Blackjack is a firm favourite of gamblers across the globe. Compared to many table games, the blackjack rules are simple; this allows players of all abilities to enjoy the game both online and in house. As you’re playing against the dealer, it doesn’t matter whether you’ve got years of experience under your belt or you’re totally new – with no opponents to beat, you’ll be in with a chance of winning if luck is on your side. While the game requires minimal skill, there are still certain things to avoid if you want the best chance of winning. In this blackjack for beginners guide, we explore some of the biggest blackjack mistakes to avoid to give you the best blackjack tips.
1. Taking insurance
First on the list of blackjack mistakes is taking insurance. Today, many casinos offer you insurance when the dealer’s upcard is an ace or 10. You’re paid 2:1 in the event that the dealer has a blackjack. We have insurance for our cars, homes, and gadgets, so we’ve been conditioned to think that it’s always a good thing. Because of this, it can feel natural to insure yourself against a potential blackjack. In reality, however, insurance is just a bad side bet in disguise. Avoid blackjack mistakes like this whenever possible!
2. Hitting on a pair of 4s if the dealer shows a 5 or 6
You may have looked at a strategy or two before playing your first game of blackjack. There’s nothing wrong with this, in fact, some strategies have shown to be pretty successful. Others, however, are the biggest blackjack mistakes you can make. One example of this is hitting on a pair of 4s when the dealer shows a 5 or 6.
Some basic strategies advise never splitting on 4s, 5s or 10s, but there’s an exception to this rule. If a dealer has a 5 or 6, the best thing to do is split the 4s. Most players want to hit in this situation, so they don’t risk busting a hard total of 8. If the dealer has a 5 or 6, though, he’s so likely to go bust that it makes sense to split the 4s. By choosing to split, you can’t bust unless you hit too many times and you bring more money into action – it’s a win-win!
3. Not knowing the sign language
In the movies, blackjack players shout “hit me!” or “I stay” when their turn comes around. In real life, it doesn’t usually work like that. Instead, most players use hand signals to indicate what they want to do. As well as preventing any misunderstanding, this provides evidence to the security cameras about their intent. Because of this, not knowing the sign language is one of the biggest blackjack mistakes. Before your first game, get clued up on the basic hand signals so you know what you’re doing. If you forget mid-game, don’t panic though. The dealer will be more than happy to remind you if necessary.
4. Standing on a hard 16 if the dealer shows an ace
Next on the list of the biggest blackjack mistakes is standing on a hard 16 when the dealer shows an ace. We get it – it can be tricky to hit on a hard 16 through fear of going bust. However, sometimes the best move is still a losing move in the long run. While you still have the potential to bust by hitting on a hard 16, you’ll probably lose less money than you would by taking the other option. If you don’t hit, the probability that the dealer is going to win if he has an ace showing is so high that you’ll lose more money long-term.
5. Splitting 10s
Many players are tempted to split 10s, and we get why – having two hands containing a 10 is a strong way to start the game. However, splitting tens is actually one of the biggest blackjack mistakes you can make. This is because a hard total of 20 is so good that the dealer is unlikely to beat you. The only way you’ll lose with a hard 20 is if the dealer is lucky enough to get 21.
6. Standing on soft 18 if the dealer shows a 3, 4, 5, or 6
Next up we’ve got standing on a soft 18 is the dealer shows a 3, 4, 5 or 6. You guessed it – this is another one of the biggest blackjack mistakes. Most players know that you should almost always stand on a soft 18 but almost is the keyword here. In certain situations, it’s better to double down.
If the dealer has a 3, 4, 5 or 6, he’s more likely to bust. With a soft 18, it’s impossible for you to bust. With this in mind, the best option is to double down to get more money into the game, ready for when the dealer goes bust.
7. Hitting a pair of 2s instead of splitting when the dealer shows a 7
The final no-no on the list of the biggest blackjack mistakes is hitting on a pair of 2s instead of splitting when the dealer shows a 7. Contrary to popular belief, a starting card of 2 isn’t all that bad. Hitting a 4 might seem like the obvious choice, but the best move when the dealer shows a 7 is to split the 2s to bring more money into the game.
So, there you have it – the biggest blackjack mistakes to avoid for beginners. Blackjack is a simple game, and it’s true that beginners can play without any prior knowledge. However, remembering these blackjack tips will give you the best chance of winning. For more information on the blackjack rules and how to deal blackjack, visit our Blackjack Terms page.
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