Top 50 Blackjack Tips for Irish Players

James Smith
July 13, 2020
Modified: February 13, 2024
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If you’re looking to sharpen your blackjack skills and increase your odds of beating the dealer the next time you play blackjack, you can find all the best blackjack tips and tricks summarised in one guide.

Although blackjack is largely a game of chance, you do need a good blackjack strategy and the right skills to have a good chance of winning. We’ll start with some basic tips for blackjack ideal for beginners and move on to more advanced blackjack tips.

Blackjack Beginner Tips

1️⃣ Become a Basic Blackjack Strategy Master

One of the best blackjack tips for beginners is to learn basic blackjack strategy. Mastering basic strategy will ensure you avoid making some of the most common mistakes beginners make when playing their hand. You can use a blackjack basic strategy chart to guide you.

2️⃣ 6:5 Blackjack Games Are Not a Good Option

A 6:5 blackjack table pays 6:5 for a blackjack rather than 3:2, which is considered the standard blackjack payout. A 3:2 payout equals 1.5x your stake, while 6:5 tables pay 1.2x. If you get blackjack, this will significantly affect your payout, so you should avoid 6:5 tables.

3️⃣ Pay Attention to the Blackjack Table Rules

One of our top tips on how to play blackjack is to check the table rules carefully before taking a seat. If you can, choose a table where the dealer must stand on a hand of soft 17, the surrender option is offered, and doubling down after splitting is allowed.

4️⃣ Low Stakes Tables Are Not Equal to Smaller Losses

There’s a misconception that playing blackjack with low stakes means you lose less over time, but this isn’t always true. You can avoid big losses in a short time by playing with small stakes. However, it’s still possible to incur significant losses when playing this way.

5️⃣ Understand the House Edge

The house edge refers to the casino’s advantage in the game. Blackjack has a statistical house edge of around 2%, but with perfect basic strategy, it can be reduced to about 0.5%. It can vary depending on the blackjack variant and the number of decks used.

blackjack tips for beginners

6️⃣ 5 or 6 in the Dealer’s Hand Does Not Mean He Will Bust

If the dealer’s upcard is a five or a six, they can make a good hand and might not bust. If you have anything from 12 to a 17, you should stand, but if you’re holding anything between a nine and 11, you should double against a dealer’s four or five.

7️⃣ Do Not Stand on a ‘Soft 17’

Next in our tips for playing blackjack is about playing a soft 17. Although the dealer typically stands on this hand, you should hit or double if the dealer’s card is between three and seven. You can consider standing if the dealer has a two, seven, or eight.

8️⃣ Overusing the ‘Surrender’ Option is a Bad Tactic

The above casino blackjack tips stated that you should always choose a blackjack table which allows surrendering. However, avoid overusing it because you’ll forfeit half your initial bet every time. The two worst hands you should choose this option for are a hard 15 and 16.

9️⃣ Get to Know the Blackjack Table Gestures

This is a tip on playing blackjack in a land-based casino. Learning some basic hand movements will help you communicate effectively with the dealer without speaking up every time. You’ll also avoid slowing down the game or confusing other players by knowing the correct gestures.

🔟 Do Not Place Side Bets

One of the most common tips on playing blackjack is to avoid side bets. This includes the insurance bet, which many beginners are tempted to take when the dealer shows an Ace. However, blackjack side bets, including the insurance bet, have very low winning odds.

🎁 Bonus Tip: Do Not Double 4s

Here’s a bonus tip to wrap up our blackjack beginner tips: never double a pair of fours. The best way to play this pair is to hit and take another card. The only exception is when the dealer shows a five or a six, in which case you should split.

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Advanced Blackjack Tips

1️⃣ Try to Decrease the House Advantage

Blackjack is both luck and skill, so you can reduce the house edge slightly with the right strategy. Basic strategy is the best one because it can reduce the house edge from 2% to 0.5%. Playing without it will give the casino a bigger advantage.

2️⃣ Create Your Own Betting Strategy

You can use many betting strategies in a blackjack game, and it’s important to select the right one by understanding the bankroll required to follow it. With considerable experience in online blackjack, you should also be able to develop your own betting strategy.

