# What is Basic Blackjack Strategy – How to use it

Understanding the basic rules of the game should be your first step in winning at the blackjack table You need to know the correct moves for the different hands to maximize your opportunity for success. The skill part of blackjack is to avail yourself of the mathematically proven best plays to make when faced with any dealt hand at your blackjack table.

When to stand, hit or double down with any hand has been figured out based on the laws of probability, of wins versus losses.  Just taking into consideration basic strategy, not using any card counting, there is only one correct play to make in blackjack for any given hand, based on strictly mathematics. Other factors, such as house rules and number of decks used will make a difference in the correct playing strategies as well, which is why you might see several “basic” strategy charts available. Let’s go into a little bit of why that is so.

### The Reason Basic Blackjack Strategy Works

First, as a quick refresher on the basic rules of blackjack, the value of your combined cards must beat the value of the dealers combined cards, without going over 21, for you to win. In a deck of 52 cards there are 16 cards valued at 10 and only 4 cards of each of the other denominations, Ace – 9. So, you are 4 times more likely to pull a ten-count card than any other denomination card.  Therefore, when the dealer’s upcard is high (7 or above), he is more likely to be close to 21, with a presumed 10-spot as his “hole” card and therefore hard to beat because he won’t have to hit his hand.  Conversely with a low upcard (2-6), he is more likely to have to hit his hand to come close enough to 21 and hopefully, for the player’s sake, bust because of that.

Basic strategy tells you that if the dealer’s upcard is a 7 or better and you have a hand totaling 12-16 (aka a “stiff”), you should hit.  The reason being that the dealer’s hand indicates strength, so you don’t want to stand with a weak hand.  A weak hand is considered anything 16 points or less. This is difficult concept for a novice to believe in.  It is probable that by hitting a stiff hand, you would probably bust, but you have to give yourself that better chance of beating the dealer by taking that hit to improve your hand.  If you don’t take the hit, you will definitely lose if the dealer is showing strength with a 7 or better upcard. You must make the assumption that the dealer’s hole card is a 10-spot and if you hold with a hand of less than 17, you lose anyway.  You have to take the hit to try and improve your hand.  Standing on stiff hands, against dealer’s hands showing a 7 or better upcard, loses more often than it wins in the long run, believe that.

If the dealer’s upcard is a 2-6, you can assume he has a stiff hand and therefore you want to stand with your own stiff hand.  With stiff hands more likely to bust, you want to stand with your stiff hand and let the dealer bust when he has to hit his hand.  In addition, if the dealer’s upcard shows he may have a stiff hand, it makes it a more opportune time to split pairs or double down, getting more money on the table when the dealer has a great chance of busting.

This is the simple theory behind basic blackjack strategy.  Of course there are expections to these rules, but it does give you a proven winning strategy to use in almost any blackjack game.

### Keep it Simple 10-point Strategy

If you’ve looked at blackjack charts and decided they’re too difficult to memorize just remember these simple rules:

1. Never Take Insurance
2. If the dealer’s upcard is 7 or better, hit until you get a hard 17 or higher hand
3. If the dealer’s upcard is 2-6, stand on all your stiffs (hard totals of 12-16)
4. Hit all soft hands of 17 or below
5. Stand on all soft hands of 18 or higher
6. Double Down on 10 & 11, versus any dealer upcard of 2-9
7. Always split Aces and 8’s
8. Never split 4’s, 5’s, or 10’s
9. Split all other pairs (2’s, 3’s, 6’s, 7’s and 9’s) versus dealer’s upcard of 4, 5, or 6
10. Surrender 16 versus dealer’s 9,10, or Ace.

Remember, basic strategy can be the best weapon at the casino blackjack table, if you simply use it correctly.

# Best Online Blackjack Casinos

If you don’t live near a casino, your best option for honing your skills is of course online blackjack, played at online casinos.  This allows you to play at your own pace and make money whenever you have time.  There are many different online casinos and you definitely want to be careful about choosing a trustworthy and reputable casino.  I have reviewed and listed some of the better ones to consider that accept US players below:

Ignition Casino – One of the top favorite online casinos because of it’s Real Time Gaming (RTG).  It has very generous bonuses and a superb incentive program that rewards regular depositors.  If you’re into Bitcoin, it’s considered one of the best Bitcoin casinos.  You can download it for tablets, IPhones,and Androids, as well as desktops for Mac and Windows.  Blackjack games available:  Classic , Classic Double Deck, Classic Single Deck, European Blackjack, Perfect Pairs and Zappit.

Vegas Casino Online –  Up to 400% Welcome bonus. Great mobile casino Sister casino of Las Vegas USA casino.  Blackjack games available:  Classic, Perfect Pairs, European, Face Up, Match Play, Pontoon, Super 21.

