European Blackjack Tips and Tactics for New Players
Blackjack players have a basic set of strategies that they tend to stick to in most situations. When they try out a new variation of blackjack, they often have to shape and mold these basic strategies into specific tactics because of the unique rules that the variation has. This adaptation is required of anyone who wants to become skilled at blackjack as a whole, and European blackjack is a good place to start studying these variants. We’re going to look at the specific things that set European blackjack apart and how to adjust to those things from your normal strategies.
Let’s start by looking at the rule that you can only double if you have a nine, ten or eleven. This completely takes soft hands out of the picture, so you’re going to be able to sum up your strategy with soft hands pretty quickly. If you have 17 or lower, always hit. If you have 19 or higher, always stand. With an 18, stand unless you’re facing a nine, ten or ace, in which case you should hit. It’s that simple, and a lot of people will really make these soft hands complicated in this game, and that will hurt their payout rates in a major way.
Speaking of doubling, let’s look at how you should do it. One of the key rule changes in European blackjack is that the dealer never peeks for blackjack, so when you’re facing a ten or ace, you’re basically never going to be able to double or split unless you’re specifically up against a ten and you specifically have two aces in which case you can split. So when it comes to doubling, you’re going to only be caring about facing nines and lower. You should always double with ten or eleven with nine or lower. If you have a total of nine, then you should only double against a three, four, five or six.
Playing pairs in European blackjack is pretty straight-forward since you don’t have any major changes to make except when facing a ten or ace. Against these cards, you’ll always hit if you have eights or lower, and you’ll always stand if you have nines or tens. If you have aces, then a weird situation happens where you can actually profitably split against a ten (just barely), but you should still just hit against an ace.
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