7 Reasons Blackjack Players Lose Too Much Money

Man With Head Down on a Casino Table with a Closeup of a Blackjack Table on Left

If you’re a blackjack player and are tired of losing so much money, I have some good news. You’re probably making at least one of the mistakes listed in this post. And once you learn why you’re losing too much money playing blackjack, you can quickly correct the issue.

Most blackjack players can eliminate most mistakes by using a strategy card or strategy chart. However, it’s also important to understand which blackjack rules help you win and which rules hurt your chances.

Keep reading to learn the seven main reasons why you’re losing too much money playing blackjack.

1 – Accepting Insurance

Insurance is the most evil thing that casinos ever came up with. Insurance takes advantage of a mental trick that makes blackjack players feel like they can break even when they have a good hand, but it simply makes every blackjack player who takes insurance lose more money.

To understand why insurance is evil, you need to know two things. First, you need to know that it probably irritates you when you have a good hand and lose to a dealer’s blackjack. And the casino takes advantage of your irritation.

You have a good hand and lose when the dealer has a blackjack. So the next time you have a good hand and the dealer offers you insurance and tells you that you can break even if the dealer has a blackjack, it sounds like a good bet. But the casino is simply taking advantage of your irritation.

The second thing you need to know is that insurance has nothing to do with your hand. When you make an insurance bet, you get 2 to 1 odds on whether the dealer has a card worth 10 points to go with his or her ace.

The cards that the dealer can have include four cards that are worth 10 points and nine cards that aren’t worth 10 points. So the odds are 9 to 4, or 2.25 to 1. But the casino only pays 2 to 1, so every time you bet on insurance, the casino is making more money.

2 – Split Mistakes

Most blackjack players know that they should split when they have a pair of eights. If you don’t split, you have a hard 16, and when you do split, you can end up with a wide range of hands that are better than a hard 16.

You probably also know that you should always split a pair of aces. So instead of having a soft 12, you start two hands with an 11, which can turn into 21 with any card worth 10 points.

But do you know when you should split a pair of sixes or sevens? Is it ever a good idea to split a pair of jacks or queens?

Split-8s-Blackjack

When you’re playing blackjack, every time you play a hand in a way that doesn’t give you the highest average return, you’re making a mistake and losing money. The good news is that you can make sure that you always make the right split decision. I’ll tell you how in section six in this post.

3 – Double Down Mistakes

Another mistake blackjack players make is doubling down in the wrong situation or not doubling down in the right situation.

It’s pretty easy to understand why doubling down when you have 11 points, and the dealer has a five or six is a good idea. But is it better to double down when you have a nine or 10 against a dealer 10, or should you just hit?

Just like when you make a mistake when deciding whether or not to split pairs, when you make a mistake about doubling down, it costs you money. But there’s an easy and cheap way to make sure you never make s double down mistake again. Find out how in section six below.

4 – Accepting Bad Blackjack Pay

When you get a blackjack, the amount you get paid is either your best friend or worst enemy. And most blackjack players have no idea just how bad things can be when you’re not getting a good payment when you get a blackjack.

For example, you can get a seat at two different blackjack tables when you go to the casino. The first table is full, so you grab a seat at the other table. The table where you get a seat pays 6 to 5 for every blackjack. But if you wait a few minutes, you could get a seat at the other table where you win 3 to 2 for each blackjack.

You’re betting $10 per hand, and you get a blackjack at the table that pays 6 to 5. You get your $10 bet back, and you win $12. It seems like a good deal because you win more than even money. But what happens with the same hand at the other table?

Closeup of Blackjack Table

At the other table, you get back your $10, and you win $15. The difference of $3 might not seem like a big deal, but think it through. Every time you get a blackjack, you win $3 less. And if you bet more than $10 a hand, you miss out on a lot more money.

How many times do you get a blackjack when you play? If you’re not getting paid the maximum amount on every blackjack, you’re losing too much money.

5 – Not Knowing Good Rules

The rules at the blackjack table where you play will directly influence how much money the casino makes. Games with good rules for the casino make more money than games with good rules for the players.

So you need to learn how to identify blackjack games that have good rules for players and play in these games.

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But how do you know if a blackjack rule is good or bad for the player? The simplest way is to spend a few minutes studying how each blackjack rule influences the amount of money the casino makes.

Here’s a short list of good blackjack rules to get you started:

  • Blackjack pays 3 to 2
  • Can double down after making a split
  • Can split multiple times
  • Can double down on any cards

6 – The $1 Fix

Most of the mistakes gamblers make when they play blackjack can be fixed for $1 or less. And you only have to spend the money one time to benefit from this fix every time you play blackjack for the rest of your life.

The simple blackjack fix that I’m talking about is called strategy. And you can buy a blackjack strategy card for $1 or so. And if you prefer, you can find many places online that have the correct strategy listed in a chart that you can print for free.

Blackjack table

A blackjack strategy chart or strategy card includes the best play for every situation. The card or chart shows every hand you can have, including pairs and hard and soft hands, and shows every card the dealer can have.

You can use your strategy chart or card on every hand you play, and you can know that you’re making the playing decision that has the best return on average. In other words, you can stop worrying about making a mistake on any blackjack hand.

7 – Not Using Simple Counting

If you eliminate all of the other mistakes listed in this post, you’re doing better than most blackjack players. But you can do one more thing that’s really going to set your results apart from what other players get.

You can learn how to use a simple card counting system that will help you break even when you play blackjack or win a small amount of money. Before you dismiss this as too hard, spend a little time investigating a simple system.

You can get started with a simple system where you just track the aces and fives as they’re dealt. And anyone can learn how to track two cards once you understand how the system works. Just look up the ace five-card counting system in your favorite search engine to learn all of the details.

Our Final Thoughts

If you’re making any of the seven mistakes listed in this post when you play blackjack, you’re losing too much money. But it’s easy to fix these mistakes now that you know what they are.

Most blackjack mistakes can be done away with by simply using a strategy card, which you can buy for $1 or so or print for free online. The two other important things to know are to decline the insurance offer and memorize a list of good rules.

The final step is learning how to use a simple card counting system. Counting is easier than most blackjack players think, and you have nothing to lose by giving it a try.