Roulette & Blackjack Agents 747 Live

Roulette & Blackjack Agents 747 Live

If you are looking for real money games, you can definitely count on roulette being one of the top options for you out there. The game of roulette is a timeless classic that is featured by all casinos for real money. Its simple gameplay leads to huge dividends for players who know how to make the most out of it.

Essentially, you should pick one of three versions, which is European, American, or French. These three “archetypes” of roulette will not only let you win real money but also show you how you can always win more. The house edge for European Roulette is 2.70%, and it can be further reduced if you stick with the French version.

Some versions of the American real money game actually have a Surrender rule, which resembles French’s La Partage when the 0 is hit, and the bet is split back between the player and the dealer. Remember that the American roulette wheel is a double-zero wheel, too.


Blackjack is another player-favorite game where you can win real money. You will find the game to be particularly reliant on skill and understanding, with a lot of shortcuts you may take to advance your own play. There are cheat sheets that allow you to quickly reference the best combinations you can make at online casinos.

And, no – there is no actual cheating involved at all. Casinos welcome you to use any available resource at your disposal to perform to the best of your ability in all casino games. In fact, you don’t have to worry about memorizing blackjack strategies, as you can always reference them in real-time!

Other Table Games

There are more table games you can explore online for real money. There are numerous options to enjoy here as well, including the likes of baccarat, sic bo, and craps. You will be able to dive into complex and simple gameplay as per your preference and enjoy various games that require either dice or cards to be played.

Many online casino sites make sure to bring more than just your run-of-the-mill blackjack and roulette, and we make sure that we cover those as well! All you need to do is make a deposit and enjoy a favorite casino game.


Online Casino Roulette & Blackjack

Mines GamesPH

If you are looking for real money games, you can definitely count on roulette being one of the top options for you out there. The game of roulette is a timeless classic that is featured by all casinos for real money. Its simple gameplay leads to huge dividends for players who know how to make the most out of it.

Essentially, you should pick one of three versions, which is European, American, or French. These three “archetypes” of roulette will not only let you win real money but also show you how you can always win more. The house edge for European Roulette is 2.70%, and it can be further reduced if you stick with the French version.

Some versions of the American real money game actually have a Surrender rule, which resembles French’s La Partage when the 0 is hit, and the bet is split back between the player and the dealer. Remember that the American roulette wheel is a double-zero wheel, too.


Blackjack is another player-favorite game where you can win real money. You will find the game to be particularly reliant on skill and understanding, with a lot of shortcuts you may take to advance your own play. There are cheat sheets that allow you to quickly reference the best combinations you can make at online casinos.

And, no – there is no actual cheating involved at all. Casinos welcome you to use any available resource at your disposal to perform to the best of your ability in all casino games. In fact, you don’t have to worry about memorizing blackjack strategies, as you can always reference them in real-time!

Other Table Games

There are more table games you can explore online for real money. There are numerous options to enjoy here as well, including the likes of baccarat, sic bo, and craps. You will be able to dive into complex and simple gameplay as per your preference and enjoy various games that require either dice or cards to be played.

Many online casino sites make sure to bring more than just your run-of-the-mill blackjack and roulette, and we make sure that we cover those as well! All you need to do is make a deposit and enjoy a favorite casino game.


Blackjack and House Advantage


Learning how the number of blackjack decks changes the house advantage is essential if you want to turn blackjack into a positive expectation game. Whether you play using basic strategy or you’re already an amateur card counter, understanding how the size of the shoe affects the house edge is key to going above and beyond the basics of blackjack math.

Strategy doesn’t begin when you sit down at the blackjack table. The first step in a good blackjack strategy is walking through the casino doors and finding the right blackjack table. Every blackjack table in a casino is not the same. Being a good card counter and knowing proper blackjack strategy is not the only skill you have to learn. You’ll also need to learn how to choose the right casino and the right table in that casino.

What Is Card Counting?

Counting cards is really just a system for figuring out how many of each card rank is in the deck relative to the total number of cards. Card counters keep track of those cards as they shift in and out of the deck. Skilled card counters know when to be aggressive based on the cards still in the shoe. If a casino only uses one deck at their blackjack tables, a card counter has an excellent chance of placing advantageous bets. If a casino uses 6 or 8 decks of cards in their blackjack shoe, the percentages don’t move around as quickly and it is more difficult to know what cards are left in the shoe.

Play blackjack at Pribet Casino!

The best blackjack card counters know exactly how many decks a casino uses, how many hands are dealt before a reshuffle, and the specific rules a casino uses that alter the odds. Card counters also take note of how many blackjack players are at each table, because this affects the number of hands the counter will see per hour.

Number of Decks in Play

When card counters first started making their way into casinos, single deck shoes were far more common. Once casino managers got wind of the advantage that card counters held against them, they began to make small changes to shift the odds more in favor of the house. The quickest way to do this is to add more decks to the shoe. Nowadays, casinos offer blackjack games with up to 8 decks in a shoe. Single deck or two deck shoes tend to be extremely limited in terms of wagers, with max bets as low as $10.

But you don’t have to be a card counter to think about how the number of decks in a shoe affects blackjack strategy. A one-deck shoe is easier to develop basic blackjack strategy around. If you see two aces go out of that deck, it’s pivotal information because there’s only 4 of them to begin with. But if you see 2 aces go out of an 8-deck hand, there are still 30 more potential aces in the deck. The more decks you see in a game, the worse your edge against the house.

Beat the dealer at 888!

With a one deck shoe and playing perfect strategy, the house advantage in blackjack is actually +0.02 in the favor of the player. That means that if you follow basic blackjack strategy and make the right move every time, you should expect to win more money than you lose over time.

House Edge with Two or More Decks

As soon as a casino throws more decks in the shoe, the odds change drastically. Move from a single deck to a double deck shoe and you can expect your return to drop from 100.02% to 99.69%.

Here’s a breakdown of the payoffs you can expect with differently-sized shoes. Remember that this percentage assumes you’re playing perfect blackjack strategy.

  1. 100.02%
  2. 99.69%
  3. 99.57%
  4. 99.52%
  5. 99.48%
  6. 99.46%
  7. 99.45%
  8. 99.43%

The odds start to flatten out at a point, which explains why more casinos don’t choose to invest in more decks for their blackjack games. The inclusion of even one extra deck has the largest impact on the outcome of the game, because an additional four cards of each rank throws off a lot of calculations. That’s why casinos use multiple decks—to stave off card counters who aren’t otherwise breaking the law.


25 Little Known Ways to Win at Blackjack


Blackjack is one of my favorite games in the casino. Not because there is a lot of excitement generated like with craps but because with some very basic strategies and knowledge you can turn what I find a relaxing experience into a profitable one.

Having spent hours (which may equate to days) at the blackjack table, I have seen a lot of different strategies to no strategy at all. Playing blackjack can be fun and rewarding. I recommend that you keep it as simple as possible and use the people around you, including the dealer.

When at the table I’d like to encourage you to get involved with the table. Whether that is from the perspective where you are learning or an expert at the game. I read somewhere along the way that “if you help enough people get what they want you too shall get what you want”. Consider that when you have a player considering to take a card when holding 15 when the dealer shows a 6.

