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How to Play Blackjack
Blackjack is a riveting card game which combines skill, strategy and luck in a very unique way. It is easy to play a basic round, but can take a lifetime to master all of its intricacies. To really become a truly successful online blackjack player, it’s essential to have an understanding of basic betting strategy. Many online blackjack websites and online casinos will provide informative articles and simple charts laying out elementary black jack strategy. Armed with this, you should be able to engage in hours of enjoyment while making the correct plays in virtually every situation and make some extra money at the same time!
Basic Online Blackjack Play
The main object of blackjack is to build a hand whose value is as close to 21 as possible, without going over (“busting”). All participants play against the dealer, never in competition with one another. The dealer has a significant advantage over other players in that he acts last, after all other players, making it more likely for a player to bust before the dealer.
To begin the game, the dealer deals two cards to each player face down, with his hand showing one card face-up. Cards 1-10 are counted at face value; picture cards (J, Q and K) are each valued at 10 points; the ace can count as either 11 or 1.
Each player, in turn, has the option to ‘hit’ and receive another card; ‘stand’ and remain with the cards he has; ‘double down’ and double their bet, but receive only one more card; or ‘split’ should they receive two cards of the same numeric value. If a player ‘splits’, the two cards of the same value are played as a separate hand for the same stakes.
After all players have acted, it is the dealer’s turn to act. The dealer must follow a pre-determined set of hit and stand rules, and can never double down or split pairs. Of course, if any of the players have already busted, their losing bets have already been collected by the house. Even if the dealer now busts, those players have still lost their bets.
Blackjack Strategy 101
Learning basic blackjack strategy is easy, but requires some time investment. Essentially, you will need to familiarize yourself with the different situations you will encounter during an online casino blackjack session. One of the best things you can do, especially as you begin to learn and master this game is to find a basic strategy table or chart. This way, you can be sure that you will make the correct move no matter what the situation.
Most modern day blackjack strategy navigates probability according to the players’ potential moves before the dealer acts and dealer’s subsequent hitting and standing restrictions. The general idea is that a player should hit when there is no possibility he can break. Then, with a total of 12 or above, one’s action depends more on the dealer’s up-card. For example, with a player hand of 13 and dealer up-card of 14, the proper strategic move is to stand. According to dealer restrictions, dealer MUST hit their hand, no matter what card is hiding underneath. Since you also have the possibility of busting, why not let the dealer take all the risk? Of course, if the dealer is lucky and does not bust, you will lose the hand. But this is the fun of the game; the fine line between probability and luck.
Helpful Playing Tips
If your goal is to play winning online blackjack, you should always play with a basic strategy table next to you. Eventually, you will have this table committed to memory, but it is vital that you make the proper move for every situation. It’s best not to violate any rules of proper basic strategy until you have the table down cold.
Always play with a win goal and loss limit clearly in mind. Have the discipline to walk away if you reach this loss limit. When you hit your win goal, have a pre-determined sum of money to play with (ie: excess). When your excess is gone, you should be too!
If you wish, you can read about advanced blackjack strategy. Good luck!