Starting at the blackjack table? Don’t head in blind — here are 10 blackjack tips every beginner should know.

Blackjack is a relatively easy game to understand for new players. However, the more you get into the game, the more you’ll recognise that this is mostly a game of maths and probabilities.

If you understand the best strategy and the odds, you can give yourself a great chance to beat the house when playing blackjack online. At the same time, make minor mistakes can really hurt you in this game.

If you’ve never played before, we’ve got 10 tips you should know before sitting down to play.

1. Don’t Listen To Other Gambler’s Myths

As a beginner gambler, it’s easy to buy into a lot of different stories that you’ve heard from other amateur players or friends, or maybe something you heard on YouTube. However, while a certain strategy may have failed them, that doesn’t mean it will happen to you.

After all, it is just you going up against the dealer here and this is mostly a game of maths and probabilities. Sticking to your strategy will be the best chance you have at winning. Don’t get pulled down into all sorts of myths or conspiracies.

2. Don’t Push Your Luck

Most people will catch fire at some point playing blackjack but instead of pulling out when ahead or minimising their risk, they choose to push their luck. This usually results in those players walking away with less money than they came in with.

A terrific strategy to have for yourselves is to set a limit for how much you are willing to lose. Then, no matter how your luck changes, you have the ability to get yourself up and walk away. Better yet, if you go on a run and get ahead, either cash out or start playing smaller bets, so that you remove some risk off of the table.

Certain studies have shown that roughly 75% of people see themselves winning some type of money in the game but less than five percentage of those people leave the casino a winner. Learn from their mistakes and cash out when ahead.

3. Avoid Any Side Bets

While it may seem enticing, side bets that usually get offered in live blackjack games usually favour the house more than the player. Sometimes, other players at the table have superstitions about side bets and may try and convince you to join but the maths is not in your favour. Avoiding them could end up saving you a good chunk of money in the long run no matter how tantalizing the payout might be.

4. Drinking Doesn’t Mix Well With Blackjack

It may seem like common sense but sometimes common sense isn’t very common. In case you didn’t know, drinking while trying to play blackjack is a recipe for losing. Drinking can lead to poor decisions, which is mostly why casinos hand out free drinks to their gamblers.

Blackjack is a game centered around strategy, paying attention and maths, and drinking could throw that strategy out the window. This doesn’t mean that you can’t drink at all when playing; it’s more about limiting the amount you take in and being conscious that it can impact your decision making.

5. Keep An Eye On Pay Outs

Dealers are humans, at the end of the day, and sometimes they make mistakes. It may not be that often but it is a good idea to stay alert while playing at land-based blackjack tables. Always track how much you are betting, how much you are expected to receive and how much you are actually given when you win. It is also recommended that you don’t touch any of the chips if you feel like the dealer made an error.

Otherwise, the casino will have to review the footage to see if it’s a legitimate claim or if you’re trying to cheat the system (don’t take it personally because this happens a lot). Simply wait and ask the dealer nicely to check the payout a second time.

6. Don’t Take Insurance

An insurance bet is a separate bet you’re offered in a certain situation while playing blackjack. In some games, a dealer offers insurance when they are showing an ace. This option is a bet that could pay you 2 to 1, which means you could get paid out if the dealer has a blackjack and you lose your actual hand. However, insurance will only pay if the dealer has a card valued at 10 (to go with the Ace).

There are only four cards worth 10 in the deck while there are nine other cards not equal to 10. The simple maths indicates that there is a far greater chance of you losing the insurance bet than making some extra money on the side.

7. Avoid Sitting In The First Base Seat

Where you sit may not exactly sound all that important but you would be surprised to know that it could actually determine a few of your hands. Sitting in the first base seat at any blackjack table should be avoided when you can control it. The reason being is that the dealer may be rushing hands.

When you choose to sit further down the table, you are able to get more time to review your hand, make a clearer move and inspect their up card better. You can still take your time but usually there is peer pressure to make a move and the further you are down the line, the more time you’ll have to think.

Again, blackjack is a game centered around clear thinking and strategy, and getting rushed doesn’t help you.

8. Double Down

When you know when to double down on your hand, it could greatly increase your chance of winning. When you double down on a hand, you make a second bet that is equal to your starting card and you pick up another one. That second card will subsequently end your hand but if you win, your profits will get doubled.

The best time to double down is when you have a hand total of 11 and the dealer doesn’t have an ace as their up card. That’s when the maths is in your favour for this bet.

9. Splitting

Splitting your hands could often get you out of some sticky situations. Certain casinos allow you to split your hand and then double down on the bet, but others don’t, so make sure you know the rules.

You are able to split when you get a pair of the same card (like a pair of 10’s or a pair of Aces) and place another bet equal to your original one.

There are a few good rules to understand when wanting to split. The first is that you should split up pairs of eights and aces. The second is that you shouldn’t ever split a pair of cards valued at 10.

Again, you’re playing probabilities here but make sure you know the maths about splitting. It can be of use in certain situations.

10. Ignore Advice From Other Players

This is arguably one of the most important blackjack rules to understand when you are new to the game of blackjack. If you already understand the way that the game is played and have a strategy walking in, then you won’t need to rely upon other players advice. The same goes for the dealer.

Traditionally, many people who are newbies sit down and start asking questions, but the reality is that that’s not the time to learn. You have to study up and be prepared ahead of time. Learning on this job usually costs you money and taking advice from others – especially if they themselves don’t know the optimal strategy – is not ideal.

You will give yourself the best chance at winning if you stay true to your own studies and homework instead of listening to random strangers.

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Maddison Dwyer

Senior Writer & Queen of Cards

Maddison, a graduate from the University of Queensland with a degree in journalism, has turned her sharp analytical skills towards the casino world. Specializing in blackjack and roulette and more, she guides enthusiasts through the complexities of gambling strategies.

Her background in ethical storytelling enriches her approach, making her insights into casino gaming both trustworthy and engaging.

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