Casino Blackjack: Rules of the Game
Can a person win under those rules? A positive count reflects that more low cards are present in the deck being dealt while a negative count means a large number of high cards. Wow this website made me win big I started with 1k and I left with about 5. Insurance bets can be made by betting up to half your original bet amount in the insurance betting stripe in front of your bet. Any cards that the dealer subsequently deals to your hand are left on the table, not added to the cards you are holding.
Part 1 – Blackjack Basics
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In this strategy, high cards Ace including face cards are assigned a specific value of The remaining cards count as 0. As the dealer deals a card you make a note of its assigned value.
If the card is a 10 for example its assigned value is The idea is that you do this continuously for every new card dealt. The total is considered the "running count". That's all there is to it. Remember the mantra, "keep it simple, silly"? Well, it applies here best. When you keep it simple, your brain does not go into over drive. Obviously, once you've mastered the art of basic card counting and are probably past counting off cards on your digits not advisable to do in a casino , you should move up the ladder.
The Omega II technique is a "balanced" system, where we have 0 as base. A positive count reflects that more low cards are present in the deck being dealt while a negative count means a large number of high cards. If you have a card numbering 2, 3 or 7 you will assign it 1. For 4, 5 and 6 the value is 2. The card 9 is considered Face cards and 10s are -2, while 8 and Ace cards become 0 in value. You might find the counting slightly difficult in Omega II, however, it will definitely be worth your while once you get a hold of it.
The name for this strategy comes from its wonderfully skilled creator Stanford Wong. It's considered a fairly advanced strategy on account of its assigned values, some of which are fractions instead of whole numbers. In Wong Halves, cards 3, 4 and 6 are valued as 1. Cards 2 and 7 are valued at 0. The card 5 is worth 1. Card 8 is 0 while 9 is The Wong Halves techn que is also a "balanced" system, which means that when a deck is dealt completely, your count should be 0.
Some players, choose to simplify the strategy by doubling up all the values to avoid using fractions altogether. The advantage of doing this is that multiple decks, on multiple tables, can be counted simultaneously.
Signals are usually devised so as the members of the team can secretly communicate with one another while avoiding detection. Thus signaling to the hovering players when to join in a hand, and whether or not to bet big. This strategy was famously employed by a team of students and alumni at MIT who used it to win millions of dollars from multiple casinos for almost a decade.
Once uncovered, their escapades later became the subject of a best selling book and eventually a high grossing Hollywood movie. One of the ways casinos try to counteract card counting is by using multiple decks, in theory making it harder for anyone counting cards to keep track of the running total. However, this is easily thwarted. If you come up against a dealer using multiple decks in a black jack game, you can still enlist the same Hi-Lo strategy; all you need to do is divide the running count by the number of decks remaining to give you what is commonly called a 'True Count'.
It's your true count figure, rather than your running count, that will dictate the advantage when multiple decks are involved, so it's imperative you still keep an accurate running total to enable you to work out the True Count value. For example, if your running total is 5 and there are 2 decks remaining, your true count will be 2. The Count Far and away the easiest strategy to master is the Hi-Lo approach. For first time card counters it's advisable to start here and see how you get on.
As your ability increases you can choose to advance to an alternative strategy should you feel it necessary. No one strategy is superior over another and each one gives you the same advantage over the house, so it really is a case of weighing up the different systems and adopting the approach you feel most comfortable with.
A great way to practice is by using one of our free games here at Casino. An advantage of practicing card counting for blackjack online is that you are in the safety and comfort of your own home, although be aware that if you do decide to bet for real money some online casino sites do employ software that shuffles cards almost every time a new hand is dealt, making it increasingly difficult to count cards effectively.
Although the legal situation for card counting is still undetermined, it is definitely not a practice welcomed with open arms when at a physical casino. Although a casino and its operator cannot prosecute a card counting player, they can definitely make a situation and matters very unpleasant for someone caught counting cards.
Since casino operators are well aware of the practice of cards being counted, they take quite a few measures to keep you from doing so. You will find cameras for surveillance whenever you look up. When the dealer turns up an Ace, he will offer "Insurance" to the players. Insurance bets can be made by betting up to half your original bet amount in the insurance betting stripe in front of your bet.
The dealer will check to see if he has a value card underneath his Ace, and if he does have Blackjack, your winning Insurance bet will be paid at odds of 2: You will still lose your original bet unless you also have a Blackjack , so the net effect is that you break even assuming you bet the full half bet for insurance. This is why the bet is described as "insurance", since it seems to protect your original bet against a dealer blackjack. Of course, if the dealer does not have blackjack, you'll lose the insurance bet, and still have to play the original bet out.
