The Fast Track to Blackjack Self-Destruction

How to blow up your blackjack game in five ruinous steps.

How to Blow Up your Blackjack Game in Five Ruinous StepsAlmost every blackjack guide ever written, whether it be a 5-paragraph write-up or a 5-part book series, has dealt with the how-to’s of gambling. They teach us everything from how to employ a strategy chart, to how to count cards, to how to budget a bankroll. But guides don’t have to be a one-way street.

Today we’re pulling a u-turn and driving the opposite direction. We’ll be talking specifically about what not to do at the blackjack tables. I’ve compiled a short list of the 5 most self-destructive behaviors seen in the live and online gambling realm, both by amateurs and experienced players.

How to Blow Up Your Blackjack Game in 5 Ruinous Steps

The following are the most common and/or most implosive errors made by blackjack players. In short, don’t do any of these things, or you can kiss your bankroll goodbye.

#1 Don’t Deviate from Basic Strategy

The absolute most common mistake is to deviate from a basic strategy. When a game advertises a high RTP rate, that rate is determined in accordance with the application of a basic strategy. I don’t care how tempting it is to split 5s or 10s. Don’t do it, ever. Follow your gut instead of your head even the slightest bit, and you’re reducing your odds of winning.

#2 Don’t Forget Casino Etiquette

At a live casino, etiquette is serious business. Don’t hand your money directly to the dealer. Set it in front of you and wait for them to pick it up and exchange it for chips. Don’t tell the dealer what you want to do. Use the proper gestures for stand, hit, etc. Unless you’ve lost every chip to your name, don’t forget to tip the dealer. And never tell those around you how to play better blackjack. No one likes a critic!

#3 Don’t Play Anything Less Than 3:2 Blackjack

Double Exposure Blackjack Rules the Only Exception to demanding a 3:2 natural blackjack payoutThe payout for a natural blackjack is the most crucial of all rules governing a blackjack game’s RTP. The standard payout is 3:2. If the rules call for anything less (i.e. 6:5 or 1:1), don’t play.

The only exception to this rule is Microgaming’s Double Exposure Blackjack, which affords an RTP of 99.68%. In this game, a player blackjack only pays 1:1, and the dealer wins all ties, but those rules make up for the highly advantageous fact that the player can see all of the dealer’s cards at all times.

#4 Never Buy Insurance

Anytime the dealer is showing an Ace, you’ll be asked if you want to purchase insurance. Don’t do it. The odds of the dealer having blackjack are just 31% (69% that he doesn’t).

If you purchase insurance, there’s a 69% chance you lose the insurance bet, followed by at least 52% chance you lose the original bet, too (because he’s holding an Ace). You’re much better off taking the 52% odds of losing the original bet alone.

#5 Don’t Drink and Gamble

No matter how determined you are to follow the first four rules of blackjack, consuming alcoholic beverages will ruin that plan. The more you drink, the worse it gets. Blackjack is not a game largely associated with risk-taking. It’s a game of methodically calculated decisions. If history has taught us anything, it’s that alcohol and good decision-making do not go hand in hand.

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