Making the Case: Why Blackjack is the Perfect Game for Beginners
Casinos can be intimidating places, especially for beginners. If you’re in a brick-and-mortar establishment, you know the pressures: beautiful people, the lights, the drinks, the sounds—it’s overwhelming. On top of all of this, everyone seems to know exactly what they’re doing.
What do you do if you’re a beginner?
The gulf between beginners and experienced players is a lot to handle at first. This is understandable—it can be daunting to learn a new skill in a new place. Even if you’re just playing online from the comfort of your very own couch, you still have the pressure of performance.
The best way to go is to start off with an easy game. You’ll be able to really sink your teeth into it until you’re feeling comfortable enough that you can give something else a try. We’ve reviewed tons of games and done the comparing and contrasting so you don’t have to.
The answer is in: Blackjack.
Blackjack’s a great card game at the intersection of strategy and luck. It takes more courage and intellect to play than slots, but isn’t as much of a high-pressure environment as, say, poker. Blackjack’s the best way to find your stride in the casino—and win some encouraging cash while doing so. Why? Well, we’re glad you asked!
Blackjack is an Easy Game to Learn
The first reason on the list is the most self-evident: blackjack’s simple to play. With a little basic strategy and research, you’ll be able to catch on quickly and start winning.
The goal of the game is to get as close to a combined total of 21 as possible, using the value of your cards. The dealer starts by giving you two cards. There are two phrases that are helpful to know:
- A “twist” refers to when you decide to ask the dealer for another card to raise the combined total of the cards you have.
- A “stick” is when you stay with the cards that you have. This is useful for when you don’t think you’ll be able to take another card without the combined total going above 21. As long as you’re under 21, you’re still in the game.
One of the advantages of playing Blackjack is that you’re playing against the dealer, instead of against other players. It’s less pressure and a great game for socializing as you’re not in competition with the other people around the table. It’s even a great place to meet people if you’re looking for new contacts in the community.
Simple Strategy for Beginning Players
The beauty of blackjack is that it’s simple to learn the most basic strategy—and once you have it down, you’ll be able to significantly reduce the house edge. There are a couple easy-to-follow rules to keep in mind for various scenarios:
- If your hand totals 11, you should double down (particularly when the dealer has an ace in hand)
- If you have a double 8, surrender if the dealer has an ace. Double down if surrender isn’t allowed.
- A hand totaling 17, regardless of the combination, means an automatic surrender if the dealer’s holding an ace. If surrender isn’t possible, stand.
Always keep in mind the rules of the particular house: this is one of the reasons that most blackjack players lose money when playing. One aspect of blackjack to keep in mind is that it’s not an emotional game: you have to make your choices automatically, almost robotically, to be as efficient as possible and have the best shot at winning big.
Did you know that you can practice before playing in real life?
Oh yeah! Blackjack’s a great game to play at home, online, before stepping into the casino. There are even options to play free games before depositing any real money.
More and more sites are launching blackjack games that you can play from the comfort of your couch. There’s no downside to this: it’s all fun and practice with no risk.
If you feel that you’re really getting the hang of it, you can even try wagering some cash and seeing how you do. Preparation is the key to success and doing this extra bit of play before you hit the actual environment is a great way to have a leg up before you arrive.
Blackjack is Extremely Popular (and Easy to Find)
The last point that we have to make is that blackjack is extremely popular, and thus, easy to find. It’s one of those absolutely classic games that brings people together with the sheer history of the play and the players involved.
Online versions are even starting to pop up in unexpected places: Carnival Cruises recently started to offer the game and others are sure to follow.
The clear advantage to the popularity of the game is twofold. First, it’s an excellent game in which to invest your time as you’re just beginning to learn. Because it’s everywhere, you can rest assured that you’ll be able to play in virtually any casino you enter: traditional or online.
Second, you have the advantage of history behind you. You’ll be able to talk with the community and read all of the latest forums about the game, the ins and outs, and strategy. Having the members of a community behind you is an invaluable tool, especially for beginner players.
So what are you waiting for? There’s no time like the present to relax and have some fun with one of the best-known games around. Who knows? Maybe you’ll feel the urge to don a suit and head out on the town for a martini: shaken, not stirred.