Everyone loves Blackjack because it is relatively easy to understand and quite simple to get involved in.
You have a certain number you can’t go over with your card score, and you have the option to hit or stand (stick or twist) until you get to the point where you either win or lose.
It’s all really simple and is very popular. But that doesn’t mean that it is easy to win big at, and unless you consider some simple principles of Blackjack it will be very difficult for you to feel confident about playing the game.
This article hopes to give you some simple tips that will help you become better at the game, and also to help you win big.
First of all, the mindset. It is important to know about the mindset because so many new players tend to rush into Blackjack thinking the simplicity of the game means they can pretty much play it as they want to.
The biggest aspect of the mindset that people need to understand is the fact that the house has an advantage over each and every player on the tables.
There are many reasons for this but the most obvious one is that the player always has to act first without knowing what the hole card the house has is. This is just the way it is, frustrating, but the rules.
Also, if the player busts they cannot win, even if the house subsequently turns up a losing card.
Once you know these facts (and they are facts) you know that the game is tougher to win than some other gambling pursuits, and that it requires patience and plenty of common sense. Once you have cultivated this mindset of patience and common sense, there is more room for you to breathe, and a more relaxed style of play. No silly mistakes are made, and you will find yourself making better decisions.
Some key basic tips to help you win
If you have a hard hand between 5 and 8, then hit the dealer for another card. This is a safe zone, and the next card won’t break you. What it might do, though, is give you an excellent hand so it is well worth bearing in mind that this particular safe zone is a great place to be.
It may seem a little silly to say this (especially in the case of the number 21) but if you have a card score that sits anywhere between 17 and 21 inclusive, you need to stand. Your chances of getting another very low card to fill that gap between 17 and 21, for example, at minimal. And as the gap narrows, it is almost impossible.
These are opening hands that have an ace in them. The ace can total either 1 or 11 and if you have a soft hand with an ace you have some breathing room, some leeway. The following rules apply with soft hands such as these. However you need to be completely aware of them and ensure that you have these rules crystalized in your mind before you play any soft hand. Getting this bit wrong will lead to your downfall.
So on a 13 to 15 score with a soft hand, always hit because that extra cushion with the soft hand means you have some breathing room and some extra room to maneuver your way out of trouble.
With a 16 and 17 score, double against a dealer 2 through 6, otherwise always hit.
With an 18 score double against a dealer 23 through 6, otherwise hit against a 9 or 10 or ace card.
Always split aces and 8’s. This is an absolute golden rule if you are to make any real progress with Blackjack. It also boosts your confidence as you see sensible play developing in your approach.
Never ever split 4’s, 5’s or 10’s.
Always split 9’s unless you are against a 7, 10 or an ace.
it has long been viewed as a sensible bet to take, but insurance has been held up as a bit of a problem in recent times, as the game has become more sophisticated. We advise that you don’t take insurance unless there are several players on your game and you see no 10’s.
Hard hands might seem like they are there to make your life difficult, but there is a simple strategy that can help you navigate this particular minefield relatively unscathed. You are not always going to win, but doing the following things methodically should see you find more success than failure.
If you have eight or less in your two opening cards, then always hit.
If you have 9, double if the dealer has 3 through 6, otherwise hit.
If you have 10, double if the dealer has 2 through 9, otherwise hit.
If you have 11, double if the dealer has 2 through 10, hit if dealer has an ace.
If you have 12, hit if the dealer has 2 or 3, stand if the dealer has 4 through 6, otherwise hit.
If you have 13- 16, stand if the dealer has 2 through 6, otherwise hit.
If you have 17 – 21, always stand.
Some more obvious ideas that perhaps not everyone thinks of
Don’t play when drinking. This is especially important with Blackjack, although it could be argued that other betting games and gambling in general demand that this be the case. And while we are on the subject of mental state and ability to focus, it is advisable that you don’t ever play for long periods of time. Take a break, or your concentration will plummet.
Remember that it is incredibly hard to win all the time in Blackjack, the game just isn’t designed that way. But by looking at the tips above,and keeping a focused approach, you should find that you have fun and win a lot more than used to.