12 Blackjack Tips For Beginners

So, you want to learn how to play Blackjack? Well, there are some things you need to know before getting to the casino. 12 Blackjack Tips For Beginners will help to eliminate that table game intimidation. Most players and dealers are sympathetic to newbies at table games. Unfortunately, there are always a few that can be impatient or even downright rude. Play at a table that is friendly the first few times.

Get Started with Learning Basic Strategy


1) Become familiar with basic strategy – practice at home with free apps or programs to teach certain situations. For example, it would be best to learn the basic playing strategy for hitting, standing, doubling, and pair splitting. I recommend the Wizard’s Simple Strategy, which you’ll find on the blackjack page on the Wizard of Odds website. The strategy consists of 11 rules in a colored-coded table that makes it easy to remember.

2) Go to the casino less crowdedly with someone who knows what to do and how to play. Blackjack doesn’t have a lot of etiquette rules. But, some essential points like touching the cards and signaling the dealer are essential to know.

3) Stick to your basic strategy, no matter what “experts” at the table say. This is one of the most critical 12 Blackjack Tips For Beginners. Get comfortable with your strategy play, not what others say. Blackjack players are known for giving unsolicited advice, and not necessarily in a helpful way!

Be strong. The playing decisions of other players on your table do not affect the long-run odds of winning – or vice versa. Remember, Blackjack is not a team sport. So always use the basic playing strategy regardless of how other players play their hand, how much you bet, and whether you lost or won your previous sessions.

Blackjack Beginner Tips - Strategy Card
A Blackjack strategy card.

Understand Blackjack Rules and Payouts

Blackjack Tips for Beginners - Don't play 6:5 Blackjack

4) Avoid any game paying 6-5 (or worse, even money) for a blackjack. Play only on tables where Blackjack is paid at 3-2. Be careful that it plays to your bankroll limits. (Unfortunately, in 2023, finding 3-2 games below the $50 table limit is almost impossible.)

5) Try to find tables where the dealer manually shuffles the cards instead of shuffle machines. It is interesting to watch for beginners and allows you to catch your breath and interact with the dealer. However, “pitch games” are rare. We are stuck with most casinos using shuffle machines.

6) Scout the tables to find the most liberal playing rules. For example, a 3:2 payoff for Blackjack is an excellent rule to look for. By the way, other good rules are:

  1. The dealer is standing on all 17s (including soft 17),
  2. Players can double down on any two cards,
  3. After splitting pairs, players can double down on any two cards,
  4. Surrender is good if you are aware of that strategy.

12 Blackjack Tips For Beginners – Side Bets, Anyone?

7) Don’t take Insurance – no matter how much money you wagered on your hand. As a result, Insurance is considered a sucker bet.

8) Before you take any action, check the dealer’s upcard. Is it wrong (2 through 6) or good (7 through Ace)? ) What the dealer has makes all the difference in what action the player should take.

The Dealer's upcard Blackjack Beginner Tips
The dealer’s up-card is the card you see on top of the card you don’t see. To the right is the first base, and to the left is the third base.

9) Don’t sit in the first base seat. Instead, sit in the middle to give you more time to review your hand and the dealer upcard. Stay away from the third base or last seat. Unfortunately, some players think your play changes the outcome of the game. But, mathematically, it doesn’t matter in the long run. The decisions of other players at the table won’t impact your hand.

“You’re playing alone against the dealer – They don’t know what you have and vice versa.”

Frank Scoblete, author of many gambling resources.

10) Always give your Player’s Rewards Card to the dealer before you play. This gets you on your way to being rated and getting comps.

11) Have fun and bring only the bankroll you can enjoy spending. 

12) If the table isn’t fun – grumpy dealer, drunks, unhappy “know-it-alls” – then move! Life’s too short.

Remember, stadium gaming and video blackjack can still be fun. However, be careful about how many reward points you can make on these. It is often not close to your rating and time spent at a real table.