Losing at Blackjack: Reasons and Solutions

Blackjack isn’t an enigma. The odds of winning and losing are very well-known, which is why there’s no excuse to keep losing so much. This is especially true considering that Blackjack has one of the lowest house odds of any casino game. There are countless players that keep racking up the losses at the Blackjack tables of the world, but that shouldn’t happen and we’re here to make sure it doesn’t in the future. All it takes is a few rules and tweaks and any Blackjack player can get their game back on track. It’s time to go to Blackjack school, as this article will explain Losing at Blackjack: Reasons and Solutions.

REASON 1: ALWAYS MAKING THE INSURANCE BET

Losing at Blackjack: Insurance Bet

Casinos have fooled players into believing this is a good bet because it “insures” or “protects” their main bet from losing against a dealer’s blackjack. This is far from the truth because the insurance bet neither increases nor decreases your chance of winning the original bet. Plain and simple, the insurance bet is nothing more than a side bet on whether or not the dealer has a ten in the hole (i.e., her downcard) and, consequently, a blackjack. Without any information on the composition of the cards in the deck, you have no earthly idea if the dealer’s downcard is a ten, which is why insurance should never be taken by basic strategy players. Note: Card counters, on the other hand, have information on the composition of the deck. Therefore, insurance is a profitable bet for them.

REASON 2: PLAYING ON A BLACKJACK TABLE THAT USES A CONTINUOUS SHUFFLING MACHINE (CSM)

A CSM is an automatic shuffling device that also dispenses the cards to the dealer to deal with players. Many casinos nowadays use CSMs on their tables because it speeds up the game and it also discourages card counters. A CSM usually contains four or five decks of cards, and after every round, the dealer places the discards back into the CSM where the cards are randomly shuffled. Because a live blackjack dealer never stops dealing to manually shuffle the cards, she can deal more hands per hour to players. This exposes more of a player’s bankroll to the house edge, increasing a player’s theoretical hourly loss. Average players need to slow down their play, which they can do by playing on a table where the dealer hand shuffles the cards, rather than on one that uses a CSM.

REASON 3: TRYING TO BEAT THE HOUSE WITH A BETTING PROGRESSION

It seems players have a fascination with betting progressions, where you bet more or less based on the previous hands, because they mistakenly believe they can win with them. Well, they can’t and they won’t. You are fighting a losing battle if you use a betting progression for one simple reason. In the history of blackjack, there has never been any mathematical study that proves your chances of winning the next hand will improve based on the results (win or lose). Betting progressions are not the magic bullet that will help you win at blackjack.

And yes, in the short run when you get to make some adrenaline-pumping big bets. According to whatever progression you are using, they can be fun to use but in the long run, guess what? The house edge against you won’t change one iota. And what’s worse is you will lose more money using a betting progression in the long haul compared to just betting the same amount on every hand because with a betting progression you will be exposing a greater amount of your bankroll to the house edge, so the more money you bet, the more money you stand to lose. Nope, betting progressions don’t work in the long run so forget about it.

Losing at Blackjack: REASON 4: NOT CHECKING THE PLAYING RULES

Blackjack Rules

Most players just plop themselves down at the first open blackjack seat that they spot. That is often a big mistake because not all blackjack games are created equal. Some games have a good mix of player-favorable rules, like the dealer stands on soft 17, and you can double down after pair splitting, while others have terrible rules, like a player blackjack pays 6-5, or doubling is restricted to 10 or 11 only.

A casino manager isn’t going to point you to his more player-favorable games. Nope, that’s your responsibility. Therefore, it behooves a player to check the rules before sitting down to play. Is the dealer going to pay you 3-2 on a blackjack? Does the dealer stand or hit on soft 17? Can you double down after pair splitting? Is surrender offered? Playing at a table with horrible rules can doom a player.

REASON 5: PLAYING TIRED OR INEBRIATED

Have you ever seen a bleary-eyed or inebriated blackjack player winning? Alcoholic drinks are free when you play, and after a long trip, you can’t wait to get on the blackjack tables. However, you must have a clear head when you play blackjack because you have to use your brain to make playing decisions. Drinking too much alcohol or playing when tired will just cloud your thinking process, leading to playing mistakes. Play first, drink later: and only play blackjack when you are well-rested.

Losing at Blackjack: REASON 6: PLAYING 6-5 GAMES

When a casino pays 6-5 (or 7-6, or worse, even money) for a blackjack, that’s a horrible game. In a single-deck game, the house edge zooms to 1.39%; if blackjack pays only even money, the house edge increases even more to 2.3%. It’s not only single-deck games that have 6-5 payoffs. Nowadays, you’ll find 6-5 payoffs on double- and multi-deck games. Be especially vigilant about blackjack games in so-called party pits, where blackjack payoffs are usually 6-5 or even money. You’ll pay big time for the eye-candy in party pits. Bottom line: Don’t make the mistake of playing a 6-5 blackjack game. Check the rules posted on the table or ask the dealer. If the game doesn’t pay 3-2 for a blackjack, walk away (better yet, run).