First Things First

We all have to start somewhere and like with much of what we do in life we learn the most while on the go. Blackjack, for most, is learned in the same manner. I cannot remember the last time that I sat down at a blackjack table and there was not at least one person that either needed some guidance or could use some guidance. So here are some starting points:

  1. Know the basics.The goal is to beat the dealer – not to reach 21. There are a lot of players that have what I refer to as “card paralysis”. They see the two cards that are dealt and they are counting in their heads to see what they might need to get 21. We are all playing to win and winning means beating the dealer. Not achieving 21.
  2. Never hand the dealer your cash.You have to set the cash down on the table so that the cameras can see the money being accepted by the dealer.
  3. Cards stay on the table. You have to keep the cards on the table, even if you are playing a game where they allow you to pick up the cards. IN a game where they deal the cards face down and allow you to pick them up you must keep them on the table and only touch the cards with one hand. Otherwise in the vast majority of blackjack games you are not to ever touch the cards.
  4. Know the basic hand gestures.As we all know, casinos are filled with cameras so the player must point or gesture to either hit to receive another card or wave to stay. Knowing the hand gestures would essentially allow a player to be able to play, for the most part, without saying a word during the course of the game.
  5. Get online. Before playing it is almost a must to become a student of the game. Going to one of the free online sites allows for you to learn how to bet, when to split, how to double down or when to use insurance.
  6. Download an app. The vast majority of us have a smart phone that will allow us to download a game. I recommend downloading a blackjack game that will allow you to track your statistics and practice your strategy.
  7. Practice with friends. It is always helpful to practice with a live deck of cards and with friends that know how to play. There are a lot of players now that have been introduced to casino style gambling online but lack the experience at the tables. As I mentioned before, you have to start somewhere. So try to get a feel for the live gaming experience by practicing what you have learned with friends or family that know what the actual live experience is like.
  8. Respect the table.On countless occasions I have seen people walk up to the table and cash in $20.00 and walk away in less than 2 hands. For the most part it is disruptive to the players that have been playing at the table. Blackjack is a progressive game and the players at the table are working and observing trends in the cards. A “floater” coming in and not investing time at the table is distracting.
  9. Know the numbers.The dealer busts 28% of the time. This is equal to two (2) times out of every seven (7) hands. Keep this important stat in mind and try not to act too quickly and help the dealer out. When a player mishandles a hand there is a 28% chance that it was going to equal a bust with the dealer. Remember, it is not the first to 21 but the first to not bust. Another angle to consider is that 85% of the player’s hands are lost when holding a hard 12 through 17. Also, when a dealer is holding an Ace as their up card there is a 31% chance that they have a 10 underneath.
  10. Probability Theory and Blackjack. The Encyclopedia Britannica defines Probability Theory as:
    1. a branch of mathematics concerned with the analysisof random phenomena. The outcome of a random event cannot be determined before it occurs, but it may be any one of several possible outcomes. The actual outcome is considered to be determined by chance.

There are a lot of people in the gambling industry that have done the math for us and conclude that a win in blackjack happens approximately 42% of the time. A tie with the dealer occurs roughly 9% of the time. So you are going to lose 51% of the time. Knowing these odds helps you to work a strategy that helps you to maximize your betting during the 42% of the wins.

Getting into the Game

There are a lot of moving parts in almost every game in the casino. Each and every one of them have a draw for different players and provide a sense of thrill. Having a good base of knowledge will enhance your ability to both enjoy the game and turn it profitable.

Just as any game we play, the longer we play, the better we get. Aside from all the tips I am mentioning here, the best little known way to become a winner at blackjack, is to play and play often.

  1. How to Bet.The table has the minimum and maximum bets posted at the table. The player places a minimum bet in the designated location and play begins with the dealer dealing the cards. During play you will have the opportunity to increase your bet by splitting pairs or doubling down.
  2. The Deal. Once bets have been placed on the table the dealer deals two cards to each player (in most games they are face up) and two cards to the dealer, one face up and the other face down.
  3. Basic Play. Once the cards have been dealt, play begins. Players and the dealer can have blackjack and players are paid out and the rest of the table plays their hands. If the dealer has blackjack play is over and the players lose their bets. Aside from blackjack, players play out their hands by either taking additional cards, splitting or doubling down. If a player busts then their bet is surrendered and game continues for the other players at the table.
  4. Play of the Dealer. Everyone at the table is playing their hands to beat the dealers hand. The dealer, in most cases, have to hit on 16 and stay on 17. If dealt an Ace as their up card the dealer can ask players if they wish to use insurance to protect their bet.
  5. Know when to use Insurance.When the dealer’s face-up card is an ace, any of the players may make a side bet of up to half the original bet that the dealer’s face-down card is a ten-card, and thus a blackjack for the house. Once all such side bets are placed, the dealer looks at his hole card. If it is a ten-card, it is turned up, and those players who have made the insurance bet win and are paid double the amount of their half-bet, a 2 to 1 payoff. When a blackjack occurs for the dealer, of course, the hand is over, and the players’ main bets are collected – unless a player also has blackjack, in which case it is a stand-off. Insurance is not good for the player, unless he is sure that there are a high number of ten-cards still left in the deck.
  6. Know when to split your cards.You have the ability to spit any matched pair during the game. When you find yourself looking at a pair of cards on the table there are a number of different scenarios to consider. First you want to know if there is a better chance to win against what the dealer is showing if you split your cards. The basic rules for splitting your cards are:
i.Pair of 2’s or 3’s4,5,6 or 7Split
ii.Pair of 4’sAnythingNever Split
iii.Pair of 5’s2 through 9Never Split; Double Down
iv.Pair of 5’s10 and upNever Split; Hit
Pair of 6’s3,4,5 or 6Split
vi.Pair of 6’sAnything elseHit
vii.Pair of 7’s2 through 7Split
viii.Pair of 7’s8 and upHit
ix.Pair of 8’sDoesn’t matterAlways Split
x.Pair of 9’s2 through 6Split; Double Down
xi.Pair of 9’s7Stand
xii.Pair of 9’s8 or 9Split
xiii.Pair of 9’s10 and upStand
xiv.Pair 10’s – KingDoesn’t matterNever Split; Stand
xv.Pair of Ace’sDoesn’t matterSplit
  1. Know when to double down.The quickest way to build your personal bank is to double down as often as you have the chance. Totaling the cards dealt to you are what initiates the opportunity to double down and here are the rules to follow when doubling down:
    YouDealerResulta.93,4,5 or 6Double Downb.102 through 9Double Downc.112 through 10Double Downd.Ace and 2 or 35 or 6Double Downe.Ace and 4 or 54,5 or 6Double Downf.Ace and 63 through 6Double Downg.Ace and 73 through 6Double Down
  2. Always hit on soft 17.I know that when the average person looks at this they scratch their head and wonder why in the world anyone would hit on a soft 17. Many players get dealt a soft 17 (which is a hand that is equal to 17 where an Ace and a 6 has been dealt) and decide to stay. The general rule of thumb is that when dealt a hard 17 is to stay because the number of potential bust cards is great. Conversely, when a dealer shows any up card not a three through 6 the player usually loses with a 17. As a result, always hit on a soft 17.
  3. When you Win (the Payout).The player always goes first in blackjack and if a player busts they lose their bet at that moment (even if the dealer later busts). The player is paid immediately when a player gets a blackjack otherwise the table players play out the hand. Most blackjacks are paid out at 3:2. Some tables pay out differently so be aware of what the payout is at the various tables. Aside from the payout of a blackjack the table pays 1:1 on your standard bet. That same bet is paid out when you split pairs and double down.
  4. Most casinos have auto shufflers and deal multiple decks. Some of the multiple decks are 6 to 8 decks in total. About one in every six tables you’ll find a single deck game and the cards are shuffled at a more frequent rate.
  5. Play more than one position.Playing two or more positions allows you to deploy a number of strategies as well as opening up a lot of advantages. Most casinos allow you to play multiple positions but they have rules that require you to double the table minimum bet. Be mindful of the table minimum because it will apply to the splitting of any cards and doubling down on any bets. There are a few strategies to consider and when playing three or more positions it is recommended that you stand, at all times, on any one of the hands with a hard 16 and play the others with your developing strategy. Also, when playing three positions, make one of the positions an aggressive position when you play. You will take more risks in this position. While playing multiple positions it is good to play a progressive betting style. As you grow your bets, make sure that you are raking profits.
  6. Play a progressive betting system.There are a lot of ways to bet progressively while playing blackjack. This is one of the optimal ways you can rake significant profits. This style of betting can be used when playing one or multiple positions. I have used a number of progressive styles over the years and there is one style that I use regularly. First, begin by betting the table minimum and if playing multiple positions make sure that you are betting the required minimums. When you win the first time with a hand, double your next bet. When you win the second time, rake the profits and go back to the table bet. Follow these tips until your profits reach a level that you desire and begin increasing your minimum bet. I generally double the table bet as I win and keep that level until I lose three hands in a row. At that time, I lower my bet to the table minimum and repeat the process as described previously. While I am playing multiple positions I don’t always win at all positions. I generally will run a streak where I win one and lose or push with the other position. When this occurs, I use the profits of the winning position to finance the bet of the other position(s). Doing this will keep you from dipping back into your pocket. With the multiple position progressive betting I grow my table minimum bets just as I described above and reset my betting strategy back to the table minimum once I have lost three in a row.
  7. Pick a strategy and follow it through.Blackjack, like any gambling game, it is a game of numbers and strategy. I have seen dozens of people walk up to the blackjack table and sit down for a few moments and burn through their cash in a matter of moments. Personally, I do not have that kind of money to burn. When I play I try to deploy the strategy and I remain committed to that strategy. It has been tested and proven that if you can tweak and adjust a strategy, rather than abandon it at the first sign of losses, your career earnings at the tables can be significant.
  8. Practice your strategy. Go to one of the free online sites and work with strategies that you have found over the internet or what you have learned from friends or the movies. Additionally, download an app for your phone so that you can practice on the go. Looking at both of the options, online and an app, make sure that you use one that keeps track of your statistics. It is important also that you can reset your statistics as you work to deploy new strategies. Once you have identified your strategy, make it your own but know that tables at time will go cold. When you have found a table that has gone hot you need to be taking as many calculated chances as you can and make the most out of every bet.
  9. Play with people that know how to play. This is by far one of the hardest things that you can do in most cases. A lot of people that show up at a table does not know how to play and it can negatively impact your pocketbook. Many people think that the objective is to get to 21 rather than play to beat the dealer. So, if you find yourself with players that don’t know how play offer to help. If they make a bad decision that you could have helped with it could (and usually does) have an adverse effect on your hand. It is also these players that can turn a hot table too cold very quickly. As this is occurring you must have the presence of mind to reduce your bets quickly.