3️⃣ Take Time to Learn How to Count Cards

Card counting is a common suggestion in most tips on blackjack, although it may not be suitable for everyone. Besides being a rather complicated method of playing blackjack, it’s not very effective at an online casino because these machines make it difficult to keep an accurate running count.

4️⃣ Find the Best Blackjack Variant for You

Choosing the right blackjack variant is an important blackjack tip for advanced players. Different blackjack games offer rule deviations, additional bets, different house edges, and possibly different payouts for specific hands. Read the rules of each variant carefully, check the paytable, and try it out in free mode before deciding.

5️⃣ Raise Your Bets at the Right Time

As an experienced blackjack player, you can start experimenting with raising your bet throughout the game. This will give you a chance to get bigger wins, although it’s always risky since you don’t know what cards you’ll get. Many blackjack players use a betting system to size their bet.

blackjack tips for advanced players

6️⃣ Learn the Shuffle Tracking Concept

Shuffle tracking is one of the tips for casino blackjack that some players try to apply in real-life blackjack. It involves observing how the cards are placed in the tray and shuffled. It’s a difficult skill to learn, so in the end, it may not be worth the time it takes to learn it.

7️⃣ You Can Also Bet on Another Player’s Hand

The Blackjack Bet Behind option is also something you can consider, especially if you’re waiting for an open seat at the table. This involves betting on another player’s bet while waiting to join the game. Naturally, it should be a player you’ve observed making the right decisions in the game.

8️⃣ Always Keep the Odds in Your Mind

To master the game, you must understand game odds, payouts, and how the two are related. You can find the odds of busting for each blackjack hand you can get. The dealer’s odds should also be considered because you’ll need to use them to decide how to play your hand.

9️⃣ Never Go All-In When Playing Blackjack

Although raising your bet can be a good strategy, betting more than you intended to go all-in and hoping for a big win. Unless you’ve nearly used up your bankroll and have no choice but to use your remaining funds, you should stick to your betting system.

🔟 Observe the Dealer’s Behaviour

Some live blackjack tips suggest observing the dealer and watching for ‘tells’ in live or physical blackjack games. This involves looking for signs that might give you clues to what their hole card is, although most croupiers are highly trained and show no obvious tells.

🎁 Bonus Tip: Avoid Progressive Blackjack Strategies

Betting strategies have been mentioned in multiple casino blackjack tips and tricks, but here’s the bonus tip: be careful with progressive betting systems. These are very risky because they require you to double your bet on a win or loss, causing you to use up your bankroll quickly.

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Tips for Blackjack Hands

1️⃣ 10s Must Not Be Split

A pair of 10s should never be split. This is one of the few instances where the dealer’s upcard doesn’t need to be considered because you’ll already have one of the strongest hands. With the obvious exception of a blackjack (21), a hand of 20 should be played as is.

2️⃣ Never Split 5s

A pair of 5s should never be split either, but the best move is to double down instead of standing. With a hand value of 10, you can’t bust by taking another card, and there’s a good chance of forming a strong hand if you get a high-value card.

3️⃣ Split Aces

On the other hand, Aces should always be split in blackjack. This is one of the best starting hands you can get in the game, so you should make the most of it by splitting because you’re likely to form at least one very good hand by doing so.

4️⃣ Split a Hand of 6s

Two 6s should be split if the dealer has a low card (between two and six) because 12 isn’t a strong hand to compete against the dealer. If the dealer has anything higher than a six, the best way to play your hand is to hit.

5️⃣ Split 7s

The same applies to a pair of 7s, which give you a starting hand of 14. This is also a weak starting hand, so you’re better off splitting if the dealer has anything from a two to a seven. You’ll likely form at least one stronger hand by doing so.

tips on how to play your blackjack hands

6️⃣ Split a Hand of 8s

The most important blackjack tip regarding splitting is when you have a pair of Aces or eights. Two eights should always be split because, as a pair, they give you a hard 16. This is the weakest hand in the game and should be split regardless of what the dealer shows.

