Blackjack is supposed to be one of the easiest casino games to beat. After all, it features a low house edge in comparison to most games.
There’s no hard and fast rule for this and different players tip the dealer at different times. One technique is to leave the dealer a tip as you’re leaving the table after ending your blackjack session. The casino environment is extremely fast-paced and blackjack dealers are at the center of the action, dealing and operating multiple games at one time. Your focus is also to ensure that patrons have a welcoming and comfortable experience at the casino yet you must have a keen eye and spot those who are disobeying the rules.
However, you still may find yourself struggling to book winning sessions on a consistent basis. Even when you are winning, your profits can drain out as you continue playing.
In these cases, it really helps to know why you have such a tough time beating blackjack. Below, I’ll discuss 5 reasons why the dealer keeps kicking your butt along with how you can change things around.
The objective of live dealer blackjack is to get a higher total card count than the dealer without going over 21. The best hand in blackjack is when the first two cards dealt value exactly 21. Blackjack Beat the dealer’s hand and win huge rewards with a Blackjack experience that will put your strategic abilities to the test. Player’s Suite Blackjack offers the.
1 – The Dealer Acts Second
Some gamblers have adopted an extreme strategy that involves mimicking the dealer. Their thought process is that if the dealer wins most of the time, then they can at least match the croupier by playing by the same rules (I.e. hitting until a hard or soft 17).
The same gamblers are dead wrong on this strategy! Mimicking the dealer results in a massive 7% house edge. But why?
The croupier doesn’t win just because they play by a strict set of rules. In fact, being forced to hit until a soft/hard 17 actually lowers their chances of winning.
Instead, the dealer’s biggest advantage comes from acting after you. They deal the cards and wait for you to play your hand before doing anything else.
If you bust out, then you automatically lose. Meanwhile, the dealer beats you without ever having to make a decision.
The casino tries to soften the blow by giving you extra actions that the dealer doesn’t enjoy. You can split pairs and double down when rules permit.
These special privileges help when you’re trying to reduce the house edge. But they still don’t allow you to totally overcome the dealer’s advantage.
2 – Not Everybody Bothers With Blackjack Strategy
Blackjack Dealer Resume
One of the most-entertaining parts about blackjack is that it features in-depth strategy. You can improve your chances of winning by knowing how to act in each situation.
Here’s an example of a tricky blackjack scenario:
- You hold a pair of 9s.
- The dealer’s upcard is 7.
- You split these 9s in most situations.
- However, basic strategy calls on you to stand in this specific instance.
There’s one right way to play the above situation and multiple wrong ways. You’ll run into these types of decisions again and again in blackjack.
You won’t automatically know how to deal with tricky situations. That said, a basic blackjack strategy chart can do wonders for your results.
These charts, which are extremely easy to find by the way, show the correct move for every situation. As long as you can read a color-coded chart, you can play perfect blackjack.
Nevertheless, many gamblers still don’t bother to take the two minutes it requires to find one of these charts online. They instead think that they’ve already mastered the game through experience alone.
Most gamblers can play reasonably well as long as they don’t try mimicking the dealer. But they’ll still surrender anywhere from 2% to 4% edge by ignoring strategy.
3 – Blackjack Games Move Fast
It seems like the casino already benefits quite a bit from the dealer acting second. But as I’ll discuss later, you can still lower the house edge to 0.5%–or even less in certain cases.
The problem, though, is that casinos can still beat you badly even if they only have a tiny advantage. Blackjack games are built to move fast so that the house can capitalize.
More action creates more entertainment when you’re gambling. However, it also leads to bigger losses over time.
You might still not feel like taking breaks and slowing the game down after reading this. After all, the point of blackjack is to have fun rather than trying to minimize your losses. But the fact remains that the casino wins more money, on average, when you’re exposed to more hands.
4 – The Rules Are in the Casino’s Favor
As I covered before, casinos give you special options that the dealer doesn’t have access to. Doubling down and splitting in the right situations give you a better chance at beating the dealer.
Even still, any competent casino will still ensure that they skew the rules in their favor. They tweak each rule to ensure that they at least hold a small advantage.
Of course, you can counteract this to some degree by looking for tables with the best rules. Even then, though, you’re not going to find any games that give you the edge.
Some casinos use tricky moves to fool you into thinking that your chances of winning are better. For example, they’ll offer single-deck tables with 6:5 natural blackjack payouts.
A single deck reduces the house edge by 0.59% when compared to the common 8-deck games. However, the 6:5 natural payouts boost the house advantage by 1.39% compared to 3:2 payoffs.
You know to look for this rule and avoid it in the future. But you’re still going to face other rules that increase the house edge.
5 – Casinos Boot Card Counters
Card counting is the most-popular way to gain an edge over the casino in any circumstance. In fact, blockbuster movies have been made about the subject.
However, casinos don’t just let you walk into their establishments and make easy money. They’re private businesses and they have the right to stop you if they think you’re counting.
You might feel that this is unfair when considering that the casino can take your money but is afraid to lose. But every gambling jurisdiction, except for Atlantic City, allows the house to boot counters.
It’s still possible for you to evade casino detection and make money. But you’ll find camouflaging your play to be much more difficult than simply learning card counting.
What Can You Do to Beat the Dealer in Blackjack?
You can see that you’re up against a lot when trying to win blackjack profits. Luckily, you can boost your chances of success by following the tips presented below.
Look for Games With Favorable Rules
Casinos have slowly added more and more rules that favor themselves. The house edge now pushes 2% in some gambling establishments—even when you use perfect playing strategy.
Fortunately, you don’t have to settle for these terrible games. You can still find fair real money blackjack tables both online and in land-based casinos.
