Blackjack Tips, Tricks and Strategy
You’ve probably familiar with the famous MIT blackjack team that made millions counting cards in the 1990s. There is a movie about it. The group consisted of math geniuses, but their story is full of lessons for Blackjack players.
First, the group operated like a business. They had a manager. They had an immaculate card-counting system and coordinated as a team until casinos caught up with them.
Very few people can operate the way they did. But it probably doesn’t matter if you play 21 for fun. Maybe you’re serious about the game and play it for the money. Regardless, sharpen your skills by learning these Blackjack tips and strategies.
#1: The Basic Paying Strategy
Some rules are universally known, but many Blackjack players still overlook them. For example, you should split aces and 8s if they come in your first hand. Two aces mean you have a hand valued at 12 and two 8s take your hand to 16. When you split either card; you get two chances to hit 21.
Another standard tip is to hit when dealt a soft 17. For the uninitiated, this happens if you have an ace plus one or more cards that total to six points. Many casinos have a rule that dealers must hit when dealt a soft 17.
So, if casinos believe you should never stand on a soft 17, why should you? Kaplan, who managed the MIT Blackjack team, also shares the same tip. Your odds of hitting 21 increases slightly while with a soft 17.
There are several more basic strategies used by professionals. For instance, you’re advised to stand if you have a 12-16 hand and the dealer has a 2-6 hand. Hit when you have 12-16, and the dealer has 7-Ace.
#2: Pick the Right 21
Classic 21 isn’t the only type of blackjack you could play. You could choose European Blackjack, Atlantic City or Spanish 21 at a modern casino. Some of the games share almost all rules while others are so unique that you may get confused on how to play them.
What is the best online blackjack for money? Consider playing several Blackjack variations before you pick your favourite. You’ll better understand each game, odds and which games have the best rules. Spanish 21, for example, has 48 cards instead of 52 and doesn’t feature ten value cards.
Blackjack Switch allows you to change a pair of cards, meaning you receive two hands during the first round. Vegas Strip blackjack will enable you to re-split cards up to three times while Pontoon is similar to Spanish 21 while live blackjack lets you compete against fellow players.
#3: Carry your Strategy Card
A Blackjack strategy card lists the main tips players use all over the world. You can buy a laminated plastic-made card online and take it with you to your favourite casinos. It’s legal in Las Vegas, Atlantic City and nearly all other land-based gambling establishments.
Of course, you can also use a strategy card when playing online. The reason for carrying a card is to help you avoid making the wrong moves. There are numerous tips in the basic blackjack strategy guide anyway. If you don’t have something to remind you of the rules, it’s easy to keep repeating the same mistakes.
#4: Don’t Insure your Bets
Insuring your bet sounds incredible, but in Blackjack, it’s not. Casinos ask you to insure wagers when the dealer has an Ace. Insuring your bet helps you recoup some of your losses if the dealer’s next card is a 10.
Although insurance bets pay at 2:1, the odds of the dealer landing a ten value card after an Ace are low. That means most insured wagers end in losses for the player. Again, you only receive your original stake amount when you win.
#5: Stake the same Amount Consistently
Because increasing or reducing bet sizes works in roulette, some players use the strategy in blackjack. It doesn’t work. And if it does, it’s for a short time only. The best way to win at 21 is to follow the basic playing strategy. Only spice things up with a couple of additional strategies you’ve tested before.
Of course, you can always double down on blackjack. Experts suggest you double down when you have 11 when the dealer has 2-10. What you shouldn’t do is to increase your bet after you lose hoping to win some more in the next bet.
As aforementioned, blackjack isn’t like roulette. It’s not limited to two outcomes (even/odds) or (blacks or reds). If you want to win 21, learn the strategies all successful Blackjack players follow.
#6: Always check the dealer’s up-card
The dealer is the only person (or RNG software) that stands your way when playing most blackjack games. His or her cards determine whether you win or lose money. Due to this, check to see their cards before making any move.
If a dealer has a two or three up-card and you have a hard 12 or better; hit. Most players make the mistake of standing when in this situation. They fear to bust by taking another card. And while it could work, it leads to more losses than wins in the long run.
If the dealer has a 9-Ace and you have an Ace-7; hit. Having a hand totalling 18 is never a sure win. If a dealer has an ace and she gets a 10, you lose. If she has a nine value card and she gets an ace, you lose. But if you hit and receive a 2 or 3 value card, your chances of winning increase.
You can forge winning patterns in Blackjack. But you must follow proven strategies consistently. Never imitate what other players do on a blackjack table. Carry your basic strategy guide and check it before making moves.
Again, glance at the dealer’s up-card and take the next step based on what you see. Hit a hard 12 when the dealer has a low-value card. Also, hit when the dealer has a 9-Ace, and you have an Ace-7 among more blackjack tips.