Advanced Blackjack Strategy Guide For Card Sharks!

Learning advanced blackjack strategy and becoming a well-versed player is not as hard as it might sound. It only takes a few practice games and the ability to understand some of finer rules of the game to become a seasoned guru.

The idea of playing blackjack as an advanced player is to increase your ‘long term expected value’. This is exactly where this guide comes into play because it will help you choose the right tables, reject the wrong bets, and play mathematically correct blackjack while it also covers multitable game tips and touches on the subject of blackjack money management.

There are 4 key concepts when learning an advanced blackjack strategy, plus we also include 2 additional mBitcasino tips:

1. Understand how different rules reduce the house edge

  • Surrender Rules
  • Double Down Rules
  • Split Rules
  • Decks in the Shoe
  • Insurance & Side Bets
  • Dealer Actions

2. Play blackjack using the correct basic strategy charts

  • How many decks are on the table?
  • Does the dealer hit or stand on soft 17?
  • Does the table allow you to double down after splits?
  • Examples of Basic Strategy Charts

3. Playing Composition-Sensitive Hands

  • A scenario when you have the option to ignore basic strategy!
  • Why is this a reason not to follow basic strategy?

4. Understand the money management side of the game

  • Bankroll Management
  • Bet Sizing Strategy
  • Reading Blackjack Money Management Guides

5. Playing Multihand Blackjack Tables or Multiple Tables Online

  • Playing Multiple Tables Online Simultaneously
  • Playing multihand Blackjack Tables

6. Practice your advanced blackjack strategy at mBitcasino

  • Live Dealer Blackjack Tables
  • Virtual Blackjack Tables

Read on if you want to become a blackjack pro by nailing some of the finer points of one of the hottest casino table games!

1. Understand how different rules reduce the house edge

At first glance, blackjack can appear like a game that has set rules that never change.

However, depending on the software provider or the casino, the rules change from table to table and as you become an advanced player, you will naturally identify which rules give you an advantage over the house, and the rules that put you at a disadvantage over the house.

“As an ‘advanced’ blackjack player you should understand how the varying rules can affect the house edge positively and negatively in order to increase the player’s Expected Long Term Value playing blackjack at certain tables”

Below we are going to cover some of the most common blackjack rules and how they change while we also include rarely seen rules you may come across once in while. When you finish reading this section, you will have the ability to find tables with the best house edge on any casino strip, live dealer casino, or online casino.

If you play blackjack online, most of the time you only need to look at the RTP or House Edge to find a table with the best odds of winning

Surrender Rule

We have a blackjack surrender strategy guide dedicated to this subject, while below we explain the different types of surrender and how each helps to reduce the house edge.

Early Surrender: If you do not like your first 2 cards, then you can surrender your hand and receive 50% of your bet.

This rule gives the player a high 0.61% advantage over the house

Late Surrender: This rule still allows you to surrender your hand, but only after the dealer checks for blackjack. If the dealer does indeed have a blackjack hand, then you automatically lose.

This rule gives the player a 0.07% – 0.08% advantage over the house

Double Down Rescue: Some casinos allow you to surrender even after a double down. This is quite new and is usually found on Spanish 21 blackjack tables.

This rule gives the player a 0.1% advantage over the house

Early Surrender Vs 10: This rule is incredibly rare. It allows an early surrender if the dealer’s upcard is a 10 regardless of whether the hand is a blackjack.

This rule gives the player an advantage over the house

Surrender Anytime: Another rare blackjack rule that allows you to surrender at any stage during your hand.

This rule gives the player an advantage over the house

Double Down Rules

If the odds are right, then you should always double down. That is, if you have a hand that wins 51% of the time or more by using the double down option, you ‘always’ risk it.

Double Down after split (DAS): This is an important rule to understand because it will help you choose the correct basic strategy charts known as DAS. It means that once you split your hand, you can take the Double Down option.

This rule gives the player a 0.14% advantage over the house

Double Down on Any: It does not matter what the total is of your first 2 cards, you can double down regardless. Although you should only double down according to basic strategy.

