blackjack mistakes

Blackjack Mistakes: Here's Why You Lose Every Game You Play

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Discover common Blackjack mistakes and learn how to play Blackjack like a pro!


In this article:

  • The most common Blackjack mistakes - explained
  • How to avoid making these costly mistakes at Blackjack tables
  • Actionable tips on how to win more in Blackjack

You’ve probably heard this before: Blackjack is a Casino game with the best odds / the smallest house edge.

Keeping that in mind, you hit Blackjack tables. But after a few hands, you notice that you’re losing as much or more than you would on Roulette, Craps, or even Slots.

What went wrong there?

You’re probably making some costly Blackjack mistakes.

No need to be ashamed, though. We’ve all been there.

Luckily for you, this guide will show you exactly why you suck at Blackjack and give you ACTIONABLE advice on how to become a better player.

Sounds good? Let's dive right in.

Blackjack Mistakes 101

When I say that Blackjack game has the best odds I don’t mean that winning at Blackjack is easy.

But it's easier than most other games if you know how to play.

To become a winning player, you need to learn what are the most common mistakes Blackjack beginners make and avoid them.

Is Blackjack All About Fun?

No, it isn't.

It’s important to have fun when playing any Casino game (remember: when the fun stops, stop), but if you want to win real money at Blackjack, there’s more to it.

Do you want to have fun? Play Roulette.

Do you want to have fun - with no one around? Play Slots.

Do you want to win money? That's when you should play Blackjack.

Treating Blackjack only as a fun game to play is the most common mistake beginners make.

You need to have the right mindset to be a winner and the attitude of "seeing how things go" doesn't bring you anywhere.

If you want to be successful, you need to believe in yourself, and you need to sit at the Blackjack table with a clear idea of how you will play to win more.

Italians say "Who starts well is halfway there," and there's no better start than to sit at the Blackjack table with the right mindset.

If you want to be a winner, you need to behave like one.

Do you think Zlatan Ibrahimovic puts his boots on "to see how it goes?"

Work on your motivation and your attitude. Tell yourself that "you are going to crush it" and boost your confidence up until you are ready to…

Set a Clear Goal for Each Session

You need to have a goal to reach. Think of something that will tell you that "Yes! This game of Blackjack was a success!"

You need a goal that is well-defined, measurable and, most importantly, realistic.

Bad goal-setting is the worst Blackjack mistake. The one that kills your win-rate and pushes you away from the game.

Successful people know that they need to set clear objectives to reach, to have very well-defined achievable goals that will determine if they are on the right track or not.

Winning money is not a goal - it's a wish.

Do you know what a real goal is?

"Winning $150."

THIS is a goal.

It's measurable, it's well-defined, and, if that suits your bankroll, it's also realistically achievable.

Think about this:

You sit at the table with $50, and your goal is to turn it into $150. One hour later, you have $55. Is it a success?

Of course not. Success is $150 - not $55.

Of course, you shouldn’t go ahead and play until you reach the $150 - aiming to achieve your goals blindly doesn’t work when it comes to gambling.

But your losses will push you to analyze your play, your mistakes, and understand what more you could have done to reach your objective.

This way the foundation of the next game is set.

Likewise, if you did reach your goal, you’ll know that your goal is achievable and/or your strategies work.

It also marks a good time to stop playing before you end up losing your winnings.

After all, not knowing when to stop is also a common Blackjack mistake among players...

Know When to Stop

Without a defined goal, you will never know when it's time to stop and go home.

Every good Blackjack player knows that it's a mistake not to have two clear figures in mind well before the play begins:

  • A goal
  • The maximum you can lose

These two numbers are crucial to increasing your success-rate at the Blackjack table.

Not reaching your goal is fine - it makes you think and improve your future gaming. But losing more money than you can is a mistake you can't afford to make.

If you feel the need to play "a little bit more" or to get into "just one more hand" every time you lose - stop right there.

You have a problem and gambling isn't for you. Ask for help.

Card Counting May Be a Mistake, Too

Be sure of this:
If you play at brick-and-mortar Casinos, card counting will get you banned.

If you are into Casino gambling, there's a good chance that you are familiar with gambling movies like Rounders and 21.

If you are, you know what happens to those who think they can outsmart a Casino.

