Blackjack can be played in numerous different ways, depending on your bankroll, gaming level and genera aspirations at the table. Check out how to play the game, from novice to pro.
If you’re completely new to blackjack, you can get to grips with the game, by simply trying to beat the dealer (in simple terms, hit to form a combo as close to 21 as you can, then stand). Although there’s no strategy used in playing blackjack in this manner and it does favour the casino, many recreational gamers always play in this manner! Fortunately, you’ll soon be able to play with a little more strategic intent, but by using bonus cash and low wager levels, it’s a low-risk way to test run online blackjack.
The logical novice strategy
Ok – so you’re ready for doing more than simply trying to beat the dealer with fundamental logic, luck and instinct? In that case – turn up the heat a little by applying the very basics of blackjack strategy. By playing the game with the 4 moves illustrated below, you can expect to limit the house edge to about 1.5%. Yes, the casino will still have an advantage, but you can expect better results than playing with zero strategic power:
- Move 1. Hit until you hand is worth 17+ or alternatively soft 18, and the casino has 7+
- Move 2. If the casino up-card is 6<, hit until your hand value is scores 12+
- Move 3. Double-wager if your hand is 10 or 11 and the house has a 9 or lower Move 4. Split aces and 8’s
Once you’re comfortable playing blackjack with simple strategic methods, you’ll want to get our hands on a full ‘basic blackjack strategy’ guide, which are freely available on the Internet. If you can learn to apply the rules perfectly, basic strategy can have you playing with at a disadvantage of only about 0.5% – making it much easier to form winning hands and enjoy regular winning sessions. In addition – nothing’s better than really being able to apply blackjack strategy at free will and high speed – you really start to feel like a Vegas pro (well almost anyway). It’s also highly advisable to play blackjack with level stakes, to streamline your strategic results and prevent inevitable turns of luck (you can always increase your stake level when your skill increases, but try to keep them stable).
When it comes to really beating the casino and becoming an advanced intermediate blackjack player or ultimately a professional grade player – you do need more than the basic strategic moves. Card counting is the method for analysing the pack to know when the edge is yours, and when to bet to bring down the dealer. Card counting is a complex skill – but it is available to anyone who has the time and dedication to learn and perfect the ultimate casino skill.