Knowing when to stand and hit are two of the most important blackjack rules to follow, with most assuming that there is no other strategy involved and that the rest of the game is based purely on luck for the most part.
But this advice is flawed since despite the ease of learning rules, there are plenty of strategies that surround the game of blackjack. Keep reading to discover what common errors you should avoid and learn some tips to improve your overall game play.
Holding out for 21
The dealer (or house) is the person at the table or online which you’ll have to beat, and new players often make the mistake of trying to reach 21 exactly thinking it’s the best score and easily obtained. This is very ill advised since standing with a lower hand will often give you a much better game outcome.
For example: you have a hand that equals 15. New players will often hit again in the hopes of getting closer to 21. But if the dealer has a lower hand, they’ll need to hit the deck to raise their score, and if they have to hit twice, they’re far more likely to go bust. So always keep in mind that a pretty score isn’t the point, beating the dealer is.
Another common mistake is not having examined a blackjack strategy chart. This kind of chart advises players on the action they should take, based on their hand and the dealers up card. For example, if the dealer has an up card of 2 or 3, standing on 12 will likely have you lose, since the dealer has a higher chance of getting a face card or ten to boost their score.
The strategy chart will show that you should hit. It should be noted that unless you have a photographic memory, a strategy chart will only benefit you if you choose to play online, as you can then take your time to figure out your best bet, based on the options available to you. A live dealer in a land-based casino, however, will not take kindly to you checking a strategy chart after every dealing.
Other Errors To Avoid
If you have two tens, most new players choose to split them, in the belief that they’ll get a better score by doing this. However, two 10’s put you at 20 and if you stand with this hand, you’ll likely beat whatever score the dealer has.
Standing On 12
A rookie error is often standing on 12 if the dealer has an up card below 6. Standing on 12 should be avoided when possible as statistically, while there is the possibility of you getting one of 16 cards that will make you go bust, you’re far more likely to get one of the 36 other cards in the deck which will improve your hand and leave you better off standing on your next turn.