Online Blackjack Strategy

Blackjack has long been a very popular game at online casinos. Not only does it require some forethought and a great deal of skill, it is fun to play and not difficult to win money. As long as you make wise decisions and play the dealer’s hand, you should be able to walk away with some money. Why then, do people often lose a great deal of money playing blackjack? Well, no matter how skilled you are at making decisions, there is always the factor of luck to consider. Bust card percentages are the biggest part to black jack strategy, use them to beat the blackjack dealer.

When you sit down at a blackjack table, you must consider several things. You may be playing only the dealer or you may be playing with other people against the dealer. If you are playing with other people, both your and their decisions can affect the overall outcome. With a single deck game (actually quite rare as most casinos use 2 decks) there are 52 cards. If you have 2 cards and the dealer has 2 cards, the chance of you drawing a specific card is 1 in 48. With two other players, the chances become a bit more complicated as some players may eat up cards by continuing to “hit”.

Playing The Game

Playing Blackjack is relatively simple on the surface and fairly complicated underneath. The card values of Blackjack are as follows:

An Ace is worth either 1 or 11 depending on the cards in your hand.
Any card that is numbered from 2 to 9 counts as the number on the card. (Example: 4 is worth 4) any royalty suit (10-K) counts as a 10.

With regards to the Ace, you may count it as either a 1 or 11 as long as the total does not exceed 21. For example, an Ace and a 5 could be counted as either a total of 6 or 16. Should your next card be a Queen, the Ace would be counted as only a 1 for a total of 16. You could continue to draw cards after this point but exceeding 21 would cause you to automatically lose regardless of the cards in the dealer’s or other player’s hand(s).

Play begins (assuming only the presence of yourself and a dealer) with the dealer dealing two cards to both him and you. One of your cards is face up and one is face down while one of the dealer’s cards is also face down. Should the dealer have a “Blackjack” (Both an Ace and another card worth 10) the dealer automatically wins the hand. In turn, if you receive a Blackjack, you are automatically assured of either a win or a push (when both the dealer and player have the same points in their hand and the bet is pushed to the next hand or returned).

Your Options

When playing the game of Blackjack, you have several options to consider that have a great deal to do with your overall strategy. Become familiar with each option and when to use them.

Surrender: Should you feel like you cannot beat the dealer, you may give up the hand at the cost of half your bet. Most casinos only allow surrenders after the dealer has checked to see if they have a Blackjack. Be wary of using this option too often. A good time to surrender would be if the dealer’s showing card is an Ace and you have two difficult cards to bet such as a 7 and 8.

Hit: You may choose to hit if you think that your hand will become better by receiving an additional card. If you choose to hit and your total exceeds 21, you automatically lose the hand. This same rule applies to the dealer. You may hit as often as you like but should not do so if the odds are too far against you. In contrast, the dealer must stand on a 17.

Stand: If you do not think that your hand will improve by receiving an additional card, you are required to stand or keep your total the same.

Double Down: If you think that you can beat the dealer with only 1 additional card, you may double your bet before receiving that card. When you double down, you must stand on your third card and hope for the best. A good time to double down is when you have a total of 11 (5 and 6) and the dealer’s card is a 5. In this case, your chances of beating the dealer are very good.

Pair Split: If you receive two cards of the same value (8 and 8 is a terrible hand for example) you may elect to split the cards into two different hands that require an additional bet to cover the second hand. This is a good idea with both 8s and Aces. Splitting two Aces is one of the best moves that you can make. However, some online casinos realize this and allow you to receive one additional card for each Ace (just like in double down).

Insurance: If the dealer is showing an Ace, he will allow each player to buy insurance. This is usually a bad idea. You must bet half of your bet to make insurance worthwhile and the chances do not usually justify the bet. If the dealer does have a Blackjack, you will not lose any money on the bet. However, if the dealer does not have Blackjack, you will lose the insurance bet and be forced to continue the hand.

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