On average, a professional blackjack player can take home as much as $25,000 a month. And when you start veering into the big leagues, you find that some make as much as $150,000 in one month! Professional blackjack players live large, which prompts many people to follow suit. But is there more to their strategies than finding the best blackjack sites? Of course, choosing a good casino site increases your chances of winning big. But when you think of professionals like Bill Benter, Ken Uston, and even the MIT Blackjack Team, it becomes clear that there is more to winning. So, let’s see what you can combine a good blackjack site with:
The Basic Principles
What comes to your mind when you think of pros like Kerry Packer or Bryce Carlson? These players mastered this game of 21 so much that they made it to history books. And as people try to emulate their strategies, they come across advice like:
- It’s okay to lose all your money,
- You can deviate from the basic strategy, and
- Always take the insurance bet.
Do you know what’s common with these and other kinds of tips offered to beginners? Well, they are entirely wrong. It’s never okay to lose all your money or put your hopes in the insurance bet (which is a terrible wager). So, let’s focus on what you should actually be doing if you want to play in the big leagues, shall we?
1. Move Beyond the Basic Card Counting Systems
If you’ve dug deep into blackjack playing strategies, then you know that card counting is highly revered in the community. After all, the MIT blackjack team used this strategy to win large sums of money – they even made away with half a million dollars one night. That left the casinos dumbfounded, wondering just how this team was so good at blackjack. And when people realized that card counting was behind their success, they hopped on the bandwagon. But here’s the thing. The MIT team played back in the 80s and 90s when casinos were not as sophisticated as they are now. They did not have AI cameras watching their every move, but you do. So, how can you still count cards with all these eyes (human and machine) on you? You move beyond the Hi-Lo system. While it is easy to master and can help you win thousands of dollars a month, being a professional requires you to invest in more than basics. Professionals use the two-level system that allows you to increase or decrease your count by one or two depending on the cards you see. That’s different from basic card counting, which changes the count by one per card. And that’s the secret to increasing your bankroll by thousands of dollars.
2. Control Your Bankroll
An easy way to lose all your money is to ignore your bankroll. The bankroll is essentially the money you can afford to lose. Not your rent or utility bills cash or savings – but the money you do not need to meet your immediate needs. That means that if all you have left after deducting your monthly expenses is $100, then that’s what you wager. But often, you find players who are willing to put it all on the line – they think that if they have mastered card counting and other strategies, they can win their money back. And while understanding the ins and outs of the game gives you an edge, they do not mitigate all the risks of casino games. Blackjack comprises both skill and luck, and sometimes, luck will not be on your side. So, you must understand just how much money you have and the strategies that can help you hold on to it and maximize your profits. Most pros start with bankrolls as high as $50,000. Would you be willing to lose that kind of cash? That’s why you must keep an eye on your bankroll. Besides, a big bankroll reduces your chances of going broke if some hands don’t work in your favor.
3. Master Basic Strategy
Some beginners start playing and immediately want to try the most complex tricks in the book. But that’s not how pros do it. They begin with the strategies you would even consider mundane – simple enough for a beginner to understand. Then they build on these and never deviate from them. Why? A single mistake owing to deviation can cost you your bankroll. Your $1,000 can be gone just like that! So, you must know what play should follow each decision made on the table. And without understanding basic strategy, you can make a mistake that would give the dealer an edge. Before you even start wagering real money, train using this strategy.
4. Practice All the Time
Do you know what else differentiates a beginner from a pro player? The latter does it to eke a living. Think about it. If you rely on blackjack to pay your bills, you must give it your all. And if this is the path you wish to follow, you must be willing to walk the talk. So, start by practicing online using demo accounts. These don’t require you to deposit any actual cash, and the winnings are also not real. But they allow you to gauge just how good you are at card counting, basic strategy, and bankroll management. And even when you start playing for money, you must carve out enough time to practice. As they say, practice makes perfect.
5. Play the Right Games
Okay, assuming you have mastered all the above principles, what’s next? – Finding the right game. Not all games will allow you to have an edge. So, you must take your time to read reviews about games before putting up actual cash. Also, consider the rules in the games and the house edge in each. It helps you increase your earnings by a great deal. Luckily, online blackjack sites now boast an array of blackjack games, and you can play the best games right from your home.
Have you seen any blackjack principles that you can use in your next game? Remember – you must start with the basics before moving on to more complex systems. And in most cases, the basics make up 90% of the gameplay. Have fun!