15 Things Every Gambler Should Know About Blackjack

Thinking Man on Right Casino Chips Sitting Poker Cards on a Table on Left

Blackjack is among the most popular card games on the planet, and it happens to be one of my personal casino favorites. I’m not alone; players in every casino around make their home at the blackjack table.

However, I’m regularly surprised by how little most of the players know about blackjack. They seem to understand the gameplay and the standard rules, but not much beyond the most elementary stuff.

Today, we will go over some blackjack basics, but we’ll also dive into some more advanced blackjack facts. Here are 15 things every gambler should know about blackjack.

Some Blackjack Games Shouldn’t Be Bothered With

Not all blackjack games are created in the same light. The casinos use varying table rules to negate the influences of basic strategy and, more predominantly, card counting.

Many casinos in the United States have also made a shift to being more tourism-focused. So, they don’t give the pure gamblers as much love as they once enjoyed.

One of the most significant shifts over the last decade has been the proliferation of the tables that pay 6 to 5 for a natural blackjack. When a casino pays 6 to 5 rather than the traditional 3 to 2, it increases the house edge by up to 4x.

Many players never pay attention to the subtle difference and willingly fork their money. Stay away from games that don’t pat 3 to 2.

Blackjack Basic Strategy Is Simple

Using the blackjack basic strategy will reduce the house advantage in any game you play. Most novice casino gamblers believe there’s a complicated formula involved that you must commit to memory to reap the maximum rewards.

However, the blackjack strategy is relatively straightforward. There’s no need to memorize anything because you can pick up a strategy card for a couple of dollars off the internet and use it while you’re playing.

The strategy will automatically begin to make sense to you, and you’ll memorize the correct play through practical application.

Blackjack Is a Top Game for All Players

Blackjack is known to be the preferred game for many advantage gamblers. Card counters enjoy an edge over the casino that allows them to make a profit playing blackjack.

Closeup of Blackjack Table

Still, any gambler in the casino can see huge benefits from playing blackjack. The game has a house edge that becomes nearly non-existent when a basic strategy is used on every hand.

Plus, you’ve got a game that allows you to impart strategy. That keeps the game light and enjoyable for hours at a time.

Blackjack Rules the U.S. Table Game Market

Blackjack is king of the hill when it comes to table games in the U.S. and much of the world. In most casinos, blackjack tables outnumber all other table games 2:1 at a minimum.

You don’t enjoy that level of success without putting out a great product that players love. This popularity can make t challenging to find a seat on a busy night without having to wait.

You Won’t be Arrested for Counting Cards

Contrary to what the casinos want you to believe, card counting is in no way, shape, or form illegal. Players aren’t doing anything to influence the game; they are merely waiting for the game to move in their favor and increasing their bets in line with that.

Unfortunately, casinos don’t like an even playing field because it steals their opportunity to make money off the player. So, they’ll back suspected card counters off the tables or ban them from the casino entirely.

You don’t want to be caught counting cards because you could be looking for a new casino, but you won’t end up in any legal trouble.

The Real House Advantage Is Much Higher

Well, the house edge is the house edge. However, the casinos make way more than the typical 2% house edge on their blackjack tables.

That stems from many players taking sucker bets like insurance, splitting when they shouldn’t, and doubling down too often. So, the casinos aren’t suffering around the 0.5% mark due to all of the savvy blackjack players employing basic strategy.

When you couple in the high volume of games paying 6 to 5 and the players not using a flat betting approach, the numbers surely climb over the 5% range.

Slot Machines Put Up Numbers Blackjack Could Only Dream About

Despite all of the fantastic benefits that blackjack brings to the table, slot machines are throwing up numbers that blackjack only wishes it could.

Slot Machines

Slot machines are the most enjoyed games in the casinos by a long shot. In Las Vegas casinos and across the U.S., it’s estimated that the penny slots account for over 60% of a casino’s total gaming revenue by themselves.

There Are Advantage Techniques Outside of Card Counting

Many casino blackjack players fail to realize that you don’t have to learn to count cards to turn the odds in your favor. Other advantage techniques in blackjack will also give you a tremendous advantage, where applicable.

Primarily shuffle tracking (sequence tracking) and hole carding is employed to get the best of the casino. For many reasons, I believe sequence tracking is far more difficult to utilize than card counting.

Yet, hole carding is as easy as seeing the dealer’s hole card. Unfortunately, most blackjack dealers are too good to allow you a sneak peek at their cards.

Other Players Aren’t Causing You to Lose

Blaming losses on less experienced players seems to be a favorite crutch of the poor blackjack player. Typically, these players have been around the game for a while and believe they are better players than they are.

The college kid who made his way to the casino for the first time didn’t cause you to lose a hand because he hit or stayed before you.

Stop being a sore loser and learn to play blackjack better. If you can’t be responsible for your own losses, go play slot machines. I’m sure every hand of poker you’ve ever lost has been a bad beat.

You Need to Avoid Taking Insurance

Stop taking insurance, and your blackjack results will improve. The problem with taking insurance is that the dealer is going to have blackjack far less than they will.

So, you’re going to immediately lose that bet most of the time. Then you’re still challenged with the task of trying to win your original wager.

What ends up happening is that you’ll lose both bets pretty frequently and go deeper in the hole. Only take insurance when you’re counting cards or hole carding; you’ll be glad you did.

You’re Only Objective Is to Beat the Dealer

Ask 10,000 blackjack players what the object of the game is, and you’ll probably have 9,999 tell you that it’s to get as close to 21 without going over.

Sure, that’s sort of the basis for the game within the guidelines of the rules, but it’s not the primary objective. What’s the object of a race? Is it to run faster than your opponent?

Gambler Sitting at a Blackjack Table

I’d say it’s to beat your opponent. You may have to run faster to accomplish that, but it’s about winning.

You need to get into the mindset that your sole focus is on beating the dealer.

The Dealer May Not Be the Best Blackjack Coach

I watch a lot of novice gamblers look to the dealer for coaching at the blackjack tables. Much of the advice I hear is cringeworthy.

It’s not that the dealers are trying to cause players to lose or even that the dealers don’t understand the game. It’s that the dealers must walk an incredibly thin line when giving tips to the gamblers.

Ditch the dealer and grab a primary strategy card.

You’ll Never Out Bet the Casino

Betting systems don’t work in blackjack. Let me correct myself, betting systems don’t work.

Unless you’re utilizing advantage gambling techniques, you’ll never win using a varied betting system.

The only thing this does is cause you to lose at a faster pace because you’re exposing more of your bankroll in a shorter period.

Your Fellow Players Are Probably Clueless

Sadly, most players have no clue what they’re doing when it comes to playing any casino game. They get off work on a Friday after a hard week and head to the casino to relax and have some fun.

So, you shouldn’t expect too much solid play out of them. These gamblers merely have different ambitions relating to their casino gaming.

Offer assistance if they seem interested, but don’t try to force your style on them.

Baccarat May Be Catching Blackjack

In many parts of the world, primarily Macau, baccarat has taken hold as the table game of note. The game of chance is a favorite of whales but can also work fantastic for the average gambler.

Downtown Grand Baccarat Table

The game has a low house edge, below 1.5%, and is easier to play than your typical slot machine. It hasn’t taken over the scene in Las Vegas yet, but you shouldn’t be surprised if you see a massive push in the game going forward.

Our Conclusion

Now that you’re armed with the 15 things every gambler should know about blackjack, your casino sessions will likely go smoother.

Your primary objective in blackjack may be to beat the dealer, but your goal in the casino should always be to have as much fun as possible.