Chances are there are today more books in circulation about winning at Blackjack and strategies about winning at Blackjack than what there are actual Blackjack players – both dead and alive.
But the really surprising bit is that playing Blackjack is as easy as pouring water from a shoe with the instructions printed on the bottom. And given no more than a basic strategy, a capacity for primary school math, and just a smidgen of luck, anyone can win at least some money playing the famous 21. Granted, making your millions off of a Blackjack table will require the skill of a master and a healthy dose of Irish luck, but given the right set of circumstances, it’s even possible to win really big.
Here’s all you’ll ever need to know about Blackjack as a newbie getting ready to win your first hand.
Forget About 21–Just Don’t Bust
Despite what many people tend to think – players or otherwise – your primary directive when playing a game of 21, isn’t getting to 21. Instead, the only goal you’re ever required to accomplish in order to show a profit, is to beat the dealer without “going over”, or busting.
What About Insurance?
All side bets are sucker bets. Sure, they can be a lot of fun, and when they pay, they’ll have you laughing all the way to the bank. But the cold hard reality is that you’d have to be pretty damn lucky to show a consistent profit while playing regular side bets.
And it’s the same story with buying so-called “insurance”. Since insurance is taken out on the off-chance of the dealer having a Blackjack (in which case you get to keep some of your money), and dealers only ever strike it Blackjack-lucky less than 30% of the time, insurance is nothing more than just another unnecessary waste of money. Don’t bother with it.
About Splitting & Doubling
The really good news about playing Blackjack is that the player can do some things the dealer cannot. Which brings us to the principles behind doubling and splitting.
Doubling makes sense only when the total of your own cards appear decidedly more likely to win, and the total of the dealer’s cards appear decidedly more likely to come in second-best, is it ever a good idea to dabble in doubling. And that’s pretty much doubling in a nutshell.
Splitting, on the other hand, requires you to put on a slightly bigger thinking cap. The ability to split pairs of cards can potentially create a lot of value for money. The thing to remember about splitting, however, is that just because you can split doesn’t mean that you should split.
In fact, some cards should never be split, and yet many players go right ahead and cut their chances of winning in half. The best example of a time not to split, is when you’re dealt a pair of 10-cards. Splitting a hand that is already a value of 20 strong is the worst possible thing you could ever do.