Bart's Boozy Blackjack Guide

Want to know how to win at blackjack? Here our American casino expert Bart Calendar gives you a rundown on how to make those casino blackjack sessions work out in your favour!

Here’s something you won’t hear much: blackjack is not a game where the point is to win. In all likelihood, you'll never win very much. But if you play correctly, you won't lose that much either. So, what's the point?

I’ll tell you what the point is: free drinks.

As long as you’re in a casino and you keep playing, the drinks will keep coming. And over the course of the night, you'll get much more in value from the free drinks than you may lose through playing the game.

Trust me. I'm Bart Calendar, the American gambling expert. And with blackjack, you can't lose much.

See, here's the thing. If you play at a $5 table, the odds of losing more than about $10 to $20 and hour are low. It can happen, but it probably won't. And over the course of five hours, you'll probably only lose $30 to $60.

A Jack & Coke is going to cost you at least $8-10 nearly anywhere. So, if you drink one or two of them an hour, you end up roughly even. And remember – you might win a little bit at blackjack, which makes the deal even better.

Blackjack is not a way to make money. It's a lifestyle choice, and a way to get a decent buzz on at a casino without paying a fortune. And it can be a fun way to pass the time - like backdoor cover!

Here are my hints to keep your losses low.

  1. Assume any card you can't see is going have a value of 10. If the dealer has a six card up and a down card, assume she has a 16. If you have a 10 and a four, assume that your next card on a hit is going to be a 10. If the dealer has a five showing, assume she has a 15 and will have to hit and will go over. Then there you are with only a 14, but because you assume the dealer is going to go over 21 and you win automatically.
  2. Never buy insurance. It's just not worth it.
  3. Keep drinking. It's worth it!
  4. Always split aces. Your odds of getting at least one blackjack are fairly high.
  5. Keep drinking. Don't stop now.
  6. If you are feeling adventurous, split those eights. Sometimes I do this; sometimes I don't.
  7. Don't be afraid to sit with a small-value hand if it looks like the dealer is going to go over.
  8. Keep drinking. This is important!
  9. Hold back your extra winnings when you get a blackjack. Don't bet your entire winnings off a blackjack on the next hand. You'll probably lose it.
  10. Walk out of the casino -  when you’ve hit your correct level of pleasantly alcoholic buzz.
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