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CasinoGuruOnline.com: Blackjack rules

Blackjack is the most popular casino card game. Blackjack games stand second only to slot machines in overall casino game popularity. In this section, we present the CasinoGuruOnline.com Guide to How to Play Blackjack. The object of a blackjack game is for you to have a better hand than the dealer. Blackjack rules allow you to accomplish this in a number of ways.

HOW TO WIN AT BLACKJACK:

You can win a blackjack hand in one of these ways: • If your hand’s score is twenty-one or less and the dealer’s score is more than twenty-one, the dealer “busts” (loses) and you win $10 per $10 bet. • If your hand’s score is twenty-one or less and the dealer’s score lower than yours (between seventeen and twenty), you win $10 per $10 bet. • If your first two cards are an ace and any ten-valued card (face card or ten), you’ve earned a ‘natural’ blackjack with a score of twenty-one and (in most casinos) you win $15 per $10 bet.

BLACKJACK RULES:

With its simple structure, blackjack games appear easy to play. However, if you recall certain blackjack rules, you can grow your winnings and push your bankroll. Here are some of the most important facets to remember when you play blackjack:

HIT: If your first two cards add up to a low score and you want to add another card, you can signal the dealer by tapping on the table or saying, “Hit me”. Blackjack rules allow you to add cards to your hand as long as your score is less than twenty-one.

STAND: Once you’re satisfied with your score, you can choose not to take any more cards. At that point, you can “stand” on your current score. You can inform the dealer by saying, “Stand”, or waving your hand over your cards. According to blackjack rules, a player can stand on any hand with a score of twenty-one or less.

Note: Blackjack rules state that the dealer must “hit” if their hand’s score is sixteen or less. Many blackjack games also allow a dealer to hit on a “soft” seventeen (e.g. ace-six). Some of these blackjack rules are common and can also have a negative effect on your chances to win, so do your homework before you sit down to play blackjack.

DOUBLE DOWN: One unique blackjack rule allows you to add to your original bet in exchange for receiving only a single card after your original two cards. Different casinos may have different blackjack rules for when they allow double-down bets, so check the house rules first. Some blackjack games allow you to make double-down bets on any two-card combination, while some others limit double-down opportunities to certain two-card scores (typically nine, ten or eleven).

SPLIT: Occasionally, you may get two cards of the same value in your starting hand (e.g. 6/6, 9/9 or Q/J). In this case, most blackjack games will allow you to make an additional bet and “split” your paired hand into two new hands. At that point, the dealer will give you a new card on each of the paired cards, forming two new sets of starting cards. From there, you can play blackjack with each hand as if you had started that way from the beginning. Casinos often differ on their blackjack rules as to what you can do after you split a hand (e.g. when you split aces or tens, when to double-down, when to re-split a hand, etc.).

ONLINE BLACKJACK: The explosion of the online casino market has created many new avenues to play blackjack online from a desktop computer, laptop computer, or even a mobile phone. These online blackjack opportunities will give you the practice time you’ll need before putting down your hard-earned money at the tables.

CasinoGuruOnline.com: Blackjack Strategies

If you have read the book “Breaking Vegas” or seen the movie “21”, you know that true, mathematically sound blackjack strategies do exist. Not only do such blackjack strategies exist, you can also use these tactics to build your bankroll, soften your losses and play blackjack the correct way each and every time, regardless of how the cards fall. Mathematicians, computer programmers and game theorists have researched each facet of blackjack strategy and refined them down into simple charts. Employing proper blackjack strategy is not like using an “unbeatable betting system” for random games like roulette, craps or slot machines. At CasinoGuruOnline.com, we can offer you some of the best blackjack strategies you can use to increase both your fun at the table and your winnings when you leave.

SURRENDER: Although the name of this tactic may sound like “giving up”, many players use this blackjack strategy to save themselves money on a bad hand. In some cases, the dealer will offer the option of “surrender” after he deals you your first two cards. In exchange for half your original bet, you lay down your hand. Some players will use this blackjack strategy when they have a weak hand and the dealer has a ten-valued card as his up card; in their minds, it’s better to give up half a bet with a weak hand than risk pushing it and losing the full bet. If it helps, think of it less as “surrender” and more as “strategic withdrawal”.

