Blackjack is a reasonably simple banking game that originated in American casinos, but quickly gained popularity and is now found in casinos around the world. The aim of the game is simply to gain a hand that is closer to 21 than that of the Banker – but without going over 21.
While many casino games are purely games of luck, Blackjack is different in that it also requires a certain amount of skill. A bad hand of cards can’t be rectified, of course, but a Blackjack winner is a player who knows when s/he has a bad hand and manages to stop in time to stay in with a chance of beating the Banker.
Along with luck and skill, the Blackjack winner also has control of their emotions and knows how not to reveal them. This is something that is almost impossible to teach, and it is very rare that even the best card players completely master it, but to be the best of the best, it must be done.
Rule number one when playing Blackjack is to concentrate on the game. This is true when playing alone (just you and the Banker) because it’s important to make sure you’re always considering the odds and keeping your mind on your numbers; but it’s particularly true when playing with other players. In a casino, it is considered poor etiquette to make the other players wait while you leisurely consider your cards. Concentrate fully and play carefully.
And, of course, rule number one of gambling is to always play for fun. Winning is obviously more fun than losing, but focusing on having fun and not feeling like you must win is key to making sensible decisions. A bad hand can seriously throw a player who is only in it to win.
Blackjack is superior to almost every other casino game because it yields the greatest chance of winning. This is perhaps because it is not entirely about luck; a careful, knowledgeable player stands to win much more on Blackjack. Consider these tips before laying your money on the Blackjack table:
Planning: Decide before you begin exactly how much you want to spend and how much you are willing to bet on each hand that you play. Larger bets create the potential for larger winnings, but also carry a greater risk of losing all your money more quickly. Smaller bets will allow you to play for longer, but do not provide the potential for massive winnings. Decide beforehand and stick to your decision – it’s not difficult to get swept along in the heat of the game!
Chasing losses: It is a golden rule in gambling that you should never play ‘aggressively’ immediately after losing a large sum of money, and this is particularly true when playing Blackjack. Laying a large bet to compensate for a large loss can seem like a good idea, but will generally only lead to risky playing and poor concentration. Continue to play, by all means, but don’t let the loss affect your judgment or play.
Variation rules: Not all casinos offer variation rules because it is in the players’ interests and not those of the casino, but where they are offered, try and use them. Variation rules mean that, under certain circumstances, players can lay down their hand and only lose half of their bet. There are also casinos with Blackjack rules that state the house dealers must stand at 16 (and not 17) – use these where you can find them.
Bonus rules: Online casinos usually implement a wagering requirement for bonuses that you may accept and this will restrict some of the games. Contact the online casino about having this removed.
Practice makes perfect: Many regard Blackjack as the best of casino games because it requires real skill alongside luck. For this reason, practice makes all the difference. Know when to stop, when to hit. Learn caution. Get an instinctive feel for the odds. There are numerous online casinos that offer free Blackjack games and you can use these to practice without risking any of your money. Blackjack has some of the best odds available in a casino – so get in as much practice as you can, then go and reap the rewards!