When it comes to card games, blackjack is one of the most popular in both land-based and online casinos. With the opportunity for high strategy in blackjack, the odds can even fall on the players’ side. If you’re a beginner or an experienced player, knowing the different blackjack strategies is crucial for improving your chances of winning.
The more experienced you are as a player, the more advanced your strategy can become. So, in this blog post, we've kept things relatively simple; if you're new here, keep scrolling to find out our top blackjack tips, to help you play your cards right and win blackjack.
The rules of blackjack are relatively easy to understand, which is why it’s one of the most popular card games. However, you must be mindful of the rules of the individual blackjack game that you’re playing before you place your bets. In some games, you may only be allowed to double on certain numbers, or you may be able to double following a split.
There are so many different blackjack games to play, whether that it is online or in a land-based casino, so it’s only natural that they have alternate betting options.
With a wide selection of games and varying rules, different blackjack players can be catered for. Plus, this allows new twists and exciting variants to be added to the classic casino game. So, knowing the small differences in the blackjack game rules is crucial before you choose which table to sit at.
That’s why, at Virgin Games, all of our different online blackjack games like Atlantic City Blackjack, Vegas Downtown Blackjack or 9 Up Blackjack, feature a game overview page to give you the rundown of the rules. You can find game overviews on all of our other casino games too, which can help you to bring your A-game.
Blackjack is more than a game of chance. Instead of relying on luck, it’s worth learning some basic strategies before you hit the table. Basic strategy can increase your chances of winning by minimising the house edge. In fact, with a basic strategy, the house edge can drop to less than 1%.
One part of the game that blackjack players need to know is when to hit or stand. Ideally, you should stand when the value of your hand is at least 17. It may also be optimal to stand between 13 and 16, based on the value of the dealer’s up-card. Anything lower, then ask for another card.
You should also consider when to split pairs – always if you have two 8s or two Aces, and never if you have 4s, 5s or 10s – and make sure you double down if your cards are worth 9, 10, or 11 and there is no Ace.
Focusing on your own two cards – and ignoring the dealer’s hand – is a classic mistake for the blackjack beginners. However, if you want to make the optimal decision and beat the dealer, you need to take a look at their hand too.
So, why is knowing the dealer's up-card important? Well, this will determine how you play your next move. Let’s say the dealer’s up-card is a 10; that means they’re in a good position. There are more high-value cards remaining in the deck, so it’s likely that the dealer’s hold card will give them a strong hand.
If the dealer has a weak up-card, they are more likely to go bust because they have to hit until they have at least 17. Let’s say the dealer’s up-card is a 6; unless the dealer flips over an ace, they will have to hit again which we know means a higher risk of going bust. So, by checking out the dealer’s up-card, you can determine if they're in a weak or strong position and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Knowing the difference between hard and soft hands in blackjack is crucial for making strategic decisions because these hands offer different odds.
Soft hands are those that include an ace, so it can be counted as 1 or 11. A hard hand is then, of course, one that does not include an ace, or includes an ace that must be counted as one.
The flexibility of soft hands makes them advantageous because you have more options available, with less risk being taken. Hard hands can be more difficult to weigh up, as there is always the chance of you receiving a card that will bust you.
Understanding this difference means you can adjust your gameplay accordingly, based on your hand and the dealer's up-card. You can therefore make more calculated decisions, which gives you a better chance to win blackjack.
Before you join a blackjack table, whether online or at a land-based casino, decide how long you want to play and how much you want to spend. Consider any buy-in and bet limits of the table so you can judge which games fit your budget. Remember to set your limits and stick to them to protect your bank roll and ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
Check out our Responsible Gaming tools such as deposit limits, session reminders and cool-off periods, to make sure you have fun and always stay in control when you’re playing with us.
Discover our wide selection of blackjack tables at Virgin Games and show off your table skills. From classic versions to cool new variants, we’ve got something for every blackjack player.
If you feel like brushing up on the basics before you hit the table, take a look at our blog explaining online blackjack rules.