If you want to play blackjack and win then you need to have a few tricks up your sleeve. And by tricks I don’t mean ways to cheat the casino, but simple strategies. Blackjack is a really easy game to learn and play and it is also known to have one of the lowest house edges so all you really need to win in blackjack is understand the blackjack rules of the game. Unlike poker, blackjack is played against the dealer and your objective is to get a hand that has a total value of 21 points or less, but which is higher than the dealers. Getting 21 points on your first hand is called a blackjack and you win automatically.
In blackjack each card has a point value. The numbered cards from 2 to 10 have their face value, which means a 5 ♥ is five 5 points, or a 10♦ of 10 points and so on. The color or the suit of the card does not matter in blackjack. The face cards which are the Jack, Queen and King are 10 points each and the Ace can be 1 point or 11 points, you can decide based on the hand you have.
To begin the game of blackjack you first need to place you bets. After doing so the dealer will deal you 2 cards face down and deal himself two cards as well, one face down the other face up. Whoever has 21 points on the first deal wins and the game ends. If neither you nor the dealer has a blackjack then the game continues.
Adding the points of each card in your hand gives you the total hand value. If you have, for example, a 10♥ and a 7♠ then you have a total of 17 points. Now you have the chance to improve you total hand value. You can ‘hit’ to have one more card dealt to you. You can continue to hit until you get close enough to 21 points. But if you get more than 21 you bust, or lose. So you have to ‘stand’ when you think you are close enough to 21 points and accepting another would cause you to go bust.
Knowing when to hit and stand are two of the most important strategies in blackjack. Here are some basic hit and stand blackjack strategies:
There are two kinds of hands, hard hands and soft hands. A hard hand is made of two cards that do not contain and Ace, and a soft hand is one where one of the two cards is an Ace.
Always hit when you have 8points or less.
If you have a hard 12, and the dealer has 2 or 3 then hit. If the dealer has 4 through 6 then stand.
If you have a hard 13 to 16 and the dealer has 2 through 6 then stand. If not, then you must hit.
If you have 17 through 21 then it is always advisable to stand or you could risk going bust.
If you have a soft hand of an Ace and 7 and the dealer has 2, 7 or 8 then stand.
Besides hitting and standing you are also allowed to split pairs and double down. Splitting pairs allows you to play each hand individually. Doubling down is the act of doubling your bet when you feel that you are likely to win.
Always split a pair of 4s if the dealer has 5 or 6.
If you have a pair of 5s and the dealer 2 through 9 then double.