Not following the Blackjack Strategy rules will result in losing money in the long run, even though you may occasionally guess right. Intuitive play is imperfect and will always cost you more than you win. Here is a list of the most common mistakes made while playing Blackjack games.
Hitting Double ACEs Against a Dealer’s TEN
A hand total of 2 or 12 is never a good hand, so don’t be reluctant to split. Double ACEs should always be split, regardless of what the dealer shows. Most casinos only allow a single hit on split ACEs because it is such a strong hand. It is just like getting one card on a double down — which is a good hand — except that you are getting two chances instead of just one.
Standing on an ACE-SIX when the Dealer is Showing a SEVEN
You should always take a hit on this hand. When a dealer shows a SEVEN, a bust is imminent only around 26% of the time. When you take the hit, you cannot bust, but you will likely improve your hand. It would be best if you always took a hit.
Standing on an ACE-SEVEN When the Dealer is Showing a NINE
We know it seems odd to take a hit on what appears to be a good EIGHTEEN, but contrary to popular belief, an EIGHTEEN is not that good of a hand when up against a dealer’s NINE because the dealer will only bust around 23% of the time and will beat your EIGHTEEN more than 50% of the time. Therefore, you must try and improve your count.
Standing on an ACE-SEVEN When the Dealer is Showing a TEN
The dealer will win this hand around 56% of the time, so you must try and improve your count.
Standing on a NINE-NINE When the Dealer is Showing a NINE
You should always hit this hand because it is the same as standing on an ACE-SEVEN, which the dealer will beat more than 50% of the time.
Hitting or Standing on an EIGHT-EIGHT When the Dealer is Showing a TEN
Eights should always be split because SIXTEEN is the worst hand you can have in Blackjack. When you split them, you at least get an opportunity to improve your count a little bit. Splitting always results in losing the least amount of money—even when you have doubled your bet by splitting.
Hitting or Standing on an EIGHT-EIGHT Against a Dealer’s ACE
Eights should always be split because it is the best option to improve your hand.
Hitting an ELEVEN Against a Dealer’s TEN
This hand should always be doubled because getting an ELEVEN in the first place is a winning hand. Take advantage of the winning situation and double your winnings.
Standing on a TWELVE When the Dealer is Showing a THREE
Against standard strategy, you should hit this hand because it will limit your losses, but not by very much. It is a losing hand.
Standing on a TWELVE When the Dealer is Showing a TWO
This is also a losing hand so take the hit to try and limit your losses.
Money Management in Blackjack
We all know that playing Blackjack can be like riding a roller coaster. There will be many winning and losing streaks during a game. However, it would help if you did not let yourself get discouraged. These large winning and losing swings are part of playing the game but know that by using the correct strategy, you will ultimately win in the long run.
How Can You Manage Your Blackjack Bankroll?
Have a Maximum Loss Amount
Normally, it would be best to multiply your minimum bet by forty (40) to determine your maximum loss for one session. That is, if your minimum bet is $2, the total amount of money to put on the table for your play session will be $80. If your minimum bet is $5, then your total money to play with will be $200.
Plan Each Gambling Session
Remember that you never want to bet with money you can’t afford to lose, which is why we stated in the previous paragraph what your maximum loss would be. There will be sessions when you lose all of it and sessions when you double it. However, you want to learn to minimize betting when you lose and maximize betting when you win.
Typically, it would be best if you tried to double your stake for each session or chose a maximum win amount and a maximum loss amount for each session you play.
If you reach the maximum loss amount, walk away. Never dip into your pockets for more money (the first loss is always the cheapest). Casinos (online or offline) will always be there tomorrow.
If you reach the maximum win amount, walk away. Never try to win just a little bit more. To do so will more times than not make a loser out of a winner, and the goal is to walk away as a winner.
Control Your Winning and Losing Streaks
Learn to minimize your losing streaks and maximize your winning streaks. One strategy for doing this that we use is called the “telephone number” picked up from George Papadopoulos, and it goes like this:
First Bet = twice the table minimum (which would be twice your minimum bet);
If you win, reduce your bet to the minimum table (because the odds are not in your favor that you will win two hands in a row). Therefore, you are still ahead when you win the first hand and lose the second.
If you win again with the table minimum bet, then increase your bet back to the initial bet amount (twice the minimum), and then, as you win each hand, keep increasing your bet by one unit. This will maximize your bets during a winning streak.
If you push or tie, then simply bet again using your current amount.
When you lose, go back to your initial bet (which will be twice the table minimum). This will minimize your bets during a losing streak.
From a mathematical perspective, your bet strategy looks like 2-1-2-3-4-5. From a money management perspective, this approach should be sufficient to keep you in the game until a winning trend can develop.
These winning trends are a mathematical fact, but if you lose all of your money during a session, no winning trend will help you. This is why money management is so important and should be part of your overall strategy.