Basic online blackjack strategy
Learning to play blackjack is easy enough, although even if you understand the rules of the game, you still aren’t guaranteed a win. Blackjack – just like any other casino game – still has a house edge. Fortunately, there is a basic strategy to the game, which can help you get the house edge down. It is also rather simple to learn.
How does the basic blackjack strategy work?
Firstly, before making any attempt to learn basic blackjack strategy, you need to be fully read up on all of the rules of the game. There aren’t that many, so that part should be a doddle. Basic strategy can also be mastered fairly efficiently and quickly, and is used to keep the casino’s house edge down. The simplest way to use basic blackjack strategy would be to use a computer program, which could tell you what to do next with your hand. Failing that, a chart. These aren’t always practical, though. If you learn basic blackjack strategy, you’ll be able to retain the information in your head, and then use it when playing blackjack anywhere and at any time.
If you’re ready to begin, let’s look at some of the simplest aspects of basic blackjack strategy.
Should the dealer have a card worth less than a 10 or 11, and you have a 10 or 11 in your hand, then you should consider doubling down if possible. Should the dealer have a 3 to 6 showing, and you a 9-point hand, then you should also double down.
If the player has a hand worth 11 or less, then they should most certainly hit (take another card). It is impossible to go bust with a hand of 11 or less, so you have absolutely nothing to lose. You may also wish to consider hitting if you have a soft hand of 15 or less. If you can’t double down on soft hands of 16, 17, or 18, when the dealer has a 6, 7 or higher showing, then hit. If your hand is worth between 12-16 points, then hit if the dealer has a 7 or higher.
Now, let’s talk about standing. Obviously, if you have a hard hand of 17, 18, 19, and 20 or, of course, 21, then you should always stand. Certainly do not take another card under any circumstances. Similarly, if you have soft hands of 19 or higher, then you should also stand. You will be unlikely to better that hand by hitting. If you have a hands ranging from 12-16 points in value, then stand if the dealer has a six or lower.
There are times when it is a good idea to split, too, if you can. If you have aces, you should always try and split them. Two aces makes 2, or 22. Either way, they aren’t going to help you much. Split them up and you get a better chance of landing one or even two blackjacks. You should never split fours, fives or tens in blackjack. When it comes to splitting pairs, it gets a little bit more complicated. If the dealer’s show card is worth a 6 or less, then split your hand. If the dealer has 7 or higher, then play as normal.
Insurance bets should not be entertained by standard blackjack players. They are notoriously hard to land continuously, and will cost you more money than you make in the long run. Beginners should certainly avoid them. However, if you are an expert at card counting, then you can make insurance bets pay for you. As long as you have a reasonable idea how many 10-point cards remain the shoe, you can feel confident about insurance bets. Again, if you don’t have a clue, avoid this bet.