If you want to win consistently at blackjack it’s important to get the basics down pat. These simple tips will help you do just that.
If you’re an experienced, expert blackjack player, this article is not meant for you. We’re discussing basic tips for winning at blackjack, and you need some deep analysis of advanced strategy techniques like card counting and reading the hole card.
But if you’re a beginner or intermediate player, it’s important to start with the basics. Check out these foolproof ways to increase your chances of leaving the casino with more than you came with:
#1: Always hit a soft 17
The 17 can be a tricky thing for a beginning player, as there is a huge difference between a hard and soft (containing an ace and a six). A hard 17 is a bad hand because your chances of beating the dealer are slim but hitting is almost certain to result in a bust. So you stay put and hope that lady luck shines upon you.
But for the soft 17, you should always hit. ALWAYS HIT! That’s because that ace will convert into a one if your hand goes over 21, meaning that you can’t bust. Let’s say that you receive a six on top of your soft 17. Rather than adding up to 23, your hand is now 13 (six+six+one), meaning that you should hit yet again.
#2: Know when to split
Splitting is a good technique to use because it allows you to turn your hand into two hands, doubling the amount of money you have on the table. Do this when you appear to have an advantage.
So when do you split? Split a pair of aces, every time. If you receive an ace and an eight together, also split them. Essentially, if you have two cards which are close together in value but add up to 16 or less, it’s in your favor to split them.
Then there are times you should never split, and that’s when you have a pair of fives or tens. A pair of tens equals 20, a hand which will beat the dealer almost any time. On the other hand, a pair of fives gives you a strong foundation for both new hands.
#3: Don’t tip excessively
There’s something to be said for being a gentleman and tipping the dealer on occasion, but it won’t do anything to help you win. Some players think that they benefit from earning the personal favor of the dealer. In reality it’s a losing blackjack strategy because the dealer can’t affect the game to help you win. All you’re doing is giving money away for free.
#4: Don’t drink at the table or play long stretches without breaks
If you want to win consistently you need to be at the top of your mental capabilities. We think there’s nothing wrong with having a drink or two while enjoying yourself at the casino, but it’s best to do this over at the bar and not at the table. That ensures that you don’t drink too much.
Also be certain to take a break every two hours or so. Get up and stretch your legs; have something to eat or drink and take your mind off of blackjack. Your head will be clearer when you return to the table.
#5: Don’t take out insurance
If the dealer’s upcard shows an ace the player is given the opportunity to purchase insurance. That is a side bet which pays the player 2:1 in the event that the dealer lands a blackjack. So the player loses their initial bet but makes it back on the insurance.
Mathematically, however, this is a waste of money. Most of the time the dealer won’t receive a blackjack so the player will lose the insurance bet. You’re better served trying to beat the dealer straight-up.
#6: Don’t bother with betting systems
Some think that using progressive or regressive betting systems like the martingale or reverse martingale will help the player win, but this is fool’s gold. They’re based on the idea that the result of upcoming hands is dependent on the results of previous hands, and that simply is not true.
The more you wager the more you’ll win (or lose), unless you’re using a card counting system.For a basic strategy player, flat betting tends to be your best bet.
#7: Check your emotions at the door
This one is a no-brainer but something that is lost on a surprising amount of blackjack players. Being a professional blackjack player is a science; you need to do things right every time in order to leave the casino with more money than you came with.
Behaving irrationally either positively or negatively is not going to get you anywhere you want to go. Treat every hand as a new beginning.
Winning at blackjack is not easy, but you can do it consistently if you put in the time and effort. Following these simple tips won’t turn you into an established pro, but they will get you on the right track. First learn basic strategy and how to behave at the casino, then progress up to advantage play and card counting.