EMPIRE CLUB

If you are new to video blackjack, the first thing that you want to do prior to sitting down at a machine is understand exactly what you and the electronic dealer are attempting to do.

Basics

You initially receive two cards, and you can be dealt as many additional cards as you would like. The goal is to get closer to 21 without going over than the dealer does. All numeric cards are worth the number on them, all face cards are worth 10, and As can be worth either one or 11, whichever option gives you the highest total without exceeding 21. The best possible hand is being dealt blackjack, which is an A combined with a 10 or a face card. This two-hand combination also outranks somebody hitting 21 with three or more cards.

Strategies

The first thing we’ll look at in this strategy guide & tips is what to do when you are presented with certain scenarios.

  • Stand if your hand totals 12 or more if the dealer is showing a 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6.
  • Stand if your hand is a hard 17 or higher, meaning that an A has not been used to reach that total.
  • Hit if your hand totals between 12-16 and the dealer is showing a 7 or higher card.
  • Hit if you are holding an A and a 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6.
  • Split if you are dealt two As or two 8s. That means to essentially have two hands in front of you, and you are then dealt two more cards to go with your As or 8s, one apiece.
  • Double down if your two cards add up to 11 and the dealer is showing a non-face, non-ace card. When you double down, you double the size of your bet, but you are required to receive one more card (no more, no less).
  • Double down if your two cards add up to 10, and the dealer is showing a 9 or smaller card.

Insurance

For the most part, any strategy guide & tips for video blackjack will say that you should avoid taking insurance in nearly all cases. In the long run, this is a losing proposition for the player.

Insurance is offered if the dealer is showing an A. If you take up the offer, you will then put out an additional 50 percent of your original bet amount. So, if you had originally bet $10, your insurance would cost you an additional $5. If the dealer than turns over a 10 or face card to complete blackjack, you would receive your combined bet back, in effect causing the hand to be a push, a tie, despite you losing out to an A and 10 or face card. This is because the insurance pays back at a 2-1 rate if it’s successful, so you would receive $10 back from the $5 that you had put out as insurance, but you would still lose the original bet of $10.

Conversely, if you take the insurance but the dealer does not end up having blackjack, you then lose the insurance amount that you had put out there, but you could still win money on your original bet.

Meanwhile, if you decline the insurance, you will still have a decent chance of winning the hand. For starters, there’s roughly a two-thirds likelihood that the dealer will not turn over a 10 or face card, creating a window of opportunity for you to win. And, if you win after having turned down the offer for insurance, you would then take home full winnings, having not lost any to insurance.

Mental Game

Some of the most important things that you can do to win at video blackjack has little to do with the game itself. Remind yourself that once a hand ends, it will have no impact on the next one. In other words, there is no such thing as momentum, especially true in this form of the game as the electronic deck is essentially reshuffled after every hand. Only gamble with an amount of money that you are okay with losing so that you do not get overly stressed when making decisions. Doing your best to relax and have fun will also help you make the most optimal choices possible