7️⃣ Split 9s

With a pair of 9s, you should split the pair if the dealer has a low card or if they have an eight or a nine. In other cases, you should stand. Although 18 isn’t a bad hand, you’re unlikely to beat the dealer if they have a high card.

8️⃣ Soft Hands Gameplay

A crucial blackjack tip that should always be remembered is that soft and hard hands should always be played differently. A soft hand comprises an Ace and another card, giving you much more flexibility in how you play it because the Ace can have a value of one or 11.

9️⃣ Hard Hands Gameplay

A hard hand doesn’t contain an Ace, meaning the value of the hand is fixed. It’s best to stand on a 12 or higher if the dealer’s card is between two and six and hit if it’s seven or higher. Always stand on a hard 17 or higher.

🔟 Be Careful When You Double Down

Be careful not to overuse the double-down option; you should only double down on specific player-dealer card combinations, and it shouldn’t be used instead of hitting.  An example of a hand to double on is a soft 13 or 14 against the dealer’s five or six.

🎁 Bonus Tip: Pay Attention on What You ‘Stand’

Standing seems the safest option because it eliminates the risk of busting, but be careful not to get too comfortable with it. Generally, you should only stand on 17 or higher. However, it’s best to use a basic strategy chart if you’re unsure about standing.

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Table Blackjack Tips and Tricks

1️⃣ Choose 3:2 Tables

One of the best tips for blackjack tables is to choose one which pays 3:2 for a blackjack. The 6:5 blackjack table is fairly uncommon at most online casinos, but you may find them at some casinos in Ireland.

2️⃣ Be Informed About the Bet Limits

Always check the betting limits before joining a table, especially if you intend to use a betting system. The bet limits indicate the minimum and maximum bets you can place on the table. You should always choose a table with bet limits suitable for your bankroll.

3️⃣ Check the Table Rules

Besides checking the betting limits, read the table rules carefully. Look for tables with rules like early surrender, double down after splitting, and dealer standing on soft 17 to ensure you’re playing with the best odds. Rules vary from one blackjack variant to another, so don’t rush into a game.

4️⃣ Stay Away from Tables With Continuous Shuffling

Online and live casino blackjack games use continuous shuffling machines, making it difficult to keep track of cards. If you’re playing in a real casino, you can find tables which use a mechanic shuffler instead.

5️⃣ Double Down Option is a Must-Have

Related to the tip above about checking the table rules, one of the most important rules to check for is the double down option. Pick tables that allow you to double down on all hands and avoid the ones that limit what you can double on.

tips oh how to choose a blackjack table

6️⃣ Always Check the Dealer’s Upcard

The dealer’s upcard should always be considered when deciding what to do with your cards. There are few instances where you can choose without factoring in what the dealer is showing. For example, if you have a hard 17, it’s obvious you should stand regardless of the dealer’s card.

7️⃣ Pick the Best Possible Live Dealer

This tip applies solely to live casino blackjack because it’s the only game where you can choose live dealers. Although the live dealer cannot influence the game in any way, you can still pick a live dealer whose style and presence you enjoy to make the experience more fun.

8️⃣ Master the Blackjack Etiquette

If you want to play blackjack in a brick-and-mortar casino in Ireland, learn the correct blackjack etiquette before sitting at the table. This includes knowing the proper gestures, how to stack your chips properly, how cards should be handled, possibly tipping the dealer, etc.

9️⃣ Avoid the First Base Seat

Your position on the blackjack table is very important in the game. The player in the first base seat must act first, so they must make the quickest decision, whereas the rest have more time to evaluate their cards and decide what to do next.

🔟 Choose a Table with Less Decks

The last tip to remember when choosing a blackjack table is the number of decks used. Some games use a single deck, while others use multiple ones, sometimes as many as eight decks. It’s better to choose games with fewer decks as long as the rules are the same.

🎁 Bonus Tip: Keep in Mind the Number of Players

Another pro tip for your next blackjack game is to choose tables that take up to seven players or less. With fewer players around the table, it’s easier to keep track of the cards dealt and the ones remaining in the deck (if you want to try counting cards).

