In this article I will summarize ten legal blackjack strategies on how to win at blackjack. But before that, I would like to remind readers of methods that definitely do not work. Here are included progression systems, chronometers / controls, search for croupiers and hot tables, lucky charms, etc. Pseudoscience and mythology are recurring themes in most casino games, but blackjack has a certain mystique that gets the most ignorant side of the most cultured players. If the guy sitting next to you starts boasting about his career in Statistics or Engineering, do not be surprised if he also complains when you take a 12 against the dealer’s 3.
Here are ten legal and scientifically valid methods to win at blackjack:
METHOD 1: COUNTING OF LETTERS
Everyone knows the card counting in blackjack. This method consists of tracking the relative proportion of good cards (T, J, Q, K, A) and bad cards (2, 3, 4, 5, 6) that remain in the card dispenser. When the number of good cards is significantly greater than that of bad cards, the player will have an advantage over the house. To win at blackjack, the player must raise his bet when he has an advantage, not when the advantage is on the home side. As I have already explained on several occasions, in my opinion, card counting in blackjack is an overrated and unconvincing approach to the advantage game. Players should not use it and casinos should not devote too many resources to overthrow it.
METHOD 2: BLACKJACK TECHNIQUES TO LOCATE ASES
Knowing if you are going to receive an Ace in one of the first two cards dealt will give you a 50% advantage over the house. One method to locate Aces is to memorize the two decisive cards just before an Ace as the cards pass to the discard dispenser. If the shuffled cards have not been intermixed, then the player can predict when the Ace will appear. This method is often used in a team approach that allows the team to control Aces and find more than one.
METHOD 3: LETTERS OF HAND
This method is to play so you can see the hand card of the dealer when it is distributed. You could see it while the dealer slips the card under the card on his back. There are also possibilities to see if the dealer leaves the card exposed when removed from the top of the deck. This method also works in dispenser games in which a careless dealer slips the hand card to avoid the stack of chips or any other obstacle. Croupiers with long nails could slightly raise the edges of the cards to remove them from the dispenser, which would leave them exposed immediately. Games with hand cards offer players an advantage of 8% (or more) over the house. The definitive resource for this method is the book “Beyond Counting” (Beyond Counting) by James Grosjean, which is quite difficult to find.
METHOD 4: NEXT LETTER
An even more effective method than that of the hand cards is that of the next card, in which the player knows which card will be dealt next during the course of a hand. Depending on the card, the player can choose whether to request a card, stand or fold more effectively If the card has a chance to pass the hand of the dealer, the player may decide to stand. For example, the next player could be planted with a total of 7 if the dealer has a 6 face up and the player knows that the next card will be a jack. If the next player knows the first card to be dealt, he can determine his bet based on the advantage he will get in the hand. A case in which the method of the next card may work is in hand-spread games, where a nervous or restless croupier may leave a corner of the card exposed before distributing it. It can also be used when you want to trace a specific card in the card dispenser. Again,
METHOD 5: CLASSIFICATION BY EDGES
Border classification takes advantage of the possible asymmetries that appear on the back of the letters due to inconsistencies in the printing process. This method became very popular when the demands (Crockfords, The Borgata) against Phil Ivey for using the technique of classification by edges in baccarat caught international attention. However, long before the classification by borders in baccarat monopolized international news, the players with advantage already used it to win at blackjack. Edge classification provides information to the player about his first hand, the next hand and the dealer’s hand card. In the best case, the player can get an advantage of 10% or more over the casino.
METHOD 6: INGENIOUS CUTTING / DISTRIBUTION OF LETTERS
Occasionally, the croupier exposes the bottom card of the dispenser when offering the cut. The person making the cut can match the cut of the dispenser with the exact location of a letter. For example, you can place a card exactly 52 cards (1 deck) from the top. Therefore, in a team of players, that card can be addressed to an important player if it is a good card, or to the dealer if it is bad. This can be achieved if cards are called, folded or divided selectively, or if players are allowed to enter or exit the card dispenser and play several hands if necessary.
METHOD 7: COMPLEMENTARY BETS
Card counting can dismantle any additional bet. Normally, the chances of obtaining benefits are not very good, but some complementary bets can be quite lucrative. In the USA UU., The main obstacle of the card counter in the complementary bets is the limit of the maximum bet (usually $ 25), but this is not the case internationally. The most vulnerable complementary bets are those with obvious decisive cards that offer more chances of winning or losing the bet. For example, any additional bet that offers a return when the player gets a total of 20, will have as decisive cards the T, J, Q and K. I have analyzed the card counting systems in numerous complementary blackjack bets.
METHOD 8: TRACK FOLLOWING
This method requires tracking the highest cards (T, J, Q, K, A) during the shuffling process. It is a complex way to get an advantage, but if all goes well, the player can get an advantage of up to 3% on the house. However, this method also contains many pitfalls. First of all, it is difficult to locate the shuffled cards that are to be tracked. Also, you have to be very precise: if you get distracted even if it’s a moment, you could lose a lot of money. There is not much material published on this method, so you have to be willing to investigate on your own. The tracking of the deck has been falling into disfavor over the last decade due to the arrival of automatic card shufflers and the growing awareness of other much more effective methods.
METHOD 9: LOSS RETURNS
The opportunity to receive a portion of the losses at the end is an incentive that generates an important hole in the casinos due to the advantage of the game. If the player wins, then he will keep all his winnings, but if he loses, then he will only receive a percentage of the losses. Depending on the casino and the level of play of the High Roller, these returns can range between 5% and 20%. The best known player to take advantage of the blackjack loss returns was Don Johnson, who won 15 million of the Atlantic City casinos between 2011 and 2012. However, despite the publicity that Johnson gave to this method, he remains available for the High Rollers worldwide.
METHOD 10: REWARDS
Virtually all casinos offer some reward system for this board game. Casinos return a percentage of the player’s theoretical gain (t-gain) in the form of accessible rewards such as rooms, meals and beverages. Many casinos also grant cash rewards, such as games to match the bet, free plays, promotional chips, money to play, air rates, etc. The key to dismantling reward systems lies in understanding how the casino calculates the t-win and how to take advantage of the human element in this formula. If you play following a perfect basic strategy, withdrawing from specific hands, making large bets and slowing the pace of the game, you can get an effective t-win much lower than the t-win registered by the casino. If the reference advantage of the house is low enough (common in High Rollers), the combination of accessible and complex rewards can offer the player a certain advantage. The classic book of reference on this subject is “Comp City” by Max Rubin.
In addition to everything indicated above, there are many other possibilities to obtain an advantage. These include taking full advantage of promotional rules, such as special 2 to 1 blackjack or happy hours. In addition, some casinos offer players the option to “split for less”, which could invalidate the house advantage. Some newer blackjack versions offer special opportunities. The letters may contain incidental marks that allow their identification. Some croupiers may be prone to making mistakes. Automatic shufflers may include defective algorithms that are reverse engineered. Some international casinos offer an “early abandonment”, while others offer an advantage over the total value. And so many more.
Whether you’re a player or a manager of casino security, forget the “card counting” and start paying attention to the legal options. Enters the casino with your eyes open and be fascinated by everything happening around you.