Beginning gamblers have many activities to choose from. They can choose to play an easy game, like slot machines, or they can choose to play a game that gives them a better chance to win.
The choice you make as a beginner should be dictated by what you want to get when you gamble. Most gamblers say that they want to win, but then they play games that simply can’t be beaten in the long run.
Blackjack is the game I recommend for most beginning gamblers. It’s not as easy as many other games, but it’s not that hard either. And it’s the game that gives you a chance to win if you learn the right strategies.
Here are seven proven strategies for real money blackjack players that even beginning gamblers can use.
For the Love of All Things Holy
I realize that the title for this section is a bit odd for an article about blackjack, but this is the most important section, and I want to make sure that you don’t miss it.
When you’re playing blackjack and get an ace and a 10 point card, either a 10 or a face card, you get paid more than 1 to 1. 1 to 1 is what you get paid on all of your other winning hands.
I know that this strategy is as simple as it gets, but it’s so important that if you make the wrong choice it guarantees that you’re never going to win. The only blackjack tables you should play at are the ones that pay 3 to 2. This is one of the few rules that you can never break as a blackjack player.
A simple example shows why this is so important. If you bet $50 and get a blackjack, you win $75 on a 3 to 2 table, but you only get $60 on a 6 to 5 table. If you only get one blackjack every hour, this costs you an extra $15 an hour.
Avoid the Worst Blackjack Plays
To get the highest return playing blackjack you not only have to identify the best plays, you also need to identify the worst plays and avoid making them. You’re going to learn more about making the best blackjack plays in the next three sections, but before you learn about them you need to learn about the worst play.
The worst play in blackjack is taking insurance. Insurance, which is sometimes called even money, is a bet that costs half your starting wager and pays 2 to 1 when the dealer has a blackjack.
Insurance looks like a decent wager, but all that it really does is get you to risk more money and lower the return to player percentage. You only want to get more money in play when you have an advantage, not when you’re giving the casino a larger advantage.
Identify When You Have a Casino Advantage
Casinos make a lot of money from offering blackjack to gamblers. The main reason blackjack is profitable for a casino is because they usually have a house advantage. The advantage isn’t huge, but even with a small advantage, they make a lot over time.
What would happen if you knew before each hand if you have an advantage? You’d wager more when you have an advantage and less when the casino has an advantage. But how do you know if you have an advantage or not?
Smart blackjack players learn how to find an advantage. The most common way is by counting, which you’re going to learn more about soon. But this isn’t the only way. You can use strategy to find advantages during normal blackjack play.
Get More Money in Play With an Advantage
You have three situations where you can get more money in play when you have an advantage. The first way is to wager more on each hand. But the only way to know if you have an advantage before the hand is if you’re counting cards. I cover counting in the last two sections in this article.
When you have a total of 10 or 11 and the dealer has a weak card like a 5 or 6, you have a clear advantage. This is why you always double down in these situations.
The good news is that there’s an easy way to know when you have an advantage and when to get more money in play. You’re going to learn more about this in the next section.
How to Master Perfect Blackjack Strategy
The easy way to learn when you have an advantage and to take advantage of it by getting more money in play is using strategy. And blackjack strategy can be used on every hand if you have the right tool.
The best blackjack tool is either a blackjack strategy card or a strategy chart.
A card or chart already has all of the best plays listed, so you don’t have to figure them out. But you need to take the next step and become a strategy master. This means using strategy until you have every play memorized.
The best way to do this is get a card or chart, sign up for a free account at an online or mobile casino, and play free blackjack using your card or chart. Keep playing until you can make perfect strategy decisions on every hand without your card or chart.
Learn a Simple Counting System
Now that you understand why learning blackjack strategy is so important and you know how to do it, the next step you need to take is learning a blackjack counting system. Using perfect strategy gets the return as high as possible without counting, but it won’t get you to 100% or higher.
Counting is a way to get the return to 100% or higher. When you get a 100% return it means that you’re breaking even on your play. When you get a return over 100% it means that you’re making a profit.
The two easiest counting systems for blackjack players are the ace 5 and the speed count. I recommend starting with the ace 5 count. You can start using the ace 5 count almost immediately. And once you master it, you can start learning a more advanced counting system that provides an even higher advantage.
Learn an Advanced Counting System
One of the common mistakes blackjack players make is either believing that counting is too hard or trying to master an advanced system before they try a simple system. This leads most of the blackjack players who try to count to give up.
I’m going to deal with the first mistake first. Counting is not too hard for you to learn. It’s much easier than most people think. Do you believe that you have to memorize every card as it’s played? This is what most gamblers believe. And it’s simply not true.
If you follow the advice in the previous section, you’re going to eliminate the second mistake. Once you learn the ace 5 system, all you have to do when you advance to a better system is to expand what you’re already doing.
The most used counting system is the hi-lo. It’s a powerful system and a good choice. Other good options include the knock out system and the red 7.
Any of these systems, when used correctly, give you a long term edge when you play blackjack.
Blackjack isn’t the easiest casino game for beginning gamblers, but it’s the best game. After you learn the basics of how to play blackjack and how each of the rules variations works, it’s not that difficult to take the next step.
You can quickly learn how to use the first five of the seven strategies listed in this article. When you use the first five you’re playing the best game in most casinos with the highest return.
The final two sections are where you start separating yourself from other gamblers. These strategies are how you start getting an edge at the blackjack tables.