How to play Blackjack well

If you’re intrigued by casino games and the culture around them, the best way to get into them for real is probably to try a few hands of blackjack. It’s one of the easiest games to understand in a casino – you just need to get your cards to add up to as close to 21 as possible (without going over).

There’s a little more to the strategy of it, but these are the basics as understood by the many players who head to on a regular basis to find a new casino. When you’re getting started at an online casino, the simplicity of blackjack will make it a welcoming game.

But knowing how to play blackjack is one thing. Knowing how to play it well is another, and if you’re playing for money, you should be thinking that you want to play well. After all, it’s better that the money ends up with you than in the accounts of the casino.

So having at least a few concepts nailed down before you embark on a round of blackjack at an online casino is in your best interests – and the following tips are the three most important bits of knowledge you can combine to make yourself better at blackjack.

Double down on 11

If you’ve got 11 on the table, then you are a 10 or a picture card away from 21. There are also a few other cards that could make a straightforward win here, so getting a total of 11 in your first two cards is a very solid positive. Whatever the dealer is showing, you have a better-than-usual chance of beating it, so choose to double down.

This means doubling your bet and getting another card. Most of the time at the blackjack table, it is more sensible to be cautious, but this is one occasion that suits a bit more of a cavalier attitude.

Always split Aces and 8s, never split 10s

One Ace in a blackjack hand is excellent news, but another isn’t doubly positive – the best that hand can total is 12, which leaves you with a lot to do in order to win. So if you are dealt two Aces, you should always split them. This means you’ll need to raise your bet, but if you have two hands each with an Ace in them, you have two realistic

chances to win. Also, if you are dealt two 8s, your score is 16: unlikely to win, but hard to hit without going bust. So splitting those 8s will give you a chance to add a 10 or an Ace to make 18 or 19. However, a pair of 10s should never be split. 20 is a very hard score to beat and you should leave it intact.

Avoid side bets

Increasingly, online blackjack games are offering the chance to play a range of entertaining side bets that they don’t go to great lengths to explain. Perhaps this is because if they did explain them, players would realize the side bets are worthless.

Honestly, just don’t waste your time with them. They don’t offer much of a chance of winning, and they pay out very slimly even when they do come off. Rather than placing your money on those, you’re better off playing another hand of blackjack, which has a much smaller house edge.

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