The Theory Behind Backjack

I assume before choosing to play the game of online blackjack you have read our blackjack strategy page and perhaps looked at, or printed, our multideck blackjack strategy card. This particular page looks at why you will or won't hit, stand, take insurance, double, split, and if available, surrender.

Splitting a pair

The theory is simple. With slightly more than 30% of the deck being comprised of 10 value cards, there are simply some situations where you will or won't split. Let's say you have a pair of 8's. That's 16 right? Well the dealer is going to hit until he has 17 or better so you're sitting with a pretty poor hand. Split them though and maybe draw 2 tens to suppliment the 2 hands you have and you now have a far more competitive hand. The same of course applies to a pair of aces. It's worth 2, 12, or bust. VERY weak. But what if you split them? You have a pretty good chance of getting two hands worth 21! You won't however split a pair of 10 value cards. 20 is already a great hand so why mess with it. Hitting on a pair of 5's is great too, you have a fair chance of 20. Split them and you could end up with 15 which is difficult to hit and to stand is not a strong hand neither. THat's quite simple isn't it?

Doubling your bet

Let's say you have a 5 and a 6. The dealer is sitting with a 7. Go for it and double your bet, you have a good chance of drawing a winning hand. With so many 10's, plus some nines and eights about, the poor dealer needs loads of luck to beat you. A dealer with a 6 is in a difficult position because he cannot stand on 16 (assuming he draws a ten). So, if you're sitting with an appropriate hand, double and nail him. You can also stand if you are on a weakish hand because the dealer will have to draw 2 cards to qualify and there is a good chance of him going bust.

Insurance

Taking insurance comes about when the dealer has an ace showing. It costs half your original bet and will result in your original bet being refunded if the dealer has a blackjack. Although there is a decent chance that he will draw a 10 card, the odds are not that good that they make up for the addition 50% bet outlay. In the long run it won't pay to take insurance. This doesn't strictly apply in a land based casino because professional card player who are counting the cards can improve their estimation of the chances that the dealer has blackjack and insurance could be viable in some cases.

Hitting and Standing

As alluded to above, the dealer must hit until he has 17 or better. This means that you get to guess his next card (and 10's make up a great proportion of the deck). A dealer with a 5 is terribly weak because he will definitely have to draw 2 cards. Even if you have a relatively weak hand it will pay to stand and watch him bust in most cases. A dealer with a 9 showing stands a good chance of getting 19 so if you're on 16 you're going to need to hit. It's all simple though, the calculator works out the odds and you simply play accoring to them.

Surrender

In some casinos the game gives you the option to surrender for a percentage value of your bet. If the odds are stacked against you, then surrender can be an option. Again the odds are calculated and the decision to surrender is take in light of the predicted outcome of the hand.


Notice

This website is intended for informational purposes only and I will not be held responsible for the consequences of your use hereof. It is critical that you understand the laws that apply to online gambling in your country before proceeding to gamble online. For further information click here.