How to Play Blackjack and Win

How to play Blackjack and Win

How to play Blackjack and Win

Blackjack is a favorite game of most gamblers, but many people play the game suboptimally. This hurts their chances of protecting or increasing their money supply. Here are some foundational tips on how to play blackjack and win. Note that even if you play perfectly, you’ll still be a slight dog to the house. This means that you’ll lose all your money if you play long enough, so gamble with care!

Experts agree that a conservative strategy works better over time than an aggressive strategy.  We’ll come back to why this is so later.  But first, let’s take a look at how the basic game of Blackjack is played.  You have to understand the fundamental rules of the game if you want to win.

How to Play Blackjack in Three Easy Steps

The object of the game is to draw cards that total up to 21 points.  All face cards count 10 points, all numbered cards count the same points as their numbers, and Aces count either 1 or 11 points (your choice).  After the dealer gives you two cards, if you don’t have 21 points in your hand, you have to decide if you want more cards.  Some special conditions apply.  Regardless of how many people are playing at your table you are only playing against the dealer.

If you have two of a kind, you can split the hand.  To play a split you separate your cards, lay down a second wager equal to your first wager, and tell the dealer you want to split.  The dealer then gives you two more cards and you are playing two hands instead of one.  At some gaming tables it is possible to split indefinitely but casinos may limit the number of splits.  It is foolish to split two ten-point cards and not a good idea to split two 9 cards.

If you feel confident in your hand you can double down.  This means you tell the dealer you want to double your bet.  The casino will accept this after you have been dealt cards only if you accept another card (and you are limited to drawing only one more card).

Basic Terminology in Blackjack

The game is called “21” or “Blackjack”.  When anyone, including the dealer, receives an Ace and face card or an Ace and ten card, they are said to have a “21” or a “Blackjack”.  This is the best possible hand in the game.

When you want another card you ask the dealer to “hit” you.

When you don’t want any more cards you tell the dealer you will “stand”.

If you draw a card and your point total goes over 21 you “bust”.

If your first two cards total 17 that is called a “hard 17”.  If your point total reaches 17 after drawing at least one more card that is called a “soft 17”.

If you and the dealer both end up with the same point total that is called a “push”.

If the dealer’s face up card is an ace he may offer you “insurance”.  This is a chance to make a second bet.  You are wagering on whether the dealer has a blackjack in his hand.  The insurance bet is equal to half your original bet.  Unless you have a 21 in your hand taking an insurance bet is considered a poor gamble.

How to Win at Blackjack: Strategies and Tips

Blackjack strategies are all based on the probabilities of the game.  Probabilities represent the ratios of individual card combinations to all possible card combinations.  Knowing the probabilities in blackjack only helps if you have reliable information about how many cards are in the shoe and which cards have already been played.  The chances of any specific card combination being drawn either decline or increase as cards are played and possible combinations are eliminated from the current game.

(1) The general theory to understand is the composition of the standard deck of cards. Tens, jacks, queens, and kings all have a value of ten. That means that any given face down card should be treated as a ten until revealed otherwise.

(2) The general strategy as a result of this observation is to hit when you need to overcome a dealer’s face-up card and stand when you believe he or she will bust.

(3) For example, if the dealer is showing 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6, and you have almost anything, your best strategy is to stand. This is because the dealer must hit on anything lower than a seventeen. So if every card is probably a ten, he’s most likely to bust in this situation, and you should stand on what you have to ensure victory.

(4) If the dealer has a 7 or up showing, you’ll have to be more aggressive. This is because you can expect him to have a solid hand a good percentage of the time. Your job then is to hit until you can beat or compete with this expected hand. Let’s say the dealer has an 8, meaning you expect him to earn an 18 when the hand’s done. You’re going to have to take cards until you can meet or beat 18. Granted, if you climb to a 17, it may not be worth it to take another card. Do you feel lucky?

(5) If you’d like to play most optimally, purchase a card that will tell you exactly what to do in any situation. Most casinos will let you use it as long as you don’t slow down the pace of the game.

Are Any Betting Systems Better Than Others in Blackjack?

Betting systems are based on what is called “Gambler’s Fallacy”, which is the fallacious belief that if you hang in there long enough everything will go your way.  In games based on random chance, including Blackjack, it is entirely possible that nothing will ever go your way.  In fact, the laws of chance say that every play is as likely to work against you as for you regardless of what you do.

The most conservative gambling experts advise new players to keep their bets low, near the table minimum, at all times even when the players feel lucky or have experienced several wins in a row.

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