The best odds you are going to find in any casino exists at the blackjack tables. However, there are ways to increase those odds in your favor just by improving your playing skills. In most cases, these skills can be honed by following a series of simple tips. If you are a fan of blackjack and find that it is a casino game that you not only enjoy but would like to have a better understanding of some of the game strategies, then you came to the right place. In this article, we will cover some basics about the game of blackjack as well as provide you with several tips and tricks that can help you improve from being a beginner to the position of an advanced player.
Blackjack – The Basics
You’ve seen the game in brick-and-mortar and live casinos. It is one of the most popular card games out there. It starts with players sitting at a table with a dealer. Each player is dealt two cards. One is placed in front of each player face-up and the other card remains face-down. The goal is to reach a total of 21 (the sum of the value of all cards dealt in a single hand to a player) without going over that number. Once the player receives their two cards they have the option of either having one more card dealt, known as a “hit,” or just keep the original two cards, known as a “stand.” It sounds very simple but when you are playing blackjack you are not just trying to beat the dealer with a score closer to 21 but you are also relying on the cards in the decks being used to work in your favor. You can do this by paying attention to all of the face-up cards on the table. Other players who opt for hits help you to determine what their face-down cards could be. It’s a process of elimination at this point and card counting is not uncommon at blackjack. However, there are other ways to get an edge up against both the dealer and the others at your table.
Simple Tips For Blackjack
So, how can you improve on playing a card game that appears to revolve around simple mechanics related to the draw of cards? Well, here are a few suggestions to help you with your game.
Get To Know The Basics
This probably sounds obvious, but many a beginner has flubbed up with a simple rookie move. To avoid this, do some homework. There are many great books and online resources out there that you can access to help with understanding all there is to know about the game of blackjack. If the online casino you frequent has a free-to-play version, take advantage of it and use it as a tutorial. Once you build your basic skills, you can then move on to play for money with other beginners.
Budget Your Bankroll
Even if you happen to be a quick study and blow away many opponents early in your blackjack career, you still have to manage your bankroll. This comes down to being conservative with your wagering so that you don’t make rookie mistakes by betting the farm when betting only the cow is sufficient. Small bets are safe bets in the beginning and by no means should not be part of your normal betting repertoire. Plus, small losses are easier to take than big ones early in the game.
Know When To Stop
This is probably one of the most important tips you will ever receive. It is even more significant should you be experiencing a losing streak that doesn’t seem to end. Quitting is not viewed as a weakness, either. Setting a budget or a time limit may help you to develop this particular habit which also comes in handy when you are on a winning streak. Knowing when to walk away from the blackjack table will save you money and allow you to come back another day to play some more.
Don’t Mix Blackjack With Booze
Drinking at the casino is a common sight and sadly, for many gamblers, it can become a trap. That is because alcohol will cause you to lose your inhibitions which can lead to making some very bad decisions at the poker table. Even if you are one of those individuals who can function reasonably well while under the influence, do yourself a favor and make blackjack something you will do with nothing stronger than water or coffee at your side.
What Pairs To Split Or Not Split
It won’t be long before you encounter hands dealt to you at the blackjack table that will contain pairs. What should you do? Here is a quick reference list to guide you on what you should or should not do with pairs in your hand.
The Do Not Split List
Do not split pairs of 10s or 5s. With two 10s you have a hand of 20, which is a great hand that does not need to be split. With a pair of 5s, you can double down as you already have a total of 10 in your hand, which is a great start.
The Do Split List
Always split a hand that has two Aces as you have a much better chance at scoring a winning hand. If the dealer shows a card value between 3 and 6, and you have a pair of 6s, always go for the split. The same is true if you have two 7s and the dealer shows a card value between 3 and 7. Two 8s equals 16 and this is considered the worst blackjack hand you can get so split the 8s. As for a pair of 9s, split them if the dealer has a card value of 2 to 6, 8, or 9.
There you have it in a nutshell. Blackjack is far from a complicated card game. It only requires some basic math but if you apply these easy tricks to your game, not only will you increase your odds of winning, but you may discover that the game becomes more interesting for you to participate in as your skills increase. Be sure to learn the basics, be careful with your bets, budget your game time, and steer clear of alcohol when playing and you may find yourself doing better than you planned.