Blackjack has one of the lowest house edges among all available casino games. This is not an accident, but an intentional design decision! Blackjack is structured in such a manner that players who play using a set basic strategy have an incredibly high RTP.
Familiarize Yourself With the Strategy
The first thing you should do is familiarize yourself with the strategy. Most often, it will be depicted on a grid, with abbreviations telling you what to do. How you play depends on several factors. Whether you have a soft or a hard hand, what the dealer’s face-up card is, and if you have a pair.
Memorize the Steps
If you have a hard time memorizing the cheat sheet, you can ask yourself questions. This is best done while actively playing a demo version of blackjack, to help you memorize the steps.
- Surrender takes priority, as it can only be done before you hit. Keep in mind most online blackjack games do not allow any type of surrender. If you have a risky hand and the dealer has a strong one, it may be best to retreat. As an example, you will want to surrender if you have a fifteen, and the dealer has a ten.
- After surrendering, the next thing you should check is whether you should split. Splitting can only be done if you draw a pair of cards. While you can split all pairs, that does not mean you should. Some combinations, like a pair of tens, are better played together instead of being split.
- Doubling is next on our list. You double if it seems likely that your hand will beat the dealer. If you have an eleven total versus a dealers two, that is a safe double.
- Finally, we come down to the basic question: do we hit or stand? Sometimes, the answer is straightforward, like if you have a twenty in your hand. However, what should you play when you have a fifteen and the dealer’s face-up card is a seven?
Find a Basic Strategy
Remember to find a basic strategy that applies to your table. Some wagers are different depending on whether the dealer stands or hits on a soft 17. Ideally, you should learn both. If you do not want to learn more than one, then you should memorize the soft 17 strategy.