Every smart gambler knows the house wins most of the time. And so, they budget their bankroll properly to have a good time playing their favourite poker, slots or blackjack games. After they hit their limits, they leave the casino without thinking twice.
While losing is part of gambling, some people win more than they lose. Think of Don Johnson, a professional blackjack gambler who won $6 million at Tropicana casino in Atlantic City within a month in 2011. In the same year, Johnson also won $5 million from Borgata Casino and $4 million at Caesars—all casinos located in New Jersey.
In light of that information, the house can be defeated. Here are 5 tips from the team of Blackjacksites.info that will help you go from a novice blackjack player to an expert who wins consistently.
1—Learn the Fundamentals
The fundamentals of blackjack are straightforward. They are easy to grasp. You play with a casino employee called a dealer. On the Internet, the employee can also be replaced by a Random Number Generator (RNG) software.
At the start of a blackjack game, you receive two cards facing up. Then the dealer gets two cards—one facing up and one facing down. Cards labelled 2-9 take their face value. Face cards like Jack, King or Queen take the value of ten while an ace works as one or eleven.
The objective of blackjack is to form a hand close to or equal to 21. At the same time, your hand must be better than that of the dealer. If you both get a hand of 21, it’s called a push—a draw. While playing blackjack, you can make several moves to win:
- Hit: ask for another card
- Double down: double your bet and get another card
- Stand: decline an extra card
- Surrender: accept defeat to lose half your bet
- Insurance bet: surrender half your bet by predicting the dealer will get a blackjack
2—Choose the Right Blackjack Casino
When you think about it, there’s a reason why the famous MIT Blackjack team chose some casinos and not others. They specialized in counting cards, so they picked casinos that were tolerant of card counting. On the flip side, Don Johnson usually choose casinos with dealers he can beat.
Against that backdrop, choose a blackjack casino that can help you win. Maybe it gives out sweet bonuses with no wagering requirements. Maybe it has a cashback program or features your favourite blackjack variants. Whatever the case, take time to select a gambling partner.
3—Create a Budget
For many novice blackjack players, the first few weeks and months are full of losses. You’ll make mistakes and burn your fingers. So, don’t invest all your money in blackjack until you’re well experienced. Create a budget and start small.
Let’s say you have $1000 to spend in a month. Break it down to small hands of $10 or $20 each. Then set a limit, say $200 per weekend. If you lose over $200, quit playing and get back to learning. Come back the following week and use new tips to increase your winnings.
While at it, manage your expectations. Sure, you can get a few winning streaks. But don’t play blackjack to find rent money, at least not as a beginner. The game can be unpredictable and sometimes you can get into losing streaks no matter what you do.
Still on losses, don’t chase them. Chasing losses is a situation where you continue to bet hoping for an eventual win. You might even believe you will recoup your original losses at some time. It rarely happens. When you lose more than you can handle, exit the game.
4—Learn Different Blackjack Types
Classic Blackjack is the original version of the game. It’s available in nearly every casino. But it’s not the only option you can play. Some operators also feature Blackjack Switch, Pontoon, Spanish 21, Vegas Strip and Atlantic City Blackjack.
Should you care about these variants? Learning different blackjack types if part of becoming an expert. You don’t have to play each of them every time. But learn how they work. You might become excellent at a specific variant and make it your favourite blackjack game.
Blackjack Switch features two hands instead of one—four cards in total and you can switch them around to get 21 quickly. On the downside, it pays out 1:1 and not the standard 3:2. On the flip side, Spanish 21 removes or 10-value cards to increase the house advantage. But you can split cards four times and get paid during a tie.
Pontoon features unique lingo like ‘twist’ instead of hit and ‘stick’ instead of stand. You can also double your bet if you have a hand of 2-4 and hit for another card. Atlantic City and Vegas Strip blackjack types are inspired by similar games that originated in New Jersey and Nevada respectively.
5—Learn the Basic Blackjack Strategy
There are numerous blackjack strategies out there, including card counting. But there’s only one strategy that players, experts and casinos agree on: basic blackjack. This system dictates that there’s a right and wrong way to react to every blackjack hand.
For example, basic blackjack says you should stand if you have a soft hand of 19 or higher. A soft hand is the combination of an ace card with one or more similar cards. Let’s say you get an ace and an eight. Or an ace and two 4-value cards.
By contrast, a hard hand is one combined by cards that don’t include an ace. In that case, basic blackjack has several directions like stand on 17 or higher and hit if cards make up a hand of 9 or a lower number.