Counting cards is one of the most widely used blackjack strategies. The idea is that card counters assign a value to cards as they see them being removed from the deck. This gives them a running value of the remaining cards in the deck. That value is used to tell the card counters whether or not the deck contains more large cards or small cards. They can then adjust their bets accordingly, giving them an increased chance of winning against the house. Blackjack offers some of the best value in the casino to the player, but only if you use the correct strategy and play with your head and not your heart.
In either type of game, add an additional bet to the betting circle. Place the additional bet adjacent to the original bet, not on top of it. If you are playing in a hand-held game, just toss your original two cards face-up on the table in front of your bet. Regardless, when you are dealt a blackjack, turn the cards face up, and smile. It only happens about once every 21 hands, but it accounts for a lot of the fun of the game.
The objective is always to beat the dealer, which means getting to—or as close as possible to—a total point score of 21. If your cards total higher than the dealer’s cards without going over 21, you win. If your hand goes over 21, you “bust” and lose your bet. It’s an interesting feature not only of blackjack but of all casino games that the house—or casino— always has the advantage.
See my Blackjack House Edge Calculator to determine the house edge under 6,912 possible rule combinations. If the dealer does not bust, then the higher point total between the player and dealer will win. No matter what, a pair of 8s against a dealer’s 9 or 10 is a bad situation. But the goal in blackjack is to keep your losses to a minimum by choosing the strategy that will lose less than other options.
So rest assured, we’ve combed through the crap and know what’s important when it comes to crushing this game. The last thing you should think about when it comes to basic strategy is whether or not to take another card. If the other options above are not appropriate for your hand then you would choose to hit or stand. If you’re playing at a casino that offers surrender , you will only have the option to surrender on the first two cards you’re dealt. You won’t be able to surrender if you’ve already taken a hit card. This is why surrender is the first thing you have to think about when playing your hand.
In games dealt from a shoe, the players’ cards will be face-up, and players are not allowed to touch the cards. If you are just beginning, this is the best kind of game, because you don’t have to worry about handling the cards. Once all the bets are placed, the dealer will deal the cards to the players.
If both a player and the dealer have blackjack, the hand is a tie or push. The rules of play for the dealer are strictly dictated, leaving no decisions up to the dealer. Therefore, there is no problem with the dealer or any of the other players at the table seeing the cards in your hand. In fact, if you’re playing at a shoe game, the player cards are all dealt face up. Once you learn this chart you will have to learn additional blackjack rules and deviations that relate to the specific rules of the games you will be playing.