How to level the blackjack playing field
Blackjack is a very popular card game played in casinos all over the world both in live and online casinos. Unlike card games such as poker, blackjack is a game played against the house or dealer. It is also referred to as 21 and the purpose of the game is to beat the dealer.
A common misconception people have is that the aim of blackjack is to get 21 or as close to 21 as possible. This is true to an extent, but if played correctly using basic strategy this is not always the goal.
For instance, a player total of 21 with 3 or more cards or a total close to 21 does not guarantee a win. A player will lose if the dealer draws a natural blackjack or if their total is beaten by the dealers total. If both the player and dealer have a natural blackjack this is deemed a push or tie.
Rather than summing up the objective of blackjack as to get a total of 21 or as close as possible, the objective is to beat the dealer, as the hand is only won when the dealer is beaten, this includes whether a player has had a higher total or a low total with the dealer going onto bust.
Certain situations present themselves as to whether you want to stand on a low total or hit to get a higher total. In order to know whether you should hit or stand please refer to the basic strategy page.
Below are just two examples of when you should stand and when you should hit:
Example 1 Stand on a low number
There are situations when a player does not want to hit a card and get as close to 21 as they can. For example, a player has a hard 15 against the dealer 6. In this situation it is advisable for the player to stand as the dealer has to hit a minimum of two times and has a good chance of busting. If the dealer was to pull two 10 value cards, the dealer would bust and the player would win.
Example 2 Hit to get a total close to 21
For example, a player has the 10 of clubs and the 6 of hearts totalling 16 against the dealers King of spades. It is advisable to hit because you have to assume the dealer is going to pull another 10 value card. It is always recommended to hit first rather than give the dealer the opportunity.
Another important point to note is that the dealer must stand on a total of 17 or more. For example a player has finished his turn and has a total of 20. Its now the dealers turn who has a 7, then pulls a 5 for a total of 12 then pulls another 5 for a total of 17. The dealer must now stand and the player wins with a higher total.
To conclude, when a players hand is lower than the dealers they lose. If a players hand totals more than 21 they bust and lose. Please remember because the player acts first, if the player busts and then the dealer also goes onto bust, the player still loses. A “push” or “tie” occurs when the players cards total the same amount as the dealers and therefore no one wins or loses.
A player wins if they hit a blackjack also called a natural. A player wins if they stand and the dealer goes onto bust and a player wins if their total is higher than the dealers total.