Learning The Ropes: What Every Blackjack Newcomer Needs to Know

Blackjack has the potential to be one of the most exciting and enjoyable casino table games. At the same time, a crowded blackjack table can also be a daunting prospect for newcomers.

Rubbing shoulders with those who seem to know exactly what they are doing is understandably intimidating. Even if you’ve learned the basic rules, it’s an entirely different experience in the flesh. 

On the plus side, an hour or two at a blackjack table is all it takes for it to become second nature. At which point, keeping a few essential pointers can help ensure an enjoyable experience.

Here’s a brief rundown of a few key points every blackjack newcomer really needs to know:

1 – It’s a Non-Stop Learning Experience

First up, each and every hand serves as a valuable lesson in its own right. Don’t for one minute think that how good you are after a few hours is the best you’ll ever become. It isn’t – all classic casino table games are non-stop learning experiences. Your intuition, confidence and capabilities will all skyrocket with time.

That said, you need to embrace these learning opportunities for what they are.  Don’t simply play passively and in a completely random way – actually think about the moves you make. While doing so, feel free to keep an eye on those around you and soak up the experience.

2 – You Will Make Plenty of Mistakes

Further to the above, you need to acknowledge the inevitability of mistakes.  Not to mention, the number of them you will be making. Mistakes at casino tables are all part and parcel of the experience. They also tend to be the only way invaluable lessons are learned, so don’t be afraid to mess things up.

Trial and error may be a painful approach to learning important lessons.  However, it’s also the quickest and easiest way to learn them. Think carefully about what you do and try to avoid mistakes where possible. But where mistakes occur, don’t beat yourself up – learn from them and move on.

3 – Blackjack is Not About Winning Money 

Head to the blackjack table convinced you’ll pocket a prize and you’re in for a rough night. Like all casino table games, blackjack exists to earn money for the casino. It really is as simple as that – blackjack is there to separate you from your cash.

There isn’t a single casino game where the odds of winning are not less than 50%. This means that statistically, anyone who plays for long enough is guaranteed to lose. Blackjack is an enjoyable, entertaining and seriously engaging game. It’s not there to generate profit for players, or even see them walking away having broken even. Be optimistic by all means, but have realistic expectations and don’t be disappointed if you walk away empty-handed.

4 – You Can’t Always Trust Advice from Others

As a newcomer, you may find plenty of friendly folk at the table looking to help you out. Most of which will undoubtedly have positive intentions in mind.  Nevertheless, you cannot take what other people tell you as gospel.

This can put newbies in a typical situation. You want to look appreciative, but need to be cautious. You know the other players at the table probably know best, but they could also be wrong. Feel free to listen to the advice of others and proceed accordingly. Nevertheless, you cannot subsequently be angry or upset if their advice leads to a negative outcome. Go with your gut, even if it means declining politely.

5 – Blackjack Strategies Are Confusing and Best Avoided

The only blackjack strategy that actually works is card counting. Something the overwhelming majority of people can’t do, and those who can rarely get away with it. You’ll find no shortage of weird and wonderful strategies being touted online, supposedly able to tip the odds in your favour.

Sadly, the one thing all of these strategies have in common is the fact that they don’t work. All they do is distract you from logical and rational gameplay, which isn’t good. When getting started as a newcomer, playing blackjack ‘by the book’ is the way to go. This means keeping it simple, making rational decisions and avoiding anything too risky. Feel free to get more creative later, but keep things simple for the time being.

6 – You Can Ask the Dealer as Many Questions as You Like

A common misconception with blackjack is that the dealer is out to get you. In reality, he or she is not even really your opponent. They play in accordance with strict rules set out by the casino, from which they cannot deviate. More importantly, the dealer always wants you to win. 

When players win, they pocket prizes, feel fantastic and leave generous tips.  When players lose, the dealer rarely gets a red cent. Consequently, you can ask the dealer as many questions as you like and expect honest answers. Of course, you can’t literally ask them to make important decisions on your behalf.  Nevertheless, you can clarify any confusion you have with regard to how the game works, and chat with them freely throughout.

7 – You Can Wax Your Bankroll Quickly if You Aren’t Careful

Last up, blackjack is one of several casino games that make it easy to lose money fast. A typical hand of blackjack with a few players at the table is over within the space of a minute or two. At which point, everything you put on the line could be gone. 

The fast-paced nature of blackjack often leads to players rushing, rather than taking their time and enjoying the experience. Start with minimal wagers and feel free to sit out from time to time, in order to regroup. Rushing only sees you separated from your bankroll sooner, which is hardly a good thing. 

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