REASON 7: INCREASING YOUR BET BECAUSE YOU ARE DUE TO WIN

Most blackjack players mistakenly believe that blackjack is close to a 50-50 proposition so if they lose several hands in a row, the reason the odds must be better for them to win the next hand so they make a bigger bet. Remember about past results not affecting future results in blackjack? This holds true even after you’ve had a bad run of losing several consecutive hands. Your chance of winning the next hand in blackjack is about 48% (excluding ties), regardless of what happened in previous hands. The only time you should bet more in blackjack is when you know you have the best of it. For example, by card counting – check your skills with the card counting trainer. And not when you think that you are “due to win.”

Losing at Blackjack: REASON 8: NOT USING BASIC STRATEGY

Playing blackjack is not a guessing game, where sometimes you hit your 16 against a dealer’s 10 upcard. And for whatever reason, other times you stand. The mathematically correct way to play every hand has been determined by brilliant mathematicians and this strategy is known as the basic playing strategy. The latter is available in books and on the Internet. The strategy is shown in tables and charts and it tells you the right way to play every hand. So if you hold a 9-9 and the dealer’s upcard is a 9, there is one and only one correct way to play this hand.

It doesn’t matter if you are playing in a casino in Las Vegas, the Midwest, Biloxi, or Atlantic City. Or whether you just lost or won the last five hands, you have been winning or losing money, your gut is telling you to stand. The correct play is to split. You don’t split sometimes, stand other times, and always split. You must play like a robot and always make the correct basic strategy play regardless of everything else. If you can’t or won’t accept this, then you should play a different game because you will never be successful at blackjack.

Losing at Blackjack: WAYS TO WIN AT BLACKJACK

1. Find tables where the stakes suit your bankroll needs

This is a bit of a difficult situation, especially for players with smaller bankrolls. But if you carry out the necessary research regarding the casino you are playing at, you should be able to determine where the minimum stakes are. Some casinos go as far as to give away free games during off-peak hours. Do some research and find the right casino with the right blackjack game for you.

2. Losing at Blackjack: Split Aces and Eights

Losing at Blackjack: Aces and Eights

If you have seen our blackjack cheat sheet, then you know that we always recommend splitting aces and eights. While it may appear a bad move to break up eights, it is still the most likely way to win and ultimately make a neat profit.

3. Dealer stands on Soft 17

You should always seek tables where the dealer stands on a Soft 17, as it can have a significant impact on your bankroll. When you have a dealer that stands on a Soft 17, it cuts the house edge significantly and thus making it slightly easier for you to win.

4. Stand when you have a hand that could bust against a dealer’s card

If the dealer has a face-up card of four, five, or six, it would be best to stand especially if you have a weak hand. So for example, if you have a hand made up of a 10 and a 2, there is circa a 70% probability that you could improve your hand but there is always a 30% chance of busting. Give the dealer the chance to bust and try again.

5. Pick a table that offers the double down option

There is also another rule that can help you reduce the house edge. While some casinos will allow you to double down with a 10 or 11, other casinos will let you double down on any two cards you like. If you play this correctly, the double downs will swell your bankroll. Make sure you have a good strategy in place to reduce the house edge as much as possible.

6. Double down with any ace against the dealer’s six

One of the best times to take advantage of double downs is when you have an ace in hand and the dealer’s upcard is a six. You should whenever possible double down in this situation unless you have a soft 20. If possible, also double down against the dealer’s 5 except when you have a soft 19 or 20.

7. Losing at Blackjack: Have a strategy in place

It’s always wise to have a basic strategy in place that you can refer to when you are playing blackjack. Having a strategy in place can help save your bankroll. And can reinforce you into playing more correctly and save you from making costly mistakes.

8. Set your limits and stick to them

Once you are ready to play, try to set the amount of money you are willing to play and part with. Stick to this decision throughout the game. If you are on a losing streak, don’t go chasing after your money. Once you have made this choice, be thankful. As it will help you not fall into the trap of betting more than you can afford to.

9. Losing at Blackjack: Have a betting strategy in place

As with most casino games, you should always have a betting strategy in place so as to make sure that you increase the chances of leaving the table with more money. Betting systems such as the Martingale and Paroli are used by many players. These betting systems are based on mathematical progressions that help you recover most of your losses whilst also making sure you make a tight profit.

They tend to offer a bit of assistance to blackjack players, but they have also been created with specific bankrolls in mind. So if you have a rather smaller bankroll, these betting strategies won’t work for you and you will have to find a better system. Source: John Slots

 

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