Blackjack is one of the most accessible card games, but it does have a strategy component that can help players to lower the house edge and increase the chances of winning.
If you are a new player at NJ Online Casino, you can have fun and win hands whatever your ability but being aware of the most common mistakes, and how to actively avoid making them, can take your game to the next level.
Always trying to hit 21
The magic number in blackjack is 21, but new players often try to get too close to that number when a more conservative play with a lower score may be the best option. For example, if you currently have 12 and the dealer’s up-card is a5, then it is actually better to “stand” on this number than take a “hit” even though you are nine points away from 21.
Remember, you should always be playing the dealer rather than trying to score big. The dynamic between you and the dealer’s cards should inform your strategy first and foremost.
Erroneously adding the ace card
Ace cards are tricky for newcomers as they have two different values. When you have a hand with an ace, it can be worth both one and eleven, which means you need to consider two different scores before making a decision.
When you have a hand with an ace counting as 11, it is deemed as “soft.” Conversely, an ace as a 1 is a “hard” hand. Players should never stand when they have Ace-Six or less as anything up to a soft 17 gives the dealer an advantage. If you are unsure, take your time and ask the dealer your current total.
Sticking rigidly to a never bust strategy
While trying to hit 21 every time is not a recommended strategy, being so risk-averse that you never gamble with certain scores is not a good idea either. Some new players often believe that standing on any total of 12 or higher is best as it eliminates the chances of going bust.
However, this is rarely the best play. It may be correct to stick with a hard 15 or 16 depending on the circumstances but you should always be looking to be active when you have a total of 14 and lower.
Deviating from a basic strategy
Every blackjack hand you get does actually have a single way you “should” play it. Computer programs have calculated the odds of every outcome in blackjack and many players use a chart that advises them what they should do at any one moment to improve their chances against the house.
That does not mean that play will always work out best but new players often fall down by embracing a haphazard style of decision making that makes it more difficult than it needs to be. Memorizing the right plays can help you when you are under pressure so educate yourself and practice if you want to succeed.
New players should also be wary of playing with their gut instinct rather than the math, mimicking the dealer’s style of play and chasing losses with bigger bets.