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Tips on Blackjack Bankroll Management

1️⃣ Make a Separate Bankroll Only for Playing

Before you play blackjack or any casino game at an online casino in Ireland, you’ll need to create a separate bankroll with money you can use for online gambling. Think carefully about your bankroll and ensure it’s an amount you can afford to lose – remember, winning is never guaranteed.

2️⃣ Set a Budget & Stick to It

Once you’ve set aside a gambling bankroll, create a budget for each blackjack game. It should be a fixed amount that you stick to, no matter the game’s result. More importantly, avoid the temptation of adding more money when you’ve nearly used the funds set aside.

3️⃣ Free Rewards Are Not Always Worth It

Casino bonuses and rewards are always tempting, but they’re not always worth taking. Remember to read the terms and conditions carefully before rushing into claiming a bonus because, in some cases, you may realise the wagering requirements are so high the bonus isn’t worth taking.

4️⃣ Right Move Over Bet Size

You should always focus on playing your hand right, regardless of the bet size required. Sometimes, it’s necessary to take risks in blackjack rather than playing safe to avoid the risk of busting. If you follow a basic strategy chart, stay consistent with the right decisions.

5️⃣ Study the Betting Units Working

Although it’s crucial to make the right moves, as explained above, you’ll need the right bankroll to do so properly. That’s why you need to understand how to split your bankroll into small betting units, giving you room to increase or double your stake when needed.

bankroll management tips for blackjack players

6️⃣ Risk of Ruin System Functioning

The risk of ruin system is another way of managing your bankroll. Instead of using betting units to make betting decisions, you calculate the probability of losing and use this to figure out how large your bankroll should be. In short, it’s the riskier version of using betting units to size bets.

7️⃣ Spread Your Bankroll

Whether you choose betting units or the risk of ruin system, it’s very important to distribute your bankroll over several bets. Spending your entire game budget in one or a few game sessions is risky because you’ll probably end up with nothing in a very short time.

8️⃣ Pressure Must Not Rule You

Don’t let pressure get to you in blackjack. The prospect of winning money and the risk of losing it create an exciting environment in the game, but remember that at the end of the day, you’re playing for fun. Never risk enough to get nervous and make bad decisions.

9️⃣ Do Not Try to Make Up for Your Losses

Your blackjack skills can only take you so far in the game, so you can expect to win and lose some. Whenever the dealer beats you, it’s important to accept the loss and move on. Don’t try to make up for losses because you can lose even more.

🔟 Other Players Are Not of Your Concern

Blackjack isn’t a game where you should be concerned about the other players at the table. So, don’t get distracted by anyone around you and focus only on the dealer and your cards. Remember, your goal is to beat the dealer, not the players.

🎁 Bonus Tip: Your Emotions Must Not Rule Your Gameplay

Gambling should never be an emotional matter. If you find yourself frustrated over losses or nervous about the game’s results, it’s better to step back and take a break from the game. Your feelings should never influence the decisions made in the game.

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Frequently Asked Questions

❓ When Should I Stand?

You should always stand if you have anything from a soft 12 to a soft 16. For any other hand, you should check the dealer’s upcard before deciding.

❔ When Should I Double Down?

Doubling down also depends on what the dealer has, but most blackjack tips to win suggest doubling on a total of nine to 11 for hard hands.

❓ When Is the Right Time to Raise Your Blackjack Bet?

If you’re using a card counting strategy, you should raise if you know several high value cards are left in the deck. Without card counting, it’s up to you when to change your bet.

❔ How to Manage My Bankroll When Playing Blackjack?

The best way to manage your bankroll is to allocate a reasonable gambling budget that can be split into several betting units. Once you’ve reached your limit, it’s important to quit the game.

❓ Can I Decrease the House Advantage in Blackjack?

Yes. The house advantage can be decreased slightly using basic blackjack strategy, but it can’t be eliminated. The casino will always have a small advantage.

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James Smith

At the age of 28, James, an expert in technology and video gaming with a passion for online casinos, pursued studies in Creative Writing and Media Studies at the University of London. As an active contributor to the Gizmodo Twitter account, his goal is to share his knowledge of video game culture and technological advancements with you, the readers.