Playing blackjack is a ton of fun, and it’s even more fun when you’re winning rounds. Improve your gameplay by incorporating these blackjack tips for beginners. You’ll learn when to hit, stand, double down, surrender, and split as well as tournament and expert advice. You’ll leave the table with more cash in your pockets.

 

 

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When to Hit or Stand in Blackjack

The main two moves in blackjack are hit and stand. Knowing when to employ each move is the first step to developing a winning blackjack strategy. Although there are strategy charts that explicitly state the optimal move, in general, you’re looking to hit on totals of 12 and higher when the Dealer’s upcard is a Seven and higher. If your total is under 12, you should always hit. If your total is 17 and higher, you should always stand – unless it’s a soft hand.

 

When to Double Down

Doubling down involves adding another bet that’s equal to the first for double the payout. Any time you double down, you’ll be dealt one final card automatically. This is a great move that complements totals of 10, 11, and in some circumstances 9. Chances are you’ll land a 10-value card and have a strong 19, 20, or 21.

 

 

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When to Split

 

There are some pairs that should always be split, and other pairs that should never be split. A pair of Eights gives you a score of 16 – one of the worst scores in blackjack. Fortunately, you can split them into two individual hands and potentially turn them into a score of 18 instead.

On the other hand, a pair of Tens should never be split. When you already have such a high score, you shouldn’t risk losing it. Cash in while you can.

 

When to Surrender

While the option to surrender is not available for all versions of blackjack, when it is, you should use it when the Dealer has a valuable upcard and you have a weak total. Examples include a Dealer upcard of Nine, Ten and Ace against a Player total of 16. You’re probably going to lose that battle, so at least retrieve half your bet.

 

 

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Counting Cards

Card counting systems involve adding and subtracting numbers that are assigned to groups of cards in order to get an idea of how player-friendly the remainder of the deck is. A common system for counting cards in blackjack groups Twos to Sixes, Sevens to Nines, and Tens to Aces. Cards Two to Six have a +1 tag, cards Seven to Nine have 0 value, and cards Ten to Ace have a –1 tag.
Every card on the table needs to be added to or subtracted from the running count, which gets divided by the number of decks in the shoe. When the running count is high, the shoe is rich with 10-value cards and Aces, so that’s when you want to increase your bet sizes. Alternatively, when the running count is low, you want to decrease your bet sizes.

Blackjack Tips for Experts

Blackjack experts may disagree on a lot of things, but there are some universal truths that will help players improve their game.

 

 

Insurance is a Bad Bet

When the Dealer’s upcard is an Ace, players are offered insurance as a side bet. This bet protects players from Dealer Blackjack by paying them the amount they’d lose if the Dealer’s hole card is indeed a 10-value card. The issue is that statistically, the Dealer will have a 10 in the hole about a third of the time, so a 2:1 payout isn’t high enough to justify buying insurance.

 

Only play 3:2 Blackjack

With all the rule variations that come with different versions of blackjack, it can be hard to determine which is the best one. The No. 1 rule that should override all other rules is the payout for getting a natural (a Blackjack hand). Only play games that pay the standard 3:2. Don’t play games that pay 6:5.

 

If you have the option, go for blackjack that has the Dealer stand on soft 17.

When all else is equal, having the Dealer hit on soft 17 instead of stand reduces your expected return by –0.22%. If you can find a game that pays 3:2 for blackjack and has the Dealer stand on soft 17, that’s a good option to play. An example of that at Slots.lv Casino is Double Deck Blackjack.

 

 

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How to choose

Blackjack Tournament Tips

Blackjack tournaments involve playing at a table against other players. Everyone starts with the same stack size and the player who ends up with the most chips wins the table. They may go on to a table of finalists in some tournaments.

Since blackjack players often win and lose together, tournament blackjack strategies revolve around bet sizes. Knowing when to bet big and when to bet small is the key to winning blackjack tournaments.

• The button reminds players of the order of play. Being last to bet provides you with positional advantage; you’ll know what other players are betting and what cards are on the table. Take bigger risks when you have this positional advantage.

• Quite often, players start the tournament with aggressive bet sizes. When this happens, take a back seat and play conservatively.

 

 

  • • Elimination is a stronger threat to players who take unnecessary risks at the start of the tournament. The best time to get aggressive is closer to the end of the tournament, when every round counts.
  • • As a rule of thumb, place big bets when everyone at the table is placing small bets if you’re losing and need to get ahead. If you’re already in the lead, try to make the same bet sizes as the person who’s trying to catch up to you.

 

After taking in these tips, you have all the theory necessary to put you on the fast track to blackjack glory. Try putting the theory into practice by playing any of our nine versions of online blackjack on Practice Play mode. When you’re ready to join the big leagues, switch to Real Play mode.

 

 

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