Blackjack is one of the most famous casino games in the world, played in most countries and easily found in both land-based and online casinos like casino888.
In a nutshell, blackjack is a card game in which players all compete against the dealer instead of competing against each other. Blackjack winners and champions usually need a little bit of luck, an impeccable strategy, an understanding of blackjack’s rules and its different variations, and good math skills.
These important factors are also some of the reasons why casino players love blackjack so much. To win at blackjack, players have to successfully balance these different elements and master different skills.
The following guide will provide some key steps to becoming a good blackjack player. This article will also provide some useful blackjack winning tips.
Basic blackjack rules
Before learning a blackjack strategy, it is vital to know blackjack’s most basic rules very well.
Readers should note that there are different variations of blackjack. Therefore, the following rules might not always apply to the exact variant one is playing.
The following rules apply to the traditional game of blackjack but might vary slightly if you are playing a different version, so it is important to check which version you are playing beforehand.
The basic rules are the following:
- players compete against the dealer
- players place their bets before their cards are dealt
- players should win without going over 21
- the player with the highest number of points (without going over 21) wins the game
- the dealer must continue to receive cards until their total number of points is 17 or more
- players will have the option to ‘hit’, ‘stand’, ‘double down’, ‘split’ or ‘surrender’ (these terms will be defined later on)
The game starts with players placing their bets before they even receive their cards. After placing their bets, gamers will receive two cards.
These two cards will be placed ‘face up’ in front of them. This means that everyone will be able to see each player’s initial cards.
However, only one of the dealer’s cards will be placed ‘face up’. The second card will be placed face down and will only be revealed at the very end of the game.
Here is the point system:
- Aces are worth either 1 point or 11 points depending on the player’s hand. If a player decides to value their ace at 11 points, their hand will be considered a ‘soft hand’. As opposed to a ‘soft hand’, a ‘hard’ one refers to a hand without an ace valued at 11 points.
- King, Queen and Jack cards are worth 10 points each.
Here is the definition of each important blackjack term:
- Hit: players choose to be ‘hit’ when they want the dealer to give them another card.
- Stand: players choose to ‘stand’ when they skip their turn and refuse another card from the dealer. This is usually when a player has enough cards/points and cannot accept more cards or they will bust.
- Double down: when players choose to ‘double down’, they decide to increase their first bet by 100% and to receive one final card.
- Split: splitting is only an option for players who start the game with two cards of the same value. They can split their hand into two hands which gives them the option to increase their chances of winning. The two hands are independent, which means that players cannot exchange cards in between hands. They also have to place another bet for the second hand as that hand now counts as an extra player.
- Surrender: this option is not available in all casinos. When a player chooses to surrender, they give up half of their initial bet and quit the game.
- Bust: this term is used when the total number of points that a player has exceeds 21 points. When a player’s hand ‘busts’, the player loses all of their bets and is immediately disqualified.
Key blackjack strategies
Now that the basic rules of blackjack have been explored, it is time to explore some of the key blackjack strategies available to players.
Players should bear in mind that there are other strategies available to them and that they can also develop their own.
The first strategy to learn for any blackjack player is the basic strategy. This section will include the basic strategy for a ‘soft’ hand and the basic strategy for a ‘hard’ hand.
Hard hand basic strategy
- If the total number of points you have is between 4 and 8 and the dealer’s hand is estimated to be between 2 and ace (11), then you should hit.
- If your total number of points is 9, and the dealer’s hand is 2 and 6, then you should double your bet.
- If your total number of points is 9 and the dealer’s hand is between 7 and ace, you should hit.
- If your total number of points is between 10 or 11 and your dealer’s hand is between 2 and ace, then you should double.
- If your total number of points is between 12 and 16 and your dealer’s hand is 2 to 6, you should stand. If you think their hand is between 7 and ace, then you should hit.
- If your total number is 17 to 21 and your dealer’s hand is between 2 and ace, you should stand.
Soft hand basic strategy
- If your total number of points is between 13 to 15 and your dealer’s hand is between 2 to ace (11), you should hit.
- If your total number of points is between 16 to 18 and your dealer’s hand is 2 to 6, you should double. If their hand is between 7 and ace, you should hit.
- If your total number of points is 19 to 21 and your dealer’s hand is between 2 and ace (11), you should stand.
These are the two key strategies that all players should know and be able to master. More complex strategies can be learned and mastered on top of these ones, depending on the type of blackjack variant and number of decks being played.
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