Top Blackjack Do's and Don'ts

Blackjack is easy to play. But if for some reason you are a frustrated blackjack player, we got some tips that might help make things easier for you.

- Do hit if you have a hand total of 11 or less. (If you don't do this, they'll think you're nuts!)

- Do learn basic strategy.

- Always use basic strategy charts for decision hands 12-16.

- Never play with blackjack payouts of worse than 3:2

- Do stand on a hard 15 against a dealer's 6 card.

- Don't be afraid to ask questions to the dealer.

- Do be nice to the dealer and give tips.

- It is usually good to hit if the dealer's up card is 7 to ace, and your total is below 17.

- Do stand on a hard 17. There are just too many cards out there that can bust your hand. The only exception is if you're card counting, of course.

- To be safe, always assume that the dealer's hole card is a 10.

- Don't take insurance unless part of a card counting strategy.

- Do split pairs except 10-valued cards.

- If your hand total is above 13 and the dealer's up card is 2-6, it is safe to stand. The dealer is likely to bust. If your total is 12-13, you can hit once.

- Do learn card counting when basic strategy has become second nature to you. But don't bother with it online.

- Don't pay for any betting system that claims it can make you a guaranteed millionaire. Nothing that sounds so good is ever true.

- Play cheaper blackjack games. If possible, try out an online casino's blackjack software before you play with real money.

- Do look for blackjack games that use few decks. The fewer decks used, the more often the dealer has to shuffle, giving your bankroll a break.

- If you are learning how to count cards, avoid games with low penetration. For example, if you find a double decks game, great. But if the game is cut off at 50%, it's no use! They shuffle the decks just when they're getting interesting!

- Don't play blackjack when you're drunk. It affects your game and makes you look like a fool.

- Vary your bets. You might be suspected of card counting if you keep your bets uniform. Whether or not you are really counting cards is beside the point. You don't want this to happen!

- Avoid using bonus money if you can. Online casinos have tough wagering requirements for those. Use them and you become hostage to the casino. However every casino seems to have bonus money now. If you do use one, apply basic strategy to profit from it.