Beating the house while playing casino table games is the greatest dream of all gamblers from around the globe. This is the main reason why blackjack became so popular amongst players since it stands for one of the rare games requiring specific skill that can help you with twisting those odds of winning in your favor, at least just a little bit.
The truth is that most players don’t have the skill to win consistently, but going over the basics again and improving your current strategy might boost your gameplay and help you to win more frequently.
Many people heard about the famous card counting strategy that has proven to be the most effective approach when it comes to the game of blackjack. However, most people don’t have the persistence or the concentration that is necessary for this kind of approach. So, if you are here to get some tips on how to improve yourself as a blackjack player without pursuing an incredible career of the blackjack pro, you came to the right place.
Brush Up Your Knowledge
Before you even decide to hit the casino floor, try going back to basics. Many players mastered the basics a long time ago, and usually they forget or leave out a few rules that later become a stumbling block on their winning path. Even though that practice is the most crucial aspect of mastering one subject, but if you think about it, more detailed understanding of some elements of the game couldn’t hurt you in the long run. We suggest reviewing the essentials — understand how the game is dealt, repeat the value of the cards, know your way around the table. Before improving your current blackjack strategy, bear in mind that it is vital to know your next step when you’re dealt with a hard hand or when you get a soft one.
Different casinos tend to feature different rules, so it would be good to be familiar with all possible options. Learn about all probable odds at the table and start from scratch. Every little detail matters, you should know your game inside out!
Pick the Right Variant of Blackjack
Even though this seems like an obvious point to make, this is the essential part of an all-encompassing blackjack strategy. As previously mentioned, the game of blackjack stands for one of the games with an undoubtedly lowest house edge. However, it is important to know that not all variants of blackjack have the same house edge. For instance, if you decide to go for Blackjack pro version, you can expect a 0.47% house edge, while if you go for Blackjack Peek, you can expect a 0.58% house edge. The difference is not that visible, but you can see it if you go for Blackjack Switch version that has the lowest edge of them all — 0.17%.
When you compare those odds with the house edge of slot machines, that is usually around 4-6%; you can surely understand why this is one of the most popular table games ever.
We have to emphasize how important it is to beware of online blackjack versions since the house edge and the rules can genuinely vary from one operator to another. There is no tip on how to play online blackjack for real money effectively, but it is important to pay attention to who you are giving your trust to. In fact, some online venues offer the house edge over 3%, which is shady practice, and if you encounter online site with these terms — leave immediately.
Basic Blackjack Strategy Card
If you’ve followed our advice and refreshed your basic blackjack knowledge, as well as chose the version of this game according to your preferences — now it is time to build a basic strategy card for you. A good strategy will help you to know your every move, no matter the ‘situation’ you are dealt with.
The first thing you should know is that complete strategy includes three segments — one for hard hands, one for soft hands, and one for pairs. The easiest way to conquer all segments is to build a blackjack variation chart that contains all three segments; this has proven to be the most effective way of improving your knowledge. If you have issues with generating the chart yourself, there are plenty of blackjack strategy calculators that could do the same job for you. Those charts are straightforward, and they are math-based.
Bear in mind that there will inevitably be some things that these cards will not cover, but they can surely be of great help. The one thing they cannot assist you with are the side bets, and this is why we chose to cover that topic as well.
Blackjack Strategy for Side Bets
If you are a beginner, strategy cards chart will be of great assistance. You will be aware of all possible options and be prepared for most parts of the game, but as previously mentioned, charts cannot help you with the side bets. You would need an answer whether to place a bet or not and how much to bet on.
We will be honest with you, there is no perfect blackjack strategy or chart that will assist you in making those decisions. The casinos are implementing new rules all the time by adding additional decks to all blackjack versions, as well as coming up with different sorts of side bets in order to increase the low house edge that this game carries. Every experienced player will say that the side bets are what makes this game fun and exciting, but the truth is that they are causing players to stay longer and lose their money, slowly but surely.
This is why our most important piece of advice in regards to making side bets is to don’t place any! Stick to the strategy chart that will bring you a significant advantage, and hope for the best. Leave placing side bets to the blackjack pros, who have the experience and bankroll to support such risks.
What About Card Counting?
For those who are not familiar with this strategy, we will try to make it short. Basically, this technique is used by the best players from all parts of the world to keep track of the cards. If you master it, you will be able to follow the numbers of the cards with low and high value, which can help you in determining the value of the card that comes next. The most commonly used system is the famous Hi-Lo system that marks the card with a certain amount. For instance, if you get the cards with the lower value (2,3,4,5,6), you will add one point, and once you are dealt with higher value cards (10, J, Q, K, A), you will deduct one point. Thus, the higher the count, the higher your chances of getting 10-valued cards and beating the dealer.
However, the main issue with the card counting strategy is that even though it is still used in land-based venues, you can forget about it while playing online since the deck is shuffled after each hand. It is hard to find the best online blackjack for real money that offers fair gameplay since many of them tend to conduct shady business. Also, even if you opt for this strategy in brick-and-mortar casinos, bear in mind that there is a surveillance team supervising your every move; you should be really good at it to succeed without being caught and banned from the venue.
Find a Friendly Dealer
When you think about it, the person who is dealing with your cards may not seem as important as the strategy you came prepared with. Still, the dealer can make or break your casino experience. Their job is not to be too friendly to you, but they do work for tips, and you should keep that in mind too.
If you found the table with the hostile or moody dealer, leave right away. He will impose a severe distraction to you, and you will not be able to concentrate. Another good piece of advice is, if you found a friendly dealer, make an occasional ‘toke’ bet for the dealer. This move shows that you put them in the game and tip them for their effort, and this will surely improve your table experience. The dealer is not in control of the cards, but a token of appreciation once in a while cannot hurt your experience.
Take Advantage of Benefits in Moderation
The casinos have the practice of creating astonishing promotional schemes that have only one goal — to lure you in. The perks tend to be good, and usually can give you a great advantage, especially if you’ve joined a membership scheme, but you should use these promotional offers in moderation.
Players tend to get carried away with the promotional offers so that they don’t even notice when they bankroll is closing to an end. Try using the promotional offers every once in a while, since the more promotions you use at one casino, the more they will be throwing of them your way, making you to play more often and less calculative. Avoid using them too much; they usually have the hidden setbacks that you will not be able to notice immediately. Like with everything in life — use them in moderation.
The best blackjack strategy is to choose your version, find the approach that fully corresponds with it, and practice.
Let’s be honest; you will probably never make it as a card counter. However, if you opt for the right strategy, brush up your knowledge, take promotional offers in moderation, and most importantly — not expect a life of the blackjack pro — you might be looking at the bright future with consistent wins.
Good luck, and remember to have fun!