Blackjack Strategy and Rules Explained

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Blackjack is one of the most popular card games ever created and though it has been around for a very long time, not many people know the full scope of how it works and how to use that information to their advantage. If you’ve played it before, you may have noticed that the game is essentially quite simple, relying only on the outcome of the cards and on how you place a bet, but there are a number of subtle intricacies that the experts know that could shift the odds in their favour. And if you read on, you’ll be able to use them too. Just a freindly reminder that Yebo Casino offers a number of different blackjack variants so be sure to read the "help" files to make sure you know which version you are applying your strategies to.

Overview of the Game

If you’re one of the many people who think that the main goal of blackjack is to get 21, or as close to 21 as you can, you’re mistaken. The only objective you should be focused on if you’re trying to win the game of blackjack is to get a better hand than the dealer. Though getting as near as you can to 21 as possible, without going bust, is a very important part of this, it is not your main goal. This game is usually played using up to eight decks of cards, each of which have 52 cards in them. When playing online, this will obviously not apply, but if you’re interested in playing both online and in a land-based casino, keep it in mind.

It is very important to take note of the card values, for example, the ace which can be counted as either 1 or 11. A jack, queen and king all have the value of 10. A hand’s value is the total of the cards within it so should you get a king and a 3 for example, you would have a value of 13. In the case where you have a ten and an ace, your value would be 21, which is really good provided the dealer does not have the same cards or a blackjack. The best possible card combination to get is a blackjack, which is a jack, queen or king plus an ace. Get this and you’ll be very happy with the money you get out.

In the simplest terms, the game works with the dealer dealing each player (including themselves) two cards. Once your cards are on the table, you will need to decide whether to stick with the hand you’ve been given (stand), get an extra card (hit), divide the hand into two hands if you have a pair (split) or place an extra monetary amount to get just one more card when your cards have a relatively low value (double). All of these choices sadly won’t influence the cards you get, but they could have an impact on the outcome of the game.

Once you’ve made your choices and have tried to get as close to 21 as possible without going over (bust), it will be the dealer’s turn. Remember though that your goal is not to get 21. It’s to win against the dealer, which can sometimes be done by waiting for the dealer to go bust.

A Few Rules you may not have known

There are a number of rules you need to take into account if you want to increase your odds of winning, and although you may think you know all of the rules of the game, here are a few you may not have been aware of:

  1. When the dealer deals the cards, they will deal one of their own cards face down. This is known as the ‘hole’ card.
  2. If the dealer deals themselves two cards and the one showing is an ace, they will offer you the chance to take insurance. Insurance will pay you back 2:1 if the dealer has a blackjack but this is not a bet you need to take. You should consider whether taking insurance is part of your strategic game plan
  3. If the dealer has a blackjack, you will lose the hand.
  4. On some blackjack tables, you can surrender. This occurs when you forfeit half of your bet (after you’ve been dealt the first two cards) and you get to keep half of what you originally bet. If you think your hand has absolutely no hope of winning, this is a good idea.

Smart Strategy Tips From The Pro's

Believe it or not, blackjack is a game of strategy. Many people don’t believe this statement because they think that the cards influence everything and that there is no way to control the game’s outcome. Well, while there is some logic in this, strategy, both in the way you bet and in the way you make choices throughout the game can influence the outcome. How? Read on. The most basic playing strategy to use, as recommended by the experts is quite simple and is summed up here:

  1. If you are dealt a hand to the value of 12 to 16, and the dealer has a hand cards to the value of 2 to 6, stand. Do not try to take additional cards.
  2. If you have a hand to the value of 12 to 16 and the dealer has any cards from a 7 to an ace, always hit.
  3. If you are dealt a pair that is made up of aces or eights, it makes sense to split the bet. Any other cards should not be split, so if you get a pair of 7s, push the pause button and consider whether it’s really worth your time splitting them.
  4. If you have a value of 11 and the dealer has cards from 2 to 10, double the bet.
  5. If you are dealt an ace, always hit or double unless you have a card value of 16 or more.
There are a number of disagreements in the world of blackjack about whether these tips are the only ones you should use and how much you should adhere to them, but many agree that when you’re playing blackjack for the first time, these tips can help you get much closer to a win, while also teaching you the nuances of the game.

A little more knowledge to help you out

The experts have a few other recommendations that they give to new players and once you’ve played a few hands and understand how the game works, consider weaving these into your strategy too. First, don’t both with insurance. Sure, it could work out well for you, but it generally doesn’t and is a real waste of money. Second, always take note of the dealer’s face-up. Depending on whether the card is bad or good, you’ll know whether to hit, stand, double or split. Next, the pros recommend that you don’t bet too big to begin with. Sometimes, luck will be on your side but sometimes it won’t. If you start with a relatively small bet and you notice you’re on a hot streak, you can increase the size of the bet. However, if luck is not on your side, you won’t feel too bad if you lose a little bit of cash.

The most important things to remember when playing are to have fun. Blackjack has a lot of intricacies and is a very interesting game, but if you focus too heavily on the strategy, the betting and the winning, you’ll miss out on a lot of what makes this one of the best games to play at an online casino.

For more advanced topics about blackjack, check out our informational article about an introduction to counting cards in blackjack.

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