With several difficult choices available in every hand, blackjack is not the easiest game in terms of strategy. And don’t even get us started on blackjack card counting! Fortunately, blackjack strategy can be simplified quite easily if you concentrate on a few basic tips to start with. This being said, here is a quick look at some basic blackjack tips that will help you play well right away.
Get a Blackjack Strategy Card – If you’re totally new to blackjack, don’t try playing the game on your own intuition; instead, get a strategy card! Blackjack strategy cards document every move you should make based on your score versus the dealer’s upcard. For example, if you have a 17 and the dealer’s upcard is 6, the strategy card will recommend staying. But whatever you do, don’t get a strategy card from a casino gift shop where you’re playing because these can be for blackjack games with slightly different rules. A better idea is to print one off of the internet before you leave for the casino.
Look for Tables with Favorable Blackjack Rules – In most cases, blackjack players can lower the house edge to 0.5%, which is pretty good in comparison to most casino games. However, if the casino has unfavorable rules in place, this can increase the house edge by quite a bit. With this being the case, you have to play at tables with 3:2 blackjack payouts (instead of 6:5), and where the dealer has to stand on a soft 17 (instead of being able to hit). Other rules that can reduce the house edge include being able to resplit aces and double down after splitting.
You need to have a 17 when the Dealer’s Upcard is 9 or Better – While you always want to avoid situations where you could possibly bust out, sometimes there are times when you need to take chances. And if the dealer’s upcard is a 9 or better, this is definitely one of those times because you should have at least a score of 17 or better to combat this. That said, hit until you have at least a 17 when the dealer’s upcard is a 9, or bust out trying.
Spit Aces and 8’s – The last of our basic blackjack tips involves only splitting aces and 8’s. Now there are times when you should split other pairs depending on the dealer’s upcard, but until you learn these times, it’s best to stick with just splitting aces and 8’s. Of course, if you have a blackjack strategy card handy – like we mentioned – use this to figure out when the optimal times to split are.