Blackjack is a great casino game but it’s often very intimidating for beginners, especially when played in land based casinos where one not only has to be mindful of the game rules and strategy but also blackjack etiquette that is associated with the game.
So if you’re starting out either at an online casino or land based one, it definitely pays to learn a few things about the game before you sit down to play. Let’s look at the 5 important things every beginner blackjack player should know:
1. Rules differ in each Blackjack game variant
Not all blackjack games are identical, so never sit down at a table expecting it to be the same as another. Some blackjack games offer players more favourable odds due the rules governing them and as such it is always important to read the rules of a game before playing and keep track of the following two important rules:
- Look for games with Natural blackjack payouts of 3:2 rather than those with 6:5 payouts as these lower the house edge by 1.4%.
- Look for games where the Dealer must stand on a soft 17, this decreases the house edge by 0.2%
These rules should be clearly indicated on any blackjack table, so there’s no excuse for not checking before you play.
2. Don’t touch your Cards
This rule only applies to land based casinos for obvious reasons but it is still very important to mention as it is heavily frowned upon in these venues and reaching for your cards as soon as they hit the table will incur a stern warning from the dealer and derision from other players. The reason players are not allowed to touch their cards is a precautionary measure employed by casinos to prevent cheating. So avoid touching your cards unless indication a hit.
3. There are Four (Sometimes Five) Game Play Actions
When playing blackjack you will be required to perform one of four basic actions as follows
- Hit: As for another card
- Stand: Keep your current cards/total and not draw any more cards
- Double Down: Double your original bet and be dealt one more card
- Split: If you are dealt a pair you can split the cards to form a new hand which requires an additional bet.
- Surrender: Some games offer the option for early or late surrender where you can surrender your bet in a bad situation and get half your wager back.
4. The Object is to beat the Dealer
Many beginner blackjack players make the mistake of thinking that the aim of the games is to get as close to 21 as possible without busting when the real objective is to beat the dealer regardless of the cards total.
5. A Blackjack Strategy card is essential
Playing according to sound basic blackjack strategy increases your odds of winning in this game. Basic strategy is easy to learn with the help of a blackjack strategy card which reveals the correct move to make in every hand you are dealt. So if you’re stuck on what to do with cards totalling 17 when the dealer’s upcards is an eight, then you can refer to the strategy card to find the right move.