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Perfecting Blackjack Strategy

August 26, 2009

Blackjack is the online casino game that offers the highest average payout percentage. In many versions of the game the payout is close to 100%. Therefore players have to be extremely unlucky to lose large amounts of money. And with a little bit of luck they can ensure that they do not end up with the deficit. However, there is a catch.

The extremely high average payout percentages come with one condition. They are contingent on the player exhibiting optimum play. If the player makes the wrong moves then the average payout percentages can fall drastically. Since most online casino players do not play optimally the casinos make large profits on blackjack games. However, for the discerning player online blackjack provides a rare opportunity of at least retaining his bankroll. Therefore it is almost criminal to play blackjack at online casinos for long periods of time without being able to make the optimum moves.

Unlike in roulette and slots games, blackjack has players continuously taking decisions during the course of the game. The most common moves are hit, which means to take another card, and stand, which means to decline another card. The other moves are double, split, insure and surrender. If the player makes the wrong move or does not make the right one he forgoes the best chance of winning the hand.

The obvious question that arises is how to perfect the blackjack strategy. Fortunately the answer is very simple. Optimum blackjack strategy has been derived from computer simulations of tens of thousands of hands. It has been coded in what is known as blackjack strategy cards. The blackjack strategy card is available at several credible blackjack sites on the Internet and can be downloaded from there. The card is easy to read. It is in a tabular form with the dealer’s face up card shown in the column headings and the player’s current hand value shown in the row headings. The player ascertains his hand value and the dealer’s face up card. He then reads the cell corresponding to these two parameters. The cell will be coded to indicate which move the player should make from all the blackjack moves listed earlier. The blackjack strategy card can be printed out and kept in front of the player while he is playing blackjack online. This way the player can guarantee that he will play optimally and exploit the highly average payout percentages to the fullest.

There is one problem with this solution described above. Online blackjack has a large number of variants, with some online gaming software providers offering upwards of 40 different blackjack games. The exact blackjack strategy card will differ from game to game. The strategy cards for all the variants will not be available on the Internet. Therefore the player must first check out the exact rules for which the given blackjack strategy card has been made. He must then locate a blackjack variant that is played exactly as per those rules. This exercise is very much feasible and can be easily performed. It does limit the choice available to the player.

Fortunately two of the rules affect blackjack strategy the most. One is the number of decks used in the game. The other is whether the dealer stands or hits on a soft hand value of 17. Once the player can locate the corresponding blackjack strategy card for these two parameters then he can ignore the minor variations.

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