How to Win at Blackjack with 12 Useful Tips
As an inexperienced player you may think that winning at blackjack is all about luck. Thinking so you would, however, be totally wrong. There is indeed a big factor of chance in the game, but its mathematical nature also allows for skill to shine through. If you use those skills correctly you will not only reach better chances of winning in blackjack than any other casino game, but you are also able to tip the edge in your favor and actually be guaranteed to make a profit in the long run.
Does it all sound too good to be true? Well, it’s not. Check out our 12 tips on how to win at blackjack and we’ll tell you how to reach the game’s maximum RTP at 99.50% – 99.60% and how to push this RTP even further to go beyond 100%.
1. Learn the basics of the game
Blackjack is not a difficult game to learn, but it does have more mechanics than the average casino game and the rules may also vary from one blackjack table to another. In difference to roulette and slot machines, you have unique decisions to make in every hand which are crucial for your long term results. To fully understand this and to make the right decisions you need to know the basics of the game and how to play blackjack by heart.
2. Take advantage of basic strategy
Blackjack is a highly mathematical game where every decision that you make can be either advantageous or detrimental to your long term results. Based on your own hand value and the value of the dealer’s hole card there is a universal answer to what the perfect decision is that will maximize your RTP – in other words your profits.
Calculating this perfect decision yourself is not easy, but luckily it is not required either. Created by a computer simulating millions of blackjack hands, there is a strategy known as basic strategy that allows you to play the game flawlessly. This strategy is simply a chart telling you the exact decision that you should be making based on every situation that you face in blackjack.
3. Refrain from using any side bets
Many blackjack games come with side bets, such as perfect pair and 21 + 3. While these may up the entertainment value of your gambling session, they are very bad for you in terms of RTP. The ones that we just mentioned have a return of 95.90% and 96.30%, which is significantly lower than the RTP you can achieve by playing the game as it is originally intended. Therefore side bets are terrible to use if you are looking to win in at blackjack.
4. Don’t take insurance or even money
These two options may seem attractive and while they will lower the volatility of the hand for you, they will also lower your long term chances of profiting from blackjack. Insurance and even money are nothing but side bets that have a substantial lower RTP than perfectly played blackjack. On average you will be giving away about 4% of your potential profits by using insurance or even money – just don’t do it.
5. Take insurance and even money
Now we’re confusing you, right? Well, there actually is an exception to the rule of never using insurance or even money. If you know for sure that more than 33% of the unseen cards that are left in the decks used on the blackjack table you’re sitting at are tens, jacks, queens and kings, it is profitable using these alternatives. Your RTP would then be more than 100% which means that you would be guaranteed to win in the long run.
The big question is – how could you ever know what the ratio of tens and face cards are among the unseen cards? This leads us to our next tip of winning in blackjack.
6. Learn how to count cards
Blackjack is rarely a static game where the odds are always the same. This is only true for tables where the deck is shuffled between every hand, such as in virtual blackjack games played online against the computer. In real casinos and in live casino blackjack your chances of winning will fluctuate depending on the cards that have already been used in previous game rounds.
Thus, if you learn how to count cards golden opportunities will regularly present themselves. When a lot of low value cards (2 – 6) have been burnt and the deck has a high percentage of tens, face cards and aces, your chances of winning are increased.
Playing at the right table using card counting strategy you are able to get an edge over the casino and be guaranteed to make a long term profit. You will beat the game. Gambling online this is not as efficient to do as at land based casino, but it’s still fully possible.
7. Play on a table that offers surrender
This rule is not common to find, but if possible you should always play blackjack at tables that offer the option of surrender. This can either be early surrender or late surrender. With the first rule setting in play your RTP will increase by 0.07%, while late surrender lowers the house’s edge by as much as 0.63%.
8. Play at tables that allow you to double down as much as possible
Double down is an alternative that will lower your chances of winning a particular hand. However, if used under the right circumstances (when the odds of winning are on your side) it will significantly improve your long term profits.
Different blackjack tables have different rules when double down is allowed. As the alternative is advantageous for players you want to play at tables that allow it as much as possible. The perfect scenario is being able to double down on any two cards, after a split, as well as after a hit.
9. Play at a table where the dealer must hit on soft 17
There are two rules to be found when it comes to the dealer’s hitting and standing – either the dealer is forced to hit on soft 17 (h17) or it is forced to stand on soft 17 (s17). The latter is the rule that you want to play with as the RTP of this rule is 0.2% higher.
10. When playing online check the game’s RTP
The RTP is a huge factor if you want to win at blackjack. This is what tells you how much you’re expected to win in the long run. At land based casinos there is no information table showing you the RTP of the game, but you have to figure this out yourself based on the rules of the table. However, if you’re gambling online the RTP is always easily accessible.
This means that you don’t have to take surrender, doubling down and s17 or h17 into consideration. You do of course have to know what rules that apply to play perfectly, but the optimal RTP of the game can be found with just the click of a button. Thus you can easily compare different blackjack tables with each other and choose to play at the ones with the highest return.
11. Understand that virtual blackjack tables tend to have the highest RTP
While the difference may be small everything counts when it comes to maximizing your profits. At live casino tables the RTP is 99.50% at best, while virtual blackjack tables that are played solo against the computer can have rules that allow for an RTP of up to 99.60%. Examples of virtual games with this RTP include European Blackjack by Microgaming; Blackjack by Relax Gaming; Blackjack by NetEnt and Blackjack by Realistic Gaming.
Before rushing to these tables you must remember that card counting doesn’t work at all with virtual blackjack games. Thus, these tables are not the ones that you want to play at if you’re looking to beat the game by counting cards. But don’t worry. There is another alternative to get an edge in blackjack, making it possible to guarantee a long term profit. Let’s check it out by heading to our last tip of winning at blackjack.
12. Make use of as many bonus offers as you can
The key to beating blackjack is not necessarily card counting. An equally efficient strategy, if not an even better one (at least at an online casino), is taking part of bonuses and promotional offers that casinos run. While these won’t affect the return of the actual blackjack game, they will give you an added value that will increase the overall RTP of your gambling session – and this is just as important.
Bonuses are always advantageous to use no matter how they are designed. However, some may be much better than others, increasing your RTP more. In general, promotional offers that give you extra cash when making a deposit are the best ones. Especially welcome bonuses tend to be great.
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Winning at blackjack is not impossible. It’s not even that difficult, though it does require some effort. By further looking into our listed tips you will be able to beat the game if you’re determined to do it. You must, however, know that the edge that you’re able to get is fairly small. Therefore you can’t expect to see any instant results.
In the short run lady lucky will always have a saying and you could very well end up losing at first. However, in the long run actuality will catch up and if the reality is that you’re playing with an RTP of more than 100% profits are bound to happen. It’s inevitable.
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