You’ve heard of professional gamblers. They aren’t exactly common, but there are quite a few people that actually do make a living with gambling. Some play poker, while others are good enough at betting on sports to actually make a living out of it.
Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games there is. You will find no shortage of blackjack tables at just about any casino you visit. As is the case with any casino game, there are some urban legends about blackjack that have persisted over the years. You can find some of those myths here, where BestUSCasinos.org talks about blackjack lies that have made their way into the mainstream.
The fact that you can actually play blackjack for a living is not one of those fairy tales, however. While it’s not true for most, some people are good enough to get by on blackjack winnings. It takes plenty of practice, of course, but anything is possible. How would you go about playing blackjack for a living? Let’s get into it.
Learn the Rules
This should go without saying. You obviously can’t play blackjack as a job without knowing every little detail about the intricacies of the game. Some will tell you that the object of the game is to get to 21, but that’s not the case. While getting 21 gives you an automatic win, all you really have to do is get closer to 21 than the dealer. So, while getting to 21 is nice, it’s not a must. You can win with a 12 or a 13 if you’re really smart about your strategy.
Mastering the basic strategy of the game is a smart approach. The strategy says you should take a card based on what the dealer’s card is showing. Some dealers will even guide you along if you’re new the game and not sure what you’re doing yet.
The most important rule for any gambler is to know your limits. Going all-in obviously comes with plenty of upside, but the downside is very real, too. You have to be okay with losing a certain amount if the breaks don’t go your way. That’s just the nature of gambling, regardless of whether you’re playing blackjack, poker or any other casino game.
Chasing your losses and doubling down is probably the worst thing you can do. That’s a good way to see your bankroll dwindle quickly. Knowing your limits and setting a daily bankroll for yourself will help you avoid going broke instantly. That way, you can ration your wagers in a way that will keep you from busting right out of the gate.
Once you’ve hit your limit, it’s time to leave the table. You should set a baseline for the amount you’re willing to lose, as well as a limit for how much you want to win. Once you hit either limit, get up and take a break from playing. Discipline is an incredibly underrated skill when it comes to gambling professionally or recreationally.
Don’t Drink and Play
This is a rule that applies to any casino game. You can always imbibe a little if you’re just playing for fun, but if you have aspirations of playing competitively, abstaining from drinking alcohol while you play is probably wise. You want to have your mind as clear as possible so that you can think your way through your next move. The last thing you want to do is potentially risk your winnings by making a rash decision because you’re a little tipsy at the table.
Reject the Insurance
When the dealer’s exposed card is an ace, he or she will offer insurance to other players in case the dealer winds up getting 21. The insurance is effectively a side bet that gets treated independently of the primary wager. The insurance pays 2-1, and it is supposed to “protect” other players in the event that the dealer’s other card is a 10, which would result in blackjack.
The likelihood that the dealer’s other card is a 10 is highly unlikely, of course, so it’s not worth it for the bettor to take the insurance just in case. It’s better to just lose the original hand than to potentially risk losing more by taking the insurance.
Don’t Worry About Other Players
You have to beat the dealer. It doesn’t matter what other players are doing. If you beat the dealer, you win. Sometimes others at the same table can be distracting, but part of what it takes to become a professional blackjack player is ignoring the noise around you. Just focus on your hand, because that’s the only thing in your control. Whatever else happens, happens.
If you have the right amount of discipline, proper bankroll management and a sound strategy that you’re not willing to stray from, it is possible to make a living playing blackjack. The best part is that you no longer have to live in a casino town in order to do so. The advent of the internet has made it so that you can become a wealthy blackjack player from the comfort of your own home.