Blackjack is one of the most played of the classic casino table games and for good reason. It’s a lot of fun.
It can be a bit daunting to sit down at that table for the first time if you haven’t played before so let us offer 10 helpful tips for that moment when you pop your blackjack cherry.
1. Start Small
As Elvis (and UB40) once famously sang, “wise men say, only fools rush in”. That phrase can never be more true than in a game of blackjack.
You would have to be the world’s most naïve gambler to wade into a blackjack table for the first time slamming $50 notes down.
Be cool. Take some time to watch a few hands. Have a drink. See how the dealer is playing. Get an idea of the pace of the game.
Once you sit down and get started, begin with the minimum bet.
2. Manage Your Bankroll
The last thing you want to do on your first visit to the blackjack table is blow your budget. Decide on a bankroll and stick to it.
Some of the most disastrous nights at the casino can be down to poor bankroll management.
Chasing losses and losing track of the wins is an almost guaranteed one-way path to bankruptcy.
Don’t be a fool, follow the bankroll rule!
3. Pick the Right Table
This is something you might gain more knowledge from after a few trips to the casino.
Do your best to find a table that has available seats where the dealer pays out on 18. That will give you the best chance of making some profit.
The minimum bet value could also be a deciding factor if you are on a tight budget.
4. Stick to Basic Blackjack Strategy
There is an endless plethora of reading material online about how to fine tune your blackjack gameplay to maximize the potential to win. Don’t waste your time. The key is sticking to the basics.
Try to remember the right times to hit, stand, split and double on each hand. If you can train yourself to know when to make the right decision, then you can potentially reduce the house edge by 50%.
5. Ignore the Insurance
My father once told me that I should always have insurance. Clearly, he’d never been to a blackjack table before. Insurance is a façade. End of.
The house will hold a 6% advantage over the player in an insurance bet. If you hit blackjack you will only win your initial bet back anyway. If the dealer wins then it’s a no win or lose situation.
6. If Possible, Avoid the First Base Seat
Try to avoid being sat in the first base seat. There is a simple reason for this. Time to ponder.
If you are in the first base seat and the dealer is quick at handing out cards then you will have next to no time to consider your next move. If you are a couple of seats down then you have more time on your side.
Time gifts you with patience and patience is key.
7. Don’t Listen To Other Players
A lot of chat is spoken at the blackjack table. Perhaps not quite as much as there is at a poker table but players do like to peacock and talk the talk. Don’t pay any attention to them.
If a player proclaims to be a blackjack expert then it’s most likely they are just a superstitious chump.
Blackjack is you versus the dealer. Nobody else. Stay focused and don’t forget that.
8. Remain Grounded
Hitting a run of good outcomes can give us the morale boost we crave on the casino floor. At times, we can feel invincible. If you have won a few hands in a row then don’t get fooled into thinking you can become a professional.
How many professional blackjack players do you know? Exactly.
In contrast, if you suffer a few losses in a row then don’t become down hearted. As Dolly Parton once said, “to see the rainbow, you have to put up with the rain”.
9. Practice Online
Online gambling has experienced a boom period over the past 15 years. A number of online casinos offer freeplay blackjack, giving players the chance to sharpen their skills without spending a fortune.
Practice for free as much as possible so when you hit the live casino floor you’ll be ready.
10. Enjoy It!
Last but not least, gambling is all about the fun. If you find yourself tackling the tables as if it is a chore then it’s time to knock it on the head.
Until then, soak it all up. The atmosphere of the casino floor, the banter with the dealer, the sound of the cards and chips on the felt, and the buzz of the wins and losses.