Blackjack Mistakes to Avoid
There are five common mistakes that all casual blackjack players make. Find out whether you're making these errors and how to make the correct moves with Mr Blackjack.
- There are five major blackjack mistakes to avoid in order to be a decent blackjack player. Lesson five, blackjack mistakes to avoid. If you do any of these the dealer may ask you if you are sure before committing to your decision. The top mistake is splitting tens. When you are presented with two tens and the dealer has a bus card, it may be tempting to split the tens. Don't do it. The math is not on your side. You never split a winning hand.
Players should never split fives. I understand that pairs are shiny, and you're allowed to split any pair. However your hand is better with a value of 10 over value of five and potentially 15. Double down if it's favorable, but don't split.
The next mistake is something I see players do all the time, taking insurance. You never take insurance when it's offered. The odds are stacked against you. You're better off never taking insurance in the long run.
Hitting on 17 in order to get closer to 21. This move, which is mostly seen in James Bond movies, should not be seen outside of the big screen. When you get close to 21, you need to stop. The odds of getting a four, three, two, or an ace not in your favor, and you will bust most of the time.
Another common mistake players make is not playing basic strategy. If you're serious about playing, you need to play the math. In every situation you need to consider the dealer's up card and the value of your cards and make the best informed decision. Play consistently, play the math, and your odds of winning will increase. Avoid these mistakes and you'll start winning at blackjack more often.
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What this lesson covers
- Common pitfalls in blackjack
- Bets you should avoid
- Tricky hands that make you lose
Meet Mr Blackjack
With a career spanning two decades, Mathieu Blake knows his way around a blackjack table. He's taught and entertained over 100,000 subscribers on his YouTube channel NeverSplit10's . In this series he'll take you through basic strategy, card counting, and bankroll management. Take a seat with Mr Blackjack and become a winning player.
Want to learn more about Blackjack?
- Won’t splitting 10s in blackjack double my chances of getting blackjack?
A 20 is a strong hand in blackjack, and splitting that hand doesn’t automatically guarantee you will get two 20s. Basic strategy on splits recommends you stay on a 20 and enjoy a higher chance of winning one hand instead of splitting and losing on two weaker hands.
- Is there any occasion when you should split 5s in blackjack?
According to basic strategy, there is no occasion when splitting 5s will benefit you.
- Does the dealer hit on soft 18?
Usually the dealer will stand on a soft 18. In blackjack, an Ace initially has a value of 11 unless you bust. After that, it reverts to a value of one.
- Why shouldn’t I hit on a 17? It’s a weak hand! Shouldn’t I take the risk of hitting to beat the dealer on the off chance it works?
Depending on the dealer’s up-card, you have a greater chance of winning statistically by staying on a weak hand and waiting for the dealer to bust out. This is a common basic strategy mistake new players make in blackjack.
- Won’t insurance save me money in the long term?
New players assume taking insurance will ‘save’ their hand, instead of thinking of it as a side bet. The payouts on insurance bets never compensate players for their wagers long-term. We recommend avoiding this wager if the casino offers it in blackjack.
- How do I know if the basic strategy rules apply to the blackjack variant I’m playing?
Most basic strategy charts will list the blackjack games or tables rules you can use them in. Always check what the table rules are with the dealer before playing to avoid making unnecessary mistakes.
- What other mistakes should I avoid doing at the blackjack table?
Along with common basic strategy errors, new players often make etiquette errors at the table. Some mistakes are minor, others can get you removed from the blackjack table. Lesson nine on ‘Common Mistakes New Blackjack Players Make’ in season one Blackjack Academy covers these in more detail.