Basic Blackjack Strategies for Beginners
Blackjack is one of the most popular casino card games played online. Combining skill with luck, Blackjack pits players directly against the dealer in a head-to-head battle for each round. One of the reason’s Blackjack is so popular is because it has a low house edge to start with and is one of the few games where you can actually reduce the house edge by playing the right strategy. That being said, Blackjack is an easy game to play and a difficult one to master.
When it comes to strategies, mathematicians have crunched the numbers and have created the perfect Blackjack strategy for every single hand combination. Unlike mobile Craps, which is based largely on chance, strategy can go a long way to help you win big in Blackjack. If you are serious about playing and winning online, the first thing you should do is learn the complete Blackjack strategy and start implementing it straight away. The great thing about playing online is that you can always hone your skills playing in practice mode before swapping over and using your new-found skills in real money mode.
Understanding Blackjack Hands
If you are just starting out and you are looking for a simple way to increase your winnings, there are a few tips you can start putting into practice straight away. The first step is understanding the different types of hands. There are three basic hand categories in Blackjack; namely hard hands, soft hands and pairs. Hard hands are Blackjack hands that do not contain an ace. A soft hand is a hand that contains an ace with any other card from 2-9. A pair is a hand that contains two of the same value cards.
Strategies for Soft Hands
The strategy we are going to look at involves changing your decision based on the type of hand you are dealt. If you are dealt a soft hand (one with an ace), then you have a bit of flexibility to work with. Here you should:
- Stand with any soft hand of 19 or above
- Hit if you are dealt a hand of 17 or lower
- Hit on 18 when the dealer has less than 6
- Stick on 18 when the dealer has more than 6
- Double down on hands of 13-18 if the dealer has a 5 or 6
Strategies for Hard Hands
Hard hands are very different from soft hands as you don’t have the luxury of having the ace to compensate for overshooting the mark. Here the rules are a little different. With hard hands, you should:
- Stand if you have a hard hand of 17 or more
- Hit if you have a hard hand of 9 or less
- For any hand of 12-16, you should hit, unless the dealer is showing a 7.
- Double down if you are dealt a 9 or 10
Strategies for Pairs
In Blackjack, being dealt a pair can be beneficial if you know the right way to use your cards. The following strategies should apply:
- It is always a safe bet to split a pair of 8’s or aces
- Never split any pair of 4’s, 5’s or 10’s.
- You can split any other pair as long as the dealer is showing a 6 or lower.
Using these basic principles, you can reduce the number of hands you lose and over time learn how the concepts come into play. If you are going to play Blackjack with larger bets, make sure you understand the risks or play in practice mode to boost your skills before heading to the casino.