Everybody knows blackjack. Or everybody thinks they do.
On the surface the game is simple: Get two cards, try and get 21 without busting… make money. But card players that have been around the felt a few times know that the game can go much deeper than that. And they’ll also be quick to remind you of this if you’re playing at their table.
Blackjack isn’t simply a game of “close your eyes and pray”; there are elements of the game that make it one of the most strategic of all casino activities.
So if you’re looking to bring more “luck” to your table game, we’ve got some tips:
Know When to Double Down
We can’t get that Swingers scene out of our head: Vince Vaughn nags the hell out of Jon Favreau to double down on 11 at a $100 table in Vegas because “You got an 11 you always double down on 11, baby”. Favreau loses, but Vaughn was 100 percent correct. You always double down on 11… baby.
But that isn’t the only time, and knowing when to double down will give you the cash boost you need when playing. Try to keep up here:
If your cards equal nine double down if the dealer has 3 thru 6. If your cards equal ten double down if the dealer has 2 thru 9. If you have an ace and a two or three double down if the dealer has 5 or 6. If you have an ace and a four or five double down if the dealer has four thru six. If you have an ace and a six double down if the dealer has three thru six. If the dealer doesn’t have the cards listed above, hit.
Not the easiest set of rules to remember but if you get these down your luck – aka bankroll – will rise.
Know Where You Stand
Most newbies in the blackjack world hit when the cards are low and stand when they have a 20. But there are more obvious opportunities than that. Players should stand on 12 when the dealer’s upcard is four thru six, and stand on 13 to 16 if the dealer’s upcard is two thru six. We know anything less than a 17 will have you itching to tap your finger on the table (or mouse) but resist the urge, it’ll pay off. If these opportunities don’t arise hit like you’re Ike Turner.
Know When to Do the Splits
Some players think if they get any pair besides one that equals 10 or 20, they should split em’. Those people would be wrong. Buckle up, this could get confusing:
Split twos only if the dealer’s upcard is three thru seven, threes only if the upcard is four thru seven, and hit – don’t split – fours. Split sixes if the upcard is two thru six, sevens if the upcard is two thru seven, eights if the upcard is two thru nine, and nines if the upcard is two thru six, eight, and nine. Still here? Great! As for aces, only hit if the dealer’s upcard is an ace, otherwise split like a Chinese gymnast.