Blackjack has always been one of the most popular games in any casino. Everyone knows how to play, everyone loves to play, and everyone has a strategy which can’t fail. There are magazines, books, and websites all dedicated to theory after theory on how to beat blackjack. For good reason, too. Unlike most games on the casino floor, blackjack seems beatable. The game moves fast and the chips stack up quickly when you’re on a roll and that’s the reason people keep coming back. When you know how to play, there is definitely money to be made.
Knowing basic strategy is the first step and an important one. There’s much more to blackjack than just knowing when to hit and when to stay though. There are important strategies to use each and every deal to keep you on the plus side. However, the most important part of being a successful blackjack player is eliminating your mistakes. Simple mistakes can cost players their entire stack and completely eliminating them is the most important aspect of playing good blackjack. Here we’ve compiled a quick list of what NOT to do when playing casino blackjack. Remember these tips and you’ll eliminate the mistakes that ruin other blackjack players.
One of the easiest rules to follow but also one of the most important. Drinking does nothing for your decision making ability and will drive you to make reckless wagers. That’s why the drinks are free. Focus on your game, not the bar. Don’t drink and blackjack.
Don’t Take Insurance
At the end of the day in blackjack, insurance is a side bet which only allows you to break even. If it hits, it hits, but for the most part, it won’t. The only time you should consider insurance is when you are showing 20 and, even then, you are giving away odds. Don’t take insurance.
Be Consistent, Don’t Waver
There are several hands that come up over and over during a blackjack session which can cause problems for players time after time. These deals tend to make players waver, go back and forth, and, usually, make the wrong decision. It’s important to get to know these hands and play them the same way every time. For example, players vary on whether to hit or stay on 16’s. Some players hit, some choose to stay. Either is the right play, as long as you’re playing it the same way every time. Players run into trouble when they hit one time, stay the next. Not wavering will get you the card you need more than when you play the guessing game.
Don’t Forget to Learn the Basics
We mentioned it briefly, however, learning the Basic Strategy is key to success. There’s a standard, basic strategy that’s been used at blackjack tables for years and is on the books as the way to play. You split here, you double down there, you hit on 16 when the dealer has a ten. These rules are so well known, you can even ask the dealer what they are. Learn these rules inside and out. Make them automatic so when you see your hand and the dealer’s first card, you already know how you’re going to play. You never want to waver while at the table, no second-guessing. Know how you are going to play and then follow through.
Don’t Just Sit There
Hot shoes, hot cards, and hot tables all are imaginary. It is up to you to create your own hot streaks. If you sit at a table in the same position and lose, you will probably keep losing. No one is “due” for good cards. Winning at blackjack is simply having more hot streaks than cold streaks and you will have both. If you are cold, get up and leave. Go to another table, find a different position. Don’t just sit there.
Don’t Forget to Leave
Everyone has that story. The old “I was up $500 in five minutes but didn’t walk away and gave it all back” story. Walking away is the toughest part of blackjack, but it’s the only way to win. Every blackjack dealer in Las Vegas casino will tell you, the longer you stay at the table, the more you will lose. Set a goal. $100, $500, $1000 and once you hit that goal, walk away. It takes discipline, but it’s the discipline you need in order to win at blackjack. Don’t forget to leave and you’ll leave a winner.
Don’t Double Down Just Because You Can
Just because you can split or double down does not mean you should. These hands are only to be utilized when they give you an advantage. The dealer needs to be showing a 2 – 6 for a split or double down to be worthwhile. Splitting or doubling down versus a 7 – Ace is ill-advised because you have no advantage. You’ll see players double on a nine versus a face card just because they can, time and again.