This lesson discusses Blackjack Mistakes and Corrections at Learn
I’m not kidding when I say I’ve watched a lot of blackjack players during my life time. The good ones all have one thing in common. They know how to play their hand and they know when to increase their bets. The bad players, on the other hand, will generally make one or more of these mistakes.
Blackjack Mistake #1. Don’t Know the Basic Playing Strategy
You would think that all players would know that to win at this game, they must learn and use correctly the basic playing strategy. This is no secret. Basic playing strategy is no secret – it’s readily available in books, in articles, and on the Internet.
For a couple of bucks you can even purchase a plastic card that contains the basic playing strategy that you can bring right on the tables when you play. How easy is that?
But I would venture a guess that at best 25% of the playing public knows basic strategy perfectly. Yes, even the experience players who tell me, “Sure I know basic strategy” rarely know all the plays. It’s just not good enough to know half the strategy and guess at the rest, or worse deviate from the right play because you get a “feeling” an alternate play might be better for this particular situation.
When you play, you need to play like a robot.
This means every time the dealer gives you a 16 and he shows a 10 you must hit the hand regardless if you lost the last time or last ten times that you made this play (actually surrendering is an even better play if the casino will allow you to surrender).
Ditto for a pair of 8’s against a dealer 10.
You shove out more money and split. Why? Because these are the correct plays to make, the ones that in the long run will either save you money or get you more money.
Don’t believe me? I’ve got billions of computer-generated hands to back me up.
Blackjack Mistake #2. Trying To Beat The House with a Betting Progression
I see this all the time. It seems players have a fascination with betting progressions because they are easy to use and players mistakenly believe that what happened on previous hands will somehow affect their chances of winning future hands.
Well it won’t and it can’t. You are fighting a losing battle with progressions for one simple reason.
In the history of blackjack, there has never been any study that proved your chances of winning the next hand increase based upon what happened (won or lost) in previous hands. There is no magic bullet here. Using betting progression might be fun because sometimes in the short run you get to make some adrenalin-pumping big bets that you will win. But in the long run guess what?
The house edge doesn’t change one iota. And what’s worse you will lose more using betting progressions in the long haul then just betting the same on every hand because your average bet increases when you use a progression (remember even with basic strategy the house still has the slight edge so the more you bet the more you stand to lose). Nope, betting progressions don’t work in the long run so forgetaboutit.
Blackjack Mistake #3. Betting More Because You Are Due to Win
Player bets $5 a hand and loses 4 or 5 hands in succession. Now he increases his bet to $10 because he figures he is “due to win.”
You are not due anything in the casino and certainly not a winning hand just because you lost the 4 or 5 previous hands.
Remember what we said earlier. The results of previous hands have no bearing on the outcome of future hands. So don’t bet more thinking you are due to win. That’s a terrible assumption and mistake to make when you play.
Blackjack Mistake #4. Not Knowing When to Quit
Player gets ahead by $100. The tide turns and he starts losing.
What do you think the player does? How many say, “Quit with his profits.” How many say, “Keep playing.” Probably 90% of all casual players will keep playing. Why? Greed and the desire for action.
I ask you, is it better to play 3 hours but wind up losing your profits back to the house or quit with a $100 profit after playing one hour?
I know what I would do.
Blackjack Mistake #5. Believing That the Game is All Luck
These players put blackjack in the same category as slots. It’s all luck, so why bother? You can say that about slots, roulette, and most other casino games but you’d be dead wrong. Why?
For the simple reason that it is a game of skill and the odds can be changed in your favor if you know how to play the game skillfully. This has been proven over and over by many mathematicians.
You can be a successful player that plays the best game the casino has to offer if you just avoid the above 5 mistakes and stick to the facts which is learn the basic playing strategy and use the strategy for every hand to dealt to you, only increase your bet if you’ve seen a preponderance of small cards over large cards in previous hands, be prepared to lose two, three even ten hand sin a row because sooner or later it will happen no matter how skillful you play, and be content with modest wins (don’t go for the kill).
Blackjack Mistakes is followed by the math of the game
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