5 Simple Steps to Play Like a Blackjack Pro
Not only is this reckless, but it results in you developing ill feelings towards online blackjack in general. This is why we compiled a guide that takes you through five steps that you can use effectively. And when mastered, you’ll play like a blackjack pro in no time.
Understand the Rules of Online Blackjack
Those familiar with online blackjack, play it with some form of strategy. This means that it isn’t exclusively a game of luck. Only one deck of cards is used in online blackjack, but it also uses up to a total of eight decks. The dealer and the player get two cards and one of the dealers’ cards is face down. This is called the hole card.
To win, your hand must equal 21 and not exceed it. However, if the total of your cards exceeds 21 then you lose immediately. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to aim to get to 21. You simply need a hand that exceeds the total value of what the dealer has. This means that if you stand on a total of 16 and the dealer stands on 15, you win the round.
In online blackjack, there are 5 core moves that you can make during your turn. We list them below to give you some more insight.
When you choose to stand, this means that you’re either satisfied with the hand that you have or it means that you don’t want to risk exceeding 21. There are general guidelines in place that tells you when to stand. For example, if you have a hand that totals 17, it’s a good idea to stand.
Doubling down on your bet means that you are certain that you have a good hand. While it’s a great way of making extra cash during the round, it’s also risky. This move adds more to your bet when dealt with another card. Once you double down, you can’t hit again.
If you have two cards of the same value, such as a two 6’s, you can split this hand to end up with two hands. If you manage to split and win, you win double the amount of your initial bet.
This is the act of requesting another card from the dealer.
This is more of a final option to give up the round and get 50% of your bet back. Surrendering doesn’t seem to be something seasoned professionals accept.
As you see, the fundamental mechanics of blackjack are incredibly simple, but they must be practiced. Anyone can be given information on how to play a game; however, the act of doing this is much more complicated than what it is in theory as you need to familiarize yourself with when to make the necessary decisions.
The Fundamental Strategy
The most overlooked aspect of playing the game must be the strategy. And, unfortunately, the lack thereof dissuades players from returning to the table. Using a strategy doesn’t only make the game more enjoyable, it also minimizes the risk of losing. However, keep in mind that no strategy eliminates the house edge.
Below are some strategies and basic guidelines that any online blackjack player should learn to incorporate into their game.
When to Split
As mentioned, splitting involves two cards of the same value that are split to create two individual hands. However, if you’re unfamiliar with why you’re splitting, you will have a tough time. Here are some general rules regarding the act listed below.
- Your chance of getting a card that has a value of 10 or around that region is quite high, and because of this, you should split aces.
- Split when the dealer’s face-up card has a value from 2 to 9, but not 7. This must be done in conjunction with the players’ hand having a pair of 9’s. If you don’t split on this hand, the next thing to do is to stand.
- Always split 8’s because you should never hit on the value of 16 and the dealer can beat it easily. However, you should only do this if the dealer has a hand that has a face-up card that has a value from 2 to 9.
Most players frown upon to surrendering but losing half seems to be more appealing than lose everything. There are two instances where you should always surrender. This is when you have a hand valued at 16 and the dealer has a 9 and an Ace. And when you have a value of 15 in your hand and the dealer has a value of 10.
Standing and Hitting
There are times where you have to stand, as hitting will lose you the round. With a bit of practice and a basic understanding of probability, you’ll know exactly which call to make. Below is a list that tells you when to hit and when to stand. Memorize it and implement it.
- Always stand when you have a total that ranges from 17 to 20.
- You can stand on a total that ranges from 12 to 16, but you have a small margin of success when hitting. And the dealer beating you increases significantly.
- It’s okay to hit when you’re below a total of 17.
This is a part of the game that used to be avoided like the plague. Online blackjack pros learned how to use side bets to their advantage. You can familiarize yourself with side bets and you will find them listed below.
- Super Sevens – This side bet depends on how many 7’s is in your hand. The more you have, the better, and the payout is based on whether or not they’re suited.
- 21 + 3 – This side bet allows you to win based on the cards that you possess and the “upcard” of the dealer. This bet involves getting a straight flush, a straight, a flush, or three-of-a-kind.
- Over & Under Thirteen – This is a simple, yet incredibly risky side bet. You bet on whether or not the total of your first two cards will have a total that exceeds 13 or not. If you bet that the cards that you don’t have, then the Ace is valued as 1, but if you hit 13 or above, the Ace counts as 10.
Never Count Cards
Only players with incredible amounts of focus and are familiar with the difficulty of this strategy, can count cards successfully. This has the player trying to narrow down the cards that will be available when they decide to hit. The rules of the game must be a key priority, as you’re still a new player. Implementing a strategy should be second on your list. Overall, unless you’ve played online blackjack for a long time, don’t count cards.