After many years of watching other people, I see that most players guess their way through the game of blackjack, and wonder why they lose so quickly. But if the game was Monopoly, a beginner would first ask "what are the rules?" before playing. Not so it seems with blackjack. Most players will foolishly put skin in the game unaware of the rules that will improve his or her odds.
I would estimate that less than 1% of all blackjack players know Basic Strategy 100% and do so consistently. While Basic Strategy can takes several hours to memorize, and it is absolutely essential to make any real money from Blackjack, there is a short-cut that will take minutes to remember, and will represent almost 80% of all possible plays. Beginners will find it easy to learn how to win more at blackjack, or how to lose less at blackjack, by following these 6 simple rules.
1. Stand on hard 17 or higher.
2. Stand on stiffs (12 to 16) versus the dealer's stiff up-cards (2-6).
3. Hit all your stiffs (12 to 16) versus the dealer's pat up-cards (7 to Ace).
4. Hit all soft totals lower than the dealer's up-card.
5. Always split Aces and 8's, but never 5's or 10's.
6. Double-down 10 or 11 against all dealer upcards lower than your hand.
If you start with these 6 rules, then you will leave only 20% of your decisions left to the uncertainty of guessing. They are broad stroke approaches that will serve you well for now. Afterwards, you should learn Basic Strategy completely, and take all the money from the Casinos.