Playing blackjack can be as simple or complicated as you make it. A recreational player can skip any strategy and play with the goal of getting close to 21 and not busting. More advanced players can use a variety of strategies and skills that take years to perfect and maintain.
When all is said and done both players can enjoy playing blackjack in the manner they prefer.
There are plenty of blackjack players somewhere in the middle of the two extremes. These players want to have the best time in the casino without spending too much time with the game outside of the casino.
Blackjack is a great game, in part, because there are so many ways to improve play. A recreational blackjack player can use as many tips, strategies and hacks to get the kind of experience they want.
As an advanced recreational player, I use many of these tactics to have the most fun when playing blackjack. The goal of maximizing fun in the casino takes a little work for me but is never overwhelming.
In fact, some of these ideas are so simple that they can be done at home while watching TV. I actually enjoy thinking about some of these things while being slightly distracted. In a way, this simulates the casino environment which can be overstimulating.
Start With Basic Strategy
The odds from blackjack will still favor the casino even after perfecting the basic strategy. However, the advantage for the casino will be as low as the rules allow when using perfect basic strategy.
Learning basic strategy and minimizing the house edge will allow someone to play more hands over time. The longer someone can stay in the game, the better the chances that they’ll hit a hot streak. In a perfect world, this will increase the chances that a player can possibly walk away as a winner.
Playing the game is why we visit casinos. The more games played, the more fun someone should have. Being able to walk away as a winner more frequently makes the experience even more fun.
Using a basic strategy can be as simple as printing or buying a card with the most optimal plays and using it at the table. Some players, like me, can use apps on their mobile devices to practice this skill.
I usually practice gambling skills while watching TV. Since I’m a drinker I like to do this both sober and after a few drinks to see how much worse my skills are.
Play And Practice As Often As Possible
The more someone plays or practices any skill the better the more competent they should be. That should be the case with blackjack as well as any other skill.
Playing and practicing blackjack using perfect basic strategy (or close to it) should be the same as increasing aptitude with any skill.
Learning basic strategy is fairly simple but it’s possible to forget the skill if it isn’t used very often. Some players use the casino as their place to practice. I prefer using apps and websites to practice basic strategy without spending money.
Practicing blackjack can take place at home while passively doing something else. This doesn’t take too much time out of normal everyday activities.
Even if a player isn’t “perfect” using basic strategy practice should help keep the house edge on the low side.
Whether someone is practicing for free at home or spending money in the casino, they’re still playing a game that is fun. Having fun when playing blackjack is the ultimate goal for most recreational blackjack players
Think About Key Hands
Practicing and playing blackjack frequently is probably the best way to stay sharp. Not everyone has the time, money or patience for that. This is okay. There’s more than one way to skin a cat.
A player looking to be sharper than not when playing blackjack can focus on certain hands. This is also a hack of sorts for players that don’t have the best memory.
Some players may want to focus on hands where they have more than one betting unit at risk. Focusing on splitting and doubling down hands may be the most useful part of the basic strategy to learn.
Over the years, I’ve had a few different hands that I played wrong for one reason or another. I wrote about the four hands I need to practice a few years ago.
Making note of the correct basic strategy for these hands helped make me a better blackjack player. I’ve focused on these hands so frequently, that I don’t think I’ll ever make these mistakes again.
Ultimately, if there’s a will to play better blackjack there’s a way. Find the tactic that works best.
Consider Budget And House Edge
Most people that play blackjack in a casino just want to have fun. One way to do that is by playing longer.
Blackjack is a great vehicle for a fun time in the casino. Since the game has a relatively low house edge a player’s bankroll will last generally longer than playing some other games.
The smaller the advantage for the casino, the longer a player’s bankroll should last. More time gambling often leads to a more fun casino experience.
Understanding the house edge can help a player can manage their gambling budget to maximize fun. Here are a few things to consider:
- Find the blackjack game with the most player-friendly rules. This game will have a lower house edge than others in the casino. Playing this game will a player can enjoy more action.
- Avoid side bets. These wagers often add to the house edge and will eat away at a gambling budget.
- Don’t be afraid to walk away during a cold streak. Stepping away won’t change the cards but it will take a player out of a frustrating situation. I find a low-limit video poker game is a good way to reset in the casino.
If you must play side bets, just be aware of how they affect your bankroll. If nothing else, it might help explain why a bankroll disappeared quickly. Knowing this should at least make you more comfortable with any losses.
Of course, skipping the side bets will be the best way to get the most bang for the buck when playing blackjack in a casino.
Budget accordingly to maximize your fun. There’s no more gambling after you run out of money so you might as well make the most of what you have.