Blackjack is a true player’s game. Sure, the dealer and the house still have the edge most of the time, and you’re still at the mercy of plain ol’ dumb luck. But there are a few tips that you can make it your business to remember when playing, either at a Vegas casino or one of the many fine online casinos. I absolutely guarantee that each one of these tips will make your blackjack playing experience a little richer…and, with a bit of luck, you can take that literally.
1. KNOW THE RULES.
This is the RTFM of blackjack (and if you’re not familiar with that particular acronym, here’s a tip: make BFF with your Google or you may be SOL). You think you know blackjack? Go back and make sure you learned it right to begin with. Don’t take anything for granted. What does hit mean? What does stand mean? When should you double down, and what should you do with a split? Going back to the basics never hurts.
2. KNOW WHEN THE RULES CHANGE.
Sure, you know what to do with a single deck. What happens when there’s two? Four? Eight? What happens when you’re playing at a casino with different house rules? Like when you’re counting on the dealer to stand at a soft 17 and suddenly he doesn’t feel like it? Blackjack,as I’ve always said, is a lot like life. If you can deal with the changes, you’ve got it beat.
3. COUNT THEM CARDS.
You don’t have to learn the ultimate system designed by a kid with a mind like a supercomputer. Just keep track of what has been dealt and what hasn’t. Sure, you know what you have and you know what the dealer has. You can pray he busts on the next card but if you can already see a bunch of faces, you know better than to bet on it. Check out our other pages for some basic card counting tips, for some more advanced strategy and card counting theory (and a set of in-depth reviews on the best blackjack casinos)
4. DOUBLE. DOUBLE.
One of your best friends is the double. Know exactly what to do with it. If you think you can beat him and you can afford another card, go for it…nothing is sweeter. If you’re afraid of it, go play online bingo instead.
5. DOUBLE. DOUBLE.
Yes, I said it twice. Because it is so important. You’re looking for this to happen like your dog is looking for you to drop that bacon cheeseburger on the floor.
6. CASE THE JOINT.
I don’t mean that in any illegal or nefarious way, simply be aware of the casino in general and the table specifically. Do you really want to be playing with a bunch of loud tourists from who-knows-where who have been drinking who-knows-what since who-knows-when? Do you really want to be playing under the nose of that evil-looking dealer who will make you miserable (or, conversely, that gorgeous dealer who will make you concentrate on strategies that have nothing to do with blackjack at all)?
Yes, the obligatory tip tip. These guys (and gals) deserve tips. Well, most of them do, and you’re never gonna be sure which is the one who really doesn’t, so you may as well tip and treat them all the same. Tip them like you’d tip a good waiter…say, when you want to make sure your food doesn’t contain something it shouldn’t. The dealer can’t spit in your split, but he can shuffle and royally mess up your count (here’s a tip: the first person who spots seven puns in the last two sentences receives a free copy of my book). Of course, if you’re playing at an online casino, forget I said anything…