Blackjack is one of the most played casino card games in the world. Thanks to its simplicity, it has been growing more and more popular over the years, both in land-based and online casinos. Because it is a game that offers some degree of player control while still being pure luck at times, many tend to see Blackjack as a game that offers a healthy balance of chance and skill.
It is a game of possibilities and decisions. But, while It may seem simple on the surface, there are many small decisions that every player needs to make and take into account. For example, your decisions on how much you play and when to stop all affect the game’s outcome. The more you play, the higher your chances of winning – but if you play too much, you’ll end up losing money instead.
With that in mind, here are five tips to succeed in playing blackjack online.
Only Play at Reputable Online Casinos
This is an issue that doesn’t seem to be discussed often enough in any Blackjack guide. The simple fact is that there are a lot of online casinos out there that aren’t very reputable, and they give the rest of the industry a bad name.
Some “online casinos” don’t actually have any software at all and simply provide a forum for customers to play against each other with no dealer. Others confiscate funds if you win too much, or the least reputable ones confiscate funds even if you don’t win.
It’s also worth noting that not all online casinos are created equally when it comes to game fairness and payout ratios. For example, some online casinos have Blackjack games that give the player an automatic 5 to 2 payout (known as “European” blackjack), while others have Blackjack games that give the player a 1 to 1 payout (known as “American” Blackjack).
So, before playing Blackjack at any online casino for real money, you should check out some independent forums where players have been discussing the pros and cons of each casino. If you’re going to gamble your money away, at least do it with a reputable online casino that will pay out if you win.
Understand Basic Strategy
There are several different strategies for playing Blackjack, but most of them can be boiled down to one of two simple strategies:
- The “Martingale” Strategy. This strategy is named after an 18th Century French mathematician named Paul Ernest de Moncey, the Marquis de Laplace (who was also a gambler). The Martingale system can be summarized in three words: double down on 11, split aces, and never bust.
- The “Paroli” Strategy. This strategy is named after the 19th Century Italian mathematician and casino owner Lorenzo Giuseppe Paroli. The Paroli system can be summarized in two words: double down on any two cards, except a 10 or an ace.
Both of these systems are based on the fact that there is a “house advantage” in every game of Blackjack. House advantage refers to the statistical advantage that the dealer has over any individual player at any given table, and it’s what allows online casinos to offer games for free or close to free (while still turning a profit).
Set A Bankroll And Stick To It
The bankroll will be part of your “strategy” because it will determine how much you can afford to lose before walking away from the table and never playing again.
If you’re just looking for a way to kill some time, then $20 is enough money to get started. If you’re trying to win big money on your first night out, then $200 or even $400 might be enough to get you started.
Setting a bankroll allows you to follow one of the basic rules of gambling: Always stop when you’re ahead. If you win big early on, then it’s always best to take your chips and walk away from the table. It’s just as likely that you’ll lose everything on your next hand, so it’s better to go home happy than risk losing everything for an improbable chance of doubling or tripling your money.
Hit and Stand, But Know When to Stop
The most basic blackjack strategies is always best: hit when you need to on the chance that you might be dealt a winning hand, and stand whenever your hand isn’t strong enough to warrant an additional card. That’s not where it ends, though. This strategy needs to be applied in the right circumstances.
If you are dealt with a pair, hit if the dealer shows an ace or ten-card (known as ‘soft’ 17). You’ll want to stand if the dealer shows two, three, four, five or six cards (hard totals). A third card can help you win in some circumstances but can make you lose in others.
To play it safe: Hit when the dealer is showing a soft 17 (ace and ten-card), and Stand on all other occasions.
Know Your Limits and Stick to Them
There’s no point sticking to the basic strategy if you’re only betting $1 per hand. It will take you centuries to make any decent amount of money this way!
Set yourself a sensible budget, which you won’t exceed under any circumstances (e.g., $20 per hand, $300 per hour). Once you’ve set the budget, follow the basic blackjack strategy and hit/stand as normal.
When you start losing money, stop playing. If it’s impossible to walk away, then just reduce your bet/budget until you can. Most online casinos allow players to place bets that only require a small percentage of their overall bankroll, so don’t be afraid to reduce your bet when you’re about to bust.
You may even consider depositing less money in the future if it means you won’t have to go through these frustrating periods.
If you follow these simple tips and apply some basic knowledge, you will find that beating blackjack online tables is within your grasp. Of course, there are no guarantees in this game, and sometimes Lady Luck will not be on your side, but if you build your game with patience and discipline, you can expect to win more hands than lose more hands in the long run.