How to Play Blackjack

Due to the fact that the dealer has to reach a hand of 17, the player is able to use this to his advantage...

Blackjack also know as 21 is by far the most popular casino card game in the world. Whist the rules of the game are very simple, mastering the game can take years. The player is dealt two initial cards with the option to draw more cards until reaching a total card value of 21 or less without exceeding this value.

A player has four options when receiving his hand:

- Hit: Take another card from the dealer.

-Stand: Receive no more cards from the dealer and 'stand' with the cards that the player has already been dealt.

-Double Down: The player is offered the chance to increase there bet by 100% on the condition that they stand after receiving only one more card.

-Split: A unity player is offered the opportunity to Split his cards only if the first two cards dealt to them are of equal value. For example two Kings. Generally royal cards are all treated the same and allow a split due to their value being the same. Once the player splits their cards he/she effectively have two individual hands to play with.

Whist the options for blackjack are limited it is what the player does with them that separates the masters from the amateurs. Here are some good tips to improving your game.

Learning to count cards:

This is the best possible chance you will have at changing the odds of the game in your favour. The idea is very simple. The player tracks the cards that have already been dealt and therefore can make assumptions about the cards left in the pack. Using this information the player can strategically up his bet when there is a higher chance of a certain card being dealt. In order to avoid this, many casinos use multiple packs and reshuffle regularly so mastering this technique takes years of dedication.

Stick to a fixed strategy:

This is a crucial strategy. By always adhering to a certain set of rules you are changing the game from one of luck to a more calculated one. Due to the fact that the dealer has to reach a hand of 17, the player is able to use this to his advantage. Whist there are many varying strategies, learning basic universal ones should see you increase your odds against the house. Using a fixed strategy requires that the player stick rigidly to his defined rules as in strategies work by increasing the odds in the long term.

Take advantage of opportunities:

Once an opportunity represents itself it is vital that you exploit this in your favour. This may include splitting cards, doubling up or placing a higher bet when the dealers cards are not favourable. Remember, the dealer has to reach 17. This is probably your major advantage when playing against the house and unique in nearly all other casino card games!