When you first start playing, everything looks extremely simple. You get 21, you win. You get more than that, you lose. The closer you are to 21, the better. If you’re closer to 21 than the dealer, you win. Gosh, it looks even more comfortable than roulette or keno… At first sight.
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Then, you start understanding something. Sometimes, it’s better to stand, even if it looks like the hand can be improved easily (and it really can, but the problem is that it’s also straightforward to bust some hands). Sometimes, it looks like you should stand because the next card will break your hand — but if you do some maths, you’ll understand that it’s the opposite. When you hit and stand without any analysis, that’s what they call “intuitive” game — it’s the very first entry-level, where the house edge is extremely high, and the only thing you can get is fun, but not money. When you start guessing how to play your hands, you go to the next level. It’s a strategic level, and it’s where the money is made.
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You’ve probably heard that this game has one of the lowest house edge — such numbers are 0.5%, and 1% are often mentioned. That’s true, and that’s wrong. That’s wrong for the absolute majority of players who don’t count their cards and for those who don’t want to learn and practice the strategy. We won’t blame them — some people can’t understand how these strategies work, some don’t have enough time to learn them, some want to have fun without complicating things. After all, if 100% of players counted cards and knew the strategies, how would the casinos earn money?
The house edge, yeah. It’s 0.5% — but only for those who know how to play. For those who rely on intuition rather than on maths, the numbers are much higher — say, 5%. Would you prefer to lose 50 cents or $5 from every $100? It makes sense that you want to minimize your losses and to maximize your winnings — and that’s why you should think about strategies. But the most exciting part of the story is that not everything that is called a “strategy” is it. There are lots of theoretical ideas about how to beat the casino, the house edge, the dealer, etc. Just double your bet every time you lose, another expert from Reddit says. What about the table limits, genius? Whatever here, we’ll talk a little about how to make this game a bit more fun (and by “make it more fun” we mean “win more money”). Let’s see.
Do strategies work?
Yes, yes, yes. The basic strategy (c) is what every successful player knows like the back of his hand. Stand on hard 17, 18, 19, and 20. Stand on A-10. Always look at the up-card. Learn that huge table that looks more complicated than a periodic table of elements, and so on.
The main problem is that you’ll have to learn hundreds of things and that utilizing the basic strategy will be very difficult at the beginning. That’s how it works — it’s hard to learn and hard to master, but if you succeed, you will love the result.
We won’t list the possible hands, outcomes, and actions here. First, it would take hours. Second, you can google some blackjack-focused websites where the professional experts will tell you about literally every possible hand and about what to do with them. Instead, we’ll talk about what you should not do and what strategies are not worth your attention. Martingale, Fibonacci, Labouchere, Acting-Like-A-Dealer, Never Bust, Progression, Insurance, Doubling Down On 9-11 — the number of the fake tactics is vast, and it’s elementary for a beginner to fall into one of these traps. Let’s discuss them.
Meet the king of casino strategies — the most popular, the most googled, and the most straightforward strategy in the world. Here’s how it works: place a bet; if you lose, double the bet, repeat until you win. The main idea is that no matter how much money you lose, you’ll still win sooner or later, and when you win, you’ll get more than you’ve spent — it’s logical, and it looks great. But only on paper.
There are two reasons why it doesn’t work, and the first one sounds like that: the casinos are smart, too. They want to earn, not to lose money — and that’s why all of them take certain steps to avoid the overuse of this system. Thus, 100% of casinos have bet limits — for instance, when the minimal bet is $10, the maximum one is often $500. Let’s assume you’ve started with a $10 bet and lose. Then, you $20. Then, $40, $80, $160, $320. If you have six losses in a row (which is quite a common situation), you’ll lose $630, but it’s ok because the next bet will probably win. But at this step, the limits come to play — you can’t bet $640, $1,280, or $2,560 because of them. In the end, you lose $630 and can’t bet more to cover the losses. It sounds quite disappointing, right? The thing is: this system is completely random, and despite it’s based on a logical idea, it just doesn’t work in the modern casinos. What’s more, some of them block the accounts that of the players who use this system or its modifications. Simple yet effective.
But that’s not the main reason why it doesn’t work. The main reason is that you are most likely not a billionaire. Let’s assume that you’ve started with the initial $20 bet, and then you lost eight times. It means that you’ve already lost $5100, and to cover the losses, you must bet $5120 ($2560*2) and win, which in turn means that your bankroll must be as big as $10220 and that you must be ready to lose this money. Are you rich and risky enough to spend more than $10,000 to win… Wait… To earn $20? Because the whole Martingale strategy is focused on giving you a profit of your original bet, which is, in our case, $20!
“Fibonacci” sounds cool. But in reality, this system is just another modification of Martingale, and like any other modification of this system, it doesn’t work. The main difference is that this system (we’d rather say “system”) is based on the Fibonacci Sequence, where the next number is founded by adding the two previous numbers. 1,1,2,3,5,8, you get the idea.
Like any other Martingale variation, this system has two problems: limits and bankroll. What’s more, some casinos ban the players for using this strategy, and if your account is blocked, it’ll most likely be impossible to withdraw.
Let’s assume that you want to win $5. You’ll have to divide $5 into smaller numbers (say, 1,2,1, and 1). Then, you’ll add the first and last numbers — their sum will be your first bet ($2 in our case). If you win the round, you’ll have to cross the first and the last number in 1-2-1-1 consequence (your consequence may look different, it’s just an example) to get 3. It’ll be your second bet. If you lose, you add the missed amount to the last number. It sounds odd, yeah. It also doesn’t work. This system has the same problems as two previous systems have: limits and bankroll.
If you stand on hard 17, hit on 16 or below (both soft and hard), and stand on 18 and more. If the dealer must hit on sweet 17, you hit; if he has to rise, you stand, too. You act like a dealer, and it probably sounds quite smart for you. Well, it isn’t so bright. But the thing is, you go first because you’re the player. You play your hand before the dealer plays his hand, that’s how it works — so the house edge for those who use such a strategy is much higher. It’s not 0.5%, and it’s not even 1%. It’s 8%!
You must always hit with a hand that is worth 11 or less; you must still stand with a hand that is worth 12 or more. It’s called “Never Bust Strategy,” and it’s an offensive strategy with a house edge as high as 4%.
Just think about it: you must stand at 12. For those of you who know nothing about this game, here’s the explanation: in such a case, your odds to bust are 30.8%, and your odds to get better cards are 69.2%! You can only hope for dealer to bust, but taking into account the dealer’s bust rate (it’s 28.36%), you should be ready to lose in 71.64% of cases. Great strategy, nothing more to say.
Taking insurance looks nice — if the dealer’s down card is 10, you get 2 to 1. However, it’s not so good. If the dealer has a 10-valued card, you win, but if he has 2-9 or Ace, you lose, which means 9 cards will not bring you money and four cards that will. Not the best odds, tbh.
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📌 What is the most money ever won at one time in blackjack?
Real money blackjack can be profitable. It can be extremely profitable, to be more precise. Think of Kerry Packer. This Australian media tycoon has once won more than $20,000,000 (yes, twenty million!) during 1 night — he played 8 hands simultaneously, placed $250,000 per hand, and won 20 times in a row!
📌 How to legitimately make money playing blackjack online?
First of all, every casino has the list of restricted countries. Check this list out before creating an account to make sure that your country hasn’t been added to such lists (it’s not legal and they can block your account without even explaining the reasons). And don’t forget about taxes — blackjack winnings are taxable, just as any other income.
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