Under-estimating the importance of the dealer’s face-up card is a common mistake in blackjack. While you want to pay attention to your own hand, don’t forget that what the dealer has can be just as important.
Remember the rules
Sure, you want to try and get to 21 but most blackjack games are won by a hand worth less than that. In this case, you need to finish with a higher total than the dealer to win the money. On any NJ online casino, this is the rule you will always find. At Resorts Casino, versions such as Classic Blackjack and live dealer titles all stick to this approach despite offering varied experiences.
Since you can only see one of the dealer’s cards, you might decide to not take it into account. But you can still learn a lot about their chances of getting a good total from that single card. A card with a value of 9 or 10 gives them a far better chance of winning than something like a 5 or 6.
The dealer’s chance of getting blackjack or going bust is important
Is the dealer likely to get blackjack or go bust? If they have a card worth 10 or an ace, they are halfway to getting blackjack, so their chances of doing so are greatly reduced. Clearly, if they have neither a 10 nor an ace, there is no chance of getting 21 on their first couple of cards.
On the other hand, if their face-up card is a difficult number between 4 and 6, their chances of going bust are higher than it would be with any other card. An ace gives them the lowest possibility of going bust with three cards.
Compare to the strength of your hand
When you look at any blackjack strategy, it is based on two things. The first is the hand you are dealt, and the other is the dealer’s face-up card. You can’t fully assess your options without knowing both of these things.
For example, let’s say that you have a hand between 13 and 16 with no ace in it. These are all difficult hands to decide on, as the total isn’t great but there is a risk of going bust if you ask for another card.
In these cases, the decision basically comes down to what the dealer has showing on their first card. If this card is a low number under 6, you will nearly always want to stand, as there is a decent chance the dealer goes bust. However, if it has a higher value, then you will be advised to hit, as you will probably need to get a better hand to stand a chance of winning.
All of this means that you need to keep an eye on the dealer’s first card as well as on your hand. Do this well and you will increase your chances of winning. Don’t forget the house edge on blackjack is very low, but this is based on you playing with a good strategy on each hand and taking advantage of all the opportunities that come your way.