How to improve at blackjack: tips and strategy

How to improve at blackjack: tips and strategy

While here at Australia Internet Pokies we primarily focuses on real money online pokies, we still have our finger on the pulse when it comes to other casino games. The most popular casino game after pokies is blackjack. If you like to play blackjack online or are thinking about learning the game, here are seven tips to help you improve at blackjack.

Basic Blackjack strategy

There is a lot of talk about basic strategy in blackjack, but what is it exactly? It’s the number one way on how to improve at blackjack, and it is basically a list of the best decisions to make mathematically in each scenario.

You can find the basic strategy often presented as a set of colour-coded charts. They tell you what to do when you find yourself with certain hands. For example, split aces and 8s, but never split 4s, 5s and 10s.

When you play with the basic strategy, you can cut the house edge in half for almost all blackjack games. For a standard blackjack game on a 3:2 table, the house edge can drop to as little as 0.5%. That’s an expected loss of 50 cents for every $100 wagered.

Avoid 6:5 Blackjack tables

Blackjack 6:5 table - improve at blackjack by not playing on this table

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when playing blackjack is choosing to play at tables that pay 6:5 on blackjack rather than 3:2. That’s because a 6:5 table actually pays less on blackjack than a 3:2 table.

What is a 6:5 blackjack game?

If you bet $100 and hit a blackjack, a 3:2 table will pay $150. On a 6:5 table, you’re only getting $120. That’s a difference of $30. Imagine how much money you’re giving up by playing a 6:5 table. Worse still, the house edge for 6:5 blackjack goes up to 1.5%. You can reduce your edge to just .5% on a 3:2 table with the right strategy.

Never take insurance

If you’re new to blackjack, Insurance is a side bet you can make in some blackjack games anytime a dealer is showing an ace. If you make the bet and the dealer has blackjack, you get 2 to 1 on your bet. Your initial bet still loses.

If you think about it, you’re betting twice as much money to break even. This is a losing bet over the long term. The general house edge on Insurance bets is 7.69%. That’s between 7 to 15 times the house edge of the base game. You’ll make more money by playing the hand normally and just taking your lumps when the dealer has blackjack.

Don’t Stand on Soft 17

How to improve at blackjack: don't stand on a Soft 17

A soft 17 is a hand containing an ace and six. Some people will stand on this hand mistakenly when they have a good chance to improve. The great thing is that no matter what you do, you cannot bust on a single hit. If you have a soft 17 and catch a king, you still have 17.

You can opt to hit or double down (if the rules allow it). If you learn a basic strategy, you’ll know the best spots to do so. However, even without a strategy, we can tell you to at least hit once. If you make a five or less, you’ll improve your hand to a likely winner.

Practice with a Single Deck

One of the most effective ways to improve at blackjack is to practice. Start with a single deck, allowing yourself to focus on one strategy and enabling you to learn how to count cards.

Whilst card counting is generally frowned upon, and difficult to do with multiple decks, it definitely gives players the edge. It will also increase the amount you can win at online blackjack.

Don’t Split 10 Point Cards

When you look down to 20 on the deal, it is tempting to split your hand. The logic is that you can give yourself a great chance of hitting two big hands. There a problem with this logic. First, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get the cards you need.

Next, you’re starting with 20. The only way you’ll lose is if the dealer catches a blackjack or 21. While that happens, it will not happen often enough to justify a split. A dealt 20 is a high percentage winning hand. You’ll win more money by taking the win and moving on to the next hand.

The great thing about playing with a blackjack strategy is that you can use cheat cards and other resources while playing. Even with a strategy, the house still has an edge over you. However, the edge is a lot lower than if you don’t play with a strategy.

Play with your head not your gut

Don’t make bets or playing decisions based on gut feelings. Set yourself a bet limit and stick to it; responsible gambling means you won’t lose more than you can afford. Also, by deciding ahead of time how you’ll play your hands, you won’t blow your budget with rash bets.


Madison Bundey

Madison Bundey

Chief Editor

Maddie is our experienced senior editor who oversees the overall quality and integrity of our site. Maddie strives to give pokie fans and online casino lovers from all over the necessary information and access to the best online casinos, bonuses and promotions.

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