Ten Tips for Playing Blackjack

1. Basic strategy...

...is a must for any serious online blackjack player. Countless books and computer simulations have found conclusive evidence to support the statistical advantage that a player can earn while using basic strategy at the blackjack table. If you want to drastically decrease the roll of chance in your blackjack game, then you need to start studying a basic strategy chart today.

    2. Always split aces.

    If you are dealt two aces, you must split them into two separate hands. A split in this situation gives you two promising, soft hands. In a 52-card deck, there are 16 cards that have a value of ten. If you split your two aces you are very likely to hit 21 with one of your slit hands. Anytime you can increase the odds of a higher payout, you do it.

    3. Always split 8s.

    If you have a pair of eights, you always need to split. A hard 16 hand is likely to get you beat or busted. Two hands that are valued at eight create more possibilities for profit.

    4. Never split 10s.

    Don’t get greedy. Keep your hand value at 20.

    5. Don’t ever take insurance.

    Insurance isn’t a good bet. When the dealer's up card is an ace, you have the option of taking insurance. If the dealer has a natural, you’re insurance bet will protect you. But chances are, the dealer was not dealt 21, so insurance is a bet that does not statistically payoff.

    6. Find the game...

    ...with the most favorable conditions. Blackjack comes in many different flavors. Make sure that you choose a game that has favorable playing conditions. Find a game that uses the least amount of decks. Try and locate a table that pays 2 to 1 for a blackjack. Avoid tables where the dealer hits soft 17s. If you can’t double down on soft hands, search for another table.

    7. Don’t try to count cards.

    Sure it’s proven that card counting is amazingly effective, but seriously Rain Man, do you think you’ll be able to keep up with the dealer? Forget card counting. Stick to perfecting the basic strategy.

    8. Don’t hit over 17!

    If the dealer’s up card is ten, then keep hitting until you get to 17. If you have a soft 17, and the dealer’s showing a ten, then you need to hit again. Any hand over 17 needs to stand.

    9. If you have a hand of 11 or less, always hit.

    Your hand can only be improved in this situation. If you have hand value of 12, things start getting trickier, but if your hand adds up to 11 or less, then you need to hit.

    10. Doubling down.

    If you have a hand value of ten or 11, then consider doubling down. A starting hand value of ten or 11 is a good thing. With so many cards in the deck valued at ten, your odds of winning increase dramatically when you have ten or 11 to start with. Under these circumstances, doubling down is a great bet.