Playing blackjack means playing one of the most popular casino games in the world. Considering the contemporary gaming industry, blackjack players aren’t short of blackjack games to play, but the optimal way to play blackjack eludes most.
This is where LV BET comes in. To help you start playing blackjack without giving in to the common misconceptions floating around out there, we’ve decided to compile a list of important tips that are well worth reading.
Top blackjack tips:
Tip 1: Choose a safe gaming table
In general, casino gaming should always be done in a safe environment. As much of a no-brainer as that is supposed to be, we always reiterate the importance of playing at safe and legitimate casinos. Finding such online casinos might be challenging, but one glance at their licences (or lack thereof) will seal the case.
Keep an eye out for licences from the top gaming authorities in the industry, including the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). This is one of the most important blackjack tips you can learn.
Tip 2: Embrace a blackjack basic strategy
Blackjack strategy books and charts are designed to inform players on exactly how to act in any possible situation. For some players, such strategy charts and books are discounted because they feel it removes the element of decision making.
Making such a choice could be a poor move. The dealer must follow strict rules about how and when to play their hand — rules based upon the probabilities of winning. So why shouldn’t players also try out different strategies to determine how they can boost their winning chances?
Playing any blackjack variant with a basic strategy can low the casino’s edge to a lowly 0.5%, which is why we definitely recommend using one in most blackjack games.
Furthermore, placing even-money bets and avoiding to take insurance will further reduce the house edge. With that said, it is up to you to evaluate the size of your bankroll and play as you see fit.
Tip 3: Know how to read basic strategy charts
A basic blackjack strategy outline shows you the correct play dependent on your hand and the dealer’s upcard. But before you can begin to use this handy tool, you should be prepared to understand it properly. Fortunately, a traditional blackjack strategy chart is very straightforward once you understand the actions you can take and the abbreviations for those actions on the chart.
You can use a basic strategy chart when sitting at the table, and although you may feel uncomfortable doing so, it’s worth it until you have the strategy memorised. Ultimately the chart is going to help your chances of winning, so there is no point in feeling uneasy about using it.
When playing live blackjack at an online casino, it’s always worth having a strategy guide to hand. And we cannot stress enough, make sure that the strategy is appropriate for the particular game you are playing.
Tip 4: Take care of your bankroll
Whether you’re fresh off a winning streak or a losing streak, it’s important to keep your bankroll in mind at all times. Whenever you play games, you stand a good chance of losing more money than you anticipated, which is why a gambling budget is paramount.
Before placing a single bet, set a budget and stick to it no matter what the outcome of your bet is. Establish an expected loss parameter for every bet you place, and make sure that you don’t bet money that you cannot afford to lose.
Remember that no amount of real money is worth losing just for some quick entertainment. Be smart about playing blackjack and set that gambling budget!
Tip 5: Master your favourite type of online blackjack
How can you master any kind of casino game without splashing too much real money in the process? That’s where demos come into the equation.
Online blackjack games come with a demo that allows you to play the game without risking real money. Beginners and experts alike can test their strategies while leaving their bankrolls untapped.
The demo is a gaming mode that includes all the same mechanics and features you would find when playing the real deal, except you won’t have to use real money to place bets. Instead, you will stick to virtual funds — a form of ‘fake money’ that replaces your actual bankroll. The amount of virtual funds you have depends on the provider, but you’ll definitely have enough virtual money to practise with. The only kicker is that any win obtained during the demo is completely virtual and cannot be credited to your casino account.
Online blackjack games are not as complex as live tables, so you may not find all the same features and mechanics. But, ever since blackjack was introduced to online casinos, the game sported all-new mechanics that cannot be replicated when playing in land-based casinos. So, the demo can prove to be very beneficial, especially to new players.
Depending on your jurisdiction, you may be asked to register and verify your account to access the demo. But you may be able to play as a visitor in cases where verification is not necessary.
Tip 6: Know when to stand and when to hit
To put it simply, if you have 17 or over, you should stand. Beyond this, it comes down to what upcard the dealer is showing. As a general rule, if you have 13 or over and the dealer has a 6 or lower, you should stand – in most casinos, the dealer has to hit on 16 and has a high chance of going bust.
If you have between five and eight, hit no matter what the dealer has, you can’t go bust — no matter what your next card is. For hands between 12 and 16, you should hit if the dealer shows seven or above for their upcard. Outside of these circumstances, you’ll be looking to split, stand or double down, depending on the dealer’s upcard.
Tip 7: Know what and when to split
Aces are known to be the best cards to split. In fact, basic strategy dictates that you split when you have a pair of Aces, or eights, no matter the dealer’s upcard. You should never split a double five, you should double down or hit, and you should stand on a double ten.
Aside from that, generally, you should split if the dealer shows lower than seven, and hit for seven and above.
Tip 8: Remember to double down
You should be looking to double down when:
- the dealer has an ace upcard and you have 11.
- you have a total of 10, with the added caveat being that you should refrain from the double down if the dealer has a 10 value upcard.
- you have 9 and the dealer has a total between three and six. This is because you know that the dealer is going to have to hit no matter what and risk going bust.
Tip 9: Set your betting limits
Betting systems, such as the Martingale strategy, can help you manage your bankroll and play more responsibly. They do not affect the probability of landing a win, but may help you lose less money and occasionally win small profits.
Betting systems based on mathematical progressions may also help mitigate losses. It’s important to note that betting strategies are generally not viable in the long run. Additionally, many are designed with above-average bankrolls in mind. So, if you have a smaller bankroll, some betting strategies may do more harm than good.
