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Be a confident blackjack player

Springbok online casino continues to grow.  We are now considered the top online casino for South Africa.  One reason so many gamers are coming to Springbok is that we try our best to give you the kinds of tips and playing strategies that will help you win.

We talk a lot about learning to count cards.  We also understand that many players simply have a very hard time learning the technique of card counting.  Players who favour blackjack above all other casino games want to know how to play the game well even if they don’t count cards.

So, in this article, we’ll address ourselves to what we might term recreational blackjack players rather than the more professional players who get their blackjack pleasure exactly from beating the house whilst counting cards.

Surrender

The importance of this feature cannot be under-estimated.  In short, there are a few blackjack hands that are almost certainly losers.  For example, if you have hard 15 or 16 and the dealer shows a 7 or higher card, you will almost certainly lose the hand.

In this situation, surrender becomes a great option; you save half of a losing wager!  By judiciously using the surrender option, a player who plays with correct strategy at all times, can actually end most sessions in the black.

Some players always surrender with 16 points.  The biggest exception is when you reached 16 points with several small cards.  In this case, it is almost like counting cards.  The deck is rich with 10-point cards which is a plus for you.

So, some players have asked us why we offer the surrender option.  The obvious answer is that we know how important it is to many players and we want to do everything we can to make your blackjack gaming as enjoyable as we possibly can.

As you’ll see later in the discussion on insurance, we offer some options because they are the options our players want.

Many players don’t like to use the surrender option.  So, we are here to tell you and everyone else that the surrender option is one of the best choices you can have in blackjack.  When you get used to using it, you’ll be surprised at how often you use it.  All of those times in the past you were sacrificing half of your bets by not using the surrender option.

Understanding Hands

Surrender is for those hands that are almost certain to lose.  There are also many hands where you can choose one of two strategies and they are quite close to each other in how much you’ll win or lose depending on which strategy you take.

In some cases, by choosing correctly, you ensure that you’ll lose less than if you took the other option.  Losing less in the short run often translates into winning more in the long run.

Doubling Down

The first set of hands that you need to learn well is all the different hands where doubling down is the best action you can take.  Everyone knows that they should double down with a hard 11 in general.  Some players are afraid to double down with a hard 11 if the dealer is showing an ace.

You will win slightly more when you double down with a hard 11 against the dealer’s ace against simply drawing.  “Slightly more” in the short run is often the difference in the overall outcome of a session in the long run.

Doubling down with ten points against the dealer’s 9 or less is obvious.  But doubling down with an ace and a low card is not nearly as intuitive.   If you have ace-2 to ace-7, you should double down when the dealer is showing a 5 or a 6.  This is because these low soft holdings in your hand are easily converted into much better hands and a five or six in the dealer’s hand is a strong indication of a future bust.

Splitting

Always split aces and eights.  If you don’t split aces, you have 12 which is a weak hand.  If you split them, you have two strong chances to get blackjack.

Splitting eights is obvious from the standpoint that 16 is the worst hand you can have and two eights give you slightly better chances to win.  Splitting here is better than surrendering.  Many players feel that they should surrender when the dealer has a nine, ten, or ace but in the long run the best play here is also to split the eights.

Splitting nines confuses many new blackjack players.  Splitting eights is a good strategy because they add up to 16 points, a very bad hand.  But two nines can win in many situations so it is not as good to split them.  You should stand with a pair of nines if the dealer shows a 7; that’s because the dealer could easily get to 17 and you would win.  However, if the dealer has any other low card, your best play is to split the pair of nines.

Never split tens.  This is also very obvious.

Never split fives.   A pair of fives is a good hand and splitting the fives may lead to 15 points which is the second worst hand you can have.

Finally, we suggest splitting a pair of twos or threes if the dealer is showing a two or a three.  If the game doesn’t allow splitting, then hit these pairs.  These are weak holdings but you will stem the losses by hitting rather than by surrendering.

Learn When to Hit a Hard 12

This is not a great hand but if the dealer is showing a 2 or a 3, he has a good chance to get to 17-21 without busting.  With 12 points, you will lose in the long run but against a dealer’s 2 or 3, hitting a hard 12 is the better option.

Learn When to Hit 17

Some players surrender when they have a hard 18 and the dealer shows 9, 10, or an ace.  This is a good strategy when the 18 in your hand is hard.  When it is soft, you should always hit this holding even if it means giving up your chance to surrender.  There are simply too many ways to improve a soft 18 hand for you to surrender it.

Never Take Insurance

The only reason we offer blackjack insurance is because players want it but we always remind everyone that insurance is a very poor bet for the player so never take it.

Play 3-2 Blackjack

Some land-based casinos now offer blackjack at the 6-5 rate.  This adds about 1.5% to the house edge.  It means that you’ll have fewer sessions in which you end up in the black so never play 6-5 blackjack.

Use a Strategy Card

These cards are plentiful online and will help you become a more profitable blackjack player.  Make sure that you have to right card for the variation you want to play.