Advanced Blackjack Strategy – Wanna Make the Hall of Fame?
If you happen to be a more seasoned Blackjack player than the average Joe out there, you’re probably aching to read about more about advanced Blackjack strategy. Well, our Blackjack experts at CasinoToplists have got some tips that help seasoned Blackjack players distinguish themselves from complete newbies. If you’d like to make it to the Blackjack hall of fame, have a look at our advanced strategy tips below!
There’s no doubt in my head that if you’ve played Blackjack before, you’ve definitely attempted to play the optimal way by following a basic Blackjack strategy chart. However, sometimes you still might fall short of securing a win. So, what should you do in this case? Should you simply just stick to what’s been suggested by countless Blackjack veterans who came before you or is there anything else you can learn to improve your chances of winning? Well, as a matter of fact there is! There’s advanced Blackjack strategy to help you win!
What exactly is the difference between Basic Strategy & Advanced Strategy?
Basic Blackjack Strategy is just as the name implies a basic strategy you should implement whilst playing the table game. However, this strategy does not cover certain advanced Blackjack strategy techniques that you should know about, especially if you play the game on a regular basis and want to win by making the right moves almost every time.
Below we’ve summed up the differences between basic and advanced Blackjack strategy. Check them out in our table below!
Basic Blackjack Strategy
Advanced Blackjack Strategy
|Can be easily followed by using a chart||Goes beyond basic strategy|
|Is not adapted to different variants of the game||Adapts to Blackjack games with different amounts of decks and complex hand situations|
|Omits Insurance||Considers situations where its worthwhile to take insurance|
|Easy to memorize||
Much harder to memorize and use correctly
1. Only Take Insurance when the time is right, Otherwise just don’t risk it!
One of the golden rules in Blackjack if you’re trying to play Blackjack the optimal way is to never take insurance, especially when the dealer’s card is an Ace. And as many Blackjack veterans out there will tell you, this rule is one you should definitely stick by the majority of the time. It isn’t really a safe bet assuming you don’t know what you’re doing. Yet, in some circumstances, for example when you’re a card counter and you know that there are a few 10s left in the deck, you should opt for the insurance.
For example, provided that the count is +4 or higher you should take insurance against the dealer’s vexing Ace.
2. Composition Sensitive Hands
As we’ve mentioned previously in this article, following the correct basic strategy can help you increase your chances of achieving optimal results. Yet, what every basic strategy chart lacks is strategy on what to do if you’ve acquired certain hands that are equal to say 16 or 15, but do not consist of just two cards. Instead, they consist of three or more cards.
For example, let’s take a case when a hand is composed of 16 and the dealer’s face-up card is 6 or under. In this case, you’d normally stand with what you’ve got provided that you’re following the basic blackjack strategy chart of course.
However, there are occasions when you’re dealt a 16 against a dealer’s face up card of 10. Now according to basic Blackjack strategy, you should hit your 16 in hopes of catching a card which will tally your score to a number that is or is at least closer to 21.
Yet, traditional basic strategy completely disregards which cards the hands are made up of and how many. Let’s say for example, you’re up against the dealer’s face up card of 10 and you’ve got a score of 16 due to having 4/4/4/4 like below. Should you hit now?
The Dealer's Hand
No, you shouldn’t. This is because your 4 card hand is made up of low denomination cards that are no longer available in the pack of cards. And cards with a low denomination are what you actually need to make a pat hand. So, it's a quite risky to take another card here as you most likely will go bust as a result.
The Rule of 45
The rule of 45 applies to hands that have a total score of 16, but is made up of a hand that has a 4 or a 5 in it. In this case, let’s say that your hand has both and it’s made up of 4-5-7 and you’re up against a 10. In this case, you should definitely stand.
Note: If you have a hand consisting of 4-5-7 against cards which are high up-cards.
3. Bet on the other player’s hand.
If you’re playing at a brick-and-mortar casino, you can opt to bet on another player’s hand provided that the opportunity presents itself. For example, let’s assume that the player sitting next to you has a Blackjack (a hand made up of 3 or more cards that add up to a score or 21) and the dealer’s face up card is an Ace and the player has placed a $50 wager on the hand. At this point the dealer will probably offer to give the player an even money payout of $50. But don’t let the player accept or you’ll miss out on the opportunity to win big! Here’s a good opportunity to jump in and get in on the action by forking out more money on the hand. Toss him a $100 chip and add another $1 to it.
Now in this situation, you’ll be buying the player’s hand and you’re offering the player a little bit more money than the dealer was initially offering as an even money payout. Of course, in order for him to agree, be quick to explain that you’re buying him out of his hand by telling him that he can keep his $51 chip and you’ll keep the hand. Provided that the player agrees and you win you’ll be able to pocket $125 assuming that the dealer doesn’t have a Blackjack.
4. Learn the art of Counting Cards
Over the years, Card Counting has become an increasingly popular advanced Blackjack strategy technique. Perhaps it’s due to the technique taking certain stage in movies like ‘21’, ‘Rain Man’ and ‘Holy Rollers’ or maybe it’s simply due to the fact that blackjack players are seduced by better prospects of winning at the table game when card counting is applied.
Fundamentally, the nature of card counting is simple. It’s an advanced Blackjack strategy which is all about evaluating which cards remain in the deck and adapting strategy according to what’s best in that particular situation. When lots of 10s and aces remain in the dealer’s deck of cards the odds tend to favor the player rather than the house. On the other hand, when the remaining cards in the deck are mostly small cards this favors the house. To learn the art of card counting, head to our Card Counting guide where we delve into this advanced Blackjack strategy technique and the 4 different methods that are usually employed by counters.
