Live Infinite Blackjack Strategy Guide
Evolution Gaming’s Live Infinite Blackjack tables are a strategy-minded player’s dream. It has a very high payout rate of more than 99.5 percent, and it’s vulnerable to a variety of other strategies that can add to that. You have some real potential to get the edge of the casino if you approach this game properly.
An Introduction to Infinite Blackjack Strategy
In the online blackjack world, there is a sharp split between traditional online tables and live dealer tables. The live dealer tables can be vulnerable to a number of approaches like card counting that aren’t usually viable in the more usual online games.
Infinite Blackjack, a live dealer game from Evolution Gaming, is a great example of this. As such, it can be attacked with good strategies to give some pretty high payout rates.
We want to be clear that you may or may not be able to get an overall advantage against the casino here. However, we can be clear that it is possible to get a higher payout rate than the 99.51 percent rate deemed by Evolution Gaming as what you get with perfect play.
Our goal is to provide you with the information that you need to make this happen. If you combine these strategies with any amount of value that you can get from promotions, you’ll be set. That will be a combination that should help you to get at least close to break even in the long run.
Important Rule Changes for Infinite Blackjack
The rules deviate in one game to another in ways that seriously inform strategy. We’re going to assume that you know how to play blackjack in general since you’re reading about strategy. However, we won’t be breaking down the nuances of how the gameplay procedure operates.
Instead, we want to quickly look over the most important rule changes and variations here that inform our strategies.
- This is an eight-deck live dealer game. The shoe is in full view, which makes it potentially vulnerable to card counting. We’ll discuss our suggested system for this game below.
- The dealer will peek for blackjack. That means you’re free to split and double against tens and aces as needed.
- You’ll also see that the dealer stands on a soft 17. That’s a slight difference than the usual, and it does have some minor influence on a few fringe cases.
- You can double on any two starting cards, which we’ll take advantage of quite a bit with soft hands. This is something that will complicate the required strategies a lot. However, it’s also an area where you can put some work in and see some serious results.
- You can split once per hand. However, you are not allowed to double after splitting.
- The six-card Charlie rule is in effect. This doesn’t change a whole lot from a practical perspective, but it’s a cool way to pick up extra wins.
With these rule changes in mind, we also want to mention the side bets. There are four side bets, and they should all be avoided in the general sense. While the Bust It side bet does have potential to be vulnerable to card counting, it’s much more complicated than what we want to cover here, and it would require a tremendous amount of work to be a viable option for most players. For that reason, we’re going to ignore the side bets completely.
Playing the Hard Totals
We’re going to start with the hard totals. They are the hands that you’ll see the most often, and we suggest they’re where you start your study. As usual, totals of 8 or lower always hit, and totals of 17 or higher always stand. That leaves two groups of hands: the hands we can double, and the hands we cannot.
With a total of 9-11, the question is whether you should hit or double. The totals of 11 are easy enough to play because you’ll always double. However, with a total of 10, you shouldn’t double if you’re facing a 10 or an ace. Additionally, you should only double with 9 if you’re facing a 3, 4, 5 or 6 dealer card.
When you have totals of 12-16, your question becomes about hitting or standing instead. This part of the strategy is actually really easy to remember because almost all of them are the same. With a total of 13-16, you’ll always hit against 2-6 and stand otherwise. With a 12, you play the same except you’ll stand when facing a 2 or 3.
That really wraps up everything you need to know to play the hard totals perfectly. With the soft totals, however, things get a bit more complicated.
Playing the Soft Totals
The strategies involved for soft totals is a little tricky. This is because you’re having to decide whether to double, hit or stand. That’s three different options to choose from in a game where you usually only have two viable choices.
To make this as easy as possible to learn, we’re going to start with a simple list of the first few totals:
- Soft 13 or 14 – Only double against a 5 or 6, and hit against anything else.
- Soft 15 or 16 – Double when facing a 4, 5 or 6. Hit otherwise.
- Soft 17 – You’ll double here when against a 3, 4, 5 or 6, and you’ll hit against other cards.
Those five totals are pretty easy to remember because they’re mostly the same with small variations. However, here’s where things get complicated because the higher soft totals have strategies that are fairly different from each other.