INSURANCE: Once the dealer has dealt out hands to all the active players, he will turn over his up card. If the up card is an ace, the dealer offers an “insurance” bet. Insurance bets are typically $5 per $10 bet. If the dealer turns over his down card and shows a ten-value card, then the insurance bet wins. However, such a combination gives the dealer a score of twenty-one (a “natural” blackjack), thus you would lose your original bet. In most cases, the insurance bet wins about three times out of ten. Since even a winning insurance bet can cost you your original bet, your odds aren’t enough to merit betting an additional fifty percent. When you make an insurance bet, you’re employing one of the worst examples of blackjack strategy.

DOUBLE DOWN: As mentioned above, basic blackjack strategy charts can be a great aid in the decision-making process when it comes to doubling down. If you don’t have access to these charts or can’t remember all the blackjack strategy rules, just remember two numbers: ten and eleven. Typically, if the dealer’s up card is six or less, blackjack strategy says that you should double down whenever possible, especially if your hand’s score is ten or eleven. Some players will double down when their score totals eleven, regardless of the dealer’s up card.

SPLIT: Some players like to split every pair they get. They believe that, if they play more hands, they increase their chances of winning. Such a tactic shows a poor understanding of blackjack strategy. The nature of the game dictates that certain pairs are better for splitting than others. Aces and eights should ALWAYS be split, where fives and tens should NEVER be split. If one of your paired cards (e.g. 7) is higher than the dealer’s up card (e.g. 4), then you should split these pairs. Casinos may offer different rules as to when they allow players to implement these blackjack strategies, so check with the dealer or online site as to their rules. If you can’t find favorable rules at one establishment, try the next one until you find the game that works for you!

CasinoGuruOnline.com: Blackjack Tips

Like most casino games, blackjack is about fun, excitement and the thrill of the gamble. One aspect of the experience that can heighten your enjoyment is when you play to win! When you follow CasinoGuruOnline.com’s Blackjack Tips, you’ll be sure to have more fun, make easier decisions and, with a bit of luck, walk away with a few more dollars that you did at the start! Blackjack Tip #1: Watch your bankroll. Bankroll fluctuations can be a real roller-coaster ride. When your bankroll goes up and down, it can have a nasty effect on your stomach as well as your wallet, so keep these blackjack tips in mind: • Don’t play if you’re tired, drunk or sleepy. Successful blackjack play, more so than any other casino game, is based on smart decisions. One of the best decisions you can make is to walk away, get some rest or some food, and try again tomorrow. • Don’t dig yourself into a financial hole. If you’ve built up a nice winning streak, try to get out before it turns on you, because it eventually will. Pass a few chips to the dealer as a gratuity and treat yourself to a nice dinner or a fun show. Don’t keep playing until the “house edge” chops away at all your hard-won profits. Remember, the longer you stick around, the more chances you give the house to get their money back, as well as some more of yours! • Don’t play outside your comfort level. If you brought $1000 to play with, don’t try to play $100 a hand just because you think the black chips look cool. Most blackjack experts recommend that you start with a bankroll of forty to fifty times the table minimum. For example, if you have $1000 to play with, the highest minimum bet you should play is $25 ($25 x 40 = $1000). When you have that much padding in your bankroll, you can often outlast the huge swings in momentum that come in a long session. Blackjack Tip #2: Get the most for your money. This blackjack tip puts you in position to win more money with each hand before you see your first cards! In a traditional blackjack game, a ‘natural’ blackjack pays 3 to 2, or $15 for every $10 bet. Watch out! Some casinos advertise their blackjack games as paying “6 to 5” on a ‘natural’ blackjack. While these higher numbers might sound better, consider that such games only pay $12 on a $10 bet. You don’t need any advanced strategy guides to tell you $15 is always better than $12, so avoid the “6 to 5” tables wherever possible. Blackjack Tip #3: Find the best rules. In most cases, when casinos offer special “liberal” rules that stray too far from traditional blackjack play, those rules almost always favor the house. Also, many venues will offer different rules on when you are allowed to double down (only on ten or eleven), how many cards you can take after a split (only one each on split aces) and if you can double down or re-split two split hands. The best blackjack games are the ones where the players have more options within the rules, so do your homework and find the best rules for your game!

At CasinoGuruOnline.com, we believe that you can have more fun when you play smart, play within your means, and play to win!