Bovada – One of the best online casino destinations for US players.  They offer at least 6 different real-time blackjack variations for any level player. They provide a high level of service with a complete casino entertainment atmosphere with all kinds of gaming available, including live dealer games.

# Blackjack Betting Progressions – Is a Negative a Positive?

In my previous post, I touched very quickly on negative progression betting.  This type of betting is when you increase the size of your bet after a loss. Let’s go over the good and bad of it.

### Is It Effective?

One of the most well-known and used negative progression betting systems is The Martingale method.  With this system, the amount of your next bet, after a loss, is “double” the previous bet.  That is probably the biggest problem with this method.  There are other negative progression systems that don’t require doubling your bet size after a loss, but the principal is still the same, increase your bet after a loss.  The good thing about it is, that more than likely,  you’ll end up ahead or at least at a break even, if you win that next bet after a loss.  However, you’re headed for sure disaster with just a few losses in a row.

### Can Negative Progression Betting Work?

Here’s a projected outcome using a negative progression system.  I’ll use the same run of ten dealt hands that I used in my previous post on positive progression systems.

• Hand #1, Bet \$15, win, win \$15, cumulative win/loss = \$15
• Hand #2, Bet \$15, win, win \$15, cumulative win/loss = \$30
• Hand #3, Bet \$15, win, win \$15, cumulative win/loss = \$45
• Hand #4, Bet \$15, lose, lose \$15, cumulative win/loss = \$30
• Hand #5, Bet \$30, lose, lose \$30, cumulative win/loss = 0
• Hand #6, Bet \$60, lose, lose \$60, cumulative win/loss = -\$60
• Hand #7, Bet \$120, win, win \$120, cumulative win/loss = \$60
• Hand #8, Bet \$15, win, win \$15, cumulative win/loss = \$75
• Hand #9, Bet \$15, lose, lose \$15, cumulative win/loss = \$60
• Hand #10, Bet \$30 win, win \$30, cumulative win/loss = \$90

While this outcome is favorable, it is that way because I have only projected a maximum of 3 losses in a row.  What is more likely to happen at a casino is 5 or 6 losses in a row!  Think about that using a negative progression system with a minimum bet of \$15 and 5 losses in a row.  The betting progressions would be: \$15, \$30, \$60, \$120, \$240, for a total of \$465 in just 5 bets.  Your sixth bet would have to be \$480, and if you finally win with that sixth hand, you’re up \$15.  Keeping that in mind, your starting bankroll would have to be almost \$1000, just in case your session started with 5 losses in a row. Not being a professional, I would never have my starting bankroll that high. Yes, that is an extreme example of what could happen, but it is an easy way to show the negative about the negative progression betting. But that’s why they call it gambling.

### Can You Afford It?

As stated earlier, doubling up on losses is the basis of the Martingale betting system.  Now of course you can modify the system to fit your own gambling style by increasing your bet by a lower percentage (not doubling) and then you can withstand more losses in a row.  Unfortunately, you never now how long a losing streak will be.  Since the casino will always have a slight advantage, you have to realize that you will probably be losing more hands than you will be winning. That’s the inherent risk in gambling of course. The question to ask yourself is: Can your bankroll handle 5 or 6 losses in a row, if you increase your bet after each loss? How many times are you willing to double up on your bet?  What is more  likely to happen though, is that you will reach the table maximum in allowed bet size, so you may not be able to make your money back with that next bet, even if the next hand is a winner for you.  Remember, the reasoning behind doubling your bet size after a loss, is to win back your lost money with the next hand that will hopefully be a winner. In my experience playing blackjack, it’s not too often that a session of blackjack goes “win a hand, lose a hand, win a hand, lose a hand,” and so on. Blackjack is definitely a game of streaks of wins or losses.

### Winning With Negative Progression

Professional blackjack players will tell you that negatve progression betting is risky because it is sort of based on what is known as “The Gamblers Fallacy.”  The Gamblers Fallacy is the mistaken belief that, if something happens more frequently than normal during a given period it will happen less frequently in the future.  Negative progression bettors wrongfully rely on the belief that there won’t be a lot of losses in a row.  I can’t rely on that.  I’ve seen too many times, players losing 6 or 7 hands in a row.  Now hopefully they would get up after perhaps 5 losses in a row, but they “have a feeling” the cards are due to turn around in their favor and they will win the next hand.

As shown in my example above, a nice amount of money can be won, but only if there is not a long streak of losing hands. With a relatively small run of losing hands (5 or 6), a lot of money can be lost very quickly.  In my area, the cheapest minimum bet blackjack table is \$15, so doubling up on bets can add up to a lot of money very fast. I’m not a professional. I enjoy playing for fun and hopefully making a little side money.  In my opinion, there is definitely too much risk and too much money involved with using a negative progression betting system.   A negative progression betting system can be good, if you’re willing to start with a large bankroll,  just in case you run into a bad run of cards.