Wait - do you think that's only in Hollywood?

In October 2017, gambling and Poker legend Phil Ivey lost a Supreme Court bid to reclaim £7.7m of winnings withheld by a London Casino for five years.

Ivey won the head-spinning sum playing Punto Banco at London's Crockfords Club but - guess what:

He used a technique called 'Edge Sorting.'

The Casino found out, started a legal battle, and convinced the judges of London's Supreme Court to rule against the player.

What is Edge Sorting?What Ivey did in London is relatively easy: he spotted some incredibly tiny imperfections located right on the back of the cards used at the table and used them to win his games.

Is this super-smart? Indeed, it is.

Is this legit? The London Supreme Court said it was not.

Wait Until You Are Ready

The first time I tried to order a meal in Paris using my French, I ended up with a $55 raw burger with a raw egg on top of it for me and two of my friends.

They wanted to kill me.

When I placed my order, I didn't know what I was doing - I just thought there could be nothing wrong with steak because…

…a steak tartare must be a steak, right?

Not in France, apparently.

The same applies to Blackjack.

You — like everybody — know the basics: if you get twenty-one, you win.

If you get low cards, you should ask for one more card.

If you go over twenty-one, you have made a mistake.

Does this mean you know how to play Blackjack?

Of course not.

To become a good Blackjack player you need to learn that different tables feature different payouts and that there's a whole literature on how you should play your cards.

If you play online, you need to know the rules of the game and of the table you play at.

Online Casinos offer Blackjack variants that you can't find at brick-and-mortar Casinos. Even the smallest difference from the traditional game can result in terribly embarrassing losses.

If you want to avoid the most common mistakes - don't be a beginner. Learn the basics of the game.

Use the '6-to-5' Rule to YOUR Advantage

If you want to leave the table with more money than you began with, you need to know which table is good for you.

A lot of Casinos offer games where a blackjack made with the first two cards is paid 6 to 5:

Those are the games you should avoid.

The 6-to-5 payout is extremely unfavourable to the player. Traditional tables pay the hands 3-to-2, meaning you can get more money every time you hit blackjack.

If you are not sure about your table's payout - ask the dealer.

If you are ashamed to do so because you don't want to look like the room's newbie - go home.

Shame is a mistake that is going to cost you a lot of money.

Debunking the Myths: Betting Systems

A lot of online Casino sites suggest gamblers relying on some mysterious betting system that works more or less like this:

  • Place your bet.
  • If you lose, bet again - but make sure you double the size of your bet.
  • You'll only need to win once to get even and recover your losses.

As the Italians say: Mamma Mia!

First Mistake. Why in the world would one want to play Blackjack to…get even?

By now, you should have a clear idea about the importance of goal-setting in Blackjack. If you don't, it means you've cheated and skipped the most important part of this article.

Your mistake, not mine.

Second Mistake. If there were ever a system to win at Blackjack that required people to do nothing more than double the size of their bets, the Casinos would go bankrupt in a night.

Ask yourself: how come it doesn't look like Casinos lose as often as these betting systems want you to believe they should?

Because Blackjack betting systems do not work.

I met countless "gurus" who claimed to have found ingenious ways to beat the odds and win at Blackjack every time they play and, let me tell you this:

If you fall for their lies, you deserve to lose.

Blackjack is an exciting card game where the players get good opportunities to win when they apply the correct Blackjack strategy…

…not the fantasies of someone who lives in a trailer and has invested $10 in a cheeky website.

Master the Basic Strategy

The only way to win more money at the Blackjack table is following the basic strategy.

Trusting your gut instinct doesn’t work, especially when you’re a beginner.

In 2019, you can find gambling books and Casino sites to learn everything about the basic Blackjack strategy.

But contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to spend months in the library to learn it.

Reading a couple of articles on CasinoSmash and how to practice Blackjack for free at online Casinos will help a lot. And a few days will be more than enough to master it.

Disclaimer: Gambling is a game of chance and there's no sure-fire formula that guarantee winnings. You can improve your winning chances by using the right in-game strategies but there is no way to predict when a machine or a Casino game is going to pay. Also, this page contains affiliate links. If you click through and play, we might earn a commission. That’s what allow us to keep CasinoSmash free and bring you the best online Casino bonuses!

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