Stan's Top 13 Rules for Maximizing Fun and Profit Playing Online Blackjack
Many gamers play blackjack because they feel that blackjack offers them the best chances to win. Video poker usually has the best odds but you still have to make the right decisions to beat the house in online video poker. Today I'll discuss several techniques you can use to greatly enhance your chances of winning at online blackjack.
In Online Blackjack It's Not Cheating To Use a Cheat Sheet
First, you must understand that I am talking exclusively about online blackjack. Why? Because no brick and mortar casino will let you play with a cheat sheet. Your favourite online casino doesn't know that you have a cheat sheet in hand.
Let's also remove the term cheat sheet and replace it with the term strategy card. Every variation of blackjack has its own strategy card so, if you want to play many variations of blackjack, you'll need a lot of strategy cards. There's nothing wrong with that at all as long as you can keep your strategy cards straight and not use a strategy card from one variation of blackjack when you're playing another variation!
Here Come the Rules
So, rule number 1 is: Use the correct strategy card for the blackjack game you're playing. Strategy cards are plentiful online. Find one that is easy to read and understand. Print it, laminate it, and off you go.
Rule number 2: Play only one variation of blackjack until you become "conversant" with that variation's strategy card. There are so many variations of blackjack, and many of them are great fun to play, but I recommend making online blackjack a "course of study". Each "semester" you can add one or two variations to your area of expertise.
Rule number 3: Never assume that the best strategy card will guarantee winning. The best strategy in the most amenable game for players still has about a 1% house advantage. Many gamers are willing to accept those odds because the games are such fun to play.
Rule number 4: Never play a blackjack variation in which the dealer hits with soft 17! This rule is counter-intuitive to most players. I also was amazed to read in online strategy sites that when the house hits on soft 17 it has the overall advantage! I always thought that if I saw that the dealer had 5 or 6 showing and I had 12, 13, or 14 points it was to my advantage to stand and let the dealer bust. But if the dealer turned up with soft 17 it would be to my advantage to have the dealer hit and possibly bust rather than lose the hand outright.
To my great surprise, that is not the case. Dealer benefits from hitting on soft 17 when you have 18, 19, 20, or 21 points! So never play a variation where dealer hits with soft 17.
Rule number 5: Always perform due diligence and play at a reputable online casino. This should be obvious but the online casinos that make it hard to withdraw money are still around. Don't play at such casinos under any circumstances.
Rule number 6: Look for high bonuses for new players or high bonuses for established players. This rule seems to contradict rule 5. When you have the choice between a big bonus and a less than reputable online casino, choose rule 5.
Having said that, I reiterate that there are many good online casinos that offer big bonuses. Find a casino that offers big bonuses and use a good strategy card.
Rule number 7: Find a casino that has a reasonable play through requirement. Every bonus comes with a play through requirement but some are so onerous that you will have to play for a very long time before you can withdraw winnings. The longer you have to play the greater the chances that the house will prevail.
Rule number 8: Make sure that the casino rewards bets on blackjack with a high play through credit. The factor that online casinos use to reward blackjack wagers toward fulfilling your play through requirement vary greatly. Play at a casino that makes blackjack valuable toward fulfilling your play through requirement.
Rule number 9: Stay with a good online casino even after you have fulfilled the play through requirement. This does not mean that you should stop looking for new bonuses from different casinos. It means that if you have found a good online casino with fair play through requirements, top bonuses in their Loyalty Club, easy and safe banking, excellent customer service and many other aspects of online gaming that often override the games themselves, you should continue to play at that casino.
Rule number 10: Set a time limit for any session of blackjack. Even with a good strategy card, you will lose more than you should when you get tired. Blackjack is a cerebral game and our cerebellum gets tired! If you still want to play after leaving your blackjack session, you can play many other fun but strategy-free games!
Rule number 11: Make relatively small wagers. Your purpose in playing blackjack should be to have fun matching wits with the house. Of course, if you're a true high roller you can ignore this rule but the 99% of us ought to follow the rule whenever we play online. Blackjack is not a lottery through which you can get rich quick. Even when the provincial lottery is worth many millions of dollars, I would advise against betting more than you can afford.
Rule number 12: Never take insurance. The house advantage for insurance is very high. No strategy card that I have seen recommends taking insurance!
Rule number 13: Enjoy!