Making mistakes in blackjack can happen – even for more skilled players. However, it is likely to happen if you hone your skills, practice gameplay, and avoid the most common blackjack mistakes. To better explain what we mean, we should introduce you to some of the most damaging mistakes found in blackjack. Any skilled blackjack player worth their salt knows to avoid these calamities.
Never Stand on Soft 17s
There are certain hands you simply shouldn’t stand on in blackjack. One of these is the Soft 17, or an ace and a six, for those not in the know. A soft hand is one that you cannot bust if you take one more card. As you should always assume that the blackjack dealer’s hole card is an ace, it is worth having a go. The same is true on a Soft 18. You’re more likely to lose standing on Soft 17s (in the long run) than you are if you hit.
Never Split Pairs of 4s or 5s
Splitting cards is fine, but there are certain times when you shouldn’t. For instance, we don’t recommend splitting a pair of 4s or 5s. Playing a pair of fours is unlikely to see you bust, and you could end up with nineteen if you land an Ace. Similarly, if you play a pair of fives, the worst you can end up with is blackjack (if you land an Ace). Splitting these will almost always result in you having a low scoring hand and then risk busting when you hit. Splitting 4s and 5s isn’t worth it.
Don’t Split 10s
It may be tempting to split a pair of tens, but this is the worst mistake you can make. Two tens equal twenty, and unless the dealer has blackjack, you’re assured of a win or at least a push. It just isn’t worth splitting tens, even if your brain tells you that splitting tens will give you two half-decent hands. Engrain this into your head now – never split tens.
Don’t Play Games with 6:5 Payouts
Any blackjack game that has a 6:5 payout is not as valuable as 3:2. Las Vegas casinos (in particular) have tried this, and while it sounds similar, it triples the house’s edge. A 3:2 win will see you paid 1.5x your bet, while a 6:5 win sees you paid only 1.2x your stake. It simply isn’t worth it, and you shouldn’t be fooled by these blackjack games.
Never Deviate from Basic Strategy
Finally, and this should go without saying – don’t deviate from Basic Strategy. Once you have learnt Basic Strategy or even printed out a chart, be sure to stick to it. Most blackjack dealers and AI dealers use Basic Strategy because it showcases the best moves to make based on the hands available. If you want to win at blackjack, you should not only use it but trust it. Don’t deviate from Basic Strategy.