Insurance is simply a side-bet offering 2: Not surprisingly, the casino has a substantial edge on this bet. In a single deck game, there are 16 ten-valued cards. Assuming that you don't see any other cards, including your own, the tens compose 16 out of 51 remaining cards after the dealer's Ace was removed.
That creates a 5. It's even worse in six decks with a 7. Card counters can still beat the insurance bet, by only making the bet when they know that more than one-third of the remaining cards are tens. Unless you are card counter and know the deck is skewed sufficiently, just ignore the insurance bet. It doesn't matter whether you have a good hand or a bad hand. If you have a blackjack when the dealer turns up an Ace, he is likely to offer you "even money" instead of the insurance bet.
If you accept, the dealer will pay you the amount of your original bet and discard your hand of blackjack, before he even checks under his Ace to see if he has a blackjack as well. Many players think this sounds like a good deal, guaranteeing a profit even if the dealer has a blackjack. But that guaranteed profit comes at a price. Let me show you how it works:. So, casinos allow you to eliminate the insurance bet altogether, and simply declare that you want "even money" for your blackjack when the dealer has an Ace showing.
The problem is that you are still making a bad bet on insurance, which costs you money. A player who does not count cards should simply never take the insurance bet, even the "even money" variety. Some games offer the player a chance to fold their hand, and forfeit half of their bet. This surrender option must be done as the very first action the player takes on the hand. In other words, you can't draw a card and then decide to bail out! Even when surrender is available, it is rarely used by players.
Often, the rules posted at the table won't mention it even if the casino allows it. And many players just don't like the idea of surrendering a hand. But for a smart player, it is a useful option, and reduces the house advantage by about 0. When surrender is available, make sure you know the correct strategy for using it.
Most players who use the option surrender too many hands. If your game offers surrender, I recommend reading my complete explanation of blackjack surrender. In the most common variety known as "late" surrender , a player cannot surrender until after the dealer has checked for blackjack. If the dealer has blackjack, you will lose your entire bet with no chance of surrendering for half the cost.
Generally, the dealer in blackjack must hit if he has a total of 16 or less, and stand if he has 17 or more. Seventeen is a weak hand, so if the dealer is allowed to try to improve the soft 17 hands, it makes the game tougher. When a dealer is allowed to hit soft 17, it adds about 0. Almost all other areas used the better rule of standing on all 17s. Over the years, more and more casinos have switched to hitting soft 17, and there are now far more H17 games than S17 games.
You can still find some games where the dealer stands on all 17s, even in casinos where some of the tables use the H17 rule. After splitting a pair, many casinos will allow you to double-down on a two-card hand that arises as a result of the split. For example, if you split a pair of eights, and draw a 3 on the first hand, it is valuable to be able to double-down on the resulting hand of As mentioned in the previous section discussion on pair splitting, there are several common restrictions on splitting Aces.
You will receive only one card on each Ace after splitting. Some casinos will allow you to resplit if you draw another Ace, and some will not. That's true even if the casino allows resplits of all other pairs.
Many casinos in Europe, and some in other parts of the world, handle the dealer's second card differently. In these "European No Hole Card" games, the dealer only deals himself one card at the beginning of the round. After all the players have completed their hands, he deals his own second card and completes the hand.
Contrast that with the normal US style of play. There, if the dealer has a ten or Ace card up, he checks the other card immediately to see if he has a blackjack. If he does, the hand is over. This process of "peeking" under the hole card to check for blackjack means that players can only lose one bet per hand if the dealer has a blackjack.
In a No-Hole-Card game, a player might split or double and have multiple bets at risk to a dealer blackjack, because the dealer cannot check ahead of time. This changes the optimal strategy, and means that players should usually not split or double against a dealer ten or Ace upcard.
An exception is splitting Aces against a dealer ten. Note that there are a few no-hole-card games where the rules specifically say that only one bet will be collected from a player if the dealer has a blackjack. In those games, although there is no hole card, you can play the game as if there were. That means you should play it as a Peek game, even though there's not really a peek! It's all a bit confusing.
When the No-Hole-Card rule is in use, and all bets are at risk to a dealer blackjack, it costs the player 0. Use the "No-Peek" option at our Strategy Engine. Ok this one's an extremely rare variation which I doubt you will see in any casinos today but I thought I'd mention.
Similarly there is a rule variation whereby the player automatically wins when drawing 7 cards without busting which is called a "Seven Card Charlie". The most important item is the sign declaring betting limits. Both the minimum and the maximum allowable bets should be on a sign on the table-top. Look around to find a table that suits your bet sizes. Make sure that the table you have selected is actually for blackjack, and not another of the many kinds of table games that casinos offer.
Look on the table for the phrase " Blackjack pays 3 to 2 ". Avoid any games that say " Blackjack pays 6 to 5 " instead. See 6 to 5 Blackjack? Beginners should start off playing the shoe games. The advantage in this style is that all of the players' cards are dealt face-up, so the dealer and other players can easily help you with playing questions and decisions.
