Blackjack Tips and Advice
One great thing about blackjack is that unless the place you are playing has some truly bizarre rules, it is one of the few games where the casino isn't at a large mathematical advantage. That assumes you know what you're doing though, and if you're a beginner, it will help to keep a few things in mind while you are playing.
More Blackjack Tips and Advice
Though you as a player have the ability to make any decisions you see fit as long as your card total is under 21, you might be surprised to find out that there is a correct play in any situation. Thanks to computer programs that were able to run millions of hands of blackjack in short periods of time, various people have crunched the numbers to figure out what the math says you should do based on your total and the dealer's up card (the one that is visible). This is called basic strategy, which you might hear other players refer to as “playing by the book.”
Basic strategy won't ensure you are a winner, but following it can reduce the house edge to a significant degree. Some parts of it may seem counter-intuitive – such as hitting on 16 when the dealer is showing a 10 – but those times are usually when your situation is already pretty dire. There are all kinds of cards and charts available both online and in print that lay out the basic strategy for you, sometimes tailored for the specific rules of your casino, and it's always a good idea to have it on hand for reference.
You may also have heard of players who practice a technique called card counting or advantage play that gives them the edge over the house while playing blackjack. That is actually the case, but card counting is math intensive and takes an enormous amount of time to master. It also is mostly useless for online blackjack, since most online games simulate decks of cards that are constantly shuffled. There's no way to determine where the beneficial cards may be, so it's best to stick to basic strategy in online casinos.
Bankroll management isn't as important in online blackjack as it is at a physical casino since it's easier to find lower limit tables. One extremely simple rule of thumb is to have at around 20 to 30 times the minimum bet in order to ride out losing streaks without losing everything. Don't be afraid to increase your bet after winning a hand or two, as the “extra” money from those bets is coming from your winnings at that point.