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The 10 Worst Plays in Blackjack You Can Make

Staff Writer 09/21/2015 Blog 3,385 views

Successful blackjack players are successful for one common reason: they do not deviate from basic blackjack strategies. When players start to alter basic strategies and choose to make decisions that go against this strategy, they increase their chances of losing. Below, players can learn of the top mistakes that make for a bad blackjack player. Peter Griffin, author of The Theory of Blackjack says that these mistakes are not overly costly initially, but over time, they can assist with the depletion of the bankroll. These mistakes are represented by the cost by percentage for deviating from the basic strategies of blackjack.

1. Double Ten Vs Ten or Ace

When doubling a 10 when the dealer shows a 10 or an Ace, players lose 0.05% more. This choice often ends in a loss since a 9 and 10 for the dealer can often result in a winning hand while players have a high percentage of getting a lower card when they hit.

2. Incorrect Pair Splits

Knowing what pairs to split is essential to being a successful player. Those that incorrectly split pairs will suffer 0.2% more losses.

3. Always Insure Any Hand

When insurance is offered and players insure every hand, they are simply throwing away money. This mistake costs 0.23% more of the budget and is one of the worst decisions to make.

4. Failure to Hit Soft 17

By not hitting a soft 17 hand and hoping to beat the dealer, players will lose 0.3%. Hitting a soft 17 can offer better chances of getting a higher hand that the dealer or even 21. Use the Ace as a key card with soft hands and hot when needed to achieve a higher ranking hand.

5. Always Split 4,4 and 5,5

Many players who are inexperienced or too eager will split pairs of 4s and 5s. This is a poor choice and will increase losses by 0.4%.

6. Never Double Down

Based on basic strategy there is a time to double and a time to not double hands. By doubling at the wrong time or choosing to never double down, players lose 1.6% more of their money.

7. Failure to Hit Ace and Small Cards

With a hand of an Ace and another small card, players who do not hit will lose 2% more often. Always hit a hand with an Ace and a small card since the Ace can later be used as a value of 1 to assist with the hand value and avoid busting.

8. Stand on Stiffs Against High Cards

When the dealer has a 2 and 6, it is a Stiff hand. Players who do not hit on these hands when they have high cards will suffer losses of 3%.

9. Hit Stiffs Against Small Cards

Alternately, hitting on stiff hands against small cards in a hand can result in a loss increase of 3.2%.

10. Always Split and Resplit 10,10

The worst mistake is splitting and resplitting 10s. This leads to losses of 8% and is a very costly mistake for any player.

How Costly Can these Mistakes Be?

Players that deviate from basic blackjack strategies will suffer more losses over time. In fact, any deviation from the strategy can drastically increase the house edge to as much as 15%. Griffin studied players in Nevada and New Jersey casinos and found that one in every 6.5 hands were being misplayed, costing players an additional 9%. For games with multiple decks, this means that the player odds are reduced by 1.4% when they deviate from basic strategies, giving the house an added edge of 2%.

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