This rule gives the player a 0.23% advantage over the house

Double down on 9, 10 or 11 only:When your card total is 9, 10 or 11, you can use the double down option. This is a commonly found rule.

This rule gives the house a 0.09% advantage over the player

Double Down 10 or 11 only: You can only double down if your card total is 10 or 11. It is perhaps the most universal double rule found globally.

This rule gives the house a 0.18% – 0.21% advantage over the player

Double Down on 9 only: You may only double down when your card total is 9. This is quite restrictive so check to see if the table includes other rules that work in your favour.

This rule gives the house a 0.18% advantage over the player

Double Down on 11 only: You may only double down when your card total is 11. This is quite restrictive so check to see if there are other rules that work in your favour.

This rule gives the house a 0.79% advantage over the player

Double Down on 3 or more cards: This is quite a liberal rule that gives you the chance to double down regardless of the number of cards you have.

This rule gives the player a 0.22% advantage over the house

Double Down any hard count: This is a rare rule that restricts double downs to hands with no Ace. For example, if you are playing at a table using ‘Double Down on 9 only’ and you have an A-8 hand, you cannot double down, but if you have a 7-2 or 6-3 hard hand, you may double down.

The player still gains a slight edge by having the option to double down on most total, however, versus the standard ‘Double Down on Any’ rule, the house gains a slight edge

Double down on soft count: This rule mixes and matched with the rules above. Effectively, it allows you to double down even with an Ace in your hand. For example, if you are playing at a table using ‘Double Down on 9 only’ and you have an A-8 hand, you can opt to double down.

This rule gives the player a 0.08% to 0.13% advantage over the house

Double Down on any number of cards: You will not see this often, but when do come across it, it is quite fun because you can double down at any time.

This rule gives the player a 0.23% advantage over the house

Redouble Down: Another rare rule that gives you the chance to double down, and then once your next card comes, you can double down again!

This rule gives the player an advantage over the house

Hitting after Double Down: In normal blackjack rules, double down allows only 1 additional card, yet some variations allow you to ‘hit’ after this card.

This rule gives the player an advantage over the house

Split Rules

Splitting is a tool that advanced blackjack players thrive on. There are numerous rules to splitting with the most important being NDAS and DAS because these small changes to the rules will also change the basic strategy charts you use to play the game according to the house edge.

Splitting Pairs Not Allowed: This is a strange rule to include if you want players to play at your table, yet some casinos will not allow you to split your pairs.

This rule gives the house a 0.45% advantage over the player

Splitting Aces Not Allowed: Not allowing players to split Aces is frustrating, but still, some blackjack tables include this rule.

This rule gives the house a 0.16% advantage over the player

Resplit up to Two hands: You can split, and then resplit.

This rule gives the player a 0.1% advantage over the house

Resplit up to Three Hands:You can split, resplit, and resplit gain.

This rule gives the player an added 0.01% advantage over the house on top of the ‘Split up to two hands’ giving the player an added 0.11% advantage over the house

Resplit Aces: Sometimes casinos will not allow you to resplit Aces. However, there are also plenty of tables that will not put any restrictions on their split rules.

This rule gives the player a 0.1% advantage over the house

Multiple Cards after Split Aces: The majority of casinos will only permit players to draw 1 additional card after splitting aces, but you will also find some tables with no restrictions.

This rule gives the player a 0.1% advantage over the house

Split Any 16: This is an epic rule because 16 is the worst hand in Blackjack. In almost all circumstances it has a rare chance of winning versus the house. Therefore, when a table allows you ‘Split Any 16’ you can split A-5, 10-6, or 9-7.

This rule gives the player an advantage over the house

Split Any Time: Another great rule if you can find it. If you hit and 2 cards are the same value consecutively, you can split. For instance, 6-8-8, you can then split the 8s.

This rule gives the player an advantage over the house

Decks in the Shoe

Almost every blackjack strategy we write includes information about how the house edge or RTP of a blackjack table changes according to the number of decks on the table. Below we give you a quick recap.

