Blackjack is an incredibly alluring card game. In a way, it features all the intrigue of poker with none of the complication. It’s easier to learn, easier to play, and in some senses, every bit as dramatic. The trouble is, unless you happen to take the Rain Man approach and learn how to count cards (which we wouldn’t advise unless you’re just messing around with friends), blackjack can also seem like a bit of a crapshoot.

For that reason, a lot of amateur players wind up playing as if it’s a guessing game. This can be sort of enjoyable, and it’s fun to simply trust your intuition so long as the stakes are low. But if you’re interested in being a more competitive player, or you plan on playing with some money on the line, a little more strategy is needed. Thus, we’ve put together four handy tips for how to be a better Blackjack player.

How To Be A Better Blackjack Player

Learn Basic Strategy

That probably sounds like vague advice, but in fact basic strategy is an established concept in blackjack, and essentially dictates the right and wrong play in every scenario. It’s based on mathematical probability, and it can be learned in the form of a simple, intuitive chart. It’s actually a lot to memorize, though it’s not as if you really need to commit it to memory that you should hit on a 2,5 draw. The charts are most helpful for remembering what to do in grey area situations, or when to split your cards.

Play Online

This is something you might not think of when you’re focused just on the card game, but as one set of blackjack tips pointed out, it’s a nice way of avoiding the hassle of a casino visit. Moreover, it’s a cheap, quick way to get in some practice! You should keep in mind that a table at a real casino can involve particular circumstances, such as multiple decks in circulation or unique betting rules. But if you’re just trying to familiarize yourself with scenarios within the game, the repetition and accessibility of online blackjack is an ideal resource.

Avoid Superstition

This is a good rule of thumb when approaching any game that can involve gambling, really. But in blackjack in particular there tends to be a myth of a table getting hot or cold, or even a dealer doing the same. You may even recall George Clooney’s iconic Danny Ocean character muttering that a table’s “cold, anyway” before abandoning it in a scene in Ocean’s 11. But it’s important to recognize that this is more of a feeling than an actual circumstance. As another set of advice for blackjack tricks casinos don’t want you to know put it, there’s just no such thing as a hot or cold table.

Check Emotion At The Door

Finally, remember to leave your emotions out of it. This is actually another tip you can pick up if you go back and watch Ocean’s 11 again. In an early scene when Brad Pitt’s character is teaching celebrities how to play poker, he quizzes them on the first rule, which turns out to be “leave emotion at the door.” This tip applies to blackjack as well. Emotion leads you to make careless decisions, usually by attempting to regain losses out of frustration.