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Blackjack Key Decisions: Splitting

March 23, 2016 Category :General 0

Every single USA online casino going features online blackjack and that’s because it’s one of the most popular casino games out there. One thing that makes blackjack so good is that your chances of winning are, to some degree, in your hands, and the game requires a lot more skill than, say, slots.

If you want to play online blackjack then knowing when to split and when not to split is crucial and that’s exactly what we’re looking at here. The decision of when to split is just one part of optimal play and this method, known as basic strategy, should be employed by anyone looking to give themselves the best possible chance of making a profit and enjoying a lengthy stay at the tables.

First off, let’s start with the easiest decisions there are when it comes to splitting. The exact calls vary according to the precise blackjack variant and ruleset you are playing but assuming fairly standard rules, with between four and eight decks and the dealer standing on soft 17, the following applies.

Aces and eights should always be split, the former giving you the chance to create two great hands and the latter turning one terrible hand into two solid ones. At the other end of the spectrum never split 10s – your chances of improving such a hand are low and whilst the temptation to try and create two good hands is obvious, the math proves it doesn’t work.

Nines should be split unless the dealer has seven, 10 or ace, whilst sevens should be split to a dealer seven and below and hit if the dealer has eight or more. The same applies to pairs of twos and threes, whilst sixes should be split if the dealer has six or lower and hit if they have seven or more.

A pair of fours is a split if the dealer has a five or a six only, otherwise the optimum call is to hit, which leaves us with just a pair of fives to decide on. If the dealer has an ace or a 10 value card you should always hit your fives, whilst anything lower and you should double where possible or failing that hit.

And that, is all you really need to know about splitting when it comes to playing blackjack at a USA online casino – or an offline casino for that matter. If you haven’t checked out live dealer blackjack yet we highly recommend you do. Live blackjack is as close as you can get to playing at a brick and mortar casino without leaving your house. See the USA live online casinos we recommend for more information and then choose any of the USA live dealer casinos we recommend to get started.

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Best Books for Playing Blackjack

March 10, 2016 Category :General 0

Perhaps more than any other casino game, blackjack lends itself to discussion of strategy, tips, tactics, math and theory. Many alternative US online casino games lack the depth and complexity of online – or offline – blackjack and as such there are fewer books regarding them. There are literally thousands of blackjack books and probably hundreds of excellent ones, with only poker able to rival the literary back catalog of this brilliant game.

Unfortunately, most of us have jobs to work, kids to raise and casino games to play, so reading hundreds or even 10s of books on blackjack and casino strategy, not to mention more fictionalized or non-theoretical texts, just isn’t a viable option. Which is why we’ve whittled down millions and millions of words into just five must-read blackjack books, and here they are, in no particular order.

Bringing Down the House by Ben Mezrich

This is perhaps one of the best known books around on blackjack, especially in the wider world away from serious blackjack and casino aficionados. The hit Hollywood movie “21” was adapted from this book and both tell the wonderful, colorful story of how a group of MIT students took casinos all over the world for millions of dollars over an extended period.

Try reading this book, which is largely factual with some embellishments, and not wanting to have a go at card counting, team player and indeed bringing down the house.

Hollywood Blackjack by “Hollywood” Dave Stann

Dave Stann is a colorful character who uses colorful language and this book is great for beginners wanting to give card counting a try. As well as a little math and practical tips, this fun book gives you plenty of theory but in a way that doesn’t feel like you’re at school.

Blackjack Wisdom by Arnold Snyder

Arnold Snyder was an original inductee into the blackjack Hall of Fame and this book is a fine collection of some of his thoughts, collected from magazine articles. It covers a range of topics and is great for those who like to read a little here and there.

Beat the Dealer by Edward O Thorp

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve read this described as the seminal text on card counting or a classic of the genre, I wouldn’t need to worry about playing blackjack. It’s true though, this is a great book and a must-read for those who love the game and its history.

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Gambling Like a Pro by Stanford Wong and Susan Spector

This superb book covers more than just blackjack but Wong is a Hall of Famer and the concise way this work details a range of topics and games makes it a must for this list.

If you want to learn and know more about Blackjack check out one or all of these books and your knowledge of blackjack will increase considerably. When your betting real money you should know as much as you can about the game your playing. Once you have peaked your knowledge use any USA online casino listed here and put your new found knowledge to the test.

