Blackjack for beginners

Strategizing and socializing—two of the most attractive aspects of the game of blackjack.

As one of the most popular games in the casino industry, gambling enthusiasts love this game for its odds of decreasing house edge. While the rules of blackjack are simple, cultivating the right skills and learning how to wisely strategize can see your success rate rise exponentially within your first few months of practice. A great example of this is when Don Johnson scored $15 million of Atlantic City casinos. Whether you’re heading to an Atlantic City, or you plan on securing a supplementary income online (beyond those paid survey sites), this guide will help you finagle the basic strategies and excel in this popular game.

Practice a Basic Strategy

Sticking to the basics, at least at the beginning, will help you set a solid foundation of Blackjack experience and see you gaining great success within your first few games. You must memorize when to hit, stand, split, and double down on your hand to battle against house edge. Even something as simple as creating flashcards with primer rules (or purchasing a strategy card found in almost every casino gift shop) can help you excel when it comes to the Blackjack table. Example primer tips might include:

  • Always split Aces and 8s
  • Hit or Double Aces-6
  • Double 11 against a dealers’ 2-10.

Hitting and Standing

Deciding whether to hit or stand is the heart of playing blackjack. While these two options seem straightforward and simple, the complexity of this strategy may come as a surprise. Don’t assume your dealer will bust; keep in mind that the dealer will always take a hit if they have a hand lower than 17, meaning you won’t see gains as often if you are dealt less than that. If you’re dealt a 16 or lower, and your dealer has any single card greater than an 8, it’s vital to take a hit. When the dealer holds these cards, the chances of busting are minimal. Unless you can clear the 17 barrier, you have poor chances of winning.

When it comes to standing, only consider it when you have a 12 or higher and your dealer only has a 4, 5, or 6. Statistically, a dealer will bust 40 percent of the time if he has one of these three cards.

Doubling Down

A double down allows you to bet up to an equal amount of your original wager on the draw of a single card, but your bet can be lower than your original wager. There may be limits depending on the table you play, and there will be a posted sign that tells you which two cards you may double down on. It’s generally a good idea to double down when you are dealt two cards for a total of 10 or 11, and it’s also advisable to double down on what’s known as soft hands, in which your first two cards include a small card and an Ace.


If the first two cards you are dealt have the same value, you’re allowed to split them and play two separate hands. When you do this, you must throw in the same amount you had originally bet. Once you’ve matched your original wager, the dealer will start with the first hand, giving you a second card on the hand to your right, where you can choose to stand, hit or split. Depending on the club, you may have the option to double down after splitting, and it’s generally a good idea to do so. As mentioned earlier, you should always split your 8s and Aces. In contrast, be sure to never split any cards with 10s or 5s.

The More Difficult Hands

There are numerous online resources that can help you determine how to approach difficult hands. One of the most dreaded hands any blackjack player can be dealt is a Hard 16. In this case, you might receive a 10 and 6, or a 9 and 7, while the dealer has a 10. Questions of whether to hit or stand depend on casino rules, but there is a great deal of strategy behind determining your play. Using an online casino school to learn the details behind these difficult hands will do wonders whether you play online or head to Las Vegas for a weekend of gambling fun.

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