### Conclusion

In my mind, a negative is not a positive. I’ll stick with a positive progression system where you can probably play for a little longer, despite a bad run of cards.  I believe a negative progression betting system should be left to the true professional player to use because it does involve taking a big risk that you don’t have several losing hands in a row.  That’s too big a gamble for me…leave it to the professionals!

# Winning Blackjack Betting Strategies-The Good vs The Bad

Having a strategic betting system when playing blackjack is the best way to ensure a winning session.  The problem lies in figuring out which one is best for you.  There are so many to choose from, keeping in mind the different deviations that can be played, that you should pick the one that’s the easiest for you to learn.

### Basic Types of Blackjack Betting Systems

For the most part, blackjack betting is done with progressive betting, which is choosing to raise or lower the amount of your bet based on winning or losing the previous hand. Blackjack betting systems are defined as either Positive Progressive Betting or Negative Progressive Betting.  With positive progressive betting, you raise your bet after a win.  With Negative Progressive betting, you raise your bet after a loss.  I personally like and use a simple positive progressive system because I don’t want to use something that is inherently negative!  I try to always think positive!

### Positive Progressive Betting – The Good

This type of betting is quite popular with blackjack players because you increase your bet as long as you’re winning and go back down to a minimum bet when you lose.  This can be an effective strategy when the game play is “streaky,” as often is the case. In playing blackjack, there can definitely be streaks of several winning hands in a row or losing hands in a row.  When you are on a streak of several winning hands in a row, it’s great because you’re raising your bet after each win.  Once the winning stops, you go back to the minimum bet, If the losing streak continues, you’re only losing the minimum amount.  What’s good about this is that it would allow you to probably play at the table for a while without a big loss if streaks are consistent.  You’re going to be winning a little more with each wining hand in a row, and only losing the minimum with each losing hand in a row.  Let’s take a look at how I would use this system, on a run of 10 hands:

• Hand #1 – Bet \$15, win, win \$15, cumulative win/loss: \$15
• Hand #2 – Bet \$20, win, win \$20, cumulative win/loss: \$35
• Hand #3 – Bet \$25, win, win \$25, cumulative win/loss: \$60
• Hand #4 – Bet \$30, lose, lose \$30, cumulative win/loss:  \$30
• Hand #5 – Bet \$15, lose, lose \$15, cumulative win/loss: \$15
• Hand #6 – Bet \$15, lose, lose \$15, cumulative win/loss:  \$0
• Hand #7 – Bet \$15, win, win \$15, cumulative win/loss: \$15
• Hand #8 – Bet \$20, win, win \$20, cumulative win/loss: \$35
• Hand #9 – Bet \$25, lose, lose \$25, cumulative win/loss: \$10
• Hand #10 – Bet \$15, win, win \$15, cumulative win/loss: \$25

This scenario is assuming all winning hands were even money wins, no blackjacks or double downs that pay more.  You can see that with just 3 wins or losses in a row, I could still be winning with this relatively conservative positive progessive betting system.  I find that I generally don’t have more than 3 winning hands in a row, so my betting rarely goes over  \$30. Since I don’t do this as a profession, that’s okay. Also keep in mind that if some of the wins were doubled or blackjack wins, I’d be up even more.

### Does Progressive Betting Work?

Many blackjack players swear that progressive betting doesn’t work in the long run, because it does rely on streaks to work effectively.  So, my theory behind using a positive progressive strategy is to know when to get up from the table.  Sure the pros say it won’t work in the long run, I say, use it in the short run.  My strategy is “don’t be greedy.”  I live close to a casino, so I keep it a rule that if the cards start to run bad, get up and come back tomorrow!  I have my own take on a positive progressive system, as outlined above, and my goal for each session is to win \$100, or lose \$60, or play for just 1 hour. Once 1 of those three results happens, I leave the table and come back another day.  With any betting system you should always have a pre-determined win/loss limit.

Just a caution, I’m talking about a POSITIVE PROGRESSIVE system.  A negative progressive system is a totally different story to be discussed at another time.  As mentioned earlier, with a negative progressive system, you increase (usually double) your bet with every loss. Just imagine how quickly you could lose your money with just a short streak of losing hands.

### Conclusion

Professional blackjack players will tell you that casino’s like progressive bettors (especially negative progressive bettors) because in the long run, they will lose  There again are the magic words “in the long run,”  and so your goal should be to play disciplined and not stay at a losing table.  A positive progressive bettor can lose money, but will have increased winnings to get ahead and offset the losses.  Positive progressive betting is good and can work!

