Thinking about trying your hand at playing Blackjack? Don’t jump in before reading these 10 simple points – you could save yourself a lot of money!
Tip #1: Try playing a free Blackjack game first
This will enable you to get a feel for the game, without committing any money until you are ready. Use a free Blackjack game to test your strategy, try your luck on a few hands you wouldn’t usually gamble on, and have some fun with it!
Tip #2: Get yourself a Blackjack strategy card
Seriously, this thing will become your best friend at the Blackjack table, be it virtual or real-life. It tells you the action to perform depending on your hand vs. the visible dealer card, and by doing so, you can minimize the house edge. You can get different cards depending on the version of Blackjack you are playing, but the most common version is the one you’ll want – where the dealer stands at 17.
Tip #3: Never take the insurance!
When the dealer’s face-up card shows that he has an Ace, you will usually be given the option of taking ‘Insurance’. This is the term given to describe an extra wager you place, equal to half of your original bet, that the dealer will have a 10 or picture card face-down (and therefore, a Blackjack). If you take the Insurance, and the dealer does turn out to have Blackjack, you don’t lose any money on that hand as the bets cancel each other out.
However good that may sound, over the course of time, this bet works out strongly in favor of the House. After all, there are 13 different card values that the dealer could have, and only 4 of those would make a Blackjack. There’s more statistical detail that we could go into, but for now just trust us on this and don’t take the insurance bet.
Tip #4: Double Your 11s!
As you may know, when playing Blackjack you are able to augment your hand by requesting more cards (known as ‘taking a hit’). You are also able to ‘double-down’ – which enables you to take only one extra card, while doubling your original bet. The most popular hand for doing this is an 11, owing to the decent chance of drawing a 10 to make 21. However, some players choose not to do this against a dealer’s 10, for fear that they will miss the 10 they need to be reasonably sure of a win.
Don’t be afraid! Go for that double-down and remember, if you hit your 11 you’ll win 56% of the hands you play, and if you double-down on your 11 you’ll win 54% of the hands you play. The choice is a simple one; win your bet back 56% of the time, or win double your bet 54% of the time – most would choose the latter.
Tip #5: Play at a decent casino
If you’re going to play Blackjack at a land-based casino, whether it’s in Las Vegas, London, or Macau, always check the reviews before you go. Casinos make their living on the way they treat their players, so if the one you’re looking at is full of bad reviews, give it a miss! Although do bear in mind that some people will leave negative reviews simply as a result of losing their money, and there isn’t much that the casinos can do about that – they certainly won’t be giving it back!
Looking at reviews before you play also applies when playing online. Make use of an online casino guide to ensure that everything is above board in terms of customer relations and bonus terms, as well as licensing and regulation. You’ll also want to see whether the casino you like has the version of Blackjack you’d like to play.
Are you ready?
Follow these 5 tips and you will certainly have a head-start on most other Blackjack beginners out there. And once you’ve really got the hang of things, there is plenty more Blackjack strategy that you can dive into and start using.
Try it for yourself, either by heading down to your local casino or playing online – just make sure the establishment you play at is legitimate by checking its reviews first!