Blackjack: one of the easiest casino games
What to know before playing Blackjack
Blackjack (twenty-one or twenty-one-one-one) is a simple card game that has a larger number of players than roulette, craps and baccarat combined. Blackjack is primarily a game of luck and chance, but it also has some strategy. Here's how to get luck on your side in one of the world's most popular casino games.
- First step: Learn the value of the cards. In Blackjack, each card has a value that remains constant throughout the game. The goal is to hit 21 with as few cards as possible. Here are their values: Numbered cards: the value is the number of the card.
- Face cards (jack, queen and king): their value is 10. Ace: its value can be 1 or 11 depending on the situation. It is counted as 11 (generally) unless you go over 21, in which case it counts as 1. An Ace and a Face card equals 21 with only two cards, this is called Blackjack.
- Second step: Control your decisions. The biggest advantage the casino has is that the player always has to play first. If the player busts (out of 21), the casino immediately takes the player's money. If the casino busts on the same hand, the player loses anyway.
- The dealer is the last to play the hand. You have two basic options when it is your turn:
- Hit: Hit for another card. You can draw until you go over 21. Stay: You keep your cards and do nothing. You will not receive any more cards. There are also other possibilities that you can use in certain hands:
- Insurance: You can only do this when the dealer shows an Ace.
- It is placing a new bet that pays 2 to 1 if the dealer has a Blackjack. You lose your other bet (which pays 3 to 2) but you win the insurance, resulting in a tie.
- Double the bet: You double your bet and are dealt only one more card.
- Generally used when your two initial cards add up to 10 or 11. Split pairs or split: If you have two cards with the same value, you can split your hand in two. If both your hands win, you get double your bet. If only one hand wins, you end up even. If both your hands lose, you lose double your bet. To split the hand, split the cards and make a double bet.
- Surrender: in many casinos, you can (before playing and after determining if the dealer has a Blackjack) surrender and only pay half your bet. It is advisable to surrender when the dealer shows a figure and the player has a hand that is likely to bust. When the dealer has an Ace, he automatically checks to see if he has a Blackjack. Early surrender is when you surrender before the dealer checks to see if he has a Blackjack.
- Step Three: Start winning. To win, the player has to be closer to 21 than the dealer, without going over. If the player exceeds the 21 barrier, then he "busts". If both are on the same number, it is a "tie", neither the player nor the house wins.
- A Blackjack is when your firsthand is an Ace and a 10, or a figure. The dealer continues to deal until one of the players decides to stay. He then plays his own hand, which determines the end of the game. Obviously, each hand is different. Generally, players using the "dealer strategy" call on 16 or less. It works a little better than using the "never pass" strategy, where you always stay at 12 or higher.
Rules and strategy for Blackjack
Understand the "house rules." Many casinos always "stay" at 17 or higher. Some "ask" if they have a "soft seventeen" (an Ace and a 6). Some casinos (although rare) ask for a "down payment" as in poker (in these casinos the house is favored up to 20%). You will quickly understand the casino rules when you sit down to play.
Casinos have different rules about insurance, splitting and doubling down as to how and when you can do this. The dealer will most likely tell you when this is the case. For example, some casinos do not allow you to split a third Ace; as for surrendering, some only allow you to surrender early or late. If playing Blackjack, recognize the implications of insuring, splitting, doubling down and surrendering. All of the extra actions favor the house; it wouldn't be a casino game if they didn't!
When you insure, you are betting that the dealer's hidden card is a 10, a jack, a queen or a king. There are 13 possible card types in the deck. You have less than a 1 in 3 chance that it will come out. The best time to insure is when you have a Blackjack!
If the dealer also has Blackjack, there will be a tie; your insurance bet pays 2 - 1 which is better than the original 3-2 bet! When you make a double bet, you get just one more card. You may not like the hand you end up with - and that's exactly what the casino expects!
Never double down if the dealer has an Ace or a figure (unless you have an 11).
Splitting can turn an excellent hand into a bad hand. Here are a couple of golden rules: Never split fives, (your total is 10, you're probably going to end up with a bad hand). Always split sevens, eights, or aces. Splitting sevens and eights changes probably bad hands to winning hands.
Splitting aces is advantageous but consider this: You are only allowed to split aces once and you can only take one card for each new hand. Casinos impose that rule because splitting aces, without that restriction, is a big advantage. Again, except for one or two casinos.
Once you "surrender", the dealer's actions are of no consequence (to you). If the dealer's hand goes over, you have surrendered anyway. Understand how to count cards. You are not going to literally count the value of all the cards.
What some players do (when they are very good) is count the "value" of the deck or more specifically, how many aces and tens are left to play. If there are still many lefts, they raise their bets, knowing that they have a better chance of getting a better hand.
But casinos are aware of this method and most now use multiple decks in the "shoe" or remove a section of the deck that the player does not see or do both. With six decks of cards in play, and without some cards, it is virtually impossible to count the number of good cards in the deck.
Some advice to play Blackjack
Forget about card counting, unless you are prepared to bet thousands of dollars on a single hand. Card counting is 95% betting strategy and 5% playing strategy. It turns the casinos 2% edge into a 2% edge for you, which means that if you bet a total of $1000 in an hour, you will win $20 if you don't make any mistakes! Strategies like that are useless when there are many players at a single table. It's easy to spot a card counter.
And if they play at a table alone, they will be even more obvious. A better idea: Go and have a good time playing with the basic strategy, if you are careful, you might win something. A common misconception about the rules is that on a draw, the dealer wins. This is only true in casual games. In a casino, a tie means that no one loses money and the dealer does not win. A good time to double down is when you have an 11.
In casual Blackjack games, the last player to have a Blackjack is the dealer. This seems unfair, but here's the explanation: The dealer can lose to several players at the same time. He risks much more for each game and must stay within limits when he must hit and stay.
Don't "call" more when you show a 12. Chances are you will overshoot and lose the round, especially if the dealer shows cards with low values. Don't "call" if you have 15 or more. If the dealer shows a figure or an Ace (especially an Ace), consider surrendering. If you have 13, 14, 15 or 16 you will most likely go over.
If the dealer shows an Ace, no matter how bad a card you get (if you need one), you will always have a chance to call again. This is a huge advantage for the house. If you don't have enough money to double or split, give some money for more money. The house advantage goes up 1.9%.
Playing Blackjack online
If you want to start practicing all these strategies, do not forget to visit us at FUN88. Here you have many casino games to play, including Blackjack. Online is easier and more exciting to play at a casino because you are in the comfort of your own home!
Remember that there are many bonuses and promotions you can get when playing online. In addition, if you are a starter, you can sharpen your betting abilities. So, visit us and start having fun!
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