Arguably, the way that most people had their first close brush with the game of blackjack was through Kevin Spacey and Jim Sturgess’ film, 21. While there is much debate about whether the movie is that great or not, one thing is for certain: A lot of people tried to learn how to play blackjack (or 21) after watching it.
Like most card games, the rules are not that complicated. You play blackjack against the dealer. Each card is assigned a value between 1 and 1. Your two-card hand should come to a total of, no surprise there, 21. The main challenge is in mastering the game. And you can use these five tips to do that.
1. Practice playing online with minimized risk
Playing online blackjack is obviously much more convenient than having to go to an actual casino. This way, you can play with bets as low as £5 in some cases, or go as high as £10,000 sometimes! But the best part about playing online is that you can still join a live game with a real dealer, and not just play against a computer.
2. Learn the basic strategy and try to stick to it
It is safe to assume that the card you cannot see is a 10. Since 10, jack, queen, and king are all worth 10 points, it is highly probable that your assumption is correct. Referring to a strategy chart could also help your game. It is also a good idea for learning about insurance and side bets.
3. Always check the dealer’s up card before placing bets
Make this one of your key practices when playing this tricky card game. Check if the dealer has a bad card (2 through 6) or a good card (7 and up). The dealer’s card should determine your next step in the game.
4. Master the difference between a hard hand and a soft hand
Start by looking for the aces. If you have a hard hand, this means that you either do not have any aces, or they count for 1 (not 11). This means that your ace cannot bring your total down, and you might be dangerously close to hitting 22. In a soft hand, your ace could be either a 1 or an 11. This still leaves some wiggle room for you to hit one more time.
5. Know when to cash in your chips and walk away
It is a good idea to set a budget for yourself and not get carried away if you are on a winning streak. Some experts suggest that you raise your bets a little when you have won 3 or more hands in a row, and then lower them again when your winning streak ends. Resist the temptation to keep playing once you reach your goal.
As far as blackjack or any other card game is concerned, the key is to practice, practice, and then practice some more. It is advisable to raise the stakes only after you have mastered the basic strategies.