Blackjack 101 - How to play like a professional
Blackjack is rightfully regarded as the most efficient casino game, as it is the only game in which you may profitably mix knowledge and luck. When playing Blackjack optimally, the house has an edge of less than 1%, thus it’s clear that this is the game where you can actually make money.
How to play Blackjack:
When seated at the table, the player’s purpose is to make a hand that is 21 or greater than the dealer’s, as long as the total does not exceed 21. With the exception of “faces” (jacks, queens, and kings), which are all 10, and aces (A), which are either 11 or 1, each card has a face value. You can also win with a hand that is lower than the dealer’s, as long as the dealer does not complete a hand with a total higher than 21, in which case the game is “BUST.”
The player and the dealer are each given two cards at initially, and the player can see the dealer’s first card in addition to his own. The player has numerous alternatives depending on the cards held and the dealer’s card: ask for a card (HIT), stand (STAND), or split (SPLIT) – an option accessible while holding a pair or double (DOUBLE). If the dealer presents an ace (A), the player can buy insurance (INSURANCE) to reduce his loses if the dealer makes a blackjack (total of 21 from the first two cards).
- Blackjack – a hand with a total of 21 from the first two cards, so consisting of an A and a 10-value card (10,J,Q,K)
- Bust – a hand with a total greater than 21, automatically losing
- Double Down – an option where the player doubles the bet and can only use it once in a hand. After doubling down, the player is dealt one more card and is forced to fold regardless of the total
- Insurance – An additional bet placed by the player, worth 50% of the original bet, this option is only available when the dealer shows an ace. If you pay the insurance and the dealer makes a Blackjack, you get your bet money back (Insurance + original bet).
- Hard hand – a hand that does not contain an ace (A)
- Hit – the player asks for another card;
- Push – when the player and dealer are tied and the bet money is returned;
- Soft hand – hand containing an ace (A), which can be worth either 11 or 1
- Split – when the player holds a pair and can split the two cards, repeating the bet. In this situation, two hands are played simultaneously and the dealer splits cards for both hands
- Surrender – only available in some versions of the game, when you have the option to “surrender” and save 50% of the stak
If the value of your cards is 21, you have made a Blackjack and will receive 1.5 times your wager (a 1.5 to 1 payoff), unless the dealer has made a 21 Blackjack as well, in which case the money will be returned. It’s important to note that if this total is made up of three or more cards, it’s not a Blackjack, but rather a total of 21.
Your cards have a value of 17-20: it’s best to stand since if you ask for another card, you’ll almost certainly go over 21 and be Busted. You can also Stand at a total value of 15 or 16, depending on the moment’s inspiration and “luck,” which may or may not be on your side at any particular time. This is especially true if the dealer’s displayed card is between 3 and 6. The probability of exceeding a total of 21 is in these two cases 46.15% and 38.5% respectively.
If the value of your cards is less than 15, you will ask for one additional card (Hit) or more to bring your total closer to 21. For example, if you have a total of 14, your chances of receiving a card with a value of 7 or less are 53.85%, and if you have a total of 13, your chances of receiving a card with a value of 8 or less are 61.5 percent!
When you have an Ace – which you can use as a 1 or 11 of your choice, a hand of 10 (and the dealer’s first card is between 2 and 9) or even a total of 9 (and the dealer’s first card is a 3, 4, 5 or 6), select the Double option; note that you will only gain one extra card after doubling.
Splitting is suggested when you have a pair of 7, 8, or 9; however, it is not advised when you have two 10-value cards (10, J, Q, K) because you already have a total of 20 and selecting this choice will simply reduce your chances of winning.
When the dealer’s first card is an Ace, it pays 50% insurance on the first stake. If the dealer makes a Blackjack, you get your bet + insurance returned. And with a 31 percent chance of landing a 10, jack, queen, or king as a second card, the dealer has a good chance!
If your first hand is weak and the dealer has an Ace or a 10-value card, you should discard. Although your odds of beating him are slim, this function allows you to reclaim half of your capital.
Despite its reputation as a game of chance, Blackjack is not entirely dependent on luck, but rather on the more or less inspired judgments you make over a round. In earlier lines, we’ve discussed a lot about percentages because they play such a crucial role in the game in the long run.