Whether you live in the United States or anywhere else you can play online blackjack for real money at any of our recommended casinos. The latest in online blackjack is using a live dealer casino. Live dealer casinos allow you to play blackjack online like you would at a brick and mortar casino. There is an actual real person dealing the cards and running the game and you watch and play over a live streaming feed. See more about playing live dealer blackjack and the USA live online casinos we recommend playing at.

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Can the Martingale System be Used for Slots and Other Games?

December 18, 2015 Category :General 0

The Martingale System is probably the most famous staking system in the world of casinos and betting generally. If you’ve ever played roulette at real money online casinos the chances are you may have heard of or read about Martingale. Whilst it is most famously used for playing online roulette, it can, theoretically, very easily be used to play other real money casino games, including baccarat, blackjack and even slots, as well as being used for sports betting.

Martingale works on any bet where the payout is even – or close to even – and the probability of you winning each bet is close to 50%. Therefore, whilst it may be most closely associated with roulette, and betting on the colors, odd or even, or high and low, in essence it also works very well for blackjack, baccarat and other casino games, as well as on sports when using the spread.

Blackjack is perhaps the simplest roulette-alternative for Martingale and by doubling your bet after any loss you should have a good chance of making a small profit in the short-term. Of course, doubling, splitting, insurance and hitting blackjack itself will all alter your overall return but generally using Martingale to play online blackjack will work much the same way it does for roulette.

In modified form it can even be used to play slots, such that after a pre-selected run of losing spins, or once a target loss is reached, you increase your total bet. In slots, as in all Martingale usages, this does mean that you lose money more quickly when you are already down but, of course, the upside of that is that you can also recoup losses much more quickly if your luck changes.

Warning: Use Martingale With Caution

In truth though, much as we have said “Martingale works” for blackjack, or “Martingale can be used for baccarat”, what we actually mean is that it “works” just as well as it does for roulette. That is to say it doesn’t work very well at all!

Martingale should deliver lots of small wins but it will, ultimately, deliver a crushing loss when a long run of “bad luck” or “unbelievable” hands/cards/bets wipes out all your profits and quite possibly a lot more. In roulette for example, after “Black” wins 10 times in a row you would think “Red” surely has to hit soon. In reality the game does not remember the past, and just as in the previous 10 spins the odds of the ball landing on Black or Red is the same as it was for the last 10 spins – about 50%. The fact that “Black” has won 10 times in a row doesn’t matter as the game as no memory and the chance of Black coming again is still about a 50/50 chance which is far from a sure thing.

In short – we strongly advise against using the Martingale System for ANYTHING, especially when playing for real money. Play at any USA online casino listed here and rely on lady luck rather than the Martingale system and you will be better off in the long term.

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Blackjack House Edge

August 26, 2015 Category :Games 0

The house edge is effectively the casino’s advantage over the player in any given game, with a house edge of 5% meaning that for every $100 you wager, the casino, on average, will win $5. One of the reasons blackjack is so popular at US online casinos is that it has a low house edge, with a figure of around 0.7% fairly common at the excellent blackjack sites we work with. That means that if you were to play 100 hands at $10 a pop you would expect to be down by just $7 given “normal” luck.

With loyalty points, casino bonuses and just a tiny slice of help from Lady Luck, it’s easy to overturn that tiny advantage, especially when you consider the house edge on other casino games. Slots can be as high as 15%, roulette more than 5% and sometimes as much as 35% on keno!

As said, this explains, at least partly, why blackjack is such a popular online game, especially with USA players. However, within the game of blackjack there can be quite a big difference in the house edge. The house can vary according to the type of blackjack you play and also depending on how you play. In order to obtain the lowest house edge with whatever ruleset you play you must adhere to basic strategy, however, playing a blackjack variant with favorable rules is just as important in achieving a low house edge.

One of the biggest factors that affects the house edge is the number of decks used. One deck is great for the player and the difference on fairly standard rules between using one, four or eight decks is shown below:

  • One deck – house edge 0.15%
  • Four decks – house edge 0.56%
  • Eight decks – house edge 0.63%

Another massive factor and one very easy to spot and avoid, is to make sure you only ever play blackjack that offers a full 3/2 pay for blackjack itself. Every USA online casino we feature here do exactly that but should you play at a casino that pays at 6/5, the house edge will jump from around 0.6% up to almost 2%.

