Image; unsplash,com Esteban Lopez: Blackjack is a great game for strategists
Whether you’re playing in person or online, feeling confident at the blackjack table can only help you to enjoy the playing experience more. When you feel confident, you’re able to play to the best of your abilities, helping you to avoid making silly mistakes. So, if you’re a complete beginner, or you never took a crash course in blackjack before you dived in, then now’s your chance to find out all about it. We’re going to take a look at the rules, some basic strategy, and how to keep up with the order of play.
Learn The Rules
Image: unsplash.com JT If your first two cards total 21 then you’ve scored a blackjack
The first thing that you need to do before playing at any real money casinos is learn the rules. While it’s possible to have fun just fiddling around and finding out the rules as you go along, your bankroll will thank you for taking the time to learn them beforehand! There are plenty of bonuses and promotions to be enjoyed at online casinos offering blackjack, so you should probably take advantage of those too for the maximum headstart.
The aim of the game is to beat the dealer, which you can achieve by getting as close to 21 as you can, without going over 21 and getting ‘bust’. This becomes more difficult because the dealer is also trying to achieve the same thing. If he gets closer to 21 than you then you lose, if you get closer then you win. There is only one occasion where the rules vary slightly. This is when you immediately draw a hand that’s equal to 21; this is called a blackjack. In this instance, you automatically win unless the dealer also has a blackjack. In this case, the hand is a push and your bet doesn’t win or lose.
In order to know how to add up your cards correctly, you need to know their value. All of the number cards have the value that is shown on them. Picture cards are all worth 10, whilst an Ace can be either a 1 or an 11, depending on which you will find more useful. If your hand already equals 16 and you’re dealt an Ace, it would be more useful as a 1, conversely, if your hand equals 10 and you’re dealt an Ace, it will be more useful as an 11.
How to Play
Everyone is dealt two cards and is allowed to look at them in order to work out their next move. You can choose to stand, which is to keep your cards as they are and end the round. You can alternatively ‘hit’ which is to receive another card from the deck. These are the two main options in a standard game of blackjack.
In some games, it’s possible to play some other options. The first is to split, which is to create two different hands if you’ve been dealt two cards of the same rank. Be warned, if you choose this route then you’ll have to make an additional bet. The next choice is to double down, which means that you gain an additional card and increase your bet twofold.
The final two options are less common and generally are better for only seasoned players to use. The first is to surrender, where you only lose half your bet. The final option is to make an insurance bet. You’d probably only do this if the dealer shows an Ace, as you can save some of your stake by betting on him having blackjack.
Study The Strategy
Blackjack is one of the best games for those who are interested in learning about strategy. There are plenty of casino games where great strategy isn’t always enough to make the difference, for example, even the best roulette strategies can only minimise the house edge, not remove it. However, a good blackjack strategy can really stand you in good stead, so studying the basic table is essential.
You’re allowed to have a table with you whilst playing at online casinos, but learning as much of it as you can will speed up your game. The chart is easy to read once you know how. First, you locate your hand along one axis, then you locate the dealers hand on the other. The point at which they intersect will tell you whether to stick or hit, as well as the other optional moves that are available in select games. As a good starting point, remember to stand on 17 or over, double down on a hard 11, and never ever split 10s. Even with just these basics in mind you’ll notice your track record start to improve.