When it comes to having casino swag, blackjack is the way to go. Respected for decades as a game of strategy and skill, blackjack possesses a certain cool factor that makes millions of casino pro hopefuls spend hours learning how to win–and we don’t blame them. If learning how to win at blackjack feels daunting, you’ve come to the right place. We understand that you’re not a pro quite yet but the tips and strategies in this post is sure to give you the boost of confidence that you need. Your dreams of becoming a blackjack high roller are easily within reach with these expert tips that the dealer definitely doesn’t want you to know.
The Number of Decks Do Matter
Increasing your chances of winning at blackjack begins with the deck. A multi-deck game has an inherent 0.5% – 0.6% disadvantage over a single deck game with the same rules and much of this disadvantage is caused by the removal of cards.
While a 6- or 8- deck game can slightly affect the chances of winning for a player, there’s more potential for a player to be cheated in a handheld single-deck game. While this is rarely a worry at reputable casinos, we suggest a 5- deck game to balance the risk with the decreased chances.
Know When to Hit & Stand
If you’re a blackjack rookie, you may have heard terms like ‘Hit’ and ‘Stand’ tossed around the casino floor. As a new player looking to score wins, it’s important to know these basic blackjack behaviors before you play your first game.
To ‘Hit’ is to request another card. To ‘Stand’ is to hold your cards and end your turn. However, keep in mind that if your hand exceeds a total of 21, you bust and the dealer wins regardless of their own hand. If you’re dealt 21 at the beginning of the game, you automatically get blackjack. Typically, this means you won 1.5 the amount of your bet.
When to Hit
- If the dealer’s face up card is 7, 8, 9, 10 or Ace, and your hand totals 8 or 12 through 16.
- If the dealer’s face up card is Ace, and your hand totals 11.
- If the dealer’s face up card is 10, and your hand totals 10.
- If the dealer’s face up card is 7, 8 or 9, and your hand totals 9.
When to Stand
- If your hand totals 17 or more.
- If the dealer’s face up card is 6 or less, and your hand totals 13 or more.
- If you have a pair of 10s or face cards.
When to Double or Split
The two remaining blackjack plays that are vital to know for a new player is when to split and when to double down. A split is when you are dealt a pair and you’re afforded the option to split them into two hands. To double down is to place an additional bet that is equal to your first bet for which you receive an additional card.
When to Split
- Only split 2s and 3s if the dealer’s card is 4-7.
- Don’t split 5s; either double down, or hit if the dealer is showing a 10 or Ace.
- Split 6s and 7s only if the dealer’s card is 6 or less.
- Always split 8s.
- Always split Aces, if possible.
When to Double Down
- Always double a total of 10 unless the dealer has 10 or Ace.
- Always double an 11 unless the dealer has an Ace.
- 9 should be doubled when the dealer has 3, 4, 5 or 6 showing.
Don’t Take the Insurance
The first step in explaining why you’re better off not taking insurance is to describe exactly what it is in the context of blackjack. The insurance bet becomes available once you’ve been dealt your first two cards and the dealer’s face-up card is an Ace.The insurance bet only becomes available to you after you have been dealt your first two cards, and if the dealer’s exposed card is an Ace. You must then decide if you want to take insurance before continuing to play your hand.
The reason we don’t recommend taking insurance boils down to the higher chance of losing than winning. You win insurance if the dealer gets blackjack which means his second card is a ten or picture card. The chances of this happening is roughly around 30% which leaves you with a 70% chance of losing–we recommend staying away from taking insurance.
Do Take Advantage of Playing Online
The luxuries of playing online are many but here are just a few. Playing online avoids the hassle of traveling to a casino and the extra cost of hotel rooms, drinks and tipping the dealer. Online blackjack allows you to play in the comfort of your own home which can take some serious pressure off your shoulders-especially if you’re new to the game.
Online casinos offer a wide range of exciting blackjack games such as the games listed below. If you’re just getting your feet wet in blackjack, enjoy playing online before you step into a real-life casino.
Don’t bother asking, you won’t get pro tips like these from your dealer but we’re glad you learned from us! The most important thing to remember when playing blackjack is that winning requires balancing knowledge, skill, bankroll, and risk-and practice can make you a Pro.
If you’re ready to step into the exciting world of blackjack, we suggest getting your feet wet by playing online first. Casino Room offers the chance to play for free so you can build your confidence before stepping into the big leagues! Here are just a few of the blackjack games we offer: