7 Common Blackjack Mistakes

Whether you are playing Blackjack at one of the flashy Vegas venues or at an online casino with a rich selection of the most popular online slots, starting from the classic ones like pokie game Lucky 88 and finishing with the latest releases (Diego Fortune by Booongo, for instance) and table games: online Roulette, Poker, craps, and so on, try to avoid the following seven Blackjack mistakes at all costs. They will decrease your edge against the casino’s advantage.

1. The Insurance dilemma

Under no circumstances should you take insurance while playing Blackjack.

Blackjack Insurance is a bet option that a casino allows you to do when a dealer has an Ace as an up card. You can place an extra stake (as a rule, 50% of your initial bet) if you believe that the dealer will get Blackjack (Blackjack = 21 points made by 2 cards – 10/Face card + Ace) after revealing the second card (it must be a 10 or a face card, then).

So, if the dealer gets a Blackjack, you can get the insurance bet back. And if not, you have just paid extra for nothing.

The chance that the dealer will get Blackjack with an Ace as an up card is 30%, meaning that you are going to lose the insurance bet twice more often than win it. In a 52-card deck, there are 16 cards with the value of 10 (3 kinds of face cards + 10s), which makes about 31.4%, and these are the cards needed for completing the dealer’s Blackjack.

2. 10s: to split or not to split?

Splitting 10s will decrease your edge at Blackjack. By doing it, you turn one ‘good’ hand into two possibly problematic hands. Two 10s are 20, one of the best options to be playing with: the winning chances of standing at 20 are over 90%. After splitting, you might get a 5 or 6 and end up with two much riskier results. So, why not just stick to the beautiful 20 and do nothing?

Nearly the same story happens when people decide to split 5s, for example: they risk losing a solid starting 10 and get two ‘bad’ hands.

3. That scary baker and his dozen

Many people get scared and decide to stand when they have collected 12 or 13, and the dealer has a 2 or 3. The gamblers are sure they are likely to bust; that’s why they don’t make another move. In most cases, you have better chances of not busting than winning with such a tricky collection of points. In a situation like this, it would be great if you knew basic card counting techniques and applied them to make sure, though.

4. 6:5 or 3:2?

If there is a choice, you should never opt for 6:5 tables.

6:5 and 3:2 are the payout rates for getting Blackjack. So, when you win a Blackjack at a 6:5 table, you are getting 1.2x the bet. At a 3:2 table, the payout will be 1.5x. Having bet $10, you will win $12 at the first table and $15 at the second.

A classic decimal trick. Six fifths are never better than three seconds, even if they look bigger at first sight.

5. Your 11 vs Ace

It is better not to double down the bets when you have 11 points and the dealer has an Ace. Always hit in a situation like that.

Whenever the dealer doesn’t have an Ace, you should always double down when your count is 11.

6. Your pair of 4s vs 5 or 6

Try not hitting a pair of 4s when the dealer has 5 or 6 but split them. While 5 and 6 are a good busting chance for your opponent, you might double your money.

7. Your pair of 8s vs a High card

Many players would consider 16 a much more promising position than having 2 hands with 8s when the dealer has a 10.

16 is tricky. By hitting it, you are going to lose most of the time. Stand – and you will probably lose as the dealer already has a high card. When you split the 16, you still have a possibility of getting two decent hands: get another 10, and you will end up with two 18s; get something smaller like 2 or 3, and with that 10 or 11, your opportunities are still wide open.

Not all the splits are bad (like splitting 10s and 5s we’ve discussed earlier): some of them can work out pretty well.

Avoiding these common Blackjack mistakes will lead to better results if you apply a basic Blackjack strategy or a card counting technique to your play. It will allow you to have real Blackjack fun.

Never stop practicing and learning how to improve your game. Years and years pass, and knowledge is still the greatest power.


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