Top 10 Blackjack Tips
Blackjack is a card game that players all around the world can enjoy, thanks to the Internet gambling world, but if you are not playing it correctly, you’re virtually handing your money over to the casino.
Below are 10 top tips for playing blackjack so that you can start winning more, and losing less.
Tip #1 – Understand The Basics
Blackjack is a game, that while it may appear simple, has deep and core fundamental maths at its heart, and the more you know about the mathematical implications of your decisions, the better your chance of winning.
Make sure you are familiar with the different bet types available, the general ethos of how to play the game, and the payouts that certain bets return.
Tip #2 – When To Stand
One of the biggest contributors to casinos profiting from Blackjack, is a player’s inability to know when to stand their hand. This ties in to what is called basic strategy – the best possible mathematical strategy to follow when playing Blackjack – but learning this off by heart is tedious the many players, and below are a few quick start tips you can use so that you know when to stand.
- Any time your hand is 17 or higher, always stand – no exceptions…
- If at the dealer’s first card totals six or below, and your first two cards total 13 or above, stand…
- While it can be tempting to split a pair of Tens, jacks, Queens, or Kings, you should never do so, and the only hand above a pair of nines you should ever split is two aces.
Tip #3 – When To Split
So now that you know when to stand, it is also important you know when to split.
Like mentioned, you should never split a pair of tens or higher, as you have a very strong hand and shouldn’t jeopardise it by risking diminishing the strength.
You should only ever split a pair of twos or threes if the dealer’s first card is a four, five, six, or seven.
A pair of five should never be split – see the double down section below to learn why.
If you have a pair of sixes or sevens, and the dealers card shows a six or below, always split your hand if your financial situation allows.
A pair of eights should always be split – no matter what. And yes; even against a dealers ace you should split a pair of eights.
Again, always split a pair of aces, no matter what hand you are against.
Tip #4 – When To Double Down
Doubling down is essentially placing more money on your first two cards, in the hopes that your hand will improve with a third card. In most types of Blackjack, you are only allowed to double down when your first two cards total 9, 10, or 11, and you should you should always double down on a total of 10, unless the dealer shows a first card of 10 or higher, or an ace.
You should always double down on 11 if the dealer doesn’t show an ace.
Doubling down on 9 can be tempting, but should only be done when the dealer’s first card is a four, five, six, or seven.
Tip #5 – When To Hit
Another problem many new Blackjack players make is getting scared and not knowing when to hit.
The fact of the matter is, there are times when you have to take a gamble and risk going bust in order to improve your hand.
If the dealer’s first card is a seven or higher, and your hand is 12 or below, you should generally always take another card to try and improve.
If the dealers card is a four, five, or six, and your hand is 12 or above, you should always stand and never risk taking another card, as the dealer must draw two cards, increasing his or her chance of busting substantially.
In order to find out more about when to hit, you should check out a basic strategy chart which shows you exactly what to do, and when.
Tip #6 – Play On Your Own
One of the most common frustrations found in land-based casinos is players at the end of the table who make dreadful decisions which then affect the rest of the table. This can be counteracted by either playing on your own, or playing the end box yourself so that you are in ultimate control of the table’s decision-making.
Of course, playing online you will never have this trouble (unless you are playing in a live dealer Casino), and this point is more relevant to players wanting to play Blackjack in land-based casinos.
Tip #7 – Card Counting
While card counting won’t make you rich overnight, it can be an incredibly useful and effective way of increasing your edge over the casino and making sure that every hand dealt has the best chance of being a profitable one for you.
Tip #8 – Avoid Side Bets
Blackjack often incorporates a wide variety of fun and exciting side bets that players can place additional wagers on, including perfect pairs, 21+3, progressive jackpots, and more.
While these bets can be a fun way to take a gamble every now and again, these bets massively increase the house edge and are not profitable way of playing in the long run, so avoid them if you can.
Tip #9 – Play Online
Playing online holds significant benefits over playing in a land-based casino. Not only can you often find lucrative welcome bonuses and promotional offers that allow you to begin playing with the casinos money and not yours, but you can also set specific gaming limits so you don’t end up spending more than you can afford.
Tip #10 – Bet Within Your Bankroll
Say you are sitting down at a Blackjack table with £100 – would you go and put it all on one hand?
No – and nor should you.
In general, you should only bet around 5% of your total bankroll, to allow for losing streaks and making sure you have money behind in case you need to split, double down, or both whilst playing.
Those are just a few tips to help you get started, but remember – at the end of the day playing Blackjack is a gamble, and there are no guarantees or certainties about winning.
Read up on basic strategy, and try to familiarise yourself with the charts – it will be a big help when you start playing, and can help you make the right decisions in tough situations.