How to win at Blackjack – tips and fundamentals

Before we jump into the strategies behind the glorious card game known as Blackjack, let’s take a look at the fundamentals so that we know what we’re working with here. We’re trying to keep this as simple as possible, so here’s a quick guide of how to play blackjack.

  • Player will need to hit cards as close to the number 21 as possible (without going over it)
  • Face cards are valued 10, rest of the cards will be their original value
  • There are two basic actions a player can make: Hit (more cards) or Stand (no more cards)
  • If you go over 21, your hand is “dead” and you lose all your bets, regardless what the dealers hand was

So in a nutshell: Your only goal in blackjack is to get a number 21 or the highest possible number without going over 21. Dealer will try to do the same. Blackjack might sound simple, but believe us, it’s pretty complicated if you want to have consistent success with it. The actual rules are fairly simple, but inexperienced players can make major mistakes that will automatically lower the chances of a win. If you’re looking how to win at blackjack, read our full guide and memorize the fundamentals we’re about to show you! Good luck.

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Pick a strategy and stick with it

First step of winning in blackjack is understanding the fact, that there are several different ways of optimising different strategies. There isn’t just one strategy that’s going to give you consistent winnings, but all the different ones have something in common: mathematics. There isn’t a single person in the world who can say they’re winning EVERY TIME they play blackjack, but there certainly is people who can maximize the CHANCE of winning by learning different strategies and executing them accordingly. There are two main categories for blackjack strategy:

  1. Betting strategies – different bet sizes, cycles, etc.
  2. Playing strategies – gameplay related strategies with mathematics involved

If you’re not too serious about blackjack and you’re out there just having fun, you should focus more on the betting strategies than playing strategies. Don’t get us wrong, it’s always a huge benefit if you know the ins and outs of the game, but to be quite honest with you, honing a perfect blackjack strategy might take quite some time to achieve.

Once you’ve picked your favourite strategy, make sure you stick with it. You need a proper sample size in order to determine if that strategy is working for you. Don’t abandon it when you lose for the first time, but see how you’re able to fight through the evident downswings blackjack has to offer.

Splitting

Splitting is a term used on a blackjack table, when the player is dealt two identical cards (same number). When this happens (for example, you’ll get two 8’s), player has the ability to split the cards in two separate hands. This will obviously mean that you need to place additional bets for the second hand you’ve just created. How to split cards at blackjack depends of what kind of house rules you’re facing at the moment. The general rule of thumb should be something like this:

  • Always split when you’ve been dealt Aces or 8’s
  • You should avoid splitting 5’s and 10’s
  • If the dealer has something between 4 and 7, you should looking to split lower cards like 2’s and 3’s
  • If the dealer has face value of 3 to 6, split 6’s
  • If the dealer has face value 2 to 7, split 7’s
  • If the dealer has face value of 2 to 6 or 8 to 9, split 9’s

By following the numbers shown above, you’re already on your way of playing optimized blackjack.

Doubling

Like every other rule in blackjack, these can be vary between different casinos. So make sure you understand the specific rules for each table, before trying to apply anything strategy-wise. One of the most important part of playing blackjack, is knowing how to double your bets when the opportunity arises. Most casinos only allow players to double their bets, if the face value of the first two cards is 10 or 11.

Doubling means that you’re simply going to add another bet to your initial hand, and you’re going to receive ONE (1) card after that. Regardless of what the card is, no more cards will be dealt to your hand that you just double.

Things to avoid at Blackjack

One of the biggest thing to avoid when trying to win at blackjack is the “snowball effect”. Many casinos allow you to split and double your hands until you have no chips left to play with. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you might end up doubling and splitting cards you should not be doubling and splitting. Make sure you pay attention what the dealer has, because for example if the dealer has an ace, it’s probably not good idea to invest a lot of money on that round.

Blackjack is a game where the total profits are determined in the long run, so you should not be rushing in attempt to make a quick dollar out of this game.

FAQ

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Unfortunately no. If there were, everyone would be using it. Having a winning strategy on blackjack is a variation of multiple different things such as discipline, ability to follow learnt strategies and bankroll management.
No, but you can definitely lose less. Live blackjack games are slow paced compared to the ones where you play against "computer". Less hands dealt means less possible scenarios where you lose.
It depends on the rules and other variables, but in general, blackjack games has a house edge of 1 to 3 %, which is significantly lower than in any other table game.
Blackjack has tens of different variations available, but most of these are meant just for entertainment. If there are any "bonus" games involved, such as "perfect pairs" or "21+3", it usually means that the house edge is multiple % units higher than on regular blackjack tables.

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