How to Play Blackjack in Las Vegas and Win!
Blackjack / 21 Basic RulesBlackjack or twenty-one as it is sometimes called is played in casinos
all over the world including
online casinos. For the most part the rules
for playing are pretty much the same all over.
Most casinos use a multiple deck shoe which can hold up to eight decks
of cards. Some of the casinos use shoes that constantly shuffle the
cards. I mention this so you will not waste your time and money on card
counting methods. These may have worked years ago but not today.
Fun can be had, and money can be made playing Blackjack if you know what
you are doing. Here is how money can be made. If you learn the simple
playing strategy presented here you will be playing pretty close to even
money or sometimes better than even with the casino. These techniques
also apply to
You will win some of the time and you will lose some of the time. The
advantage you have over the casino is that when you are winning you can
walk away. There is a saying on Wall Street that may apply here. ďThe
bears make money, the bulls make money, but the pigs go broke.Ē I believe
it is better to make a small profit than lose your bankroll trying to
break the bank.
Before getting into playing strategy, just a word or two for the beginner
on how the actual game is played. The table itself is often a
semi-circle around which the players are seated. The dealers stands
across from them. In a multi-shoe game all cards a dealt face up, two to
a player. The dealer also gets two cards but one of them is face down.
ONLY THE DEALER TOUCHES THE CARDS.
Always keep this in mind. Even though the game is called Blackjack or
Twenty One, the goal is not to get 21 but to get a higher total than the
dealer with out going over 21, or as they say busting. When you want
another card to add to your hand, tap your finger. This is called taking
a hit. You may take as many hits as you want as long as you do not go
over 21. When you are satisfied with your cards, simply wave your hand
over them and the dealer will know not to hit you. The dealer has to hit
his hand when he has 16 or less and stand on 17 or better,
In adding up the total of your cards, all card get their face value such
as 3, 4, 5, 6 etc. Picture cards have a value of ten. An Ace can be 1 or
11. When you are dealt a hand that has no Aces, it is called a Hard
Hand, for example 7 and 9, which of course equal 16. When a hand has an
Ace in it, for example Ace and 5, it too is 16 or a 6, because an Ace can
be called 11or 1, the choice is yours. When an Ace is in a hand, it is
called a Soft Hand. Most hands are of course Hard Hands.
There are various charts that have been printed outlining a basic
strategy to win at Blackjack, but most people find them difficult to
memorize and are embarrassed to show them while seated at the Blackjack
Table. As a result I have broken these computer based rules into a few
easy to understand sentences.
However, if you want, you can
the chart shown on the left. Las Vegas casinos permit you to bring these
charts at the table. The people sitting next to you might get a bit
impatient as you look at it to figure out your play, but if you are playing against a
online, it won't matter.
From 3 to 11 in your hand always hit regardless of dealerís up card and
hitting until the strategy says you should stand.
Playing Strategy when you
have a Hard Hand (no Aces)
When you have 12 to 16 in your hand always hit except when dealerís up
card is 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 then stand. When dealer shows 7 or better you
Always stand on 17 through 21 regardless of dealerís up card.
Playing Strategy when you have a Soft Hand
A soft hand is one where at least one
card is an Ace, that counts for 1 or 11 at your option.
When you have a great hand A8, A9, A10 (Blackjack pays 3 to 2), stand
regardless of dealerís up card. With all other combinations of Ace and
another card, always hit because with the 1 or 11 option you can only
improve your hand. When you decide how to use the Ace you can next apply the
Hard Hand rules as to when to hit or stand.
When to Split a Hand
should always split Aces, Nines and Eights. If your two cards are
tens do not split them as 20 is a very good hand. When it come to
splitting the other pairs the rules are very complicated and they do not
change the odds of the game very much, but keep in mind it is better to
keep two 5ís giving you a 10 to draw to than two hands of 5.
Doubling Down is allowed by the casinos. The casinos vary as to what
cards they allow you to double down on. Traditionally most casinos allow
doubling on 10 and 11. Upon doubling down you double the size of your
bet. You are only allowed a one card hit when you double down. Some
experts agree that it is a good move for the player. A well know expert
takes a different view. He says to double down only if the dealer is
showing a 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6. Others, and this is my view say, by doubling
you limit yourself to one card. Why take the chance? 10 or 11 is a good
number to hit to. Why lower your chances of a win.
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