When you first come across the Martingale strategy you’ll probably think ‘wow this could work’. It’s entirely understandable, the system is entirely plausible and can seem like a magic solution for making money. IN fact on many of the web sites that is exactly how Martingale is portrayed, a magical system hidden in the depths of time.
So what is Martingale?
The system is actually very simple and in many ways perfectly logical. You simply choose an even money bet – say red on a roulette wheel and place your bet. If you win, then you walk away with your profit but if you lose then you double your next stake. You keep this pattern until you win, that is double your stake on each loss and walk away immediately on a winning spin.
The idea is that you are guaranteed to make at least a small profit in each sequence that you play – double your stake to recoup you losses until you win. It kind of works mathematically, after all when you do hit a winning spin your return will recover all your losses.
The problem is that it is in the real world that this falls apart, as you can also read in How to Win Every Time With Martingale there are several very important points as to why you’ll probably fail using this system.
The first factor are betting limits, every casino both online and real world has a table maximum bet. The minute your ‘double stake’ goes over this limit i.e. you can’t double your stake – Martingale falls apart. The second point is slightly related the fact that this system requires an almost limitless bank roll, even a modicum of bad luck will create the need for enormous bets being placed to satisfy the system.
The reality is that although it kind of sounds plausible, Martingale is hugely risky. A losing streak of even a few spins can become enormously expensive and the required stake can become huge very quickly, the profit remains very small. The casinos don’t ban Martingale because they don’t need to, it doesn’t work. Of course just like any game you could be lucky and just win, however you can also do this by placing normal random bets on the table – it’s also potentially safer.
For anyone who wants to play Blackjack for profit rather than just recreational, then learning and using a basic strategy is pretty much essential. This should form the basis of your play and is the single biggest advantage a player can give themselves to win. There are a variety of basic strategies although most of them are very similar, they variances to the strategy are basically referring to the different rules, number of decks and playing style that you wish to adopt.
The following rules comprise the important facets of a Basic Blackjack strategy based on a 4 card deck (the most popular). It can be adapted when required but you shouldn’t move far from these basics.
Standing and Hitting (Hard Hands)
Always Hit on 12 through 16 when the dealer has 7 or higher.
Always Stand when you have 17 or higher
Stand on 12 to 16 when the dealer has 6 or lower
Hit on 12 when dealer has 2 or 3
Standing and Hitting (Soft Hands)
Stand on soft 19 or more.
Hit soft 17 or less
Stand on soft 18 vs dealer 8 or lower
Hit on Soft 18 vs dealer 9,10 or Ace
These comprise all the basic hitting and standing techniques, if you only play by these simple rules you will have cut the casino advantage by half. When you have memorized them, watch how few players use even these basic knowledge. Remember these are the correct plays in each situation and are the mathematical best plays to make in each situation.
You won’t win at something if you don’t understand it
It sounds a stupid and obvious thing to say but if you walk around any of the big casinos in Vegas and stop and watch some Blackjack you’ll quickly discover it’s advice not heeded by everyone. Blackjack is that rare casino game which offers the possibility of winning consistently however knowledge of the game is a prerequisite to this situation. Starting off with learning the Basic strategy on the home page of – online Blackjack is a great start.
You’ll find that many players don’t follow these basic rules, although the dealers always will. It’s painful to watch player destroy winning hands by taking that extra card or standing on an almost certain loser. In fact it can sometimes look that some players are trying to lose intentionally although clearly that’s unlikely to be the case. It’s sad to see and although we’ve all watched someone completely lost whilst playing online Baccarat, because it can be confusing – people seem to pretend they can play Blackjack even when they don’t.
Learning the Basic Strategy takes you along way to winning at Blackjack but it’s not the complete answer. Learning to wager properly, basic card tracking and counting are also useful skills for maximising your chances.
Alongside knowledge is another trait that creates winning gamblers, but unfortunately this one is not quite as easy to acquire. Experience is the greatest teacher and really there is only one way to get it in Blackjack and that’s by playing. However stumbling into a casino with a wad of cash is not going to give you the sort of experience you need. To start with your goal is learning that Basic Strategy and the first port of call should be the free online games you can find all over the internet. Play until the strategy is almost automatic, it doesn’t need to cost you and you’ll need your money to advance further in your Blackjack career.
When you’ve mastered the strategy play in as many different environments as you can, online is easiest but don’t neglect the proper casinos where you can rule out computer bias. No-one is suggesting that finding Blackjack games should take over your life, but in reality the very best players are the ones who have played longest in the biggest variety of situations.
Out of all the casino games, Blackjack is the one that relies most heavily on the player’s skill and not just luck. The simple fact is that Blackjack either played online or in a casino offers much more element of choice whilst you play.
There is no doubt that skill plays a huge part in the game of Blackjack, a good player will almost always outperform a poor player. However it is simple to adopt a solid basic strategy to the game and perform very well particularly in online Blackjack.