Other Blackjack Strategies
Apart from the most popular and best known blackjack winning strategies – basic strategy and card counting, there are also a few other strategies that might be employed in the game and increase the player's advantage. These include composition-depending strategy, hole carding and shuffle tracking.
The Composition-Dependent Strategy
Although the basic blackjack strategy or the blackjack cards have very specific instructions on what to do in any given situation, there might be some exceptions depending on the exact cards that the player has in their disposition. For instance, if the player has K-4 against the dealer's 6 as an open card, according to the basic strategy they should stand. However, as one of the ten valued cards is already in player's hand, it decreases the chance of player being busted by another ten card. So in this situation the player should hit instead of standing.
One thing you should have in mind about the composition-depending strategy is that it does not influence the player's edge very much. It is more effective when used in a single-deck game, which is not that common in most of the casinos, and it's advantage drops significantly with every additional deck of cards. If used in a six-deck game the composition-dependent strategy will only reduce the house edge by ~ 0.003% .
The hole carding technique is all about having an excellent eyesight and managing to spot the cards that should not be seen by the player. Surprisingly enough, hole carding is absolutely legal in most jurisdictions as long as it does not involve any additional instruments and gadgets such as mirrors or actions like touching the cards.
If the player is able to spot the dealer's hole card they may gain up to 13% advantage over the casino which is much higher than any other blackjack strategy could offer. However, as some blackjack variations do not use the dealer's hole card and wait for the player to finish their move before the dealer is dealt the rest of their hand, the hole carding strategy cannot be applied in such a game.
There are basically two ways in which players may peak for the dealer's hole card. One is called Front-loading, this strategy concentrates on observing the hole card before it is placed under the upcard. Another method is First-basing, it refers to peeking for the hole card as the dealer checks for blackjack. The players using the hole carding technique usually apply both methods during the game so that they would spot as many cards as possible.
Shuffle tracking is yet another, however a more difficult and complicated blackjack strategy which may help players reduce the house edge. The technique includes following specific groups of cards as they come into play, tracking them through the shuffle and then playing accordingly as these cards come into the game again.
The shuffle tracking strategy is much more difficult than the regular card counting and requires more skill and practice in order to be able to use it in the game. If applied successfully, this technique is almost impossible to track as the card counting security measures do not work on shuffle trackers because their play does not follow the regular card counting patterns.