Blackjack is one of the most popular games in the casino world, because it’s simple to learn the rules and easy to win – especially if you know how to enhance your odds of landing a successful outcome. Ever since blackjack gained popularity in Britain during World War I, players have been working out ways to optimize their chances of winning and many of these strategies have persisted until today due to their success.
Learn the Basic Blackjack Strategy: Know When to Hit and Stand
Many people approach blackjack as a guessing game, but it’s anything but. Based on the cards you have and what your dealer is showing, you should be able to make an informed decision about how to act in order to secure as positive an outcome as possible.
To start things off, you should know the basic language:
- Hit: take another card
- Stand: don’t take another card
- Double Down: double your wager
- Split: turn your two cards into two separate hands and receive a second card for each hand
- Soft Hand: when one of your cards is an Ace
- Hard Hand: when neither of your cards are an Ace
Once you’ve memorized those terms, you can move on to learning the basic blackjack strategy. These are very simple rules that let you know how you should act in certain situations.
You should always hit:
- On a hard 8 or less
- On a soft 15 or less
You should always stand:
- On a hard 17 or more
- On a soft 19 or more
For the rest of the hands, you should always:
- Double with a 10 or 11, if your cards total more than the dealers up card. If not, then hit.
- Surrender when you have 16 and the dealer has 10
- Split when you have 8s and Aces
Another important aspect of the strategy comes into play when the dealer is showing a card between 2 and 6. In this case, you should:
- Double on 9
- Stand on a hard 12, 13, 14, 15 or 16
- Double on a soft: 16, 17 or 18
- Split 2s, 3s, 6s, 7s, and 9s
With these rules in mind, you should be able to land a win in most cases. These are generally accepted as the most successful strategies when playing blackjack, by professionals and even mathematicians.
Consider Using A Betting Strategy
You can optimize your winnings at blackjack if you employ a betting strategy. This is a particular set of rules that dictates how you should wager in certain circumstances in order to increase your overall profit.
First, there’s the Martingale Strategy, which requires you to double your wager every time you lose. It might sound ridiculous but, when you eventually win, you’ll have a huge payday on your hands.
It’s important to remember to only use this betting strategy if you have a bankroll to support it. I’d recommend having $500 or more put away to ensure that you have enough money to support doubling your losses a number of times.
A more conservative approach would be to increase your wager rather than doubling it. So, for example, instead of going from $2 to $4 to $6, you would go from $2 to $2.50 to $3. The result is similar to the Martingale Strategy, but it’s better for players with more limited budgets.
1-3-2-6 is another betting strategy, and this one is geared more towards players with modest budgets. This time around, you’re going to increase your wagers after every win and reduce them after every loss. This is a useful strategy whether you play online blackjack or at land-based casinos.
So, for example, if you begin with a $2 wager and you win four times in a row, then your betting would look like $2, $6, $2, $12. If at any time, you were to lose, you would go back to your original $2 wager.
This strategy helps you manage your wagers and stops you from overspending while helping you take advantage of winning streaks. Overall, won’t help you land huge wins, but it will ensure that you have a positive experience while playing blackjack.
What You Should Avoid When Playing Blackjack
As you can see, it’s easy enough to turn a profit while playing blackjack and you really don’t want to mess with that. There are a number of variants and gameplay options that can complicate things, even vastly reduce your odds of winning, so ensure that you always avoid the following situations.
Side bets are always a no-no when playing blackjack. These are additional wagers that you can place while playing a hand that will offer extra payouts when certain situations occur. For example, Perfect Pairs pays out if you happen to be dealt two cards of the same value.
While it might seem tempting to test fate even further, we advise that you stay away from side bets. It’s far too rare that it actually happens, so you’ll just end up losing money in the long run.
Insurance is another bet that you should avoid. It pays 2:1 when the dealer shows an Ace, but it bumps up the house edge by over 7%.
A successful blackjack session is in your future if you keep all the advice mentioned in mind. It sounds like a lot of information to remember, but blackjack is still a very simple game to master. You’re sure to have a great time while putting these tips to use.
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