It’s pretty ironic that a game which pits you against the house (casino) itself also offers such high prospects of securing a decent win. Blackjack has always presented a complex nature. However, the same can’t be said for its gameplay mechanism. It is a reasonably fair and easy to play casino game that does not involve any intricate areas or aspects that might confuse the players. However, the real challenge arrives when you decide to reap some wins out of the game. Blackjack is a game that can’t be based on the sheer force of luck. A definite measure of skill that must be utilized to win something out of this game.
In this guide, we will align our focus on learning some essential basics about the game. Here, we will acquaint ourselves with the formal know-how of this card game. We will attempt to cover the basic strategy of blackjack that the player must be well-familiar with. So, let’s get on with our guide –
Surrender, Splits, Soft Totals, and Hard Totals
The entire game of Blackjack can be summarized in a total of four phases or region which go like – Surrenders, Splits, Soft Totals, and finally Hard Totals. These phases are further divided into a series of steps that thoroughly explain their nature and idea. We will attempt to highlight and grasp the structure of each phase individually. So, let’s start with –
First off, let’s understand what surrender means in the blackjack terminology. This move pretty much runs on its literal meaning. It basically means to fold your game at a given hand. However, surrender isn’t a free affair. It can cost almost half of the wagered amount of the player exercising this move. That’s the reason why surrender is so frowned upon by many inexperienced and new players. For them, it’s not a wise move to simply surrender half your bet. Needless to say, that’s a wrong perception. It’s better to lose half your chips than to lose it all.
There is an established way of utilizing the surrender phase which goes like –
16 surrenders against dealer 9 through Ace, otherwise don’t surrender (revert to hard totals).
15 surrenders against dealer 10, otherwise don’t surrender (revert to hard totals).
These are the two scenarios, where employing the surrender move might save your game. Consider opting for surrender when facing any of the above two situations.
It is nothing but splitting your cards at the opportune moments to lower the house edge by a significant margin. If you go for the split option, then you are technically calling for another hand to bet on. To put it in a precise order, when you go for the split, you divide your present hand into two separate hands and pair them with two additional cards. This requires you add some weight on the second bet which equals the wagering amount of the original hand. It is a very efficient strategy of beating the house if one knows how and most importantly when to utilize it.
So, it’s time to understand the right application of the Split function –
Always split aces.
Never split tens.
A pair of 9’s splits against dealer 2 through 9, except for 7, otherwise, stand.
Always split 8’s
A pair of 7’s splits against dealer 2 through 7, otherwise hit.
A pair of 6’s splits against dealer 2 through 6, otherwise hit.
A pair of 5’s doubles against dealer 2 through 9 otherwise hit.
A pair of 4’s splits against dealer 5 and 6, otherwise hit.
A pair of 3’s splits against dealer 2 through 7, otherwise hit.
A pair of 2’s splits against dealer 2 through 7, otherwise hit.
This all more or less defines the split territory. If your game presents conditions similar to the ones listed above, then employing the split tactic is a wise move.
Soft totals occur when one of your two cards is an ace. In Blackjack, ace represents either 1 or 11. It is also termed as a soft hand. In simple terms, if your other card is a 9, then your hand could either be a 10 or a 20. It can turn the tides in your favour, but you must learn how to sufficiently utilize a soft hand. So, let’s learn how can you reap the benefits stemming out of a soft hand
Soft 20 (A,9) always stands
Soft 19 (A,8) doubles against dealer 6, otherwise, stand.
Soft 18 (A,7) doubles against dealer 2 through 6 and hits against 9 through Ace, otherwise, stand.
Soft 17 (A,6) doubles against dealer 3 through 6, otherwise hit.
Soft 16 (A,5) doubles against dealer 4 through 6, otherwise hit.
Soft 15 (A,4) doubles against dealer 4 through 6, otherwise hit.
Soft 14 (A,3) doubles against dealer 5 through 6, otherwise hit.
Soft 13 (A,2) doubles against dealer 5 through 6, otherwise hit.
That covers the ideal working scenario of a soft hand. A soft total is entirely dependent on the occurrence of an ace in a hand. If you are dealt with a hand that contains an ace, then you must plan your game according to the above-listed scenarios. It will surely inflate your chances of securing a handsome win.
The hard total is the exact opposite of its soft counterpart. A hard hand or hard total denotes a hand where you aren’t holding an ace. It is a rigid scenario as the value of your hand isn’t variable. Unlike in the soft hand, where you had two possible outcomes, here there can be only one possible value of your hand. However, rigid is not equivalent to an imminent defeat. There are certain ways which can aid you in securing a win with a hard total –
17 and up always stands.
16 stands against dealer 2 through 6, otherwise hit.
15 stands against dealer 2 through 6, otherwise hit.
14 stands against dealer 2 through 6, otherwise hit.
13 stands against dealer 2 through 6, otherwise hit.
12 stands against dealer 4 through 6, otherwise hit.
11 always doubles.
10 doubles against dealer 2 through 9 otherwise hit.
9 doubles against dealer 3 through 6 otherwise hit.
8 always hits.
So, these were some of the essential strategies that you need to be thoroughly familiar with. We hope this helps you gain an edge on the blackjack table. If you need further information you can also visit the blackjack strategy created by Casino Winner