Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games, and it can be played for real money or just for fun. But before you start playing, you need to know some essential rules and strategies. These tips will help you play better, avoid common mistakes, and increase your chances of winning.
Keep Your Head Straight
You’ll need a clear mind to win at blackjack, so it’s best to enter the game calmly and coolly. This will make it easier for you to think of your moves and stay focused on what’s important – winning.
Practice Before You Play
If you’re not familiar with the game, it’s a good idea to play blackjack in free mode first. This will allow you to find out whether the game is for you and get a feel for the house edge. You’ll also have a chance to test out different betting systems and strategies.
Basic Strategy Charts
Almost all casinos offer charts that tell you the optimal way to play the game. You can find these in the rules book or online. Practicing with these charts can help you improve your technique and ensure that you don’t make any mistakes when you play for real money.
Learn the Running Count and True Count
The running count is the number of cards that you have on your hand at any one time. It’s easy to learn, and it’s a great way to improve your strategy.
Try to keep it as close to zero as possible. This is especially important if you’re a novice player and don’t have a lot of experience with counting cards. Once you master the running count, you can use it to keep a true count – which takes the total number of cards on display and divides it by the number of decks in play.
Practice Before You Play
Once you’ve mastered the running count and true count, you’ll need to practice it before you play for real money. The easiest way to do this is by using a single deck of cards and turning them over until you have a complete count. This will give you a feel for how fast and quiet you can handle the cards, as well as your ability to remember their values.
If you’re not sure what to do with the cards that you have, ask a dealer for another card. This can be a good option when you’re certain that the next card won’t cause you to go bust, or if you’re willing to run the risk of the dealer getting a higher hand.
Don’t Stand On Hard 17s
A hard 17 is the worst possible hand in blackjack. It has the highest house edge, so it’s a good idea to avoid it. You should also avoid standing on soft 17s, as they’re more likely to bust.
Split Two Aces
The most common strategy when you have two Aces is to split them. This will double your odds of getting a hand with at least one 10-value card.