Part of blackjack’s appeal is that it isn’t all about luck, since every hand you’re dealt requires make-or-break decisions on your part. Therefore, it’s absolutely vital that you have a good understanding of basic blackjack strategy, especially if you’re going to play real money blackjack online.
It’s important to note that using blackjack strategy doesn’t guarantee you’ll win, but it can enhance your chances in the short term. Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to be aware of.
Don’t like to risk it all? Surrendering might be the strategy for you. If a wager looks like it’ll perform badly, players can surrender their hand and receive half their stake back before losing it all. You can choose to surrender early or late, with the latter being the most popular variation. Here, the dealer checks for blackjack before the player surrenders, meaning their wager is still at risk. With early surrender, players can bail out before the dealer checks. Bear in mind, surrender isn’t an option in all blackjack games online.
In the event you’re dealt two cards with the same value, you can split them to make two hands. Since you’ll have more cards, and therefore more numbers to play with, it ups your chances of making 21. The rule of thumb is you should always split Aces and eights, and you should never split fives and 10s.
Hit or Stand
The question at the heart of blackjack is whether to hit or stand. It’s useful to look up basic blackjack strategy to get a good grounding — some of the common rules include always hitting on a hard 11 or less, always standing on a hard 17 or higher, and always hitting on a soft 17 or lower. One of the advantages of playing online blackjack games, compared to playing in a casino, is you can have the basic strategy guidelines open on a separate screen to consult as you play.
Many bettors like to adhere to blackjack betting systems, where you adjust your bets depending on whether you’ve been winning or losing hands. A famous example is the Martingale system, where the stake is doubled per hand until you finally win, at which point you’ll recoup your losses and make a profit. Of course, this is risky as your bankroll may run out before your losing streak ends, and table limits may prevent you from seeing the system through. Ultimately, betting systems can never guarantee you’ll win at blackjack, but they can be a useful way to strategize your play and manage your budget.