If you’re getting ready for that first trip to Las Vegas or just to a local casino for a night of playing blackjack, and have no experience, then there are some basic strategies you should be aware of. Intimidation is something that first timers have to overcome before they play a live game for the first time. So here are some tips that will help you.
First you should get a strategy card that helps you remember the basic rules. This will tell you when to hit, double down, split, etc. You may be able to find one in the gift shop at the casino or you can just download one online. Next you might want to play a face-up game where your cards are visible to everyone. This isn’t poker, so you’re not hiding anything and you’ll get help (unwanted or not) from most people. The dealer may be helpful as well if they are interested in making money. Playing face-up will help you so you don’t make a crucial mistake that may upset other players. Face-down games should be played by someone who has at least some experience.
Always remember that the most important aspect of understanding the game of blackjack is every hand is played according to what the dealer shows. Everything is determined from that, the cards you have are secondary. Everyone seems to think that their cards are what matters, and they do to a certain extent, but the dealer’s cards are the most important and don’t forget that.
If you have an ace and a 6, that equals 17, but it’s a soft 17. That means that you can hit that hand and not bust if you catch a face card. If this hand presents itself, you should always hit it and sometimes even double down, depending on what the dealer shows. If you have a face card and a 7, that is considered a hard 17 so you would automatically stand on that hand no matter what the dealer shows.
Imagine that you are dealt a 12 (total of your first two cards) and the dealer shows a 5, what do you do? Well in this case, you have a hand where if you take a hit and catch a face card (10), you will bust. If the dealer shows a 5, which is one of the worst cards for a dealer, and you have a breaking hand (12), just stay and let the dealer bust. That is just one example of how to play a hand. And if you are playing a game that allows you to surrender, which is give up on a hand and lose half of your original bet, don’t do it! That is a house advantage, just play out every hand the way it should be played whether it looks like a difficult hand or not.
If you are just learning how to play blackjack, just remember that this should be just for entertainment and not get carried away. Don’t become a chaser. That means if you lose $100 don’t keep buying in over and over trying to win your money back, that always leads to trouble. Simply sit down with a good attitude and try and have some fun, and hopefully you’ll have a little luck.