Blackjack Gambling Strategies
Blackjack is a favorite among gamblers around the world, partly because it is mathematically beatable and players feel the odds are less random than the spin of a roulette wheel, or the pull of a slot machine handle. Some claim Blackjack was invented in French casinos in the early 1700s where it was called "vingt-et-un" ("twenty-one"). It has been played in the U.S. since the 1800's. Blackjack is so-called because if a player held a Jack of Spades and an Ace of Spades as the first two cards, the player was paid out extra. The black suit 'spades' plus the winning Jack brought about the name 'Blackjack'. Blackjack actually has very simple rules and can be learnt easily, however there are a number of strategies you can learn to increase your winning odds. Blackjack uses a standard set of 52 playing cards and players compete against the dealer, not each other. Blackjack is so-called because if a player held a Jack of Spades and an Ace of Spades as the first two cards
Values of cards
|King, Queen, Jack, 10||= 10|
|2-9||= Face value|
|= 11 or 1|
The player wins when the total value of cards in his hand is closer to 21 than those held by the dealer, without exceeding 21. A hand with a value over 21 is called a "bust," and is an automatic loser. If you and the dealer have the same card total (17 and up) neither of you wins and your bet is returned to you in a "push".
The player wins one and a half times his bet if his first two cards total 21 - a natural Blackjack. The only way two cards can have a value of 21 is if one of them is an Ace, and the other is a 10-value card. (e.g. An ace and a king, and an ace and a queen are both blackjacks.) A blackjack beats all other hands except for another blackjack. If you have a blackjack, and the dealer has 3 cards that add up to 21, you still win the hand even though you both have hands valued at 21.
The Value of Winning payouts
|Winning Hand||1 to 1|
|Insurance||2 to 1|
|Blackjack||3 to 2|
If you lose a hand, you lose the amount you originally bet - no more, no less.
The steps of the game follow the same formula each time:
1. Between one and seven players can take part in any hand of Blackjack. The players put an initial wager forward and two cards are dealt to each player (one at a time) with the dealer dealing him/herself last with one card face down.
2. You assess your cards total value and decide whether you need to take another card (hit) to increase your total or keep the tally you already have and hope others will 'bust'. There is no limit on the number of hits a player can take (however, a practiced player has a sense of when to stop).
3. When you draw an ace, you can decide whether it counts as 1 or 11.
4. When all the players 'stand' (choose not to take any more cards), the dealer reveals his hand by flipping over the face down card. The dealer must 'hit' (add another card) until the total is 17 or above. If the dealer's hand is between 17 and 21, the dealer is NOT allowed to take additional hits. He MUST stand. On the other hand, if the dealer's hand is 16 or under, the dealer MUST take additional hits until the dealer's hand has a value of 17 or higher. If the dealer goes over 21 while taking additional cards, he "busts," and automatically loses. If the dealer busts, all players that are still in the game win. Between the players and the dealer, whoever is closer to 21 without going over wins.
5. Winnings are calculated on the amount of the bet for a winning hand (see the 'winning payouts' table above). The only way you can lose with a blackjack hand is if the dealer has one too.
If your first two cards have the same point value, you may split them into two separate hands by placing a second bet equal to the original bet. You then proceed to draw cards. You are able to draw as many cards as you like on each split hand, but if you split two aces, you receive only one additional card for each ace. If you split two aces and one of your hands totals 21, it is counted as 21 and not blackjack. Any two ten value cards can be split, for instance a 10 and queen, however we virtually never recommend splitting ten value cards. Two aces can, and should be, split. Normally the game will also allow you to re-split after the original split. For example, you split two eight's and now are dealt again an eight as the second card of one of those two hands. You can split this hand again and now play three hands. Some games have limits on re-splitting aces and if the player is unsure of the game house rules he should ask the dealer. We recommend to always split Aces and 8s.
