Winning Blackjack Tips

Blackjack has long been an online casino favorite for its combination of skill and luck, and it's mix of the simple and the complex. The rules are simple - get as close to a total of 21 as possible without going over. But almost immediately it starts to get complicated. Aces are either 1 or 11, and they can change mid-hand from one to the other. The most common number in the deck is 10 because all of the tens and face cards are worth 10.

Then there are the vexing problems of strategy. What do you do when you are relatively close to 21 but there is the lingering risk of a 10 point card? Do you follow the same rule at 15 as you do at 16? When is it worth splitting your hand into two hands?

It may be true that finding a true inner compass with the game takes a great deal of practice. Only by seeing the possibilities play out over and over can you start to anticipate what will happen next. But fortunately, the age and popularity of the game have produced numerous experts over the ages who have compiled a set of conventional strategies.

These tips may not work every time, but they give you a pretty good starting point.

1. Pay Attention to the Dealer's Face Card

Whether to take a bigger risk or a smaller risk depends a great deal on what the dealer is showing. if he has a face card of 4 or 6, you can be pretty sure he's going to hit again on top of his other card. That means you get at least three cards, if you need them,

In other words, if you're wondering about what to do at 16, and the dealer is showing a 4, you can take the risk because the dealer is going to have to take one as well, and then luck decides. But if he's showing a 10, he could easily have a total of 20 or even a blackjack, giving him a pretty good chance to win without even risking going over.

2. Never Hit on 17 or Higher

While there is great debate over how to handle a 15, and even more debate over what to do at 16, there is pretty much a strong consensus of what to do at 17. You stand, because the likelihood of getting one of those elusive cards - a two, three, or four - that will bring you closer to 21 and not push you over are much lower than the chances of getting a 10, or one of the those other cards in the deck that will cause you to bust.

While some beginners will argue that the risk takers are the ultimate winners in online casino games  because it only takes a few big wins to cover a large number of smaller loses. And gambling is all about risk, they will say. But seasoned players who have watched, and winced at, beginners who take the risk strategy too far, know that the odds are the ultimate guide, and the odds are deeply against you when you hit on 17.

3. Remember that Strategy will only take You Part of the Way

The biggest lesson of all when it comes to online casino games, is the fact that even games that mix skill and luck rely heavily on luck. All of blackjack strategy, essentially, is about giving yourself the best range of opportunities for luck to work in your favor. While you can influence the outcome of games by making smart choices on when to hit and when to stand, you can't control what happens with either decision. You can only hope for the best.

That's why placing a bet on a blackjack game is still a form of gambling, and the outcome is not really decided by the choices you make as much as the whims of good fortune. Knowing that could remove some of the tension about strategy. It can make the game more fun. But at the end of the day, when it comes to strategy, there is no substitute for experience. No amount of conventional wisdom can replace the instinct borne through seeing the game played over and over again.