# Easy Card Counting

I mentioned in an earlier post that the easiest and most widely used method of card counting is one called the Hi-Lo method. The Hi-Lo is probably the most used but there are some other methods I discovered that are probably even easier to master.

### The Easy OPP System

This was developed by Carlos Zilzer.  OPP is an ancronym for One Per Person.  Mr. Zilzer did thousands of simulated tests with the system and has documented the highly effective results he garnished with it. He has actually defined two different methods, with each being simple to understand and easy to master. Let’s go over them:

• Method One – Number of Hands
• First, make sure you start at the beginning of a shoe, so sit at a table that has just completed shuffling.  The running count is started at +6, so the count will rarely get to negative numbers, which can be confusing in keeping a running count of cards.  Immediately subtract the “number of hands” (thus the name) being played, including the dealer’s hand, from the running count.  With 2 players at the table, each playing one hand, the initial count would be +3. (+6-3=3) Remember to add a hand if a player is playing 2 spots.  Then, as the cards are dealt, simply add the total of low cards (2’s – 6’s) to your count, with each low card valued at +1.  At the end of the round, you have a running count.  Determine your next bet size based on the running count at the end of the round.  The higher the running count. the higher the advantage is to the player, the bigger your bet should be.
• What’s great about this method is that the only subtracting you have to do is at the beginning of the next round, when subtracting the number of hands being played.  After that, you add 1 to the count for every low card that is dealt.  You can just look at the table and quickly count the total number of 2’s-6’s, you see. Take that total and add it to the running count number in your head.  Addition is so much easier than subtraction, which is the beauty of this system.
• Method Two – Value of the Hands
• First, wait for the first two cards to be dealt to all players, including the dealer, then determine the value of each hand by the following parameters:
• A hand with no low cards (2’s-6’s) = -1
• A hand with one low card = 0
• A hand with two low cards = +1
• A hand with 3 low cards = +2, and so forth, (4 low cards = +3)
• Split hands are considered new hands (value of the original hand is not counted)
• The total number of cards in a hand doesn’t matter.  For instance, the following hand of “Ace, Ace, 3, 4, Jack, 2” has a value of +2 because it has 3 low cards.
• As with method 1, your running count should start at +6 when you sit down at the beginning of a shoe.  The only subtraction is if there are no low cards in a hand and that’s just a -1.

### Betting with the OPP Method

As with any counting method, the higher your running count, the more you want to bet, because at that point, the shoe is deemed favorable to the player.

There is definitely a more detailed chart you can look at if you research this system, but basically:

• Increase your bet under the following situations:
• For a two-deck game – running count should be +8
• For a six-deck game – running count should be +12
• For an eight-deck game – running count should be +14

Remember this is a very simple system (either method), and your count may never get to the higher value, for several shoes, so be patient and stay conservative to stay profitable.  Play disciplined, play long!

### The Red Seven Count Method

This system was developed by Arnold Snyder, a well-known professional gambler, author, and blackjack expert who has written numerous books on blackjack. In fact, I suggest checking out a couple of his books: “Blackbelt in Blackjack-Playing 21 as a Martial Art” and “The Big Book of Blackjack” for a thorough look into the ins and outs of playing blackjack for a profit and counting methods.

With this method, the high cards (10’s-Aces) are given a value of -1, and the low cards (2’s-6’s) are valued at +1.  The 8’s & 9’s are considered neutral and valued at zero (0). The red 7’s are valued at +1, like a low card, but the black 7’s are valued at zero (0), so considered neutral. Obviously this would create an imbalance in the count, which is what makes the count work. And of course, it really doesn’t matter if you switch it around and value the black 7’s at +1 and the red 7’s as neutral.  The developer of the system, Arnold Snyder, chose red, and therefore, The Red Seven Count. As a note, if you practice this method by running through a 52-card deck, your final count will always be +2

The running count starting number for this method is determined by multiplying the number of decks in play by -2.  So if you’re at a table using 6 decks, your start number is -12 (6 x -2).

### Betting with the Red Seven Count Method

As always, the idea is to bet bigger when you have an advantage over the house, and if the advantage grows, bet even bigger.  When the house has the advantage, keep your bets to a minimum.

• Increase your bet under the following situations:
• for a 2 deck game – running count should be +4 before increasing from minimum
• for a shoe game (4 or more decks) – running count should be +6 before increasing from minimum

The Red Seven Count system is considered to be a professional level system that is both powerful and easy to use.  Check out the book “Blackbelt in Blackjack” for a more in depth understanding of this system.

