Developing a Strategy for Playing Blackjack

There is a something about Blackjack that seems to give American casinos a pleasantly European feeling. Blackjack is the kind of game that you can just see James Bond playing while he waits for his next secret assignment. Not only does playing Blackjack make you feel sophisticated, it is also really easy to learn. Just because Blackjack is easy to learn, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a strategy when you go to play it at the casino.

Don’t Worry About Anyone Else

The first thing you need to understand about Blackjack is that it is only played between two people. It doesn’t matter if there are fifteen people sitting at the same table as you, the only two hands you have to worry about is the one you are holding and the one your dealer is holding. Focus on those cards and ignore any other cards that happen to be on the table.

Stay Below Twenty-one

The whole point of Blackjack is to have a hand that adds up as close to twenty-one as you can get. When you are done playing, whoever has cards that comes the closest to twenty-one wins. The catch is that you can’t go over twenty-one. When you go over twenty-one, you forfeit the hand. Professional Blackjack players say that when the value of your hand reaches seventeen, you should hold. You also need to remember that the dealer must hit when they reach sixteen, but hold firm on seventeen. Also whenever your hand is eleven or less, you should always hit because there is no possible way you can draw a card that will add up to less than twenty-one.

Splitting Hands

If the first two cards that you are dealt are the same face value, you have the option of splitting the cards into two separate hands. The rule of thumb is that when you have a pair of aces, you should split, but if you have a pair of tens you should sit tight.

Don’t Count Cards

The casinos really hate it when they suspect a person of counting cards while playing Blackjack. If the pit boss even suspects you are trying to count cards, you will be asked to leave. The casinos have also set up a system for dealing cards that makes it nearly impossible to card count anyway, so it really is in your best interest to not even try.

Don’t ever lose sight of the fact that Blackjack is still a game of chance. Casinos wouldn’t have Blackjack tables if they didn’t expect to come out ahead in the long run. Having a strategy helps even the odds, but you still need to know exactly how much money you can afford to lose.