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What is Blackjack and how do you play it?

Blackjack stands among the most popular casino card games. This card game entails dealing two cards, where one faces down, and the other card faces up. The card that faces up is the one that the player will start out with.

What is Blackjack and how How is it played?

blackjackBlackjack generally starts with the players making bets. The dealer will then deal two cards to the players and two to himself. Every card counts its face value in the game. The picture cards count as 10, while the ace cards can either be 1 or 11. When you have one card facing up and another down, you can decide to count the amount of the value of the card suppose you’d love another card (hit) to get close enough to 21. If you choose to stand or stay, the next player will have a similar option. The same can go around the table until it is time for the dealer to play. Here, the dealer will also have a similar choice as the first player. Nonetheless, the dealer will have to stop their hand if the amount of the cards dealt with hits 17 points.

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Here are some standard blackjack terms to help you along the way:

  • Hit. A player receives a card. You can hit as many times you want, as long as you don’t go over 21.
  • Stand. When you end your turn to play and pass it to the next player
  • Bust. This is when you go over 21, and you lose.
  • Double Down. This is when you double your bet, where you get one more card and end your turn.
  • Surrender. When you surrender, you bow out of your hand and also lose half of your bet. It is an excellent call if you are likely to lose the entire bet. Nonetheless, top casinos don’t always use the surrender call.
  • Split. Suppose you have two similar cards, like two 6s, you can decide to split and play each card as a separate hand. Here, you’ll need to put up another bet because you’re playing two hands.
  • Natural/Blackjack. Suppose you deal an ace and a ten (face card), it is considered a natural or blackjack.
  • Push/Tie. When you have the same total as the dealer, it is called a push or a tie. Here, you neither win nor lose a bet.

Too many times, most blackjack players think that they have to beat other payers by getting 21 or close enough to it. This is not always the case. Instead, the blackjack player needs to beat the dealer without minding what other players are holding in their hands. You can actually beat the dealer with the lowest possible score.

Blackjack Basic Strategy

Even with a basic blackjack strategy, you can be confident of winning this card game. Here are some of the basic strategies to apply when playing Blackjack;

Surrender Strategy

As you continue playing the blackjack game, you should always consider some situations. For example, you can ask yourself in hand if you should use the surrender call or not. Too many times some blackjack players choose not to use the surrender option. While surrender is merely giving up a hand, it can save you a possible loss of a bet. The goal is to try hard enough and win the hand, but sometimes it’s wise to surrender. When you surrender, you get half of your stake back.

Splitting Pair Strategy

In some situations, it is recommended for a player to split a pair (when they have two similar cards). If you have a pair of 2s or 3s in hand, you can easily split. Nonetheless, you can only split if the dealer has a two through seven. Also, if you have two 6s and the dealer has a three through six, or you have two 7s, and the dealer has a 2 through 7, you can split. Nonetheless, you should avoid splitting if you have a pair of 5s or 10s in your hand.

Doubling Down

This is a playing option that lets you double your initial bet in return for receiving a single draw card. Usually, you will be allowed to double down after you receive your first two cards and before you draw another one. Even though online casinos let you double down for less than your original wager, this is not always a wise bet.
Here is a blackjack strategy guide to help you know when to use them.

blackjack-table

Blackjack Advanced Strategy

As you advance in the Blackjack game and get better, you will also need to up your strategies. Here are some of the advanced blackjack strategies you need to apply in your game;

Rule 45

This rule applies to hands that have a total score of 16 but is made up of a hand with a 4 or 5 in it. In most cases, 16 will be made up of 3 or more cards. Suppose you find yourself against a 10, you are more likely to lose. You can lose even if you hit on your 16 hand and get an extra count of 2. If you have 4-5-7 in your hand and you are up against a 10, you will stand rather than hit.

The Doctor Pepper Rule

If you are dealt a hand with a total score of 12 and the dealer has a 4, you will have 40% odds of winning if you stand and 39 ¾ if you hit. The problem here is that you can end up with a total score of 12 by being dealt either a 7/5, 8/4, 9/3, or 10/2. The Doctor Pepper rule here is to hit a 10/2 hand against a 4 up effectively but still, stand with any other option of a 12 score.

Card Counting

Card counting helps you to have the edge over the house. Nonetheless, this should only be held by players that are experts in the game. It’s all about keeping a running count on every card that has been drawn and given out by the dealer. This helps you determine whether the next hand of cards given out will be valuable or not.

Shuffle Tracking

This blackjack strategy involves tracking a cards deck as they are being shuffled. Tracking the shuffle helps to gain an edge over the house too. If you supplement this strategy with card counting, it can be beneficial in boosting your winning odds into the game. The best way to benefit from this strategy is by first tracking your running card count.

Common Blackjack Myths

The best way to win this card game is to use the perfect Blackjack Perfect strategy. However, some people make mistakes by being misguided by some blackjack myths. Let’s have a look at the common blackjack myths and the truth about them.

Card Counting is Illegal

We saw that card counting can be considered a perfect blackjack strategy for the advanced players. However, some casinos will ban you when they catch you counting cards. But this doesn’t mean that card counting is illegal. The truth is that casinos know that professional card counters have better odds of winning. Just don’t get caught doing so. Also, online casinos don’t have the option because all the cards are shuffled in advance.

It’s Difficult to Beat a Dealer’s Winning Streak

Too any blackjack players avoid joining a table that has a dealer with a long winning streak. Instead, they prefer playing with dealers that lose one, two, many times. Yes, you can tell if a dealer is on a losing or winning streak. However, you cannot tell how long it would last. Generally, the past cannot and will not affect future outcomes.

You need good math skills to win at blackjack

Even though you having good math skills is important when playing blackjack, it isn’t a sure bet of winning. Instead, you will need the best blackjack strategy, along with enough practice if you truly want to win.

Blackjack is a game of luck; you cannot win

This is a major misconception in many games, including blackjack. The truth is that blackjack is a game of skills and strategies. If you depend on luck to give you a win, you will end up losing all your best all the time.

Can Blackjack Strategies help you become better player?

Yes, applying the proper blackjack strategies can always help you win. With the right strategy, you will know when it is the best time to stand, bust, hit, surrender, or even split. Suppose you didn’t have an idea of the strategies to apply, you would end up making the wrong choices in the end. You will also know if you are about to lose all your bet and what you should do about it. With these strategies, you’ll always be sure of becoming a pro in the game and making big wins.

Summary

When playing blackjack, remember that the best way to win is to apply the right strategy in the right situation. Not every strategy is applicable at all times. Also, sometimes it is good not to apply the strategy at all, especially if the odds of winning are low. Remember to practice more if you want to get good at blackjack.

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