While you should be able to maintain a decent profit, playing blackjack with basic strategy, you should also realize that there are probably more advanced tactics that can be used to enjoy even more profits.
More experienced players know that there are special situations where basic strategy is not the best play. Experts will tell you that the use of basic strategy is always acceptable, yet not always the best play to make the most money.
WHAT IS INTERMEDIATE BLACKJACK STRATEGY
This strategy takes into account advanced play of the game and bankroll management. It includes learning about odds and probability, in addition to basic card counting, which is not as difficult as you would think.
Basic strategy is based on rigid rules of play that do not allow a player (more experienced) to take advantage of special circumstances that would reduce the house edge, giving the player a chance to make more money.
PLAY OF THE GAME
The first thing an experienced player will think about is which seat to take at the table. A novice will sit anywhere, often directly in front of the dealer to better see all the cards and how others are playing. The experienced player will take the last seat because he knows play from this seat can greatly influence all the players. If the player sitting in the last seat doesn’t play correctly, it can affect everybody’s chance of winning. For instance, if he hits a hand that he should really stand on (based on basic strategy) and takes a high card, a card that would have busted the dealer, that allows the dealer to draw a low card and ends up beating everybody! An experienced player knows the importance of the last player being able to play perfect basic strategy. You don’t want to be at a table where the player in the last seat announces he is a novice!
An intermediate player will recognize a winning streak and therefore will raise their bet until a losing streak begins. A novice player will always bet the same amount (not counting doubling down), and just be happy winning. The thought of “hitting while the iron is hot” is not in their mind. Part of bankroll management is knowing when to bet more, to realize faster profits.
ODDS AND PROBABILITY
As with all games in a casino, winning blackjack is about odds and probability.
Blackjack is a popular casino game because it has the best odds of all the games, with a house edge of around .5% That’s why, even as a novice, it is the best table game to play in a casino if making a profit is your primary goal. If just having fun and hoping to win big quickly is your goal, feel free to pick any other game.
When you think about probability in blackjack, you take into consideration previous hands. Being able to remember the cards that have been played, even if not exactly, but the fact that a whole bunch of face cards have been dealt, makes it more probable that a low card should be coming out soon. This is the simple start of card counting.
Surrender – Not all casinos offer surrender, and therefore it’s not usually a subject talked about with beginners. As a beginner, you’re basically told to never surrender.
When you surrender, you give up your hand for half your bet. If your wager was $10 and you surrendered, you would only lose $5 instead of the whole $10. Seems like a dumb move because albeit a dealer blackjack, you have a chance to win.
However, if the dealer has a blackjack, it would be better to surrender and only lose half your bet if you have a bad hand anyway.
For example, if the dealer has a 9 showing, there’s a great probability of him having a good, probably 19.
If you have hard 16 total against that and stand, you’re probably going to be beat, and if you hit that, you’re probably going to bust. You’re better off throwing your hand in and getting half your bet back.
If the dealer has a 10 or an ace showing, meaning a better chance of a blackjack, surrender may be even more appealing.
Because of the potential blackjack by the dealer, there are 2 different kinds of surrender: early surrender or late surrender.
Early surrender is done before the dealer checks the hole card and late surrender is done after the dealer checks the hole card.
Because early surrender favors the player, when casinos do offer surrender, it’s usually only late surrender.
When to split – Learning when to split 2’s, 3’s, 6’s, 7’s and 9’s is the trickiest part of splitting cards. In fact, because of it being complicated, beginners are told to just worry about always splitting Aces and 8’s, and never split 4’s, 5’s and 10’s.
When to double – Learning the correct time to double when you have a soft hand can be a bit more complicated. Beginners should stick to just learning when to just hit (not double) a soft hand.
Card Counting – As mentioned earlier, card counting doesn’t have to be hard, but just a bit of it can advance your game. Simple card counting is about tracking the ratio of high cards to low card left in the deck. If you know a lot of low cards have been played, that means there are more high cards left in the deck and therefore favors the player.
When there are more Aces and Tens in the deck, you have a better chance of hitting a blackjack, so that would be a great time to increase your wager. It works in the opposite direction as well. If you guess there aren’t a lot of Aces and Tens in the deck, you’d want to decrease your wager. Employing this strategy gives you an edge over the casino.
There are definitely more complex card counting systems available, but those are for the more advanced players.
Insurance – Beginners are always told insurance is a foolish bet and should not be done. However, taking insurance can make sense if you know there are plenty of 10’s in the deck.
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