Do you want to improve your blackjack game? You can by avoiding these common mistakes made by blackjack players.
Not Checking the Rules
Most players just plop themselves down at the first open blackjack seat that they spot. That can be a big mistake because not all blackjack games are created equal. Some games have good rules for players, while others have terrible rules. And the casino manager isn’t going to point you to his better blackjack games. What you should first do when you enter a casino is scout the tables and check the playing rules. Do they pay 3-2 on a blackjack? Does the dealer stand or hit on soft 17? Can I double down after splitting a pair? Your goal is to find the game with the best playing rules.
Playing 6-5 Games
Unfortunately, many casinos offer blackjack games where a player’s blackjack pays only 6-5 (instead of the traditional 3-2). This is a horrible game for players even when it’s offered on a single-deck game. Stay away from any blackjack game that doesn’t pay 3-2 for a blackjack. (If you are unsure what a blackjack pays, before you sit down and buy-in ask the dealer. If she says “6-5,” tell her adios.)
Playing with a Continuous Shuffling Machine (CSM)
A CSM is an automatic shuffling device used by many casinos. It’s different from the traditional automatic shufflers that have been in use for many years. With a CSM, the dealer takes the discards from each round (or several rounds) and puts them back into the CSM where they are randomly mixed with the rest of the cards (usually a CSM holds 4-5 decks). Every round with a CSM is like playing a round from a freshly shuffled deck of cards. Because there is no pause in the action for a dealer hand- shuffle, the casino can deal roughly 20% more hands per hour with a CSM. This increases the player’s exposure to the house edge and the average player’s theoretical hourly loss will correspondingly increase. Therefore, CSMs will put a hurt on your bankroll. Don’t play on tables that have them!
Using a Progressive Betting System
If I’ve said this once, I’ve said it a hundred times – progressive betting systems will not change your odds of winning one iota. Some of them are dangerous; others will have you betting more than you normally would and, therefore, your theoretical loss will increase. Whether or not your previous hand just won (or lost) has no bearing on whether your next hand will win (or lose). The only variable that affects your chances of winning in blackjack is the ratio of high cards to low cards in the unplayed deck(s) of cards. Therefore, the only time it makes mathematical sense to increase your bets is when the unplayed cards contain more high cards rather than low cards. Therefore, you should be watching the cards on the layout on each round. If you don’t see many picture cards or aces in the early rounds now would be a good time to increase your bets or better yet, learn a simple card counting system such Speed Count found in the book “Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge!”
Not Using Basic Strategy
Playing by hunches is the biggest mistake I see players make at blackjack. In this day and age, the correct basic playing strategy for blackjack is readily available in books and on the Internet. Why, you can even take a strategy card with you when you play. You’ll face a 1% or higher house edge if you play by hunches and only a half a percent house edge if you play by the basic strategy. Enough said.
Making Side Bets
Players can make numerous side bests while they play blackjack. Match Pair, Lucky Ladies, you name it, you’ll probably see it on the table the next time you play. All of these side best have one thing in common ... the house edge is high. Sure, it only costs a buck to make one of these side bets, but those dollars you bet on every hand keep adding up, and unless you are very lucky, at the end of the day you’ll wind up a loser. Stay away from side bets!
Avoid the above mistakes and you’ll become a better blackjack player.
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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