It is common for blackjack beginners to stick to what they know and
only either hit or stand. Though this gives beginners a level of comfort, an
understanding of a few of the more complex blackjack moves such as
splitting, doubling down, surrendering and insurance, can greatly increase
a player’s edge and odds of winning. If you are sufficiently comfortable
with the very basic of the basics, move on and begin to implement these
other tricks of the trade.
You can split your cards when you are dealt a 2-card hand of pairs.
If your hand consists of two identically valued cards you can split these
two cards to create a new hand that can be played independently. You
signal to the dealer that you want to split cards by placing a second bet
next to your first bet in the betting circle on the table. Do not stack your
bets on top of one another or separate the cards yourself. Players are not
allowed to touch the cards. After the cards are split you will take cards or
stand according to the hand you’re dealt. Some casinos will let you double
down on a split hand (i.e., place double bets on each of the two hands,
effectively quadrupling your initial bet) but only immediately after the
initial split. This is a rule in favor of the player, which is why many casinos
don’t offer it.
When and when not to split:
- 5s 10s and face cards should never be split (A pair of 5s
- 5s, 10s, and face cards should never be split. (A pair of 5s
adds to 10, which is quite easy and likely to reach 20 on a hit. A
pair of 10s or face cards is already 20 and a pat hand.)
- Always split Aces and 8s. (The fact that Aces can be valued
at either 1 or 11 makes them uniquely good for basing a soft hand.
Two 8s total 16, which is the worst of stiff hands – better to split
this, as it could hardly be worse.)
Doubling down, aka doubling your bet, can be a very nice move
for increasing your winnings but only if you are sure you have a
strong hand. You can only double down when you have a 2-card
hand – that is, before you have taken any additional cards. To
signal to the dealer that you wish to double down, place a new bet
next to your old one. Many casinos will let you double down for
less than your original bet as long as it meets the table minimum,
but this is a foolish choice. Being that you only double down
when you are sure you are in a positive situation it is much to
your advantage to bet the maximum. With your two cards, you
can double down, but after doing so you can only take one more
card. If your three cards totals 21 or beats the dealer’s hand, you
win double what you would have from winning your initial bet.
Try not to be afraid of losing a double bet; remember you should
only be trying this on a really strong hand so you should be sure
of your odds of winning.
When and when not to double down:
- Always double down on a hand of 11. (This has a high
probability of hitting 21 on a single card.)
- If your hand includes a 10 card and the dealer’s up card is 9
or lower, double down. (The dealer must take another card if his
Surrender is an option for those that know they have a losing
hand and want to cut their losses. Surrendering allows you to fold
at the cost of half your original bet. Surrendering must occur at
the beginning of a hand, i.e. before the player has taken any
additional cards. Usually it occurs after the dealer checks to see if
he or she has blackjack and is not allowed in the event of a dealer
blackjack; this is known as “late surrender”. In some casinos, the
option of “early surrender” is allowed, in which the surrender
takes place before the dealer checks for a blackjack. This is of
course more favorable to the players and is not commonly
offered. Many casinos do not offer surrendering at all, so in a lot
of cases it’s not even an option. Surrender can be a valuable
option if you have a good sense for when a hand is certain to lose.
The question arises, then, of when to surrender. It’s easier to say
when you should not. You should not surrender if you have a pat
hand, or if the dealer’s up card is 4-6, or if your hand totals 11 or
less, or if you have a soft hand. What does that leave? A stiff hand
(especially 15 or 16) when the dealer has 7 or higher showing
(especially a 10 card or Ace). Essentially, for this move to pay off,
your chances of winning the hand have to be 25% or less.
Surrender is a good idea only when you are almost sure to lose,
and when in doubt, play the hand.
Insurance can be played when the blackjack dealer has an upcard of Ace. In an insurance bet, you may wager up to half of your
original bet. Following an insurance bet, the dealer checks his
face-down card to see if he has blackjack. If he does have
bl k k h b
blackjack, then you receive a 2:1 payout on your insurance bet,
meaning that even if you lose your initial bet, you break even.
Insurance is a very dubious practice, however, because of the
overall negative effect it has on winnings. Taking insurance
sounds like a good idea because it is ensuring that you at least
break even if the dealer has 21. If the house does get blackjack
then the player loses the bet but wins off of the insurance. If the
house does not have blackjack then the player loses the insurance
but makes it back in the bet. Since the dealer has only about a
1/3 chance to make a blackjack with an ace showing, the odds are
that the insurance bet will be lost. However, there is one
exception to this general rule. If you are counting cards and the
number of 10s and face cards in players’ hands is low (or,
especially, zero), then the chances of a dealer blackjack go up
considerably, and there comes a point when insurance is a good
The House Edge
“House Edge” is a phrase most people are familiar with. The term
refers to the percentage of advantage that the casino has over the players.
As most people are aware, the house always comes out the winner in the
long run. This is because for each game the house will retain a certain
percentage of the money bet in the game. To put it simply, in a game
where the casino has a 10% edge, the house will keep 10% of all the money
bet in that game. For example, 먹튀검증 if $10,000 dollars is bet during a game at a
table, the house is going to end up keeping at least $1,000.
Games vary in the amount of edge the house has. Keno can have an
incredibly high house edge of up to 29% whereas games like craps can be
around 16% and roulette around 5%. Blackjack is often popular because it has a comparatively low house edge, and by applying even a basic understanding of game strategy one can greatly decrease the house’s effective edge (that is, the amount the house actually takes, which can be less than the official edge due to player winnings). If a player has mastered a few of the more sophisticated playing techniques he can drop the house edge to below 1%.
In blackjack, the dealer always has an advantage because one of his cards is hidden from the view of the players, forcing those without knowledge of strategy to make their decisions based on faith and their gut. This is another way the house rakes in their money and the reason you will often see a lot of low limit tables. Casinos love novice players because they represent easy earnings; this is also why many casinos give first time visitors free gambling money. With a large percentage of players having no grasp of even the simplest of blackjack strategies, the house very easily takes home more than its fair share. Learning techniques and strategies like odds, card counting, and splitting, all give a player an obvious edge over others at the table that might not even know of the existence of such things.
Blackjack is an immensely popular game both in casinos and online. One of the reasons for this is the ability to severely cut down the house’s edge. Unlike games where everything is based on luck such as roulette and slots, the outcome of a game of blackjack depends largely on the player’s decisions. In terms of gambling, blackjack is very player oriented and player determinative. You won’t see players that are inactive at the table walking away with money.
Many enjoy blackjack at casinos because it is a fairly social game. Unlike poker where players carefully guard their cards and expressions, blackjack players tend to be more talkative, and because their cards are exposed at all times, they generally do not feel the need to be as secretive. Blackjack players often encourage one another, congratulating one another for good hands, and offering sympathy on bad ones. Also, because all players are playing only against the dealer and not against each other, you can often hear more seasoned players giving newbies bits of advice.
Online casinos provide a different kind of excitement for players. With virtual tables at a wide variety of stakes you can either practice at free game tables or test your skills at no limit ones.
Whether online or live, blackjack is meant to be a fun and enjoyable game where skilled players have good odds of winning.