When it comes to casino gaming, online blackjack has always been one of the most popular, alongside poker, slots and roulette. Also known as ‘21’, blackjack has rules that are easy to learn and fun to play.

Blackjack was traditionally played in land-based casinos, however it has become increasingly popular online over the last couple of decades. Easy access to tech such as tablet and smartphones with 5G internet speeds and great quality graphics has enabled players to experience great casino games wherever and whenever they desire.

Players can choose from a wide range of websites with different variants of the game, or get the real casino experience from the comfort of their own home by playing on a live casino site.

While the rules of the game are fairly simple, being able to compete and win games of online blackjack at a high level requires a certain amount of practice and skill development. Here are four hacks to help you try to get ahead in the game.

Don’t be tempted to split 10’s

When sensing that the dealer’s hand is weak, blackjack players will often split their hands and increase the amount of money they put on the table. However, you should be sure to never split a pair of 10’s, as this is unlikely to be a good decision in the long run.

While player often thinks that splitting 10’s will create two hands with high finishing cards, and they are correct to think so, in reality they already have a very strong hand with 20 and it is unlikely that the dealer is going to be lucky enough to have a better hand than that.

Hold your nerve and keep hold of that 20 and, in most circumstances, it will pay off.

Avoid taking the insurance bet if offered

Some online casinos offering games of blackjack will have an insurance bet deal available to players. This bet is supposed to help offset a player’s losses if they lose and the dealer wins.

While this is a tempting offer when you have a poor hand, in reality the cost of the bet is high and it is unlikely to be worth taking. In the long run, the odds are more in your favour and the price of insurance will only add to your loss.

Always double down if you have an 11

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Doubling down occurs when you receive your first two cards and decide to increase your bet before seeing what the third card is going to be. If your two cards add up to 11 you should always double down as the odds are in your favour.

With 11, it is fairly likely that your next card will be 10 or at least a close number such as an 8 or 9. This will give you a hand that is either 21 or close enough to it to put the game in your favour.

There is, of course, a chance that your third card could be an ace, so you must decide whether you are willing to take a certain amount of risk.

There are a number of other card combinations that you should double down with, if you are looking to improve your blackjack performance, then it is a good idea to research and commit these hands to memory. The more games you play, the better idea you will have on what two cards should trigger you to double down.

Don’t bet your entire bankroll all at once

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One common mistake that new players of blackjack or other casino card games like poker make is to be overconfident and bet their entire bankroll at once. Even worse, some players get carried away and bet more cash than they originally intended to bring to the table.

It is a misconception that after a streak of losses a player must be ‘due a win’. As with all casino games, there is the element of chance in blackjack and even the most skilled players can find themselves making a series of losses.

New players to the game should start with low stakes and slowly increase the size of their bets as their understanding of the game grows. Keep a close eye on the amount of money you are putting on the table, be strict with yourself and stop once you have reached your limit. When playing online, you can often stake lower amounts than you would in a land based casino venue.

These four blackjack hacks are a good starting place for less experienced blackjack players who are hoping to develop into professional players. Playing regularly, learning from pro players and researching hands will help you to develop your own winning blackjack strategy.