How to Improve Your Blackjack Skills 

Blackjack is one of the most historic and popular card games around. Players like to get involved because the action is fast, and a good mix of skill and chance is involved.

No matter what level you happen to be, whether experienced or a complete novice, there’s always room to learn and improve your skills when you play blackjack with friends or online for real money. Here are some tips that all players can take on board.

Know the Odds

Anyone looking to play blackjack should first be fully aware of the rules. There are comprehensive guides available on what is a simple game to understand. Once that information is on board, it’s important to understand odds and probability.

Remember that the cards from 2 through to 10 are worth their face value. All picture cards, jack, queen and king, are also worth ten points. The ace can count as 1 or 11, depending on its value to the hand.

This means that just under one third of all cards in a standard deck are worth ten points in blackjack. While there will never be any guarantees, probability can be used in most situations. For example, if the player’s initial two cards are an eight and a nine, and the dealer’s upturned card is a five, there is an even higher chance that the next card will be worth ten points.

In this scenario, it’s recommended that the player stands on their hand of 17. This is just one of many examples where the use of probability can improve your blackjack play.

To Split or Not to Split?

Experienced players will also make specific recommendations based on the value of the first two cards. An example here is to never split when you have two 5s or two cards that are worth ten points.

Splitting is the act of separating the first two cards when they are a pair. The player now has two hands with which to go up against the dealer. If your hand is already worth 20 points, it makes little sense to split it as you already have a strong start. Similarly, if your opening hand is worth 10 points, there is a strong chance that you will be dealt a ten card to make a total of 20.

Players should always split when they have two Aces, as they will have an exceptionally good chance of landing a score of 21. The subject of mathematical probability is at work here again.

Maximise Offers and Promotions

When you’re playing blackjack online, each casino will issue bonus offers to keep up with their own competition. This is a crowded industry, and those operators will look to stand out by publishing offers and promotions.

There may be a few hands of free blackjack up for grabs, or perhaps the casino will match the funds on your opening deposit. Remember to check all terms and conditions, particularly those relating to wagering requirements that ask you to play through bonus funds or any winnings a certain number of times.

All casino offers should provide some added value to the customer.

Avoid Insurance

Insurance is a rule in blackjack that can be taken if the dealer’s upturned card is an ace. It’s a form of side bet that will pay out if the dealer goes on to complete blackjack.

Opinion is divided to an extent, but most senior players suggest avoiding taking the insurance bet. The payouts are relatively low, and those with experience indicate that the player will lose out in the long term.

Manage Your Bankroll

A bankroll is another term for your account balance, and it’s the sum of money available to you when you take to the table. All of the best online casinos are looking to promote responsible gambling, and they don’t want you to play with all of that balance in one session.

Blackjack experts also practice effective bankroll management. It’s recommended that around 1% to 2% of that bankroll is wagered on each hand, while an overall total of 10% should be staked in one session. If it’s not your day at the tables, simply walk away and return another time.

Keep Practising

Everything improves with practice, and blackjack is no exception. Even those who have been playing for years will take the opportunity to refine and adapt their play.

The good news is that it’s easy to play online blackjack for free with no real money stakes on the line. Most casinos will have free play versions of their standard blackjack games so that customers can use the time to practice and improve. Other websites have free Flash games, so there are many opportunities to play for free.

With that practice and the tips and tricks listed, anyone can enhance their blackjack skills and feel more confident the next time they step up to the table.

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