The Advanced Blackjack Guide

Welcome to the Ladbrokes Advanced Blackjack Guide! The chances are that if you're here you've already read our 21 tips on how to play blackjack and you're looking to take your game to the next level.

This guide is designed to help intermediate level players step up their game. If you haven't had the chance to try your hand at a game of blackjack in a while, make sure you take a moment to warm up over at the Ladbrokes Blackjack Academy. Once you're up to speed and ready to press on, check out our handy new infographic below.

Advanced Blackjack Guide

Blackjack is without a doubt the most popular card game in the world. This is because unlike most other casino games, blackjack is a game of luck in which skill plays a big part in how much (and how often) you win. The low house edge obviously doesn't hurt either. Just remember that no matter how good you get at finding Faces and Aces, the bottom line always comes down to the luck of the draw.

Read my hands

Blackjack, unlike other card games like poker, is played against the dealer. This means that, again unlike poker, you don't need to worry about concealing information with each play. Everyone can see your cards as it is, so the signals you're sending other players about how you're betting are completely inconsequential.

Instead, the signals you need to worry about in blackjack are the signals you're sending the dealer. Watch what you're doing with your hands – if you beckon the waiter and the dealer things you're asking for a card, you're stuck with that card. Likewise if you want to brush some hair off the table, make sure you don't accidentally tell the dealer that you're ready to stand. These rookie errors are the kind that help you lose bets.

There is a second upside to learning these hand signals – being able to non-verbally communicate with the dealer lets you play blackjack with a level of cool confidence that makes you look and feel like an absolute pro.


Anyone who has spent any real time playing blackjack at the casino will know that certain people prefer certain seats. For some this is superstition, for others it's a case of genuinely believing that their position will affect the outcome. Believe it or not, unless you're a true pro, the position you choose will almost always make zero difference to your chances of winning.

That being said, there is a very good reason why most high level players choose to sit in third base when given the choice. Not only does this position allow you to see the cards that come before, helping you gauge your likelihood of drawing a 10-value card, it gives you valuable extra seconds to help make the best possible decision about how you want to play your hand.

side bets

If you've kept up until now, it's time to look at some of the more complicated ways you can play blackjack. Side betting is both a way you can bet on a game you're not playing and a way in which you can make your blackjack a little more like poker – just for the extra thrill of another bet.

21+3 is the most common side bet that you're likely to come across – this is basically a minigame where you bet on the hand that will be dealt, trying to land a hand that would mean something in a game of poker. A Flush, a Straight and a 3 of a Kind can all land you up to 9:1 on your side bet.

For those of you looking to get in on the action without sitting down at the table, there is always the option of Back Betting. This is where you bet on the cards that a certain person is going to get – just be aware that you cannot influence their decision, you're simply betting on the outcome as a bystander.

advanced blackjack terms

Last but not least, we have a few more words and terms you may come across when playing blackjack with the pros. If you've across any of these terms and wondered what they mean, now's your chance to find out. Knowing, as they say, is half the battle.

Now that you're finished reading up on our advanced tips, it's time to put what you've learned to the test! Unfortunately getting to the casino right now may be a little difficult, so why not see if you can't test your newfound skills online? You can play blackjack online at the Ladbrokes Casino right now, getting your practice in before you head to the casino with your mates over your next holiday. Practice makes perfect, after all!