### Mastering Card Counting – Practice

Being able to count fast is the secret to using card counting to beat the casino at blackjack. The best card counters actually count cards in groups of at least two cards at a time.  In many pairs of 2 cards, the values actually cancel each other out, so they can be tossed or disregarded.  Once you can quickly run through a deck of cards at a single card pace, practice, practice, practice even harder to become proficient at counting pairs of cards.  Being able to quickly recognize “cancelling pairs” will make the difference in counting at a professional level or not.  The top professional card counters can actually count in groups of 3 or 4 at a time. That’s my goal!

With that in mind, don’t work on speed of count until you’ve perfected your accuracy.  It won’t matter if you’re fast, if your count is wrong.  It’s a fact that most professional counters can easily count down a deck in less than 30 seconds.  You can imagine that a goal like that involves a lot of practice, but if you can get to 30 seconds or less, you should do just fine in most casino blackjack games.

When you feel ready to take your card counting skills to the casino for the first time, don’t actually sit down and play, practice counting while just watching.  This way you can get a feel of the speed of play and determine whether or not you can count at a pace that keeps up with the game play.

### Conclusion

Of course there are many other counting methods to choose from, but these are definitely 2 of the easiest to learn.  You can absolutely use either one to make a nice profit at beating the casino at blackjack.  You can make more money with a simple system because you’ll make fewer mistakes. Mistakes in card counting can be costly very quickly. Pick a simple  card counting system and give it a go.  Card counting can be easy!

# Winning Blackjack Betting Strategies

A crucial part of successful blackjack playing is how to control and bet with your bankroll.  Learning how to bet effectively will determine how long you’re going to be at the blackjack table, as well as, how much you will win.  If you don’t manage your bankroll properly, all the game knowledge and strategy in the world will not help you beat the game.

### Defining a Good Starting Bankroll

Though it is a highly personal and individual subject, it is best to first figure out what you can afford to lose.  Just because you’ve come to the casino with solid knowledge of the game and specific strategies to insure a winning session, you must remember that it is a game of chance where the “house” does have a slight edge, therefore, there is a chance you could lose. Unfortunately, there are going to be nights where the cards are just not running right and you’ve got to have the discipline to get up and leave and cut your losses.  Simply put, your bankroll for the session is the maximum amount you are willing to lose.  Any money used for gambling should be expendable because there’s always the chance you’ll lose it.  There’s an old gambling proverb:  “When you gamble with money you can’t afford to lose, lose you will!”  Sometimes proper blackjack play involves moves that may seem extra risky, so if you’re worried about losing the money on that bet, you won’t make the proper move!

### Proper Bankroll Size

The general rule for bankroll size in blackjack, is to have 50 times the minimum bet.  This means at a \$5 minimum bet table, you should have at least \$250 to play effectively.  This allows you to handle the hot and cold runs of cards that is inevitable as a game plays on.  As most tables these days play with six or more decks in the shoe, it may take a few hands for the shoe to become favorable for the player.  With the correct bankroll, you can wait out the cold deck and wait to take advantage of the hot deck and bet more at that time.  You can of course come to the table with less, and with a good betting system, to be discussed later, you can still make a pretty good profit and win at blackjack.

### Bet Size

The amount will definitely depend on various factors, but with knowledge of card counting, you’ll know to increase your bet size significantly if the deck is favorable to the player.  If the deck is favorable to the casino, bet the table minimum.  If you’re not a card counter, there are still betting strategies or systems to use to optimize your potential winnings.

### Best Blackjack Betting Strategy

When thinking of a betting strategy, you should think in terms of a betting system. With each betting system, you think in terms of the number of “units” to bet each time. A unit is going to be the minimum table bet.  So for a \$10 minimum bet table, one unit is \$10.  There are positive and negative betting systems out there.  What that means is whether or not you increase your bet after a win or a loss. It’s a positive method if you increase your bet after a win, and it’s a negative system if you increase your bet after a loss.  I’ll go over a couple of the most popular positive bet systems. The following systems are good to use if you’re not a card counter.  If you count cards, you would be increasing your bets more significantly than these methods suggest, when the count is favorable to the player.

