There’s a reason why Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games, with millions of devoted players rarely exploring anything beyond a Blackjack table whenever they enter a casino. And the reason? Well, statistically speaking, Blackjack is one of the most advantageous card games where your skills and mastery can have a significant impact on the house edge of the casino and how much money you end up taking home.
But to be able to achieve this level of playing, you need to dedicate hours of preparation and training to learn every strategy loophole, rule, and exception in a game of Blackjack. If you’re willing to take that leap, here’s a simple guide on how to start your Blackjack training, where to pay attention to, and how to fine-tune your skills and become a good Blackjack player.
Once you know what the rules are, you can narrow your focus on the rules you believe are best worth playing and start learning basic blackjack strategy. The basic strategy is the most important element in your training and without it you are just haphazardly wasting your money away. Answers to questions like “Should I hit with my soft 17?” will only be completely clear to you once you know these things well.
Video on how to play and train:
Once you have an understanding of what the basic strategic moves are and why they are such, the next logical step would be to see those moves in real action. You can do this by playing friends if you want, but this is often ineffective as the casino conditions are best simulated by trained professionals or software. That’s why apps and training programs are your next best friend, apart from strategy charts.
There are many Blackjack training programs easily found online, most of which are even entirely free to download and install. And if you prefer to do your practice sessions on the move, there are also many different apps to be found in both the App Store and the Play Store. Of course, some will be more proficient than others, which is why it’s important to do your research before test driving them.
Once you’ve started feeling comfortable with Blackjack strategy and you feel your skills are improving, there’s only one more way to get help with your playing (if you feel you need it) – a blackjack course. Getting feedback and explanations in-person from a real Blackjack player can make all the difference in polishing out your weaknesses and prepping yourself up for the next level.
Training courses can be done both online and in-person, if you find someone close to you. However, they should only be attended if you can get some proof of credibility from your trainer. They can also be costly to buy, which is why they are better left for when you’ve spent enough time practicing to learn where your flaws are and address them. And of course, they aren’t a prerequisite for becoming better.
Go Beyond Basic Strategy
The Basic strategy was designed to help you take down the house edge to as low as 0.5%. However, this is something that can only be achieved by not making mistakes, which is why knowing every statistically most advantageous move is your only shot at staying on top of the game.
This is the main reason why you should explore more than the basic strategy. Learn the rule changes in different Blackjack variations, look for exceptions to the most established rules, or test pro tactics to help you memorize advanced strategy, but whatever you do don’t rely just on one example.
With its theoretical house edge being very close to zero (as long as you play well), Blackjack is one of the best games to use card counting in. Now, this may sound like different things to different people, but in Blackjack it just means that you keep score of specific cards while the dealer sifts through the deck. This way you’ll know which cards are more likely to come next and thus adjust your strategy.
Keeping track of cards can help you know when to make big bets or small. Even by doing something as simple as keeping score on low vs. high cards you can know when the dealer has more chances of going bust as opposed to you. Of course, this advantage only applies over long-term playing, with the theoretical improvement over hours of playing being close to 1%.
The Basic, High/Low Strategy
The high/low is one of the most popular beginner card counting strategies. In short, with this strategy you apply a value of +1 to cards in the 2-6 range, 0 to 7-9 and -1 to 10 value cards and aces. Thus, with each card dealt you add 1, do nothing, or take away 1 to keep your score.
According to the basic principle of the strategy, you should subtract the number of decks from your tally to get the final value that can tell you how to proceed. If this value is positive, the odds are in your favor and vice versa. Of course, this is a very simplified example, but you get the gist – the more positive the value, the surer you can be in raising your bets.
Research Exceptions and Variations
And the final thing you can do when training is to scour for exceptions and variations to the rules you’ve learned. This applies to both your playing and card counting strategy, both of which can be varied according to your current stance to increase your odds. So, keep reading and perfecting until you get confident enough to start playing for real money.