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Rule #1 for Real Cash Blackjack- Have a Plan
Before you hop in your sporty little car and start your drive to the local casino or airport, figure out exactly what your limits are and why you are going in the first place. If you’re going because you want to try and get some great comps, then you need to be wagering $50-$100 per hand and play for at least an hour. If you’re going to try and win $85 to pay this month’s electric bill, then you quit once you’ve hit -$50 or +$100. If you’re going for the free alcohol and a few dollars for the club afterwards, then find a nearly full $5 table and have a good time while getting drunk.
The key is to figure out exactly why you’re going, when to quit, and any other intangibles that may pop up along the way. Casinos know that if they deal you enough hands then you will lose money at any game in the house, so set limits and get out of there with a profit.
Rule #2 for Real Cash Blackjack- Study and Go
We’ve seen a lot of players sweat so much over the small details that they never even make it to a casino; it’s like they’re cramming for the final test in order to receive their Doctorate degree and they’re terrified to mess something up. The truth is that there is nothing to mess up when it comes to blackjack; you’ll play hundreds of hands and you’ll learn from your experiences either way.
Blackjack is not a game of absolutes. We can tell you firsthand that we’ve never seen a professional player sit at a table for an hour straight and play every hand perfectly. It simply does not happen, and often you’ll ignore the rules and make some foolish bets. Everybody has split nines at one point when the dealer shows a ten; it’s a bonehead move but it sometimes pays off as well. Do not sweat the small details; if you’ve studied then it’s time to go and have fun.
Rule #3 for Real Cash Blackjack- Learn from Professionals
I remember the first time that I ever played blackjack for real money: I started at $5 per hand and within fifteen minutes I was up $335 (and yeah, I still remember…it wasn’t $325 or $350…it was exactly $335). I had just turned 18 and out on summer break between high school and college, so $335 was well over what I earned for an entire two weeks at my part-time job. Naturally I panicked, grabbed my chips, and literally ran to the cashier in order to cash out.
The problem was that I was on an overnight cruise ship; I couldn’t just hop in my car and go home. For almost an hour I paced the deck unsure of what to do, but before you knew it I was right back on the casino floor at a $25 minimum table. That was my 1st mistake. I still remember the first hand at the $25 table as well- A/A with the dealer showing a six. I split them and ended up with A/9 and A/8, and like a fool I doubled them instead of taking the easy money. The problem was that I won both hands for a $200 profit…the dealer busted.
Well, next thing you know I though that I was God’s gift to blackjack; I was betting between $50 and $100 per hand and building a beautiful chip stack. I entered the boat with less than $80 and actually walked away from the $25 table with $3,900; all because the captain called “15 more minutes left of gambling” and I wanted bigger action.
You can imagine what happened next. I started playing for $500 a hand and it was going back and forth; I won one, I lost one. It was the most frustrating fifteen minutes of my life, and ultimately I made the same mistake that all rookies do; I bet the table maximum of $1,000 per hand. This is the part-time kid who doesn’t make $335 in two weeks and I got on the cruise ship with $80; betting like a big boy that had absolutely no common sense.
It turned out that I was extremely fortunate; I lost six hands straight but I did catch blackjack on the very last hand. I walked off of the ship with just over $1,600 but I was also up over $11,000 at one point, and that’s my final three lessons of the day for our readers. Set your limits. Stick to them. Never get stupid.
Trust me, I paid $9,400 to learn those three keys…you’d be smart to learn them now for free.