Improve Your Odds
Even with perfect strategy and a low house advantage you are likely to lose at blackjack, at least in the long run. With that said, there are some steps you can take to increase your chances of winning. Follow these simple tips to give yourself the best odds.
Look for Casino Related Perks
There are few ways to get free money in today’s world. Casinos give away a lot of it. Do some research to find out what is currently available online, or ask your favorite casino’s customer service for details on their current perks.
Land-based casinos often offer match play cards for their table games. To use these, you simply place them down with your bet. The casino will then match your bet with house money. Another way to get free money from the casino is to sign up for their loyalty cards. Often, these programs will give you a percentage of the money you’ve wagered in the casino back to you in free play cash.
If utilizing an online casino for blackjack, you will be able to find several sites offering free cash. Most of these will be in the form of a welcome bonus or deposit match. Some casinos offer rewards for loyal members too. Be sure to look for any freebies you can get for the money you were planning on gambling anyway.
Manage Your Bankroll
One of the best ways to win money at the blackjack table is to limit your losses. Over time, the odds favor the house in blackjack. This is a slim margin. If you are able to limit your losses and cash out your wins, it will have a dramatic effect on your overall profit.
Set a specific limit before sitting down at the blackjack table. If you lose that amount, walk away. Similarly, set a winning amount limit. This should be an amount that you win in order to quit and walk away from the game. If you set your limits and stick to them, you have a much higher chance of being profitable.
Stay Away from Superstitions
Most superstitions surrounding blackjack can be disproven if you simply think about the circumstance rationally. The shuffle of the blackjack shoe is random. There are no specific “hot” or “cold” seats. No one else’s decisions affect your game in the long run. There are no predictable winning or losing streaks (unless you’re counting cards).
Keeping all of these facts in mind will help you to make rational decisions in regard to your gameplay. Walking away from the table in the middle of a winning streak should be an easy task. You simply need to realize that there is no consistency to a random shuffle.
Don’t Make Losing Bets
There are a couple “sucker bets” in the game of blackjack. These are added to contribute to the house advantage. While they can seem like a good idea, in the long run, they will take your money much quicker than the main blackjack game.
One bet you should avoid is the insurance bet. This is offered to the players when the dealer is showing an Ace. You are able to place a bet, up to half of your original wager, that the dealer does have a blackjack. If they do, you are paid at a rate of 2 to 1. If not, your insurance bet is lost. The odds heavily favor the house on this bet.
The other wagers you want to avoid are bonus bet options. Many games will have a side bonus or a progressive side bonus. These bets will pay at high rates but only result in a payout when the player has very specific hands. A breakdown of the odds and payouts associated with these bonus bets has shown that the house advantage can be as high as 50%. They can be tempting, but if your goal is to make money, don’t play the bonus games.
Use a Strategy Card
There is specific blackjack strategy that brings the house advantage down to a measly .5% when used correctly. These rules are universally accepted as the best blackjack playing strategy. In fact, the rules are conveniently printed on cards called Blackjack Strategy Cards.
You can find these at casino gift shops, online, even at some blackjack tables. Many people will carry these with them and refer to them as needed. I suggest you do the same. This is especially true if you are new to the game.
Don’t Make Emotional Decisions
We’ve covered this one a few times already. That should help reinforce the importance of rational gameplay. When all else fails, stick to the rules of the blackjack strategy card.
Many people will hit or stand because they “had a feeling”. This is perfectly fine. However, if your goal is to make money at blackjack, you need to play with strategy and not feelings.
Keep Track of the Count
This tip is not for everyone. Counting cards, while frowned upon, is not illegal. It does, however, take an incredibly high aptitude for numbers and a lot of practice.
True card counting is very difficult for the majority of people. If you can keep a general idea of whether there are more high or low cards left in the shoe, this can slightly improve your odds. Keep in mind that this is only an option at land-based casinos. Online blackjack is usually set up to be reshuffled with each hand.
Blackjack has one of the most favorable odds in all of casino gambling. Many people have managed to make playing the game profitable. Keep in mind that although the house advantage is small, over the long run you are still likely to lose. If you utilize the tips we covered in this article (plus these), you will give yourself the best chance possible at making a profit at the blackjack table.