Tip 10: Avoid the blackjack insurance bets
If you look at the percentages, taking the insurance bet is rarely worth it. When the dealer shows an ace upcard, they only go on to have blackjack 20% of the time. So, statistically, four times out of five, you’d be taking the insurance when you don’t need it. In the long run, it’s better not to take insurance.
TIP 11: Don’t forget about the house edge
Also known as the house advantage, the house edge is the casino’s advantage over the player expressed as a percentage of the player’s bet. In plain terms, this mechanic is an online casino’s way of making money in the long term.
The blackjack house edge percentage usually hovers around the 2% mark for inexperienced players. This means that for every €100 a player wins, the player loses €2.
In the short term, the 2% might not necessarily come into effect, especially where winning streaks are concerned. Furthermore, employing basic strategy decisions — synonymous with the most ‘correct’ play possible — will further reduce the house edge.
With that said, blackjack’s 2% house edge will always play out in the long term and blackjack players can only make the correct decision every so often. Bad fortune and mistakes are bound to occur at some point.
TIP 12: Understand odds and probability
Odds and probability are both statistical terms used to describe the likelihood of an event occurring. Mathematically, they are not equivalent, as each looks at the likeliness of the event occurring in a different context. Without getting too technical, probability is defined as the fraction of times you’d expect to see the event occur over a number of occasions. Probability ranges from 0 (an impossible event) to 1 (an inevitable event).
The odds of an event are defined as the probability that the event will occur divided by the probability that the event will not occur, i.e. the ratio of favourable to unfavourable outcomes, or vice versa. They can have a value from zero to infinity. So, probability divides the favourable event by the total number of events, while odds are the ratio of favourable to unfavourable events.
When it comes to betting, odds are a little different to their mathematical definition. Odds are usually against an event and they are not true odds; technically they could be described as payoff odds. They denote the payoff you will get should the event occur. For example, 3/2, in gambling terms means that you will get €3 in return for every €2 bet if the event occurs.
TIP 13: Know all the rules of blackjack
The purpose of blackjack is for each player to attempt to beat the dealer by getting a combined card value as close to 21 as possible, without going over 21. Before being dealt their cards, each player places a bet in the designated area in front of them.
Minimum and maximum betting limits will be in operation for each table. When all wagers are placed, the dealer gives one card face up to each player, dealing clockwise from their left, and then one card face up to themselves. Another round of cards is then dealt face-up, except for the dealer who receives the second card face down. Thus, each player except the dealer receives two cards face up, and the dealer receives one card face up and one card face down.
If a player’s first two cards are an ace and a “ten-card”, whether a picture card or 10, they have a “blackjack” and take no further actions. The player to the left of the dealer goes first and decides whether to “stand” (receive no further cards) or “hit” (receive further cards in an attempt to get closer to 21). Should the player receive further cards and go over 21 they are bust and lose their stake.
When each player has resolved their hand, the dealers face-down card is turned up. If the total is 17 or over, the dealer must stand. If the total is 16 or under, the dealer must take a card, continuing to do so until they reach 17 or more, or go bust.
TIP 14: Know when to step away from the blackjack table
Placing a bad bet one too many times will eventually eat up your bankroll. This is the case in any casino game out there, and blackjack is no different. As we’ve mentioned above, your best option is to allocate a budget and be ready to walk away from the table when it depletes.
It’s important to not let external factors affect you when playing casino games, and seeing as decisions matter a lot in blackjack, this is absolutely vital.
TIP 15: Consider the surrender option
Surrendering in blackjack is not synonymous with defeat; after all, you are only giving up half of the wager. Surrendering, especially the early surrender, is an opportunity to make up for some of the losses on what would otherwise is likely a losing hand.
A late surrender can also be a worthwhile options, since it allows the player to give up half of their wager when the dealer checks for (and does not have) blackjack. If the dealer has blackjack, surrender will not be available. Late surrender lowers the house edge but not as significantly as an early surrender; thus, this form of surrender is more common.
- Surrender any 15 against the dealer’s ace, unless the dealer hits on a soft hands of 17.
- Surrender any 16 against the dealer’s ace or 10-point card.
- Surrender any 17 against the dealer’s ace, unless the dealer hits on soft 17.
Conclusion – stay focused and choose wisely
In summation, try not to let other players or external factors affect your decision-making process in blackjack. At first glance, blackjack can come off as a simple game. However, this is very misleading. A single move can make or break a hand, so be sure to thoroughly look into basic and advanced blackjack strategy guides, as well as more blackjack tips from our casino blog or other reputable ones.
Before you dive in and play the game for real money, we also recommend trying a blackjack game for free through demos.
If you’ve incorporated these blackjack tips in a single-deck game of blackjack but you’ve realised that you need a change of scenery, try out some slots or sports betting — both of which are readily available for you at LV BET.
✅ What blackjack strategy should I use?
Starting off with a basic strategy would be our recommendation. We’d advise you to learn when to stand or hit while keeping in mind the value of your next card. From then on, you can refine your strategy to win by considering when to double down and split.
✅ Can I play blackjack with a small balance?
Yes, however, you should go for the minimum bet as much as possible. Do not try to win back the money you lose, because this will only take you further in the red. Instead, pay attention to the blackjack tips we’ve described above to keep you from going bust.
✅ Is the insurance bet actually worth anything?
No. In most cases, the insurance bet will end up costing you more money than you’ll save. The chance of the dealer being dealt a blackjack after having an ace as an upcard is only 20%.