In my opening I mentioned that there are a lot of strategies and there is a lot of time invested in practicing and cultivating a strategy that works well for your style of play. You have to be willing to practice and work on your strategy.

Think about your chosen career and how long it took you to get to your current level of compensation. It took time to reach that level. Much like this example, you need time to develop your strategy and practice often if you want to see your blackjack play turn from just a game to a profitable pastime.


Best Blackjack Basic Strategy Charts to Maximise Your Winnings

Mines GamesPH

You’ve probably heard players say that blackjack is a simple game to learn how to play, but it takes practice and a good strategy to learn to play well and know what move to make next that will eventually lead to a win.

If you are a novice player or you are unsure that your strategy for playing the game is right, here are a few simple steps you can take to improve your odds of winning.

First, you should start by looking at a blackjack basic strategy chart and figuring out what it means. Don’t worry – we’ll help you with that. Next, you should try memorising the moves from the chart as much as possible if you plan to play blackjack at a land-based casino. If your choice is an online casino, you can keep the charts open on another screen as a reminder.

Finally, you need to practice and gain experience to an extent when you won’t need a chart anymore, but you’ll have it all figured out and planned in your head. But first things first: let’s take a look at a basic blackjack strategy chart and explain the basic strategy in blackjack.

Blackjack Basic Strategy Chart

A blackjack strategy chart looks like this.

Blackjack basic strategy chart

A strategy chart lists all the possible situations and card combinations at the beginning of a game. It also tells you what you should do or what move to make in each situation to maximise your chances of winning. Every game version has its own chart for all the scenarios you can encounter, so just make sure you are looking at the right one when playing your game.

You will notice that some charts have separate instructions for soft and hard hands. A soft hand is when there is an Ace in the combination because an Ace can count as 1 or 11 points, so the value of the hand is not fixed. On the other hand, hard hands don’t include an Ace and this card combination’s value is fixed.

What is Basic Strategy in Blackjack?

Blackjack is ultimately a game of strategy, and your intuition might not be the thing to rely on when playing the game. That’s why a blackjack strategy chart is there to help you make the best decision about your next move. The strategy that the chart displays is based on game rules, careful calculations and statistics, and it is there to help you increase your odds and lower the house edge.

Implementing a basic strategy doesn’t guarantee that you will always win, as it can’t predict other players’ cards, but it can help you minimise your losses by telling you when to surrender or when not to double down.

Based on your and the dealer’s cards, the basic strategy will instruct you on when to hit or stand and help you decide if you should surrender or maybe double. Deciding whether or not to split a pair is a more complicated situation, and it will depend on the version of the game you are playing and on the dealer’s card.

To learn more about the basic strategy in blackjack, we recommend that you read our blackjack basic strategy guide and find your way to play in an attempt to beat the dealer.

How to use the Blackjack Basic Strategy Chart

Every blackjack chart will tell you what to do when you have your cards in front of you, as we have already said multiple times. It practically acts like a blackjack guide that helps you decide on your next move. Now, how to read a basic blackjack strategy card?

If you look at the chart above, you will notice that it says Dealer’s Up Card on top. That is where you locate the dealer’s card in the top row. The leftmost vertical column contains the total value of all the possible combinations of your cards. When you have identified these values, find a field in the chart where they intersect, and it will tell you what to do in the given situation according to the basic strategy blackjack chart.

Looking at the chart more closely, you will see the following symbols: H, S, D, and SP. Here’s a short explanation of what these symbols mean:

  • H means Hit, and you say “hit” or click this “H” symbol when you need an extra card from the dealer.
  • S means Stand, and when you see it in the chart, it means that you should keep the cards you have.
  • D stands for Double or Double down. You can only double down once after the initial two cards, and it means that you are doubling your bet and taking one extra card. Note that if you Hit, you won’t have the Double option later, but you also won’t be able to Hit again after you Double down. 
  • SP stands for Split or Split Pairs, and it simply means that you should split the pair of the same value cards and use them to play one by one.

If you are among those who think that their chances increase even further when they add card counting to these charts, then you should learn more about how to count cards in blackjack and remember that card counting is only possible in land-based casinos.

Our 3 Main Basic Strategy Charts

Basic blackjack strategy charts exist for all the variations of the game, and they all illustrate what players should do if they play the single deck, double or 4-8 deck version. Let’s look at each of them more closely:

Single Deck Basic Blackjack Strategy Chart
Single Deck basic blackjack strategy

As you can probably guess, this version of blackjack is played with a single deck, or 52 cards, making it easier for players to remember the cards that came out and the ones that are left. It could help you with making decisions about your game because, as we said earlier, blackjack shouldn’t be a game of intuition.

