Blackjack is the world’s second most popular card game after poker, and it’s a game that all new casino players should give a try. It’s easy to learn, and there are a number of simple but effective ways of increasing your success, no matter where you play or the variations of blackjack that you come across.
1. Learn The Basic Strategy
For over 60 years, clever mathematicians have been studying blackjack, and what they have certainly shown is that there is an optimal way to play any hand dealt to you. This ideal blackjack strategy, known as the simple play strategy, allows a player to reduce the edge of the house to less than 1 per cent if a player uses each hand’s strategy.
You should never play blackjack without knowing the rules you are playing against, while also using the right basic game technique.
2. Make Use Of a Strategy Card
It may be obvious, but most beginner players aren’t aware that special strategy cards exist to help them find success at the table. These plastic laminated cards are readily available, casino-legal, and you can refer to them to ensure that you always make the right decision on each hand you obtain to avoid expensive mistakes while playing.
Note: Casinos don’t allow players to put strategy cards— or other “stuff”— on a blackjack table for security reasons, so just keep the card in your pocket, and if you’re unsure how to play a particular hand, take a look at your strategy card.
3. Avoid Insurance Wagers
No matter how much money you wagered on your side, don’t make the insurance wager. The insurance wager is commonly known in the industry as a sucker bet. You bet the dealer has a downcard of ten-value to go with her Ace upcard (giving her a blackjack).
A winning insurance bet pays 2-1 but the odds of winning are worse than 2-1, so even if you’ve got a blackjack and the dealer even gives you money, it’s down.
4. Avoid Progressive Betting
It’s a losing proposition to place your bet based on whether you won or lost the previous hand. You should only bet more if the unplayed pack of cards includes more high-valued cards than low-valued cards. (This is what card counting systems monitor.)
There are several simple card counting systems at the entry level that I recommend for casual players. It should be noted that this shouldn’t be confused with the progressive systems found in Australian online pokies.
5. Avoid Continuous Shufflers
Continuous shuffling machines (CSMs) are devices that shuffle the cards after each round, resulting in more hands handled per hour (good for the casino) and more exposure of your bankroll to the edge of the house (bad for the player), playing on tables using a traditional mechanical shuffler (where the cards are shuffled after 50 per cent to 75 per cent) or where the dealer has played.
This is more often found on tables that attract a large number of players at once (this will reduce the number of hands you game every hour, which will reduce your bankroll’s access to the house edge.