Playing a blackjack variant with the lowest house edge possible, including rules that allow you to double after a split, double on any two cards and which offers re-splits, will increase your chances of winning, so always be aware of the rules before you take a seat! To get started and play blackjack online use any of our links to visit the USA online casino of your choice. All welcome USA players and offer a great blackjack experience. Also see the USA live online casinos which offer live dealer blackjack. If you are a serious blackjack player a live dealer casino is a must to check out.


Blackjack Basic Strategy

July 31, 2015 Category :General 0

Basic strategy is a must for anyone who plays blackjack, be that with friends, at a USA online casino or at a bricks and mortar casino. Quite simply, basic strategy is the only way to play blackjack if you care about the nickels and dimes – and dollars!

Basic strategy is the name given to the method of playing blackjack that gives players the best mathematical chance of winning. Basic strategy, which is usually expressed as a chart, tells you precisely what decision to make in any given situation in blackjack and applies equally to online blackjack, mobile blackjack and indeed any form of the great casino card game.

Basic strategy tells you, based on the value of your two cards and the dealer’s one revealed card, whether you should hit, stand, split, double, surrender or take insurance. Some of those decisions are easy – never take insurance; always, and we do mean always, split eights – but others are more complex: for example should you hit a soft 18 to a dealer showing a nine (the answer is yes, assuming standard rules apply and four to eight decks are being used)?

Basic strategy, which was “invented” by four keen minds who were serving in the US army at the time, varies according to the precise rule variants the casino you are playing in uses but in general most decisions remain the same. It’s easy to find basic strategy charts and when you’re playing at an online blackjack site, referring to the guide is a quick and easy way to give yourself the best odds of winning.

Any blackjack ruleset has a house edge but in order to achieve that house edge you MUST follow the rules of basic strategy. Whilst it may not always seem the right call, the fact is that basic strategy has been mathematically and scientifically tested and it really does give you the greatest chance of success.

Of course, when you hit on a 16 you may well bust and lose that individual hand, but over time you will win more hands by doing as basic strategy tells you than you will following your gut, listening to your friends or anything else. So, in short, if you like to play blackjack online and like winning, make basic strategy your new friend.


Best US Casino to Play Online Blackjack

September 3, 2013 Category :Featured Casinos 0

Grand Parker Casino ReviewGrand Parker is the best US casino to play Blackjack online. If you like online blackjack we highly recommend you give the Grand Parker Casino a try and sign up and claim a great blackjack bonus. Grand Parker is our all around best US online casino and they offer a great online blackjack selection and bonus. If you like to play blackjack Grand Parker will not let you down.

Sign up as a new player to play online blackjack and receive a 125% match bonus up to $1250 on your first 4 deposits for a total of up to $5000. Grand Parker is so sure you will enjoy your online experience that they allow you 4 deposits to claim your bonus. This way you can make a small deposit to try the casino and then once you decide whether you like the casino or not you can make larger deposits and still claim a great bonus.

We like to play blackjack at Grand Parker not just because of the bonus but also because of the great selection of blackjack variations they offer. Play single player, multi player and multi hand 6 deck shoe blackjack and single deck. European blackjack is also available as well as some fun but not as well recognized games like Super 21, Match Play, Double Exposure and perfect pairs.

The graphics for the blackjack table are great and the rules are pretty lenient as well. The dealer hits soft 17 (as most online blackjack casinos do) and checks for blackjack anytime an Ace or Face Card (including tens) are shown as the up card. The player can double down on any two cards including “soft” hands and doubling is allowed after splitting cards. the player can also split up to 3 hands and surrender is allowed.

Blackjack betting limits at Grand Parker are also flexible with the minimum bet being just $1 and $250 being the maximum. You can bet $1 up to $500 all on the same table as well so there is no moving from table to table to find higher or smaller limits.

If you want to play blackjack online definitely give Grand Parker a try. They are our best USA online casino to play online blackjack. Of course Grand Parker offers all other popular table games so if you want to play casino games other than blackjack you have a full selection available.

Grand Parker Blackjack Table


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