A single-deck version sometimes allows you to take more risk than you would in a game played with more decks, so in some instances player should double down instead of just hitting. If the game allows you to double down after splitting, that will give you even more options to play. 

It is not a standard version of the game, as most games are played with 4-6 decks.

Double Deck Basic Blackjack Strategy Chart
Double Deck basic blackjack strategy

Double-deck is another non-standard version of blackjack, played with two decks or 104 cards, and you should use the above chart when playing this version. Your strategy will depend on whether the dealer Stands on soft 17 and if doubling down is permitted. The chart also shows advice on what to do if doubling down after splitting is not allowed, so you’d know what to do in each situation.

For example, the chart shows that you should always stand on the pair of tens or what to do with some pairs if doubling down after splitting is not allowed.

4 – 8 Deck Basic Blackjack Strategy Chart
4-8 Deck Basic blackjack Strategy

In these multi-deck games, it is particularly important whether the dealer Stands or Hits on a soft 17, as different charts should be used based on that. These charts are more sophisticated as more options are available when more cards are in the game. Sometimes Surrender, Split or Double options are not permitted, so the chart instructs you on what to do in those situations. These are some of the new symbols in multi-deck charts:

  • DH – Double down if permitted, otherwise Hit
  • RM – Surrender if it’s allowed, else Hit
  • RS – Surrender if permitted, otherwise Stand
  • PH – Split if doubling down is allowed after splitting, otherwise Hit

Your strategy will depend on the type of hand you hold. The chart indicates what move you should make depending on whether you hold a hard or a soft hand or pairs.

Tips For Playing Blackjack Basic Strategy

The best tip we can give you is to use these blackjack charts when playing the game. But there are some blackjack essential tips that are applicable to most games.

Tip #1 Always Split a Pair of Aces

Eleven is an excellent starting point in blackjack, even if you can only get one more card later on top of each of the Aces you have. You should do the same with a pair of eights, and for any other pair, check the chart for the type of blackjack you are playing.

Tip #2 Always Double Down When You Have an Ace

It’s a fact that you should only double down when you have a strong hand, as you won’t be able to Hit again. Experts recommend doubling down when you have a total of 11 in your hand, and the dealer is not displaying an Ace. They also suggest doubling down when you have a total of 10 if the dealer doesn’t have a 10 or an Ace.

Tip #3 Know When to Surrender

If the basic blackjack strategy chart is telling you to surrender your hand, and the surrender is permitted, you should do so, as the basic strategy only instructs you to surrender in certain situations. If surrender is not an option in the game you choose to play, then experts recommend that you Hit. Surrendering is sometimes a good move that will save you money in the longer run, as you lose half of your initial wager when surrendering.

Tip #4 Don’t Take Insurance in the Basic Strategy Play

One of the main rules of the basic blackjack strategy is that taking insurance is a bad option. It’s a common opinion that risking losing your initial bet is more profitable than defending it against a dealer who could hit the blackjack. That advice changes later when your game becomes more advanced, especially with players who count cards.

Tip #5 Pick the Right Chart and Strategy

None of the tips matters if you don’t choose the correct chart and strategy for the game you choose to play. Even if you pick the best-suited chart, it doesn’t guarantee you will win. You have to consider other players’ cards and strategies, and, of course, you’ll need luck on your side. Whatever version of the game you choose, note that the chart might need some strategy adjustments as you play.


Learn How to Count Cards in Blackjack


Good Blackjack card counting tips include the understanding that higher valued cards work to the dealers advantage while lower valued cards work toward the players advantage. The difference between the two is knowing who has the advantage. Card counting in blackjack allows the player to play the odds. If done correctly and the player can become a master at Blackjack.

How does this work exactly? Counting cards in blackjack is skill that is learned and practiced. If most of the lower cards have been played then the deal has a higher chance of busting. There are several methods of counting cards in blackjack. This article will concentrate on one the better methods of counting cards – Hi/Lo card counting.

Hi-Lo Card Counting

The deck is divided into three sections – Low Cards, High Cards and Neutral Cards. Each group is assigned a numerical value:

Low CardsHigh CardsLow Cards
Low Cards areHigh CardsNeutral Cards

So each time a card is played or laid on the table the play makes a mental calculation. The count starts at zero. If a Jack is played then the count is -1. But if the dealer deals a Q, 8, 2, K then the count is the mathematical equation ( 0-1+0+1-1) = -1. If the dealer deals a 5,K,J,2 then the mathematical equation is (0+1-1-1+1) = 0. The zero at the beginning of the equation is the starting balance. It carries over from hand to hand. If the two hands were played one after the other then the beginning balance of the second equation would be (-1+0+1-1-1+1)= -1.

Running Count

Hi low card counting is simply keeping track of the cards that are played and estimating when higher valued cards may be dealt. A +1 count is more likely to produce a high card, while a low card is more likely to be produced at a -1 count. If the odds favor being dealt higher valued card, it could be dangerous anytime someone has a natural hand count of 12 or more, and the blackjack card counting is +1 . Then more high valued cards are left and hitting may be beneficial but risky. If the hi low card counting is -1 then the odds of having a low valued card dealt are greater. This card counting blackjack tip is designed to allow the player to know when to bet high and when to bet low.

The danger of counting cards in blackjack is getting caught. It is not a crime nor is it illegal to count cards but a dealer who thinks you are counting cards will employ all kinds of tricks to mess up your counting. Some casinos may ask you to leave if they suspect you are a card counter. To overcome the obvious look of counting cards in blackjack requires nothing more then practice to improve your hi-lo card counting abilities. The goal is to blend in with novice players and to achieve that goal you will need to practice until counting cards in blackjack is second nature to you.

Practice with Online Blackjack

For those players interested in becoming more familiar with blackjack it is advisable to play blackjack online. The casinos online that offer blackjack represent an excellent opportunity to get-to-know the finer aspects of the game.

Though counting cards does not work when playing online blackjack, the goal of playing blackjack online is to not only become more familiar with the game but to master the rules of the game. Learning the rules and mastery of the game allows the player to be able to focus better on learning to count cards when playing blackjack at live tables, so it doesn’t appear like you are counting cards while playing.


Playing Blackjack: Split 10s?

Mines GamesPH

Blackjack splitting 10s: it’s a question that many players struggle with, and the question of whether you should or shouldn’t split 10s confuses players from all around the world. To add to the confusion, some casinos allow you to split tens, while others don’t – and that’s why we’ve written this post. On this page, we will show you the definitive answer to whether you should split 10s or not. We will also show when to split (and when not to) in other situations, too.

Never Split 10s: Fact or Fiction?

In most online casinos, you are allowed to split tens. However, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. The reality is that you should never split tens. If you’re following basic strategy (more on that later) you should never split a pair of 10s, regardless of what card the dealer shows.

A pair of tens is a very strong hand; if you split, the chances of you drawing two additional picture cards or aces is slim – and this often leaves you worse off than before. This is why you never split tens. We’ll tell you more about when you should split later on this page.

Never Split 10s Strategy Card

If you’re following a never split 10s strategy card, you’ll notice there are never scenarios where you should split this pair. Why? There are two main reasons.

Firstly, your original hand totaled 20. This is a very strong hand, and it’s as close as you can get to 21 without hitting it exactly. With such a strong hand to begin with, it simply makes no sense to split, as you’re decreasing your chances of winning the hand.