The main thing you want to look at before placing a bet is the table felt. Specifically, you need to ensure that natural blackjacks pay 3:2 instead of 6:5. This is lone rule improves your chances of winning by 1.39%.
You can also look for one or more of the following rules that reduce the house edge:
- Single-deck 8-deck blackjack – Lowers house edge by 0.59%
- Double down on any total vs. doubling on 9 through 11 – Lowers house advantage by 0.25%.
- Dealer stands on soft 17 vs. hitting – Lowers house edge 0.2%.
- Double down after splitting (DAS) – Lower the house edge or advantage by 0.17%.
- Re-splitting aces – This reduces the house advantage by 0.08%.
- Late surrender – This lowers house advantage by 0.07%.
Learn Blackjack Strategy
It never ceases to amaze me how many blackjack players refuse to learn strategy. The same gamblers are basically throwing money away by not putting their pride aside.
You merely need to find a strategy chart through Google to get started. You can probably complete the search within 15 seconds.
Land-based casinos don’t want you slowing down the action by referring to your chart on every single hand. The outcasts of poker flat summary shmoop. But if you’ve already practiced online first, you won’t have to look at the chart so often.
Try Card Counting
Earlier, I discussed how the main challenge associated with card counting is getting away with it. Casinos almost everywhere have the legal right to throw you out for counting.
But you should still consider this advantage gambling method if you’re truly serious about blackjack. You can use card counting to gain an edge over the house ranging from 0.5% to 1.5%.
You might be surprised to know that learning how to count cards isn’t that difficult.
The dealer’s biggest advantage is that they get to act second. Assuming you bust out, then they automatically win before even flipping over their hole card.
The croupier also benefits from the lack of common blackjack strategy knowledge and rules skewed in the house’s favor. If they deal at a fast speed on top of this, then you’ll really have some trouble winning.
Nevertheless, you can still improve your odds by learning strategy and seeking favorable rules. You might even try your hand at card counting to see if this helps too.
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Blackjack Terms, Jargon, and Slang
As a new player, you will often hear blackjack players using lots of blackjack terms and slang, so we've created this list of terms to be used as a blackjack glossary or blackjack dictionary. You can simply use this as a reference when you hear a term you are unfamiliar with or just read through the list and familiarize yourself with the blackjack terms.
Anchorman - the player in the last seat of the table, on the dealer's far right, who is last to act.
Barring a Player - a casino refusing to allow a player to play in a blackjack game.
Blackjack - an automatic winning hand containing both an Ace and a 10 value card.
Bust - having a hand totalling more than 21 points, an automatic loser.
Card Counter - a skilled player who keeps track of the cards as they are dealt.
Card Counting - the act of keeping track of the value of the cards dealt at a table.
Dealer - the casino employee, facing the players, who deals the cards at the table.
Deck - a standard deck of 52 cards used in blackjack.
Double Down - the option for a player to double his bet with only one card to come.
Draw a Card - drawing an extra card, on top of the original hand.
Early Surrender - player's option to surrender half his bet while the dealer checks for blackjack.
Favorable Deck - the cards left in the deck are in the player's favor.
First Baseman - the player in the first seat of the table, on the dealer's far left, who is first to act.
Flat Bet - to bet the same amount each hand, without variation.
Floorman - the casino supervisor who oversees the dealers.
Hand - the original cards dealt to each player.
Hard Total - any hand where there is no ace, or the ace counts as one.
Head-to-Head - playing the dealer one-on-one with no other players at the table.
High Roller - a player who bets large amounts of money.
Hit - drawing an extra card, on top of the original hand.
Hole Card - the dealer's unseen card.
House - another term for the casino.
Insurance - optional bet that can be made when the dealer is showing an ace.
Marker - an IOU, signed by a player who has casino credit.
Mucker - a cheater who adds favorable cards to a multiple deck game.
Multiple-Deck - a game consisting of more than one deck of cards in a shoe.
Natural - slang for a blackjack.
Nickels - slang for $5 casino chips.
Paint - any Jack, Queen, or King (all painted pictures).
Pat Hand - an original holding of hard 17 or higher.
Fast Blackjack Dealers
Penetration - number of cards the dealer deals out before shuffling.
Pit Boss - casino supervisor who is in charge of the entire blackjack pit.
Push - a tie between the dealer and the player, no one wins or loses.
Quarters - slang for $25 chips.
Round - complete series of play in which everyone has acted on their hands.
Blackjack Dealer Costume
Shoe - box containing decks of cards, made to deal one at a time.
Shuffle - mixing up the cards before dealing them.
Single-Deck - a game of blackjack in which only one deck of cards is used.
Snapper - slang for a blackjack.
Soft Total - any hand containing an ace which has a value of 11.
Splitting Pairs - option to split identically ranked cards to play as seperate hands.
Stand, Stand Pat - the player's decision to not take any more cards.
Stiff Card - a card ranked from 2 to 6, which may force the dealer to hit.
Stiff Hand - any hand totalling 12-16, which will bust on a 10-value card hit.
Surrender - option of a player to forfeit half his bet after the dealer checks for blackjack.
Ten-Poor Deck - a deck in which more 10-value cards have been dealt.
Ten-Rich Deck - a deck in which less 10-value cards have been dealt.
Ten-Value Card - any card worth 10 points, a 10, Jack, Queen, or King.
Third Baseman - the player in the last seat of the table, on the dealer's far right, who is last to act.
Tip or Toke - a gratuity given to a dealer by a player.
Twenty-One - another name for the game of blackjack.
Unfavorable Deck - a deck with remaining cards favoring the casino, not the player.
Unit - a standard bet size.
Upcard - the dealer's exposed card, seen by all players.
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