Blackjack is the one casino game where the player can consistently make a profit if played correctly.
The professional gambler enters a casino as if it was a battlefield and knows the casino is most vulnerable at the blackjack tables.
One way to win a battle is to expose your enemy’s weakness. The casino’s weakness is the blackjack table, because it has the lowest house edge of all the casino games.
So what strategies does the professional blackjack player use to beat the casino?
#1 LEARN THE GAME
The professional player is an absolute student of the game. They understand that knowledge is power and to know everything possible about blackjack will make the difference in how profitable it can be for them.
To play like a blackjack professional, you need to know every possible rule and variation of the rules, at the house where you play. There can be many differences from casino to casino, that will absolutely make a difference between winning and losing.
It would be good to read a wide variety of blackjack books to ensure you’re learning every aspect of the game. A casual player may not think about proper dealing procedure, watching the skill level of the dealer, or if correct payouts are made, but a professional is astutely aware of any deviation that could change the advantages.
Most of the blackjack books will have at least a small section that talks about card counting and how being able to count cards creates a professional advantage. A professional player is going to be able to use at least one effective card counting system.
Professional players are not going to make a simple mistake. You must have the basic blackjack strategy memorized to perfection because in the game of blackjack, there is always a proper or best move to make.
If you want to play like a professional blackjack player, be honest with yourself and admit what you don’t know and then take the steps to learn what you don’t know.
#2 Find the Bad Dealers
Another advantage that casual players don’t take into consideration is poor dealer technique. It is possible to use poor dealer technique to make more money.
A blackjack dealer may not be aware that he/she flashes the value of the face down card to players in a particular seat. Learn to watch the dealer’s hands as the face down card is placed to the table.
In reality, something like that is not going to happen often, but when you know the face down card value, that’s of course a huge advantage.
If the cards are hand shuffled, some dealers aren’t as thorough as they could be, which can lead to shuffle tracking or ace sequencing by the professional player. Shuffle tracking is when you keep track of cards or a series of cards during shuffling. It lets you predict when portions of the shoe will come up. So if a clump of high cards is coming up, you’d want to bet bigger and if you know a clump of low cards is coming up, you’d want to bet smaller. Ace sequencing is a form of shuffle tracking where you determine when an ace may be coming up, based on tracking identifier or key cards before it.
#3 Play The Best Version
Of course there are many variations of blackjack available. Each game has it own set of rules that will influence the house edge either up or down. To play smart, you want play the version that lowers the house edge as much as possible.
Most casino blackjack games have a house edge of .5% or less, though every now and then that edge can go down to .3% based on the rules.
You must be aware of rules that can bring the house edge up to 1% and therefore stay away from those games.
Learn how different rules can effect the house edge so you only play at tables with the lowest house edge.
#4 Learn When Side Bets are Okay
Basic strategy tells you to never play any side bets, that includes insurance and surrendering. Blackjack professionals know that there are times when side bets are profitable.
If you don’t already know, side bets are basically a way for casinos to get more of your money, per hand, and increase their profits.
It is best to be a card counter to know when the deck is favorable and there is a better chance to “hit” the side bet for break even. All the counting systems have information on when it’s best to take insurance.
You can also take advantage of a bad dealer by taking insurance if you’ve seen the face down card is a 10-value and the face-up card is an Ace. The dealer will ask if you want insurance and of course you would say yes because you know the dealer has 21. You don’t profit, but you do break even.
#5 Card Counting
Being able to count cards is the best way to play like a professional. There are many card counting systems available, some more complex than others, but card counting is a skill that can be learned. To play like a professional, it is a skill that absolutely must be learned.
Pick a system, get a book to study and learn it inside and out, and practice it until it becomes second nature.
Even the simplest of systems will give you an advantage that can be the difference between making money or losing money.
THE FINAL PAYOFF
If you can learn to use these 5 tips, you will be able to play blackjack like a professional and make a profit more consistently.
They are not difficult strategies to learn. You just have to be willing to invest the time to learn them.
You’ll probably enjoy playing blackjack more as a result and perhaps end up becoming a blackjack professional yourself!