Anyone can play blackjack. It may seem nerve-wracking at first, but blackjack is actually a fairly
simple and exciting game. By freshening up on a few simple rules, it is possible to be a blackjack
success even without counting cards. Follow these 6 simple rules, and the game is in your
1. Always hit a soft 17, but stand on a hard 17.
A soft 17 is an ace and a 6, a rare but classic combination. With the ace in the mix, there is
plenty of room for another card, but without, keeping things as is stands a much better chance of
winning. Holding more than 17 also means it’s time to stand.
2. Always split aces and 8s.
Aces should be split because they’re valuable. Turning one hand into two means that there are
two chances to draw a face card and win right away. 8s should be split for the opposite reason:
two 8s together are up to no good. No one wants 16 in their hand if they have a choice. There is
too high of a risk of pulling too high or low of a card and losing it all. It’s a much better idea to
split and try for cards to complement the 8s.
3. Keep 5s and 10s together.
When holding a pair of 5s or 10s, it is best to keep them together and let them do their thing. It is
better to shoot for 20 than hope for an ace to turn it into 21.
4. Always hit 12 through 16.
With numbers like these, drawing almost any card has a chance of winning, certainly more of a
chance than if the player stands.
5. Keep a clear head.
Blackjack is not exactly a party game. Drinking may be all well and good for the slot machines
and craps table, but blackjack players need to think quickly and clearly through stress and
background noise. Stay hydrated and well-fed, and take a break when you start to feel tired or
6. Keep the tips in your pocket.
It may be tempting to give the dealer a tip. Many players feel that dealers will give them help and
advice in exchange, and this may be true or even beneficial for new players, but tips cut deeply
into potential winnings. Don’t worry, the dealer is not about to start pocketing the aces.
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