Online games of Vegas Strip Blackjack are some of the most popular games of blackjack in Canadian casinos. They emulate the variant of blackjack found on the Vegas Strip, which is typically a very basic, single or double-deck variant that gives players a very nice layout. This variant was shunned to make way for games of Spanish 21 and European Roulette a few years ago, but it is starting to make a return as casinos realize this is what players want.
Why Vegas Strip Blackjack?
The best games of blackjack are always the simplest ones, and Vegas Strip Blackjack is a stripped-back version, so it is as basic as you can get. There are no side bets, no low payouts, and nothing else that gets in the way of the relatively low house edge that this game provides.
That house edge is actually the main reason so many Canadians play Vegas Strip Blackjack. Most games of blackjack have a house edge less than 1%, the better ones have around half that, and Vegas Strip Blackjack has been known to go as low as 0.25%.
This means that if you play 1,000 games of blackjack during an extended session then the house can expect to win 2.5 more. That only works if you play perfectly, of course, and it means that you only need a little big of luck to turn the tables in your favour.
To learn how to play Vegas Strip Blackjack perfectly, keep reading.
How to Beat Vegas Strip Blackjack Online
There is no sure-fire way to beat any casino game. However, there are things that you can do to tip the balance in your favour. One of these is card counting, but because the cards are always shuffled online, this is simply not possible outside of a land-based casino.
The other is to use something known as Basic Blackjack Strategy. This is a strategy that the professionals use to consistently beat games of blackjack. It can be used both online and offline, it is very effective at beating games of Vegas Strip Blackjack, and we will show you how to do it below in relation to this particular variant of blackjack.
Vegas Strip Blackjack Strategy: What is it?
Basic Blackjack Strategy, as it is commonly known, is simply a way of playing the game that offers you the best chance of beating the dealer every single time. It works on a system of probabilities and tries to take luck out of the equation.
For instance, if the dealer is showing a “10” card and you have a very low card, then there is a high probability that they will score highly, which in turn means that you need to score highly to beat them. You can assume they will reach their target of at least 17, in which case you either need to get the same in order to stand a chance of pushing, or you need to go all-out to get a 21.
If all of that sounds very confusing, don’t worry—you do not need to sit there and work out every single hand in order to understand this strategy. You just need to know a few basic rules.
Vegas Strip Blackjack Strategy: The Rules
There are a long list of rules for Basic Blackjack Strategy and these change depending on the variant that you play. Below we have highlighted the most important rules concerning games of Vegas Strip Blackjack:
The following rules concern hitting and standing. The term “hard” is used to refer to a hand that does not contain an ace. The term “soft” is used to refer to a hand that does contain an ace.
- Always hit hard 11 or less
- Stand with a hard 12 against a dealer that holds 4, 5 or 6. If not, hit.
- Stand with a hard 13, 14, 15 ad 16 against a dealer that holds 2, 4, 5, or 6. If not, hit.
- Always stand on a hard 17 or higher.
- Always stand on a soft 19 or higher.
- Always hit a soft 17 or lower.
A split is when you create two hands from one. If you get a pair of 8s then you can split, going from a single hand of 16 to two hands of 8 each.
- Always split aces and 8s.
- Never split 5s and 10s.
- Split 4s when the dealer shows 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6.
A double-down is when you double your money, take one more card and then stand.
- Double 9 vs dealer 3, 4, 5 or 6.
- Double 10 vs dealer A or 10.
- Double 11 vs dealer A.
- Double 13 and 14 vs dealer 5 or 6.
Never take insurance. Contrary to what you might think, it always works out in the dealer’s favour. The same applies to side bets. These are there not to benefit you as a player, but to get more money for the casino. They want to increase the house edge without being obvious about it, so they introduce tempting side bets to lure players in.
Why This Strategy Works
The “never take insurance” rule mentioned above is actually a great way of proving why basic strategy doesn’t always work, because it’s something that many players just can’t compute.
If you tell a player who doesn’t understand these rules it’s not unusual to get a response along the lines of, “But I always take insurance and it always works out.” Even if this is the case, and we discount the fact that they may only be remembering the positive and forgetting the negative, it’s simply not how basic strategy works.
This strategy works on probability. In other words, it tells you to make moves based on the highest chance of success. It doesn’t mean that you will always win, nor does it mean you will always lose if you ignore it. But someone who follows this strategy during an extend session will make more money than someone who does not, and that’s key.