Online blackjack betting systems
The Rules of Martingale, for example, revolve around doubling your bet. But there is a level of risk associated with this system. Players who lose their initial stake have to double their bet in order to recoup their losses. Long streaks of consecutive losses for the Martingale player can be disheartening. On average, there’ll be one sequence of 10 losing hands in a row (excluding ties) in roughly every 692 sequences of 10 hands.
But some Blackjack betting models can hinder players. With the D’Alembert system, players can raise their bet by one unit if they lose a hand, and lower it by one unit if they win a hand. While there are parallels with the Martingale system, insofar as players seek to break even or win a small profit, there are also differences. Bets in D’Alembert form don’t increase as quickly, so losing streaks can be easier for players to handle. There is always a house advantage in Blackjack, but players wouldn’t have to reach the limit online before they try to recover previous losses.
Another system, one that can come in handy particularly for novices, is Oscar’s Grind. After every win, you bet one unit more than the previous bet, with the aim being to win one unit for each series of bets. More experienced players might opt for the more sophisticated Fibonacci method. Rather than doubling your bet after a loss as in the Martingale method, Fibonacci entails having to increase your bet with a sequence of numbers, until winning a hand.
How to play online blackjack
In traditional casinos, players can signal their intent during games by communicating with the dealer. If a player wants to surrender their hand, for example, they say ‘surrender’ to the dealer. Different rules apply online. Shuffling after every hand, for example, renders card counting redundant. Players can also play in their own home, where there is nothing like the dress codes that exist in real casinos. Online casinos are constantly competing to secure the services of new users. Typically, lucrative sign-up bonuses are rolled out to entice new players. Blackjack games vary from one site to another, but the principles remain largely the same. The fundamental difference between playing online and playing in a real casino is that of flexibility. Online, you can play as and when you wish — no waiting for slots to open on casino tables.
What Big Blackjack Tournaments Have There Been?
There has been an effort to grow Blackjack professionally, with the creation of several televised tournaments. Tournaments that have an elimination format attract the biggest audiences. In such tournaments, the player that has the lowest chip count after hands 8, 16, 25 and 30 is knocked out. This style of tournament is not unlike, for example, the World Series of Poker — an annual poker tournament held in Las Vegas, where players who buy in for $10,000 can compete for a jackpot that usually exceeds $5m.
Celebrity Blackjack was a television show that challenged celebrities to play each other in a high-stakes tournament. Played over 21 hands of Blackjack, the tournament rules stipulated that the minimum bets be $1,000, rising to maximum bets of $25,000. Superman actor, Dean Cain, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch star, Caroline Rhea, were among those who played in the first two seasons. In the series, if one of the player’s starting cards was a Joker, they could swap that card for any of the other cards in play on the table, including those that the dealer had. Celebrity Blackjack consisted of preliminary rounds and a final round, where all the players competed against each other on the one table.
The Ultimate Blackjack Tour was once popular with big poker players. It was an elimination tournament that also showed qualifying games each week, before the numbers were whittled down to a grand final. Featuring the likes of Johnny Chan and Phil Laak, the Ultimate Blackjack Tour ran for just two seasons on television, before it was pulled. Another tournament, the World Blackjack Tour, was broadcast in the same year as the Ultimate Blackjack Tour and hosted in Las Vegas. More of a World Cup competition by nature, the winner received a cheque for $10,000. The tournament had intentions to expand, but after eight years in the wilderness, it looks unlikely to be coming back.
Historic Blackjack Wins
Blackjack has witnessed some incredible wins over the years. The major tournaments, in particular, have seen the more well-known stars get their hands on some seriously sizeable prizes (often more than six figures). Media tycoon Kerry Packer had a knack for delivering big wins in Blackjack. In 1991, he claimed $7m in a single evening at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Although the exact details of the rounds are not known, Packer was offered a special suite room for his stay by the hotel staff to celebrate his win. Four years later, Packer returned to Las Vegas. The casino gods were on his side once again as he cashed out a whopping $40m in just 40 minutes.
Another incredible success story was that of millionaire Don Johnson, the CEO of Heritage Development. From December 2010 to April 2011, he pocketed an incredible $15.1m from Blackjack in casinos in Atlantic City. Johnson is certainly a deep thinker, incorporating a lot of mathematical strategy into his game.
There have been other notable Blackjack pioneers, including Ken Uston. Widely regarded the pioneer of Blackjack card counting, it wouldn’t be wrong to call him a Blackjack great. Having played in casinos for six years before walking away with $4.5m to his name, Uston deserves his place in the history books.