When it comes to the ways to maximize your odds of winning at blackjack, the first and most crucial step is to set a gambling bankroll. Don’t just set a loss limit. Set a winning limit as well. Doing so sets your bankroll up for success.
Setting a game time limit is essential too. Some players get tired after playing for a long time. As a result, they tend to make poor decisions that lead to misplays. If you’re a person who makes cloudy judgments if worn out, set a time limit with your phone’s alarm.
After you’ve set your personal limits, it’s time to understand how to maximize your winning odds and minimize your losses at blackjack. Here are four things you should not do during the game.
Stick to the Basic Strategy
Blackjack is both a game of luck and skills. Hence, you need to be aware of what works best to win. This is where the basic blackjack strategy comes in. It is a set of rules to play each hand to achieve the best winning odds and the best approach to choose when things get dicey.
A blackjack strategy is not used to win all games but to increase your winning chances and offset your losses. Know that casinos will always have the upper hand over you in blackjack. Their built-in house edge hovers around 4%, but you can lower it to 1% using the basics.
Whether you’re a beginner or experienced, always stick to the basics. If you’re unaware of it, fully learn it. If you’re already aware of it, don’t take it for granted and use it. A basic blackjack strategy combined with other smart techniques can surely push your winning chances up.
Stand on Hands as Low as 12
Blackjack is a game of known quantities too. Although the only dealer’s card you’ll see is his upcard, you can guess that his facedown card is likely to be ten, which means you can assume his most likely starting hand as well.
For example, if the dealer shows a 4, 5, or 6, you can guess that his hand is 14, 15, or 16. He’ll have to take another card if this is the case, potentially sending him a bust. Now, it doesn’t make sense that you’ll take a card and go bust, too, when that’s what most dealers will do.
What’s more, it’s not even a tie because you lose your hand if both you and the dealer bust. Also, don’t forget that your aim at blackjack is to win against the dealer. The basic blackjack strategy is to stand on hands of 12-16 if the dealer shows a weak opening card of 2–6.
Avoid Splitting Tens
On the one hand, it’s possible to make a Blackjack or twice the amount of money on the table if you split your two tens. Many recommend it, especially if you sense that the dealer appears to be weak and you can add more chips.
On the other hand, having 20 is already a strong and winning hand. Leave it at that, and don’t split it. First of all, it doesn’t make sense to split the bet into two hands only to double your bet. Lastly, you could lose all of it if the dealer goes on to get lucky.
Standing on your two tens usually increases your odds of winning at blackjack. Unless the dealer takes more cards to land 21, you’re better off watching the rest of the game than risking more money only to lose it all potentially.
Never Take Insurance Bets
If a dealer’s up card is an ace, you’ll receive an offer to buy a blackjack insurance bet on some online blackjack tables. It’s the casino’s way of giving you a chance to offset your losses or a way out of losing your entire wager.
While this insurance may act as a solid avenue to hedge your bet, it’s practically a sucker bet. As mentioned earlier, bear in mind that casinos will always have a house edge at blackjack. They won’t offer you an insurance bet if they aren’t going to make money off it.
Also, based on the law of probabilities, the dealer’s odds of having a Blackjack are nearly impossible, even if their first card is an Ace. They don’t justify what you pay for the insurance and its returns too. In other words, the odds of an insurance bet are against you.
If you want to play it safe, refuse to pay for a blackjack insurance bet. Even if the dealer makes a blackjack, take it as a natural part of the game. You’ll come out far ahead by moving along and keeping those chips in your stack in the long run.
At blackjack, there are times when you’ll be very certain that you’re nailed-on to win a hand, but, out of nowhere, things do not go in your favor. In situations like this, stay calm and repeat the mantra that “it’s a game of luck.” Don’t let it affect your decisions and playing style. Games are meant to have a blast, so make sure to have one.