Learn Online Blackjack Rules, Strategy and Read Tips Here
Blackjack is a casino game that is played, in most cases, between a player and the house. It is a fast-moving game that requires a combination of skill and luck to do well. It is popular enough that casinos have created variations for it, but the basic rules are somewhat similar.
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As mentioned, blackjack comes in a number of variations, but the most popular version, the "standard" version, if you will, consist of a number of rules that are common among many versions. We'll proceed with what might be termed a "Vegas Strip' version and identify differences from there.
The player engages in blackjack play by receiving two cards. These may be either face-up or face-down. The dealer, representing the house, takes a card face-up and has another that is concealed from the player, "in the hole," if you will.
After getting the two-card hand, the player makes a decision as to whether to hit the hand with additional cards; stand on the two-card hand as it has been dealt; double the hand, which means doubling the wager and receiving on hit to the hand, or split a pair of cards.
If the dealer has the possibility of a two-card 21, the player may take insurance, in which half the bet is laid in front of the hand. If the dealer does indeed have the two-card 21, or a "blackjack," the player wins 2-to-1 on insurance.
Depending on rules variations, the player may double on any two card combination, may split an unlimited number of times or double after splitting.
Blackjack strategy, as it is applied to the online game, centers around a break-even approach called "Basic Strategy." It involves a pre-determined decision for any two-card combination against any dealer upcard.
Generally speaking, because the rules require the dealer to hit 16 and stand on 17, the player mimics this to a certain extent, hitting "stiff" hands against dealer "pay hands" and standing against the dealer's "stiff" hands. With soft hands, the player will double against dealer stiff hands as well, and will split pairs according to a Basic Strategy chart that contain a number of different "rules of thumb."
Some of those are detailed below.
Here are some tips to help you enjoy your online blackjack sessions:
- Always split Aces and eights (8's).
- Do not split fives. That is a total of 10, which could be a doubling hand for you.
- Find games that allow soft doubling. There are a lot of opportunities there.
- Never take insurance. It is a bet that doesn't offer value to the player.
- Try to find games that allow Doubling Down After Split (DDAS). That gives you more ways to win.
- Use the surrender option if it is offered. Such an option allows you to save have your bet against a strong dealer upcard when you have a "stiff" hand.
- Do not disqualify hitting hands like 15 or 16. It may look like a move that is foolish, but in certain situations it is part of a proper Basic Strategy approach.
- When you play Basic Strategy, you will often hit a hand and still have a decision to make. In such cases, just plug that multi-card hand back into the Basic Strategy and make the correct decision.
- If you have committed yourself to playing Basic Strategy, don't play hunches.