Blackjack tables at casinos usually have a betting range posted somewhere in plain sight. A common example is from $5 – $2,000. The game will go quickly. Unless you are a Saudi prince, a good beginning bet is the minimum.
A hand is referred to as hard or soft. If you have drawn a six and a seven you have a “hard” thirteen. There’s nothing else it can be. However if you draw a six and an ace, you have a soft hand and a lot to think about. You have either seven points or seventeen depending on what you say it is worth. You can ask for another card. You certainly won’t go bust. If you draw a king you can say your ace is worth just one point and you hand totals just seventeen. If you draw a four – wow! Your ace is worth eleven and you just hit twenty-one.
Check to see what the dealer does. He stands. That means his cards are worth seventeen or better. There’s a good chance it might a better hand than yours. No problem. Draw another card.
Pits! You’ve drawn a ten. Now you must count the ace as a one and your whole hand is worth seventeen points. The dealer has seventeen points or better. If he has seventeen, you tie. With a tie, you get to keep your bet but you don’t make any money. You didn’t come to keep your bet, you came to gamble. You know that chances are better you will draw something worth more than that four you need to win, but chances are also good that the dealer has a better hand than yours and you’ve lost your bet anyway.
Go for it! You ask for another card. It’s a three. You have twenty points. The dealer flips his face down card over and reveals a hand worth nineteen points. He shoves $5. in your direction and prepares to deal again.
You let out your breath. You were right. If you had stood at seventeen, you would have lost.
You are an expert now. You’ve figured out a way to beat the dealer. (Just kidding. It’s still not time to start making those $2,000 bets.)