Essential Tips For Blackjack

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A Brief History

In September 1956, the first scientific and mathematically sound attempt to devise an optimal blackjack playing strategy was revealed.  Today, many gamblers treat Blackjack as the simplistic and rather rudimentary little brother of some more complex games such as Poker, seeing it as either an easy win or even a complete waste of time. These people, however, could not be further from the truth. Because although Blackjack can appear rather simple, it is in fact quite a complex game, one that requires a set of essential tips.

The objective in Blackjack is to reach a hand value that comes as close as possible to 21 (or ideally the number itself) without exceeding this amount, and one can do this in varying ways. It is not just as simple as the dealer giving you blackjack cards until you are there though, gamblers can make use of varying tactics in Blackjack in order to give them the upper hand.

Digging Deeper

Basic Terminology for Casino Blackjack

Without an essential grasp of Blackjack terminology you certainly will not get far in using any advanced tactics, because almost all of then require some kind of demand from the dealer, let us take a look at how to translate these into words.

  • Hit: This one is incredibly basic, simply meaning to ask for another card from the dealer.
  • Stand: Equally as simple – a stand means you are refraining from another card.
  • Double Down: One of the actions that are included the most in essential tips for Blackjack is the double down. This gives you the chance to raise your bet by 100%, the only drawback here is you can only receive one more card after doing so.
  • Split: Have you received two cards of the same value at the start of your hand? If so you can split these into two separate and distinct hands, therefore raising your odds in the majority of cases. 

When Do I Hit And When Do I Stand? 

One of the most difficult things during a game of Blackjack is choosing whether to hit or stand on any given round. As with the vast majority of casino games, logic and intuition are your best friends here – if your hand is getting precariously close to 21 you will obviously be better off standing.

The worst hands you will get in Blackjack are hard 12s through to 17s, and these will unfortunately appear at a probability of 40% of the time. Never fear though, if you stand at the right time you can minimise your losses, so make sure you remember this. 

The Double Down in Blackjack games

So many first time Blackjack players either forget or are blissfully unaware of the double down action, and it’s a shame, because they could be winning far more money if they were to use it properly.

As with many decisions in the game, deciding whether to double down is as much about the dealer’s hand than it is your own, and the perfect implementation of this tactic relies on both things being perfect. Are you close to 21? Has your dealer got a rubbish hand? Perform the double down and take full advantage!

Question for students (and subscribers): Have you ever played Blackjack?  Please let us know in the comments section below this article.

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Historical Evidence

For more information, please see…

Donnelly, Sean.  A Concise History of Card Games.  2014.

The featured image in this article, a photograph by BuickCenturyDriver of a Blackjack hand, Ace of clubs and 10 of diamonds, has been released into the public domain worldwide by the copyright holder of this work.


About Author

Abdul Alhazred

“But I don’t want to go among mad people," Alice remarked. "Oh, you can’t help that," said the Cat: "we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad." "How do you know I’m mad?" said Alice. "You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn’t have come here.” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland