Improve your Blackjack Betting Skills

Date Published

Authored by

Paul De Freitas


The game of blackjack is about more than just luck. There are many factors that determine the likelihood of winning, and it's important to know when you should be betting to maximize your chances. That being said, some strategies can help players gain an edge. This article explores different situations you may find yourself in when betting on your blackjack hand. Here is what information should guide your decision-making process:

Understand the Rules of Blackjack

Before players can learn a blackjack betting system, they need to know how blackjack works how blackjack works in the first place. If you don't know these rules, it'll be challenging to make the right plays in blackjack. Blackjack rules and strategies are pretty easy to learn and apply once you get a general idea.

Practice, Practice, Practice!

The secret to getting good at most pastimes is practice, and blackjack is no different. If you want to win more frequently at blackjack, the first thing you should do is practice blackjack online. This can help familiarize yourself with blackjack strategy so that you can make the best bets possible. Blackjack doesn't just involve luck, it is still heavily influenced by the decisions that players make, and blackjack practice online allows for maximum control over your playing conditions.

Online blackjack is one of the easiest ways to get fast feedback on your decisions, so it's an excellent place to start blackjack practice.

Playing blackjack online also gives you the chance to play many hands in a row without stopping, which is something that isn't possible when playing at a land-based establishment or even with other players around a table. Blackjack practice online will allow you to make thousands of decisions in the span of only a few hours, giving you more experience than if you were to play blackjack at a brick-and-mortar casino.

When you sign-up to an online casino, you can play many of the games in demo mode for free. This gives you the chance to put your blackjack strategy against a live dealer in real-time, along with other players. Obviously, you can't win real money playing blackjack for free, but you hone your skills before playing the real money blackjack games. Once you've tested yourself against a computer for a while, you should then progress to the live dealer blackjack games.

How to Play Blackjack

We're assuming that you have a basic knowledge of how to play blackjack. Below is a quick recap to summarise the gameplay.

The player places their bet on the blackjack table and is given two cards on their initial deal. They then must decide whether or not they want to draw more cards after adding the value of their cards' totals. Ten points are awarded to the face cards -Kings, Queens, and Jacks. An Ace can be worth one point or eleven points. The amount of points awarded for the other cards is determined by the card's value, so 2s are worth two points and so on.

The Player can opt to 'hit' after receiving their two initial cards to raise their total card value to 21 points or as close to it as possible without going over 21. You can also choose to 'stick' if you believe your best strategy is to stay with your two deal cards. Until his cards total 17 or more, the dealer will hit. If during the card hand you or the dealer exceed 21, it is classed as busted and is the end of that particular hand.

A beginner player can enjoy the basics of the game as laid out above by either hitting or standing and relying on gut feelings or luck. However, if you want to win more often and lower the casino's house edge, you should understand when to double down, split, or surrender.

Know When To Double Down In Blackjack

Doubling down is a blackjack side bet that involves doubling your blackjack wager and taking only one more card before standing. This blackjack strategy side bet can be risky but offers a higher potential reward. To double down blackjack, players must first place an initial blackjack bet. They'll then have the option to make a second blackjack wager on their original blackjack bet.

There are many different aspects to consider in deciding whether or not to double down, but some good rules to follow are:

  • Double down on 10 or 11 - If the total value of the two cards dealt equals 10 or 11 is probably the most well-known of double down strategies. As you will only be dealt one more card, there is no chance of busting on the third card, but it could bring you close to a total of 21. Don't double down if you have higher than 11 as you increase the chances of going bust. If you go below 10, you'll be increasing your risk of the dealer achieving a better hand in most cases.
  • Dealer has low cards, and you have a hard 9 - If the dealer's face-up card is a low card between 2 and 6 and you have been dealt a hard 9 (2+7, 3+6, or 4+5), doubling down is a good strategy.
  • Dealer's low cards against a soft 16,17, or 18 - If you hold a 5,6, or 7 and an Ace and the dealer has a 2-6, you stand a good chance of doubling your wager.
  • The Dealer holds an Ace - This is one time to NEVER double down; if the dealer is showing an Ace, they are in a pretty good position to win.

There are a couple of considerations to know concerning doubling down; firstly, you can only double down before you hit. Secondly, you can't double down in some casinos after splitting, so always check the rules of the particular casino you are at. If you can double down after splitting, it can be advantageous. If you are unsure about what splitting is or when to use it, keep reading!

