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3 Tips From an Avid Blackjack Fan

Blackjack is one of my favourite card games, as it’s fun and thrilling to play without raising the stakes to a poker level. I admit that my poker face isn’t the best, but luckily, an inscrutable poker face isn’t necessary in blackjack. After all, there’s no such thing as a blackjack bluff! Over the years, I have found three tips in blackjack games that have served me well.

Blackjack’s Basic Rules

Before I explain my top three tips, let’s look at the basic blackjack rules. At its core, you play blackjack against the dealer. The person with a hand closest to 21 without going over it wins; it’s as simple as that.

Every player gets two faceup cards, while the dealer receives one faceup and one facedown card. Number cards equal the number on the card, while face cards equal 10. The Ace can be a one or 11.


Of course, there are other rules, such as the possible actions you can take or when a dealer must draw another card. If you’re just starting, then knowing how to understand blackjack strategy chart variations will help you learn the different actions.

Standard Blackjack Actions

The basic blackjack games have five actions you can take:

  • Hit: Ask for another card.
  • Stand: Keep your hand as is.
  • Split: Create two hands from your original hand if it has two of the same cards.
  • Double Down: Double your original bet to receive another card.
  • Insurance: If the faceup card for the dealer is an Ace, you can take insurance, betting that the dealer has a blackjack.

Some variations will offer other actions, like Surrender. By surrendering, you give up half of your original bet to the dealer. You only surrender if your hand might lose.

Three Tips Every Players Should Know

Now that you know the hame’s basics, it’s time to look at my top three tips. Remember that these tips aren’t guaranteed-to-win strategies. Blackjack is, at its core, a game of luck. While you can count cards and predict them based on mathematical equations, there’s no guarantee specific cards will appear.

  1.  Avoid Taking Insurance Bets

While insurance bets might seem like a way to get the best of both worlds, you’re just working against yourself. The best only pay out 2:1 if you win, and you lose it entirely if the dealer doesn’t have blackjack.

Depending on how many decks the game uses, there’s only a 30.84% to 31.37% chance that the other card is a 10 or face card. Further, over time, blackjack deals only syphon away at your bankroll. 

In the long run, they have a negative expected value, which means they’re more trouble than they’re worth.

  1. Split Only in the Right Circumstances

Splitting cards let you play two hands against the dealer, but be aware that you’re making another bet for the second hand. Most players will make a point to always or never split their cards, but there’s a strategy you can follow.

If you have two 10s or two of the same face cards, then I advise you never to split them. With a total of 20, the dealer can only beat you if they have a blackjack, or it can result in a stand-off if they have the exact total.

If you have two fives, don’t split them. However, if you have two sevens or eights, split them if the dealer’s faceup card is equal value or lower. If you have two Aces, always split them.

  1. Play Aggressively and Double Down

The last tip I can give you is don’t be afraid to double down. You shouldn’t double your bet if you believe you have a terrible hand. But if you have a hand you’re confident in, double down and play aggressively.

Another situation to double down is if your initial hand gives you a value of 11 while the dealer’s card ranges between two and 10. Remember that when you double down, you receive another card. 

With a hand of 11, you can get a 10 or a card that brings you close to 21. If you have an Ace and a card between two and six, then double down or hit to improve your hand.

Other Tips to Remember

In my experience, the three tips above are an excellent way to familiarise yourself with the gameplay. However, there are also a few other tips you should remember:

  • Hit if the dealer has a faceup card of seven to Ace while you have a hand total of 12 to 16.
  • Stand if the dealer has a faceup card of two to six while you have a hand total of 12 to 16.
  • Manage your bankroll effectively so you only play with money you can afford to lose.

Blackjack: A Thrilling Experience

Once you get the hang of blackjack, it’s an entertaining game. Between April 2008 and March 2022, blackjack’s win value was around £97.32 million. It’s a popular game that you can use skill to play or simply enjoy the thrill.