Secondly, the average hand total of a dealer in Blackjack is 18.3 – although this doesn’t take busted hands into account. If you split tens, the odds of you drawing a picture card on one of those hands is around 50%. This is reduced to 25% for both hands. Thus, the odds are massively against you – and this is why you should never split tens.

If you hold a hand of 20 in Blackjack, it will win – on average – 85% of the time, and that’s great odds; you don’t want to do anything to jeopardize this. You can split both at land-based and online casinos. If you’re looking to play, check out the best online Blackjack sites in Pennsylvania.

What is Splitting in Blackjack?

When you’re playing Blackjack and draw two cards of the same value – for example, a pair of 4s or 5s – you are allowed to split the pair and play them as though they were two separate hands. To do so, you need to put down an additional wager that’s equal to the amount you wagered initially.

Once you’ve put the money forward, the dealer will separate your two cards and draw a new card to each. This means you’re now playing two hands – both independent of one another. You can play these hands as normal – and if one loses, you’ll still be paid out on the other one, if it wins.

Some casinos will allow you to re-split, too. For example, if you split a pair of 7s, and received another 7 on one of your hands, you could then split that new pair of 7s again. Doing so can get quite expensive – but if luck’s on your side, it can also end up being pretty profitable! Most casinos use liberal splitting rules; however, a few land-based casinos will only allow you to split certain card values, and some don’t allow you to re-split.

Basic Splitting Rules in Blackjack

To be able to split cards in Blackjack, you must hold two cards of the same value. The extra wager you place must be equal to the initial bet you put down. If you’re playing in a land-based casino, you need to clearly state to the dealer that you wish to split. They won’t always ask.

Thankfully, the basic strategy rules for splitting cards are pretty straightforward. There are some casino-specific rules that can change these rules slightly, but generally, they remain the same regardless of which Blackjack variation you’re playing. Below, we’ll show you when you should split cards, and when you shouldn’t.

10sIn Blackjack, all ten-value cards are splittable; you could, for example, split a pair of kings. However, it’s never in your favor to do so. Looking at the math, you should never split 10s Blackjack.
9sIf you’re following basic strategy (more on that in just a moment), you should split 9s against any dealer face-up card aside from a 7. Contrary to popular belief, you should always split 9s against an ace or picture card.
Aces and 8sAces and eights are lumped together as your decision with these pairs is always the same – regardless of the dealer’s face-up card. You should always split a pair of aces or eights, no matter what the dealer is holding.
7s, 4s, and 2sIf you hold a pair of sevens, fours, or twos, you should only split them if the dealer’s face-up card is 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7.
6s and 4sIf you hold a pair of sixes or fours, you should only split when the dealer shows a 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6.
5sIf you hold a pair of fives, your hand total is 10; this is quite strong, as there’s roughly a 30% chance of you drawing a picture card or ace, giving you a strong hand total. However, if the dealer holds 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9, then you should split 5s.
What is Basic Strategy?

Basic strategy is a set of mathematical rules designed to decrease the house edge as much as possible – giving you better chances of winning. It shows you the best possible move you can make according to the two cards you hold and the face-up card the dealer holds.

Basic strategy was developed back in the 1950s by four US Army engineers; they’ve become known as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse – and they are widely credited with making Blackjack a lot less profitable for casinos. Their math calculations allow players to improve their odds significantly.

Following basic strategy is easy; once your two cards have been dealt, you simply need to look at a strategy chart and find your hand holding. You will then look at the dealer’s card – and the basic strategy chart will tell you whether to stand, hit, double down, or surrender. Of course, there’s no guarantee you will win a specific hand using basic strategy – but it’s designed to improve your chances in the long run.

When Blackjack is played using basic strategy, it’s possible to decrease the house edge to as low as 0.20%. For regular players, this is a significant advantage – and it’s one of the reasons why all players are advised to follow basic strategy, even when the advised move may seem unusual.

What About Doubling Down and Surrendering?

In addition to splitting, there are two additional options available to you when playing Blackjack; doubling down, and surrendering. However, we should preface this section by letting you know that some casinos have different rules, so always check beforehand which rule-set the table follows. Below, we will show you what doubling down and surrendering mean, and how they work.

Doubling Down in Blackjack

When you’re playing online blackjack in WV, for example, you sometimes have the option to double down; this allows you to raise the stakes, at a cost. Once your first two cards have been dealt, you’ll (sometimes) be given the option to double down. If you wish to do so, you must pay an additional wager – equal to your initial bet – and you will then receive one more card.

This bet can be risky, as you are only given one more card – and you won’t be able to draw more cards, so you risk losing twice as many chips if your hand loses. Generally speaking, you should only double down when your first two cards total 9, 10, or 11. Some casinos will let you double on any two cards, although this is uncommon.

Surrendering in Blackjack

Surrendering is an option at some Blackjack tables that lets you cut your losses and get back half your stake, even after your first two cards have been dealt. Once you’ve seen your first two cards, the dealer will ask you if you would like to surrender. If you would like to, the hand will immediately end, and you will receive 50% of your stake back; it doesn’t matter what additional cards the dealer draws if other players are at the table.

Most players prefer not to surrender as it means losing 50% of your stake without even trying to beat the dealer. However, if you hold a very poor hand (for example, 16, when the dealer shows an ace) it’s recommended to cut your losses. Basic strategy charts show you exactly when you should surrender, but there are only a few situations where it’s advised.

Common Questions about Splitting in Blackjack

By now, you should know never to split a pair of tens in Blackjack. Splitting 10s is never a smart move, mathematically, and it’s unlikely to be advantageous to you unless the dealer goes bust. If you have remaining questions about why this is – or what other splitting rules you should follow – keep reading!

Should you split all pairs in Blackjack?

No; there are situations in Blackjack where you should split, but whether it’s recommended or not depends entirely on the card the dealer holds. For example, if you hold a pair of 9s, you should always split, whereas a pair of 7s should only be split in certain situations. See when to split here.

What is a re-split?

If you split a pair, and are drawn another pair, some land-based and online casinos will allow you to split again. This is known as a re-split. However, whether you can re-split depends on the rules of the table you’re playing at; it’s not always available. If you choose to re-split, you will, again, need to cough up an additional wager that’s equal to your initial bet. Basic strategy charts can advise you when to re-split.

Do you need to pay to split?

Yes; if you’d like to split your hand in Blackjack, you will need to place a new wager. This must be equal to the initial bet you put down at the beginning of the hand. For more information about the rules of splitting, click here.

Can you split playing online Blackjack?

Yes; almost all variations of online Blackjack allow you to split. Some games even let you split for free! Splitting at online casinos is identical to splitting in land-based casinos. Find out more about playing Blackjack online in NJ.

What is surrendering?

Surrendering is an option given to you once your first two cards have been dealt. If you surrender, the hand will end immediately, and you’ll receive 50% of your stake back. Learn more about what surrendering is – and when to do it – here.


Multiple Simultaneous Blackjack GemdiscoPH Bonus Hands (Pros and Cons)

Multiple Simultaneous Blackjack GemdiscoPH Bonus Hands (Pros and Cons)

Did you know that you can play more than one hand of blackjack at a time in most casinos?

If a table is full, this isn’t possible. But at most casinos, the blackjack tables aren’t quite full. I see a lot of my fellow gamblers playing two hands simultaneously. You’re not limited to just two hands either. You could even play three hands at the same time if you needed to.

Is this a good idea or not? A simple answer might be to think about what playing multiple hands does to your average win or loss rate.

If you’re a recreational player, even if you use basic strategy, playing multiple hands simultaneously just means you’ll lose more money faster. But if you’re an advantage blackjack player, playing multiple hands simultaneously will result in a higher average hourly win rate.

