Advanced Rules for Winning at Blackjack

Is there a magic strategy that will always answer your questions about winning at Blackjack? Unfortunately no. In the previous post we looked at some basic Blackjack tips, next we’ll look at a few of the more advanced ones.

The basic strategies alone won’t make you a pro, so pay attention.

Don’t be afraid to Double

At the start of every game, an initial bet is placed before any cards are dealt. This means that most of the time no additional bets can be placed. However, the rules are different with the double down bet.

A double down bet allows you to place an additional bet, equal to your bet, in exchange for an extra card. Once you receive the third card, your hand is automatically ended and you must wait to see the dealer’s hand. Some variations will only allow you to double with a certain total, so remember to check the rules first.

Knowing when to double down is key: if the dealer shows a low first card (a 5 or a 6) and the player shows a 9, a 10 value card could probably win the game and this is a good time to double down. Double down is like having an extra bet when your hand has a better chance of winning, but of course this bet also carries some risks.

 

Keep in Mind the House Edge

The house edge in Blackjack is generally lower than in other casino games. Using a basic strategy the house edge is usually 0.5%. However, it can change based on your skill levels.

For example, if you play good hands, the house edge for the dealer will remain low, but if you make bad moves, you can increase the house edge between 2% and 4%. If you are guessing every move and not paying attention to the table or your cards, you massively increase the dealer’s advantage and the dealer will be more likely to win.

The dealer always has the advantage of playing first. However, the player’s decisions, which include the use of double down, can play to their advantage by ensuring they have a better chance of winning.

 

How and When To Use Insurance

Blackjack insurance is a side bet that will be offered to you if the dealer’s face up card is an ace. This will effectively insure you against the dealer getting a Blackjack. Insurance bets pay 2 to 1 and the maximum bet you can place is usually half your main bet. Potentially, this offers you the opportunity to walk away with no losses even if the dealer gets a Blackjack, and even if you lose your main bet.

Insurance may not be a good option unless you are confident that there is an unusually high number of 10s in the deck.

 

Always Know When To Surrender

To be a good Blackjack player it is important that you know when it is time to surrender. In short, you should surrender when the odds are clearly against you. _

There are two possible surrender options; the early surrender option allows you to give up your hand and only pay out half your initial bet before the dealer checks for Blackjack. This is probably the best option as it reduces the house edge.

There is however a late surrender option which allows you to do the same but after the dealer has turned over his cards. By using this option you will get half your bet back in case the dealer’s hand is not Blackjack, and lose the full amount if the hand is Blackjack. Not all Blackjack games will offer both types of surrender options, so it is important that you check the surrender rules before playing.