  • 2 decks = 0.34% in favour of the house
  • 3 decks = 0.45% in favour of the house
  • 4 decks = 0.5% in favour of the house
  • 5 decks = 0.53% in favour of the house
  • 6 decks = 0.55% in favour of the house
  • 7 decks = 0.56% in favour of the house
  • 8 decks = 0.57% in favour of the house

Dealer Action

This is quite a simple concept to grasp but some people do get lost when it comes to figuring it out.

Dealer stands on hard and soft 17s: This is known as S17 so when the house receives an A-6 or A-2-3 the dealer must count the ‘A’ as an 11 total so the dealer must ‘stand’.

The S17 rule gives the player a 0.22% advantage over the house

Dealer stands only on ‘hard 17s and hits soft 17s: This is the H17 rule. The dealer counts the ‘A’ card in the A-6 or A-2-3 hand as a ‘1’ and therefore must ‘hit’.

The (H17) rule gives the house a 0.22% advantage over the player

Insurance & Side Bets – Expected Long Term Value

As an advanced blackjack player, you should be playing the game according to your expected value. That often means bets that look attractive or look like the right thing to do are not always what they seem.

Insurance: You will already know why to take the insurance bet; however, did you know it has the nickname the ‘suckers bet’? The long term expected value for this bet is not worth it and so you should always avoid it.

The house holds an edge of almost 5.89% and up to 7.39% with this bet

Side Bets: These are often fun bets to make to make your blackjack sessions more interesting. However, side bets are always weighted in favour of the house. If you want to achieve the best long term expected value from your blackjack plays, then avoid all side bets.

The house holds an edge of 3% and up to 8% depending on the side bet

2. Play blackjack using the correct basic strategy charts

Even as a non-advanced blackjack player, you should use basic strategy charts. This is the core reason there are pro blackjack players and those that can say they are efficient blackjack players.

Those that claim these titles play basic strategy exactly according to the moves the chart tells them to make. Basic strategy helps you play according to a mathematically proven percentages as per the table below.

Your advanced blackjack strategy decision making should include the ability to know exactly which basic strategy charts you need to use

Fortunately, the process you need to take to choose the correct basic strategy charts is not difficult. You just need to ask 4 questions.

Note: There are 4 groups of basic strategy charts and each group has 4 sets of charts, read on to find out exactly what they are

How many decks are on the table?

The more decks there are on the table, the more the mathematics behind the creation of basic strategy changes. Basic strategy uses the number of cards in a deck + the probability of those card totals beating the dealer’s hand according to the dealer’s upcard.

Here are the 4 groups of basic strategy charts:

  • Single Deck or One Deck
  • Double Deck or Two Deck
  • Three Deck or Triple Deck
  • 4 Decks or More

Once you know how many decks the table has in the shoe, you can move on to choosing the correct chart for that table.

Does the dealer hit or stand on soft 17?

There are 2 abbreviations that describe the basic strategy chart that is correct for a table on which the dealer ‘stands on hard and soft 17sORstands only on ‘hard 17s and hitssoft 17s’.

  • S17 = dealer ‘stands on hard and soft 17s
  • H17 = ‘stands only on ‘hard 17s and hits soft 17s

Now there is just one more question to ask to ensure you get the right ‘H17’ or ‘S17’ basic strategy chart.

Examples of Basic Strategy Charts

Just to give you an idea of what these basic strategy charts look like and the name of each chart we have given you some examples below.

3. Playing Composition-Sensitive Hands

When you start playing truly advanced blackjack strategy, you will come across situations whereby other the players’ cards can help you. For example, let’s take the dreaded ‘16’ hand total in Blackjack that no one likes because it is one of those easy to beat hands for the dealer if you ‘stand’ and an easy to bust hand if you ‘hit’.

A scenario when you have the option to ignore basic strategy!

