BY CAROL TREHEARN: Blackjack is a game of skill in real life, and that transfers over into video games such as Red Dead Redemption 2. Champions often dedicate a significant amount of time into developing their strategies. If you want to improve your chances at winning in Red Dead Redemption 2, other video games, or just in real life, these five tips are a great starting point.
1. KNOW THE RULES
Unlike poker, the game of blackjack is played against the dealer rather than the other players. The aim is to reach 21 or bust the dealer. The rules of each venue may differ slightly, so it is recommended you familiarize yourself before playing. You should also know the etiquette of the blackjack table. Once you start playing, start with low wagers until you become confident about the rules.
Even the type of blackjack may vary with Super Fun 21 and Progressive Blackjack just two of the more common variations. Red Dead Redemption 2’s version will vary from versions found in other games.
2. LEARN TO COUNT CARDS
Counting cards can be difficult if there are multiple decks (or when playing in a video game, which, well, you will be), but keeping track of what cards have been dealt could give you a better indication of what is to come next. This might be easier when there are multiple players, as more options are laid out on the table.
Over time, this will become second nature, but while you are still learning you can watch blackjack tournaments featuring some of the world’s best players and see if you can follow along. Either that, or strap in and prepare to lose a few games in Red Dead Redemption 2 as you try to get your head around it – the perseverance will be worth it.
3. PRACTICE ONLINE
You know the saying “practice makes perfect”, and this is especially true for this skill-based game. If you’re looking to get a head start while not playing Red Dead Redemption 2, you can start by playing blackjack online games to boost your confidence without the added pressure of a face-to-face competition. The main difference is the deck might be shuffled between hands when playing online blackjack.
4. HAVE A STRATEGY
Having a strategy could increase the odds of winning. For example, a large number of pro blackjack players will refuse the insurance option, preferring to let the game play out. Once you have learned how to count cards, you may need to alter your strategy slightly to account for the number of game players.
You should always stand if your deck has a total of over 17. Anything below this can be hard to predict, but there are a few unwritten rules. For example, if the dealer is showing a 7, 8, 9, 10 or Ace and your hand has a total of 8, 12, 13, 14, 15 or 16, you should hit.
5. KEEP A CLEAR HEAD
While blackjack does have an element of luck, it is also a casino game based on skill and strategy. To become a pro player you will need to control your actions and calculate every move. Alcohol can inhibit your decision-making skills and can lead you to become overconfident when faced with potentially losing hands. This matters less in video games, but it’s an important lesson to remember when you’re playing in real life – don’t get carried away like you would with a gamepad in your hand.
If you find it difficult to keep calm in a fast-paced game, try to give yourself a moment to breathe before making a play. Don’t be afraid to step away if you are on a losing streak, as this can lead to desperation as you try to recoup your money.
Blackjack is a game that anyone can master with some dedication and the right strategies. When you are clear on the rules and can predict what may come next, you will be in a better position to beat the dealer.
And, if all else fails, there’s moonshine, right?