Things I Learned From Playing Blackjack
Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games, and for many good reasons. This exciting card game is simple to learn but requires a good deal of strategy if you want to be successful in the long run.
Not only has blackjack kept me engaged and entertained for years, but it has also taught me many valuable things along the way. Here are the most significant things I learned from playing blackjack.
Strategy is a Must
You could argue that blackjack is primarily a luck-based game, and you’d be right. If you know the basic rules and gameplay options, you can start playing it within minutes.
But, this only scratches the surface of the overall blackjack experience. If you want to move away from the basics and be more prolific, you’ll notice just how mathematical and strategically demanding this game is.
I've learned that if you want to ensure you're playing each hand optimally, there's no way of avoiding the blackjack strategy. If you’re in it for a long haul, there is simply no way around it.
Cheaters Never Prosper
With the house always having the edge over you, it might be tempting to try out a few illegal things to gain the advantage. However, I strongly advise you against doing so.
Using the aid of a computer or some kind of device or trying to affect how the game plays out in any way is, without a doubt, cheating. And, while you may win a few hands this way, the casino will always catch up on you.
Cheating in blackjack is a risk not worth taking, as cheaters always get caught and often end up in jail.
With that in mind, you should also differentiate the terms cheating and counting cards. This is because, contrary to what casinos want you to think, counting cards isn’t actually cheating.
If you get caught counting cards, the most severe action the casino can take against you is to escort you out and ban you from playing at the venue again.
Counting cards can be effective but is very difficult to master. Luckily, in this day and age, you can resort to free table games to practice online with no risk involved.
Long-Term Isn’t a Few Months
Speaking of long-term blackjack dedication, a surprising number of blackjack players think that this covers a span of a few weeks or months.
Admittedly, I’m also guilty of thinking this way. Or at least, I was in the past.
The truth is that there’s no way to set predefined limits for the long term. It’s a theoretical and infinite concept, so the more sessions and hands you rack up, the closer you are to getting reliable long-term numbers.
For example, ten hands are certainly not the long term. But, neither are a thousand hands. However, a thousand is closer to that infinite abstract number.
This is why you should look at the long run as something you're constantly adding numbers to. The more hands you play, the more information you have on how well or poorly you're playing, and the effects of variance diminish.
Discipline is a Game-Changer
When I was just starting out my blackjack career, I was relatively undisciplined and played more by feel than by following specific guidelines and betting limitations. This is normal for every beginner but can be detrimental if you don’t work on it early on.
Consistency is crucial if you want to make it as a blackjack player.
Don’t drink too much when playing blackjack, and never make bets driven by your emotions.
Don’t get me wrong. You can still make the right decision as an expert blackjack player and end up losing the hand. But, focusing on each decision and betting with discipline will make the difference long-term.
While knowing this early on could have saved me good bucks in the process, the saying “better late than never” definitely applies to this tip.
It’s Always Smart to Quit While Ahead
One of the clichés of playing blackjack is that you should always quit while you’re ahead. This mantra is simple and makes perfect sense.
Of course, this is easier said than done, and I’ve had issues with knowing when to quit before. But, this is the only way to stay profitable in the long run.
The best way to make sure you quit while you're ahead is to set a limit, after which you'll end your session. So, when you hit that specific win amount for the session, you walk away. Continuing to play would just put your winnings at risk.
If you don’t develop the habit of quitting while you’re ahead, you’ll eventually have a blackjack session so bad that it will put your entire gambling bankroll at risk. From my experience, even the possibility of this happening was motivation enough.