The newcomer to blackjack often rushes into the game headfirst with little or no direction and purpose. This can be a dreadful mistake. If you take the time to learn a few basic tips before you play your first hand, the experience can be more pleasant and you might even make some money. There may be some truth to beginner’s luck, and if there is you don’t want to spoil it by making some rookie mistakes.
Decide If You Will Play Live or Online
The first thing you need to do is decide if you will play blackjack live or online. We’ll be straightforward about this subject. Our recommendation is that you give online blackjack a try first before you venture into the live casino. There are very good reasons for this.
Online blackjack games are less expensive to play. You can often play them for as little as $1 per hand. That means you will spend less money making mistakes as you learn the game. In a live casino, you’ll be lucky to find blackjack games for a $5 minimum bet. $10 or even $25 is more common. That’s a lot of money to plunk down if you are trying to learn the game.
An online casino is also less intimidating. A live casino is a lot like a carnival. There are bells and whistles, and lights going off. People are jostling each other around and talking loud among themselves. It can be very overwhelming, and all of that is done on purpose. The more distracted you are by all the fancy things happening around you, the more likely you are to be separated from from your hard-earned money.
Learn Basic Strategy and Stick to It
Before you play your first hand of blackjack, purchase a few good blackjack books and get a handle on basic blackjack strategy. Remember at this stage you only want to grasp the basics.
- Don’t split tens.
- Don’t take insurance.
- Don’t try to play on instinct.
- Learn the basic blackjack rules and do not deviate from them.
It may sound like a daunting task to learn all of the correct plays. The advanced player has many more tools at their disposal than the newcomer, to be sure, but even the most simple strategy is better than no strategy at all. As you play and become more experienced your skill set will improve a great deal.
What makes blackjack such a phenomenal game for the player is that the game is governed by a very specific set of rules. These rules are what make blackjack strategies so powerful and effective. Don’t get creative and try to reinvent the wheel.
Ignore the Comments of Other Players
Everyone at the blackjack table thinks they are an expert. Your fellow players will sometimes be quick to criticize your playing decisions. The thing is, quite a few of them know little about the game themselves. They will tell you to stand on that 16 against a dealer’s 10. They will tell you to split all of your pairs, even a pair of 4’s. If you listen to all of these comments, losing your bankroll is almost guaranteed.
Sometimes, because you are new to the game, you will make a mistake. Prepare for a barrage of criticism. There are players at the table who will blame you for their own losses and poor play. If you are sticking to basic blackjack strategy, let these comments go in one ear and out the other.
You can see that this is another advantage of playing blackjack online. There is no one there to distract you with comments. You just play and deal with the consequences of your own actions.
Stay Away From the High Limit Area
When you are new to the game of blackjack, playing the table minimum is a must. In live casinos that will mean $5 or $10. In an online casino, you can probably play for as little as $1. While you are learning the game it is vitally important that you spend as little as possible.
You’re going to lose more in the beginning because you do not yet know the rudimentary elements of the game. You’ll make the occasional bad play, and sometimes you will engage in poor management and bet more than you should to try and recoup losses. Stay at the minimum and resist moving up until you are comfortable with the tempo of the game and all of the decisions that must be made on a hand-by-hand basis.
Now, there is nothing wrong with watching the high rollers of the game play. You can stand around the high-limit areas and watch as long as you like. This is also a good way to pick up some tips on the game and how the experienced players make their living.
Practice Online For Free
You can play a free blackjack game online for free right here at Counting Edge. There are also many online casinos that have free versions of their games for U.S. players. Playing free blackjack online is one of the very best ways to sharpen your blackjack skills.
If you have an interest in learning how to count cards at blackjack, online games are a very useful tool. Many versions can be downloaded to your smartphone or tablet so that you can play on the go.
This is a great time to explore some of the online casinos recommended by Counting Edge. Many of them will accept U.S. players and allow them to play for real money. Almost all of them will give you a sizable welcome bonus just for signing up, too.