How to Beat the House Advantage in Blackjack
Winning is the name of the game in blackjack, but it is not always easy to do. It requires both skill and luck, and people who use the latter without the former often find themselves losers in the process. This is, however, a good omen to those who know they are the luckiest in the game, because winning in it is exceptionally difficult to achieve. The house has a large edge in this game, which is why players must use strategies to lower its advantage and ideally win.
Card counting is, perhaps, the closest we come to an exception to the rule. Card counting, while far from foolproof, can be very handy and is the single greatest gift a player can give himself in blackjack. Aside from assisting you in ultimately deciding whether or not to hit or stay on (or double down or split) a card in a deck, card counting can be extremely advantageous if used properly.
Card counting is a technique which usually involves a counting system; it is a matter of assigning numerical values to each card in a deck and then keeping track of them throughout the game. Generally card values assigned to cards are +1 for 2-6 cards, 0 for 10-A cards and -1 for any cards from 7-9. When a new card is dealt, its value is assigned a numerical value and the sum of these values is tracked. You also assign a value to the Ace, meaning it increases or decreases depending on the sum of the cards numbered 1 through 9.
To learn card counting methods, you need to be able to add +1 or -1 to the card values. These, of course, are not official blackjack values and are more of a way to bet with the odds. You also need to know when to +1 and -1. This, you learn through experience.
+1 cards are easier to hit than -1 cards, which are more difficult to hit. Therefore, you want to double down on +1 cards, whereas you should only do so with -1 cards. This, you suspect, is because the player already has another card in the deck. Try this out by putting a +1 card and a -1 card side by side in a deck, and tell me what card comes out more favorable.
The reliability of the +1 cards can be confirmed by the fact that they rarely come out when you have no hand. Out of 18 hands played, only 4 had a card higher than -1. Therefore, your chances go down the more cards you don’t have. In this sense, the +1 card is sort of like the seal when you are trying to fool other players… except that the seal doesn’t actually give away the fact that you have the seal.
The +2 cards, on the other hand, are easier to hit but since they haven’t come out yet, you don’t know quite how they are going to end up. This makes them more dangerous to play, but also more profitable to steal.
+2 cards rarely come out when you have a hard 16, 15 or 14. Therefore, you will be more inclined to lay down a hand that contains +2 cards when the MPO777 has these hands. And even if you are called you will probably win the hand anyway so it’s a low risk play.
However, the +2 cards that you get don’t necessarily match the +1 cards, so don’t so easily think that two +2 cards means you have high cards. If the dealer has a -4 and a +2 card the odds are still 50:50, so don’t all of a sudden think you have the winning hand, unless you really think you do.
A third tip to improve your game is to remember what cards have already been played. Say you see that the -1 has already been played. This means there is a good chance that there will be +1 or +2 cards in the deck next. This is good information to have, whether you are card counting or just plain waiting.
If you can remember this information, you’ll be able to +1 or +2 cards when you are counting them as a plus when the -1 cards are played. This alone can often increase your probability of a win.
A third tip is to be disciplined and only raise your bet when you have a +1 card for a long time in a row. This is a discipline that will help you be more patient and wait for a + card to get dealt. It is also a good tip to mix your betting for day, you may raise all day, then stop and raise overnight.
This is a much needed break because it is so hard to try and bluff winning hands. Playing +2 cards every time is a much better strategy, than +1 cards every time. +2 cards is the new +1 card sime limit.