy.
Deviations from Basic Strategy are far less important than placing big bets when the True Count is high and low bets or preferably nothing when the True count is low or negative.
It is important to note that sizing your bet correctly is critical blackjack card counting winnings your long term success as a card counter.
This requires substantial additional knowledge that is beyond the scope of this article.
Instead we refer interested readers to the for an insight into this complex aspect of card counting.
While Card Counting is legal in most jurisdictions, for obvious reasons casinos do not like players that can consistently beat them.
They therefore employ counter measures and any players they identify as Card Counters will be asked to leave the casino.
The most common method used to identify Card Counters is to watch for a large bet spread difference between the minimum and maximum bet a player uses and to see whether large bets correlate with player favourable counts.
Card Counters have developed several methods to help them avoid detection.
Named after Blackjack author Stanford Wong, this is the practice of watching the cards being played and only sitting down to play when there is a player favourable count.
This practice reduces the bet spread the player uses as they only place bets in player favourable situations but casinos are now well ur22 mackie steinberg blackjack vs of this strategy and watch out for players hanging around a table and not playing.
The method is still useful, but not without its problems.
This involves several trained Card Counters working together.
Most commonly there would be several 'Spotters' sitting at different tables keeping track of the count and either back counting or playing minimum bets.
When a table knockout blackjack betting progression a positive count the Spotter would signal to the 'Big Player' who would come over and bet big during the player favourable count.
This allows both players to make very little variation in their bets.
Casinos are aware of this strategy and watch for groups of players working together.
There are several variations on team play designed to be employed in different situations and to different effects.
These are covered more fully in the reading resources detailed below.
Successful Card Counting is generally only profitable in land based casinos, not in online games.
The strategy relies on the game having a "memory" in that cards app myvegas blackjack dealt from the cards remaining after previous rounds have been played.
Online Blackjack games are dealt by computer and normally use a random number generator to shuffle the whole deck after every round of play.
Games of this sort are not countable.
There are some Live Blackjack games online, which are played over a video feed with a human dealer.
A slow game means less money made.
This means that the decks are shuffled early, not allowing enough cards to be dealt out for many player favourable situations to develop.
The most favourable situations for the player tend to occur further into the shoe.
This makes it relatively easy for a casino to employ software to track the count and watch for players raising their bet or only playing when the count is favourable.
For the above reasons Card Counting has not become commonplace online.
Recommended Books There is a great deal more to card counting successfully than we can reasonable cover here.
Many books have been written on this subject and we will recommend some of the better ones below: — One of the foremost mathematicians in the Blackjack field, Schlesinger successfully compares the strength of various counting systems in different conditions.
Includes discussion of some strategies that unlike card counting, may not be legal.
As such we would strongly advise user caution and research before engaging some of the strategies discussed.
This book covers several counting systems alongside some advanced techniques.
Very useful insight into how team play can still be effective.
This book is maths heavy but very informative.
There are other good books on this subject but the above are the ones we feel any player should ensure they are familiar with before considering trying to win money by Card Counting.
Sites for blackjack rules, information and analysis Here are some other useful websites with rules and information about Blackjack 21.
The Basic Strategy section includes a comprehensive calculator that can generate the optimal basic strategy for almost any rule combination alongside a fairness calculator to check your results.
The forums on this site still contain a wealth of information and discussion on the various aspects of card counting.
The author Norm Wattenberger also publishes the site, which points out some short-cuts that will more likely cost you money than make a profit, runs Blackjack The Forum and publishes Casino Verite Blackjack Card Counting training software.
Wizard of Odds has a large section with information on the game, its variants and strategy.
They provide a with which you can practice card counting.
James Yates has written a pagewhich explains Harvey Dubner's Blackjack card counting system.
A well detailed and referenced information source on Blackjack.
This page was prepared for pagat.
Casino Backoff for Card Counting - Blackjack Apprenticeship
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