Best Blackjack Strategies
Blue Lake Casino Hotel
Blackjack is one of the most popular games at any casino. Here at Blue Lake Casino Hotel, our blackjack tables stay busy. That’s because the game is relatively easy to learn, it’s fast-paced, and it has good odds for winning. Beginners and seasoned players alike love to play blackjack.
Of course, most people love to win, no matter what game they are playing. So learning a few strategies to increase your chances of winning will only make the game more fun and exciting.
What is Blackjack?
Blackjack is a simple card game that involves trying to beat the dealer. Blackjack players do not compete against each other. Each player is given two cards to start, and they can ask for more cards in an attempt to get the total face value of their hand to equal 21, or as close to it as they can get without going over.
How to Play Blackjack
Blackjack play starts with each player being given two cards: one face up, and one face down. Players look at their cards and decide if they need to get additional cards to make 21. All cards have the value of their number, and face cards (Jack, Queen, King) have a value of 10. An Ace can have a value of 1 or 11, as the player decides. A “natural” or a “blackjack” is a two-card hand consisting of a face card and an Ace.
Most players are not lucky enough to be dealt a blackjack with their first two cards. Therefore, they need to ask for more cards. To “hit” is to ask for another card. A player can hit as many times as they like until they go over 21 or they can decide to “stand” to finalize their hand.
Each player will be given the opportunity to hit or stand. Once all players have decided to stand, the dealer will play their hand. In most casinos, a dealer must hit if their hand is less than 16, and they must stand if their hand is 17 or more. This is helpful for a player to know when deciding whether to hit or stand and how much to bet.
After the dealer has finalized their hand, bets will be paid out. If a player is closer to 21 than the dealer, the player wins the bet. If a player gets 21, the player wins the bet. If a player and the dealer both get 21, the person who did so with fewer cards will win the bet.
Basic Blackjack Strategies
There’s no need to study cards and work out odds for numerous combinations as many blackjack experts have already done the work. The result is a list of strategies that you can rely on if you are looking at a certain type of hand. Keep in mind that a hand is considered “soft” if it includes an Ace since the value can change as needed. A hand is “hard” if the values cannot change.
This strategy can get quite complex, and well beyond the scope of this article. However, it involves either counting the cards that have been played so that you know what your odds are of getting particular cards in the number remaining or assigning a point value to each card to track odds. Be careful about card counting: Many consider it unethical, and some casinos have strict rules against it, including Blue Lake Casino Hotel – if you are caught counting cards, you will be asked to leave and your card playing privileges may be revoked.
Shuffle tracking is similar to card counting, but it is done through monitoring sequences of cards through a series of shuffles. Again, it is complex and goes beyond the scope of this article, but the idea is that it gives you the odds of drawing future cards so that you can make informed choices.
Advanced Blackjack Strategies
Once you get comfortable with these basic strategies, you can start to try some advanced methods, such as:
To surrender means that you give up 50 cents for every $1 that you bet. So you are only losing half the bet you would have if you played out the whole hand and lost. You should surrender if:
- You have a hard 15 and the dealer has a 10 showing.
- You have a hard 16 (but NOT a pair of 8s) and the dealer has a 9, 10, or Ace showing.
Splitting your hand means to separate your two cards and turn them into two hands that you play on to get to 21. You should split when:
- You have Aces or 8s.
- You have 2s or 3s and the dealer has a 4, 5, 6, or 7.
- You have 6s and the dealer has a 3, 4, 5, or 6.
- You have 7s and the dealer has a 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7.
- You have 9s and the dealer has a 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, or 9. Do NOT split if the dealer has a 7.
Do not split 5s or 10s.
To double means that you double your bet but agree to only get one more card. You should double your bet when:
- You have hard 9s and the dealer has a 3, 4, 5, or 6.
- You have a hard 10 — unless the dealer also has a 10 or Ace.
- You have a hard 11 — unless the dealer also has an Ace.
- You have a soft 13 or 14 and the dealer has a 5 or 6.
- You have a soft 15 or 16 and the dealer has a 4 or 6.
- You have a soft 17 or 18 and the dealer has a 3 or 6.
Hit & Stand
- You should hit if you have a hard 11 or less.
- Stand if you have a hard 12 and the dealer has a 4, 5, or 6.
- Stand if you have a hard 13, 14, 15, or 16 and the dealer has a 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6.
- Stand if you have a hard 17 or greater.
- Stand if you have a soft 18 – unless the dealer has a 9, 10, or Ace.
- Stand if you have a soft 19 or greater.
Blackjack Strategy Charts
There are many charts that outline strategies for certain hands or card combinations and give you the odds of winning. Familiarize yourself with these charts, and commit them to memory if you can. They will help you make better choices and better bets, which can help you win big.
Play Blackjack at Blue Lake Casino
Blue Lake Casino offers some of the best blackjack tables in the region. Join us today for friendly service, exciting game play, and great odds! We offer comfortable seating, stylish decor, delicious food, and player rewards.
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