If you’re thinking about playing two hands at a time instead of just one, you should examine your reasoning for this rationally. If you think it’s just going to change your luck, you shouldn’t do it. The number of hands you’re playing doesn’t affect luck in any way because, after all, luck is just standard deviation.

The house edge will stay the same regardless of how many hands you’re playing.

What Playing Multiple Hands Does

Let’s look at a few different scenarios.

In the first scenario, you decide to play one hand at a time for $5 per hand. You’re using perfect basic strategy, and the house edge in this specific casino is only 0.4%. It’s a two-deck game with good rules. It’s also the middle of the afternoon, and the casino isn’t busy, so you’re playing heads up against the dealer. This means you’re getting in 200 hands per hour.

The amount you’re mathematically expected to lose in this scenario is easy to calculate. You multiply the number of bets you’re making per hour (200) by their size ($5) to get your total amount of hourly action.

In this case, you’re putting $1000 into action per hour. The house edge is the amount the casino expects to win in the long run, so you multiply the house edge by the action. That gives you an expected hourly loss of $4.

Blackjack Table and a Hand Placing a Bet

Now, let’s take a second scenario. It’s the same table, same rules, same amount per hand, and same perfect strategy on your part.

But because you’re playing two hands per hour, the game slows down a little bit to 160 hands per hour, but multiplied by 2, since you’re playing both of them.

Now, you’re getting in 320 hands per hour, which means your hourly action jumps to $1600. 0.4% of $1600 is $6.40 per hour in expected losses. It’s obvious that you’re going to lose more money playing two hands per hour.

Also, the more hands you get in, the closer your actual results will get to the mathematically expected results. In other words, if you’re hoping to capitalize on a short-term lucky streak, you reduce the probability of doing that by playing so many hands.

Now, let’s look at a third scenario. You’re playing the same game, but you’re counting cards, and you have a 0.4% edge over the house instead of playing against a house edge of 0.4%.

Instead of an expected loss per hour of $4, you now have an expected win per hour of $4. AND if you play two hands instead of one, you have an expected win per hour of $6.40.

Since you’re counting cards, you get more information faster by seeing more cards per hand, too. The more cards you see, the more accurate your count becomes.

One More Example of Playing Multiple Blackjack Hands at Once

I want to look at one more scenario. This time, instead of playing for $5 per hand, you have a player who’s
betting $100 per hand.

That’s 200 hands per hour at $100 per hand, or $20,000 in hourly action. 0.4% of that is $80 in expected losses per hour.

Please Note:

What if this player decides to start playing two hands at a time instead of just one, and he only bets $50 per hand? He’s still putting $100 “per round” into action, but the action slows down because of the extra hands.

Instead of 200 bets per hour at $100, he’s getting in 320 bets per hour in at $50 per hand, or $16,000 in hourly action. His hourly expected loss goes down to $64 instead of $80.

If this player were counting cards with an edge of 0.4%, his hourly win rate would drop correspondingly. This seems counterintuitive, but if you think about it, this is the case.

Some Conclusions to Draw From All this Math

The first conclusion is that if you’re not changing the size of your bets, but you’re making almost twice as many bets per hour, you’ll lose (or win) more money based on your mathematical expectation. Average players will lose more per hour, and advantage players will win more per hour.

But if you reduce the size of your bets AND reduce the number of hands you’re getting per hour, you’ll lose (or win) more money, again based on your mathematical expectation.

Most of my readers are basic blackjack strategy players. This means that, over time, they’re going to see a net loss. But that net loss is lower than you’d see at almost any game in the casino.

My hope for that player would be that they’d realize the importance of getting in fewer hands per hour. The fewer hands you play per hour, the less money you’ll lose on average over time.

Playing two hands at once is one way to get in fewer hands per hour, but it’s not the only way. You could also limit your play to tables with a minimum number of players.

For Example:

If you stick with games where there were at least four other players at the table, you’d only play 70 hands per hour instead of 200 or 160. You could afford to bet more per hand and still lose less money per hour at such a table.

And if you stick with your other betting amounts, you’d save a lot of money and have a lot of fun socializing while you’re at it.


The pros of playing multiple hands of blackjack at the same time are simple enough.

  • If you have an edge over the casino, you can make more money per hour doing this.
  • If you don’t, you can put the same amount of money into play per round by playing two hands instead of one and betting half the amount. This will reduce your hourly expected loss rate.

The cons of playing multiple hands of blackjack are simple enough, too.

  • You’re less likely to see a lucky winning streak based on short term variance.
  • You’re going to lose more money per hour if you don’t reduce your bet size, because you’ll be getting in more hands per hour for the same amount per hand.

Should you play multiple hands of blackjack simultaneously? That depends on all the factors discussed above.

Are you a card counter? Do you think you’ll try to earn more by playing two hands at a time after reading this? Are you a basic strategy player? Do you think you’ll try to get in less action per hour to try to reduce your hourly loss rate?

Let me know in the comments.


How to Play Blackjack for Fun in Mines Games On LuckyCola

How to Play Blackjack for Fun in Mines Games On LuckyCola

Blackjack is the best gambling game in most casinos. It’s easy to play, it’s usually cheap, and if you’re willing to put in a minimal amount of effort, you can face the lowest house edge in the casino. The purpose of this post is to teach you how to play blackjack for fun. Future posts will explain how to get more serious about your blackjack hobby.

What do I mean when I saw “play blackjack for fun?”

On a lot of websites, this means playing free games on the internet. You don’t risk any money in such games, but you also don’t have the opportunity to win money.

I don’t think gambling with nothing on the line is much fun at all, though. I’d like to redefine that idea in this post. When I suggest that you should learn how to play blackjack for fun, I mean you should play for real money.

But I also think it implies playing without the goal of earning a living or getting too serious about getting an advantage over the casino. In other words, you’re treating the game as entertainment—which, frankly, is how you should treat every casino game.

I’m assuming you’re brand-new to the game, too. So, I’m going to explain the game and how to play.

The Object of the Game of Blackjack

The object of the game of blackjack is to beat the dealer, not the other players. There might be anywhere from 0 to 6 other players at the table, but what they do doesn’t matter. You only care about your total score versus the dealer’s total score.

The dealer represents the casino. All the players at the table compete against the dealer to determine if they win or lose money. This makes blackjack a fundamentally different game from poker, where you play against the other players at the table. (Casinos now offer house-banked poker games, too, and these games have more in common with blackjack than poker, in my opinion.)

A lot of writers focus on the importance of having a higher score than the dealer. The reality is that many times the best strategy for winning at blackjack is to just avoid busting. This distinction is more important than it sounds, too.

Blackjack is a “comparing game” where you get a 2-card hand to begin with that’s worth a certain number of points. You have the option to get additional cards and increase the point value of your hand. The dealer also starts with a 2-card hand that’s also worth a certain number of points.

If your total number of points is higher than the dealer’s, you win. If you get 22 or more points during a hand, you lose immediately. (That’s what “busting” or “going bust” means.) If the dealer gets 22 or more points, and if you’re still in the game, the dealer automatically loses.

I’ll go into more detail about how those points are determined and how the hand plays out later in this post. First, though, I want to discuss some of the basic mechanics of game-play.

How the Cards Get Shuffled in a Blackjack Game

Blackjack used to be dealt from a single standard deck of 52 cards. You can still find some blackjack games dealt from a single deck, but it’s more common to face a game that uses multiple decks. A blackjack game can be dealt from 1-deck, 2-decks, 4-decks, 6-decks, or 8-decks. Theoretically, you could use more decks than that, but the casino has little incentive to do so.