5. Splitting 10s when faced with 5 or 6 - when you should go against basic blackjack strategy!
If you’ve played Blackjack at casinos religiously over the years, you’ve probably seen it before – a player gets a pair of 10s and splits. Of course, you know all about basic Blackjack strategy and this makes you both cry and laugh a little on the inside. However, there are instances when the dealer shows a 5 or 6 that it actually might be worth splitting if you’re implementing advanced Blackjack strategy.
Ok, so if you choose to stand pat with your score of 20 against a dealer’s up card of 5 or 6, the probability of you winning is about 84% and 85% respectively. So, if you choose this move, the likelihood of you losing is quite low. Hence, we always recommend that you stick to this move if you’re simply just starting out at the game of Blackjack.
Yet, for more seasoned players especially those who have managed to master card counting, splitting 10s is not such a bad idea in this scenario when they know that the deck is still rich in 10s. When this occurs, the odds are in the card counters favor because the dealer is more likely to bust provided that there are more high cards in the deck.
6. Re-Split when you’ve landed a pair and another card of the same value.
Due to the fact that basic Blackjack strategy only covers hands consisting of 2 cards against the dealer’s face up card, you can sometimes still get confused in cases in which you’ve landed a pair of say 8s and aces and you split only to catch a card of the same value a third time for one of your hands. In this case you might ask yourself, ‘What do I do?’ and ‘Do I re-split?’
Take it from our experts here at CasinoToplists, the answer to this is a definite yes. You may not like the situation you’re faced with, but it’s one you’re definitely in and the best way of tackling it is to re-split.
7. Don’t let multi-card Hands Confuse You
Let’s take a scenario in which you’re dealt a soft hand consisting of an Ace and a 2 against a dealer’s face up card with the value of 10. In this scenario, you decide to hit it and in effect manage to catch a 3. Then because you’ve got ended up with a score of 15, you decide to hit again and end up with another ace. Now in your head, this seems like a rather complicated scenario. You’ve finally managed to get a soft 18 against the dealer’s face up card with the value of 10. Should you just stand? Well, the answer to this is a hard cold ‘No’. You must hit again in this case, unless of course you’d like to add a 1/3% to the house edge.
8. Take advantage of Low Card Layouts
When you’ve been dealt out a hand consisting of two cards having a low score and your dealer’s face up card is also low, you should be quick to realize that this inherently means that there are more high cards in the shoe. So, this means your odds of being dealt a high card are better than usual.
Now if you’re at a brick and mortar casino and you happen to see several pat hands with scores of 18,19 and 20, you should step away from the table and carry on looking for a Blackjack table with low hands.
9. Use a mixture of Positive and Negative Progression Betting Systems.
No matter if you’ve been gambling for a while or you’re rather new at it, you’re bound to have heard of betting systems. And perhaps the most famous one out there is none other than *drum roll please* - the Martingale system. Now although this is the most popularly used out there, did you know that there’s a plethora of betting systems that you use whilst implementing advanced Blackjack strategy use other than this negative progressive one? Well, as a matter of fact, there are loads of negative progressive ones as well as their direct opposites, known as positive progressive betting system too! So, you’re not limited to just one to choose from. Here are the differences between them:
- Negative Progressive betting systems, on the other hand, are betting systems which direct a player to do the complete opposite – to raise their bets after a loss and to lower their bets after a win instead. Examples of these types of betting systems (besides the Martingale betting system) that are often applied to games like Blackjack include the Labouchere, the D’Alembert and many more that have been developed over time.
- Positive Progressive betting systems are betting systems which have been designed in a way which guide players to raise their bets only after a win and to lower their bets after a loss. Examples of these types of betting systems that are often applied to games like Blackjack include the Paroli betting system, the Reverse Labouchere, the Reverse D’Alembert amongst many more. Despite the fact that using one of these betting systems will not tilt the odds in your favor, implementing one will help you to adopt a more structured way of betting! If you’d like to you can use one betting system, but what we would recommend for an advanced player is to use a mixture of them instead in order to make the most out of his/ her bankroll.
10. Make Sure you choose the right table and Have a Large Enough Bankroll
Regardless of whether you’re playing online or at the casino, you should always make sure that the table you’ve chosen to play at is right for you as a gambler. Remember that each table has its own minimum and maximum bets which mean that in essence you’re able to choose which Blackjack table to play at. In choosing which table to play, make sure that your bankroll is large enough to be able to last you a few hours of play or for however long you intend on staying at the casino.
In order to decipher whether your bankroll is large enough, evaluate the following prior to playing your game of choice:
- Your Advantage over the House;
- How many chips you’re willing to risk;
- Whether you’re going to be using a betting system.
Take Your Blackjack Games one step further with our Advanced Strategy tips!
Whether you’re playing Blackjack online or you’re playing Blackjack at a brick-and-mortar casino, learning both the basic strategy as well as advanced Blackjack strategy can help you win a handsome amount of money. Although this might prove to be a challenge, we can tell you they’re definitely worthwhile learning both once you’ve mastered basic blackjack strategy. If you’d like to improve, try out our free Blackjack Trainer followed by our Free Blackjack game before you head to one of the Blackjack Casinos in our list and play for real money.