Blackjack Strategy, Systems And TipsIn the fact-based film, six MIT students are trained to become experts in card counting and subsequently take Vegas casinos for millions in winnings. Well…wake up wide-eyed potential blackjack players…that’s not happening in ‘real’ life – but that shouldn’t be a detraction from playing – it’s just a reality. Casinos now often use more than one deck or take a percentage of the cards out of the deck that the players never see. However, blackjack does offer an extremely fun time – and if you pay attention to your cards, the dealers’ hand – and any other player’s face-up cards – you’ll have a really good chance of winning just like you did when you were a kid beating mom at home (okay it was probably dad). Okay, with all of that said, let’s take a look at the rules on blackjack. Blackjack is played with one (or more) standard 52-card decks with each card from 2-10 being worth its face denomination. Jacks, Queens and Kings are all worth 10 and aces can be used as either 1 or 11. The object of the game is to draw cards that total as close to – or exactly – 21, without going over, while beating the dealer’s total. Pure blackjack is a two-card combination that totals 21. The payback for this is usually 3-2. If the dealer ties or ‘pushes’, then players can get their original bets back or let it ride on another hand, depending on where you’re playing. The game is usually played in a ‘semi-circle’ kind of table with seats for up to seven players with the dealer having a spot behind the table. There is a placard placed on one end of the table that tells players the minimum bet they can place.
HitWhen you want to take another card in the hopes of getting closer to 21, you’re going to say ‘hit’ though not with your voice. Depending on what form of blackjack you’re playing, players will either point to their cards, scratch the cards on the table or wave them. Verbal calls are not permitted as signals are used to decide any discrepancy using the casino’s security cameras.
Stand‘Standing’ means you don’t want another hit. Players will motion with a flattened palm or some other means that are accepted at your chosen casino. Make sure to ask about ‘doubling down’ and ‘splitting’ cards of the same denomination.
StrategyThere are literally tons of blackjack strategies out there that can be viewed online with the click of a button. However, some simple strategies that you can use are standing on all hands of 12 or more so that drawing a 10 will not result in a busted hand before the dealer’s hand is played. Also, players should be able to make an educated estimate on the dealer’s face down card, thanks to the face-up card being shown. Remember, the face value of any unseen cards is most likely 10 with four of the 13 denominations in the deck totaling a perfect 10. Some other ‘basic’ strategies say players should always take a hit when they have eight or under while never taking a hit when they have 17 or more. Here are some additional strategy tips to remember:
- Always hit soft on 17 or less
- Always stand hard on 17 or more
- Always split 8’s
- Always split double A’s
- Never split 5’s or 10’s
- Always hit hard on 11 or less