Common online Blackjack mistakes
Whether it’s at home, at the casino, or online, everyone loves a good game of Blackjack. Deal the cards, hit 21, win instant cash – what’s not to love? Of course, while Blackjack is a simple enough game to learn, it’s still possible to make the odd mistake here and there, which could ultimately affect your chances of winning and your enjoyment too. Take a look at some common mistakes you could accidentally be making, and ensure you play your way to thrilling payouts and huge excitement instead!
You’re choosing the wrong casino
Does your casino pride itself on fair play and timeous withdrawals? If not, you could be playing at the wrong place. Fairness and compliance practices are of huge importance to reputable casinos, and if your gaming venue is dragging its feet where your withdrawals are concerned, or if you suspect that any kind of cheating may be involved, it’s time to move on.
But how do you find a casino you know you can trust, when there are so many to choose from? A little research is all it takes. Search for a casino online, then once you’ve found one you think is the right fit, read as many reviews on it as possible before you commit to joining. Take a look at industry reviews, player reviews, forums and articles, and if all you’re seeing is good news as opposed to bad, you’re on the right track.
While you’re doing your research, make sure to look out for indicators like the length of time the casino has been in business, the operators they choose to partner with, their reputation in the industry, and their approach to quick and easy withdrawals. If you’re a Blackjack fan, it’s also a good idea to look for a casino that has a wide variety of Blackjack games to choose from as well, so you can be sure you’re always entertained and engaged. Find one that ticks all the boxes in terms of quality, service, and game variety, and you’ll be ready to place your bets!
You don’t know the basics
Sure, you know that Blackjack is about getting a card hand value as close as possible to 21 without going over, but do you know other basics, like how to split or double down, what it means to surrender, the consequences of taking out insurance, the number of decks in the shoe, the table odds and so on?
If not, don’t worry, and don’t feel overwhelmed either. Blackjack is still a simple game, but there are a few basics you’ll need to get the hang of in order to improve your game play and your chances of winning. Read up on the rules of the game, particularly the specific version you want to play, and make sure you’re sitting down at the table with all the info you need before you place a bet. Knowledge is power after all, and you’ve come to rule.
You don’t know the house edge
We totally understand – you love Blackjack, you just want to sit down and get playing. Why does it matter what the house edge is, let’s just deal the cards and go!
If you’re just going to be playing one or two hands and that’s it, then no, the house edge doesn’t really matter. But if you’re going to be returning to the tables on a regular basis then the house edge is something you need to pay attention to – because ignoring it could be the reason you’re not maximising your winning potential.
Why is the house edge so important? Because it’s the advantage the casino has over you in order to make a profit, and the bigger the house edge on a particular game, the more money the casino makes off it. Which means if you’re playing a Blackjack game with a bigger house edge than other types of Blackjack games, you could find your bankroll diminishing sooner than expected.
Luckily Blackjack has one of the smallest house edges out of all casino games, which means the better and more skilled you become at playing it, the more you can reduce the casino’s advantage in your favour. But in order to do that, you’ll need to gain experience while holding onto your bankroll at the same time – and that means studying the different house edges of the different Blackjack games at your casino, and going with the one that’s going to suit you and your bank balance best. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – a little research goes a long way!
You don’t know basic Blackjack strategy
We’re not expecting you to sit down at the table and immediately start playing like a pro – but having a decent foundation in Blackjack strategy can help you go far as a beginner. Here’s where Blackjack strategy guides are your friend – just search for a selection on the internet, make sure you understand them, then put them into practice the next time you play. Not only will this give you the best chance of winning, it’ll help you keep the house edge on your side, and stay on track with the RTP too. Practice makes perfect!
You’re not keeping an eye on your bankroll
This goes beyond just a Blackjack mistake – this is a common casino mistake, and it’s one that’s far easier to make than you might think. You know that you should never gamble with more than you can afford to spend, and you know how to play responsibly – but when you’re in the heat of the moment and you’ve had a few bad hands that you’re trying to come back from, you can easily blow through your account balance with just a few ill-advised bets.
So how do you keep your emotions in check and manage your bankroll at the same time? By budgeting of course. Let’s say you’ve put aside $500 for the session you’re about to take part in. Divide that into 50 bets of $10 each, and that’s your gaming session sorted. Just keep a tally of how many bets you make, and once you’ve reached your allocated 50, end your session then and there. You’ll have had fun, you’ll have stayed within your budget, and any winnings you may have accrued will be kept safely in your account, ready and waiting for the next time you log on and play. That’s responsible gambling, and that’s how you stay a winner, no matter which cards you’re dealt.