After you are dealt two cards, and think that another card will allow you to beat the dealer's hand, you can increase your bet by an amount up to your original bet or double your bet. This is also known as 'doubling down'. Once you decide to 'double down' you are allowed to receive just one more card. You cannot stand on your original hand or take more than 1 additional card. For example, you may be dealt a 5 and a 6 for a total of 11. You can now double down, hoping to get a 10 value card (the most frequent value card in an unplayed deck). The site house rules vary for doubling down. For example some allow only doubling down on 10 and 11 totals while others allow on any two card total. Some sites allow it only on original hands and not split hands, while others allow doubling down after splitting. Be sure to know the rules of your site before starting to play.
Insurance is designed to protect you when you think that the dealer may have blackjack. When buying insurance, you place ½ of your initial bet by pressing the 'Insurance' Button. If the dealer does have blackjack, you are paid 2 to 1 on your insurance bet. If the dealer doesn't have blackjack, you lose your insurance bet.
Blackjack Rules Glossary
BLACKJACK: A hand consisting of an Ace and a 10-value card (10, Jack, Queen or King) totalling 21. Pays 3-2.
BROKE or BUST: Going over '21' with additional cards drawn to the original hand.
HARD TOTAL: A hand with no Aces or where the Ace is counted as '1.' For example, a nine-eight combination counts as a hard '17'.
HIT or DRAW: Adding a card to your hand in an effort to come closer to 21, without going over.
INSURANCE: When the dealer shows an Ace as the upcard, you can bet up to one-half the amount of your original wager that the dealer has a Blackjack. Insurance pays 2-1 if the dealer does, in fact, have blackjack. If he doesn't, the house collects the insurance bet. NATURAL: A Blackjack dealt with the original two cards. An ace and a face card.
PUSH: Player and dealer tie. The money bet is retained by the player.
SOFT TOTAL: A hand with an Ace that counts as an '11'. For example, an Ace-8 combination counts as a soft '19.
STAND: The player doesn't want any more cards and so 'stands' with the cards he has.
STIFF: A hand that could go bust by adding one more card. For example any hard 12-16 combination is a stiff.
SURRENDER: In some casinos, the player is allowed to forfeit half of their original bet if the player does not want to play against the dealer's hand. For example, the player has a bet out of $10 and is dealt a 7 and a 9 card for a total of 16 and the dealer's card is showing a 10. If the player now says "surrender" the dealer will remove the players cards and $5 of the player's original bet, leaving the player with $5. We do not recommend using surrender. Check with the dealer on the site house rules.
UPCARD: The face up card in the dealer's original hand.
Here are some great pointers in making the money you want when frequenting an online site.
1. Have a good knowledge of the game that you are playing. You can study the odds and strategies that have been used to be successful. Read up!
2. Make sure to budget yourself. Spread out the money you plan to use at that particular online site. If you plan to play for a few days, divide up the money proportionately.
3. Do not drink or allow yourself to be under the influence of any narcotic while playing at the website. Be yourself. Know what you are doing.
4. Use any customer service options available. Access the online website's file for customer service assistance.
5. Remember, nothing can guarantee your winning.
6. Study the odds involved in winning.
7. Setup a dollar limit on you game. Know when you should stop playing.
8. Remember that an online website is in business to make money. They know the odds and they pre-calculate the number of winners to losers.
9. Don't pay attention to gimmicks to be successful. Rather, know the odds and play accordingly.
Wise Online Casino Playing
1. Budget your money.
2. Gamble only with money you can afford to lose.
3. Decide beforehand how much you want to spend during your online gaming gambling session.
4. Don't exceed the spending limit if you lose.
5. Predetermine a goal for your winnings, pocket some, and gamble only with the remainder.
6. When you are winning, increase your bets only gradually.
7. Never play when you are tired.
8. Play only at online gaming tables you can afford. You should be able to cover at least 25 bets.
9. Keep your online gaming gambling expectations reasonable.
10. After five consecutive losses, leave the online gaming table.
11. Have fun and quit while you're ahead.
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