Online blackjack, also known as 21, has long been a popular card game among both the land and online casino community. Part of its popularity results from the fact that blackjack strategy, unlike some casino games, requires informed decision-making and tactical thinking on the part of players who want to maximize their returns.
Knowing the rules is one thing, but knowing how to win at blackjack online and casino games is another.
Here, GamblingCity.com outlines a winning blackjack strategy and explains how to use which tactic and when.
Winning Black Jack Strategy—When to Split, Double Down or Just Give Up
Split: If a player’s first two cards have the same rank, the player can choose to make an additional bet and play as if each card is the start of a new hand.
A player can use this basic online blackjack strategy when his starting hand consists of pairs. Placing an equivalent bet next to your initial bet indicates to the dealer that you are splitting your pairs. When you split pairs you create an additional hand and the dealer issues cards for each hand.
A split bet is a good bet to make if a player has paired middle cards (sixes, sevens, eights), a bad bet if he has paired high cards (nines, tens) and a very smart bet with aces.
Double Down: For an additional bet, a player can take only one additional card.
For example, players employ this strategy with a starting hand of four-seven, for a total score of eleven. The player places an additional bet behind his cards, signaling to the dealer that he wants to double down. The dealer deals the next card, a queen, and places it across the top card. The player now has a total score of twenty-one.
Double down bets are best when the player’s starting hand totals ten or eleven and the dealer is showing a weak up card (four, five or six).
Surrender: This option allows the player to lose only half their original bet before seeing the dealer’s down card.
For example, a player has a total of fifteen and the dealer’s up card is a jack. If the player hits, he risks busting. If he stands, he risks losing to the dealer’s better hand. His best option is to surrender and only lose half his bet rather than risk losing it all.
Surrender is a way to “stop the bleeding” if the player’s weak hand runs into a dealer’s strong up card.
Insurance: If the dealer’s up card is an ace, the dealer will offer the chance to make an “insurance” bet of an amount up to half the original bet. The player wins the insurance bet only if the dealer’s starting hand is a “natural”.
The only time the insurance bet is a good bet for the player is if the player also has a “natural”. This bet insures that the player will at least get even money ($10 on a $10 bet) instead of a “push”. Otherwise, this online blackjack strategy is a losing proposition.
Winning Black Jack Strategy—Expert Black Jack Tips
Here are the best tips we know for winning blackjack:
- Play within your bankroll. Don’t overextend your gambling money to impress anybody or pretend you’re a high roller. You’ll have a lot more fun by playing within your roll and comfort level.
- Learn the basic strategy charts. Not only will you make the most profitable decisions every time, you’ll also keep the game flowing smoothly. Don’t be that person who can’t decide if they want to hit on sixteen with the dealer showing an up card of nine; you’ll hold up the game for both the dealer and the other players.
- Keep your cool. The purpose of the game is to have fun; if you’re spending too much or if you’re angry at the dealer for pulling out a lucky card to beat you, step back, take a walk and go over your strategies again before jumping back into the pit.
- Tip the dealer. Most of dealer’s income is earned in tips. One method to tip a dealer is to place a smaller bet alongside a larger bet and let the dealer know that the second bet is for him. If you lose, he keeps the tip. If the dealer wins, he keeps the tip and the winnings. While tipping doesn’t influence the cards, it might make the dealer more sympathetic to your troubles when you’re losing.
Follow the above tips and strategies to improve your game. The next time you play blackjack, you’ll likely walk away a winner.