Blackjack Beginners

Blackjack is a fairly easy-to-play card game in the casino, all you need to do is to get a total card value of 21 or as close as possible to it. That sounds easy but that is merely the basis of it, the big question is how. And the blackjack tips for beginners that we are about to share with you will be the answer. Beginners need to understand not only how the game is played but the odds and basic strategy of it. This game begins when each player is given two cards (usually face up) from a shoe of four to eight decks. The dealer will also be dealt with two cards but only one is facing up. 21 is also known as a natural. And if someone has an ace and a 10 (or face card), it means he has a blackjack or natural. Blackjack for beginners is pretty simple; if your hand is closer to 21 compared to the dealer, you win. If both sides have a blackjack (21, or natural) then it is a draw.

Terms to know as Beginners

If you want to look like a pro at the table, you must first get to know the game well. This means that you need to be familiarised with the terms frequently used throughout the game.

Regular wins pay 1:1while Blackjack wins pay 3:2. Regular wins mean the value of your cards is closer to 21 than those of the dealer’s. Blackjack wins mean the total of your cards is exactly 21. 

Hit: When someone says ‘hit me’, this means that they are taking another card to get closer to 21. You can also tap on the table with your finger or hand as a signal to the dealer, and the dealer will deal with you another card.

Stand: When someone says ‘stand’, this means that they do not want any more cards. Usually, this happens when they are very close to 21. The trick is, if you reach 17 or higher, you will want to stand. A simple waving of the hand is also saying no to the dealer, and he will go on to the next player. 

Soft: “Soft” means that you have a 17 but it is from an ace and 6, instead of a face and 6. Because an ace represents 1 or 11, so by right your total can be 7 or 17 and the player won’t be affected if he hits another 10. Players with a soft 17 can choose to stand or draw another card.

Insurance: This is a type of bet that players can choose to make when the dealer’s upcard is an ace. Players can then make this insurance bet to ensure some of their bets against a Blackjack. But this is usually a sucker bet. Unless you are counting cards, we advise you to never take them. 

Split: A split means you are allowed to separate your cards into two different hands, when and if you are dealt with two of the same card. But you must know when to split and when not to. For example, if you get two 10s, never split it as a total of 20 is already very close to 21 and has a high likelihood of winning.

Blackjack Tips for Beginners

Now that you have learned the terms, which are most useful in a real casino, it’s time to learn a few tips and tricks that can help you win in Blackjack. These tips that we are about to share with you, are applicable in real casinos or if you choose to play online.

ALWAYS split the aces and 8s. If you have a pair of aces, it means you have a total of 2 (1+1) or 12 (11+1). So, if you do not split your aces and you get another 10, you will now have a hard total of 12 (1+1+10), which is frankly not a great hand at all. But, if you split the aces, you are giving yourself a chance to get 10 as your second card on both your new hands. And that will give you 2 blackjacks, which is no doubt an excellent choice. A pair of 8s on the other hand should be split because when you have a pair of 8s, it gives you a hard total of 16 which is likely to go over if you choose to get another card and unlikely to win if you choose to stand. So, a wise move would be to split them up so that you will stand a chance to get two hands with a total of 18. That total has a higher chance of beating the dealer compared to 16. 

NEVER split the 4s, 5s, or 10s. Let’s have a look at a few examples. Say if you have a pair of 5s, that gives you a hard total of 10. If you split them and you are dealt with a 10, you will now have two hands of 15, which are lousy hands. This is why we advise you to never split a pair of 5s. Blackjack beginners may be tempted to split the 10s up, as they feel they can make a blackjack or at least have two high finishing hands. We know it is undoubtedly tempting when we think of the possibility of having double the amount of winnings, but you should never split the 10s. Because having a hard 20 is already a high winning hand so why risk losing it?

Check the dealer’s upcard. Before you proceed to stand, split or hit, Blackjack beginners should have a look at the dealer’s up card. Is it bad or good? What does it mean to be bad or good? A bad upcard could be anything from 2 through 6 while a good up card is something between 7 through Ace. Whatever up card the dealer says will make a difference in what action the player should play next. 

Set a limit or bankroll. Your bankroll is the amount of money you have allocated to play Blackjack. It should be an amount you are willing to lose. NEVER bet more than you can afford. Always set a budget for yourself each time you want to play Blackjack from your total bankroll, and never go over it. We suggest you start small as no one would want half of their pot to be gone in one go. Bet responsibly and stay disciplined. When you have decided on your budget, stick to it at all times. 

Fast Guide for you:

  • Stand when your hand is between 12 and 16, while the dealer’s upcard is between 2 and 6.
  • Hit if your hand is between 12 and 16, while the dealer’s upcard is 7 through Ace.
  • Always split your 8s and Aces.
  • If you have an 11, double down before you proceed with a third card.