Blackjack seems like the same game no matter how it’s played. The goal is always to beat the dealer’s hand without busting out.
However, you can actually approach playing blackjack in different ways. These approaches include everything from counting cards to chasing jackpots.
With that said, I’m going to discuss seven different ways to enjoy this game. They include gaining an advantage over the casino, playing for free, and more.
1 – Basic Strategy
Most blackjack players are amateurs who stick with basic strategy. Of course, their approach to basic strategy can vary greatly.
Some gamblers simply play by feel while trying to avoid going over 21. If they have 14 and the dealer’s up card is eight, for example, they might stand (when they should actually hit) just to avoid busting out.
Other players are more precise and want to ensure that they have the best possible chance of winning. They’ll find tables with great rules and work to make the correct decision in each situation.
Of course, optimal blackjack strategy takes time to learn. Strategy charts provide an easy way to learn the basics. These resources are available all across the internet. You can find blackjack strategy charts with a quick online search.
When you factor in how easy it is to learn how to use strategy when you play blackjack, this small investment of time is well worth it. Just follow the link above and you can start using strategy every time you play blackjack. Don’t play another blackjack hand without using the best strategy.
2 – Free Online Blackjack
Those who aren’t into casino gaming sometimes get the wrong impression about blackjack. They think that they must have money when playing.
However, online blackjack provides a way to enjoy this game for free. You simply need to register at a mobile casino to get started.
In some cases, you don’t even have to register at all. You just select the relevant blackjack game and it’ll launch immediately.
Online casinos give you a certain amount of play-money chips (e.g. 1,000). You use these chips to try out games and entertain yourself in the process.
The free version is also a great way to practice. You can implement the strategy you’ve learned without losing any money when making mistakes.
3 – High Stakes Blackjack
You can always go the totally opposite way from free online blackjack and play for high stakes. The latter sees you place huge bets in an attempt to win serious profits.
The exact definition of high-stakes blackjack can vary. However, it’s generally considered games with a $50 or $100 minimum wager.
Of course, you don’t need to play in a high-roller area to bet this big. Most regular tables allow you to wager up to $500 per hand.
A major benefit to high-stakes blackjack is that you can pick up larger comps while playing. Casinos offer more rewards to high-limit players. Some of these comps include free meals, high-roller suites, limousine transportation, and personalized nightclub service.
You can also look forward to bigger winnings on hot nights. $100 per round will increase your winnings by 10x in comparison to $10 bets.
However, you should definitely practice and learn strategy before betting this big. After all, you don’t want to accelerate losses by playing high stakes as a novice player.
4 – Card Counting
Card counting is not only the most popular way to gain an advantage in blackjack, but in all of gambling, too. The best part is that you don’t even need to put considerable work into learning card counting.
You can quickly pick up the basics of the Hi-Lo system within 10 minutes or less. From here, you just practice to keep an accurate count during live games. This guide offers some good practice methods.
You also need a large bankroll in order to withstand the volatility. Even the Hi-Lo, which is a fairly accurate system, only offers up to a 1.5% edge over the casino. This advantage means that you’ll experience some rocky nights at the table.
You should also work on your camouflaging techniques to avoid being detected by the pit boss. If you’re good at camouflaging your counting abilities, then you’ll be less likely to get thrown out.
5 – Shuffle Tracking
Shuffle tracking provides a way to take blackjack advantage play even further. It begins with standard card counting while using the Hi-Lo.
The goal is to look for one or more clumps of cards that are rich with aces and 10-value cards. Once you find a clump like this, you want to visually track it in the discard tray.
When the dealer stops to shuffle, you continue tracking the card clump with a high positive count. The goal is to visually follow where this clump ends up in the shuffle, too.
You’ll place minimum bets until that particular clump comes along. You then raise your wagers to take advantage of the aces and 10s coming out.
Shuffle tracking certainly isn’t easy, which is why many aspiring advantage players just stick with card counting. But it can be even more lucrative and offer up to a 5% advantage when perfected.
You have to place the regular wager to play progressive blackjack. However, the jackpot side bet is optional. Given that the side wager is typically just $1, you might consider making it anyway.
The jackpot continues growing as more and more side wagers are made. Some of these prizes can reach up to six figures. Playtech’s progressive blackjack, for example, currently features a jackpot worth $148,600.
These games offer other side payouts besides just the jackpot. For example, you might receive 5,000x and 2,500x your bet for three suited aces and four non-suited aces, respectively.
To win the top prize, though, you’ll need to get an outstanding hand such as four suited aces. This hand would require you to hit twice to have a chance at it.
7 – Poolside or Party Pit Blackjack
Not everything regarding different approaches to blackjack revolves around how you play. Instead, it can also be about where you play.
Land-based casinos offer some interesting settings for enjoying this game. For example, some casinos feature outdoor pool areas with blackjack tables.
In this case, the table is located on the edge of the pool. You can wade up to the table and find a seat, which will be slightly submerged in water. The dealers, meanwhile, are usually bikini-clad women.
Casinos can also feature party pits. A party pit blackjack game takes place amid blaring music, women dancing on poles, and club-style lighting.
These games are certainly more entertaining than your average blackjack table. They do come with a catch, however, in the form of worse rules.
Poolside and party pit tables almost always include 6:5 natural blackjack payouts. They also include one or two others unfavorable rules that can push the house edge over 2%.
Therefore, you’ll be paying somewhat of a premium to play at these tables. But you can still overcome the higher house edge with good strategy and a little luck.
Blackjack has evolved over the years to include multiple ways to play. You can be a serious amateur who uses basic strategy to whittle down the house edge. Or you can simply play free online blackjack for entertainment and/or practice purposes.
Card counting and shuffle tracking are both ways to circumvent the house edge. They can result in long-term profits when done right.
Party pit and poolside games feature unfavorable rules compared to the average game. However, they’re still worth the experience.
In summary, blackjack is a multi-faceted game that can be enjoyed in various ways. You’ll be hard-pressed to get tired of it as a result.
Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...
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