Blackjack is one of the most exciting games that you can play at a casino. For beginners, however, there can be certain challenges. If you rely on all those blackjack tips pages, beware that these pages usually do not account for the skill level of the reader. Pieces of Advice like learn to count cards or practice shuffle tracking are fine, but they are no good for most blackjack beginners.
Here we bring you the best blackjack tips for the beginners that will make you a better player. Just follow these strategies and you will be able to break even sooner than you realize.
- Master Basic Strategy
If we have to give you only one strategy to be ahead from most other blackjack players, then it would be to master a basic strategy. As a beginner, you don’t have to worry about fancy and sophisticated blackjack strategies.
A basic strategy is simply a mathematically optimal play in every blackjack situation. In every blackjack game, you know the total you have and also one of the cards from the two that the dealer has.
In a basic strategy, you compare your total with the dealer’s face-up card that will give you the chance to play the best game mathematically.
Now, what mathematically correct decision is will depend on the situation. In some cases, losing the least amount of money might be the best mathematical decision, while in others it is winning the most money over time.
In some situations, the mathematically correct decision is the one that loses the least amount of money over time. In others, the mathematically correct decision is the one that wins the most money over time.
Remember that the basic strategy will not change as per your gut feeling. A basic strategy of blackjack can help you bring down the house edge to 0.5% or 1%.
- Choose Good Blackjack Games
One blackjack game varies from another. As a beginner, your objective must be to find the game with the best rules.
That being said, what kind of rules one should look for?
Focus more on single-deck games. The fewer the number of decks being dealt the easier it will be for you to remain in control.
If you are finding it hard to find a single deck game, go for two decks.
Last, look for the games where the dealer must stand on any total of 17. Because after hitting the 17, the house edge goes up.
While there are so many other possible rules variations and we can’t cover them all, but these two are the most important ones. Look for the number of decks and whether the dealer hits a soft 17 or not.
- Never Take Insurance
The only time you are mathematically correct to opt for insurance is when you are counting cards. As we mentioned at the beginning, this post is all about blackjack tips for the beginners, that doesn’t apply to you.
Insurance is a side bet that the dealer has a 10 in the hole, it pays off 2:1. Although, the casinos call it “even money,” but in reality, the house has a high edge on the insurance bet.
Let’s understand this with an example.
Assuming you are playing in a single-deck game, the dealer shows you an ace. You also have two cards and neither of them is a 10. It implies that there are 49 cards in the deck that are not accounted for. Of these cards, 16 are worth 10-all the jacks, kings, queens and 10s.
Mathematically speaking, you have 33 ways to lose the insurance bet as compared to 16 ways to win. The bet pays off at 2:1, this is same as 32:16. Now, let’s see how the house has an edge here and by how much.
Suppose you bet $100 on insurance 49 times you would win $200 on 16 of those bets that would make for $3200 in total. Now, for the other 33 times, you will lose $100, i.e. you will lose $3300. You will end up losing $100 on 49 bets. This accounts for an average of $2.04 per hand. In other words, the house edge in the insurance bet is 2.04%. The house edge further goes up if you have a card that’s a 10 in your hand.
- Don’t Think About Counting Cards
Counting cards is not a hard trick to learn, but as a beginner, your attention must be on mastering the basic blackjack strategy. If you are not able to play with the perfect basic strategy on every hand then even counting cards will not be of much help for you.
The concept of counting cards is based on the fact that the ratio of high cards to low cards changes due to the random nature of the game. Sometimes, the cards in the remaining deck are either mostly high cards or mostly low cards.
But you have no way of telling whether the remaining cards are mostly high or low. This is why to get better at blackjack, instead of counting cards, you should focus on playing more to master the basic strategy.
- Skip 6/5 and Video Blackjack Games
A trend among Vegas blackjack is to offer games that offer a 6:5 payoff for a natural instead of 3:2. You might find some casinos even bragging about.
For an unsophisticated gambler, 6:5 blackjack will appear to be a better deal as 6 is a higher number than 3. But this is a terrible deal as it adds 1.5% or more to the house edge. Simply put, a 3:2 payout on a $100 bet is $150 while a 6:5 payout on the same $100 bet is $120.
Video blackjack also varies widely. Also, these games mostly involve eight decks that are shuffled after every play. Even the rules are usually worse than what you will find at any table version of blackjack. Furthermore, video blackjack is twice as fast as playing blackjack at a table with a dealer. It means you will be wagering twice as much money per hour.
This article is specifically written for beginners who want to get started with blackjack. We have not gotten into the details of any specific blackjack strategy or shared any tips.
If you want to learn more about casino games or sports betting, we have plenty of information for you to check out here.