You hold a 16 total versus the dealer 7, 8, 9, 10, or A. On a double deck game, the correct move is to hit unless you have the chance to surrender versus a dealer 10 or A. Now if you hit the chances of winning are 24% Vs a 17% win rate if you stand. Yes, it is just one of those hands!

However, if you are playing at a 7-player table and you see lots of 10 and 9 value cards, there is a much lower chance of your hand busting out. However, you may notice no 8s, 9s, or 10s in anyone’s hands and a few Aces. You could opt to sway yourself away from the basic strategy ‘hit’ move and stand just.

Why is this a reason not to follow basic strategy?

Cards that can bust a 16 hand are ‘6’ and above. If there are many low cards in other players’ hands, the chances are a high card is coming and if you ‘hit’ as per basic strategy, you stand a higher chance of losing.

This is a classic case of using the information you have in front of you. You are using other cards on the table to influence your decision which is exactly what poker players do while using all the information on the table is a common trait of ‘card counters’

Sitting in the last seat at the blackjack table can also help you make better decisions based on other cards out on the table. Now if you are sitting in the 7th seat, you get to act last and see all the other hit cards come out onto the table.

The last seat is perfect for those tricky situations when you have that awkward 16 hand total, and your advanced blackjack strategy is technical enough to use this position to your advantage!

  • At multi-player tables try to sit in the seat last to act
  • The dealer always deals from your right to left
  • Use other player’s cards to change your decision making

4. Understand the money management side of the game

Advanced blackjack players are hot on the subject of blackjack money management. In particular bankroll management is important for those that enjoy playing blackjack regularly.

With a sound knowledge of all the rules of blackjack and how to find tables with rules that shave percentages off the house edge or add percentages to RTP, the next step is to learn both bankroll management and bet sizing statagies.

Bankroll management

If you want to enjoy hours of table time on live dealer games, in a casino, or playing virtual blackjack tables online, then you will need a bankroll. Now the idea of the bankroll is to commit a certain amount of money per week or per month to your blackjack hobby.

In just same way as you would spend your money on any other hobby, the idea is to spend what you can afford without getting into money problems. You can also build up your blackjack bankroll with regular payments and by using the above strategies to prevent yourself from burning thr0ugh your bankroll too quickly.

Over time you should end up fine tuning your bankroll management so well, that your weekly or monthly blackjack budget will continually decrease, and on a good month, you will not need to commit anything.

  • Bankrolling your blackjack games is an advanced strategy in itself
  • You should never spend more than you can afford
  • Your bankroll management strategy should continuously evolve

Bet Sizing Strategies

Bet sizing is an advanced blackjack strategy because it is so difficult to perfect. Figuring out your bet sizing is calculating the minimum bet amount you can afford. This can be made very simple or you can use a technical formula.

It is a very important part of blackjack because if you do not limit your bet sizing, you could end up burning through your bankroll.

Obvioulsy, there are plenty of players that prefer playing at the highest limit they possibly can or they like to continually push their bet sizing to play higher limit tables. However, doing this means less time on the tables, less time to practice your blackjack skills, and it can lead to money problems.

Using 10% Of Your Bankroll

One of the most common stratagies is to only use 10% of your bankroll for each session. Next, decide how many hands you play per hour and predict thw worst case scenario for losing those hands. This way you can calculate your ‘minimum bet’ size.

For example, the blackjack table churns out 1 hand per minute so you will play 60 hands a minute. You predict worst case scenario as losing 40 hands. A $100 budget would be $100 ÷ 40 = $2.50 per hand minimum bet. If you end up winning 40 hands, you spend $150 on 60 losing hands and you win $200 from the winning hands.

Using the 10% Bankroll + 5% Bet Sizing Strategy

Another much easier way of figuring out bet sizing is use 10% of your bankroll, and then the minimum bet will be 5% of this. Therefore, a $1,000 bankroll will mean you take $100 to the table, and the minimum bet is $5 per hand. It is a little riskier but has a similar effect.

  • Bet sizing is one of the most difficult strategies to master
  • It helps you decide what your minimum bets will be
  • You will need to figure out which bet sizing strategy works for you

Reading Blackjack Money Management Guides

Luckily for you, if this is an area of your game that you want to improve or pay more attention to, then check out our complete guide to blackjack money management here.