The dealer is the casino employee who’s responsible for shuffling and dealing the cards to both himself and to the players. The way the cards are shuffled varies based on how many decks are in use. In single deck and sometimes double deck games, the cards are manually shuffled by hand. This process is similar to how you’d shuffle the cards at home if you were playing cards with your buddies on a Thursday night.

Once you start dealing with more than 2 decks of cards, shuffling by hand becomes more unwieldy. Casinos use machines to shuffle cards, too. There are 2 types of machines used to shuffle decks. The more common of these is just an automatic shuffler. The machine shuffles the cards, a cut card is inserted randomly in the shuffled cards, and when the dealer gets to the cut card, it’s time to shuffle again.

The other type of shuffling machine used by casinos is called a “continuous shuffling machine.” In a game which uses this type of shuffler, discards are just fed back into the shuffler throughout the game. Some casinos like continuous shuffling machines because they eliminate the possibility of a card counter getting an edge over the casino. Such machines also enable the dealer to deal more hands per hour. The more hands per hour, the more opportunity the casino’s house edge has to drain the player’s money.

These details of how the cards get shuffled in blackjack might seem minor. And for the “just for fun” player, they are minor.

But blackjack actually becomes more fun as you get more advanced in your understanding of the game. You’ll see that, as you continue your education, the means of shuffling has a big effect on how the game of blackjack actually gets played.

Blackjack Betting

Before you can get a hand of blackjack, you must place a bet. And before you can place a bet, you must buy chips from the dealer. The first thing you need to know about buying chips is that you can’t buy them while a hand is being played. Wait until the current game wraps up before trying to buy chips in a blackjack game.

You’ll notice, if you look, that most blackjack tables have a sign posted on them indicating the betting limits for the table. This sign will list the minimum and maximum bet sizes at the tables. It’s important to pay attention to these limits. If you’ve seen the movie Swingers, you probably remember the scene where Vince Vaughn’s character has only $300 to gamble with, but he buys in at a $100 minimum table, so he only gets 3 chips.

Most casinos in Las Vegas have tables with minimums as low as $5, but you can find some casinos with limits as low as $1 or $3 per hand.  Maximum bets per hand can be much higher, depending on the casino. Some casinos have posted maximum bets of $10,000 per hand. High rollers can negotiate higher per-hand limits, too.

When you buy your chips from the dealer, you lay your money on the table. You do not try to hand the money directly to the dealer. This is a procedure instituted to prevent cheating and collusion. Casinos have cameras in the ceiling which monitor the action from above. They can see money laid on a table, but they can’t see what happens when a dealer’s hand and a player’s hand come together.

Before you can get a hand of blackjack, you must place a bet. There’s a small circle or rectangle on the felt of the table in front of you. Your chips go inside that circle or rectangle. If the table isn’t full, you’re allowed to play multiple hands at once. You must place a separate bet for each hand.

You can change the size of your bet every hand if you want to.  This is the primary way card counters get their edge over the casinos, by the way.

Once all the players have posted their bets, the dealer deals the cards, as follows:

How the Cards Get Dealt in a Blackjack Game

The dealer starts with the player on his left and deals every player a card, one at a time. In single deck games, these cards are dealt face-down, except for the dealer’s hand, where the first card is usually dealt face-up. In games being dealt from a show—the box that holds the cards in a multi-deck game—the cards are dealt face-up. The dealer always gets his card last.

Once everyone gets their first card, the dealer starts over again with the player to his left, and he deals everyone a 2nd card. When the deal is done, every player has 2 cards, and so does the dealer. The players’ cards are either both face-down or both face-up, but the dealer always has one card face-up and one card face-down.

After the betting and the deal, the players get to make their decisions about their hands. The dealer then “makes his decisions” about how to play his hand. (I put that in quotes because the dealer doesn’t really make decisions; he must play his cards according to the rules specific to that casino.)

Blackjack Card Values and Being Dealt a “Natural”

As I mentioned earlier, blackjack is a comparing game where each hand has a point total. The game is resolved when someone goes bust (scores 22 or higher) or when the dealer’s total is compared to the player’s total.

The point values for the cards in blackjack are easy to remember. The numbered cards have point values equal to their ranking. The 2 of spades is worth 2 points. The 3 of hearts is worth 3 point. The suit doesn’t matter, just the ranking of the card.

The face cards—the jack, queen, and king—are worth 10 points each.

Aces are worth 1 point or 11 points, depending on what would be better for the player

If your hand has a total of 21 points on the 1st 2 cards, you have a “blackjack” or “natural.” This hand is an instant, automatic winner—unless the dealer also has a natural. If you win with a natural, in most blackjack games, you get a 3 to 2 payout. In other words, for every dollar you bet, you win $1.50. A $5 bet wins $7.50 on a natural. A $100 bet wins $150 on a natural.

If you and the dealer both have a natural, the bet is considered a “push,” which is the same thing as a tie. You don’t win any money, but the casino doesn’t, either. You just get your original bet back.

If the dealer has a natural, any player who doesn’t have a natural loses immediately. The players don’t even get to play their hands.

If you don’t have a natural, and if the dealer doesn’t have a natural, which is most of the time, you get to play your hand. This means deciding whether to take more cards or not. I cover those decisions in the next about strategy.

Dealer Strategy vs Player Strategy

You have only a handful of decisions in blackjack, but that’s more than in most casino games, where your decisions don’t matter. As in all casino games, your 1st decision in blackjack is how much you want to bet.

The more important decisions have to do with whether you take additional cards in your hand. The 2 basic decisions in blackjack are these:

  • Hit – To hit is to ask for one additional card from the dealer.
  • Stand – To stand is to decide to take no more additional cards and go with the total you have.

You do have other possible decisions, but these are really just variations on hitting. These include:

  • Double down – You double down by doubling the size of your bet. You get one additional card, no more, no less.
  • Split – You can only split a hand in blackjack if you’ve been dealt 2 cards of the same rank. When that happens, you can put up a 2nd bet, and play 2 hands instead of one. Each of the 2 cards you were dealt becomes the starting card for a new hand. You then play out each of these 2 new hands normally. You could win both of them, neither of them, or win one and lose the other. They’re totally independent hands.
  • Surrender – If you really hate your hand as compared to the dealer’s, you can just drop out, similar to folding in poker. You only have to forfeit half your bet when you surrender, which saves you some money when you feel like you have almost no chance of winning.

The decisions that you make are your strategy, and they can vary based not only on the cards you’re holding, but also on the value of the dealer’s face-up card. Mathematicians, by the way, have calculated the mathematically optimal decision for every situation in blackjack. They call this basic strategy, and it’s easier to learn than you might think.

The dealer has a “strategy,” too, but it’s based on the house rules of the casino. The dealer must follow the prescribed strategy, regardless of what kinds of totals the players at the table might hold. His strategy is based exclusively on his total.

If the dealer has a total of 17 or higher, he must stand. If the dealer has a total of 16 or lower, he must hit. That’s it for the dealer, with one subtlety.

A hand with an ace in it is considered a “soft hand.” The ace counts as an 11, but if you hit such a hand and get a high card, you can consider that ace to be worth 1. This prevents you from going bust.

In some casinos, the dealer must hit a soft 17. In others, the dealer must stand on all totals of 17.

The order of play is simple, too. The players play their hands 1st. If they bust (get a total of 22 or more), they immediately lose their bets.

