For novices, I recommend the Wizard’s Simple Strategy that you’ll find on the blackjack page on www.wizardofodds.com. The strategy consists of 11 rules presented in a colored-coded table that makes it easy to remember. THe link to the Wizard of Odds is to your right under resources.
This is a re-post from 2014 and can be read with many other table game resources in the menu above in “Games & Strategies.”
Ever want to start playing table games, but were a little intimidated to start? Well here are some tips to get started playing Blackjack:
1) Become familiar with basic strategy – practice at home with free apps or programs that will teach you certain situations. You need to become familiar with the basic playing strategy for hitting, standing, doubling down, and pair splitting.
2) Go to the casino with someone who knows what to do at the blackjack table, and visit at a less crowded time.
3) Stick to your basic strategy, no matter what “experts” at the table say. Get comfortable with your strategy play, not what others say – and they will let their thoughts be known. Be strong. The playing decisions of other players on your table have no effect in the long run on your odds of winning – or vice versa. Remember, Blackjack is not a team sport. Always use the basic playing strategy regardless of how other players play their hand, how much you bet, and whether you lost or won your previous sessions.
4) Don’t play any game that pays 6-5 (or worse, even money) for a blackjack. Play only on tables where blackjack is paid at 3-2.
5) Play on tables where the dealer manually shuffles the cards. It is interesting to watch for beginners and gives you a chance to catch your breath, and even interact with the dealer a little.
6) Scout the tables to find the most liberal playing rules. Besides a 3-2 payoff for a blackjack, the best rules are dealer standing on all 17s (including soft 17), you can double down on any two cards, and doubling after pair splitting is allowed. (If surrender is offered, better yet – if you are aware of that strategy.) Most casinos don’t offer surrender outside of Atlantic City (or what’s left in AC)
7) Don’t make the Insurance wager no matter how much money you wagered on your hand. Insurance is a sucker bet.
8) Always give your Players Rewards Card before you play. Give your player’s card to the dealer to get rated for your play.
9) Have fun and bring only the bankroll you can enjoy spending. If the table isn’t fun – grumpy dealer, drunks, unhappy “know-it-alls” – then move!
That’s all for now. I hope you have many successful splits, double downs and dealer busts!