Blackjack Mistakes That You Should Avoid

Friday, December 19, 2014

All Blackjack players usually have a fair idea, right or wrong, of how to play the game. Only, many players just knowingly or unknowingly ignore the Blackjack Basic Strategy, make mistakes, and either decrease their chances of winning or increase their losses. Online resources on Blackjack classify these mistakes into several categories which many times are just counter points of the Basic Strategy. To keep it simple, let us just say that playing against the Basic Strategy is always a mistake. Now some mistakes are more commonly made than others and in this page, I will try to list those Blackjack mistakes. Keep reading...

Blackjack Card and Chips

1. Playing Minimum Bets that You Cannot Afford

The biggest Blackjack mistake is to play too big. Blackjack is not a game of jackpots or big wins. At the most you get paid 3-2 if you get a Blackjack. I suggest dividing your money in such a way that you are able to play at least 100 bets. But if you get lucky before playing 100 bets, have doubled your money that you brought to the table, just take your win and go home.

2. Playing Progressive to Recover Previous Bet's Loss

There are stupid theories that suggest doubling the bet after a loss and to keep doubling until a win comes. My friend, there are table limits in place that will stop your doubling adventure in the middle before you have recovered your loss. Also, you may run out of money before that winning hand comes.

However, there is one progressive theory that suggests increasing the bet by 50% after two successive wins. that means, if you win two bets of 100 in a row, the third bet can be increased to 150. And if you win that 150 bet too, the fourth bet will be 225 (or 200 or 250). When you lose a higher bet, return to betting 100 for the next hand. This theory is somewhat logical and can help you increase your winnings on a lucky day, but please be warned that this theory can also wipe out your winnings and return you to square one. So if you do not find it working, return to flat betting.

3. Playing Side Bets

Taking Insurance, playing Pair Bets, or other exotic bets like 6-7-8 (two cards of the player and one open card of the dealer) may sound exciting but you need to know that all side bets in Blackjack are designed to increase house edge at the cost of the players. If you want to play for jackpots, Blackjack is not your game.

4.Taking Even Money on Blackjack

Taking Even Money on player Blackjack when the dealer's open card is an Ace is similar to taking Insurance. Never take Even Money.

5. Looking at Other Player's Cards Before Making Your Move

Your decision to Hit, Stand, Double, or Split should be based on your cards compared with the dealer's open card. There is no need to look at what cards other players on the table have or how the other players are likely to play their hands. The Basic Strategy already takes into account the total number of decks of cards used and more players on the table.

6. Playing for Too Long

A study of casino winnings suggests that approximately 70% of the players initially win when they enter a casino. But later, approximately 90% of the 70% winners lose everything back. The trick is to quit when you are winning. If you have doubled the money that you brought to a Blackjack table, you should quit. If you keep playing, you will lose everything.

7. Splitting of 10-10

10-10 pair means a total of 20, which is a very strong hand. Yet, may players split 10's and end up with two separate hands like 10-6 and 10-7, both losers. The only way to better a 20 is by getting another two 10's or Aces. Now what is the likelihood of that considering there are eight other cards between an Ace and a 10? Never split a 10-10 pair, just Stand and wait for that win.

8. Splitting a Pair of 5-5

A 5-5 should not even be treated as a Pair except when you have bet for a Pair. I mean, always treat a 5-5 as a 10. Never split 5-5. Double a 5-5 if the dealer is showing 2 through 9, and Hit if the dealer is showing 10 or Ace.

Again, just play by the Blackjack Basic Strategy and know that Blackjack is a game that should be played for fun. It is never going to make you rich, no matter how many times you win.

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Posted by Narinder Singh


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I left my day job in October 2013 and became a full time blogger. I love travel and hence a travel blog was the obvious place to start from. The result is I currently live in Bengaluru, India. - Narinder Singh.


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