Blackjack: Common Mistakes You Should Avoid

The underlying principle behind blackjack is pure luck. It’s a game of chance – Whether you are counting cards in a live casino or trying to execute a blackjack strategy on one of the many online casinos found at, you’re still taking a risk.

Sometimes, the cards will turn against you. That’s not enough reason to give in to frustration. You can’t decide to raise your bets to recoup some of the money you’ve been betting at that stage. That may have disastrous consequences. However, if you have some sensible methods, you can always make up for your mistakes or some badhands. 

The most famous house edge in gambling is blackjack’s 0.5% house edge. That’s one of several reasons why blackjack is the preferred choice of many experienced players. They’d rather take a risk with blackjack than stake their hard earned money on roulette or some other games with less than impressive payouts. Nevertheless, blackjack is more than a game. Inexperienced players have a hard time getting close to its 0.5% edge.

However, to reach its incredibly low house edge, you must be adept at playing the game and have an in-depth knowledge of strategies. Knowing when to stand and when to hit is the bare minimum of playing strategies you need to excel at playing blackjack, however. You must understand the critical moments when it’s advisable to split, double down, or increase your stake.

Always stand on a 17 or 18

That’s common knowledge. A 17 or an 18 offers a good hand. Thus, you should stand. Sometimes, though, conventional wisdom may be wrong. Hence, you should pay attention to the dealer’s card.

If the dealer has a 9 or 10, hitting is advised, especially on a 17. A dealer with a 10 can get a win with a 10-value card (the faces) or by drawing an Ace. With an 8, they can share the pot.

With the 8, there is a 46.1% chance that the dealer will draw a superior hand while the remaining percentage offers you an opportunity to share the pot. If the dealer draws any number up to 6, they have better chances of winning because they may hit again. However, with a 17 or an 18, there is no absolute assurance that the dealer may win against a 9 or a 10. Thus, when the dealer has some good cards, be ready to seize the opportunity to hit.

When you’re not splitting 7s and 8s, you won’t get a good hand with 16. However, if you stick to 16, you count on winning by the dealer going bust. Nevertheless, 16 is so high that the dealer may go bust if they try to improve on it. 

However, splitting the pairs is advisable. That implies that you double your bet to increase your winning chances. You may be lucky enough to get a strong hand from one of the 8s. Thus, split 8s always. 7s are not that reliable but you may consider splitting them as well.

Not splitting Aces

Aces are weak themselves. However, if you split them, you have two cards with the potential to give you some fantastic hands. You have a 30.7% chance of drawing a card whose value is 10 – creating a blackjack. With the other cards, they can increase your chances of winning –  you have an opportunity to use two fiery hot hands to hit the dealer.

Not Doubling Down on 10 or 11

Most players are scared of doubling down because there are slim chances of succeeding when they do. However, you only need a bit of caution when doubling down.

The odds are in your favor with a 10 or an 11 provided the dealer has no card above 8. If the dealer has 10, you can still double with 11. More so, if the dealer’s biggest hand is 6, you can double down on 9 and still win. So, if you don’t double down when necessary, you actually reduce your chances of carving into blackjack’s house edge.

Standing on Soft 17

This is a familiar hint among blackjack players. Depending on the dealer’s card, standing on 17 may be an intelligent decision. However, don’t stand on a soft 17. A ‘soft’ is a 17 that uses an ace whose value is 11.

Casinos offer some blackjack varieties where dealers don’t stand on 17 unless it’s absolutely necessary, especially with a soft hand. The house has a bigger edge with this blackjack variety than the more popular “Always Stand on 17” variety.

Although some players are unaware of this, casinos are fully aware that players shouldn’t stand on a soft 17. So, when a dealer’s card is 7 or higher, a soft 17 is the best to hit with.

Accepting Even Money or Insurance bets

Insurance isn’t a good bet. Many blackjack players are aware of that. A player can take half of their original stake as side-bet if the dealer draws an Ace. You’ll lose your original bet if the dealer draws a blackjack. The side-bet compensates the loss, though and is paid out at 2/1 odds.

However, since the chances of drawing blackjack is 30.8% of the time, most times, the side-best is wasted. 

Nevertheless, many players are still addicted to a side-bet: Even Money. This is an Insurance bet variation that is used when a dealer draws an Ace while the player has a blackjack. In this case, a 1:1 payout will be agreed on by the player. However, if the dealer and the player both draw a blackjack, the player’s payout is 2/1 on their side-bet.

It should be noted that the costs of the side-bet, in the long-term, won’t pay out – both Even Money and Insurance are poor bets that players should ignore at all costs.