With a soft 18, you’ll double when facing a 2-6. However, you’ll stand with a 7-8, and you’ll hit against a nine or higher. This is a situation that should be studied a lot as a part of Infinite Blackjack strategy. That’s because it’s one of the most complicated spots you can find yourself in within the entire game.
If you have a soft 19, your decision becomes about doubling or standing. No hitting is involved, which is atypical. If you are facing a dealer with a 6 showing, you double. That’s the only time you do not stand with a soft 19 in this game.
Finally, if you have a soft 20, you’ll always stand at these tables. There are no exceptions to this rule based on the dealer’s up card.
When to Split Pairs
The last class of hands we have to break down is the paired set of hands. Your question here is about whether you should split. If you don’t split, then you play it like a normal hard total. As such, you don’t need to break down and remember how to play each individual hand against every single possible dealer card. Instead, you only need to focus on when you should be splitting if you have paired cards.
As a general rule that always applies, you will never split with tens or fives. Likewise, you will always split when aces or eight. We’ll present the rest of the situations in a simple list since that should make it easier to learn.
- With 22, 33 and 77, you’ll split if facing a dealer with a 7 or lower.
- A hand of 44 is a special case where you only split when facing a 5 or 6.
- Likewise, 66 is a special case, and you’ll only split when facing 2-6. Note that you won’t split against a 7 here because of how easy it is for you to find yourself with hard 16s against a dealer who can easily get 17.
- With 99, you’ll split against everything from 2 through 9 except for 7. This is because having 18 against a dealer 17 gives you a lot of wins when they hit 17 and stand.
This summarizes the entire splitting component of a solid Infinite Blackjack strategy. However, we suggest learning how to play the hard hands first, then the soft hands followed by learning when to split. This is because the hard hands are the most common, the soft hands are the next most common, and the paired hands where you actually gain something substantial from splitting are relatively rare compared to the frequency of everything else.
Card Counting for Infinite Blackjack Live Dealer Games
Because this is an eight-deck game that uses a full shoe, you’ll get some pretty decent shoe penetration. The penetration isn’t super deep, but it’s still deep enough for you to get some serious chances to improve your payout rates.
There are two ways to do this. The first is by adjusting your bet sizes. The second is by adjusting your strategies. We’re going to take a brief look at both in what follows.
Changing Bet Sizing With the Hi-Lo System
The Hi-Lo counting system is perfect for this game. If you aren’t familiar, here is a quick rundown of how it works:
- Start with a running count of zero at the beginning of the shoe. For every 2-6 dealt, add one to the count. For every T-A, subtract 1. You don’t add or subtract anything for 7-9.
- Divide the running count by the estimated number of decks left in the shoe at the beginning of each hand. This tells you the true count.
- The higher your true count, the more you should wager. Likewise, the lower it gets, the less you should wager. A simple approach is to triple or quadruple your bet size when you get up to +4 or higher. Similarly, you can divide it by two and only bet one-half when it gets down to -4 or lower.
This works because the true count roughly correlates with your advantage against the house at the beginning of the hand. Essentially, you’ll be betting less when the house has a larger edge. You’ll subsequently be betting more when you have small edges. This evens out a bit into giving you a higher effective payout rate overall.
Changing Your Strategies
There are a large number of strategic changes that you can make based on the true count. These are changes to the strategies that we have mentioned up above. While there are dozens of these available, you can get most of the effect with just a handful of adjustments.
Here are a few to get started with that will give you the majority of the effect. They’ll also give you a basic understanding of how these adjustments can work.
- Stand with a hard 16 against a dealer 10 if your true count is +1 or higher.
- Stand with a hard 15 against a dealer 10 if your true count is +5 and up.
- When facing a 5, you can split pairs of tens with a count of +6 or above.
- You can do the same thing when facing a 6 with a count of +5 and higher.
- You’d typically hit a 10 against a dealer 10. However, you can double if the count is +6 and up.
- Likewise, you should double 11 against an ace if the count is at least +2 (or higher).
These are just a few of the main strategic adjustments you can make in Infinite Blackjack. Note that these are pretty advanced strategies, and they are completely optional.
The main thing to understand about strategy for Live Infinite Blackjack is that it can run very deep. It’s a game with a lot going for it in the strategic realm. If you like digging really deep and getting the most you can from a game, then it’s a good one to pick. This is even more true because it’s a very friendly game for those who are just starting to learn how to count cards.