Blackjack is more than just a game of chance and luck. While you can be on a lucky streak, strategy, knowledge, courage, and patience are crucial to success. One of the most important things for you to remember in blackjack is often forgotten. The most basic description of the game is for your card value to be as close to 21 without going over. While hitting 21 is ideal, the objective of the game is for players to beat the dealer, who will hit until they reach 17 or higher. This distinction is absolutely crucial and the most vital piece of information for you to remember.

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Splitting is a common choice

When playing blackjack it is necessary to ask yourself important questions. After being dealt the first two cards, players have their first decision to make. If dealt a pair, you have the option to split your cards into two individual hands. This is a great way for you to get an advantage over the dealer, but splitting is not always the most strategic decision. Always keep in mind you are trying to beat the dealer, so for example if you’re dealt two cards with a 10 value, that is already a strong hand so splitting would be unwise. It’s necessary for you to weigh your odds and decide what your best chance to beat the dealer is.

As a general rule, players should always split Aces and eights. Aces are rare, and since they can be valued at 1 or 11, they are the most versatile card in the deck and the difference between a hard or soft hand. Eights should always be split because having a 16 value in a single hand can be problematic. There are also pairs that should almost never be split, like nines and tens, since that would weaken the hand. Other pairs don’t have as definite rules. In most cases, players shouldn’t split fours or fives, but this depends on the up card of the dealer. Strategy is key for players to gain an advantage over the dealer, and splitting is one of the best ways to do so.

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Doubling can be worth a try

Players have the option to double down after being dealt their first two cards. This is when you double your original bet and the dealer gives you one additional card. Keep in mind that players are only given one card, so they cannot hit again and must stand with their hand. While there are times that are more ideal to double down, there are no certainties when using this strategy.

Many players chose to double down when their cards total 11. It’s also a popular strategy to double down with cards totaling 9 or 10, but this is best to only be done if you do not have an Ace and if the dealer has a 5 or 6.Though it is tricky, the best way to know when the double down is when you count cards. When doing this, players have a better idea of which value cards are remaining in the deck.