• The Up and Pull – The bet cycle is continued until you lose a hand.  To begin, you start with a 2 unit bet, (double the table minimum).  If you win the first hand, your next bet will be one unit, you have 1 unit profit.  If you win again (with the 1 unit bet), you up your next bet to 2 units again. If you win this bet, increase your next bet to 3 units.  Keep increasing your bet by one unit each time you win.  The moment you lose, go back to the original 2 unit bet and start the cycle over again.  This method lets you take advantage of good swings in which you win multiple hands in a row, while keeping losses to a minimum when the deck is favoring the dealer.
• The Paroli Strategy – Start with the minimum bet. Each time you win, you double the amount for the next bet, but for a maximum of 3 wins in a row.  If you win 3 times in a row, go back to the original minimum bet.  Once you lose a bet, go back to the minimum, looking to win 3 times in a row.
• One Half Up – Once again you start with the minimum bet and increase your bet only once you have won two bets in a row.  After two wins in a row, you increase your bet by 50% of the initial bet.  As the winning countinues, each bet is a 50% increase of the previous bet.  For example, start with a \$10 bet and if you win 2 hands in a row, your bet for the 3rd hand would be \$15 and if you win that, the bet for the 4th hand would be \$20, and so forth.  Once you lose a bet though, you go back to the minimum and wait to increase your bet again after 2 wins in a row.

### Betting Methods to Avoid

Basically any method that wants you to double the amount of a losing bet.  Just think about what would happen with this method if you lose just a few hands in row.  Your blackjack session can end very quickly with any system that suggests doubling a losing bet.

### Easy Blackjack Strategies Applied

You don’t have to be a card counter.  The best and easiest thing to remember for winning blackjack strategies is to increase your bets when you’re winning and decrease your bets when you’re losing.  It can be as simple as that.  Blackjack is a game that definitely has it’s hot and cold swings.  Push the bar when it’s hot, pull the bar back when it’s cold.  Good luck!

# Card Counting for Blackjack

Learning to count cards for blackjack will greatly enhance your chance of a profitable session of playing blackjack and beating the casino for the evening.

### Is It Legal

Though it might be hard to get the big winners to admit to card counting, you can bet that they all use some sort of card counting system if they say they can regularly win at blackjack Card counting makes such a big difference in winning or losing that people do question the legality of it. While it is NOT illegal, casinos definitely watch for card counters and will kindly ask a card counter not to come back. They may let you enjoy the rest of the casino, but you will be banned from the blackjack tables. So, actually the hardest part of card counting is not to get caught so you don’t get banned. Try not to make dramatic changes in bet sizes, so as to alert pit bosses. Even if the card count is a high positive number, control your increase in bet size so you don’t draw attention to yourself. It’s better to be able to come back to a casino on a regular basis, winning a reasonable amount each time, as opposed to having one killer night and being asked never to return because you won too much!

As in basic blackjack strategy, card counting is easy to learn, but difficult and time-consuming to become proficient at and master. That being said, if you take the time to do just that, it can make your blackjack sessions highly profitable for the most part.

### How is it done?

With card counting, you are basically keeping track of the ratio of low cards to high cards that are left in the shoe. Contrary to popular belief, it does not involve memorization. The player’s advantage is heightened when there are more high cards (10’s-Aces) remaining in the shoe, so that’s what a player needs to keep track of and know.

### Why does it work?

If there are more high cards played in a round, that means there are more low cards left in the shoe. If that is the case, the dealer has the advantage because it is more likely that he will be able to “hit” his cards and not bust because he’ll probably get a low card. If the opposite occurs, and there are more high cards in the shoe, there’s a better chance that the dealer will bust if he has to “hit” his hand because he’ll probably get a high card…advantage player!

### What is basic card counting strategy?

The easiest and probably most used system is known as Hi-Lo. First, you want to assign a value to every card. Within the Hi-Lo system, card values are assigned as: 2-6=+1, 7-9=0, 10-Aces=-1. So as each card is dealt, you keep a running total based on the card’s assigned value. With each card dealt, you either add 1, subtract 1 or do nothing if it’s a 0 card (7-9). You do make sure you include the dealer’s cards in the count as well. When the running count becomes positive or favorable, you’ll want to increase your bet size.

### True Count for Multi-deck games

With the use of multiple decks, the running count can be deceiving in terms of what is the actual ratio of high cards to low cards left in the shoe. True count is determined by dividing the running count by the number of remaining decks in the game. This is probably the most tricky part of card counting, because it does involve basic math..division! If you’re at a table playing with 6 decks and you have a running count of +4 with 2 remaining decks, your true count would be 4 divided by 2, which is +2.

### Using Card Counting Effectively

A card counter must watch all cards played, even the dealer’s cards, to keep a running count in mind. The count is continued until a shuffle occurs or end of round. Once a shuffle has occurred, the count starts back at zero. The higher the positive count, the bigger the counter’s edge, and therefore the bigger the bet size should be. With a negative or neutral running count, keep the bets minimal. Proper money management is also an integral part of profitable blackjack sessions.

### Final Points

Card counting is just the ability to figure out when it is most advantageous to make bigger bets and win more money. It just makes you a more skilled player than the person next to you. A card counter won’t win every time, but will win more often than not. Really good money can be made with card counting because you’ll be winning with larger bets and losing with smaller bets, if done properly. You don’t have to be genius to learn it either. Anybody willing to put in the necessary time to master card counting can beat the casino at blackjack.

