Basic tips for playing blackjack
To be more successful at blackjack table, one shouldn't re-invent the wheel. It is enough to follow simple recommendations for playing blackjack casino game:
- Always follow an appropriate basic strategy. Blackjack is not merely a game of chance. Skill and reason are crucial when it comes to applying basic blackjack strategy. Following every instruction in strategy charts may significantly increase your winning odds and reduce house edge:
- You should know when to hit and when to stand. It is recommended to hit on hands with total value up to 17, stand on hands valued 17 and more and hit on "Soft 18" with the dealer's face-up cards 9, 10 or Ace.
- Always split Aces and eights, but always stand on a pair of tens. It is also not recommended to split fives. Better play your hand of fives as a simple 10-valued hand.
- Choose the best table for you. Different blackjack tables offer different types of games and blackjack variations. Choosing the most suitable variant may help you increase your chances of winning. For example, there are tables offering 6 to 5 payout for "natural blackjack" instead of the traditional 3 to 2 payout, which is less advantageous. It is also better to choose tables where the dealer is forced to stand on "Soft 17" (soft hand containing an Ace counted as 11 and a Six). Such rule variation reduces the house edge by approximately 0.2%. The number of decks is also important. Single-deck blackjack games are considered more favorable for the players than multiple-deck games.
- Never make Insurance bets. Insurance is called by many a "sucker bet". It is always a bet based on negative expectation. Insurance is based on an assumption that the dealer has "blackjack". In case the dealer has "blackjack", the insurance wins and is paid at 2 to 1, but the player still loses the initial bet. You shouldn't make this bet unless you are using an efficient card counting strategy.
- Take to an effective money management system. It is important to set your bankroll before starting to play and never exceed it. Blackjack money management systems, like Kelly Criterion on Maximum Boldness system, help to define the optimum amount of your bankroll which won't go bankrupt.
- Vary the amount of bets. It is necessary to adjust your betting amounts to your game results. For example, it is best to increase your bet size if you hit a good patch, and if you're on a losing streak, it is recommended to reduce your betting amount.
- Stick to 21. The aim of blackjack game is not simply beating the dealer. It is actually bringing your total hand value as close to 21 as possible, that's why concentrate your energy on reaching the necessary hand value.
- Tip the dealer. This is not mere good manners. If tipped generously the dealer may shuffle cards a bit later, which is very useful for a card-counter. Besides, good-humored and friendly dealer makes the game more entertaining and enjoyable.
- Stay cool and concentrated. Don't get too serious and emotional about the game. This may distract your attention from the game process, and as far as your skill and attention are needed to make favorable decisions, may cause failure.