Beginner mistakes to avoid when playing online blackjack

If you’re new to the game, some common beginner mistakes are easy to commit. Avoid these blunders, and you better your odds and enjoyment of online blackjack. Before playing any online casino game, carefully read the rules for that specific variant. While blackjack has standard rules, some subtleties differ between games. For example,

  • The number of decks used
  • Splitting and doubling down limitations
  • Blackjack payout amounts
  • Dealer hitting or standing on soft 17

Knowing the exact rules prevents you from making incorrect plays that could cost you wins. What is the correct strategy in one blackjack variant could be wrong in another? The rules should always be read first.

Not using basic strategy

Basic blackjack strategy charts tell you the statistically best moves to make based on your hand versus the dealer’s upcard. With a basic strategy, you can dramatically lower the house edge and play near-perfect blackjack every hand. Yet many beginners try to play by “gut feel” alone. This results in many unnecessary losses over time. Memorize a basic strategy chart or use a cheat sheet, and stick to making the plays it tells you to make.

Taking insurance 

When the best online gambling sites usa dealer’s upcard is an Ace, the game offers insurance a side bet you make by wagering up to half your original bet. An insurance payout of 2:1 is given to the dealer if he has blackjack. But mathematically, it’s a bad wager that increases the house edge. Decline insurance no matter what you’re holding. The only exception is if you have blackjack yourself, insurance becomes an even money wager to protect your 3:2 payout in case the dealer also has blackjack.

It’s easy after a string of losses to increase stakes, thinking a big win is “due” to make up for it. It is called “chasing your losses” and is a dangerous mindset. Stick to the same bet amount regardless of previous hands. The past cannot influence the future outcome. Making larger bets trying to recoup what you’ve lost leads to more significant loss when the next hands also go badly. Stay rational and bet steady.

Not quitting while ahead

The flip side of chasing losses is not quitting while you’re ahead. Let’s say you hit a hot streak and are up $100. Many beginners keep playing thinking their luck will continue, when it’s smart to call it quits. Have a winning goal in mind before playing and stick to it. Once you’ve hit that target, stop playing and book the win. Remove your original buy-in amount and play with only the profits. This way you lock in returns and only risk the casino’s money.

If you have a blackjack while the dealer is showing an Ace, you will be offered even money. It pays 1:1 instead of the usual 3:2 for blackjack. Taking even money makes sense when the dealer has a high chance of also having blackjack. When the dealer is showing a 5 or 6 for example, declining even money is the better play mathematically. Don’t automatically take even money, whenever it is offered without first checking the dealer’s upcard. Playing with discipline and patience will lead to blackjack success.

River Scott

Emmett River Scott: Emmett, a culture journalist, writes about arts and entertainment, pop culture trends, and celebrity news.