How to Play Blackjack – guide for beginners
The first step towards learning blackjack is to learn the basic strategy. The main benefit of applying the basic strategy is to reduce the percentage of casino edge to 0.5% or even lower. To achieve such indicators, you can take into account some tips and recommendations, like the number of card decks, special rules, etc.
Soft hand tips
A soft hand in blackjack is a combination in which there is an ace and takes the value of 11 points. For example, a pair from Six and Ace will be called soft and equal to 17 points (soft 17).
Game in soft positions:
- To take a card on soft 17 such a hand consists of A + 6 and should always be accompanied by a third card, because it is guaranteed to increase the overall value of your hand.
- If a hand with a lower value than 17 is also worth getting an extra card. Such actions are necessary in order to lower the level of dealer’s advantage.
- When a hand with soft 18 has formed, the player’s preferred action will be doubling, but with the condition that the dealer’s card is 8, 9 or 10.
Hard hand tips
A hard hand is a blackjack hand in which the ace is either absent or equal to 1 point. For example, Queen and Seven is a solid 17-point hand, as well as a hand with Ace, Nine and Seven, which is solid 17.
The following tips work well in difficult situations with hard hands, where the score is greater than 12.
- If the player’s hand is evaluated in the range from 12 to 16, and the dealer has a card costing from 2 to 6, a logical choice would be to stop. With such a low value, the dealer’s chances of losing due to busting will be quite large.
- Having received a hard hand in the range from 12 to 16, when the dealer has the first card 7 or higher, the correct action would be to take a chance and take an additional card.
- Always stay on hard 17. This rule works, because the combination of 17 is considered quite close to 21 and often brings victories.
The art of doubling in blackjack
If, after receiving the cards, the player believes that he has an advantage over the dealer, he can double his bet. It should be remembered that after doubling it is possible to get no more than 1 card. There are also varieties in which doubling is allowed after separation (split), they are called DAS - Double After Split.
The doubling option in blackjack can be used very effectively, however, for its correct application you need to clearly know the appropriate range of hands:
- Soft 13 or 15, dealer card 5 or 6;
- Soft 15 or 16, dealer card 4, 5 or 6;
- Soft 17 or 18, dealer card from 3 to 6;
- The value of the hand is 9, the dealer’s card is from 2 to 8;
- Hand value is 10, dealer card is 9 or lower;
- The value of the hand is 11 when the dealer has an ace or a 10-point card.
Types of blackjack odds
With the development of gambling, more and more blackjack options are moving away from the classic 3 to 2 payouts for the maximum Blackjack combination. New versions of the game tend to pay 6 to 5, but there are times when the odds reach 7 to 5. The best example of such changes can be called Las Vegas casinos, where 10% of “21” card tables pay less than the standard 3 to 2.
Many professionals are convinced that only options with a payout of 3 to 2 are worthy to be called blackjack, while the rest should be designated as “21”, including such popular types as Super Fun 21 and Spanish 21.
Regardless of the name of the blackjack, in a casino establishment or on an online site, users should personally check the payout table for a 3 to 2 coefficient for Blackjack combination, and if there is no such information, check with the administrator or support service.
Mistakes made in selection of blackjack strategy
There are enough of unsuccessful strategies and misconceptions are widespread among blackjack lovers, which are based on additional add-ons, imitating the actions of the dealer and the assumption that the dealer's closed card will be 10 points.
The specific examples below for each case are based on a blackjack game according to Atlantic City rules, which assume the following assumptions:
- The dealer always stands on soft 17;
- Allows separation of up to 4 hands;
- Doubling after separation allowed;
- Doubling on any two cards is allowed;
- The fixed profit of the casino at the level of 0.43%.
- Additional card set. An analysis of the probability table of the outcomes shows that the chances with a combination of 12-16 points with an additional set will be low and only in 5 out of 13 cases the received card will improve the hand, while in other cases, busting will be inevitable. Making erroneous decisions in such situations increases the casino's edge to 3.91%.
- Dealer imitation. By repeating the dealer’s decisions on a set of the minimum combination of 16 or soft 17, without the use of split or doubling, the player loses even more chances to win, because with such a strategy the income of the institution increases to 5.48%. and make it impossible to achieve positive results.
- Closed cards equal to 10 points. The mistake of such judgments is that if the dealer has the first ace-card, he checks it for a combination of blackjacks and, thus, proves that the second card cannot be 10 points. Having missed this moment, the player will try to gain a strong hand and as a result will make a bust. The mistake "take ten" leads to the fact that the share of the casino will reach an incredible 10.03%.