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Blackjack Tips


Blackjack Tip #1 - Never take insurance unless you're counting cards

Here's why. If you're dealt a natural 21 (blackjack) at a single deck table, and the dealer's up card is an ace, there are 49 cards remaining after removing your ace and ten as well as the dealers ace. This leaves fifteen tens to give the dealer a blackjack. Not insuring your blackjack means you will be paid 3 to 2 thirty-four times and push fifteen times (49 total - 15 tens = 34).

This means your winning percentage will be 104 percent by not insuring as opposed to 100 percent if you did. Clearly you're better off not taking insurance.


Blackjack Tip #2 - Always follow strict basic strategy rules

Basic strategy for blackjack is the predetermined set of plays a player should make to maximize their average gain or expectation playing one hand against a complete pack of cards. Consult our basic strategy charts to determine the proper plays for all table conditions.


Blackjack Tip #3 - Play at tables offering the most advantageous conditions

The players expected win rate using basic strategy depends on the casino's blackjack rules and the number of decks being used. Some of these variations favor the house and some favor the player. Consult our favorable blackjack conditions and unfavorable blackjack conditions charts to determine which tables to play.


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Blackjack Tip #4 - Surrender when necessary

Some casinos offer the ability to surrender or turn over your hand after your original two cards without playing it for half of your wager. There are two types of surrender, early and late. Early surrender means surrender before the dealer checks for a blackjack. Late surrender means surrender that is allowed only after the dealer checks for blackjack.

The option of early surrender increases the players expected win rate by .7 percent while late surrender increases the rate by .06 percent. Always look for tables that offer early surrender.


Blackjack Tip #5 - Play with the fewest decks possible

Compared to a single deck, a two-deck game handicaps your play -0.35%, four decks, -0.48%, six decks, -0.54% and eight decks -0.58%. As you can see, it is always to your advantage to play on a game that offers the fewest decks.

Also note, the house edge goes up substantially when you go from one deck to two, but the change is less dramatic as you add more decks. How much is this costing you in dollars and cents? If you were to play 100 hands per hour at $5 per hand, each -0.1% would cost you approximately 50¢ per hour. Playing on a game with two decks versus one deck will cost you $1.75 per hour, with each additional deck costing you increasingly more.

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