Top 4 Costly Blackjack Mistakes to Avoid
Last Updated: January 13, 2023
Blackjack is primarily a game of luck. However, it also involves some skill and strategy. And, when these elements exist, any digression from optimal strategy can lead to a mistake.
Some of these mistakes can cost you a lot of money over time. To help you avoid making these blunders, here are the top four costly blackjack mistakes you should be mindful of and help you on how to win at blackjack.
Playing a 6:5 Blackjack Table
Let’s start with a costly blackjack mistake causing you to lose money right from the start. This is choosing a blackjack table that pays 6:5 for a blackjack instead of one that pays 3:2.
Unfortunately, this is a mistake many blackjack players make, as they go with the face value of a 6 being higher than a 3.
But, when you illustrate this through numbers, it’s clear that the 6:5 version is a poor choice. If you bet $10 on a 3:2 game, you can win $15. On the other hand, the same bet on a 6:5 game wins you only $12.
This noticeable payout change pushes the house edge from 0.5% to almost 2%.
So, always check that you’re playing a 3:2 game instead of a 6:5 before you start playing blackjack for real money. It’s one of the biggest mistakes you can make and can cost you a lot of money if you play blackjack regularly.
For many novice blackjack players, taking insurance seems like a good way to minimize losses in case the dealer has a blackjack. However, this is simply a bad deal.
This is because the dealer won’t have a blackjack in most situations when they’re showing an Ace, so you’re just throwing your money away for nothing.
Looking at this from a statistical perspective, there’s only a 30% chance that the dealer will have a ten-point card as their other card. Additionally, the house edge significantly increases if you take this side bet.
What’s more, this isn’t even the complete picture. If there are more players at the table, this percentage goes down further, as some ten-point cards will already be on the table.
Considering this, taking insurance is the perfect example of a blackjack mistake that directly costs you money.
So, instead of taking this side bet, focus on playing blackjack as optimally as possible to obtain the lowest house edge. This is the best way to be successful over a longer period.
If you get two ten-point value cards, you already have a good hand. In most situations, the dealer won’t be able to beat you, as their only winning chance is to have a 21. So, why do so many blackjack players fall for this mistake and split tens?
The answer isn’t uniform. Some do it because they lack experience, and others are simply overtaken by the slightest possibility of winning more money.
But, what applies to all players who split tens is that they will lose more than half of the time.
You’ll find many online guides discussing scenarios in which you can split tens. However, the absolute best rule of thumb when it comes to splitting tens is to simply always avoid doing so. Don’t pass up on one very good hand so you can have two bad ones.
Standing on Specific Hard Hands
We’ve bundled up a couple of mistakes under this category, as there are several wrong decisions you can make when you have a hard hand.
As a reminder, a hard hand is one that doesn’t include an Ace or one in which the Ace can only be counted as one point.
The first situation is standing on a hard 12 when the dealer’s up card is a 2 or a 3. This is a very common mistake, especially among casual players. If you have a hard total of 12, it’s always best to hit.
The second mistake is standing on a hard 16 if the dealer’s up-card is an Ace. This is an even more challenging decision, as not many blackjack players are ready to hit on a hard 16. Sure, you might bust. But, if you don’t try, the blackjack dealer will most likely win.