By Damien Sabaca
1. Know what you are getting into
It’s obvious, but it’s important to be familiar with the rules of blackjack – also known as blackjack. In addition, it’s more than helpful to be aware of terms like splitting and doubling (“double down”). So it’s a great place to start by reading a blackjack game guide.
2. Play at an online casino with a tasty bonus
New players often receive a pleasant welcome bonus at online casinos. Therefore, look for a reliable gambling site, which not only offers blackjack, but also has a nice welcome bonus on offer.
3. Know your limit and play accordingly
This is actually a general tip that should be followed in any casino game: never play with money you can’t afford to lose. After all, gambling should remain fun. We therefore recommend that you set yourself a limit before you start playing. Find out how much money you can afford to lose and use it to play cards in the casino for real. Set aside, for example, fifty dollars to play with and stop when you’ve lost or won this amount.
If you find that you have trouble setting a limit for yourself and/or frequently go over it: seek help in time. Many licensed casinos have assistance programs where you can go with a gambling problem. They will refer you to the authorities that can offer the necessary help. More information on responsible gambling can also be found here.
4. Choose the right table
With all this in mind, it is also important to sit at the right Table in the casino. There are blackjack tables with different stakes: ranging from ten cents (online only) to thousands of dollars. So if you’ve set yourself a fifty dollar limit and you’re playing at a table where you have to bet at least 25 dollars, then – in the worst case scenario – you’ll only be able to participate in two rounds.
5. Always follow basic blackjack strategy
Blackjack can be played in a variety of ways, with different strategies: ranging from the extremely simple to the rather complex. By using good tactics, you not only minimize the house advantage of the casino, but also significantly increase your own chances of winning. The most efficient strategy in blackjack is called basic strategy.
6. Practice makes perfect
We recommend you practice a lot, if only because as a player you have quite some influence on the outcome of the game. At least, more so than with some pure luck games, such as keno and slots. It pays, therefore, to do a lot of training and to put the aforementioned basic strategy into practice. Many online casinos give you the chance to play for free with fake money via free games: so take advantage of this. Practice makes perfect, after all!
7. Never pass at eleven or below
With a point total of 11 or lower in your hand, you can never play yourself to death: going above 21 (also known as ‘busting’). Passing at such a value is extremely awkward and minimizes your chances of winning. So let the dealer give you at least one new card. With a nice hand of 11, you will most likely want to double down!
8. Never take out insurance
If you want to play the game smartly, it is wise to never take out an insurance policy. Insurance gives you the possibility to arm yourself against a blackjack from the bank. It sounds tempting to do, but it’s anything but: you have the odds completely against you. In short, a real loser bet.
9. Does the dealer have a seven or more: keep asking for cards
If the house on duty’s first card is a 7 or higher, you increase your chances of winning by playing until you have a “hard” total of at least 17 in your hands or a “soft” total of 18 or more. A hard hand is defined as a hand without aces or with an ace counting as 1, while a soft hand is a hand with an ace counting for 11.
10. Apply under no circumstances to a “soft 17”
If you receive two or more cards from the dealer at the beginning or later in the game that add up to a “soft 17,” it is not smart to pass. A soft 17 consists of an ace that counts for 11 and another card or cards. For example: A-6 or A-2-4.
But why shouldn’t I just pass with such a combination, I hear you think. Well, why do you think dealers should always hit on a soft 17? It has to do with the fact that the house advantage is then increased. So if such a thing applies to the bank, it certainly applies to you as well.
So what do you need to do? The following:
- Double down: if the dealer has a 3, 4, 5 or 6 (2-6 in a single-deck game);
- Ask for an extra card: if the dealer has a 2, 7, 8, 9, 10 or Ace.
11. Skip, at seventeen or more
Apart from the “soft 17”, it is best to pass as soon as you have a hard value of 17 or more in your hand. Statistically, this is when you have the best chance of beating the bank.
12. Take your loss!
When we lose, it is in our nature to go on full attack. Our reflex is often to go even more in, hoping to wash away the defeat more quickly. Wrong! Just take your losses. Playing in a casino is gambling and gambling unfortunately also means that you can fall flat on your face from time to time. Often, putting in extra money will only make the situation worse. A useful blackjack tip, which, by the way, applies to several games.
13. Don’t get too emotional
As an extension of the previous blackjack tip, keep your emotions under control. Keep your cool, regardless of the outcome of the game and concentrate fully on the strategy to be followed. If not, you will irrevocably make stupid mistakes, which will be detrimental to your chances of winning. In short: switch off your emotions and stay on top of things.
14. Never separate two tens and fives
It is not really strong to split two tens. In fact, two tens brings the total points to twenty. This leaves only one better hand, which is 21. But the chances of getting this hand are minuscule. Beating two tens is therefore very difficult for the bank. So if you have a set of tens: skip a turn. If you have two fives, treat it as a 10 and either hit it or double down.
15. Always split two aces and two eights
Splitting two aces or two eights, mathematically gives you the best chances to win. So if you have one of these hands, just split them.
16. Get rid of the superstition
Many blackjack players believe in the so-called hot and cold myth. This means that they prefer a table where they have already made a big pot (a hot table) to one where they have previously lost (a cold table). Not to mention other rituals of superstition.
If you are one of them: stop doing that. Although some people firmly believe that fate determines our lives (‘everything happens for a reason’), it is really pure coincidence that guides our existence. Something that also plays an important role in many casino games. Superstition is therefore quatsch: better concentrate on things you can control! By taking these handy blackjack tips to heart, for example.
17. Play short sessions
It is never good to play blackjack for too long. It can get boring or affect your focus, causing you to deviate from basic strategy and make unnecessary mistakes. We suggest you play short sessions and take a break: stretch your legs, change your mind or doze off for a while. Then, as soon as you start playing cards again, you’ll be fresh enough to beat the bank.
18. Delve into the literature
Blackjack is a game where besides chance, knowledge plays a crucial role. As a result, there are books full of tips and strategies to outsmart the casino. It is therefore worthwhile, as an enthusiast, to browse through a book on blackjack regularly: to gain new insights, or just to learn from the stupidities of others.
19. Surprise yourself with blackjack variants
Tired of the standard version of blackjack? Then consider one of the many variants of this card game on the market. The only thing that differs is the rules of the game. Once you’ve tried a variant, you’ll relive classic blackjack as a newbie. But a newbie with experience!
20. Opt for a live casino as well
Would you like to experience the atmosphere of a real blackjack table, but don’t feel like getting up from your couch to do it? Or do you just want to play blackjack in a different way than through a computerized program? Then it’s an idea to visit the live casino. Through your internet connection, you’ll be in live contact with a lovely female (or male) croupier, who will deal the cards at a real blackjack table.
21. Have fun!
After all these handy blackjack tips and tricks, you’re all set for a nice game of 21’ing. So, what are you waiting for? Have a great time!