Casinos often market blackjack as the simplest plug-and-play game. There is some truth behind that. But how are you losing then? There is no short answer. Blackjack is surprisingly in-depth strategically. So you could be losing due to any number of reasons. But here are a few common errors beginners make, and it will really benefit you if you check these off.
Forgetting to check the rules
One of the big plus sides of blackjack is its simplicity. For this reason, people who want to have fun at the casino just stroll towards the blackjack table and chips in. This is somewhat true even online – you often use blackjack as a stress buster. This casual air means you might have forgotten to read specific rules and regulations casinos put out. Now, the rules of blackjack remain constant. But casinos can and do implement different tweaks and conditions to it. These rules can either work in your favour, or the casino’s. For example, it’s not a user-friendly game of online blackjack if the dealer/casino can hit at a soft 17. Neither would you want a casino that does not let you double down after pair splitting. Some casinos do not even allow surrender options. How do you find out? Only by reading the rules before anything else.
Not using basic strategy
Reiterating from our last point: the core rules of blackjack are simple. In fact, the game is deceptively simple and leads to people picking it up as their entry-level deck game. There are actually a huge number of casino patrons, and online blackjack players whose way to beat the game involves just picking away cards with fingers crossed as long as they are under some high number like 18-19. Mathematically, is it possible if you go gung-ho like this and manage to win? Sure, it can and will happen. But the odds of it are astronomically low, and it is virtually impossible to have that kind of luck in more than one consecutive game. Blackjack actually becomes profitable easily if you just play with basic strategy. What do we mean by that? It is all about a few do’s and don’ts, like always splitting when you have the chance. Moreover, it is also about knowing how to deal with any situation. This part sounds more complicated than it really is. Playing online, you can just consult colour-coded strategy charts and resources available all over the internet.
Believing you are due for a win
This is the fabled ‘hot hand fallacy’ in action. We are predisposed to believing in ‘hot’ or ‘cold’ streaks. This is prevalent in nearly all fronts of betting and casino, but ultimately, it rings true in very few cases. Especially in mathematical deck games like blackjack, it is never correct. You are not ‘due’ for a win, no matter how many games you have lost in a row. So don’t double down when you find yourself wondering in a similar circumstance. The reason is very simple: once the game of blackjack is over, it is over. The outcomes do not have any bearings on the next game.
Playing 6-5 games
This is a major point because 6-5 games are proliferating at a high rate in casinos. Simply put, blackjack tables, both online and offline, offer different odds in different casinos and sites. Basically, it translates to winning $6 on a $5 bet in a game of blackjack. This is actually a terrible rate if you are trying to make money in the long term. With some rudimentary calculations, one can see that a 6-5 game bumps up the house edge to about 1.4%, and on 7-9 rates, it jumps to over 2%. The bottom line is to stick to 3-2. If your online casino only offers 6-5 with basic rules, walk away, and find a different casino, because you are likely to lose money.
Playing tired or under the influence
Because blackjack is a relatively lightweight game, people flock to it for recreation. And when we need to bust stress, we tend to be exhausted physically and/or mentally. But this is actually a very bad starting place if you really want to win at blackjack. Even though you are likely to win by fluke or dominate with a godly hand, blackjack requires situational awareness and a moderate level of calculation. This is also the reason why you should not play it inebriated.
In most online blackjack tables, the casino allows you to place an additional bet on the dealer’s hand. This is generally after certain conditions are met, such as betting a certain amount like $10 or when the dealer has an ace. In fact, casinos advertise this as a sort of safety net. But they are actually not that lucrative. Instead of loosening the deal, you are basically placing a special bet on whether the dealer has a natural blackjack. You have no way of predicting that, so all you are doing is putting an extra side-bet.
As long as you stick to basic strategies and do some legwork on casino practices beforehand, blackjack is actually not all that difficult to break even at. It is also easy enough that you will win with minimal hassle or stress. Provided you get good, that is.
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