Importance of a Blackjack Betting Strategy

The Real Importance of Blackjack Betting Strategy

Blackjack's popularity comes largely in part due to the fact that this game offers a small house edge. Constructing a strategy around this game involves the number of decks played and the number of hands a player wishes to play. When playing a multi-deck blackjack game, it is more difficult to predict the outcomes, therefore the strategy must develop based around this. 

In a multi-deck blackjack game, the house edge sits at about 0.5% and players can maximize their returns with a smart short-term blackjack betting strategy.

A commonly suggested way to look at your blackjack betting strategy is by choosing between progressive betting or regression betting.

What's the difference between these strategies in a blackjack game?

Blackjack betting strategy - progressive betting

Progressive betting is the blackjack betting strategy where the player would choose to increase when winning and decrease when losing. Therefore, after winning hands, a player would gradually increase their bets. After losing hands, a player would decrease their bets. The most common blackjack betting strategy would be to double your bet after getting a winning hand. On the contrary, it would be smart to then reduce the bet by half after a losing hand.

In the book, "Twenty-first Century Blackjack: A Strategy for a New Millennium" author Walter Thomason, dissects this blackjack betting strategy. Through this progressive betting system, the odds of winning two hands consecutively are the same as losing two in a row. To increase one's bets after a winning hand increases the overall average winning bet compared to if the player left it unchanged. And just the same, if the player lowers their bet after losing, they are much more likely to cut their average losses as its possible for them to lose a couple more hands. Eventually, average bets will even out. 

For example, a player walks into the casino and finds a blackjack game at a table requiring a minimum bet of $5. They play one hand and lose $5. They play another hand and lose once more. The third hand they play, they win back $5. The player then decides to double their bet and put down $10. They win this next hand as well, and once again doubles their bet - this time to $20. The player wins this hand, gaining $25 in net winnings.

Blackjack betting strategy - regression betting

On the contrary, there is regression betting, a blackjack betting strategy used when a player needs to make up for a long losing streak. This method works where the player increases their bets after a losing hand and decreases their bets after a win. When using this in a blackjack game, the player would double the bet when receiving a losing hand. If they receive a winning hand, they will then cut their bet in half for the next one.

Through doubling your bet every time you get a losing bet, then eventually when the winning hand comes, the payout can be huge. Although losses can stack up fast when doubling the bet each time, eventually, winnings will surpass the losses if the player can stick it out long enough.

For example, let's say a blackjack game player sits down at a table with a betting minimum of $5. If the player loses their first hand, this means, they just lost $5. The player would go ahead a double their bet, playing $10. If the player loses once again, they would once again double their bet to $20. If the player then wins on this hand, the player deserves $20 in winnings. After losing $15, this means the player's net winnings match their initial $5 bet.

How does one choose a blackjack betting strategy?

Let's look at the first situation again in which the player doubled their winning bets until they reached $35 in net winnings. What if the player doubled their bet once again. Losing would lead them to a $21 net loss and winning would bring them ahead by $91. What blackjack betting strategy would you choose?

Because a blackjack game is one of skill just as much as it is a game of luck, there is a high possibility of having winning streaks.

If you are playing well and notice consistent winning streaks, perhaps try your luck with a progressive blackjack betting strategy. 

If you are feeling cautious and worry that your bets are rising too high in a blackjack game, there's no harm in backing off the high bets and tapering back a bit.

Skill is always important for increasing your winning odds in this strategy game, however, if luck were not also a factor, well it just wouldn't be a casino game, would it? Amping up those winnings is always more viable with a smart blackjack betting strategy. 

Blackjack double down

Blackjack double down is a classic money move and oftentimes this move is overused in a blackjack game. If used correctly, blackjack double down could multiply your profit on one hand.

What is a blackjack double down?

In a blackjack game, when a player has received their first two cards, they can choose to play a blackjack double down, in which they can choose to double their bet and receive one additional card.

When to call a double down blackjack

In a blackjack game, the highest score a player can earn in one hand is 21 and there are 16 cards with values of 10 in a single deck. If a player's first two cards from the dealer equal 10 or 11, it is statistically beneficial to play a blackjack double down or to call a "double."

Also, when the dealer shows a bust card while the player has an ace with a 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6, it is widely known that you are more likely to beat the dealer on that hand. There are more cards in the deck that can help you and the dealer is not in an advantageous position anyway.

These are the basic rules for a blackjack double down.  

Blackjack double down mistakes

In many cases, a player jumps the gun on an opportunity to blackjack double down when they have two cards which equal 9 while the dealer is not showing a 10. Odds experts claim that this strategy will end up costing the player over time. It is advised that players double down on a 9 when the dealer is showing a 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6.

Another mistake often made by blackjack players is opting out of a blackjack double down when they receive two 5s when the dealer is showing a 5 or a 6. A player will often split their cards in this situation. By splitting, they are choosing to play two separate hands. Most would recommend playing as if it were a 10. Many would suggest doubling. 


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27 February 2019

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