How to Play Smart Blackjack

August 1st, 2006 5:25 pm EST


Blackjack is an increasingly popular game at casinos- in fact even many online Poker rooms have begun to offer it due to demand. There is a lot of advice floating around the internet, but most of them just lead to a sales pitch to buy a book or video about some kind of "winning system".

The advice given here is free and is amongst some of the best on the net. If you want rules or strategy advice, there are articles here at Blackjack King that fit that bill. This is simply advice on how to play smart:

1. Remember that you are only playing against the dealer. Most people get distracted by what other players are doing. Since Blackjack is a game of skill, you should not worry about whether other people win or lose. Even if someone at the table wins, you can still win also. The object of the game is not to get 21 or Blackjack necessarily. The real object of the game is not to go over 21 while still beating the dealer or at least tying (called a push).

2. You are more than allowed to bring a strategy card of any type to the table with you. In fact, some casinos will offer them to you. If you ever have a question about a hand or the game, as the dealer. Though they can not advise you on what to do, they can absolutely answer any questions about the game or rules.

3. Counting cards is not illegal, but all casinos frown upon it. If you are suspected of counting cards, the casino will try to get you to stop. At an online casino, the decks are shuffled between hands, so card counting really is futile.

4. There are many variations of Blackjack out there, so make sure that you understand what the rules of the table are. Blindly sitting at a table without knowing the rules can cost you money. Even a subtle rule tweak like whether a dealer stands on 17 or not can totally alter your strategy and how many times you can expect to win at that table.

5. Pay attention to the payout odds at a table. Normally, a game of Blackjack payouts at 3:2 odds, but many tables are now offerings odds of 6:5. This means less money for you. Let's say you placed a bet at a 6:5 table that netted you a $12 win- if you played the exact same game at a 3:2 table, you would have won $15 instead of $12. While a three dollar difference does not seem all that much, imagine how many hands you might play in a night, and you will see that it adds up. The casinos are playing the odds that you will not pay attention to the payout structure.

6. Insurance is generally seen as a risky bet and should be avoided. If you absolutely must place this bet, only do so when you can reasonably assume that the dealer has Blackjack, as that is the only time that you win on this bet.

7. Make a Blackjack budget for yourself and adhere to it. This is advice that every player should take for every type of gambling game. Always stay within your budget and try not to re-bet what you have won, so you always walk away with at least some money instead of totally broke.

8. Play at games with stakes that you can afford. This ties in a bit to point number six. If your budget is $100, you are better to stick to $5 minimum tables than a $20 minimum, where you would only get 5 hands to play.

9. Always make sure you have fun. Gambling should be thought of as a form of entertainment, like going to the movies or a play. If you take it too seriously you risk big disappointment. Only professionals should take it seriously.

10. Practice makes perfect, so take advantage of any chance you get to tweak your game or improve. This includes house games and free games online. Any type of demo or free money game that an online casino offers should be taken advantage of.