A good strategy can make you a blackjack master

aboutbacExcept for poker, online casino games depend almost exclusively on luck and that’s why at the end of the day it is vital to be aware of the house edge. Blackjack is an exception to the rule, because on one hand it has one of the lowest house edges of all online casino games, on the other it rewards players who have a coherent strategy. Luck is still important, but skill plays the central role and that’s why on the long run those who play by the ear are less successful than those who know exactly what they’re doing.

To improve your skills up to the level at which it actually makes a difference is not too difficult, but the learning curve gets particularly steep after you learn the basics. First of all, players need to learn when it is worth hitting and when they shouldn’t stand, based on not only the cards dealt to them but also the ones exposed by the dealer. These two elements in conjunction are vital for weaving a coherent strategy, but in the end players need to accept the fact that card counting is the essential piece of the puzzle.

The idea is that even though you know exactly when it is wise to ask for another card and when you should stand patiently and hope for the dealer to go bust, this won’t offset the house edge. It would only reduce it to values that are manageable and will make you marginal losing blackjack player, but this is not why people choose this game in the first place. The same applies to baccarat which is played by very similar rules and in both cases it is worth getting familiar with basic card counting techniques.

Practice makes perfect and that’s why both baccarat and blackjack players are advised to count cards in the comfort of their home to get used with the process. It is much easier to do it out of scrutiny when you have all the time in the world and don’t play for real money than in a live casino where everyone is watching your moves. The goal is to know how many big cards are left in the pack so that you factor this element in when deciding whether to keep or stand.

Things turn interesting over the Internet, where online software developers are offering several variants of blackjack and baccarat. The rules of the games are slightly tweaked and players need to go over them carefully, to make sure they choose the game that presents them with the best odds of winning. Once this obstacle is out of their way, they need to adjust their card counting strategy depending on how many decks are used. The more decks are in play, the more difficult it is to keep track of dealt cards and that’s why it is better when possible, to choose your baccarat game based on this factor.

Valuable lessons to learn from Blackjack

baccaratBaccarat players shouldn’t dwell exclusively on their game of choice, even though they can make a decent living by playing baccarat alone. The most tempting alternative is blackjack, as the two games have many things in common and honing your skills in one, can help you achieve better results in the other. Once you master the basics of blackjack, the natural thing to do is to learn how to extract the most profit by using those game mechanics that absolute rookies don’t fully understand.

One such example is doubling down with soft hands, which demand player to shift into more aggressive gear to take advantage of any opportunity that might arise. The stakes are high, because in exchange of doubling up their profits, players accept the risk of losing previous gains. One of the mistakes committed by beginners is to play mildly aggressive, and denies themselves the chance of winning the top amount.

The idea is that doubling up with soft hands is not exactly an action that risk-averse players will fancy, but it is worth giving it a chance for the sake of bigger profits. The circumstances need to be right so only act when the dealer has cards ranging from 2 to 6, while you should be holding a large hand to be overwhelming favorite to win. Players should refrain from doubling down with a soft 13 or 14, unless the dealer holds a five or six.

Even so, the two opponents are evenly matched and it is widely recommended for players to focus mostly on soft totals of 16 or 15. In these circumstances, the dealer is supposed to have a 4, 5 or 6, pretty much the same cards that are recommended for a soft 17. Depending on the type of blackjack that they chose, players should tweak their strategies for playing soft 18s and 19s based on what the dealer is supposed to do when hitting soft 17.

Don’t take any chances by doubling down with soft 19 if the dealer is supposed to stand at soft 17, but play aggressively if he is compelled to hit. All this information can be in the player’s advantage, and even though the house edge is not completely offset, one can reduce it to tiny values. At the end of the day, players can return to baccarat or keep playing blackjack, because this experience can only serve them well on the long run.