Live blackjack is a game of skill and strategy, with most strategies being founded on blackjack basic strategy. However, neither the simplest blackjack strategy nor basic strategy alone is not enough to guarantee wins. Blackjack players will need to learn how to deviate from basic strategy from time to time.
Blackjack deviations are times when blackjack players alter their playstyles from standard basic strategy to make a better bet at certain times. Deviating from basic strategy is perfect for making more advantageous plays instead of just hitting or standing or throwing off the casino from thinking that a bettor is an advantage player or a card counter.
Counting cards gives gamblers a better chance of winning a game but endangers them from getting blacklisted by a casino. Many successful blackjack players counted cards extensively and won against the casino many times, at the price of getting banned from a casino or network of casinos. Deviating from the standard bets and playstyles associated with basic strategy reduces the risk of getting caught.
Different Blackjack Deviations
Blackjack players will have the option to deviate from blackjack basic strategy in two ways. They are the following:
Blackjack players who count cards religiously will find that the true count will change from time to time. Professional blackjack players can either take advantage of the rising true count and raise their bets or throw off the casino by betting low like how rookie players tend to play.
When the true count is high, blackjack players must raise their bets instead of simply hitting their original stake. Taking advantage of the high true count will allow players to profit by making winning bets. It is also how many card counters beat the casino before.
However, always taking advantage of the true count can make the dealer suspicious of a player and think they’re advantage players. Automatically raising bets when the true count is high and betting low when the count is low are clear signs that a gambler is counting cards. Once a casino has caught on, it can ask the player to leave and ban them from either the casino or the blackjack tables.
Like betting deviations, playing deviations aims to take advantage of the high true count by adjusting how a player plays. Unlike betting deviations, however, playing deviations cannot prevent a casino from thinking that a player is counting cards unless they make stupid decisions and bet randomly without regard to basic strategy.
One example is when blackjack players double down on a hard 12 when the dealer is weak. Basic strategy tells people to stand against the dealer’s 4 to 6, otherwise hit. Doubling down on a hard 12 against the dealer’s 2 is risky since the player can easily go bust, and casinos will usually interpret a player doubling down on 12 as a card counter.
Some casinos instruct their dealers to loudly announce when a player is doubling down on 12 to inform others that the player is a potential card counter. Because basic strategy dictates players to stand or hit on 12, doubling down means that a player might be counting cards and trying to take advantage when the dealer is weak to make money. Besides card counters, only rookie players who don’t know what bets to make will likely double down on 12.
Deviations are vital to ensure that blackjack players can effectively take advantage of the high true count when counting cards and ensure maximum profits when playing. Simply playing blackjack doesn’t require players to think of complex strategies, but anyone who wants to profit must learn more than simple basic strategy.
One can say that deviations is the next step to basic strategy and is the proper basic strategy for each true count. Card counting won’t really be effective without deviating from basic strategy, especially when maximising profits. Blackjack players can use the Hi-Lo Card Counting System to keep track of both the running count and true count and know when they should deviate from basic strategy or not.
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