Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games in history due to its fast pace and simplicity. However, it can prove troublesome if you don’t know what you’re doing. But don’t worry, there are a few easy-to-remember ways that you can take on the table like a pro and increase your chances of a big win. Here are five tips to help you become a better blackjack player and potentially take home more money than you started with.
The first rule of The Art of War is ‘know thy enemy’, and the same can be said for blackjack. Often, you see beginners fretting over the seemingly better hands of the other players at the table when their attention should be on the dealer.
Remember, in blackjack you’re playing against the dealer, not the others at the table.
Know the Rules
If you’re a complete novice, you shouldn’t be afraid of making this known at the table. A good dealer will always help you play because they want you to come back.
However, if you want to play seriously and win, it’s important that you familiarise yourself with the rules, card values and table etiquette.
While there’s an element of randomness to card games, you should still have a basic strategy. Blackjack Basic Strategy is a way of assisting your decision-making, used often by those who play online blackjack due to the player’s ability to check against Basic Strategy charts.
One piece of strategy is to always assume that the dealer’s face-down card has a value of 10 because, statistically, it probably does. All number cards have their own, unique value whereas all face cards (Jacks, Queens and Kings) are valued at 10. This means that when you include the 10s, a 52-card deck has 12 possible cards with a value of 10.
Use this cautious assumption to guide your betting, adding 10 to whatever value the dealer’s face-up card is.
Split your Aces (and Eights)
If you have two of the same card, you are able to split them in many variants of blackjack and essentially have two hands. Because aces can be valued at either one or 11, it is always a good idea to split them. (remember, statistically the card you can’t see will be a 10). This goes for eights too, as the dealer cannot ‘hit’, or get another card, if his hand totals 17 or more.
You should never bet more than you’re happy to lose. Every time you go to the table, you should take whatever money you want to spend and leave it at that. Betting in any capacity can become a senseless chase if you keep trying to win your money back.
This is often referred to as the ‘sunk cost fallacy’, which means that you will continue trying to win because you’ve already put so much into it.
The most important thing to remember when playing blackjack is that it’s a game and is meant to be enjoyed. You’ll win some, and you’ll lose some, but remember to be responsible and to have fun.