Looking for a fairly simple casino game with favourable odds? Classic Blackjack is the one for you. Can you count to 21? Of course, you can and that means you’re already halfway there. Whether you’re playing in a brick-and-mortar casino or playing Blackjack online with Betfair, Blackjack is incredibly popular. As well as the classic version of the game, there are plenty of variations to pique your interest. But how do you become a Blackjack pro? Don’t worry, as we list five tips to strengthen your gameplay.
#1 Look for the most favourable odds
It may seem obvious, but playing the games with the most favourable odds will aid your success. Did you know that different Blackjack games have different odds for a natural (that is Blackjack, or 21 points from your first two cards)? While most variations of Blackjack will offer odds of 3:2, others may be as little as 6:5 or even 1:1. Other rules may also influence your choice of game. Generally speaking, the fewer the number of decks in the shoe, the more favourable the odds – so single deck games may prove preferable to six or eight-deck games.
#2 Learn strategy
Like anything, if you read about the game, the rules and the strategy involved, you’re bound to have success. If you’re playing online Blackjack, why not use a strategy card? It will help you make the optimal decisions based on your hand, as well as the dealer’s. Not sure whether to stick, twist or double down? Don’t worry, the strategy card will tell you and its colour-coded format makes it super easy to understand – even if you aren’t totally familiar with strategy yet. You’ll soon pick it up and become a pro in no time.
#3 Watch out and avoid negative systems
You’ll see many articles online, or hear people talking about different Blackjack strategies – the same way they would about Roulette, for example. But the truth is, there is no such thing as a winning one. Much like any other casino games, a run of good results may not always be replaced by the same run of bad results, and if you’re on a bad run, don’t bet thinking the next hand will be a winning one. While there is strategy involved, there is also an element of luck, as who knows what card will be next.
The problem with progressive strategies is that, to use the Martingale System as an example, you increase your bet after a loss in an attempt to claw back those losses to break even again, they just don’t work in Blackjack. You could find yourself on the end of a long losing streak and in the mire.
#4 Know when to split pairs and/or double down
Having a basic knowledge of strategy will stand you in good stead over someone who has little-to-no knowledge. Splitting pairs and doubling down may not be permitted in all variations of Blackjack, but we will quickly run through a brief summary of both.
Splitting pairs: always split aces (you don’t want a score of two and instead, have two opportunities to land a natural) and eights (16 is not a great score); never split fives (10 is a reasonable score, as an ace would see you score a natural).
Doubling down: double down on 11, in the hope of landing a 10-point card (a 10 or face card)
#5 Play your own game
If you’re playing online Blackjack, you’ll be playing against the computer. However, you could well have other players at your table if you’re playing multi-player Blackjack, or in live Blackjack you’ll certainly be among other players. But ignore these players and focus on your own game. Of course, you’ll be playing against the dealer, not the other players; and their moves and cards won’t influence yours in any way. Remember to use basic strategy and keep in mind that other players’ decisions won’t reflect your odds or streak either.