Blackjack is the most popular casino card game in American casinos, and can be found in every casino the world over.
Blackjack is very simple to play. The object is to get a hand totaling closest to 21 without going over 21 – known as ‘busting’. All cards are taken at face value, with picture cards worth 10. Aces may be worth either 1 or 11, it is the player’s choice. A ‘blackjack’ is any 10 value card plus an Ace and cannot be beaten, even by a multiple card total of 21.
Blackjack tables usually seat 7 players plus a dealer, and cards are dealt from a shoe of up to 8 decks. Players place a wager before the hand begins. If they beat the dealer, they are paid 1-1, unless they have a ‘blackjack’ which pays 3-2.
There are a few different variations of blackjack available to play, but the two most common are ‘Vegas Strip’ rules or ‘European’ blackjack which you can find on many european & UK online casinos. The major difference between the two is that in European blackjack the dealer will usually only deal themselves one card before the players act on their hands. In Vegas the dealer will deal themselves two cards at the start of a hand and check for blackjack before play begins. To learn more about playing blackjack we recommend this online blackjack website.
Blackjack is a very social game, so it pays to know a little blackjack etiquette when playing. Although it has been proven that a player at your table not following perfect strategy will have little effect on the table’s theorectical win rate, many players are superstitious and do not like to play with players that do not follow ‘the book’. (following the book is slang and simply means to play according to accepted strategy) So if you are planning a trip to your local casino, you’ll be much more popular at the table if you follow the basic rules outlined below. You could also visit an online casino to practice for free.
Blackjack Basic Strategy
Blackjack is one of the best games to play in a casino, because depending on the rules the house edge is often as low as 0.5%. This is of course if you use perfect strategy for the particular game you are playing.
The very basic strategy below is for all types of blackjack games, but IS NOT the complete perfect strategy.
- If the dealer has a high card (7 or greater) – hit up to 17
- If the dealer has a low card (6,5,4,3,2) – hit up to 12
- Double down on 9, 10, 11 whenever the dealer has a low card (6,5,4,3,2)
- Always split Aces & 8s
- Split 2s, 3s, 6, 7s & 9s against dealer hands of 7 or less.
Basically you are trying to capitalize on the dealers weak hands by doubling and splitting. If there is no option of further bets and the dealer has a weak card, you simply stand pat without busting and hope the dealer busts. This is where you look to make your profit – when the dealer has a weak card. Any wins when the dealer has a good card should be considered a bonus!
Poker.com’s Blackjack Tip
Insurance is a suckers bet! Don’t bother taking insurance no matter what cards you have.