Know When To Split Pairs In Blackjack

If you have a pair of identical cards (of the same value) in your hand when they are dealt, you can split your hand in two and place bets on each one. The basic idea behind it is that you can maximize the potential of the two individual cards.

Just as with double downing, there are optimal ways to use splitting as part of your strategy.

Always split Aces and eights - There are times when you should split and times when you shouldn't, but the optimal strategy is to split your aces and your eights regardless of the upcard your dealer is showing. Splitting these hands is statistically proven to be the best way to play them.

In blackjack, the Ace is your strongest card; by splitting it in two, you have a greater chance of scoring 21. There are more ten-value cards in the deck than any others, around 31% in total, increasing your probability of drawing one of them.

In contrast, two eights make a very weak hand in combination, putting the odds in the dealer's favor, so it always makes sense to split them.

Never split tens, fours, or fives - If you hold a pair of any of these cards, the best strategy is not to split them. If you have two tens with a total of 20, this is a great hand and is worth keeping. The same with two fives, with a total of 10, the odds of getting a 10 or ace on your next hit are statistically higher. If you hit on a pair of fours combined with a total of 8, you can't go bust, so it is best not to split them. There are only three cards that can improve this hand should you split, a five, six, or seven.

Splitting strategy based on the dealer's upcard - These splitting rules are all mathematically proven to put you in the best position.

If the dealer's upcard is either a 2,3,4,5,6 or 7 and you hold a pair of 2s, 3s, or 7s, then split them.

If you hold two sixes and the dealer has 2,3,4,5, or 6 as their upcard, you should split your pairs.

You hold a pair of nines, and the dealer has 2,3,4,5,6,8 or 9, then you should split. This last one might seem strange as 18 seems a reasonably strong hand, but basic strategy tells us to split, and you can't argue with the math.

Know When To Surrender In Blackjack

Surrendering in blackjack is when the player forfeits half of their bet and gives up their hand. Surrendering during a hand can be an effective strategy for those who want to minimize their losses in some instances. Not all online blackjack games have the option to surrender; if it does, you'll see the surrender button on the screen to press if you want to utilize it. Typically the house edge is reduced by 0.07% to 0.09% when applying the blackjack surrender option. The blackjack surrender strategy can only be used for the first two cards dealt; you can't use it if you've already chosen to hit, stand, double, or split.

So when is the best time to surrender your cards?

However, as we have already discussed, if your hand consists of a pair of eights, you should split it rather than surrender. Basic strategy tells us that the best time to surrender is when your hand totals 16 and the dealer's upcard is a 9,10 or Ace. The other time you should split is if you have 15 and the dealer has a 10 or Ace.

Know Your Odds

There are many reasons why people like blackjack: it's easy enough for beginners but challenging for more advanced players; it gives gamblers opportunities to make educated decisions and develop blackjack strategy skills. The biggest draw for many is that it has a low house edge compared to most other casino games. The house edge is the casino's theoretical advantage over the player. The house edge for blackjack can vary depending on where you are playing, but it's typically between 0.5% and 2%. This will vary depending on what variation of blackjack you are playing, how many decks are being used, and other factors such as if there's a surrender rule or not.

The house advantage is closer to 2% for inexperienced players, while those playing with basic blackjack strategy can lower it down to 0.5%.

Use Basic Blackjack Strategy

Knowing how to play basic strategy can help you win more often and limit your losses. Basic strategy is a set of rules that tells players which card to hit and when to stand. And as you have already discovered, it also tells you when to split, double down and surrender.

You can make use of a blackjack basic strategy chart that will include all possible situations in a game of blackjack with an assigned number representing what action you should take based on the cards in the player's hand and the dealer's upcard. You can find strategy charts to download online, which the serious blackjack players will commit to memory.

There's a set order when it comes to using basic strategy:

  1. 1. Should you surrender
  2. 2. If you are dealt a pair, should you split
  3. 3. Should you double down
  4. 4. Decide to hit or stand.

It should also be noted that the chart will change depending on if it is predicated on a dealer hitting or standing on a Soft 17. Blackjack strategy charts are available for both single-deck and multi-deck games.

