Basic BlackJack Strategy Guide

Basic BlackJack Strategy Guide

Online casino fans have never had it so good when it comes to the amount of choice available. Not only are the number of online casino sites expanding at an ever-increasing rate, but the quantity of games also appears to be growing all the time – particularly in the realm of slots.

Despite this increased cast of gaming characters, there are still those classics which manage to maintain an impressive share of the market. Included amongst that number is the historic card game of BlackJack. Dating back to the 18th Century, this contest to achieve a hand with a total as close to 21 as possible continues to hit the Casino News headlines. Whether you are playing at an Irish Online Casino or in a real-world bricks and mortar establishment, you are almost certain to find BlackJack on offer.

 

Increase Your Odds with Basic Strategy

Already one of the better value casino games for the player, BlackJack boasts a house edge of only around 2%. That’s a solid enough reason to play the game ahead of other options such as slots. 

However, things get even better should you play the game according to the perfect basic strategy. Do so and you can decrease this house edge to under 0.5%, greatly increasing your chances of posting a winning session.

 

A Simple Game

Blackjack is a very simple game to play. Players are initially dealt two cards and must decide between sticking with their hand (stand) or taking an additional card, with the aim of achieving a total closer to 21 than the hand of the dealer. But beware, don’t go over 21 or you will bust, resulting in your hand being declared dead and the loss of your stake.

 

Basic Strategy Quick Rules

  • Always Stand on unsplittable totals of 17 or higher.
  • Always take a card on totals of 11 or under.
  • If the dealer has a 2,3,4,5, or 6 showing: Stand when your hand totals 12,13,14,15 or 16, 
  • If the dealer has a 7,8,9,10, J, Q, K or A showing: Take a card on totals of 12,13,14,15 or 16.

 

Basic Split Rules

  • Always split Aces and Eights.
  • Never split 4’s, 5s or 10’s.
  • Split 2’s, 3’s, 6’s, 7’s and 9’s if the dealer is showing a 2,3,4,5 or 6.

 

Basic Double-Down Rules

  • Double down if you have a total of 11, and the dealer is showing any card 2-10.
  • Double down if you have a total of 9 and the dealer is showing a 2,3,4,5 or 6.
  • Double down when you have a total of 10 or 11 and the dealer’s card is 9 or below (but not an ace).
  • Double down if your hand is a soft 16, 17 or 18 i.e. A-5, A-6 or A-7, and the dealer is showing a 2,3,4,5 or 6.

 

Additional Quick Tips

  • Never pay insurance. The house edge on this bet can be up to 6%.
  • When taking a seat, sit as far to the left as possible if the table is busy. Good advice for new players, as this will give you a little longer to think about your decision.

Photo by Leighton Smith on Unsplash

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