Blackjack strategies to improve your gameplay

December 3, 2020 8:40 PM

If you’re eager to join the millions that already play Blackjack online, but you’re worried your skills won’t be up to par, then why not get yourself up to date on a few handy strategies? Starting off as a newbie in any classic casino game can be a little daunting, but if you do a little bit of homework, you’ll stand a good chance of having a great first game!

Allow us to talk you through some basic tactics and approaches you can use to get your Blackjack love affair off the ground!

Basic Strategy

If you want to become a skilful player, then you must first master the basics. First, familiarise yourself with the terms that you are likely to encounter during each game.

  • To Hit is to ask for another card from the dealer. In a lot of brick-and-mortar casinos this can be done by tapping a finger on the table.
  • To Stand means that you’ve opted not to take another card.
  • To Double Down is to increase your original bet by up to 100%, alongside the decision to Stand.
  • To Split, your first two cards must be of the same value. With this, you can then split them into two hands and add a second identical bet to the first.

Now, let’s take a look at how you should proceed if you find yourself with one of the following hands:

  • If you have a ten and two, and the dealer is showing you a three as their up card, then you should choose to Hit
  • If you have a six and a five in your hand, and the dealer shows a ten, it’s best practice to Double Down on your bet.
  • If you have an Ace and a seven, and the dealer’s upcard is a nine, then you should choose to Hit.
  • If you have a pair of nines in your hand, and the dealer also shows you a nine, your best bet is to Split. 
  • If you have an Ace and an eight in your hand, and the dealer shows you a six then the rules dictate that they should hit a soft 17, and, with this, it’s a good idea for you to opt to Double Down. 

The overall strategy here is to always take into account what the dealer’s upcard is, and use this information to your advantage. 

The Surrender Strategy 

At some land-based, and online, casinos you’ll find yourself with the option of using the Surrender Strategy. How this works is actually very simple – after taking a look at both your two-card hand and the dealer’s upcard, you may realise that you’re chances of winning are looking rather slim. But with this strategy, you can then forfeit your hand and surrender half of your original wager, whilst “winning” back the remaining portion. Understandably, this isn’t available everywhere you play, but it’s a great safety net, especially for beginners, if you find yourself as a table that does offer it.

There are two ways that a Surrender can be played out:

  • The Late Surrender – where you can only surrender your hand after the dealer has looked at their hidden card, and doesn’t have Blackjack. 
  • The Early Surrender – this option is more commonly offered in European and Asian casinos, and very rarely seen in America. Here, the player has the chance to surrender with only the dealer’s up card revealed, regardless if the down card equals a Blackjack, as it is yet to be revealed.

Whilst there’s a whole host of other Blackjack strategies to explore, we hope that this brief introduction has helped to give you a better idea of what to expect, when sitting down for your first game of Blackjack!