How to Change Your Game in Blackjack

blackjack gameThe card game, blackjack, is a fun and popular game played by lots of people. However, many who play this game wind up losing money. Here are a few commonly made mistakes when playing blackjack, which, if corrected, could dramatically improve your game.

MISTAKE 1: CHOOSING THE WRONG TABLE

blackjack tableIs it possible that you could be making a mistake before you’re actually playing? The answer is yes. One of the first mistakes that you can make is sitting at the wrong table, just grabbing the first open spot. Here’s the problem with this: not all blackjack games have the same rules. Know the rules governing each game before choosing your seat. Some games have more favorable rules than others. While one game might allow you to double down after pair splitting, or allow the dealer to stand on soft seventeen, another might have 6-5 pay or restrict doubling to 10 or 11. Choose your table strategically. Only sit down and play if the game pays 3-2 for a blackjack. Also, be sure to choose a table that doesn’t use a Continuous Shuffling Machine (CSM). CSMs speed up games and discourage card counting. The problem with these machines is that a faster game gives you less time to think strategically and increases your theoretical hourly loss.

MISTAKE 2: FAILURE TO USE BASIC STRATEGY

blackjack strategyBlackjack may seem like a guessing game to those who aren’t familiar with the game. It seems like sometimes, you’ll hit your 16 against the dealer’s 10 upcard, while other times you’ll stand. However, there is a strategy to playing blackjack, which, if followed, could win you your next game. There is a mathematically correct way to play each hand, known as the Basic Playing Strategy. This strategy is explained in charts and tables in books and on websites. For example, if you hold a 9-9 and the dealer’s upcard is a 9, no matter what your gut tells you, the only correct play is to split. In order to be more successful when playing blackjack, you must understand and employ the Basic Playing Strategy. Do not make the insurance bet, since it is unprofitable for anyone following this strategy.

MISTAKE 3: DEPENDING ON LUCK

luckSome blackjack players have a tendency to rely on their luck from previous hands when making decisions about their current hand. The problem with this “strategy” is that it is not reliable. Luck may or may not last, but one thing is for sure. Luck is beyond your control. With one shuffle of the cards, your luck could change and suddenly this hand you’re losing money when last hand you were winning it. Betting because of trends you may have noticed in past hands or because you think that the probability of winning is greater since you had been losing guarantee nothing.

MISTAKE 4: PLAYING WHILE TIRED OR INTOXICATED (OR BOTH)

This is pretty self explanatory. The law doesn’t trust you to drive a car when you’re drunk because of impaired decision making. If the law doesn’t trust intoxicated decision making, then why should you? Also, you may have noticed that when you are tired, it becomes difficult to think straight. When playing blackjack, make sure you are alert and able to make careful, rational decisions about each hand.