On the face of it, blackjack is a very simple game. You have a few cards, a simple dealer setup and some standard betting rules, what could be easier? In fact, it is this perceived simplicity that attracts many novice players to the blackjack tables every day, no other game in the casino attracts as many amateurs who want to play with the pros. But blackjack is far from simple; it is an intricate game that is tough to master, but once you do then you can tip the odds in your favor, something you don’t get the chance to do with any other casino game.
To understand how to be the best you need to practice and play regularly, as is the case with any game, but if you follow these tips and tricks then you can put yourself on the track to becoming a successful blackjack player.
Dos and Don’ts
Do try to keep your cool and don’t get frustrated. This is a professional and adult game, the dealers should not be subjected to tantrums or outbursts, and the other players also do not want to see this. If you can not have fun whilst you play, then you shouldn’t be playing. And that rule applies not just to blackjack, but to gambling on the whole.
Do try to remember all that is written down here. You can’t take these rules with you into the casino, but if you practice and memorize them in advance then you won’t not need to.
Do up your bets when your luck is in, and try to decrease them when you hit a bad run. The latter can be a difficult move to make and many gamblers do the opposite, but doing so can make things turn ugly very quickly.
Do show your respect by tipping the dealer with the occasional chip. If you believe it is right to tip a server and a taxi driver, then there is no reason why the same shouldn’t apply to a dealer.
Do set a goal and then quit when you reach that goal.
Don’t overuse the surrender option, unless you have 15 against a 10, or a 16 against an ace.
Don’t overuse the insurance option, keep it for when you are playing with several others and see many 10s on the table.
Don’t get drunk, alcohol is not your friend. Keep a level and clear head.
Playing hard hands.
A hard hand is typically a hand that doesn’t include an ace, and therefore has less flexibility and is harder to play. These are some simple tips on how to play hard totals:
Up to 8: You should always hit, regardless of the dealer’s card.
9: If the dealer has between 2 and 6 then you should double; if they have anything higher than that then hit.
10: Double if the dealer has between 2 and 9; otherwise hit.
11: Double if the dealer has between 2 and 10; otherwise hit.
12 to 16: If the dealer has 7 or higher then hit, if not then stand.
17 to 21: Stand.
Playing Soft Hands
A “soft” hand is one that has an ace, and is therefore very flexible. These are the preferred hands and are often easier to play.
13 to 15: Hit
16 to 17: If the dealer has between 2 and 6 then double, if not then hit,
18: If the dealer has between 2 and 6 then double, if they have 7 or 8 then stand, if they have 9, 10 or ace then hit.
19 to 21: Stand
The rules for splitting
A player can split when they are given two cards of the same value, by doing this they essentially split their hand into two and play both of those hands.
Aces and 8s should always be split, whereas 4s, 5s and 10s should never be split. 9s should be split unless the dealer shows 7, 10 or ace. 2s, 3s, 6s and 7s should be split when the dealer shows between 2 and 7.