You’re taking risky side bets
Just because a certain bet exists doesn’t mean you should necessarily take it, and that’s especially true for Blackjack and its variety of side bets. For example, if the dealer’s face up card is showing an Ace, you’ll automatically be given the option of taking out insurance – essentially protecting yourself against the chances of the dealer showing Blackjack. Taking out insurance will cost you half of your original bet size, and if the dealer does have a 10 to make Blackjack, your bet will pay out 2:1, and you’ll lose your original bet.
Sounds like a solid plan, right? Why wouldn’t you want to protect your bankroll against a possible 21 and an outright loss? Because in fact, the chances of the dealer actually hitting Blackjack are less than a third – which means if you take the bet, you’ll be losing over two thirds of the time. What’s more, taking out insurance has a house edge of 7%, which is significantly higher than the house edge of Blackjack itself. So unless you have an infinite bankroll, it’s not a chance you can afford to take, however responsible it might seem.
You don’t know how to split 10s
Honestly what’s to know? If the dealer’s face up card is a low value one, and you get dealt two 10s, you split them in order to double your winnings if the dealer goes bust. Right?
Actually, no. If you’re dealt a hand of two 10s, it’s such a strong hand that the chances of the dealer beating you are minimal – in fact, they’ll HAVE to get Blackjack in order to win. By splitting your hand of 10s, not only will you be doubling your bet and your investment, you’ll be weakening your hand at the same time, so always resist the temptation to do this. Force the dealer’s hand and you could find yourself coming out on top in the process.
You’re staying in the game too long
We know how it goes – you had the best intentions of playing a certain amount of hands or for a certain amount of time, but now the cards are going your way, you’re having fun, and you don’t want to bring your session to an end. Or, at the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ve been on a losing streak for a while and you’re sure that it’ll end any time now.
Whichever position you find yourself in, you need to stop. Once you’ve reached your self-imposed limit, or once you start trying to chase your losses, you need to end your session and log off. The saying ‘the house always wins’ isn’t just an idiom – it’s the truth. So the longer you play, you don’t increase your own winning chances – you increase those of the casino. And while casinos do need to make a profit in order to stay in business, that doesn’t need to happen at the expense of your bankroll.
So don’t push your luck. Whether you’re on a hot streak or a cold one, listen to Kenny Rogers – know when to walk away, and know when to run. Come back the next day when you’re feeling fresh, when your emotions are in check, and when you’re in a strong enough headspace to make well-informed decisions. Because that’s how winners play.
You’re chasing your losses
Yes, we just touched on this in the previous point, but it’s such a crucial part of gambling overall, we felt it deserved a closer look.
While all gambling is dependent on chance, one of the advantages of Blackjack is how methodical and logical a game it is. The more experienced and skilled you become, the more you can reduce the house edge in your favour – however, it’s important to remember that at some point you will lose. When this happens, you need to have a plan in place – and that plan is your budget.
As we said previously, managing your bankroll is key to coming out on top, and it’s also what can help you keep a clear head and stay on track. Let’s say you’ve calculated you can make 50 bets during your upcoming Blackjack session. You make a few bets, and you win a few hands – fantastic! Now your luck changes, and you lose the next few hands, but that’s ok, because you can still afford to stay in the game based on your budget. And it’s important that you remember this – you’ve planned to place 50 bets, win or lose, so the outcome of each hand shouldn’t matter. As soon as you become too attached to the outcome, that’s when you run the risk of playing with your heart instead of your head, and it’s when you’re most vulnerable to making poor decisions and playing past your limits.
Budgeting isn’t just a nice-to-have – when you’re gambling at a casino or online, it’s a must-have, and it’s what can save you from the urge to chase your losses. Because while Blackjack can have many different outcomes, the only way chasing your losses ever ends is poorly.
You’re using it as an escape
Life is hard, and many people try to escape from it in a variety of ways – food, alcohol, drugs, and often gambling too. If you’re using your Blackjack play as a way to distance yourself from reality, it could be the first step towards irresponsible gambling behaviour.
As entertaining as Blackjack and casino gambling in general is, if you find yourself logging on in order to block life out, it’s time to take a step back. Because it’s all fun and games until someone develops a dependency. Monitor your gaming habits, stay aware of your motivations, and please seek guidance as soon as you feel you might need it. Winning at gambling is one thing, but winning at life is a whole lot more important.
Ready to hit the Blackjack tables now, armed with all your new-found knowledge? It’s a lot to keep in mind we know, but the more you play, the more it’ll all become second nature. Just remember that the golden rule of all gambling is to have fun, and you’ll be onto a winner!