How Much Time It Takes to Learn a Basic Online Blackjack Strategy and Put It into PracticeCasino
Online blackjack is a fascinating card game favoured by many Arabic gamblers. Created centuries ago, it was not very popular for a long time, as not everyone had access to the playing cards and game rules. However, in the last century, many things have changed and blackjack has become more accessible to almost everyone. A major boost in blackjack's popularity comes from the rise of the online gambling industry, which today includes an impressive array of operators and gambling sites.
What makes blackjack special is that it is a game that combines both luck and strategy. That means that by making optimal gambling moves, you can reduce the house advantage and achieve meaningful results in profits. In the middle of the 20th century, a group of scientists did some mathematical modelling of blackjack and derived a set of recommendations on optimal playing moves. Today, this set of recommendations is better known as the basic blackjack strategy used by seasoned players. Below we discuss what the basic strategy is, how to learn it and how much time and effort you need to put into mastering it completely.
Basics of Blackjack
Before we get to the basic strategy, it's a good idea to briefly explain the objective of the game and the rules. And this is important because you can't use the basic strategy effectively without understanding how blackjack works. So, blackjack is a game of skill and luck, where your goal is to collect a card combination that's worth more than the dealer's one, however without going over 21. To understand how many points your hand is worth, you need to know how cards are valued in blackjack.
So, here the cards are divided into three groups: the number cards, the face cards and the Ace. Number cards are worth as much as their face value. For example, if your starting hand includes 7 and 8, just add up those numbers to get the total value of your hand (15 points). Face cards in blackjack are valued at 10 points. The exception to this is the Ace, which can be worth as much as 1 or 11 points depending on the game situation.
When playing blackjack, you'll need to make an initial bet and receive two cards. When you do this, the dealer also dealt himself two cards, with one of them face up. You have a number of choices, including hit (to draw another card if you're not satisfied with your initial hand), stand (to keep your cards), split (to split your initial hand in two) and double down (to double your bet and draw another card). And to make sure you always choose the best option, it's worth learning the basic strategy of blackjack. Keep reading to find out more about the basic strategy and how long it will take you to learn it.
Things to Know About Basic Blackjack Strategy
You've probably heard of blackjack as the game with the lowest house advantage of 1% or even lower. However, in order to achieve such a low house advantage, you need to make optimal playing moves every time, and this is achievable through the use of a basic blackjack strategy. Whether you prefer to play RNG-based blackjack or a live dealer version, you can use the basic strategy to your advantage.
By taking into account the value of your starting hand, the dealer's open card and the probability of winning a basic blackjack strategy is essential to ensure your best-winning chances. By following a basic strategy, you can minimize your losses and maximize your chances of having a profitable playing session. Therefore, once you have learned the rules of blackjack, your next step should be to learn the basic strategy.
Learning the Basic Strategy
When you think of basic blackjack strategy, you probably imagine a thick book with lots of pages full of tips and advice. Luckily, basic strategy comes in the form of charts that show you the best play moves based on your current hand and the dealer's open card. For example, the basic strategy says that if you've got a 12–16-point hand and the dealer doesn't show an Ace, you should hit. Looking through the basic strategy charts, you will find several similar recommendations written in an easy-to-read format. So, we have a basic strategy that only takes up a notebook page, and that means it shouldn't take you too long to learn and memorize it.
Hence, you can find such tables with recommended actions in blackjack books and tutorials, as well as on online blackjack resources. However, we don't recommend mechanically memorizing the steps without understanding the logic behind them. You are better off spending some time learning the basic blackjack strategy with explanations of each and every one of the recommendations. For example, the reason you should stand with a hand worth 17 or more is that there's a good chance of drawing a card worth 5 or more. Once you understand each recommendation in the basic strategy, you can learn it more quickly and use it to your advantage.
Start by Learning the Key Terms
To understand more quickly how the basic strategy works, you need to learn the basic terms and concepts:
- Hit. By selecting this option, you will ask the dealer to deal you another card. This makes sense when the probability of outbidding with your current starting hand is quite low. You can use this option several times in a row. However, note that you will lose if your hand has a value higher than 21 points.
- Stand. By choosing this option, you are essentially telling the dealer that you are happy with your starting hand and do not need an additional card. So, with this option, you realize that one additional card will create a serious risk that you will exceed the 21-point limit.
- Double Down. If you feel that picking up one more card will significantly increase your chances of winning, then you can use this option. Unlike Hit, this will allow you to double your original bet and hopefully get a bigger payout if you win.
- Split. A basic blackjack strategy also specifies situations where it makes sense to split a hand in two to play two hands at once. For example, it makes sense if you have two sevens or two tens in your starting hand.
- Surrender. If you think your opening hand is unsuccessful and the odds of improving your chances of winning with a newly dealt card are too low-you may use this option to get half your initial bet back.
- Insurance. If you believe the dealer has 21 points (blackjack), you can insure against this situation by using this side bet. If you turn out to be right, the payout on this bet is 2 to 1.
In addition to the above terms, you will also come across concepts such as hard and soft hands in basic blackjack strategy. So, a hard hand is a hand that contains no Aces at all or an Ace that can only be valued at 1 point without going over 21 points. For example, if your hand contains cards 7 and 9, it is considered to be a hard hand as there is no Ace. As for a soft hand, this is a hand with a value that can change because it includes an Ace, which can be as low as 1 or as high as 11. For example, having a hand with a 5 and an Ace, you essentially have a soft 16. And this must be taken into account when following the basic blackjack strategy recommendations.
Practicing Basic Blackjack Strategy
If you have a blackjack deck, don't be lazy to practice with a friend acting as a dealer or on your own. The aim is to learn how to navigate the charts of basic blackjack strategy more quickly. Spending at least an hour a day doing this, you'll be able to quickly memorize the basic strategy tips and use them in real games, without looking at the cheat sheet.
Furthermore, there are plenty of online blackjack trainers on the internet enabling you to quickly learn the blackjack rules and basic strategy without any financial risk. Finally, you can play RNG-based blackjack in free demo mode right on the VipArabClub website. Simply go to the casino's website, go to the table games section, pick any RNG-based blackjack version and click on "Play For Free" to try it out in risk-free mode.
Owned and operated by a reputable casino operator that is licensed by the trusted regulator Curacao eGaming, VipArabClub is home to an array of high-quality online casino games from some of the top providers in the industry. There are also plenty of bonuses available here designed for both new and returning players. If you decide to stay with VipArabClub, you can improve your basic blackjack strategy by playing with real money and taking advantage of the casino bonuses.
Knowing basic blackjack strategy is a must if you want to turn blackjack into a skill-focused game that can bring you good profits. Knowing only the rules of blackjack is unlikely to produce meaningful results in the game. However, you'll need to put in some effort and take the time to memorize the basic strategy. However, you need to take it as your investment in your future more profitable blackjack sessions.