It is estimated that, in 2021 alone, online blackjack sites served up more than $6.4 billion worth of games to players across the world.
Blackjack, or pontoon as it’s known in other places, has become one of the most popular casino games around, thanks to its simple rules and fast pace. It’s easy for beginners to understand but can be extremely difficult to master. The game’s simplicity often leads new players into making mistakes while they learn the ropes… but there are some things even seasoned pros should watch out for.
For this article, we have compiled a list of our top 10 blackjack mistakes to avoid when playing online or at real casinos so you can get off on the right foot with your game.
If you don’t know how to play blackjack, then you’re going to have a tough time playing. While it may seem obvious enough, some rules can be confusing even for experienced players, so make sure to read up before heading into battle!
The player is generally looking for cards with a total value as close as possible to 21, but not over. The dealer’s hand is precisely the same, except a few extra rules apply (which we won’t go into here!)
The main rule is that if your cards added together exceed 21, then your hand automatically “busts,” and you lose. On the other hand, if your cards add up to less than the dealers, then you win! Remember that 10 and any picture card is worth 10 points; the Ace can be worth 1 or 11!
#9 – Not Taking Advantage of Bonuses & Promotions
Most casinos offer new players a sign-up bonus which is usually worth up to hundreds in free cash. Keep your eyes peeled for these deals because they’ll give you extra funds to win with but make sure not to try and claim them until you know what you’re doing! If the game is too hard for beginners, then they shouldn’t be playing it at all, so check out some beginner guides (like this one!) before signing up at any casino!
All blackjack games are different, so don’t try and play it like you would online slots or roulette. Even the most experienced players have to be patient, so keep this in mind before you do anything!
#8 – Mixing Gambling with Other Activities
Many people think that playing blackjack is all about winning big, but it should never come at the expense of your health! Casinos are noisy environments filled with bright lights, distracting graphics, and too many other distractions that can affect how you play. If possible, you should avoid these places because they can be bad for your mental state, especially if you’re prone to feeling agitated after losing big time.
If staying home just isn’t an option, then make sure to take regular breaks during each session to clear your head and get a breath of fresh air. Of course, keep your phone on silent, too, because it can be equally distracting!
#7- Not Learning How to Count Cards
The best way to stand out at any casino is by playing blackjack like a pro! Unfortunately, most people who play this game don’t know how many decks are being used or whether they’re shuffled before each round begins. If you learn these things, then it will be easier for you to determine when the odds are stacked in your favor and give yourself an advantage over everyday gamblers.
You should also keep a record of every round that you play so that you can use trend analysis to find optimal betting spots and see what works best for your strategy!
#6 – Not Leaving Everything to Chance
As much as you might want to win, there are times when it just seems impossible. That doesn’t mean that you should get up and leave the table, though! Instead, be patient because anything can happen in the game of blackjack, so stay put until all of your cards have been dealt.
#5 – Choosing the Wrong Betting Options
Online casinos tend to give you a lot of betting options right off the bat. You can bet on individual hands, per round, and in some cases even per shuffle. This might be overwhelming for new players, but it’s essential to find out which best suits your style best before getting too invested with any one option.
For example, splitting 10’s is a common strategy among many blackjack players; however, we recommend against it if you’re only betting on each hand individually. This has nothing to do with the odds of hitting either 10 and drawing another card (which remains 50/50) but rather how much you stand to lose if both hands get beaten simultaneously.
#4 – Not Knowing When to Hit or Stand on
Although blackjack’s rules are simple, it still has their share of complexities. One of the first things new players should learn is how to count cards and when they need to hit or stand on soft 17. Soft 17 is a hand where an Ace is counted as either 1 or 11 depending on the total number being played with. So if your first two cards are a 10, then you have two options: take another card or accept that you have already reached 20, so now it’s time to stand.
On the other hand, there are times when you shouldn’t hit on soft 17, depending on how many decks are being used, so make sure to do your research before making any moves at all!
#3 – Playing Blackjack Side Bets
There are only two options when it comes to betting on blackjack. You either wager on the main hand, or you don’t. Yet, some casinos will encourage new players with side bets that seem enticing at first but can be dangerous if not handled properly.
Side bets are often tied into getting dealt specific cards like suited Aces, receiving matching cards on dealer’s upcards, or even being dealt specific face-down hole cards. These are all great opportunities for winning big, but they should never come before playing a safe and sound basic strategy!
#2 – Betting More than you Can Afford to Lose
Blackjack is a game of chance, so it’s essential to play within your own means. It might be fun at first to wager large amounts, but you’ll hold yourself back if you don’t have much cash on hand. Even the most experienced players sometimes go broke at a table, so try not to risk too much money in each round.
Make sure to deposit enough for the session before starting and choose betting limits that suit your playing style!
#1 – Overextending Yourself with Insurance & Surrendering
With so many variants out there, it can be easy for new players to get confused, especially when some of them have over 100 different types of blackjack on offer. Casinos like Bodog Casino and 32 Red offer games that go way beyond the standard game that has dominated the landscape. This is great because it opens up the game to more people, but it can also be dangerous if you don’t know what’s happening on screen.
For example, insurance is a common side bet that can be found at online casinos, and it offers players the chance to hedge their bets against getting beaten by drawing an Ace as their first two cards. However, this bet should never come before basic strategy, so only take it when you’re absolutely sure that your hand will beat the dealers!
Another common gamble with questionable odds is “surrendering” after getting beat badly during the early stages of a hand. It gives inexperienced players who are down big time another chance to play out their hands for double or nothing, but this comes with its own risks.
If you’re not familiar with these side bets, then you should stay away from them altogether. Instead, only place wagers on the main hand to play blackjack!
The Bottom Line of Making Blackjack Mistakes
There are many things to consider when playing blackjack, but if you stick to a basic strategy, you can’t go wrong. By familiarizing yourself with the game, its rules, and variants, you’ll put yourself in a better position than most players but don’t let that discourage you from trying new things! Always do your research before playing anything and keep the fun factor in mind at all times. Lastly, make sure to read up on casino terms like “house edge” or “odds” so you know what you’re getting into before wagering any cash!
With this guide of common mistakes under your belt, it’s time to enjoy blackjack like never before! So relax, play smart, and good luck out there on the felt!