Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games enjoyed by millions of players all over the world. It is a game of chance, but by understanding the rules and employing a blackjack strategy you can increase your chances of winning.
Basic blackjack rules
You will be dealt two cards face up and the dealer will have one face up and one face down. The idea is to beat the dealer and get as close to 21 as possible without going bust. You can take more cards or stand at any point, but the dealer must draw if he has less than 17. Winning bets are returned at 1:1, or 3:2 if you have blackjack (A and 10, J, Q or K). All tied bets are called a ‘push’ and your stake is returned.
Using blackjack strategy
Basic blackjack strategy is used by pretty much all players who are serious about making money playing blackjack. It is a strategy which can be learned as there is a recommended action for every single combination of cards you have for every single card the dealer is showing.
If there is a chance the dealer might bust, for instance if he is showing a 3, then you should stand with 12 or more. You would hit on a 12 if the dealer was showing a 7.
There are instances when you should or shouldn’t ‘split’ a pair and create two different hands. Aces and 8s should always be split and 10s or picture cards should never be split, but blackjack strategy dictates that other pairs should be split in particular circumstances.
Doubling down where you double your stake for just one more card is something else which basic blackjack strategy helps with. It is always dependent on what the dealer has and you should never automatically double down just because you have 10 or 11.
There are easily printable charts available online detailing every single blackjack combination and the strategy you should follow depending on your hand and the dealer’s up card.
Alternative blackjack strategy
Staking can be key in a game like blackjack. Doubling your stake after a loss is a common strategy used by many blackjack players.
You start playing a $1 hand, for example. If you win you play the next hand for $1 too, but if you lose you play for $2. A win will always see you drop back to $1 and you keep doubling your stake until you win. This will always give you a profit of $1, but a blackjack will give you even more depending on how many times you double your stake.
Beware of the casino’s table limit when employing a blackjack staking strategy. Your tenth hand will cost $512 and while it is rare to lose 10 hands in a row, it can happen and many casinos will not allow such a high stake. Check the limits at your online casino before using this particular blackjack strategy.