Live dealer Blackjack is a fantastic way to enjoy this game online – but with all of the thrills and immediacy of playing in a land based casino. Though Blackjack is partly a game of chance, it is also a game with a heavy element of strategy to it. Some players use prescribed ‘strategies’ to try and optimise their chances of winning. As well as using strategy charts (which lay out which decisions to make and when), players can also use a method known as counting cards.
What are the rules of Blackjack?
Blackjack is also called Twenty One. This is because the aim of the game is to end up with a hand of cards that is as close as possible to the value of 21 (Aces can count for either 1 or 11 depending on the individual player) without exceeding 21. Cards are dealt out by the dealer in each round, and each time, every individual player has to decide whether to accept another card or to refuse it. As the clock ticks, players need to race with each other – as it is the first person (or the dealer) who reaches 21 who wins. All casino games have a particular ‘house edge’, which means that more often than not, the dealer or the casino will win the game. Blackjack is no different, but it usually has the best odds for players out of all card based gambling games.
Blackjack strategy charts
Strategy charts take the form of tables for players to consult during a Blackjack game. They can be found online, and there are various strategy charts available – so pick your favourite. These can be printed out and taped to the wall near to your screen as you sit and play online, or just waiting for you in another tab. Whenever the dealer reveals one of their cards or deals you a new one, run your finger along the appropriate row of the chart for that card and it will give you advice: should you fold, stand, accept a new card or double your bet? Though there is no Blackjack optimal strategy (that will always guaranteed that you win each game) in existence, most players do find that adhering scrupulously to a strategy chart improves the odds for them.
The card counting method
Another way to improve your chances of winning at Blackjack is by counting cards. This involves keeping an eye on which cards have been revealed by the dealer and by other players and – by a process of elimination – deducing which cards are still available to be dealt out from the pack. Blackjack is usually played with a single 52 card pack, and so it is not too difficult to work out which cards are left in the deck. Some casinos offer Blackjack games involving three (or even more) decks of cards shuffled together and here things can get more difficult. Try and apportion the cards off in your mind into categories, as this can help with memorising them. When beginning, try and keep track of how many cards above 7 are remaining, and how many below 7 are remaining. Then, as your memory sharpens, keep track of all cards: how many aces are left in the pack, for instance, and how many 4s?
Which Blackjack system works best for you?
Try out both of the systems described above and see which one fits in best with your playing style. If you play Blackjack a lot, keep track of how many times you win when deploying the card counting method and how many times you win when using a strategy chart. This can help you to decide which method is most profitable. Remember, though, that different dealers and different casinos offer a different house edge which will affect that ways in which these two systems work.