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Pro Blackjack Tips

Basic Blackjack Strategy Tips

Pro blackjack tips won't always deviate from the basic blackjack strategy tips. Blackjack is relatively simple to learn, though there are a lot of blackjack plays that tips the odds a little more in your favor. Some of the best blackjack tips are the ones you might have heard before: basic strategy, table selection, table limits and bankroll, doubling down and splitting pairs. I'll add that professional blackjack players know that bad breaks happen in any form of gambling, so you should keep your cool and remain professional when you are losing, too.

Below are the five blackjack tips you should keep in mind every time you step up to the blackjack table. If you want to play like a pro, the best blackjack tip is to stick to the basics. Master the techniques that the best blackjack pros use every day, eliminate the weaknesses in your basic game and you'll be a better and happier blackjack player in no time.

Learn Basic Strategy

The most basic pro blackjack tip is to learn basic strategy and don't deviate from it. I know it might seem more interesting to play hunches or "go with your gut", but basic strategy gives you the best play in most situations. If you play your hunch, you're just going to be throwing away money in the long run.

If you want to feel like you're beating the game of blackjack like a pro blackjack player would, my tip is to learn the art of card counting. But before you even consider that, learn basic strategy and use it ruthlessly. Basic strategy doesn't eliminate the house edge and put the odds in your favor, but it does decrease the house edge significantly. If you want to learn more about basic strategy, check out our page at "Learning New Blackjack Skills".

Blackjack Betting Limits

Pro Blackjack TipsDon't play at a blackjack table where the betting limits are more than 5% of your bankroll. For instance, if have $200 and decide to play at a table with a betting minimum of $20, you could bust out in only 10 bets. Stranger things have happened, and you could be walking out of the casino with your entire bankroll gone in half-an-hour.

Betting only 5% of your bankroll at any time means it will take you 20 straight losing hands to lose. The more hands you play, the more likely you're wins and losses are to resemble the expected payout of the game. So if you're playing blackjack well enough that you only expect a house edge of 2%, you will lose $2 for every $100 bet. If you bet $5 a hand and play around 50 hands per hour, then you can expect to lose $5 an hour on average.

Blackjack dealers in Las Vegas can average 50-70 hands per hour. That's with an automatic shuffler and a table of around 4 to 6 players. Obviously, the more players are at the table, the fewer hands per hour you'll play.

Double Down

Learn when to double down, because this increases your expectation. Blackjack is a game of limiting your losses when the odds are against you and increasing your odds when the odds are in your favor. Few situations in blackjack offer you the chance to turn the odds in your favor betting than doubling down, if you pick your spots right. Doubling down allows blackjack players to increase the gamble on certain hands where the odds favor them.

Players can double down (if the casino allows it) when they are dealt a pair of cards of the same rank on the original deal. The situations when you should double down in blackjack are many. Always double when you have an Ace (when playing the soft ace rules). Double when you have 10's and the dealer is showing a 9 or less. Double with 9's. Double with 13, 14, 15, 16 or 17 when the dealer is holding a 4, 5 or 6.

Splitting Pairs

Splitting pairs allows you to double your bet by playing two advantageous hands at once, instead of just one. Only split pairs when it is your advantage to do so. Avoid splitting a pair of 5's, 10's or face cards (Jacks, Queens, Kings). Always split Aces. Split 7's or 8's if the dealer is showing a card equal to or lesser than your card, but never when he's holding a 9, 10, face card or Ace. Splits 2s and 3s, but only when the dealer is showing 4, 5 or 6.

That sounds complicated, but once you play for a little while, you'll get the hang of splitting pairs pretty quick. Like doubling down, splitting pairs is one of the best advantages a pro blackjack players has, so follow these blackjack tips when splitting your pairs.

Keep Your Blackjack Cool

The saying goes, "Don't get mad. Get even." In blackjack, don't do either. When you are consistently losing at a blackjack table, just walk away. Don't feel the need to win back your money from that sorry-so-and-so blackjack dealer who is taking all your money.

Remember, the dealer is just an employee of the casino. He or she isn't making decisions to beat you. The dealer's moves are dictated by the rules of the game. And most importantly, the dealer isn't pocketing your money directly. The dealer will get paid exactly the same whether you win or lose.

If you lose several hands in a row, especially if you lose one or two when the odds were stacked in your favor, just walk away. Getting angry isn't going to help you. Beating your head against the wall is only going to make matters worse. Have a loss limit or some other hard-and-fast rule for when you quit a blackjack table. Stick to it, always. Tip the blackjack dealer well, whether you win or lose. As they say in football, act like you've been there before.

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