Blackjack throughout its illustrious history has remained one of the most popular card game in the casino. Unlike roulette, slots, and baccarat, this is a decision-making game, which gives players a degree of control over the outcome of a hand. There are many guides online where you can find out how to win at blackjack that we recommend checking out, in addition to these 5 easy tips.
#1 Card Counting
If you want to gain an edge when playing blackjack, card counting is how you do it. This tactic is not possible when playing online because the deck is shuffled before each hand, or if you’re playing live dealer games, they change the deck on a regular basis to nullify this strategy.
However, if you find a land-based that uses most of the cards in the shoe, then you should be able to count the cards. A basic technique for card counting is to give all the cards valued 9 or higher a score of ‘1’, and give the low-value cards, such as 2, 3, 4, and 5, a score of ‘-1’. You then simply keep a running total in your head of the cards that have been used. If your total goes to -5, for example, it tells you that there are several high-value cards remaining in the shoe.
#2 Learn the Basic Strategy
At the bare minimum, all serious blackjack players must learn the basic strategy; however, we also recommend learning the optimal strategy for the specific variant you intend to play. Essentially, the strategy will help guide your decisions as to whether to bet, stand, double down or split. While blackjack is relatively simple most of the time, there are some difficult hands, such as the player has 16 and the dealer is showing a 6 – do you hit or stand? The basic strategy has the answer.
#3 Check the RTP Before you Play
Blackjack offers one of the highest return to player (RTP) percentages in the casino, but that doesn’t mean the RTP is the same for every variant. There are some games with an RTP as low as 98.0% and others as high as 99.60%. To win at blackjack, you don’t want to give the casino operator free money, which is why you should play the variants with the highest return to player value.
#4 Use Appropriate Casino Bonuses
Online casinos pamper players with a wide range of bonuses and promotions. While most of these are targeted at slot players, there are a few that blackjack pros can take advantage of. One of the best bonuses for blackjack is a cash-back offer – also known as a rebate bonus.
These offers give players cash-back on their aggregated losses. For example, you may get 15% cash-back on your losses at the tables over the weekend. By accepting that you are going to lose slightly more times than you win, if you can get cash-back on those losses, it swings the odds in your favor over the long term.
#5 Never Take Insurance
All online blackjack games offer insurance. It is offered to players when the dealer’s up-card is an ace. The cost of insurance is half the value of your initial bet, and it pays 2:1 if the dealer’s second card is a 10 – giving them blackjack.
For new players, this seems like a helpful bet – the casino is trying to protect our bankroll. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. The casino’s advantage for insurance varies according to the rules, but the typical ranges are between 5% and 12%. Professional players call this ‘a suckers bet’ for a good reason. Therefore, never take insurance if you want to win at blackjack.