Blackjack is a popular and fun casino game that many people love. However, it’s not as straightforward as it seems compared to other games, such as slots. Blackjack requires at least some level of strategy and skill.
The good news is that there are practical tips players can use to improve their chances of busting the dealer and bringing the house edge down. Read on.
There’s a vast difference between live dealer and online blackjack. Live ones generally have a human dealer at a physical table, where they shuffle the cards personally. The games are available to online players via live streaming, and a chat feature is accessible. However, live dealer blackjack often has fewer seats. Plus, it has limited hours.
On the other hand, online blackjack uses an automated process to deal with the cards. As such, card counting is impossible, making it more challenging to do a strategic play. Nevertheless, online blackjack is more accessible than live dealers.
There’s no time limit between blackjack sessions; there’s always an available seat, no matter what time of day. Another good thing about online blackjack is its variety of games, for example, FanDuel’s BlackJack Switch. It allows players to play two hands separately. Then, they can swap or switch the second cards dealt to each hand.
The blackjack strategy lets players know the correct or suitable play to hike their winnings. Based on your hand and the dealer’s, blackjack strategy tells you what to do. So, if you perfectly follow the guide, you can make the most of your blackjack session and reduce the casino’s advantage.
However, there’s much to memorize and remember to win your blackjack game. Here’s an example of a basic blackjack strategy chart:
|HARD HANDS||2 to 6||7 to A|
|4 to 8||HIT||HIT|
|10 or 11||DOUBLE||DOUBLE if more than dealer*|
|12 to 16||STAND||HIT|
|17 to 21||STAND||STAND|
|SOFT HANDS||2 to 6||7 to A|
|13 to 15||HIT||HIT|
|16 to 18||DOUBLE||HIT|
|19 to 21||STAND||STAND|
|SPLITS||2 to 6||7 to A|
|2/2, 3/3, 6/6, 7/7, 9/9||YES||NO|
|4/4, 5/5, 10/10||NO||NO|
The game’s objective is straightforward: getting a hand’s total that beats the dealer’s total without going over 21. That’s why it’s crucial to memorize or learn the card rankings by heart to know your next move.
Two through nine cards are equivalent or identical to their numerical value, while tens and the royal cards are worth 10. Additionally, Aces are valued at either one or eleven.
Blackjack insurance is side bets players can make if the dealer is showing an Ace. The player places a wager on the dealer winning the game. If they’re correct, the player will get paid 2 to 1.
However, the player loses their original bet. Players can take insurance for at least half of their main bet. So, even if you get some money by placing this bet, the casino raises more money in the long term.
There’s only one time in the game when the player can double down immediately after the initial two cards are dealt. So, if you think you can beat the dealer, increase your bet. Here are examples of when doubling your bets makes the most sense:
- The dealer’s hand is showing 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6, and you have soft 16s, 17s, or 18s
- The dealer’s up-card is lower, and you have hard 10 or 11
- The dealer’s hand is showing 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6, and you have a hard 9
- The dealer’s hand is showing 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6, and you got an Ace in your initial cards
Experience plays a huge role in a player’s ability to win in blackjack. That said, leverage demo mode before hitting the real money tables. Many online casinos offer free play. Here, you can explore different variations, strengthen your knowledge of the blackjack rules and gameplay, try different bets, work on the basic strategy, and more.
You can forfeit half your bet and surrender if your hand is weak. There are two surrender rules to know: early and late. Regarding early surrender, it allows players to pay half of their original bet and quit the hand before the dealer checks for a blackjack.
On the other hand, late surrender lets you do the same only after the dealer checks their cards. If the dealer busts, you receive half of your bet back.
Generally, you should surrender your hand if the odds are against you. The best times to surrender are:
- If the dealer’s card shows an Ace, 9, or 10, your card’s total is 16
- If the dealer’s card value is ten and your hand total is 15
These tips give you a fair shot against the casino’s house edge. That’s because the game depends on strategy, experience, and skill. Pure luck only shines on a few people, so learn these tips.