Blackjack has long been one of the most popular table games in the casino. Everyone loves to play and they all seem to have a system that never fails. There are books and books of theory after theory on how to beat blackjack and they sell out of bookstores all the time.
\Blackjack has it all too; it’s quick, easy to learn, and – most importantly – seems beatable. The game moves fast and the chips can stack up very quickly when you are on a roll and that’s the reason people keep coming back for more. It’s a winnable game, especially when you know how to play.
Basic Strategy is nice and all but there’s much more to blackjack than just knowing when to hit and when to stay. There are important strategies to employ each and every hand to keep you winning and your stack growing. There’s the discipline you need to walk away when you should walk away.
You must have a well thought-out and developed strategy that you follow to the letter in order to be successful. It’ll take time and practice but it is possible and it won’t even require learning to count cards. We’ve developed a list of strategic tips for you to follow which will only improve your total blackjack experience.
Learn the Basics
There’s a standard, basic strategy that’s been used at blackjack tables for years and is on the books as the way to play. You split here, you double down there, you hit on 16 when the dealer has a ten. These rules are so well known, you can even ask the dealer what they are.
Learn these rules inside and out. Make them automatic so when you see your hand and the dealer’s first card, you already know how you’re going to play. You never want to waver while at the table, no second-guessing. Know how you are going to play and then follow through.
Say No to Insurance
This is usually included in the “Basic Book of Blackjack,” but it needs to be reiterated. At the end of the day, insurance is a side bet which only allows you to break even.
If it hits, it hits but for the most part, it won’t. The only time you should consider insurance is when you are showing 20 and, even then, you are giving away odds.
Set a Goal
Everyone has a story. The “I was up $2,000 in five minutes but couldn’t walk away and gave it all back,” story. Walking away, it’s the toughest part of blackjack but it’s the only way to win.
Every blackjack dealer in Las Vegas will tell you, the longer you stay at the table, the more you will lose. Set a goal. $100, $500, $1000 and once you hit that goal, walk away. It takes discipline, but it’s the discipline you need in order to win at blackjack.
Set a Limit
Just like setting goals, you must also set limits for yourself. This goes for your bankroll as well as your playing style. Only have so much money to spend while at the blackjack table. Once it is gone, so are you.
The same goes for losing hands. If you are cold, get away from that table and on to the next. There’s always another blackjack table somewhere. Set a limit. Three losing hands in a row? Get up and move on.
One of the best rules to follow religiously. Drinking does nothing for your decision making ability and will drive you to make reckless wagers. Whether you are being comped in Vegas or having wine in front of your computer, don’t drink and blackjack.
Play Smart, Not Aggressive
One of the biggest mistakes players make is being overly aggressive when having the opportunity to split or double down. Just because you can split or double down does not mean you should. These hands are only to be utilized when they give you a distinct advantage.
The dealer needs to be showing a 2 – 6 for a split or double down to be worthwhile. Splitting or doubling down versus a 7 – Ace is ill-advised because you have no advantage. You’ll see players double on a nine versus a face card just because they can, time and again.
Be Consistent, Don’t Waver
There are several reappearing hands that cause problems for players time after time. Players waver, go back and forth, and, usually, make the wrong play. It’s important to get to know these hands and play them the same way every time.
For instance, players vary on whether to hit or stay on 16’s. Some players hit, some choose to stay. Either is fine as long as you’re playing it the same way every time. Players run into trouble when they hit one time, stay the next. Playing it consistently either way will get you the card you need more than playing the guessing game.