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Beginner Blackjack Strategy

When playing online blackjack you will want to give yourself the best chance of winning. To to this you will have to learn and understand basic or beginner blackjack strategy. This page will introduce you to blackjack basics so you can get started right away and still reduce the house edge by adopting the advice given here.

Introduction to Beginner Blackjack Strategy

To play blackjack well and really beat the dealer, you’ll need a lot of patience to memorize the correct move for each situation. The correct moves are based both upon what you hold and what the dealer holds. Even though some rules work for every blackjack game, some rules differ in different casinos, so you’ll sometimes need to double-check the specifics for the rules at each casino and at each game. For example, you’ll need to see whether the dealer hits or stands on soft 17, as it can change your strategy.

Terminology of Beginner Blackjack Strategy

The important terms that you’ll need to know are split, double, hit, stand, and insurance. These terms aren’t necessarily exactly what they sound like. For a full list of blackjack terms, check out our blackjack glossary.

Split

Split is very much like what it sounds like. If you have two cards that are the same rank, you can divide them into two hands. You’ll have to double your bet in order to do so. This is a great option if you have two aces, for example, since an ace can give you blackjack. Moreover, since an ace can be either a one or an eleven, an ace can get you closer to twenty-one than many other cards. Not all splits are worthwhile, though. Splitting tens is a bad idea, since two tens gives you twenty, which is a great hand.

Double

Double does not allow you to simply double the value of your cards. It would be a pretty interesting feature if it did, but that’s not how it works. Double allows you to double your wager and choose to receive exactly one more card. This is a good idea if, for example, you hold eleven in your hand after receiving your first two cards, since you have a reasonable chance of getting a card valued at ten. You shouldn’t double, however, if the dealer holds an ace. If he holds an ace, he might have a blackjack, and then your twenty-one would be worthless, and you’ll simply be adding money to the wager that you will lose anyway.

Hit

Hit is easy. Hitting means taking another card. Any time that your cards total eleven or less, you’ll need to take another card. Generally, if you hold less than 16, you’ll want to take another card.

Stand

Stand means that you are satisfied with the hand you already hold and you do not want any more cards. Once you stand, the dealer shows his cards and you find out if you have won or not. If you have won, then you’ll get paid. If not, your bet will be taken. A new hand is dealt immediately when you place your next wager.

Insurance

Insurance is a bet that you can play if the dealer is showing an ace. If you take the insurance bet and the dealer holds a blackjack, then your bets will cancel each other out, leaving you at no loss. The odds are against you on this bet, so it’s better not to take this bet ever.

If you’re comfortable with this beginners strategy, you can try playing blackjack online now. Otherwise check out our intermediate blackjack strategy page.