Our Blackjack Tips

Here are some tips that can help you improve your chances of winning and get more out of your blackjack sessions.

  • Patience - One of the most common blackjack mistakes people make is not being patient enough with their betting decisions. It's preferable to take your time with each decision rather than making a hasty judgment without considering all the variables involved in blackjack strategy.
  • Learn from your mistakes - the game of blackjack requires patience, but it also entails learning from one's mistakes. You must analyze why you lost particular hands if you want to avoid making similar mistakes again in the future.
  • Utilize your bonuses - Most online casinos offer bonuses on certain games or have other perks for players who register using a specific bonus code. Take advantage of blackjack bonuses when they are offered; sometimes, they will give you a substantial amount of money that could boost your bankroll.
  • Bankroll management - It's important to have a good bankroll management strategy when playing blackjack. Knowing how much you can afford to lose will help you keep your emotions in check and prevent any unnecessary losses from happening. Be aware that there is no one size fits all approach for everyone. Ultimately it's up to each player to know the limits and boundaries with which they feel comfortable. It might be best to spend some time budgeting how much money you have available for gambling.

Card Counting in Blackjack

Many people, when they think about card counting, imagine the movie 21 with Kevin Spacey. In the movie, a group of MIT students use their math skills to gain an advantage in blackjack and win millions of dollars. The technique is not as glamorous or straightforward in real life. Card counting can be complicated and takes a lot of time and practice to become proficient at it. It takes careful observation and memory skills to count cards in blackjack. Counting cards is not illegal, but casinos frown upon it.

The first caveat when discussing card counting is that if you are playing against the computer at an online casino that is using an RNG (Random Number Generator), card counting is impossible.

There are many card counting methods, but the most popular is the Hi-Lo card counting system. In this method, you count tens and Aces as +1 and all other cards as -1. The key is to record how many tens have been played so far in the current deck. When there are more tens than average remaining, the player bet high; when there are fewer tens than average remaining, the player bet low.

Casinos have a few different ways to discourage card counting; one way is to shuffle the cards more often, minimizing deck penetration. In online live dealer blackjack, you should expect a penetration rate of between 30 and 50 percent. You might see minimal profits with a 50% deck penetration.

Still, all the work you put in counting cards could be put to better use elsewhere. Remember that if you play with perfect basic blackjack strategy, your RTP will be 99.5%.

Blackjack Betting Systems

There are many different blackjack betting systems that players can try to increase their chances of winning. The most popular system is the Martingale System; this technique has been around for centuries and has had mixed success rates in the gambling world. The premise behind it is quite simple: if you lose a hand when employing a martingale strategy, then double your bet size for the next round. The blackjack martingale strategy is a risky betting technique that can lead to big payoffs. However, if you are not careful and unlucky enough to have many consecutive losses, it may be easy for your bankroll to dwindle down until you are broke.

The main issue with most of the popular betting systems for blackjack is that they're mathematically flawed, but others you can take a look at are the 1-3-2-6 System, Oscar’s Grind, Fibonacci System, and the D'Alembert System.

In Conclusion

Getting blackjack strategy down pat is very important, but even so, blackjack has its fair share of randomness that you can't control. It's impossible to completely remove chance from blackjack no matter how good your skills are. The best thing is to understand the risk involved and know how to increase your chances of winning.


A blackjack, or 'natural,’ occurs when a player's first two cards add up to 21. If a player has blackjack while the dealer does not, the player is the winner. A push occurs when both the player and the dealer have blackjack. When blackjack is a push, players do not win or lose their blackjack wager.

Insurance is a blackjack side bet that allows players the chance to insure against blackjacks being dealt by the dealer. Typically the wager is half your original bet. If the dealer has an Ace showing as their up-card, the player can place an insurance side wager to protect themselves against the dealer's hand being 'blackjack.' You're essentially betting on the dealer's down card being a ten. Insurance is typically regarded as a risky bet. The dealer has a 9:4 chance of getting a natural blackjack. This suggests that for every four correct bets you make, nine more will be a flop. The insurance bet is also totally based on chance, you might get lucky, but we prefer to play our blackjack with a bit of strategy!

This is simply explained; a soft hand is one that contains an Ace, which is usually the more advantageous hand. A hard hand means that you don't hold an Ace.

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