There’s nothing quite like a game of cards to pass the time with friends or have a flutter at a casino. Less complex than poker, but not as simple as it first appears, mastering the skill of playing blackjack is both satisfying and potentially profitable.
Beat the House
A lot of people start playing in the belief that the objective is to score a hand as close to 21 as possible. The truth is a little more complex than that, as in fact, the main objective is to beat the dealer. That’s right – you’re not playing against the other people around the table; you’re playing against the house. As we all know, the house always has an advantage. Remembering this key fact is the first step to grasping the game.
Aces High or Low
The Ace in blackjack is valued at 1 or 11, according to how the player wants to count it. A blackjack hand can be ‘soft’ or ‘hard’, depending on the value of the cards. So, for example, a hand containing a six and an ace would be a soft 17, with the option to change the Ace value to 1 if the next card takes the hand over 21. A hand with no Ace is always hard.
Luck of the Draw?
The dealer will always display their first card, and how you play depends on what this is. A good starting rule is as follows: if the dealer’s card is seven or over, draw until you reach hard 17 or soft 18 or just over, then stop. If the dealer’s card is lower than that, stop when you reach 12. Remember, every player who gets closer to 21 than the dealer wins.
Once these simple rules have been tested, players can move on to more advanced strategies (http://www.businessinsider.com/blackjack-basics-2014-6). To avoid losing money or face while improving your game, take advantage of some of the online casinos offering free games. You can’t win any money, but you certainly can’t lose either.