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Blackjack Strategy and Rules

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Blackjack is fairly straightforward once you grow accustomed to playing it, but many players prefer to read all of the rules before they sit down, and this is likely a good idea. Blackjack rules are not set in stone, and blackjack strategy depends on what you're up against. In fact, your blackjack strategy will vary from game to game depending on a small set of variables that the house chooses for the game. But first, an introduction to the game:

Generally stated, each blackjack player competes only against the dealer (i.e. the bank/casino), not against other players. Your goal as the player is to beat the dealer by drawing cards until your hand comes close to 21, without exceeding it. If your first two cards total 21, you have what is known as a 'natural blackjack'. If the dealer gets closer to 21 than you without going over themselves, they win. The dealer follows a strict set of blackjack rules written just for them, and knowing what the dealer must do at the table is important in defining your blackjack strategy.

Learning blackjack strategy online is a great deal easier than trying to learn at a table in a land-based casino. Besides the pressure you feel from the players around you, and the dealers themselves, you are expected to wager your money as you learn. This is something you should prefer to avoid. Playing online eases this concern, as you may play unlimited amounts of blackjack on a free play version before placing any real bets, and have your strategy chart handy to reference for decisions. You can have a chart with you in the casino, but would have to get really quick at looking at it! Who wants that pressure?

The blackjack strategy you apply online should be the same as in a land-based casino, unless you plan on counting cards. To play online is very simple, since the software won't let you make any real errors, it's as simple as clicking your mouse. To place a bet for a specific denomination click on the chip, the software will automatically place this chip in the betting area for you.

All standard forms of blackjack rules dictate that the numerical values of the cards are: (10, J, Q, K) = 10, (Ace) = 1 or 11, (other cards) = face value (3 = 3).

Blackjack rules for the dealer are very simple. If the dealer's hand is 16 or less, they must take a card. If the dealer's hand is 17 or more, they must stand. Note that some casinos allow the dealer to hit on soft 17, which gives the house a very small additional advantage. The dealer's strategy is fixed and they do not change their decisions in an attempt to beat the players. Read on for more blackjack rules and strategy ->


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