Of course, yes, there are many professional blackjack players worldwide. They have proven innovative and make a living playing blackjack online and at land-based casinos. Thanks to the internet, it is easier to become a pro player in blackjack.
Many newbies to blackjack often ask whether they can make a living from playing blackjack. Blackjack is a favorite card game to many casino enthusiasts. The appealing thing about this casino game is the skill element. Players can learn various techniques to move odds in their favor to win big payouts.
Nevertheless, becoming a pro-blackjack player requires more than mastering the skills. One must be ready to sacrifice a reasonable amount of time, be committed, have solid money management skills, and be lucky to outsmart opponents in blackjack.
This article provides insight into what you must have to be considered a professional blackjack player and much more.
How To Become A Professional Blackjack Player
So you now want to play blackjack like a pro? We have provided everything you need to start making a living playing blackjack. Below are significant steps to follow;
Learn The Game Basics
The first mistake made by many blackjack players is starting to play without knowing the rules and other essentials of the game. Blackjack is not like any other game of chance you can play without skills. There are many basics of the game you must take the time to understand before venturing into blackjack. You play against a real human dealer in land-based casinos, but online blackjack games are based on Random Number Generator (RNG) software.
At the beginning of the game, players are dealt two cards facing up, and the dealer receives two cards - one facing up and another one facing down. The objective is forming a hand close or equal to 21. If you get a hand that exceeds 21, you burst. It's equally important to know the different moves you can make, such as hit, double down, stand, surrender, and insurance.
Master Basic Strategy
While luck is essential in any blackjack game, your success highly depends on your strategy. Remember, online casinos offer different blackjack variants in free mode and real money. Take your time to learn the rules of each game and create a strategy that will lower the house edge in your favor. There are blackjack systems designed to move the odds in favor of the player. Please note that these strategies work differently depending on the blackjack game you are playing.
Know How To Count Cards
Once you have mastered the basic strategy, you need to proceed to learn how card counting works. Unlike other casino games, blackjack has a small house edge. However, turning this low edge in your favor is a bit challenging, especially if you are a beginner. With card counting, you must predict the cards that are drawn, which requires skills and a solid strategy.
You must keep track of all cards that have already been played. The good thing is that you can follow a standard system that assigns numerical values to cards to help you to count cards. Blackjack is a challenging game, and you should not expect to win from the beginning. So we recommend you start with low-stake games when you are still mastering card counting. In addition, the number of decks in a game affects card counting; that's why we recommend single deck blackjack to our card counters. Most blackjack enthusiasts expect card counting to guarantee 100% results, but that's not the case. In the end, your winnings are based on how lucky you are.
However, you should understand that counting cards is against most casino rules, and you risk being kicked out of the game if found using it.
Time And Money Management Skills
Time and money management are the most overlooked skills by most blackjack enthusiasts in the US and globally. You must be careful; otherwise, you will go broke within no time. Before you start playing any game, you must adjust the bet size based on your bankroll. You must check your bankroll and decide how much you wish to bet per hand. Also, check your availability and choose how much time you want to spend per game session. If you play within your timeframe and budget, you are sure of benefiting in the long run. Once your bankroll has increased, you can boost your stakes to stand a chance of getting big wins. However, this is not a one-night thing; it's a process that requires you to be consistent. Otherwise, you can spend long hours and money playing blackjack with no profit.
Make The Right Decision
The online gambling industry has a host of options when it comes to the variety of blackjack games and platforms. You must know what you want and the best way to get it. The best way to learn is by reading reviews and researching the game or casino you wish to use. Make sure you pick a casino with huge bonuses and promotions and different variants of blackjack tables. Also, choose a blackjack game you want to stick to to understand the rules and any other features that it may have. The best way to get a good game is by trying the different variations in free mode before betting with real money. The most popular blackjack variations you can check out include Blackjack Switch, Pontoon, European Blackjack, and many others.
Understand Doctor Pepper Rule
One of the most common rules that blackjack players follow is known as the Doctor Pepper Rule. With this rule, you hit a hand of 12 comprising of 10 and 2 if the dealer's face card is 4, or you can stand for any other hand of 12 for any of the dealer's face cards. Though this rule may work, there are four sets that form a 12-hand, i.e., 7 and 5, 8 and 4, 9 and 3, and 10 and 2. In this case, with a hand of 10 and 2, the chances of landing another 10 drops slightly, and the probability of winning increases by 40%. Keep in mind that with any other hands, the chances of getting 10 increases, and your odds of winning drops.
Apply The 45 Rule
The way you play will vary based on a number of factors, including the cards being used and those that form a winning hand. For instance, if you have a hand of 16 and the dealer's face card is a jack, your best move will be to hit. However, if you have a hand with 3 or more cards, the best option will be to stand because the odds of bursting are higher. The 45 rule can not apply in such situations as it is designed to be applied only when the dealer's face card is a 10.
How Much Do Professional Blackjack Players Earn?
The amount every pro blackjack player earns depends on various factors, including bankroll, skills, number of hands, table limits, the strategy used, and many others. Lucky professional players have made up to $150,000 or more per year. Before you start playing at blackjack tables, you should understand that it is not for the faint-hearted. Being a gambling game, you are not guaranteed a monthly salary. Playing at an online casino is more fun because you benefit from different bonuses to boost your bankroll. The truth is you must invest your everything and dedicate enough time to make a living playing blackjack.
Blackjack Tips From Professional Players
Over the years, many pro-blackjack players have shared secrets and tips they have been using to beat blackjack. We have collected these tips to help you as you aspire to become a pro player:
- Find the right table limit that matches your bankroll, whether you are playing online or in a land-based casino. If your budget is small, we recommend starting with low-limit tables.
- Play blackjack games with fewer decks as you can lower the house edge with card counting and strategies. Games with many decks are hard-to-count cards.
- Get a blackjack table game you are comfortable with. This will help you to stay relaxed and boost your chances of winning.
- Choose online casinos with lucrative bonuses for new players and regular promotions for existing customers. Also, they should consider multiple blackjack variations.
- Find tables with player-friendly rules, like soft 17 and surrender.
- Avoid alcohol while playing blackjack. Professional players avoid using drugs and substances that may interfere with their right judgment and decisions.
- Manage your money properly. Don't increase your stakes just because you have won once. Stay calm and remain faithful to your strategy.
- Never involve emotions in your game. Wins won't come instantly, trust your guts and continue trying your luck.
Successful Professional Blackjack Players
There have been many successful pro players in the history of blackjack. Though the winners are not widely televised like in poker, they exist. These individuals have made an impact on the lives of many aspiring players with their inspiring stories.
At the top of the list of successful players, we have Don Johnson. He is the founder of Heritage Development company. John's name will remain in the records of Las Vegas casino for winning $15 million within 6 months.
Another iconic professional blackjack player is Josh Axelrad, well known for his card counting techniques. He was part of a blackjack team that won hundreds of thousands in Las Vegas back in the 90s and early 2000.
Last but not least, we have the MIT Blackjack Team, which was made up of ex-students and students from top universities like Havard, MIT, and many others. This blackjack team used card counting and improved other strategies to beat casinos, which they succeeded. Additionally, the MIT Blackjack Team used ace tracking to gain 2% over the house. The team was led by Bill Kaplan and made a lot of money with their strategies. However, most team members were banned in the late 90s and early 2000s, but they had already left a mark.