The Best Blackjack Tips for Beginners

If you ask someone to name a casino game, blackjack usually comes up pretty early and for good reason - it's one of the simplest, yet fiendishly difficult games to play and anyone could get lucky and win big. It's a game that combines skill and luck in a way that means that experienced players will benefit from a strategic advantage, but the right cards can make anyone a winner.

In blackjack, everyone is playing against the dealer, so there's no need to scrutinise the other players' expressions to try and work out what's in their hands. The basic rules are very simple, but you need to understand them in order to give yourself the best chance of success.

Blackjack is typically played with others in a land-based casino; however the game has also become popular online. Many casino players now opt to play blackjack online due to the convenience and easy accessibility the game has. Mobile casino gaming in particular has made games like blackjack popular online.

Playing the game

Playing the game
Playing the game

Blackjack is played with a regular deck of cards, or multiples thereof, but the suits are unimportant in the game and are never referred to except in rare variations or sidebets from the main game. Each card has a score:

  • Ace - worth one or eleven points
  • Picture or face cards - worth ten points each
  • Number cards - worth their value in points

The score for a hand in blackjack is the total of the points on the cards. Each hand is compared to the dealers' and the one with the higher total wins, up to 21. Scores of 22 or more are bust and lose automatically.

Players are dealt two cards, either face up or face down, and the dealer deals themselves two cards, with one face up and one face down. This gives the players an idea of the hand the dealer might have and how they might play it.

Maximising your chances of winning

Whether you are playing in a casino, or trying your hand at the game online, the key to success is understanding the odds of getting any given card and playing accordingly. Your options are:

  • Stand or stick - keeping your hand as it is
  • Hitting - taking another card
  • Splitting - if you have two cards of the same value, you can split them and play them as two separate hands
  • Doubling down - placing an additional bet and taking another card
  • Surrendering - giving up on half your bet and dropping out of the hand

Using these actions, there are some tips on how to play that will give you a mathematical advantage and increase your chances of winning. Blackjack experts recommend that you play the odds every time and this means:

  • Stand if the dealer's card is between 2-6 and your hand is 12-16
  • Hit if the dealer's card is between 7-ace and your hand is 12-16
  • Always split aces and eights
  • Double if your hand is 11 and the dealer doesn't
  • Try and sit as far away from the first seat as possible to give yourself time to think about your move before the dealer comes to you

Whether you are playing online or in person, you can swing the odds in your favour by remembering these simple tips.

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