Common Mistakes in Blackjack


Blackjack is a game of skill and strategy, not chance. While luck is a factor in winning, players can increase their chances of success by learning the game’s rules and strategies. A well-known strategy is counting cards, which involves keeping track of the number of decks in play and making adjustments to the player’s betting strategy. While counting cards is not easy, it can greatly enhance a player’s odds of winning.

One of the most common mistakes blackjack players make is not implementing basic strategy consistently. To get the most out of your time at a casino table, memorize a basic strategy chart and use it every hand. Avoid deviating from the chart based on your hunches or other players’ decisions, and always trust the math.

It’s also important to stick to a budget when playing blackjack. This will help you keep your gambling sessions short and prevent you from overspending. It’s also important to know when you’re done and walk away from the table. If you’re starting to feel negative emotions or aren’t enjoying yourself, it’s time to stop.

Another mistake that blackjack players often make is not taking advantage of the game’s rules. Many casinos offer side bets, such as insurance and even money, that can be very lucrative. However, these bets come with an additional house edge that you should try to minimize. If you’re offered an even money bet against the dealer’s ace, always decline it.

The final mistake that blackjack players often make is not using their knowledge of the game’s odds to improve their results. This includes knowing when to hit, stand, double down, and split. For example, when a pair of 8s or aces is dealt, splitting them is almost always the right play, unless the dealer has a high card, such as an ace or a 10. Doubling down with a two-card total of 11 against a dealer’s up card of 2 to 10 is also a good idea.

It’s also important to never take insurance, which is a side bet that pays out 2 to 1 if the dealer has blackjack. While this bet might seem tempting, it comes with an extra house edge of over 7% and should be avoided at all costs. To maximize your odds of winning, always hit when you have a hard 16 or higher and stand on a soft 18 or better. Don’t split fives or tens, and never re-split aces.