Hit or Stick? The Best Blackjack Strategies Explained

Blackjack Strategy, also known to many as ’21’ or even ’21 Blackjack’, is a casino game that has stood the test of time; it was invented in the early 17th century in Europe and has since exploded with popularity, finding its way to casinos around the world. This card game aims to get dealt a hand that is as close to 21 as possible while never going over 21. The simplicity of this game is its biggest draw, but the more you know the game, the more strategies you’ll come to know, giving Blackjack many exciting twists and turns as you decide whether to hit or stick!

Blackjack Betting Systems and Strategies

It is highly recommended that players are playing online Blackjack employ systems and strategies to assist them in having the best possible chance at winning. It has been proven that using methods in Blackjack gives you more consistent results and can even lower the house edge! This is because, unlike other casino games, Blackjack is not based entirely on luck alone; skills also play an essential role. Below are some of the most popular systems and strategies that have been successfully used in the exciting game of Blackjack:

Friends playing blackjack

Doubling Down

Doubling Down is the most widely used and well-known blackjack strategy, and every player should know this so-called ‘rule.’ It is so widely used because of its ease and simplicity. If you choose to double down, you need to announce it to the dealer after you have been dealt your first two cards. Your bet will then be doubled, and you’ll be handed an additional card, giving you 3 in total now. The basic rule for doubling down is that you should always use this strategy if your original two cards add up to 11. This is because a third of the deck would give you 21, and half the deck would push you to at least 17. Most experts also advise doubling down on combinations of 9 and 10 too.

Splitting

You can only use the splitting strategy if you are dealt a pair. Splitting involves splitting your pair and being dealt two new cards to create two hands instead of one. You will also need to double your bet so that it covers your extra hand. It may be tempting to split every time you get a pair, but splitting is usually only worth taking the risk when you are dealt a pair of 8s or Aces. A couple of 8s (a combination of 16) is a weak hand, while a single 8 is a good starting point. Similarly, a pair of Aces is more robust when split up as it gives more potential.

Surrender

Surrendering should only be an option if you are dealt an evil hand; even then, it is not always a good idea. The dealer allows you to surrender at the end of every opening deal when you have received your first two cards. More often than not, it is best to stick with your hand than surrender it because even though by submitting, you get to take back half your bet, the other half is still forfeited, potentially unnecessarily.

Card Counting

This Blackjack betting system is complicated and usually reserved for experienced players with good mathematical abilities. Counting cards involves keeping track of all the cards to help you establish the likelihood of certain cards being dealt. While estimating the cards in the deck is nearly impossible, many card counters determine whether the pack has high primary cards or low cards before placing their bets. Card counting becomes impossible when a dealer plays with more than one pack of cards. Card counting is not recommended when playing in online casinos.

Assume 10 in the Hole

This strategy works off the assumption that the dealer has a combination of 10 in his first hand. So if the dealer sticks, assume he has 10; if he deals another card for himself and it’s a 7, think he has 17. Based on this assumption, you bet accordingly. The premise of 10 is the most likely, but if you use this strategy and this strategy only, you are bound to lose as the game progresses. This is because, although 10 is the most common combination, it can’t crop up every time, and just one number in Blackjack makes a world of difference.

Mimic the Dealer

Playing with the dealer’s rules is conservative, but it can be highly effective. This strategy is straightforward and is often recommended for first-time players. You gamble the way the dealer would by sticking on 17 or higher and hitting on 16 or lower. There is also no splitting, doubling, or the use of other systems in this strategy. It is known to be relatively effective and is an excellent way to start playing Blackjack.

Blackjack dealer

Basic Strategy Charts

Basic strategy charts for Blackjack are readily available online. The graphs show what action you should take for every hand, depending on various elements. A computer determined these decisions to help players win at Blackjack. Certain players have memorized these charts so they can always take the most effective route in their game and hopefully have the most profitable payouts.

Blackjack Odds

One of the reasons that players from around the world so highly favor Blackjack is because of its shallow house edge. A house edge is, essentially, the casino’s advantage over the player, so it makes sense, in this case, that lower is better!

Another great feature of Blackjack’s house edge is that it can be lowered depending on your skill set! This is because Blackjack is a game of both chance and strategy, and it certainly pays to have done your homework.

Although house edges differ from game to game, a typical house edge in Blackjack is usually around 0.5%. But as previously mentioned, this number can fluctuate depending on your skill level.

Game Variations

Blackjack, no matter what NZ online casino you choose to play at, the rules and principles of the Blackjack game should be pretty similar. The single significant divide in Blackjack is between European and American Blackjack, in which the American version’s dealer has a hole card while the European version’s dealer does not. The only other natural differences in games you should encounter are a variety of themes and the option to have a live dealer.

Live dealer games are becoming increasingly popular, and they use a webcam, so you can see and even communicate with your dealer in real-time. Many players even have favorite or ‘lucky’ dealers they come to know and keep returning to.

Online blackjack by Microgaming

General tips for Blackjack Strategy

  • Choose the online casino you play at wisely! Choose a casino with a solid reputation so you can rest assured that your money is accounted for. Many online casinos offer welcome bonuses, some of which may be primarily for the blackjack game. Hence, checking these out carefully before choosing a casino is a good idea.
  • Playing a demo version of any game is always recommended before you start betting with real money. Demo versions of Blackjack let you play for free and are available at almost all casino sites. Playing the demo version will increase your confidence and help you learn the rules.
  • Strategizing is essential; it is best to brush up on strategies and systems and decide which ones you will use before starting a game of Blackjack. Going into a game with a focused, cool head is best.
  • The most important advice that any Blackjack player can adhere to is never to get ahead of yourself by betting more than you could afford to lose. No matter how many strategies you’ve learned or charts you’ve memorized, there is no guarantee that you won’t lose your bet.

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Last Updated: November 3, 2022