Blackjack is the most popular casino game in the world. This includes online casinos in addition to bricks and mortar venues. It’s a game combining luck and a little skill. The skill comes in when you avoid making blackjack mistakes.
It’s easy to make blackjack mistakes because they game’s so simple. Players go on autopilot and doing so massively increases the house edge. You’re more likely to lose and lose faster if you play games with a higher house edge. Avoiding these common blackjack mistakes helps keep the house edge low and more cash in your bankroll.
Common Blackjack Mistakes: Not Knowing The Basic Strategy
Not learning the basic strategy is one of the biggest blackjack mistakes a player can make. Playing to what’s known as the blackjack basic strategy lowers the house edge to a mere 0.5%. This means you receive $99.50 back for every $100 wagered, which is quite ridiculous.
Basic blackjack strategy can look daunting when you begin but it’s really not. It revolves around giving you the best chance of winning an individual hand. It also helps you maximise your expected value so you win more in the long run. Some players wrongly assume you need to hit 21 to win at blackjack. Remember you can also win by the dealer busting or reaching a total less than yours.
This means standing when you have 13 and the dealer has to stand on soft 17. It’s what determines doubling down when you have 9 and the dealer has a 4 showing. It also stops you making the biggest of blackjack mistakes of splitting pairs of fives or tens.
You don’t have to learn the strategy off by heart because you can print off a basic strategy card. There are thousands of such cards available for free on the internet. Print one off, having it on your person, and follow it to the letter!
Common Blackjack Mistakes: Not Knowing The Rules
Most casinos adopt the same blackjack rules but there are variations to be aware of. How many decks of cards does the table use? Does the deal stand or hit on soft 17? Can you double down after splitting? These are all rule variations that have a dramatic effect on the house edge and, therefore, your optimal strategy. We’ve already said not following basic strategy is one of the biggest blackjack mistakes.
Key rules tend to be displayed on the blackjack table, although not always. Ensure you get clarification as to what rules the casino is using to avoid any embarrassment.
Common Blackjack Mistakes: Using the Martingale System
The Martingale system lends itself perfectly to blackjack but don’t ever use it however tempting it may be. Betting systems promise to guarantee wins but those promises are empty. We’ve already covered the pitfalls of the Martingale system here. Read it to discover why its up there with the biggest blackjack mistakes a player can make.
Don’t Play Blackjack When You Can’t Think Clearly
Playing blackjack when you’ve got your mind on other things is a recipe for disaster. Having too many free drinks, playing tired or stressed are all major blackjack mistakes. The game’s optimal strategy is simple, yet you still need your wits about you.
It’s easy to deviate from basic strategy when your mind isn’t fully in the game. Save the drinking for celebrating your winnings. Don’t play if tired because there will always be a game waiting for you when you’re feeling fresh.
Avoid Blackjack’s Side Bets
Side bets are becoming more common in all casino games. Getting involved in these is a mistake because they increase the house edge. Betting on perfect pairs or 21+3 are two common blackjack mistakes.
Winning one of these bets is nice and often lucrative, hence the attraction. The house edge on these bets is substantial. Perfect pairs adds between 2.7% and 4.14%. That is massive. Betting on Perfect pairs adds up to 7.95% to the house edge depending on the payouts. Don’t do it!