Blackjack is one of the most popular casino table games, available in all online casinos – and offline casinos as well – all around the world. The secret of its popularity may be the fact that it has some really easy rules, and that players have an almost 50% chance of winning a round of blackjack.
Most beginners sit down to – or join, in case of an online casino – a blackjack table without the faintest idea of what this game is about and how you suppose to play it. Yes, the basic rules of the game are simple, but if you want to win, you have to know when to do what.
There are two secrets to becoming a good blackjack player. These two are ‘know when to hit or stand’ and ‘always be aware of the dealer’s upcard’. Let me explain.
Know when to hit or stand
Blackjack is mostly a game of chance, so it needs only a basic strategy. Most of the times the player can take just a few decisions: when to hit, when to stand, when to double and when to surrender. These decisions are influenced by the player’s own hand and the upcard the dealer is showing. Also, there is the thing called ‘splitting’, but that doesn’t occur that often…
Most of the decisions a player has to face are about hitting and standing. To take the correct decision, the player has to be aware of the value of his hand in the first place. If the hand has a low value, under 10, for instance, hitting is the action of choice. If the hand becomes ‘stiff’ – meaning that the right card can boost its value over 21, it’s the dealer’s upcard that has the most influence.
There are not so many possible variants – blackjack is a simple game, as I said before. There are lots of blackjack strategy guides with tables showing when to hit and when to stand. What’s important is to know this – know what you do before you do it.
Observe the dealer’s upcard carefully
The value of the player’s hand accounts for only half of the player’s decisions to make. The dealer’s hand accounts for the other half. Before making a decision or taking an action, you have the advantage to see one of the two cards the dealer has, and decide accordingly.
First of all, always assume the dealer has a downcard with a value of 10. If the dealer’s upcard has a low value, between 2 and 6, he will surely hit, thus increasing his chance to go bust. If the upcard has a high value, between 7 and 11 (ace), he can stand at any time – and usually will, if he can win with it.
Keeping these two in mind before starting to bet at the blackjack table can help you become a better blackjack player and avoid unnecessary losses.