Blackjack Advice from the Pros

Blackjack is quite possibly the world’s most successful casino game, with the biggest number of different versions. It’s popular online and offline, with players of all ages, backgrounds and skill levels.

Of course, once the Blackjack bug has bitten, most players want to get their skill level as high as possible. You might not be an actual professional Blackjack player, but the closer you get to this, the more you can win. We’ve put some good advice together, which should get you closer to achieving that aim, right here.

Be Patient

One of the most common and important pieces of advice that Blackjack experts give us, is to allow yourself the time to learn basic and advanced Blackjack strategy principles. You should accept that you’re going to lose Blackjack games around 70% of the time.

Once you’ve made peace with that fact, your whole experience should change. You’re less likely to get anxious and frustrated with the games, and more likely to ride out a losing streak. It’s also easier to keep a cool head and manage your bankroll with small bets on each game.

Start with Basic Strategy

Blackjack strategy charts are popular for a very good reason: they work! Consult a chart to find out what your first move should be for every possible hand you are dealt. Different charts exist for the different variations of Blackjack, and you should be able to find the ones that you need relatively easily. Just be aware that these strategy charts don’t go further than what to do with the first 2 cards. They’re a great starting point, but as you develop your Blackjack skills, you’ll need to take things further.

Other basic principles you can apply are:

  • Always split a pair of Aces or 8s
  • Never split pairs of 10-value cards – they total 20, which is a good bet
  • Always stand on a hand total of 17 or more
  • Always hit on a hand total of 11 or less

Learn Card Counting

Counting cards isn’t illegal, but it can get you thrown out of land-based casinos, so you might find it easier to do this when playing online. It’s not a guaranteed win, but if you can keep track of how many high cards have been dealt, you can bet more money when the odds favour the chances of you also getting high cards, and less money when they don’t.

Take Your Time and Strategise

Developing your Blackjack prowess should be looked at as an enjoyable, lifelong journey that can’t be rushed, but the more you play the more skilled you’ll become, and the more quickly it will happen. Don’t put too much stress on yourself, but remember how important the time you invest in your game is.

You should also try not to pressure yourself to perform better or faster when playing each game, and to not allow other players to do this to you either. Take your time, within reason, and make sure that as you develop, you memorise every move your chosen strategy allows you to make in every situation. If you’re counting cards, give yourself as much time as you need to practice this difficult-to-acquire skill.

You’ll get faster as the moves become second nature, and once they’re automatic, you’ll actually have more headspace to think about the game. Remember too that the big difference between Blackjack and Poker, for many people, is that Blackjack is very methodical and Poker can rely almost entirely on human nature and bluffs. You’re better off sticking to a strategy very closely, than trying to bring subjective judgement on behaviour or luck into the equation. Be consistent, not haphazard, for your best chance of winning big.