Once you become proficient at the game, you may want to switch to a game with fewer decks since that lowers the casino's advantage. The dealer will exchange the entire amount of cash for the equivalent in chips, and drop the cash into a box on the table. Take a quick look at the chips to make sure you know the value of each color.
If you have any questions, just ask the dealer. Part of his job is to help players learn the game. Once you are ready to place a bet, wait for the current hand to be completed, then push your bet into the betting circle.
Your chips should be in one stack. If you are betting multiple denominations of chips, place the larger valued chips on the bottom of the stack, and the smaller value chips on top. Once the cards have been dealt, you are not allowed to touch the bet in the circle. If you need to know how much you have bet for doubling or splitting explained later , the dealer will count down the chips for you. Once the hand is over, the dealer will move around the table to each position in turn, paying winning hands and collecting the chips from losing hands.
After the dealer has paid you, you can remove your chips from the circle, and place your next bet. If you want to let your winnings ride, you will need to form one stack of chips from the two or more stacks on the table after the dealer pays you. Remember, higher value chips should be placed on the bottom of the stack.
When you are ready to leave the table, you do not cash in your chips the same way you bought them. The dealer cannot give you cash for the chips at the table. To do that, you must take the chips to the casino cashier. If you have a lot of low denomination chips in front of you at the table, you should trade them for the equivalent higher value chips instead.
In between hands, just tell the dealer you want to "color up", and he will have you push your chips into the middle of the table. He will count them down, and give you a smaller stack of chips that amount to the same value. This makes them easier to carry for you, and for the dealer it maintains his supply of smaller chips. Now you can take those chips to another table for more play, or head to the casino cashier where you can exchange them for cash.
So, if you have made it this far, congratulations. You should have a good idea of what to expect when you sit down at a blackjack table in the casino. What we have not talked about is how to actually make the best decisions while playing the game. That is a whole subject all its own. To have the best chance of winning, you should learn and practice "basic strategy", which is the mathematically best way to play each hand against each possible dealer upcard.
For a free chart that shows the right play in every case, visit our Blackjack Basic Strategy Engine. If you are looking to play from the comfort of your home, you can visit our online blackjack or live dealer blackjack sections for further resources. Hopefully I've covered just about everything you need.
But if you have other questions, feel free to post a reply at the bottom of the page. Our free blackjack game lets you play at your pace, and the Strategy Coach provides instant feedback on the best strategy.
To find the best strategy, use our most popular resource: The Blackjack Strategy Engine provides free strategy charts that are optimized for your exact rules. If you prefer a plastic card that you can take to the table with you, we have those too: Blackjack Basic Strategy Cards. The original version of this explanation of the rules of blackjack has a very long history here at BlackjackInfo. I created and published it here sometime in It was widely copied by other sites, and it has appeared without my permission on literally hundreds of sites over the years.
When I relaunched BlackjackInfo with a new mobile-friendly design in , I took the opportunity to write this all-new version. Hmmm seems I have been making some bad calls for years now, I thought splitting tens against anything but an ace or 10 was a good move: If a player decides to stand on 15 for whatever reason and the dealer has 16, must the dealer still draw another card since it is less than 17?
Is there any significance in blackjack when you have a black jack paired with a black ace, same suit? The question came up on the multiple choice question on Millionaire. I guessed 16 but the answer was 32??? In playing 21 with one deck off cards aND two people playing, in playing Blackjack with one deck of cards and two people playing what is the most black jack show up.
Ken, This may not be the most appropriate page to post this, but let me explain the situation. I aspire to hopefully gather a group of trustworthy guys together to form a blackjack team. Team play is complicated and far more involved than a group of friends pooling resources. There is not much published on team play.
The following book may be helpful. The strategy does not change, but the player is worse off by around 0. As the dealer I get up to Can the dealer chose to stay and take the chips bet from player on the left. But pay the player on the right? His rules are fixed. He must hit until he has 17 or higher, and then he must stand. Even if all the players at the table have 18, the dealer must stand if he ends up with a Most casinos now deal games with an extra rule about soft This is covered in detail in the article above.
I have a question. I signed up on an online casino and I was getting ready to play blackjack for real money and I asked the live chat help person how many decks were being used and she said 24 decks. Casinos, both online and land-based, can deal the game pretty much any way they like, including increasing the number of decks to a ridiculous 24!
Fortunately, once you get to 8 decks, the game does not get much worse for the player by adding even more decks. Eight decks is the most typically seen in brick-and-mortar casinos, but in most jurisdictions, land-based or online, there is no legal requirement for any specific number of decks.
Is there any standard in the way a dealer deals from the deck?