We’re looking forward to getting back into casinos and playing blackjack and other table games again. Since this isn’t Pai Gow Poker Online dot com we’re going to look at some blackjack hands that aren’t intuitive.
This isn’t a new topic but one that will serve as a reminder when playing blackjack inside of a casino. Many recreational gamblers have blind spots in certain games of skill. For example, I have friends that know hitting a 12 against a dealer showing a 2 or 3 is the right move. However, they never make this play for various reasons.
I always hit a 12 when the dealer has a 2 or 3 showing and too many people look at me like I have three heads. Frankly, there are people who look at me this way for many gambling decisions. I try to use math and correct strategy when gambling. Walking away from a game is usually the best practice when emotions get stirred.
I try to play blackjack games with a perfect basic strategy. Sadly, being perfect isn’t one of my personality traits. Practice and repetition of correct plays are useful for someone always looking to play better blackjack. Playing with perfect basic strategy is a great way to minimize the casino’s house edge.
There are other blackjack hands that I have to remind myself to play because they are the correct basic strategy. Here are some reminders of a few blackjack hands that are often misplayed.
Double When You’re Dealt 11
Blackjack players should double every 11 they’re dealt with one exception. This play gets a side-eye from many players – especially if you’re doubling against a dealer showing a 10, Jack, Queen, or King.
Doubling down aggressively using correct basic strategy is a great way to make money playing blackjack. This kind of play is also why blackjack games can have such a low house edge.
Oh yeah, the one time a player shouldn’t double an eleven is when the dealer is showing an Ace.
Double Correctly And Often
Doubling and splitting hands are great ways to have better blackjack sessions. Players may not win money all the time playing the correct basic strategy. However, playing correctly will decrease the house edge and give the player a better chance to hit a hot streak. It should also lead to more time at the table which in turn will make the experience more fun.
It may not be intuitive but players should be splitting 9’s against all dealer upcards except 7, 10, and Ace. Additionally, a pair of 7’s should be split unless the dealer has an 8, 9, 10, or Ace showing.
Not aggressively splitting hands when basic strategy calls for it is a way to leave money on the table over time. Blackjack is difficult enough. Players taking advantage of moves that have a positive expected value over time to maximize fun and positive money flow.
Not Hitting Soft 18 When Dealer Has 9 or 10 Showing
Speaking of strange looks, this is the number one play I’m questioned about when playing blackjack. Taking another card is the correct basic strategy when a player has a soft 18 (Ace and 7) and the dealer has a 9, 10, Jack, Queen, or King showing.
Hitting a soft 18 when the dealer is showing a 9 or 10 is a small winner. Making this move will help keep a bankroll alive a little longer.