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Blackjack Gambling

Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games

Blackjack is one of the most popular card games in online casinos and it’s not by accident – it’s fast-paced, quick to learn, and has a variety of different betting strategies. In this guide, we run through the key things you need to know about blackjack gambling, from the basics to mathematical approaches to playing.

What Are The Basics Of Blackjack Gambling 

Blackjack is one of the most straightforward games you can play at an online casino, which is one of the main reasons it’s so popular. The overall object of blackjack gambling is to get a score of 21 (or as close to it as you can) using the cards dealt to you by the dealer. 

You begin a game of blackjack with each player (there are usually two to seven people in the game) being dealt two face-up cards by the dealer, with the dealer also dealing themselves two cards – one face-up, one face-down. Once dealt you must decide on what action to take, based on the value of the cards in front of you. 

What Are The Card Values In Blackjack Gambling? 

The card values in blackjack are very simple.  

  • Ace: Can either be 1 or 11 (depending on what you need to achieve the best hand) 

  • Royal cards: Jack, queen, and king are all valued at ten 

  • Two – Ten: All cards from two to ten have their face value – i.e. two is 2, ten is 10

Having used the card values above to decide how strong your hand is, you then have a choice of five different actions you can take. 

The Five Actions Used During Blackjack Betting 

The five actions available to you when playing blackjack range from sticking with what you have all the way up to doubling your bet. 

  • Stand: You stick with the cards you have been dealt 

  • Hit: You are dealt with another 

  • Surrender: You surrender your cards and place in the game

  • Split: You have been dealt a pair of cards and choose to split them. You are then dealt two new cards, one for each of the original pair 

  • Double: You choose to double your original bet by being dealt an additional card 

Blackjack Gambling Requires a Bankroll

While there are many different technical approaches to gambling in blackjack, the best blackjack betting strategy starts before you have even sat down. Before you begin online blackjack gambling, you must make sure that you have decided on a bankroll (the amount of money you are willing to lose during that session of betting).  

You will also need to decide if you want a long session or a short session of blackjack gambling. If you place large bets, your winning potential will be higher, but your playing session will possibly be shorter as you will use up your bankroll faster. If you place small bets, you will be able to draw out your session, but your winnings will be smaller.

It is very important for you to manage your bankroll, regardless of how successful your play was. This is because by exceeding your bankroll, you risk entering into a mindset where you try to win back your losses. Seeking to regain your losses by betting more than you budgeted for is not a responsible approach to gambling and goes against the main reason you should play blackjack – to have fun.  

Why You Need To Know The Basic Blackjack Betting Strategy 

Unlike some of the popular online casino games, such as the lottery-based Keno, blackjack combines skill, strategy, and chance. In order to give yourself the best chance of having a winning blackjack gambling session, you need to work on the skill and strategy element of your game – that’s where the basic blackjack strategy comes in. 

The basic blackjack strategy is a mathematical approach to gambling, making it one of the best blackjack betting strategies. It’s a strategy that uses a chart to determine what the best action is for you to take, based on your specific combination of cards. While there are many different charts available to help you establish which the best blackjack betting action is at a given moment, this article has a chart that covers hard hands, soft hands, and pairs. 

How To Bet Soft Hands In Blackjack Gambling

A soft hand in blackjack gambling is a hand that contains an ace that can be played as either 1 or 11 without the hand going bust. 

An optimal strategy for blackjack gambling dictates that you should always stand on a soft 19 or a soft 20. Also, always double down on a soft hand that values 13 to 18 if the dealer's up card is a 4, 5 or 6.

How To Bet Hard Hands In Blackjack Gambling

A soft hand in blackjack gambling is a hand where neither of the two cards is an ace. How you play these hands really depends on just how hard they are. 

For instance, if you have been dealt a pair of tens that would give you a hard 20 – just a point away from the top score of 21. A hard 20 would be a good hand to stand on. However, if you are dealt a hard 5 (a two and a three), you are in a position where you must either hit or surrender. 

General Strategies For Blackjack Gambling

While the basic blackjack strategy is universally regarded as one of the best approaches to blackjack gambling, it is not the only way for you to bet. If you wish to have a less prescribed way of betting, there are some more general blackjack gambling strategies. 

General Strategy For Blackjack Betting 

When blackjack gambling, the best betting strategy is generally to stand on a hand value of 17 or greater. This is because there are only three different cards that can improve upon your score, while there are nine that could make you go bust – meaning you are three times as likely to go bust. 

