Blackjack is one of the most popular card games on the planet, and it just so happens to be one of my personal favourites in the casino. I’m not alone; every casino player around me makes their home at the blackjack table.
However, I am often surprised at how little most players know about blackjack. They seem to understand the game play and the standard rules, but they don’t know much beyond the basics.
Today, we will review some of the basics of blackjack, but we will also delve into some of the more advanced blackjack facts. Here are 15 things every gambler should know about blackjack.
Some blackjack games should not be disturbed
Not all blackjack games are created in the same way. Casinos use different table rules to negate the effects of basic strategy and, more importantly, card counting.
Many casinos in the United States have also moved towards a greater focus on tourism. As a result, they do not give as much love to the mere gambler as they once enjoyed.
One of the most important changes in the last decade has been the popularity of tables that pay 6 to 5 points for natural blackjack. When the casino pays 6 to 5 instead of the traditional 3 to 2, it increases the casino advantage by as much as four times.
Many players never pay attention to the nuances and willingly diverge. Stay away from games that don’t shoot 3 to 2.
Blackjack Basic Strategy is simple
Using Blackjack Basic Strategy will reduce the house edge in any game you play. Most novice casino gamblers believe that there is a complicated formula involved and you must stick to your memory to get the most out of it.
Blackjack strategy, however, is relatively simple. There is no need to memorise anything as you can purchase a strategy card from the internet for a few dollars and use it when playing the game.
The strategy will automatically start to make sense to you and you will remember the correct way to play by actually applying it.
Blackjack is the top game for all players
It is well known that blackjack is the game of choice for many gamblers with an edge. Card counters enjoy an advantage in the casino, which allows them to profit from playing blackjack.
Despite this, any gambler in the casino can see huge benefits from playing blackjack. The house edge in this game is almost non-existent when basic strategy is used on every hand.
Plus, you have a game that allows you to teach strategy. This makes the game easy and enjoyable to play for hours at a time.
Blackjack dominates the US table game market
Blackjack is the king of table games in the United States and most of the world. In most casinos, blackjack tables outnumber all other table games by at least a 2:1 ratio.
You wouldn’t enjoy that level of success without a great product that players love. This level of popularity makes it challenging to find a seat on a busy night without having to wait.
You won't get arrested for counting cards
Contrary to what the casino would like you to believe, card counting is never illegal. Players are not doing anything to influence the game; they are simply waiting for the game to go in their favour and increasing their bets accordingly.
Unfortunately, the casino doesn’t like a level playing field because it steals their chances of making money from players. As a result, they will remove suspicious card counters from the tables or ban them from the casino altogether.
You don’t want to get caught counting cards as you may be looking for a new casino, but you won’t run into any legal problems.
The real house edge is much higher
Well, a house edge is a house edge. However, the casino edge at blackjack tables is more than the typical 2%.
This is due to the fact that many players make stupid bets like insurance, splitting shares when they shouldn’t and often doubling down. As a result, the casino is not affected by the 0.5% or so, as all smart blackjack players use basic strategy.
When you combine a large number of games paying 6 to 5 with players who do not use a fixed betting method, the numbers definitely climb into the 5% range.
Slot machines offer numbers that blackjack can only dream of
Despite the many fantastic benefits that blackjack brings, slots are throwing out numbers that blackjack only wishes it could do.
Slot machines are the most popular game in entertainment cities. In Las Vegas casinos and across the United States, it is estimated that penny slots alone account for more than 60% of total gaming revenue in casinos.
Beyond card counting, there is a technological edge
Many casino blackjack players don’t realise that you don’t have to learn to count cards to get the odds in your favour. Where applicable, there are other advantageous techniques in blackjack that will give you a huge advantage.
Shuffle tracking (sequence tracking) and hole cards are mainly used to make the most of the casino. For many reasons, I think sequence tracking is more difficult to use than card counting.
However, playing the undercard is as easy as looking at the dealer’s undercard. Unfortunately, most blackjack dealers are too good to allow you to peek at their cards.
Other players won't let you lose
Blaming defeat on inexperienced players seems to be the poor blackjack player’s favourite crutch. Often, these players have been at the game for a while and believe they are better players than they are.
The college student on his first trip to the casino doesn’t cause you to lose a hand because he hits or stays in front of you.
Stop being a bitter loser and learn to play blackjack better. If you can’t take responsibility for your losses, then go play the slots. I’m sure that every hand you lose is a bad beat.
You need to avoid taking out insurance
Stop buying insurance and your blackjack results will improve. The problem with buying insurance is that the dealer’s blackjack will be much less than theirs.
So, most of the time you will lose that bet immediately. Then you are still faced with the challenge of trying to win your initial bet.
What ends up happening is that you will often lose both bets and go deeper. Only take out insurance when counting cards or playing holes; you’ll be glad you did.
Your only goal is to beat the dealer!
Ask 10,000 blackjack players what the goal of the game is and you’ll probably have 9,999 people telling you that it’s going to be close to 21 points without going over 21 points.
Of course, this is the basis of the game as guided by the rules, but it is not the main objective. What is the aim of the race? Is it to run faster than your opponent?
I would say it is to beat your opponent. You may have to run faster to do that, but it’s about winning.
You need to get into the mindset that your only focus is to beat the dealer.
The dealer may not be the best blackjack coach
I see a lot of novice gamblers at the blackjack table looking to the dealer for guidance. A lot of the advice I hear is intimidating.
It’s not that the dealer is trying to make the player lose, or even that the dealer doesn’t know the game. The dealer has to take a very fine line when tipping punters.
Drop the dealer and take a major strategy card.
You'll never bet at the casino
Betting systems don’t work in blackjack. Let me correct myself, betting systems don’t work.
You will never win with a diversified betting system unless you use advantageous gaming techniques.
The only thing this will do is make you lose faster because you expose more money in less time.
Your fellow players may not know anything about it
Sadly, most players don’t know what they’re doing when they play any casino game. After a hard week’s work, they finish work on Friday and head to the casino to relax and have fun.
So, you shouldn’t expect too much solid play from them. These gamblers just have different ambitions for their casino games.
If they seem interested, offer to help, but don’t try to impose your style on them.
Baccarat may be catching up with blackjack
Baccarat has become a famous table game in many parts of the world, mainly in Macau. The game of chance is a favourite of the whales, but works well for the casual gambler too.
The game has a low casino edge of less than 1.5% and is easier to play than the typical slot machine. It hasn’t taken over the Las Vegas scene yet, but you shouldn’t be surprised if you see a huge push for the game in the future.
Now that you’ve mastered the 15 things every gambler should know about blackjack, your casino sessions are likely to go a lot smoother.
Your main goal in blackjack may be to beat the dealer, but your goal in the casino should always be to have as much fun as possible.