If you have played blackjack in a live casino you have likely encountered someone getting reprimanded for making a string bet. Perhaps you have even been corrected for making this type of bet yourself. String bets are more commonly seen in blackjack tournament formats rather than standard play, and they are also observed in poker games like Texas Hold ‘Em. Knowing what a string bet is and how to avoid it will save you from some embarrassment at the tables.
What is a string bet?
Simply put, a string bet is when you “string” chips into the blackjack betting area to make your bet. Instead of picking up a single chip and placing it in the betting box, you pick up several chips and then deposit them one at a time while hovering over the betting area. This is called string betting and it is not permitted in casino table games.
The correct way to place a bet at the blackjack table or any other table game with cards such as poker is to gather the exact amount of chips you intend to bet and push them, and only them, into the betting area of the table. You cannot slide out four $5 chips, for example, and then pull back two of them.
Why do people string bet in blackjack?
The first and foremost reason people make a string bet in blackjack play is ignorance. They simply have not been taught how to bet properly. There is no nefarious reason for string betting, they just don’t know any better. Ignorance, however, is not an excuse in the casino. If you happen to make a string bet you will be kindly advised the first time and shown how to make a proper bet. No harm, no foul. If you do it again and continue to do it you could be asked to leave the blackjack table. More serious offenders can even be banned.
The reason casinos take a strong stand on string betting is that some people do it intentionally, and it also veers very close to something known as past-posting. Past-posting is when a blackjack player attempts to add more chips to the original amount they bet after the cards have been dealt. Past-posting is illegal and will not just get you banned from the casino. It can land you in jail.
The string bet is not really past-posting because the player is doing it before the cards are dealt. So, how can this be an advantage? As we mentioned above, you are more likely to see blackjack string bets in a tournament. The reason some players do it is they are trying to gauge the reaction of other players behind them to their bet size. Also, the act of stringing the bet in can sometimes prompt the next player to make their bet because they think the stringer is finished betting. The stringer then gets a free look at how much the next player is betting and can adjust their own. In blackjack tournaments the amount of money bet on each hand comes into play from a strategy standpoint because you are trying to amass a larger amount of winnings than your opponents.
In poker, string betting is common for the same reason. A player may try to string bet because he/she wanted to see how the other players in the hand will react. This is why you must count out your bet behind the betting line and then slide the exact number of chips you are betting into the betting box.
Can you string bet in online blackjack?
Silly question, we know. But you would be surprised at the number of silly questions we get at Counting Edge. No, it is not possible to make a string bet in online blackjack because you never physically touch the chips. You’re just clicking a button on your computer to decide how much you want to bet. Once you click place bet and hit DEAL everything is done. There is no changing it.
Even though it is a silly question it does open up some discussion of how online blackjack has changed the tenor of the game. Live casino blackjack will never fall out of favor and neither will live casinos, but more and more people are starting to play blackjack online because it is so convenient. You can play from a computer, laptop, tablet, or even a phone 24/7. And, the thing is, blackjack software is getting more and more advanced by the day. You can even find some online casinos now that actually use a live dealer. Who knows? There may come a day when AI is so advanced that players will be able to use touch screens to push chips on to the online blackjack table.