Blackjack is a casino game that is played using one or more decks of cards. The goal of the game is to accumulate cards that total as close to 21 as possible without going over. The player is dealt two cards and may choose to stand (stop drawing cards) or draw more based on a set of rules.
Unlike most casino games, blackjack has a small advantage for the casino because of the house edge. However, if you follow perfect blackjack strategy, you can reduce this advantage to less than 1% and increase your chances of winning.
Learn About Basic Strategy
If you’re a beginner to the game of blackjack, you can use basic strategy to guide your play. This strategy is based on millions of hands that have been played over time and will help you make the best decision on each hand.
There are many different strategies to follow, but a few of the most common are:
Hit and Stand on Soft 17s
When you’re dealt a soft 17 (Ace and a 6 card), you have to decide whether or not to hit. If you choose to hit, you’ll gain a slight edge with a 22% chance of winning. But if you stand, you’ll have a 58% chance of losing.
Don’t Split Two 10’s
A pair of tens is very strong in blackjack, so it is important to avoid splitting them. If you do, your hand has a total of 21, and you won’t have a blackjack.
Insurance is a side bet that pays 2:1, but it’s not recommended for beginners to the game of blackjack. This bet has a negative expected value and isn’t worth it for a player who doesn’t have direct knowledge of the dealer’s “hole card.”
Don’t Split Two Aces
The most common mistake made by new players is to split two pairs of aces. A pair of aces is a very strong hand, but you should only split it up to three times. Taking additional “hits” on a split ace will increase your odds of winning, but this is not worth it if you’re not getting a Blackjack.
Don’t Surrender if You Have a 7 or More
A dealer’s up card is usually a 4, and there is a 40% chance they will bust. If you stand on a hand with a dealer’s 7 or more, you will lose your bet 60% of the time.
Don’t Stand on a Hard 17
A hard 17 is when you have an Ace and a face card. It’s a good hand, but you should only stand on a hard 17 if the dealer is showing a 10, 11, or an ace.
Don’t Bet if You Have a Soft 17 or a Dealer Showing a 4
The dealer’s upcard is usually a 4, and there is re a 40% chance they will bust. So, if you have a hand with an Ace and a face card, it’s best to hit.