The Optimum Basic Strategy for Online Blackjack

Written by:
Payton
Published on:
Oct/12/2017

Blackjack is arguably the most popular casino game of them all, with a history stretching back over hundreds of years. It is a deceptively simple game, which is why it tends to attract both veteran casino players as well as newbies with only a basic grasp of the fundamentals. However, it’s simplicity should not lead to this game being dismissed as easy to play. Of course luck plays a large role in whether you win or lose, but, as with the majority of casino games, how you play the game will also determine how successful you will be. In fact, of all the traditional casino table games, a knowledge of how best to apply strategy is very important when it comes to the game of blackjack. In this article we are going to take a look at the correct strategy for blackjack, and how to optimise your chances of winning. 

Let’s take a quick overview of the rules of blackjack. The game is played versus the dealer in a heads up contest. The player and dealer both receive two cards, although crucially the player’s cards are both dealt face up while only one of the dealer’s cards is visible. The idea of the game is to get as close to a score of 21 as possible without going over this score (going ‘bust’). The player will go first, and has four potential playing options. First, he can choose to ‘stand’, meaning to stick with the cards he has been dealt. Alternatively the player can choose to ‘hit’ and receive another card. The player may hit as often as he wishes, until either choosing to stand or going bust. If the two cards dealt to the player are the same, he may choose to ‘split’ the cards. So for example if he splits a pair of eights, another two cards are dealt - one for each of the eights - and the player is now playing with two hands. This can mean twice the win, or twice the loss. Finally, a player can choose to ‘double’, which means to double his bet and receive one more card. This will only be a good idea in select situations. After the player’s turn has ended it is the dealer’s turn. The dealer has a constraint in that he must keep taking cards until he gets a score of at least 17, and does not have the option to split or double or stand before reaching at least 17. When he gets to a total of 17 or more (assuming he has not gone bust) the dealer automatically stands.

Because blackjack is played versus the house rather than other players, it does not require skills like bluffing which are so integral a part of games like poker. However, it does share with poker a statistical element which will impact on how each hand should be played. When playing blackjack this element of the game is paramount. There is a limited number of possible hands, and in every situation there is an optimal way to play. So whether you stand or take another card will depend on the combination of the cards in your hand plus the visible dealer’s card. A quick internet search will provide you with countless examples of the strategy to use in any given situation. When playing in a live casino it will require you to memorise all the different options, but one of the advantages of playing online is that you can keep the strategy guide open in another window for easy reference. 

There are plenty of free to play games where you can practice your blackjack strategy before joining a real money table. When you do feel confident enough to play for real, then try a site like ReelBonanza, which will provide plenty of options for you, and guide you towards some of the best online casinos for blackjack on the market. It is important to find an online casino which offers a safe playing environment, good quality and selection of games, and great rewards for new and existing players. A resource like Reel Bonanza is an excellent place to track down the best casino for your needs. As we said at the beginning of this piece, blackjack is a deceptively simple game. A common mistake is for new players to lose faith in the strategy, letting gut instinct take over from statistical probability. While this can of course work in the short term, over the long run you must apply logic rather than instinct if you want to maximise your chances of walking away from the blackjack table as a winner.

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