12 steps to winning at blackjack

Yes, blackjack is all about playing an entertaining casino game that offers plenty of fun. However, let’s be honest, it’s also nice to win once in a while. In fact, it’s great to win as much as possible. What’s great about blackjack is that you already have a decent chance of beating the house. By taking on board these 12 steps, you can increase that and find yourself winning like a blackjack pro. 

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Winning at blackjack

Winning at blackjack – Tip #1: Memorize the basics 

Let’s start simple. You stand far more chance of winning at blackjack when you get the basics right. This doesn’t just mean standing and hitting. You also need to know when to double down, split and surrender. You need to know what action to take in the blink of an eye. Blackjack is a fast-paced game and you need to be able to keep up.

Winning at blackjack – Tip #2: Challenge the dealer’s advantage

The dealer has an automatic advantage when playing any hand of blackjack. That’s because they get to see what every player has done before they have to make their move. Players also have to act without knowing what the hole card is. You can tame this advantage slightly by making an educated guess as to what the hole card is. You can do this by looking at the cards that the other players are displaying, as well as the dealer’s upcard.

Winning at blackjack – Tip #3: Get basic strategy nailed

Blackjack is different from other casino games. That’s because it’s a game that’s all about math and probability. Thanks to this, basic blackjack strategy has been developed. This tells you exactly what you need to do during a hand of blackjack. It considers your cards and that of the dealer and can guide you to what the most probable outcome is. Take the time to memorize this strategy and your winning ways will see an almost instant boost.

Winning at blackjack – Tip #4: Pay attention to the rules of the table

There are numerous variants of blackjack and you’ll find that blackjack tables will often feature different blackjack rules. You need to check these out before you choose where to play, as some rules are more favorable to players than others. You should be checking the payout for blackjack when you can surrender and the rules around when the dealer has to hit and stand. 

Tip #5: Know the payout

We’ve touched on this when looking at the table rules, but it’s vital to know what the payout for a blackjack is. The best tables to play at are those that offer 3:2. With this option, for every $2 you wager, you’ll get $3 back. Other tables will only offer 6:5 as a payout for a natural blackjack. These should be avoided if possible.

Tip #6: Have a betting strategy 

Betting strategies have their place when it comes to managing your bankroll. It’s important to have something to follow rather than just wagering random amounts. Doing this can soon blow through your playing budget and bring the fun to an end. Remember, there are never times when you’re due a win so never to tempted to suddenly bet big because you think that time has come.

Tip #7: The time to increase bets is when the odds are in your favor

As we’ve said, you’re never due a win so you shouldn’t randomly increase your wager during a losing streak. When you should increase your wager is when the probability of you winning has increased. This is when there are higher cards left in the pack that can help you to get a blackjack. Card counters are masters at reading what cards are left, and when the time is right to bet more.

Tip #8: Avoid buying insurance 

When you play blackjack, the dealer will offer you the chance to buy protection against them having a blackjack. This is basically a side bet, as you’re betting that the dealer does have a blackjack. If they do, the insurance bet pays out but you still lose the main game. Over the long term, the winner here is the casino. Beginners fall into the trap of thinking that insurance gives them a great deal of security, but the reality is that the probability of the dealer having blackjack is typically low anyway.

Tip #9: Assign values to cards when card counting 

Card counting can help blackjack players win big when it’s done correctly. If you go for the Hi-Lo method, you need to assign a value to each numbered card. Cards from 2 to 6 are given 1 point. The cards worth 7, 8 and 9 are worth zero. Cards that have a value of 10 attract a minus-one score. This method helps you to keep track of when there are more high-value cards in the pack.

Tip #10: Master keeping a running count

To utilize the Hi-Lo method, you need to be able to keep a running count as the game plays out. This can be tricky when you consider the speed at that blackjack is played. It’s worth taking the time to practice away from the casino. Take a single deck and simply deal one card at a time, and assign its value. If you draw an ace, a 5 and a 2, you should get to a value of 1. Keep practising this so that you can do it with ease.

Tip #11: Get to grips with the true count

While card counting is perfectly legal, casinos aren’t huge fans, for obvious reasons! That being the case, they make it as hard as possible. One thing that they do is use multiple decks in a game. To stay on top of card counting here, you need to keep the running count and then divide it by the number of decks that are being used.

Tip #12: Practice keeping count with distractions

Mastering running and true counts at home, in peace and quiet, is one thing. Doing it in a bustling casino is quite another. Make sure that you practice so that you can keep it together in the real world when there’s plenty going on around you. 

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