8 Blackjack Tips Every Online Player Needs to Know About
Do you enjoy gambling? Do you also enjoy math? Then blackjack may be the game for you.
With a simple goal of reaching 21 (or staying under it), blackjack is easy to play but difficult to master. There are, however, many strategies you can employ to tilt the odds in your favor and win huge prizes.
Want to get that winning edge when at the table? Then here are 8 blackjack tips you should know.
- Never take insurance
Insurance is a type of side bet you can make if the dealer gets an ace as his exposed card. You'd put down half your wager, and if the dealer has blackjack – an ace plus any card worth 10 – you win that side bet.
The odds for insurance bets aren't good. Since the winnings are usually set at 2 to 1, that means if the dealer hits blackjack, you only break even. If they don’t, you lose half of your initial wager.
As you can see, there's no advantage to you taking insurance, so it's best just to avoid doing it.
- Always hit if your total is under 11
Mathematically, if you have a maximum total of 11, no matter what your next card is, you can't bust. Since you have a zero percent chance of busting, it doesn't hurt to hit. That extra card will put you closer to 21...or even hit it!
Plus, the dealer is obligated to keep hitting until their total is 17 or over. When you stand with a total under 11, you're essentially counting on the dealer going bust. On average, the dealer busts around one in every three hands, depending on what cards they start with. If they start with an ace, they will only bust around one in ten times, so you really have to make a good hand to beat them.
- Always stand if your total is 17 or over
The dealer has to stand on 17 or more, so you should do the same. Statistically, it’s not worth taking another card on 17, even if the dealer is showing a 10, as of the 13 possible card values you can be dealt, only four won't bust your hand.
With those kinds of odds, you'll want to stick to what you already have. This is one of the most important tips for beginners to follow.
Experienced players might sometimes hit on a soft 17 or soft 18 (an ace plus a 6, or an ace plus 7) if the dealer starts with 6 or less. The benefit of this is that there is no chance of going bust by taking one more card, so you could improve your hand. On the flipside, you could make it worse, so it’s sometimes not worth the risk. If you're not sure what to do, the safe thing is to stand and hope for the best.
- Always split aces
If you get a pair of aces, you should congratulate yourself! This is one of the best starting hands to split since you have double the chance of hitting 21 if you do so.
If you decline to split the aces, you'll have a total of 2 or soft 12, which can definitely be improved by splitting. Bear in mind that you only get one more card on each ace when you split them, and you cannot hit again. The benefit is that you have a great chance of making two good hands; if you get two 10s then you can only lose to a dealer’s blackjack.
- Always split 8s
A pair of aces is something to rejoice at. On the other hand, a pair of 8s is one of the worst hands possible; it gives you a total of 16, which will bust two out of every three times you hit.
If you stand, however, the dealer will win if they make any hand against you, so that can also be a big risk.
The best thing to do is to split the 8s, therefore lowering your total in each hand to 8. Then you'll have double the chance to build up a good hand again.
- Never split pairs of 10s
When you have a pair of 10s, this gives you a total of 20. It puts you as close as possible to 21 without busting. It's a very strong hand.
Splitting and hoping to get 21s on both hands is greedy, and the probability of doing so is not in your favor. There's double the chance for things to go wrong and to lose twice as badly. Always stand when you have a total of 20.
- Know when to double down
In blackjack, there's a move called "doubling down." You can take this action after you’re dealt your first two cards.
As the name suggests, what you do is double your wager, and in return you get just one more card and cannot hit again after that. This can be a risky move but it can also pay off handsomely if done right.
The dealer’s starting hand should dictate when you double down. If they show a weak card – 6 or under – then you should always double down, especially if your first two cards total 11. There is a good chance that you will make a hand, and also a good chance that the dealer will bust.
If the dealer shows a strong card, such as a 9, 10, or picture card, then don’t double down, as there is a good chance that the dealer will make a hand against you. If you double your wager only to receive a low card, it is highly likely that you will lose the hand.
- Ask other players for help
In some casino games, such as poker, players often face off against each other, but blackjack is a game of comradery. Everyone at the table is playing against the dealer, and the actions of one player can affect the whole table. If you see someone who's winning a lot of their hands, don’t be afraid to ask them for some tips.
If there's a table chat function, you can even ask all the players for some help! Who knows—you might even make some new friends to see every night for some rounds of blackjack. By playing with them often, you're sure to pick up some useful pointers.
Get to Winning With These Blackjack Tips
We've kept these tips simple for you so your head isn't reeling with a bunch of information to retain. These simple blackjack tips should be enough for you to make decent bets and take home small winnings.
Once you get familiar with how blackjack works, you can get online and research more advanced betting tips to increase your chances of winning. Remember not to get greedy and to have fun. By keeping these things in mind, you can start and end your gambling sessions with confidence.
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