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Learn How To Bet At Blackjack
Counting cards essentially is the act of tracking the number of high and low-value cards used to better predict a more likely outcome on a particular hand. Now that you know the basic tools of the game, it’s time to examine how to play. The blackjack rules assign numerical blackjack card values to every card. Even when surrender is available, it is rarely used by players. Often, the rules posted at the table won’t mention it even if the casino allows it.
Note that the dealer does not have the option of splitting or doubling down. Most casinos use a multiple deck shoe which can hold up to eight decks of cards. Further, some of the casinos use shoes that constantly shuffle the cards. I mention this so you will not waste your time and money on card counting methods. These may have worked years ago when the number of decks was small, but are of little value today and can only give you a slight edge at best.
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Your hand isn’t the only thing that should influence your decision. In many variations, including Standard Blackjack, one of the cards that the dealers deal to themselves is turned face-up, which means that you can see it. There are limitations on the kind of cards you can split; with 10-value cards many casinos allow only cards of identical numeric value to be split. So you could split a hand that is a pair of Kings but not hand that has a King and a Jack.
The only side bet that is standard at just about all tables is insurance. No matter what, a pair of 8s against a dealer’s 9 or 10 is a bad situation. But the goal in blackjack is to keep your losses to a minimum by choosing the strategy that will lose less than other options.
Much of the excitement and profit in blackjack comes from hands where you are able to “double down”. This option is available only with a two card hand, before another card has been drawn. Doubling down allows you to double your bet and receive one additional card to your hand. The dealer will usually pay your winning blackjack bet immediately when it is your turn to play. In the face down games, this means that you should show the blackjack to the dealer at that time.