The Common Characteristics of a Successful Blackjack Player

By in Casino & Gaming on
7 Minute Read

Blackjack is one of the most iconic and popular casino games in existence, and for a good reason.

The game is entertaining, demanding but not unnecessarily complicated, and has some of the best odds in the casino.

While most gamblers should be able to pick up the game with ease, playing it well is a challenge for many. Bettors of lesser skill-sets are often prone to make careless and easily avoidable mistakes.

The gambling pool is full of people with different abilities and winning percentages. That means that at least some people can consistently win money playing blackjack.

Blackjack players who can win a majority of the time often approach the game with similar mindsets. Additionally, many successful players share personality traits and characteristics that lead to profitable gambling.

These characteristics might not come naturally to you, but many are easy to learn and employ while playing blackjack. Here are some of the common characteristics of a solid blackjack player.

1 ‒ What Does “Good” Mean in Blackjack?

When evaluating gamblers’ abilities, it’s essential to define the standards so players know what to emulate.

What makes someone a competent gambler is subjective, meaning that people might disagree about the definition of “good.” When playing real money blackjack, it’s fair to say that anyone whose winning percentage hovers around 50% is a good player.

The house is almost always going to have an edge, and that edge can vary based on several factors. Some casinos use more decks than others; others don’t require dealers to stand on a soft 17.

Whatever the playing conditions are at a particular table, the house edge usually ranges between .5%-3%. The best players in the business are often able to switch those odds into their favor.

But, before you get ahead of yourself, remember that the only way to do this effectively is by counting cards and playing with perfect strategy.

Finally, just because someone might be considered a sharp blackjack player doesn’t guarantee that they’ll win every time. The results at blackjack tables are inconsistent and often out of a gambler’s control.

2 ‒ Complete Confidence in Ability

Any successful gambler needs to be confident in their skills at the table.

That confidence doesn’t magically appear in a gambler’s back pocket overnight. Instead, it comes after investing enough time and energy into learning the game and any necessary strategy.

Luckily for aspiring blackjack players, the rules are simple, and the strategy is straightforward.

The easiest way to improve as a player is by learning every piece of basic strategy there is to know. Unlike other casino games, there is only one strategic approach that needs to be adopted.

Blackjack

Once you pick up basic blackjack strategy and begin implementing it into your game, it’s very likely to see immediate improvement. Playing according to this strategy eliminates the possibility of misplaying hands and committing foolish mistakes.

Smart blackjack players know this strategy inside and out, meaning they are prepared for every type of scenario to unfold. Having the luxury of sitting down at a table with complete confidence in your approach is imperative to successful gambling.

3 ‒ Smart With Money

While it’s not necessarily the most enticing personality trait, being smart with money is arguably the most important characteristic of gamblers. Gambling is, at its core, a risky financial investment that lacks any promises of consistency.

But, that doesn’t mean it should be approached without any direction and discipline. Instead, gamblers should always be aware of the risks and try to limit them if at all possible.

Good blackjack players are typically financially savvy and able to eliminate many potential setbacks and big losses. They are capable of creating a gambling budget that works for their situation and have the discipline to stick to that budget.

Knowing how much money is in their bankroll can influence the way they handle particular games.

For example, if a gambler has a limited bankroll, they’ll need to be conservative if they want to play for a fair amount of time.

Smart blackjack players should always be aware of their current chip count related to where they started. If things are not going their way, it’s common to see a competent bettor slow down and decrease bet sizes.

Additionally, it’s very abnormal to see a consistently profitable blackjack player risk a large amount of money on one hand. They know that the only way to assure a profit at the tables is to maintain consistency from hand to hand.

4 ‒ Able to Get Along With All Types of Gamblers

Gambling at a casino is a social experience that can force one to interact with a wide variety of bettors. Blackjack, in particular, is often one of the most socially active types of casino games.

Sure, it’s possible to ignore other people at the table and opt to focus on the cards instead of small talk. But for the most part, blackjack players enjoy shooting the breeze while they play cards.

I thoroughly enjoy this aspect of the game, as do many. It’s nice to be able to play cards in the company of people with the same interest in gambling.

But, it’s also a little too easy to get caught up in these types of interactions.

Blackjack Table Dealer Hand

Blackjack isn’t the most complicated game, but it still requires consistent attention from players. Quality players can navigate between conversations with other gamblers and dealers while also focusing on the cards in front of them.

A trait that often goes unnoticed is the ability to handle large personalities at the table. These types of people can either be impaired, loud, cocky, and belligerent.

Gamblers who lack in-game experience might find it impossible to play cards with these types of people. But, it’s crucial to your success to be able to overlook the deficiencies of other players and ignore any drama at the table.

5 ‒ Cool Under Pressure

One of the best parts of playing blackjack is the gamesmanship required to manufacture winning hands. If it were up to you, of course, you’d prefer to get dealt a 21 every single hand.

Unfortunately, blackjacks are few and far between. Instead, gamblers have to manage some downright awful hands if they want to win money.

These types of scenarios are prevalent at the blackjack table. They often involve a gambler being dealt a less than favorable hand while the dealer is showing a 10.

Instead of feeling a sense of dread, sharp bettors will shrug it off and attack the hand. Armed with plenty of experience and knowledge, they will frequently pry victory from the jaws of defeat.

Losses are a big part of blackjack, as most players will lose more hands than they’ll win. The difference between making money and coming up empty is the ability to handle adversity.

Crumbling under pressure and failing to rely on strategy makes for a tough time at the tables. Even if the hand you’re dealt isn’t ideal, it’s crucial to stay positive and keep your cool.

6 ‒ Consistent With Decisions

As I said earlier, consistency can often lead to prosperity at the blackjack tables.

With a clearly defined and proven strategy, there’s genuinely no reason to be inconsistent when handling certain in-game situations.
This point might seem somewhat counterintuitive to gamblers who got their start playing other casino games.

Take poker, for example. If someone approached every hand the same way, they’d likely be eaten alive. Poker rewards players for deception and the ability to keep opponents in a perpetual state of uncertainty.

Blackjack does not reward inconsistent play. That necessary consistency extends beyond a strategic approach.

Betting steady amounts on each hand is also a smart play. Flat betting typically helps players keep their emotions in check and avoid disaster.

Losses will happen quite regularly, and the best blackjack players position themselves to overcome them and move on to the next hand.

It might seem appealing to bet a majority of your bankroll on one hand, but it’s tough to bounce back from a significant loss.

Conclusion

What makes someone a good blackjack player might depend on the person you ask. But, for the sake of this argument, it’s anyone who averages around a 50% winning percentage at the table.

Consistently winning half of your hands at the blackjack table must come down to a couple of things.

First, remember that the house edge depends on the table in question. Second, the only way a blackjack player can consistently beat the house is by counting cards successfully and playing perfect strategy.

For those who can’t count cards just yet, there are still certain parts of your game you can improve.

Every blackjack player is different, but those who are successful share similar personality traits. If you adopt some of these traits and implement them into your approach to blackjack, you’ll start reducing the house’s edge.

Confidence in your ability, together with financial responsibility, are two of the most important commonalities. An easy way to increase confidence is learning basic strategy and applying it when facing predicaments and tough hands.

Seeing as blackjack is often a social experience, it’s always important to be able to handle all types of people. That usually means tuning out obnoxious distractions and making the cards in your hand the top priority.

Finally, maintaining consistency and staying calm under pressure will serve any gambler well. The decisions you make in the face of adversity can often be the difference between success and failure.

Michael Stevens

Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...

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