Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games next to poker and roulette, and it is no wonder. If you have never played before, you will need to prepare yourself, as blackjack can be intimidating when you have never faced it before. But, do not worry, it is not that bad when you get used to it.
What do you need to prepare, then? Well, the main things you need are; a basic understanding of blackjack strategy, having a bankroll, understanding when it is time to call it quits, and how to act during the game.
Preparation for blackjack doesn’t mean like if you were to prepare for a meeting, a job interview, or a week-long vacation. What it does mean is that you need to mentally prepare yourself and do your research, so you know how the game works and what you will face when you face the dealer.
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Understand the basic strategy
The most simple way that you can prepare for a game of black jack is to understand the basic strategy of the game. It is as simple as memorizing just the right way to hit, stand, split, and double down your hand. By understanding how to do this, you can cut the house edge from a good 1 or 2 percent to 0.5, and while that doesn’t sound a lot. It makes all the difference.
This means standing when your hand is anywhere from 12 to 16, when the dealer had 2 to 6. Hit when your hand is 12 to 16 and the dealer has 7 to Ace.
Remember, to always split 8’s and Aces, and double 11 versus the dealer’s 2 to 10. If you have Aces to 6’s, then hit or double.
These are simple pointers for you to remember when you are playing, for beginners knowing that you should do this can make all the difference in your play.
If you are in a land-based casino, then you can always purchase a basic blackjack strategy card so that you do not need to memorize this. If you are playing online, keep these tips handy on your screen.
If you are playing in a land-based casino, then you need to be aware of where you should sit, as blackjack begins with a seat at the table. A blackjack table will usually consist of a table with room for five to seven players.
When you see any empty seat at a blackjack table, assume it is empty unless there are chips or a coat holding the spot. When you are playing your first game, you are better off finding a table that is nearly full, despite how the number of players will rarely affect the odds on your hands, it is much quicker with fewer players, this means that a table with more players provides you with more thinking time, and you can really consider your hand without feeling rushed.
On this topic, it is also a good idea to avoid the first base chair for the same reason. If you sit further down, you will have more time to consider your hand and the dealer’s current up card.
Single-deck tables: A rule of thumb
Something useful to look out for is single-deck tables. This is because the fewer decks that a casino uses, the better your chances are. A majority of casinos now use six or more decks, mainly to combat card counters. However, some places will still deal the old-fashioned way. If you can find a casino that uses a single deck for blackjack, you are already improving your chances. So, when you are seeking somewhere to start your blackjack gambling, be vigilant for these places.
The best tip anyone can give is to understand the basics of a blackjack game. Watching online videos that teach you about the game is a good place to start, playing free online games can also help you learn the ropes and get practice whether you intend in playing online or in land-based casinos.
Another tip is bankroll management, although we will get into this more later. Similarly, learning when to quit is very important, and sometimes we are just having a bad day of it, and we need to be cautious and not throw away hordes of money to earn back our losses.
Finally, never play blackjack for real money while drinking or intoxicated as it will cloud your judgement and this is how most people lose more money than intended.
Understand hot and cold streaks
Not everyone will do well every day of the week. If your blackjack streak has gone cold, then it is best to call it quits for the day and go home, come back and try again another day. Often if someone ignores their cold streak, it will often result in more losses and then a desperate attempt to win back their losses, which just results in more financial calamity.
Having a cold streak? Leave the table and come back another day.
If you are having a hot streak, learn when to cash out, a hot streak doesn’t last forever, and if you’ve accumulated winnings, cash out before you lose it.
Be money-wise: Setting caps
This is to do with creating a bankroll. If you play online then set a limit for your spending to stop you losing too much, if you play in land-based casinos, take a set amount of money with you and leave your bank cards at home.
As you do this you are setting a cap for how much money you are okay with losing without limiting your potential winnings.
Getting freebies and scoring comps is not worth ending up with debt collectors repossessing your car.
Why is this so important? Well surveys show that 75% of casino players win at some point but only a measly 4% go home a winner. Imagine if players simply went home with their winnings rather than carrying on and blowing it?