If your hand value is 12 to 16 and the dealer's up card is a 7 or greater, it is generally best to hit. Likewise, it is also best to hit if your hand total is 8 or less – the alternative is that you surrender. 

The dealer has set rules that they have to follow ( in terms of when they can hit and stand). The dealer is not able to double down or to split pairs. The fact that they have set rules that cannot vary, makes your strategy for blackjack gambling simpler.

Surrender Strategy For Blackjack Betting 

Surrendering is a strategy where you can keep half of your original wager by giving up your hand. It’s an approach best advised when you don’t think your first two cards are good enough to beat the dealer, and you don’t want to risk going bust by taking another card. 

While there are many occasions where surrendering is a good blackjack strategy, the two primary ones are: 

  • Surrender if you have a hard 15 and the dealer has a ten (ten or royal) up card

  • Surrender if you have a hard 16 and the dealer has a nine, ten, or ace up card

Splitting Strategy For Blackjack Betting 

If your original two cards are the same, you may split them into two separate hands with two separate bets – this is the splitting action in blackjack betting, and below we explain the strategy for deciding when to take it.

Blackjack gambling strategy dictates that you always split two aces or two eights. You should always split threes and twos when the dealer's up card is a two, five, six or seven. You should never split tens or face cards and also never split fives.

Doubling Down Strategy for Blackjack Gambling

Doubling down is only possible when you are still holding only two cards in your hand. By doubling down, you double your bet and receive one more card to your hand. 

The optimal strategy for blackjack gambling dictates that you should always double down when you hold a hand of 11, except if the dealer's up card is an ace. You should always double down on a hand of 10 when the dealer's up card is a 9 or lower. You should also always double down on a hand of 9 when the dealer's up card is a 6 or lower.

Playing an optimal strategy for blackjack gambling does not guarantee that you will win. However, it does keep the house edge down and therefore improves your chances.

Popular Strategies For Blackjack Betting 

For gamblers who enjoy betting systematically, there are a selection of blackjack strategies that you can use. Underneath we look at two of the most popular – one has been in practice for hundreds of years, while the other was devised more recently.

Using The Martingale System For Blackjack Betting

The Martingale system has been used for blackjack betting since the 18th century. The idea is that you double your wager each time you lose so that when you do win, you’ll recover your previous losses.

While the Martingale system sounds like a sensible strategy, the problem is that blackjack is not one of the even-money casino games – r.e where the odds of an outcome are 50/50. What this means is that you can quickly run into a big deficit by using the Martingale system – as we demonstrate in the example below. 

Using Oscar’s Grind For Blackjack Betting

Oscar’s System was presented by mathematician Dr. Allan Wilson, who advanced the strategy in his 1965 book, The Casino Gambler's Guide. The idea is that you bet progressively to recover your losses and end up with a profit, which you do by betting a single unit per series of betting. 

Oscar’s Grind is based on the principle that you will go on both winning and losing streaks. You calculate the size of your wagers so that if you go on a losing streak, when you hit a winning streak of the same length you will end up in profit. 

You begin by betting one unit. Whenever you win, you add a unit; and whenever you lose, you make the same size bet as your previous one. Check out this article to read what your fellow blackjack gamblers think of Oscar’s Strategy. 

FAQ

Can A Dealer Hit In Blackjack After Reaching 17?

Whether playing in a casino or online, the blackjack dealer must continue to hit (deal themselves more cards) until they have reached a score of 17 – or more. 

Once the dealer has hit this total, the winner then depends on the total that the participating players have and if they wish to hit – if the players decide to hit, then the dealer can also decide to do so if they expect to beat the player’s total. 

How Much Should You Bet When Gambling In Blackjack?

Blackjack tables at land casinos and online casinos have a set minimum bet. This means that you must bet at least this amount in order to gamble. However, many tables will also put a maximum wagering amount in place too. This means that there will be a limit on how much you can bet. 

How much you decide to bet (in between the min and max amounts required/allowed) depends on the individual gambler. The one thing you must always do is bet an amount you are comfortable with and that won’t take you beyond your bankroll. 

Does Blackjack Beat A Score Of 21?

Blackjack is where you hit a score of 21 from your first two cards – i.e an ace plus one of the Royal cards or a ten. A player’s blackjack beats a dealer’s regular 21.