Back Betting Strategy in Blackjack
Some card games at live casinos have a “one player per hand” rule, where people at the table aren’t allowed to ask anyone for help. Almost all casinos in the United States follow this rule. But when you play Blackjack, you’ll find a few locations in California – and much more around the world – who allow other people to place bets on your hand, and even make the strategic decisions for you. This practice is known as back betting, and like everything else in Blackjack, there’s an optimal way to do it.
Although back betting isn’t an issue when you play online Blackjack at Ignition, if you’re serious about “going pro” as an advantage player, this is a golden opportunity that shouldn’t be missed. You don’t even have to count cards to make it work. Back betting in Blackjack can be done profitably without any shenanigans, thanks to a special twist that comes up anytime the player is dealt a pair.
Splitting in Blackjack
In casinos where back betting is allowed, people still have to play by the same Blackjack rules as everyone else in the house – except when splits and double downs are involved. In this case, if the player decides to split or double, the back-bettor doesn’t have to put any additional money on the table. It’s a subtle difference, but it allows the back-bettor to minimize her losses in negative-expectation hands; for example, splitting a pair of Eights when the Dealer is showing a King.
You can take things further by forming a two-person team, where one person is the player and the second the back-bettor. The player at the table will stick with making minimum bets, while the back-bettor will make big bets, all from the same shared bankroll. The trick here is that the player can intentionally make certain sub-optimal decisions with split pairs that decrease his expectation but increase the back-bettor’s expectation. Since the back-bettor is making much larger bets, the team will benefit as a whole.
With a little study, you can find out which sub-optimal decisions the player should make with splits in order to benefit the team. You still have to watch out for casinos giving you the stink-eye when the player makes obvious “card counting” decisions like splitting 10s, but if you do it right, back betting will help you turn the Blackjack odds in your favor.
If you haven’t read already, here are six different ways to play blackjack.