# How to Win at the Blackjack Table

Patience is a virtue at any blackjack table and keeping a few simple rules in mind is the best way to win at the blackjack table.

### Master Basic Blackjack Strategy

Any book or instructor will tell you the first thing you must learn is the basic strategy for playing blackjack. If you don’t know the game, inside and out, you definitely won’t win on a regular basis.  There is some luck involved of course or it wouldn’t be considered gambling, but luck will not win out in the long run.  In terms of giving yourself the best chance to win at blackjack, there are specific moves to make for any given situation that will come up during a hand of blackjack.  A basic blackjack strategy chart will tell you the best move to make depending on what you have and what the dealer has.  Memorize these rules and you’ll drop the casino’s edge to less that one half percent.  Those are the odds you need to learn how to beat the casinos in blackjack.

### Specific Game Rules

Make sure you actually look at the table rules and limits before you sit down.  Just take the time to observe at least one round of play, to make sure it’s a table you’d be comfortable playing a hand or two at.  Make sure you know the mimimum and maximum bets allowed.  Many players look at only what the minimum bet is, but being aware of the maximum is also important to maximize your bettig strategies.

### Look for a Friendly Dealer

You might not think so, but a friendly dealer can absolutely make the difference in a profitable playing session.  They do work for tips and should be nice to you.  If they aren’t, move to another table, without feeling bad.  Giving the dealer a tip every now and then will give them reason to “help” you by giving you a little extra time to think about the correct play if you get a little flustered.  If you’re rude to them, they’ll  be rude to you by rushing the play, forcing you to make quick decisions that may be wrong.  The dealer doesn’t control the cards, but does control the speed of play, which you want to be a your pace, not theirs.

### Play Smart and Within your Limit

Make sure you’ve determined your spending limit before you sit down at a table and stick to the plan.  You will play more relaxed and smarter if you’re not worried about playing with mony you really can’t afford to lose.  Remember, it is gambling and in reality, the casino is slightly favored to win, so don’t play with money your can’t afford to lose, because you won’t win every time.

You are in control of how long you play.  Don’t slap all your money down on the first table you sit at.  Play with about one third of you total bankroll at first to see how the cards are running.  If the cards are runing favorably, increase your betting, if not, get up and move to another table.

### Avoid Sucker Bets

Save your money with these final tips:

• Try not to play at tables where the dealer can hit a soft 17 (increases the house edge by .2 percent)
• Make sure a blackjack pays at least 3:2 odds (More and more Vegas casinos pay 6:5 on blackjack, increasing the house edge to 1.39 percent)

### Remember

Blackjack is a game and should be fun for you to play, while giving you that chance to win some money. You can win at the blackjack table, but if you’re not enjoying yourself, it’s time to get up and go home!

# The Best Online Blackjack Strategy

It is truly wide known that blackjack is the one casino game where skill can totally make the difference in a winning or losing session of gaming. There are many different strategies available and it is so important that a player tests different ones and begins using them in their playing sessions.  Every effective available strategy is based on pure logic and numbers that cannot be denied.  With that being understood, the best thing a player can do is to forget any superstitions, rituals, lucky thoughts and the like, and just believe in the numbers and trust the process.  So let’s review some of the best game plans one can take on to win at blackjack each time you play.

### Step #1 – Pick The Right Casino

Some players don’t realize how important this first step can be.  Picking a good casino site is a huge fact in blackjack success.  The simple secret is to choose an established, highly regarded casino that features many blackjack games and lucrative bonuses that you can use on them.  You must realize that not all online casinos are safe and reliable.  Sometimes casinos might refuse to pay out winnings, even though you have won fair and square.  If you choose licensed and regulated casions, you have a reasonable probability of winning and most importantly, quaranteed payouts.

### Step #2 – Pick The Right Blackjack Version

With many different versions out there, picking the correct one for you is critical to having a comprehensive blackjack strategy.  The most crucial detail of a game is unquestionably the house edge, and of course, the lower, the better.  This should be the first thing you should check because it can range from .17% for “Blackjack Switch” and .62% for “21 Duel Blackjack,” as an example.  In fact, some online blackjack games have a house edge over 2%, you definitely want to stay away from those.