If they have a total of 21 or less after taking their actions, they have a showdown with the dealer after he plays his hand. If the player gets closer to 21 than the dealer, the player wins even money.

And if the dealer busts, the player automatically wins—assuming he didn’t bust before the dealer played his hand.

This, by the way, is where the house gets its edge in blackjack. The players must play their hand 1st, so they lose their bet when they busts EVEN IF the dealer also busts later in the hand.


And that’s how to play blackjack for fun. It’s really not a complicated game at all. In fact, most casino dealers are friendly and will help you figure out what you should do and when you should do it.

I think, though, that blackjack becomes more fun when you learn more about the intricacies of play. The first step is to memorize basic strategy—the mathematically optimal way to play every hand. The next step is to learn how to count cards, which is easier than you think.

Future posts will deal with these subjects, too. For now, go have some fun playing blackjack. You’re facing some of the best odds in the casino when you do.


Should You Play Video Blackjack or Live Blackjack in Mines Games On LuckyCola?

Should You Play Video Blackjack or Live Blackjack in Mines Games On LuckyCola?

Blackjack And Live Dealers

If you’re a devoted low-roller gambler like me, you might be thinking about switching from live blackjack to video blackjack. After all, the minimum bet per hand on a video blackjack game is often as low as a dollar. Most casinos in Las Vegas have at least a $15 minimum on their blackjack tables, although it isn’t hard to find some smaller casinos offering the game for $5 per hand. (And you can find some low-rent casinos offering $1 or $3 minimums. That’s harder, though.)

But is it worth it to make the switch?

This post looks at the pros and cons of video blackjack as compared to live blackjack. It even includes some observations about online blackjack, which is almost always similar to video blackjack in terms of game-play, but similar to live blackjack in terms of rules.

Lower Minimum Bets per Hand – Video Blackjack

I already pointed out that you can play for as little as a dollar per hand on video blackjack games. That’s hard to find in live games, but it’s not impossible.

The Downtown Grand in Las Vegas sometimes offers $3/hand blackjack, which is still triple the minimum at most video blackjack games. It’s still worth mentioning. Jerry’s Nugget also sometimes has $3 games.

The Lucky Club offers $1 blackjack. It’s the only casino in Las Vegas with games at this low a limit. They’re not conveniently located to much, though—the Lucky Club is located right off I-15.

Since blackjack is a negative expectation game for most people, playing for lower limits should reduce the mathematically expected loss per hour.

But as you’ll see later in this post, it’s not the only factor determining how much you’re expected to lose per hour. Some of these other factors are arguably more important.

In terms of finding the lowest-limit blackjack games, though, video blackjack has a clear advantage over live blackjack.

Better Rules and a Lower House Edge – Live Blackjack

The house edge at blackjack is determined largely by what rules variations are in place. And live blackjack offers one huge advantage over video blackjack in terms of the rules:

A blackjack pays off at 3 to 2 in most live blackjack games.

But video blackjack usually only pays off at even money.

This gives the house an additional edge of 2.29%.

2.29% sounds like a small percentage, but when you apply it on average to every bet you make on average over time, it adds up faster than you can imagine.

Let’s compare the average hourly loss rate at 2 games with only 2 differences:

  1. The video blackjack game has a minimum bet of $1; the live blackjack game has a minimum bet of $5.
  2. The video blackjack game has a house edge of 3.29%; the live blackjack has a house edge of 1%.

Oh, there’s one other difference. I should discuss it in the next section:

Faster Rate of Play – Video Blackjack

One of the biggest factors affecting how much you can expect to lose playing a casino game is how many bets you’re making per hour. You multiply the bets per hour by the size of your bet to get the total amount of money you’re putting into action each hour.

At a live blackjack table, the number of hands you play per hour vary based on how many people are at the table with you. Most of the time, you won’t be playing heads-up versus the dealer.

For purposes of comparisons, I’ll assume that most of the time you’re at a blackjack table with 2 other players. You’ll see 105 hands per hour at such a table.

But when you’re playing video blackjack, it’s just you and the machine. You’ll see at least twice as many hands per hour playing video blackjack. I’ll just call that 200 hands per hour.

So when you’re calculating your expected loss per hour, you’re going to multiply your average bet per hand by the number of hands per hour. You’ll then multiply that by the house edge.

On the video blackjack game, that’s $1 per hand X 200 hands per hour X 3.37%, or $6.74 per hour in expected losses.

In the live blackjack game, that’s $5 per hand X 105 hands per X 1%, or $5.25 per hour in expected losses.

Even though you’re betting 5 times as much per hand playing live blackjack, your expected hourly loss is still lower playing the live blackjack game.

Of course, these numbers assume you’re playing with perfect basic strategy. You can read elsewhere on this site about how to do that, or you can just buy one of the little laminated basic strategy cards in the casino gift shop.

Counting Cards and Other Advantage Techniques – Live Blackjack

One thing you absolutely cannot do when playing video blackjack is use any advantage techniques like counting cards. These only work in live blackjack games. Here’s why:

When you’re counting cards, you’re keeping a rough estimate of how many high cards and low cards have come out of the deck and how many of each are left in the deck. When the deck has a proportionally higher number of 10s and aces in it, you raise the size of your bets. After all, you’re more likely to be dealt a blackjack and get that 3 to 2 payout for it.

Video blackjack eliminates this possibility in 2 ways:

  1. You don’t get an increased payout for a blackjack, which eliminates any advantage you might have gotten from counting.
  2. The game “shuffles” the deck after every hand, which means that any count you’d kept would be irrelevant as soon as the beginning of the next hand.

This isn’t a big deal for the average blackjack player, who isn’t counting cards anyway. But it’s impossible to provide an exhaustive treatment of video blackjack versus live blackjack without examining this aspect of the game, too.

Online Blackjack Is Different Altogether, Usually

Online blackjack games are, for the most part, video blackjack games with more generous rules than video blackjack games in the casino. Most of the time, they offer the same kinds of rules variations you’d find in various land-based casinos.

Most online casinos offer several variations, but usually only one of those variations will have the lowest possible house edge. But these rules will almost always include the 3 to 2 payout for the blackjack, which is the most significant rules difference between video blackjack and live blackjack.

You can plug the rules variations available into various websites’ house edge calculators for blackjack to figure out which variation at the online casino in question offers the lowest house edge. That’s the variation you should stick with whenever you play at that casino.

But not all online blackjack games are video blackjack games. One of the more popular offerings at a lot of online casinos in the current marketplace are live dealer blackjack games where the action is conducted by real dealers, real decks of cards, and webcams.

It doesn’t matter if you’re playing video blackjack or live dealer blackjack online, though. You’ll still need to use perfect basic strategy to get the lowest possible house edge.

You’ll also still be unable to count cards, even in the live dealer games. That’s because they use automated shuffling machines which start the deck over with the start of every new hand—which is exactly what happens in video blackjack, too.


Which game should you play?

I recommend sticking with live blackjack games, even if you’re a committed low roller. You might have to bet $5 per hand instead of $1 per hand, but the lower house edge and slower pace of the game means you’ll lose less money per hour than you’d lose playing video blackjack.

No matter which version you play, you should memorize and use basic strategy. There’s never an advantage to making playing decisions that aren’t mathematically optimal. And basic strategy isn’t that hard to learn anyway.

Also, when it comes to video blackjack and any variation of online blackjack, forget all about trying to count cards. That’s an advantage technique you can use with real live blackjack in brick and mortar casinos, but as far as I know, there’s not a single online casino where that’s a possibility.