How To Win At Blackjack In Las Vegas

How to win at blackjack in Las Vegas.

Every gambler has their own system for winning and this article gives just a few suggestions for winning at the blackjack tables in Las Vegas.

Limit the Number of Players at Your Table

Even though part of the excitement of Las Vegas is to rub elbows with other guests, serious gamblers know to limit the competition. The fewer players, the less chance other players will take your ace. The best time for limited action is around 3:00-4:00 in the morning. Take a nap and play one-on-one with the dealer. The best chance to win is to sit down when the dealer arrives with the tray of chips.

Learn to Split

Split two of the same cards up to double eights. Anything above eights is a probable winner, so leave the doubles of the higher numbered cards alone. Some gamblers who enjoy a real risk, and are sure the deck is rich with face cards and aces will split two face cards, but this is not a usual practice. When you split doubles, it is the same as playing two separate hands, so you'll need to place an additional bet on the new hand. Casinos will let you play each as you would if you had become a new player at the table. New cards will be dealt until the player tells the dealer to "hold" any new cards. Then the deal moves on to the second hand with the same process.

Learn to Double Down

When you have two aces, it is best to double down. The bet to double down is the term used to describe an additional bet that needs to be placed for the hand. The cards are hidden and an extra bet is placed while the player tells the dealer they want to "Double Down." The dealer then places one card face up or face down on the table. The player cannot draw any additional cards. You are making the bet on that one card. This bet is not for the faint of heart!

Some casinos require that the cards to be doubled down must be turned face up to the dealer; other casinos allow the cards to be kept secret. Since blackjack is played against the dealer, and not against other players, there isn't a difference if the doubled down cards are exposed or left hidden. It also does not matter if the dealer sees the players' cards, since the dealer must stay on a certain number or above, and must draw on a certain number and below. There is not an option for discretion for the dealer.

The advantage of the double down is that two aces can be a blackjack winner on one face card or a ten of any suit. This is not a play that you will use often, but it is excellent to have up your sleeve.

Avoid Insurance

"Insurance?" is the question asked by the dealer when an ace is drawn in the dealer's hand. This is a sucker bet. If the dealer is using only one deck, then the player has four chances out of the entire deck to be protected from the dealer drawing 21. Those are not the kind of odds that require insurance. Chances are your blackjack dealer is going to get something other than an ace, so save the money you would place on your insurance bet.

If you are playing blackjack alone with the dealer, and you have not seen any aces drawn, then insurance might be something you want to consider. In any other situation, the house is going to take your insurance money.

Once the blackjack dealer asks if anyone wants insurance and players put down their money, the dealer will look at the cards to determine if they have a blackjack (or 21).

One Deck to a Shoe

The "shoe" is the name of the plastic or wooden box the dealer uses at the table to draw the cards. The idea behind the device is to limit dealing from the middle or bottom of the deck, since technically; the dealer pulls the card down the slide and places the card in front of each player. Most shoes hold more than one deck. The more card decks in the shoe, the less chance the player can remember the number of face cards still in the shoe. Find the casinos with the smallest number of decks in the shoe and you'll find the best odds for your blackjack game. Historically, the downtown area of Las Vegas uses the fewest decks in the shoe. The Las Vegas Strip uses the largest number of decks.

Count Face Cards

This tip is fairly easy, but few blackjack players count face cards. Face cards are the cards that show kings, queens, and jacks. Add the four ten cards and you will be able to tell how "rich" the deck remains. If you see most of the face cards used in hands the first deal from the shoe, move to another table. In order to master counting face cards, it is best to sit at a table when the cards are shuffled. You can then begin to count, knowing that you haven't missed any cards that were played before your arrival. One difficulty using this tip is that some players fold their cards without showing their hands.


Bet big when the shoe is rich. Leave the table when the shoe has played all of the face cards. The dealer is paid to deal whether the table has one player or a full table, so do not feel obligated to continue to play when you are winning. If the deck is not to your advantage, move to a new table. There are plenty of blackjack tables in Las Vegas. Many may have your name on them!

Be Alert

Avoid drinking and playing blackjack. If you go to Las Vegas to have fun and have a few drinks, avoid playing blackjack into the night. The more you drink, the more chance of missing the face cards that are drawn, and the less chance you'll be able to see the splitting and doubling down opportunities. If you want to drink, best to play a game that requires little concentration. Try the slots! The slots are an excellent way to enjoy yourself in Las Vegas with a group of friends.

Tip the Dealer When you Win Big

Timing is everything in Las Vegas. It is important to take time to think about the odds and your options for each hand. If the dealer is fast, which the casino likes, the cards will be drawn quickly and the dealer will prompt the player by asking, "Hit?" (This is the Vegas way of asking if you want another card). With a little of bit of extra time, the player can determine the best odds for the hand. When you win big, tip the dealer and a little extra time may come your way to make the tough decisions on odds. Some longtime Vegas blackjack players think tipping the dealer is good luck for future hands.

No odds are available on future luck, however!

Every casino in Las Vegas has blackjack and by following just a few suggestions you can soon be stacking up your winning chips.

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