Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games for a variety of reasons. It only takes a few minutes to learn how to play, it’s a lot of fun, and it offers a great opportunity to win a decent amount of money. It’s also one of the few casino games where you aren’t entirely reliant on luck, and you can have direct influence on the outcome.
There are a few things you should do if you want to get the best possible experience when playing blackjack. On this page, we’ve listed the most important facts. These are our top blackjack tips, and they should ensure that you have a great time playing while maximizing your chances of winning some money.
1. Know the Rules
This is a somewhat obvious piece of advice. Before you start playing blackjack for real money you should really be familiar with the basic rules of the game. They are pretty simple, so they don’t take at all long to learn. You’ll then be able to fully enjoy the game without wondering what you’re supposed to be doing.
In addition to understanding the basic rules of how the game is played, you should also be aware of the exact rules of the version you are playing. There are several different variations of blackjack, and different casinos vary on some of the key rules. The fundamental rules are always the same, but some variations do affect what you can and can’t do in certain circumstances.
2. Learn Basic Strategy
Unlike some casino games, blackjack isn’t based entirely on chance. Results are ultimately determined by which cards are dealt, which means there is some element of luck involved, but the decisions you make also have an impact on the outcome of a hand. If you consistently make the right decisions, then you will improve your overall chances of winning some money.
Basic blackjack strategy is essentially a set of rules which stipulate what the right decision is in any given situation. If you follow these rules, then you can rest assured that each decision you make is mathematically correct. They are based on the probabilities of what will happen next and take into account factors such as the chances you have of going bust if you take a card.
It can take a while to master blackjack strategy, but once you’ve played for a while you’ll probably be able to make most decisions without even thinking.
3. Don’t Bet Too Much
You can keep the house edge very low when playing blackjack, which is one of the main reasons why this game is so popular. You should, in theory, win almost as many hands as you lose if you’re following basic strategy. However, this theory only really applies in the long run. In any individual session you play there’s always a chance you’ll win a lot more hands than you lose, and always a chance you’ll lose a lot more hands than you win.
This means that the amount you stake on each hand is very important. If you bet too much of your bankroll on any one hand, you could easily go bust if you have a bad run. If you instead only bet a small percentage of your bankroll on each hand, your money should last for awhile even if luck isn’t on your side. You’ll therefore have plenty of time for your luck to turn around.
4. Know When to Quit
Because of the low house edge in blackjack, it’s quite likely that you will have a decent winning streak every now and then. It’s not at all uncommon to get a great run of cards and win a high percentage of your hands. You must, however, recognize that no winning streak lasts forever.
When things are going well it can be very tempting to keep on playing or even increase your stakes. There’s nothing at all wrong with riding a hot streak, but you have to know when to stop. The cards will eventually turn and you’ll start losing a few hands. When that happens, it’s time to drop your stakes back down or stop playing alltogether. If you did have a lucky streak, don’t waste it by making the mistake of giving all your winnings back to the casino. You should keep some of your profit separate to make sure you walk away ahead.
The same basic principle applies when you go on a losing streak. You don’t necessarily have to stop as soon as you lose a few hands, but you should certainly quit before you lose more than you’re comfortable with. You should also avoid the classic mistake of chasing your losses. Trying to make a recovery by increasing your stakes is something you should never do in a casino.
5. Try Online Blackjack
Playing blackjack online doesn’t provide quite the same experience as playing in a live casino, but it does offer some notable benefits. It’s far more convenient for one thing, as you can play whenever you want to without have to make a trip to your local casino. You can also play a lot more hands, as the game goes by a lot faster online.
Online casinos are also a great way for beginners to learn how to play blackjack. Most casinos have a play for free option, which means you can familiarize yourself with the game before risking any of your own money. They also tend to have lower minimum stakes than live casinos, so when you do start to play for real money you don’t have to bet any more than you feel comfortable with.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of playing blackjack on the web is the bonuses and rewards on offer. When you join an online casino you’ll usually be able to claim a sign up bonus on your first deposit. This bonus will basically be in the form of extra chips for you to play with. You’ll have to play a certain amount before you can withdraw the bonus, but it’s effectively free money if you were planning on playing anyway.
Online casinos generally offer rewards based on your playing activity too. You earn more rewards the more you play, which is similar to how live casinos issue comps to players. You’ll typically get better value from playing online though.
It’s also worth mentioning that many online casinos offer live blackjack now. This enables you to play the game against human dealers, over a real-time video stream. This makes playing online much closer to the experience of playing in a live casino.
6. Don’t Insure Your Blackjacks
In some blackjack variants you’ll be offered the chance to insure your hand if the dealer is showing an ace or ten. This means making an additional bet of half your stake, which pays out at 2:1 if the dealer has a blackjack. A lot of players like to make this bet if they have a blackjack, because it means they’ll make a profit no matter what the outcome.
If the dealer has a blackjack, the hand will be a tie and their initial stake will be returned. They’ll win their insurance bet at 2:1, leaving them in profit. If the dealer doesn’t have a blackjack, they’ll be paid out on their initial stake at 3:2. The insurance bet will be lost, but they’ll still have made a profit.
While this safety first approach might seem sensible, it’s actually a losing play in the long run. From a mathematical perspective you should never insure your blackjacks, or any other hand for that matter.
7. Have Fun
Blackjack is one of the easier games to win money at, which is obviously a good reason to play it. It’s also a lot fun too, so please try and remember that. Like any casino game, it should ultimately be a source of entertainment. If you aren’t having fun, then it might be time to take a break.