Millions of players enjoy playing blackjack in their homes, at casinos and online at sites like 888 casino. It has become one of the world’s most popular card games.
You may know it by its alternative name of 21 – but don’t worry, we’re talking about the same game.
The main objective of blackjack or 21 is to achieve a hand total as close to 21 as possible – without exceeding it. That’s why it is often called 21.
The game involves one or more players competing against a dealer – rather than against each other.
Basic blackjack rules
The basic blackjack rules are:
1. Each player is dealt two cards, face-up, while the dealer receives one card face-up and one card face-down.
2. Players take turns making decisions regarding their hand, aiming to reach a total closer to 21 than the dealer’s hand.
3. Players have several options, including hitting (taking another card), standing (keeping their current hand), doubling down (doubling their initial bet and receiving one additional card) or splitting (if the initial two cards have the same value, the player can split them into separate hands).
4. If a new card means the player’s total exceeds 21, they bust and lose the round. If the player’s total is closer to 21 than the dealer’s, they win.
Blackjack is so popular around the globe because of its straightforward rules, quick gameplay and the relatively low house edge in casinos.
It offers a blend of luck and skill, as players can improve their chances by making good strategic decisions based on their hand and the dealer’s one visible card.
The game is also now widely available in online casinos and mobile gambling platforms. Blackjack has featured in many movies and books too, further contributing to its cultural recognition.
It’s simple to play – but there are some basic tips for newcomers that can help you understand the game and enhance your chances of winning. Here are 7 important tips.
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7 Tips for blackjack newcomers
Learn basic strategy
Work out a basic blackjack strategy to maximise your chances of winning. This strategy should give you basic guidance on when to hit, stand, double down, or split based on your hand and the dealer’s visible card.
It will come from watching games and seeing what works. But most importantly, once you learn and have a strategy, stick to it.
Start with low stakes
Newcomers should start playing with low stakes to gain experience and understand blackjack dynamics without risking significant money. Once you feel more confident, you can gradually increase your bets.
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Avoid insurance bets
At casinos or online you’ll find that insurance side bets are offered when the dealer’s face-up card is an ace.
It is statistically not a great idea anyway and not recommended for beginners as it’s a distraction. Focus on playing your own hand.
Manage your bankroll
Set a budget before your blackjack session – and stick to it.
Manage your funds responsibly, so you don’t gamble more than you can afford to lose. It’s good to limits to help you control your play and avoid chasing losses.
Don’t rely on card counting
Card counting is a technique used by some skilled players to try to gain an advantage in blackjack. They work out which cards have appeared and use that to affect the probabilities of different outcomes.
However, it can be another distraction and is not recommended for beginners. It’s best to focus on mastering the basic strategy first.
Stay calm and avoid emotional decisions
Emotions can negatively impact decision-making in any gambling.
Stay calm, avoid impulsive decisions and make rational choices based on the real probabilities of the game situation. Don’t let losses frustrate you or push you to make poor decisions.
Practise for free
Many online casinos offer free blackjack games allow you to practise without risking real money. Take advantage of these opportunities to refine skills, test strategies, and gain confidence.
Remember, blackjack is a game of skill combined with luck. While you can improve your chances through strategic play, there will still be instances of both wins and losses.
Enjoy the game and approach it as entertainment rather than solely focussing on winning.
These can improve your understanding of the game and increase your chances, it’s important to note that there is no guaranteed strategy for winning.
The outcome of each hand is ultimately influenced by a combination of skill – and luck. Even the greatest players lose plenty of times.
Simply remember to use your basic strategy to optimise decisions based on probabilities. It can help minimise the house edge and improve your odds of winning.
However, it doesn’t guarantee that you will win every hand or session. Even with the best strategy, you can still experience both winning and losing streaks.
In blackjack there will always be a level of risk involved. In the end, that’s what makes it fun to play.
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