Blackjack is one of the easiest card games to learn, but truly mastering it is an entirely different matter.
The main objective of the game is to reach a total of 21, or the nearest to it, and beat the dealer’s hand.
While luck certainly plays a part in blackjack, there are certain tips and techniques you can follow that will vastly improve your gameplay and increase your chances of winning.
Read on as we take a look at how learning ‘basic strategy’ will move your blackjack play onto another level.
Learning the basics
If you are serious about improving as a blackjack player it is imperative that you take the time to learn all about basic strategy.
You can get an overview of some of the most common and effective blackjack strategies on bestonlineblackjack.com. Adopting basic strategy will give you a crucial edge against the house, so it’s well worth taking the time to read over the variants and find one that fits your playing style.
In simple terms, basic strategy is the mathematically recommended way to play every hand that you are dealt during the game.
It requires you to follow a specific set of rules based on what is in your hand and what the dealer’s upcard is showing.
Correctly using basic strategy can help you reduce the casinos’ edge to under 0.5 percent, making it a hugely sensible way to play the game.
Knowing the right and wrong times to split pairs is a fundamental part of learning basic strategy in blackjack.
If you are dealt two cards of the same value the rules of the game allow you to split them into two separate hands if you wish to do so.
For instance, if you bet $10 and are dealt a pair of 3s, you could play the hand as a 6 and draw additional cards or split them into two hands.
Basic strategy charts will show you what the dealer’s upcard should be in order for you to split or if you should play the cards as they are dealt.
Splitting cards at the right times will improve the odds in your favour and give you a greater chance of making a profit from blackjack.
When an online casino gives you the option to double down it means you can double your initial bet in return for drawing just one more card.
Some casinos place restrictions on the hands you can double down on, but the most favourable rule is the one that allows you to do it on any two cards.
Generally speaking, you should double down on hard 8, 9, 10, and 11, and the soft 13 (A-2) through to 18 (A-7) hands.
It is also worth considering doubling down on a pair of 5s or 4s, again dependent on what the dealer’s upcard is showing.
Doubling down is an attacking move that takes advantage of the moments in the game when the dealer has a higher probability of busting their hand.
Hitting or standing
Knowing whether the right times to hit or stand will also help you to significantly improve your online blackjack play.
Hitting, or drawing, means asking for another card, while standing, or sticking, means you are happy with your hand and don’t want another card.
Many players make the mistake of always standing on hands that can be busted by a single card draw.
It is generally advisable to never stand on soft 13 through to soft 17, as you are better served trying to get to hard 17 or soft 18 to 21.
Learning basic strategy will show you the situations in games where you can make hit or stand plays that increase the odds on you winning.
Employing basic strategy
As with every online casino game, the odds are stacked in favour of the house when you first sign-up to play blackjack.
With that in mind, it makes no sense not to try and employ a strategy that will increase your chances of boosting your bankroll.
Knowing the right time to split pairs gives you the chance to win more when the odds are in your favour and lose less when they are against you.
Doubling down is an attacking move that allows you to take advantage of situations in the game when you are favourite to beat the dealer.
Bringing those two elements together with a solid hitting and standing strategy will improve your gameplay and help to reduce the edge the casino holds over you.