Blackjack offers just about the best possible edge and odds in the house. And even if you’re never going to be a money-making card-counting Blackjack machine, there’s still money to be made around the 21-table – even for beginners.
We’ve narrowed some of our best Blackjack tips down to the golden rules of the game for players just starting out.
Get To Know Basic Strategy
Anything worth doing well is worth putting in at least some effort. For the player wanting to succeed around the Blackjack table, whether at the casino or around the dining room table with friends, that effort is called “learning the basic Blackjack strategy”.
When playing a casual game with only a few decks of cards, whether during a night out on the town or at home, the basics are as follow:
- Always stand whenever your hand is 12-16 and the dealer’s is 2-6.
- Always hit when your hand is 12-16 and the dealer’s hand is 7-Ace.
- Without exception, hit or even double on all Aces-6.
- Always split Aces and always split 8s.
- Never, ever split face-cards (10s).
Dealer’s Up-Card Is Important
The dealer’s up-card (the card you can see) will mostly be either good or bad. Bad up-cards (for the dealer, that is) would be 2 through 6, and good up-cards would be 7 through Ace.
When starting out, and even when more experienced, what the dealer has in terms of their initial “up-card” makes all the difference in terms of any future action the player is about – or should be about – to take.
Avoid Playing Insurance
Insurance is the money-making playing field of the casino.
Unless you’re counting cards, which you certainly won’t be when you’re just starting out, avoid getting drawn into the temptation of playing an insurance bet. What an insurance bet basically is, is wagering an altogether new and additional bet on whether the dealer will or will not end up with a Blackjack result.
Even more sobering, and another reason never to play insurance bets, is that the casino enjoys a house advantage of nearly 6% on all insurance bets – definitely not a course of action any new player would want to dabble with.
Mind That First Base Seat
The player occupying the first base seat – i.e., that closest to the dealer to their left – will have a lot to deal with based on any given day or dealer. If the dealer happens to be in a rush, the player occupying first base will have only that much less time in which to make what could very well be an important decision or consideration.
Instead, try to arrive early and grab a seat further down the line. This will greatly benefit the beginner who might not yet be as quick on the decision-making process as more experienced players around the Blackjack table.
Don’t Be Gullible About Myths
There are today probably more gambling myths out there than what there are Blackjack players.
The most important of these, and most crucial to avoid falling victim to, is the misconception that what other players are doing will somehow influence your own personal outcome or hand. When seated at the Blackjack table, always remember that it’s you against the dealer. That’s all that really matters.