blackjack player in deep thought

Why is the Dealer’s Up Card So Important in Blackjack?

Blackjack is one of the most popular games here at Intertops Casino.  In this article we will talk about one of the most common mistakes new blackjack players and even veteran blackjack players make: putting too much importance on their own hand and not enough importance on the dealer’s hand.

The Joy of Blackjack

The joy of playing online casino blackjack is something that you absolutely have to experience.  It is different than the joy of online slots!  The joy in playing online slots as opposed to playing slots at a land based casino is that when you play online, you can sample dozens of different slots in any gaming session if you wish to do so.

At a land based casino, you will likely play one slot and one slot only for the duration of your gaming session which might be several hours long.  This is because you have to give up your seat when you go to play a different slot.  In other words, the joy of online slots is the convenience and variation you can have going from one theme to another.

The joy in playing online blackjack is simply in outsmarting the dealer!  The return to player rate in blackjack is more than 99% so you can play for a long time and with just a little luck, you will finish the session in the win column!

The joy in playing online blackjack involves recognizing that even when you make the very best strategy moves, there is still a large element of luck and you can’t win every hand. 

Outsmarting the Dealer Requires Knowing What the Dealer Has

The strategy cards that are easily available online often contribute to players’ getting into a rut of looking bat their own cards and undervaluing the information they get from the dealer’s up card.

Looking at the chances you or the dealer will eventually bust based on your hand and the dealer’s up card, is a good way to understand the best strategy for every hand.

If you have 11 or fewer points, you will always take a card because you cannot bust on the next card.  You might double down with 10 or 11 points, you might split cards but you will never stand with 11 or fewer points.

However, as soon as you reach 12 points, the chances that you will bust on the next card rise dramatically.  With 12 points, your chances of busting rise to 31%.  The chances that you will bust rise very dramatically from that point on.  This is a massive increase in the chances that you will bust.  It leads many players to always stand with 12 or more points.

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Remember: The Dealer Can Also Bust

No matter which card the dealer has, he or she can bust if not on the next card but eventually on that hand.  If the dealer is showing a 2, he might not bust on the next hand but he has to continue taking cards until he reaches 17 or more points.

From 17 to 21 points, the dealer must stand and then he compares his hand to your hand.  With 22 or more points, the dealer loses if you stood with 21 or fewer points.  So, the chances that the dealer will bust are very important to the decision you have to make regarding standing or hitting.

With 2 through 6 points showing, the chances that the dealer will bust range from 35% to 43%.  However, from showing a 7 all the way to showing an ace, the dealer’s chances of busting are in the mid to low 20% range on down to just 12% if she shows an ace.

The Statistical Logic of Blackjack Strategy

Now we can get a better understanding of the basic blackjack strategy card.  It says that if the dealer is showing a 7 through and ace, a player should always hit with 12 up to 16 points!  The strategy card also says to hit with 12 points if the dealer is showing a 2 or a 3 but to stand from 12 points and higher when the dealer shows 4 to 6 points.

Land Based Casino Blackjack Players Cast Blame on Strategic Players

So, if you have 12 points and the dealer is showing a 2 or a 3, the best strategy is to hit.  You will bust about one third of the time but it is still the best strategy for this individual situation.  At a land based casino, the other players at the table will probably blame you if they lose the hand because you “messed up the cards” by hitting with 12 points!

Of course, this never happens when you play blackjack online at Intertops Casino Red.

The Dealer’s Card Determines Your Every Action

There are just a few choices a blackjack player has.  He or she can stand, hit, double down, split, take insurance, or surrender.

The dealer has even fewer choices.  She has to hit with 16 or fewer points and has to stand with 17 or more points.

Although the player has more options than does the dealer, players can’t always take advantage of their options.  You would never double down with 12 points!  However, you will double down with 11 points in all cases except when the dealer is showing an ace.

Similarly, you can split any pairs but a player should never split two tens!  It might however be good strategy to split two nines!  It is also always the best strategy to split two eights.  Together, they give you 16 points which is a very weak hand but by splitting, you get the chance to either break even on the hand or win both hands!

The Underlying Lesson for Blackjack Players

Always play at the sped you feel most comfortable at.  Playing online gives you those few extra seconds on every hand to make the bets decisions while you might get some nasty glares of you slow down the game at a land based casino!

By playing at your most comfortable speed, you should never fall into the trap of looking at your own hand and failing to look at the dealer’s up card.  When you base every decision on both your hand and the dealer’s up card, you will bring the chances of winning in a gaming session to very close to 100%.

What that means is that for every blackjack session where you end up losing a little, you will have a session in which you win a little.

Blackjack is the perfect online casino game in which you pit your wits against the house and win often!

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