When it comes to playing blackjack, many people think that the way of playing can change – from the various online versions available, to land-based ones, to versions that feature a live dealer – but that the odds of winning remain the same. However, that isn’t true. Some blackjack games offer a greater likelihood of winning than others. Depending on the variant of blackjack chosen, your odds of winning may change slightly, and depending on how much money is at stake, these odds could be the difference between a massive pot or not.
Hitting or Standing on Soft 17
Rules affecting the dealer can have an impact on your likelihood of winning. Many may have some knowledge of the dealer having to hit or stand on soft 17, but most don’t look into the exact rule, which can differ and lead to a positive or negative result. Standing on a soft 17 means the dealer doesn’t draw any more cards – so if you have a greater hand, you’ll win. But increasingly, the rule is that dealers should still hit on soft 17. While this may mean they go bust more often, probability actually shows that they have a greater chance of winning this way too. Hitting on a soft 17 adds 0.22% to the house edge. Indeed, as stated by Betway Casino when playing blackjack hitting and standing is a strategy that you too can employ, depending on what your hand currently is and whether it is hard (no Ace) or soft (including an Ace). A page on the Boston University Department of Computer Science has broken down every possible move in blackjack based on statistics.
Blackjacks Pay 2 to 1
Upping your odds of winning by the biggest amount is the rule that blackjack pays 2 to 1, which adds 2.27% to your edge. This gives back $2 for every $1 bet, which can substantially increase winnings should you win a blackjack. However, most casino operators avoid using this due to how much of a hit they can take should you win – which means if you do ever see it, you should make sure you make the most of it. The opposite of this is 6 to 5, which actually equates to a lot smaller ratio, despite being a greater number. These odds make winnings very slim, so this should be avoided. Some games evoke the role of 777 equalling a 2 for 1, which means if three different 7 cards are drawn to form 21. Others do the same for five cards creating 21 without going bust. Others make the specification that suited blackjacks only count, while some stipulate that six cards are needed to make a 2 for 1 payout.
Surrender to Win
While surrendering doesn’t often evoke images of success as debated heavily online which sites such as Trip Advisor, sometimes the surrender tactic may end up meaning you are more likely to win. Early surrender refers to surrendering and taking half the bet back before the dealer checks for blackjack, while late surrender occurs after the dealer has checked for blackjack. Experts suggest surrendering when you have a hand of 16 – and being most successful on an early surrender after the dealer draws a ten. Surrendering allows you to continue playing, ensuring there is money to continue another hand by cutting losses you expect to make anyway. Playing a variant of blackjack that allows for such a rule could be beneficial and increase your likelihood of winning. Early surrender against an ace can increase your odds by 0.34%, and 0.24% against a ten. Late surrender increases your edge by a minimal amount with a ten by a minimal amount of 0.07%.
There are many variants of blackjack, and each one can slightly increase your edge of winning. While surrendering may prove an advantageous strategy, knowing the rules of each variant for whether a dealer has to hit or stand on soft 17 can also come into play to help you win more. Knowing the payout odds is definitely crucial in order to make the best decisions in terms of strategy. Indeed, all statistical breakdowns of the game will define what type of blackjack they have calculated for, such as Kenneth R Smith’s Blackjack Strategy Chart.
In the end, it comes down to the strategy the individual employs on their game. Some may choose riskier strategies, which will line up with riskier maneuvers, while others may take the safer option. An individual player’s preference of play is crucial in determining how much they can increase their edge by, or lower the house edge, which can increase their likelihood of winning.