The ruleset is long, and it can be quite confusing to understand and hard to remember while you’re playing. That’s why it is important to go through a hypothetical game so you can see the rules clearly at play.
You place a bet and start playing – the dealer shuffles the deck of cards and hands you two and draws two himself. You look over your two cards and see that you have an ace and a seven, so you have a soft hand of 18, which isn’t too bad. To realize what you should do you need to check the deal’s revealed card, and when you do, you notice it is a 9. Remembering the rules governing play with a soft hand, you realize that a 9 is really good for the dealer, and you decide to hit. The new card you draw is a 5, and your hand becomes a hard hand of 1,7 and 5. So, now you have a hard hand of 13 against the dealer’s 9. You remind yourself of the rules again and realize you need to hit again if you want to maximize your chances. This time when you hit, you draw a 6, and the count of your hand becomes 19. If you’re following our guide, you realize that it isn’t worth risking hitting when you have such a big hand, so you decide to stand.
Now it is time for the dealer to reveal his second hand. As luck would have it, his second card is an 8, and the tally of his hand is 17. He doesn’t have any choice but to hit, and you get lucky and he draws a 6 driving him over 21. He busts and you double your initial bet.
And we are just done with our hypothetical round of blackjack. This should tell you how you should be thinking about blackjack rounds, and how you should behave. If you want to win, you can’t rely on any superstition or gut feeling. If you have a 6 and a 7, you can’t just double your bet because “you’re feeling lucky.” This is the recipe for losing. You need to always stay calm, rational, and keep the odds in mind.