Blackjack is one of the most beloved casino games in the world. It’s easy to see why. The game is simple to understand, easy to play, and has a low house edge.
Get as close to 21 as possible without exceeding 21, known as busting, and hope the dealer doesn’t have 21 or come closer than you.
It depends on whether you enjoy donating your income to the casinos.
In this post, I’m going to share a few of my favorite tricks for winning at blackjack more often. This simple process will help you win more often at blackjack.
Start With Flat Betting and Use Basic Strategy
I can’t help but cringe when I’m at the blackjack table and see someone giving other players advice.
Sure, these lessons are given with the best of intentions but they’re potentially harmful anyway.
You may even have the dealer chime in from time to time. While their advice is typically more on point than “Gary from Topeka,” it should be taken with a grain of salt and ignored altogether if it doesn’t follow the basic strategy.
I have spent what amounts to weeks of my life watching fellow gamblers play a hand one way, and 20 minutes later, play the same hand differently… What changed?
Did they think the six of clubs carried different weights than the six of hearts?
I’m going to give you a piece of information that is of paramount importance.
It’s the same play 1,000 times out of 1,000.
Groups of brilliant men and women already did the hard work for you through mind-numbing mathematical and computer models. By analyzing the results of each hand combined with the dealers up card, you get the best play. This doesn’t guarantee you win every hand, but it does give you the best chance and is unwavering.
Unless, of course, you enjoy losing. If so, you should’ve stopped reading by now.
Basic Strategy Charts
Blackjack has one of the lowest house edges on the casino floor, weighing in below 1% when played properly.
Better yet, you won’t be hoisted from your chair by burly men in blazers and shown to the door for using one. Just be sure to keep the game moving.
Simply find your hand on the chart and match it to the dealer’s corresponding up card. This gives the best way to play your hand. Again, this will never change.
One other key to the basic strategy that gets overlooked is never to take insurance.
Stay away from sucker bets.
You may hear dealers or other players referring to insurance as even money, it’ll be even more of your money in the casino’s pocket if you take it.
Find the Best Rules and Table Conditions
Hopefully, you’ve been sold on the importance of basic strategy. Armed with a chart and a firm resolve to avoid insurance, you’re ready to find a table.
This is great news. You’re already ahead of most physical and real money online casino gamblers.
However, you can further increase your odds by finding the best table conditions available.
This can be harder than learning basic strategy, since you can’t buy a map in the gift shop with the best tables highlighted.
A standard set of rules for blackjack doesn’t exist. So, while most physical and real money online casinos offer a standard blackjack game, different tables will offer a different set of rules.
In the following section, I’ll cover the different rules you’ll encounter and which ones give you the best chances of winning.
How to Choose the Best Rules
Finding the games with the best rules will increase your positive expectation and diminish the casino’s advantage as much as possible.
Essentially, the fewer the number of decks in play, the better off you’ll be.
The number of decks isn’t paramount when choosing a table. But all other things being equal, pick a game with the fewest possible decks in play.
Historically, blackjack tables pay 3:2 for a natural.
Unfortunately, I’m seeing casino blackjack that pays 6:5 more often. The casino has such a bigger advantage at 6:5 that you’re best off not playing. Much like avoiding insurance, you should never ignore this advice.
You can also find tables that allow you to surrender, allowing you to receive half your bet back. This isn’t a deal-breaker, but nice if you can find it.
Casinos will sometimes allow players to double down after splitting. This can give you a decent chance to cut the house edge if you can find the right table.
You probably don’t need me to explain the advantages of splitting aces.
Once you split a pair, it’s occasionally in your best interest to split again. You will find tables that allow this, but you’ll have to pay close attention.
One final rule to keep an eye peeled for is being able to double down regardless of your hand. If you can’t find a table that will allow you to double down at any time, keep in mind 11, 10, and 9. These are key hands to be able to double down on, for clear reasons.
Be the Dealer Blackjack
This path to winning more often at blackjack is off the beaten path. But there may not be a more sure-fire approach to increasing your take.
I should qualify this by letting you know it may be illegal to offer casino games in your area without a license. Like they say in Vegas, “The house always wins.” So, obviously becoming the house will lead to some huge gains.
While many private poker games operate with seeming impunity, casino games tend to be more targeted. I’d talk to an attorney and carefully weigh the pros and cons before launching into the gaming business. Make sure you take any necessary precautions to avoid any trouble for yourself.
I have yet to find a casino game where the casinos lose money.
In fact, if any games don’t turn a profit, they’ll never make it to the casino floor. Sure, a small number of players have figured out how to count cards and turn a small profit. But most players lose money on blackjack.
Once you navigate the legalities of setting up your own game, you’re going to need a big bankroll.
If you can fight through the negative swings and avoid cheats and thieves, I can’t imagine a way to win more often at blackjack.
Fine Tune Your Strategy as the Dealer
Having a huge bankroll may not guarantee your “home game” is a cash cow. There are a few additional steps to take to not only attract players but keep your edge.
You can find a felt-covered table for relatively cheap to tick your game up a notch. You’ll also need to cycle out the used cards regularly.
Better quality decks will give you more life but still need to be replaced often. Watch out for any players trying to mark cards and ask them to leave immediately.
Savvy players may even spot small blemishes as cards start to wear, which is why it’s important to constantly refresh the decks.
After you have covered all the bases, there’s one last important aspect to cover.
You must learn to deal and deal correctly. Otherwise, you open yourself up to hole carding. By showing your hole card to the experienced player, you basically wipe out your advantage.
Blackjack is my favorite casino game (real money slots is a close second). I love blackjack for its simplicity and the mathematical aspect. I love it for its simplicity and the mathematical aspect.
If you want to leverage the small house advantage here, you must learn basic strategy. When played properly on every hand, you increase your chance of winning.
If you live in a cave and a friend was kind enough to print this for you, I recommend stopping by the gift shop before the tables and grabbing a chart for a few dollars.
When implemented perfectly you reduce the house advantage to almost nil. Factor that into finding a favorable set of rules and you are going to see an instant result.