Blackjack is one of the best games in the casino for players because it has a low house edge when played with skill and discipline. It may even be possible to learn how to create a negative house edge in blackjack with the right combination of skills. That means bigger winnings for you.
Here’s a quick guide to achieving what most gamblers only dream of: a negative house edge. It takes work, but the rewards are worth the effort. Yes, you can make it so that the odds are in your favor at blackjack.
About the House Edge in Blackjack
Let’s first talk about the overall house edge in the game of blackjack. The house edge refers to the percentage a casino can expect to win over the long run in a game. In blackjack, that number has traditionally been about 2%.
Breaking it down, you can expect to lose $2 of every $100 that you bet at blackjack. The key here is to understand this is a long-term result. Short-term results may vary. The casino does not care about short-term results because all players contribute to the long-term success of the game.
No casino game can succeed without a built-in house edge. Some games have a very high house edge. Blackjack has one of the lowest. It can even be lower when you learn how to create a negative house edge in blackjack.
The House Edge in Blackjack Can Be Manipulated
Something that a lot of players fail to recognize is that the house edge in blackjack can be manipulated. The reason for this is that blackjack is a game where players are allowed to act on their hand in a variety of ways. Those actions can change the outcome of the game. This makes blackjack a unique game where casino gambling is concerned.
On any given hand you can split, stand, double down, or hit your hand. There are many decisions that can be made on a single hand of blackjack, but only one will be the right decision. This is why it is possible for you to reduce the house edge against you.
The First Step – Mastering Basic Blackjack Strategy
The decisions that we mentioned have been analyzed over the years and perfected by mathematicians and skilled blackjack players. Charts have been developed which demonstrate the best strategy to use in every situation. When you use basic blackjack strategy, the house edge begins to decline.
Some statistics reveal that using basic blackjack strategy brings the house edge down to an incredible 0.5%. That makes it pretty much the best game in the entire casino. Only video poker would come close in terms of overall payout, and craps would be a good second choice. You don’t have to be a mathematician to see that lowering the house edge in this way is a good thing. You are going to lose less often.
So, what accounts for this reduction in house edge? It is knowing when to split, when to double, when to hit, and when to stand. There is a right and wrong play for each situation. You have to learn the right one. Basic strategy has to become intuitive to you. You need to be able to make these plays without even thinking about it.
Card Counting – Eliminating the House Edge
The next step to creating a negative house edge in blackjack is to master the art of card counting. When you become an expert card counter, you have the chance to totally eliminate the house edge. You can actually swing the edge in your favor, making the house the underdog.
You should know that there are many methods of counting cards. We have reviewed many of them on Counting Edge. All of them work the same on principle, but some are described as more accurate than others. You can find a card counting method that is good for beginners, and you can find methods suited to the experienced professional.
Here’s what you need to know. All card counting methods when coupled with basic blackjack strategy and sound money management may be able to give you a 1% to 1.5% advantage over the house. That may not seem like a very large number, but it is huge. It means that you can expect to win in the long run rather than expect to lose.
What we have just described is creating a negative house edge in blackjack. You have managed to beat the house at its own game. This is how professional blackjack players and teams have managed to win at the game for many years.
The Role of Money Management
By now you have seen that a number of different factors have an effect on the house edge in blackjack. We should not end this discussion without mentioning money management. How you bet at the game of blackjack is very important to the reduction of the house edge.
As we mentioned, the figures that we have given for the house edge are indications of long-term results. What you are looking to do in blackjack is to alter the short-term results by eliminating the house edge. This is done by making bigger bets when the deck is in your favor.
The whole point of card counting is to let you know when the deck is in your favor. The whole point of basic blackjack strategy is to let you know what play to make in every situation. When you know both of these things, you can know when to raise your bets.
This is the essence of advantage play in the game of blackjack. It is why blackjack is one game in the casino that can potentially be beaten.
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