This is an advanced look into how you should manage your bankroll, how to choose the correct bet sizes, and there is tons more information about how to make sure you stay on the table for hours!

  • You can avoid chasing your losses
  • Learn when to quit while you are ahead
  • Play for longer and gain experience at the tables
  • Run through downswings and into upswings more often
  • Reduce your losses and increase your winning sessions

5. Playing Multihand Blackjack Tables or Multiple Tables Online

One way to get through your blackjack hand variation, otherwise known as your upswings and downswings, is to play multi-hand blackjack tables or to play multiple tables at once.

Most players play multi-hand and multiple tables because they want to get through as many hands as possible so upswings come around quicker and players can play through mundane downswings faster

This may sound like a head ache, and for those that are not wide awake and 100% on the ball, playing multiple tables at once it is a headache. You will also need to have your bankroll management and bet sizing strategy perfectly figured out.

Below we will give you some quick tips on how to handle multi-hand games, and playing multiple tables.

Playing Multiple Tables Online Simultaneously

When you play multiple tables, this means you are playing more than one table at once. You could have 2 or 3 live dealer tables open which is also the most difficult way to play blackjack because it takes a lot of concentration.

There are also several issues that can arise is.

When it is your turn to make a decision on more than one table at the same time, you could end up making mistakes or getting a warning

An easier way to play multiple tables is to play virtual tables and live dealer tables at the same time. Virtual blackjack tables have no dealer so you are not on the clock. You can play a virtual hand while waiting for the live dealer game to deal you another hand which eliminates this issue.

There are also ‘speed blackjack’ live dealer blackjack tables available if you want to play super fast hands as well as plenty of multi-hand blackjack tables which also helps your play through your hand variation quickly.

If you play on multiple tables with different rules, you may need to use more than 1 basic strategy chart which makes matters more confusing

The answer here is simple. If you enjoy the challenge of playing multiple tables, then try to play on multiple tables with the same rules. As long as the casino has more than 1 blackajck table for the same style. That means the live casino has multiple dealers online.

Playing Multihand Blackjack Tables

Rather than playing multiple tables, you can choose to play multiple seats at the same table. This is highly receommened and certainly less confusing than switching between multiple tables.

You can play 3 and sometimes up to 5 seats at the same time on multihand blackjack tables and these tables are available both as virtual blackjack and live dealer blackjack tables

The dealer will deal all the positions on the table you stake, and then un through each hand in sequence from your right to left.

6. Practice your advanced blackjack strategy at mBitcasino

mBitcasino is a mecca for blackjack tables. The most popular games are over in the live dealer area where you can play blackjack on tables hosted by live dealers streamed to you via web cam.

Live Dealer Blackjack Tables

Here is an Evolution live blackjack table in action. See if you can figure out the strategy the players are using playing on this live table. If you want to play this exact table at mBitcasino then check it out here.

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There are also plenty of other blackjack table games you can play in our live dealer casino area from:

  • Evolution
  • Ezugi
  • Pragmatic Play Live

Virtual Blackjack Tables

Another area mBticasino excels in is our impressive collection of virtual table games. From entertaining virtual blackjack tables that are fully automated to virtual reality style blackjack tables, you can practice your advanced blackjack strategy at your own pace!

Try out the amazing Evolution First Person Blackjack which is a virtual reality style blackjack table using computer graphics to mimic the same look and feel you get playing live dealer games.

Or check out our full virtual blackjack tables catalouge here, where you will find blackjack titles from Amatic, BGaming, and Betsoft Gaming.

  • Blackjack Surrender
  • Multihand Blackjack Pro
  • Double Exposure
  • Multihand Blackjack
  • Pontoon
  • Blackjack 21

You can play the virtual games using the free play demo mode, or you can go all out and play using BTC, BCH, LTC, ETH, XRP, USDT, or DOGE cryptocurrencies.

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