Only a few blackjack tactics can increase your chances of winning. Ignore all the ludicrous blackjack betting strategies based on doubling or halving your bets when you win or lose--they don't take math into account and require you to assume that a winning or losing streak affects the future outcome of the game.
These simple blackjack tactics are pretty much foolproof. They won't work every time, after all blackjack is a game of math and probabilities, but these five tips are designed to increase the odds of winning or at least breaking even.
Follow these rules to make yourself a better online blackjack player overnight.
Blackjack Tactic #1-Learn a Blackjack Strategy Chart
Click here for a blackjack strategy chart. While it isn't advisable to carry this chart into the casino with you, you can keep it open if you're playing online blackjack, and there's no rule against memorizing it before you head into a casino to play blackjack. These charts give you the best possible play under specific game situations. Some charts are less involved, giving you advice only for the dealer's up card and your point total, while others get more specific, suggesting certain plays for certain card combinations. Memorizing either chart will give you a better idea of how to play your hand according to basic blackjack strategy--and players who play perfect strategy are only giving the house an 8% advantage, one of the better deals in the casino.
Blackjack Tactic #2-Never Take Insurance
The old saying goes "Insurance is for cars and card counters." When you hear the word "insurance," think of it as a side bet. After all, insurance against a dealer blackjack is actually just a side bet on whether or not the dealer will have a blackjack. Since the odds of the dealer drawing a blackjack are only around 5%, this side bet is perfect for suckers. The slim chance of a dealer actually drawing a blackjack is a negative expectation bet, where the casino wins about 95% of the time. The only time you should take insurance against a dealer blackjack is if you are a card counter, and even then only under the correct circumstances.
Blackjack Tactic #3-Stand Against a Dealer 6
If the dealer's up card is a 6 and you have 13 or higher, let that hand play. Your chances of busting after drawing another card with a point total higher than 13 are higher than your chances of losing when the dealer is showing a 6, so the smart money is to stand with a point total of 13 and only hit against a dealer's 6 if your point total is 12 or less. While we're on the subject, if the dealer is holding a 6 or less, you should always double with a point total of 9. This play offers great odds of you getting a big win.
Blackjack Tactic #4-Always Split Aces and 8s
If you're dealt a pair of aces, you can play it as either a 2 or a soft 12, both circumstances that you want avoid. By splitting a pair of aces, you're giving yourself two chances for blackjack instead of one chance at one of two crappy hands.
As for splitting 8s, you have a much better chance at starting over with two hands of 8 than with one hand for a problematic 16 point total. In fact, 16 is the worst possible point total for a blackjack player--the odds for a player with a point total of 16 are problematic. Since twenty of a deck's cards have a point value of at least 10, the odds of splitting a pair of 8s and drawing a much more advantageous point total are much better than the odds of playing with a point total of 16.
Blackjack Tactic #5-Know When to Double
There are only three point totals that you should double in blackjack--9, 10, and 11. There are specific circumstances where it makes mathematical sense to double these totals.
Double 9 against dealer up cards of 3 through 6. Against any up card besides 3, 4, 5, or 6, you should draw with a point total of 9.
Double 10 against the dealer's up card of 2 through 9.
Double 11 against any dealer up card except for an Ace.
Blackjack is one of the only games in the casino where smart play can turn the advantage in your favor. Memorizing these simple tips and playing perfect blackjack strategy (as taught in blackjack strategy charts) means your chances of winning money at the blackjack table are much greater. How much more fun can you have than taking money out of the casino's coffers?