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How To Win At Blackjack (Tips For Beginners)

How To Win At Blackjack

Blackjack, or 21, is a real money casino game that can be thrilling and absorbing to play. It’s one of the most popular games available in land-based and online casinos worldwide. The chances of players earning a possible win in this game are higher than in other casino games hence, the popularity. 

In online versions of Blackjack, the house is the dealer, whereas, in real casinos, a dealer is a person you play against. Without further ado, let’s discuss different strategies and tips for possibly winning at Blackjack and what you should avoid when playing this game online.

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Strategy for Winning at Blackjack

Let’s start by talking about the basic strategy for winning at Blackjack. First of all, you should know that the objective in Blackjack is to obtain a sum of 21 or beat the dealer. 

Getting a 21 (Blackjack) could consist of getting an Ace + 10 or Ace + picture card, which might pay higher (usually 3 to 2), but only if you manage to beat the dealer. However, you can also obtain 21 through multiple cards and end up beating the dealer, which would only double your stake. 

In Blackjack, players’ hands are given points according to the ranks of the cards they get. The points given to each card are as follows:

  • An ace is worth 11 or 1 point(s).
  • All face cards (10, J, Q, and K) are worth 10 points. 
  • All other cards are given the value they are assigned already (9 is 9 points, 8 is 8 points, and so on). 

To know what score you or the dealer have, you have to add up the points; whoever has the higher total wins. However, there is one exception. If the player hits a 21, they are direct winners and may receive a payout of 3 to 2. Remember, in Blackjack, your hand is only competing against the dealer’s hand. One last thing to remember is that any hand that exceeds 21 is considered worthless, and the dealer will win automatically.

Tips to Win at Blackjack

Now that we’ve discussed basic Blackjack strategy, let’s look at a few helpful tips that may help you to potentially win at Blackjack! 

  • Always assume the next card to be a 10. Statistically, the odds of that being true are high. Also, make sure to use basic strategy chart cards as they can guide you on the best way to play a certain hand. These charts provide details on when to split, double down, hit, or stand. This doesn’t guarantee any wins but it could greatly improve a player’s odds. 
  • Always make sure to double down on your bet when the first 2 cards you have make up a total of 11. Also, always split pairs of aces and 8’s to try to get a 10.
  • Never split a pair of 5’s or cards with a value of 10. If you get two 5’s, play them like a 10. While playing two 5’s like a 10, players may get a 10. 
  • If you’re hitting a winning streak of 3 or more hands, you may raise your bet a little to try and maximise any potential profits. If you start losing, lower your bet and wait for your hot streak to hit again! 
  • Make sure to play responsibly and safely. To do this, we suggest you limit the money you want to spend on Blackjack in a single visit. Once you reach that limit, cash your chips! 

Betting Patterns in Blackjack

Let’s look at the betting patterns that may be the wisest to use in Blackjack. Players new to the game should aim to bet the same amount on each hand. After you understand how to tackle various hands, you can alter your betting pattern. 

Some of the best Blackjack players alter their betting patterns when on a hot or losing streak. On a hot streak, they might raise their bets to maximise potential wins, whereas, when they feel they are on a losing streak, they might decrease their stake to avoid any significant losses. This is known as the cautious approach. 

When playing Blackjack, players can have 2 approaches:

  • Martingale system: For the daredevils! This system encourages players to double the size of their bet each time they lose. For example, the player bets £2 and loses, meaning they will need to bet £4 on the next hand. If they lose again, they will need to bet £8, and so on. The idea behind this system is that eventually, the player might win which would make up for the previous losses, plus they would win on more units since they originally started with a one-unit bet. This system may allow players to make the most out of potential winning streaks in the short term, however; it may not be an ideal strategy for the long term as the bet sizes may increase significantly.
  • Cautious system; A cautious system encourages players to build betting patterns of increasing or decreasing their bet amounts depending on whether or not they feel they are on a hot or cold streak. This could potentially increase their winning amount, but in reality, it is simply down to luck!

When to Surrender In Blackjack

Surrendering is a special option available in some versions of Blackjack. It allows the player to forfeit half of their bet after the dealer checks to see if they have got a Blackjack (21). In this case, the dealer will take half the bet amount, and the next round will start. It’s very similar to folding in poker. 

A few UK casinos also offer the option of early surrender. This occurs before the dealer checks if he has a Blackjack. Remember, players should only surrender when the perfect opportunity comes. By surrendering at the right time, you can reduce the house edge and potentially increase your chances. 

Players can only surrender any two-card total, and the option for surrendering disappears after you’ve acted on a hand. In a game of Blackjack, it’s best to surrender only in 2 situations:

  • You have a hard total of 16 against the dealers 9, 10/Ace. 
  • You have a hard total of 15 against the dealer’s 10 or Ace. 

Common Blackjack Mistakes to Avoid

To become a good Blackjack player, you should also know about some common mistakes you should avoid. They are as follows:

  • Stick to yourself. Don’t give others opinions or take opinions from others. It’s you vs the dealer/house, and your thought process matters only in your game. 
  • Avoid touching the cards once the game starts. The dealer will do this for you and assist you in any way possible.
  • Electronic devices are strictly prohibited on live game tables. Do not place them on the tables. Avoid using them while playing online games as they will distract you. 
  • Make sure you choose the table that suits you the most. Different Blackjack tables may have different rules. 
  • Don’t get carried away. Use basic Blackjack strategy, e.g. when to hit, stand, double down, or split. 
  • Don’t talk at the table. Use hand signals to guide your dealers on what to do. 
  • Don’t Split 10’s, 5’s, or 4’s. 
  • Don’t stand on a soft 17 (Ace and a 6).