Most casino players can be divided into two groups: aggressive players and conservative players. Aggressive players live by the mantra "go big or go home," whereas their conservative brethren build up their bankrolls, little by little.

When it comes to Blackjack, aggressive players try hard to reach 21 – a strategy not shared by their conservative counterparts, who focus on letting the dealer go bust. Which strategy works best is up to debate, but before you decide what style to adopt, you should hammer out the details of the game.


House Rules

Everyone wants to get that perfect score, but it's important to keep in mind that the goal is not to get a score of 21, the goal is to beat the dealer.

It's tough because the house has an edge over the player, but if you know the rules inside out, you can use the knowledge to direct your play. One rule is that dealers must hit when they have a hand of 16 and must stand when they have a 17. Keep this in mind when deciding if you're going to play aggressively, or if you're going to bank on the dealer busting.


Player Options

It's important to note that as the player, you make the first move, which can be problematic when you have mid-level cards, like 14 or 15. This is where you learn your playing style and if you're conservative or aggressive by nature.

Ideally, you can find a healthy balance between being aggressive and being conservative because you'll often find that the situation dictates whether you should double down, split your cards, or stand – so versatility is key. One way for beginners to learn this is by finding online charts that list Blackjack probabilities.  These charts list your hands' values vertically and the dealer's first card horizontally, so when you connect them, you can see if you should hit, stand, split, or double. Keep these charts visible when you play online Blackjack, so when you're unsure, you can quickly refer to it and make a fast decision. Over time you'll no longer need the chart.

Overall, aggressive tendencies result in busting too often, which can deplete your bankroll. Yet, if your style is too conservative, many hands won't reach their full potential. When you're just beginning, it's normal to be too one way or the other because you're going off instincts quite a bit, but over time you'll find a middle ground that lets the hands do the talking – at which point Blackjack can become quite profitable and enjoyable.   

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