Blackjack Strategy Guide
If you want to play blackjack then you need to learn the basic strategy. Without these crucial techniques under your belt, you’ll simply be throwing cash away. There’s no getting around it. Learning basic strategy will eliminate the 5% house edge that casinos have over uneducated players. With the application of a few rules, the house edge can be reduced to between 0.5-0.1%. The good thing is it’s easy to learn, it just requires a little patience and practice.
This ten-minute article will tell you everything you need to know. I urge you to practice these strategies in the free play or low stakes games before playing for real money to fully cement the strategy in place. You can even play on “training mode” which informs you when you are making the incorrect choice. This will really help you to master the game.
Important Tactical Advice
Remember, when practicing strategy there can be no room for whims, hunches or gut feelings. It’s pure mathematics. These strategies have been devised through the results of millions of computer simulations. They work! Sometimes it may seem like you are going against your intuition, but believe me, what matters most is strategy not an abstract feeling. Following the approach exactly as it is laid out will help you to win more money, more often. Deviating even slightly will increase the house edge, though you may get lucky in the short term.
However, as always there are exceptions to the rules. When you get to be an expert cardshark and start card counting, then you can and should disregard the strategy. Albeit, only if you know for sure what cards are about to be laid down. Bear in mind, that you’ll still need to understand the strategy in order to know when to disregard it! This does not apply to most online casinos, as usually they have advanced security systems in place that protect the casino from card counters and card counting technology.
Responsible Gambling Is Exciting And Profitable
Even when implementing a strategy, you should always remember to gamble responsibly. Just because your chances of winning have increased, it doesn’t mean that you are guaranteed a win. What would be the fun in that?
Responsible gambling doesn’t and shouldn’t take the excitement, risk or profit out of the game. In fact, it has the opposite effect. Gaming responsibly stops you from losing big and having a miserable time. Take simple steps, like avoiding alcohol while playing, only spending what you can afford to lose by having good bankroll management and enjoying yourself! Gambling is supposed to be fun. If you feel yourself doing the reverse of any of these points, take a break and come back later. It’s difficult to practise good strategy when you are drunk and miserable. Let’s head onto discussing the game!
Basic Rules of Blackjack
You and the dealer are each dealt two cards, and one of the dealer’s remains hidden until you are ready to “stand” and end the game. Ace cards can be 11 or 1, depending on your hand and face cards each total 10. The rest of the number cards are self-explanatory. The aim of the game is to have a higher number than the dealer without going bust. Going bust is having a total number of cards in your hand that total over 21. If you go bust, that’s it, you are out and the dealer collects the cash. If you get two of the same cards on your first deal you can split your bet and have two goes. This doubles the bet. You can also double your bet on your first move. If you do this, then you can only receive one more card. If you double on a split you can triple or quadruple your original bet.
With the basic rules in mind – how can you optimise your playing? The dealer clearly has the upper hand – he can see all of your cards, but one of his remains a mystery to you. Luckily, there are some strategies that the dealer always sticks to as well that can be of assistance to you while playing. They keep hitting until they reach 17 and they will always stick when they reach 17 or over. Pay attention to the one card you can see, as this will influence your gaming tactics.
Now, for your move, there’s obviously a lot to go over for blackjack strategy – so it’s much easier to refer to a table. Study the table and then read on for a full explanation in plain English.
“Soft Hands” are for when you have an Ace in your deck. This gives you a little bit more room for manoeuvring and so your play would be different that if you had a “hard hand”, without an Ace. There are some hard and fast rules, as you can see from the table, like always splitting with pairs of Aces and Eights. Pairs of fours, fives and tens you never split. However, as you can see that there are some methods of play that are dependent on the dealer’s hand. Keep working through the table by practising on free play or low stakes games until you are confident with your abilities. Keep a logbook and note down your wins and losses. Compare your overall profits and loss to games where you play without strategy. The results will be evident!
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Bad Blackjack Advice
Now you know what to do to master blackjack, let’s take a look at some things not to do while playing blackjack.
Playing on tables that pay out less that 3 to 2
Risking the same but getting paid less when you win? You deserve better! Only ever play on decent casinos that offer you the correct odds. Otherwise you are playing a game that you will lose more money on. It’s not fair, and you are simply contributing to the casinos ever growing wealth. Check out our list of casinos that use 3 to 1 odds and get the most out of your game.
Playing In Casinos That Don’t Offer A Welcome Bonus
If you are playing online and your casino doesn’t give you free money when you start or offer regular player rewards, then you are essentially losing out on free cash and playing with a disadvantage. We know this and know how to take advantage of these amazing offers, so have listed the best casinos we could find that offer the greatest bonuses.
Playing In Illegal Or Disreputable Casinos
Illegal casinos haven’t been regulated by industry standards and often take their players for a ride. Only play in casinos that have been proven to offer fair games and that make use of random number generators. We know how difficult it is to tell the difference between reputable and disreputable sites, so we only ever list casinos approved by the International Gaming authorities and that have a user rating of over 90% - so you know they come highly recommended by happy players.