### Step #3 – Know Your Game Perfectly

There are different variations of the game of blackjack.  Rules can vary from game to game and so if you play the same basic strategy for different games, you could be making a big mistake.  Every little detail will make the difference between a winning or losing session of blackjack becasue each variance effects the house edge of course.  The rules you want to be aware of are:

• How much does a Blackjack pay
• Does the dealer hit a soft seventeen
• Is there a 5,6,or 7 card charlie
• How many decks in the shoe
• Can you surrender, and if so, when can that be done
• Can you double on any two cards
• When can you split your and and up to how many times
• Are you allowed to double after splitting
• Are you allowed to hit split aces

Find and commit to memory a basic blackjack strategy chart.  Do not play any of the side bets.  They are how the casinos up the house edge.  They don’t pay off in the long run, so they really are “sucker bets”  for the beginner player who thinks he has a “hunch.”  Remember, strategies are based on logic and numbers, and the process must be trusted.

### Tip #4 – How About Card Counting

Card counting helps you keep track of the relation between high cards and low cards in the shoe.  It can definitely be helpful information to know when there are more high cards in the shoe, giving the player better odds of winning.  More high cards gives the player a higher count for their hand, while also making it a higher probability that the dealer will bust.

### Tip #5 – Best Blackjack Betting System

Using a suitable blackjack strategy card show you the right play to make in any situation, but it doesn’t tell you how much you should be betting.  Of the many betting systems out there, progressive betting is most popular because it’s based on the idea (not fact) that if you’ve lost several times, you’re bound to win soon.  Of course that’s not true.  There is no betting system alone that will help you beat the house, but a good betting system and good blackjack strategy will increase your blackjack success.  For instance, card counting will let you know when the odds are more in your favor and therefore you should increase your wager.

### Tip #6 – Online Bonuses

The biggest advantage to playing online blackjack is the generous bonus opportunities that online casinos offer. These incentives may be extra money that isn’t acutally yours, yet you are able to keep any winnings resulting from the use of that money.  Obviously this is a big player edge.  With an already low house edge, solid strategy and generous bonuses, online blackjack success is completely possible.

### Final Thoughts

The best online blackjack strategy is to carefully choose a game plan that precisely coorresponds to the game variation you’ve chosen to play.  For online, look for the generous bonuses and combine that as well, with perfect blackjack strategy to beat the casino.  Most of all relax and trust the process.  Remember, it’s a game, so have fun.  What can be more fun than making money playing a card game!

Learn to make money online with your own website:

# Winning Blackjack Strategies – Basics, Tips, Charts

### Learning Blackjack Basic Strategy

The most successful Blackjack players first learned to beat the game by using a Blackjack chart. It has been proven that there are statistically correct moves to make in game situations that increase your odds in winning the game, or making your particular session more profitable. Basic strategy is the first thing you need to know before you can start to get an edge at the casinos. Blackjack already gives you the best odds in the casino, and having the perfect basic strategy can make those odds even better. Honestly, you’ll need to know more than basic strategy, like card counting, deviations, true count conversion and betting strategies (to be discussed later) to regularly beat the game of Blackjack, but with perfect basic strategy, you can play winning Blackjack.

### Best Winning Blackjack Strategy

Start with one basic chart. You will find there are many “basic charts” out there and you want to make sure you haven’t started with a more advanced chart that would be difficult to memorize. I have found that Blackjack playing charts can get more specialized or intricate, the more advanced you are in playing the game, so make sure you are studying charts in an organized manner. You will confuse yourself if you don’t. Though some casinos will allow you to come in and sit at the table with a wallet-size strategy chart, it is best to take the time to memorize it. I know that seems like it would be hard and take a lot of time to do, it’s well worth the trouble. Taking the time to perfectly learn the basic strategy of Blackjack is the first step towards winning Blackjack and beating the casinos. Your fellow players at your table will also appreciate not having to wait for you to look at your chart to figure out the correct move to make!

### Best Blackjack Tips

Being able to look at your hand and immediately recall the rule in your head is vitally important. If you can play at a consistent pace (without having to pause too long to think of the correct play) it will make the game more enjoyable for everybody. I find that casino Blackjack players expect that all the players should know at least the basic strategies of Blackjack and therefore become annoyed if you slow down play at all. Some players just can’t seem to wait to lose their money! Of course once you learn and memorize the basic strategy, you may find yourself at tables where you’re the only one playing correctly (usually the loudest one where “friends” are there to just have fun blowing their money) and those are actually the tables you don’t want to be at! Those people are relying totally on luck and that’s what you don’t want! I find I can totally have a great time at a relatively quiet table, winning money strategically! Don’t let others force your to play faster than what is comfortable for you either. If a table seems to be rushing through hands, move to a different table. If you have the basic rules memorized, your speed of play should be adequate. Being able to play at a pace that is comfortable for you, means Blackjack success for you. Memorize the basic Blackjack chart

Basic Blackjack strategy gives you the best decision/move, as the player, given every possible combination of starting player hands and dealer up cards. The best decision for the player is the one that loses the least amount of money to the casino over time.