Blackjack has been loved by casino goers for a long time. Of course, to succeed in the game, you’ll need to know the rules of blackjack. But how do you give yourself an edge on the house? Well, you’re in the right place to find out…
Firstly, let’s recap the basic rules of blackjack…
- To win at blackjack, you need to beat the dealer’s hand without going over a card total of 21 yourself.
- Face cards (King, Queen, Jack) are worth 10. Aces are worth 1 or 11 – whichever makes a better hand.
- Each player starts with two cards, and one of the dealer’s cards is hidden until the end of the game.
- ‘Hit’ means to ask for another card. ‘Stand’ means to hold your total and end your turn (essentially not hit).
- If you hit and your card total exceeds 21, you go bust, and the dealer wins regardless of the dealer’s hand (even if they turn their card over and it exceeds 21 too).
- If you are dealt 21 from the start (Ace & 10), you get a blackjack. Blackjack means that means you win 1.5 the amount of your bet (e.g. if your bet was $10, and you got a blackjack, then you win $15).
- The dealer will hit until their cards total 17 or higher.
Tip #1: Begin playing low stakes games
This is especially important if you’re new to the game. Place your bets low when starting out, and learn to make those crucial decisions under pressure, without the fear of losing large amounts. Try out some of the strategies we’ve listed below, and experiment with what works for you against various dealers. Online casino blackjack may offer a free demo/game option, which can be good to practise on.
Tip #2: Split Aces and Eights
Being dealt a pair (for example two eights or two aces) is considered troublesome in blackjack. It’s recommended that you split your eights as it increases the probability of receiving an 18 or 19 total which is much stronger than the 16 you’ll get without splitting. Splitting aces gives a player two chances to hit a 21, rather than one. Remember, if you split your aces and eights, you’ll receive an extra card on top of each hand you split.
Tip #3: Double down on ten, IF the dealer’s upcard is nine or less
This is the best route to follow if you wish to maximize your winnings without risk. Doubling down (increasing your bet and receiving an extra card) is recommended when the dealer’s card is nine or less as probabilistically, you’re the favorite.
Tip #4: Always find a table where the dealer stands on soft 17
To recap, a soft hand is where the dealers ace is an 11. So, to make a soft 17, your hand needs to be ace-11 and a six. Tables where the dealer stands on this significantly reduces the house’s chances and puts you in a stronger position.
Tip #5: Stand with a pair of nines, if the dealer’s upcard is a 7
When the dealer has an upcard of seven, it’s likely their potential is a seventeen. If you stand with your nines, then your potential is an eighteen, beating them. Essentially, it’s not worth the risk to hit.