An appreciation of the rules and adoption of a tried and tested blackjack strategy is critical to your success. In popular card games, a strategy plays a crucial role.
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Blackjack Strategy Introduction
Just like online poker, blackjack is a popular and highly entertaining casino game to play for real money. Compared to online slots where all outcomes are at random, your success at blackjack online partly depends on the appreciation of rules, skills, and the use of a blackjack strategy.
Since the outcome of the drawing of the cards is random, it’s important that you have a blackjack betting strategy to guide every step of the way. Simply put, a blackjack strategy is a mathematically-correct way of playing your hand over time. Using it as your guide, you can play each hand correctly to maximize the payout or minimize potential losses. The game requires analysis because it’s inherently mathematical and a test of your decision-making skills. If you choose not to adopt a solid blackjack strategy, you chose to lose.
Scout the Different Blackjack Games (and Tables) Before You Play
Conducting this research will not just give you an idea about the different types of blackjack games to play. A research of the different games offered by an online casino allows you to learn the betting limits, the playing rules, and the number of players. Knowing these things can help inform your basic blackjack strategy. Let’s take a look at each specific strategy and understand why it’s recommended.
- Know the minimum and maximum betting limits. Yes, this may not drastically alter your blackjack strategy. However, you should know the limits so that you avoid the embarrassment of not playing at least the minimum bet, particularly in a brick-and-mortar casino. Also, knowing the limits helps you plan out your bankroll.
- The number of decks and a mix of rules. Before you play and sit at the table, try to check the number of decks played. Generally, the more decks of cards are used, the higher the house edge. And when you throw in a few more rules, then that’s the time the house edge becomes more challenging. You need to check out if the game allows you to surrender or if the splitting of Aces is allowed. These are important actions in the blackjack game that can spell the difference between winning or losing.
- Number of players. In brick-and-mortar casinos, the number of players in a table can also affect your chances. At a full table, you get fewer hands which reduces your exposure to the house edge.
Review the Three Most Used Expressions
In understanding the basic blackjack rules, there are three important expressions that should be clear to you: Deal, Hit, and Stand. In the ‘Deal’, the dealer waits until all participants have submitted their wagers before dealing with the blackjack cards. As part of the rules, the distribution of the cards moves clockwise, starting from his left, and players get one card face up. The second round of cards is distributed in the same manner except for the dealer where his card is displayed face down.
Another popular expression in the game is the ‘Hit’. You’ll need this if you want a new card. Use this expression only if you think that it will probably help you get ‘21’, the optimal number in the game.
Also, there’s an option for you to ‘Stand’. In contrast to ‘Hit’, this option signifies that you’re no longer interested to draw another card. You can use this option if you’re satisfied with the hand and you know that you have a fighting chance to beat the dealer’s hand. Knowing when to hit or stand is at the heart of a reliable blackjack strategy. The moment your hand value exceeds ‘21’ or go bust, you are no longer in competition for that specific round.
Use a Basic Blackjack Chart When Playing
So, when do you stand, split, or double-down? If you’re clueless about what decision to take based on the hand, then you can use a blackjack strategy chart. Available for free online, this chart lists down the different hand scenarios that you may face and the corresponding action or decision that you can take.
Before you use a chart, make sure you check first the dealer’s rule on standing and surrender. For illustration purposes, let’s assume a blackjack game where the dealer stands on soft 17, and surrender is allowed. If this is the general rule, then you need to surrender on a hard 16, but not with a pair of 8s when playing against the dealer with 9, 10, or A, and hard 15 against the dealer’s 10.
This chart can also recommend the best situations to split your cards. In blackjack, a split means to create two hands if you receive identical cards, like 8-8. Speaking of the split, a traditional blackjack strategy guide recommends that you split Aces and 8s but, not 10s and 5s. You can also split 2s and 3s if you see that the dealer gets a 4-7. It’s also wise to split your 9s against a dealer’s hand with 2-6 or an 8-9.
The chart will also provide suggestions on whether it’s best to Hit or Stand. As mentioned in the rules, to hit means you want another card and a stand means you’re ready to compare hands. In the list of many blackjack tricks to win, it’s advised to always hit hard with 11 or less. You can also stand on a hard 12 if the dealer has a 4-6. If not, you should hit. For a complete guide on what decisions to take on specific situations, it’s best that you download this free chart. For many enthusiasts, this blackjack strategy chart is the foundation of a blackjack winning strategy.
A Few More Tips to Keep in Mind Before You Play
The choice of the actual blackjack strategy eventually depends on the specific needs and one’s playing style. However, there are some tips and strategies that you should always consider because these are tried and tested. Listed below are a few more tips that can guide you in developing your own blackjack strategy.
- Track the cards on the table through the counting of cards. As previously mentioned, blackjack is purely mathematical. And you can increase your chances if you have access to more information. One way to do this is by using a blackjack card counting strategy. Simply put, card counting allows you to track the cards and know if the advantage is in your favor. When the advantage is in the dealer’s favor, you make smaller bets. You can find different approaches online on how to count the cards.
- Use a betting blackjack strategy when playing in real money. There’s a proper and more strategic way of placing your bets. One way is to use the Martingale strategy wherein you increase your bet if you lose. This is called a negative betting progression which can only work for players who have a bigger bankroll.
- Identify a bankroll and stick with it. Speaking of bankroll, responsible play means playing within your limits. Once your budget has been used up, learn to pause and walk away from the game.
- Don’t forget to play the free demo. If you’re a beginner, the perfect blackjack strategy is to play the game for free. This approach allows you to test a few rules and strategies before risking your money.
Blackjack is a fun and challenging game to play. Compared to other casino games, the results are not primarily defined by random outcomes. Your success partly depends on how you understand the game and your decision-making skills. At the end of the day, there’s no single blackjack perfect strategy. Make sure you check out a few tips, strategies, and approaches to improve your gaming experience.