Blackjack – Advices For The Beginners

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In traditional blackjack hands, the Ace is automatically counted as 11 unless it is necessary to reduce the value.
Starting with the dealer placing two cards on the table, each player must then decide whether or not to increase the amount of cards in their hand. The game is won by the player who has 21 (made up of an Ace and a 10, or any of the court cards, Jack, Queen or King), or has the highest numbered card. Winning hands are typically those that have cards totalling from 16 all the way to 21, although having a total of 16 will always give you a lower chance of winning. There are some games that have a bonus payout if you tie with the dealer, (called a ‘push’) but this is a rare occurrence.

Bets are important in a game of Blackjack. The bets are placed before the cards are dealt, whereas with most other card games, at least one card is dealt to the players before bets are made. Usually, the cards are dealt so the players can see all the cards, with the exception of the dealer. His hand is dealt so that one is visible and the other is face down, called a ‘hole card’. That is where the typical strategies come in about hitting, doubling, or standing based on the upturned card of the dealer. Doubling is done when a player has two cards of the same value, which can be split to form two hands.

Statistically, the easiest winnings come from hands with a total of 20 or higher, to ensure that you have the stronger hand against he dealer. While you can win the hand on a 17, it is more difficult, as the dealer has to stand on 17 when following the traditional blackjack rules. If the hands are the same, then the face value of the cards is taken. Standing on 17 is rarely a good idea unless the dealer has a 6 or below in his hand, or your hand consists of an Ace (a soft hand). In the same way, hitting on a hard 17 is inadvisable due to the increased chance of busting.

The difference between a hard and a soft hand in blackjack is described as follows. A hard hand is known as such because it is a straight hand. The values are not interchangeable, and therefore the next card dealt will decide whether or not the player busts. Therefore, a hand without an Ace or an Ace that is counted as 1 is called a hard hand, and a soft hand is a hand with an Ace that can only be counted as 11. In traditional blackjack hands, the Ace is automatically counted as 11 unless it is necessary to reduce the value. It is known as a soft hand because it can never be broken before the third card is drawn.

In this way, the same strategy applies to a hand of 18. If the dealer’s card is anything from a 9 through to an Ace, the chances of you winning the hand are incredibly small. If you have a soft hand when the dealer has these cards, it is in your best interests to hit and obtain another card.

Standing should be done when the dealer has any card from 2, a 7 or an 8. If the dealer has any card from 3 to 6, then doubling should be undertaken wherever possible. Following these rules, a hand of 19 will only be a strong hand if the dealer is not showing an Ace or 10. These values are calculated due to the cards typically being 3 or more decks, and the odds of particular cards coming out on the turns.

Because of the high chances of a strong hand being 20, the majority of winnings come from the two hands that make up the total. This may seem difficult to remember, but with practice, playing blackjack becomes easier, and the strategies become ingrained in your memory. It is more difficult to play blackjack with hard hands, for example hands from 12 to 16, as they are more likely to lose money. However, if the higher cards are still in the deck, then increasing the bet may give you higher chances of beating the dealer.

It is also possible to come across a situation where the dealer may offer an insurance bet. This is where the upturned card is an Ace, but the hole card is not known. In this insurance bet, the player is taking the gamble that the dealer has 21 in his hand. It is called insurance because if the dealer has blackjack then the player will still win the game even if the player loses by his own cards. It is useful in games where the high value cards are still in the deck, and the payouts for insurance would be greater than winning the blackjack initial wager. Of course, the dealer could also ask if the player would prefer his wager back if he has blackjack in his own hands. The advantage to this is that the player has no knowledge of whether the dealer has 21, and the dealer can then obtain more money for the house from the other players who continue to push.
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