How do you become a winner at the Blackjack table? Well, you can start by ignoring the following “expert” strategies.
Do Your Research
All these years, players have scoured the online world for information on how to beat the dealer and clean house at the Blackjack tables. There are quite a few strategies that are popular and can actually be effective, at least to a certain extent. You have probably heard of the Martingale System, for example.
Like with pretty much all topics, thanks to the internet and all the “geniuses” out there with a computer, there are 100 times more strategies that are just horrible and mind-blowingly ineffective.
Experts at the Table
If not online, you can sometimes get lucky enough to pick up some of these fool-proof tips from other players at the table. We’ve all been there, right?
Today, I am going to shed some light on a few of them. You can take it as entertainment or suggestions of what not to do if you want to be a winner in the long run.
Let the cards be dealt!
1) Don’t Go Bust
Hmm, this seems like an interesting strategy and I get the reasoning behind it. So far, it’s not a bad idea and in theory it is. However, paying this way will lead to you being absolutely crushed at the table more times than you would like to.
Basics of the Strategy
Playing not to bust basically means that if you have a hand with what you can bust if you were to pick up a 10, you stand. Smart right? Well, this also means that you would have to stand on anything higher than 11.
This leaves a huge room for failure as the dealer, depending on the rules of course, can easily beat you with a 12.
I stayed on the first and second hand at BitStarz in order not to bust and yes, I lost.
The positive thing is that if you never go bust, you’ll always be in the game with a chance to win. One of the problems with this strategy is that there are so many times when hitting is the best play, even if you sometimes will bust.
One example of this is if the dealer shows a 10 on the up-card. You pretty much always want to take another card in this scenario.
Yes, you will be in the running but you’re leaving too many holes open for the dealer to beat you. Numbers says you will lose about 8x more money by applying this strategy instead of a basic one and common sense.
Some players will try and mirror what the dealer does
2) Mimic the Dealer
We learnt as kids that mimicking others is rude but that doesn’t stop some players from doing it at the Blackjack table.
Basics of the Strategy
The idea is that you do exactly what the dealer does. As a dealer, you will hit on 16 or less while you will stand if you have 17 or more. You may have to stay on a soft 17 as well, depending on the rules of the table… are you with me?
The problem is that basic Blackjack strategy will tell you to stand on 12-16 if the dealer shows 3-6. How come? It’s because this is when the dealer risks going bust the most. In other words, you would be giving up a lot of wins.
I had to hit on 16 to follow the strategy and went bust
No More Double Downs
Also, since you are doing what the dealer does, you won’t be able to double down or even split your cards. Both of these could lead to making more money.
Don’t forget you are also making your move before the dealer does, meaning you could actually go bust before they do and they may not.
The thing is, the reason behind letting you double down and split etc is to give players some advantage. Really? Yes, because you can imagine how fast you could lose your entire bankroll otherwise and quite possibly never want to play Blackjack again.
Experts say that the “Mimic the Dealer” strategy gives the house a 5.48% edge, which is more than double what they would have if you stick to a basic strategy. Basically, you shouldn’t give the house a bigger edge than you have to.
Win one of these and walk away
3) No More Than €100 per Day
This one is interesting and not one you get to hear too often. Perhaps aimed at players who want to make an actual living off Blackjack but it’s still interesting.
Basics of the Strategy
According to this genius idea, you want to make €100 in one day, stop playing and come back for another round the following day. It doesn’t say anything about whether you use €1 or €50 bets. This could take 5 minutes or 5 hour depending on your bet size.
For those of you who take your Blackjack game more seriously, you would probably bet higher and perhaps only need 3-4 hands to make €100 for the day.
Come back for another €100 tomorrow
We have all had those days when this would be easy. You actually have a 75% chance of winning 3 hands in a row. You know, as well as I do, that you might not be as lucky the next day.
The €100 a day strategy wants you to do this day after day for a long time. Numbers says that for the duration of a full month, you need to be up by around 90 hands. We all know that’s not an easy task.
Your chances of even being up every day for 30 days in a row is apparently 1 in 3,000. Not quite the type of odds I want to work with but hey, to each his own.
Is the dealer’s next card a 10?
4) The Dealer’s Hole Card Is Always 10
Are you ready for some more great ideas? A strategy like this might sound a bit confusing but it actually isn’t.
Basics of Strategy
You should always expect the dealer to pull a 10 so let me try to give you a scenario of how it would play out.
Let’s say you have a 17 while the dealer’s up-card is showing a 9. Normally you would stand here but since you believe the dealer’s next card is a 10, you have to hit.
I had to hit on 15, 14 and 14 and went bust on all 3
I can understand the thinking to a certain extent but you can see how often you would go bust but if you’re sticking to this strategy, you have no choice but to hit. Going bust instead of risking the dealer beating you is pretty stupid.
If I were to break down the numbers, it will show that you are basing your strategy on around 31% of the deck. How so? There are 52 cards in a deck and 16 of them have a value of 10 (10, Jack, Queen and King).
Remember how I said the 5.48% house edge on the “Never Bust” strategy is really bad? For players applying the “Always 10” version will be battling a 10.03% house edge!
The worst number in Blackjack
5) Never Hit on 16
Actually, the strategy is to never hit on 16 if the dealer shows 10, but I think I got your attention. The dreaded 16 might be the most hated number of them all and the question of hitting or not is always up for debate.
Basics of Strategy
If you always stand on 16, the dealer only needs a 17 to beat you.
The thinking behind it is that taking another card on 16 will only give you a 31% chance of not going bust. It’s not too bad but there’s is a big risk that you will bust. Instead they want you to let the dealer potentially bust instead of you.
This is a Blackjack strategy chart?
Blackjack Strategy Chart
Have you ever heard of a Blackjack strategy chart? If not, you might want to get one. It can be very helpful and will guide you to make the right decision in any situation and play the odds of being successful.
The chart will also tell you that you don’t want to stand on 16 in this particular scenario and that taking another card is the right move to make.
Card Counting or Bust
I’ve never heard of anyone being thrown out of a Vegas casino for using any other strategy than card counting. If you can figure out how to learn that skill, I would get to work right now.
But even if you can’t count cards you can be a winner. My only suggestion is to stay away from strategies like the ones above.