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What is the Single Biggest Mistake Blackjack Players Make?

It’s been quite some time since we talked about blackjack.  Here at Intertops Casino we offer a couple of hundred slots with a new slot coming out every month, a wide range of video poker variations, and a smattering of other games.  To some degree, unless you are real blackjack fan, you might bypass online casino blackjack altogether in favor of slots and video poker especially since these games are so suited to the online casino format.

Blackjack is the Beautiful Game of Online Casino Gaming

We very much suggest that gamers try out blackjack as one of the many great gaming choices you can make at Intertops Casino.  Today, we will talk about the single most important mistake blackjack players make, how important it is to avoid this mistake, how easy it actually is to avoid this mistake, and how much more fun you’ll have playing blackjack when you succeed in avoiding this mistake.

Statistics Never Lie

Of course, one of the most contemporary memes is that statistics do lie.  “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”  The great American writer of the 19thcentury, Mark Twain, is sometimes credited with the most famous statement about statistics but most people now agree that he didn’t create the line but rather popularized it. 

This meme has some value in political discourse and in economics where numbers can be manipulated.  But this statement has exactly zero value in blackjack!  The single biggest mistake blackjack players can make is to ignore statistics.  All of the best blackjack strategy is based on statistics.

Doesn’t the Random Number Generator Override Statistics

To some extent, yes, the RNG does override statistics.  We talk about the RNG in the context of betting systems and of overcoming the feeling many gamers have that statistics indicate that a slot is “due” or that a number on the roulette wheel is “due”. 

In the context of these conversations, the RNG does, indeed, override statistics.  In the same context, the RNG does override statistics in blackjack.  But the kind of statistics we are talking about here, the statistics that we encourage all blackjack layers not to ignore, are simply the statistics that determine which of two plays is the better one.

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Many Strategy Moves in Blackjack are Counter-intuitive

There are a lot of websites and YouTube channels that try to teach blackjack players how to play some hands that are difficult to evaluate.  Many of these hands have a small statistical advantage if you follow one course of action over the other and the “better” course of action is often the opposite of what most gamers would expect.

In many such cases, the less good option might cost the player a half percent on their expected return to player rate.  In blackjack, the return to player rate is about 99% to 99.5% so the loss of even as small an amount as a half of one percent would make it almost inevitable that the player will end a blackjack session in the red.

If you follow the statistically best strategy and get a little bit lucky, you can expect to end a session in the black almost as often as the session ends with you in the red.  This is the context in which we say that the single biggest mistake a blackjack player can maker is to ignore statistics or suspend their belief in statistics.

Playing by Hunch is Not a Sound Strategy

One of the many reasons why slots are so popular is that they are games of chance, plain and simple.  Gamers don’t have to think about their next move so they can “sit back” as it were and just enjoy the game.  Players often move from slot to slot when they play online at Intertops Casino Red because they can!

This is the fun side of online casino gaming to a very large percentage of gamers.  Still, there are many gamers who do like the games of skill which include blackjack as well as casino poker such as the Caribbean poker variations and video poker.

However, when you play these games of skill with a major dollop of luck involved as well, you do need to trust the statistics in order to know what you should do in borderline cases.

All of the blackjack hands that the sites and YouTube clips we referred to earlier deal with are borderline situations.  If you have 11 points and the dealer is showing any card other than an ace, you will double down.  This is truly a no brainer.  But if you have a problematic pair, you might not want to split them.  You might feel that splitting a low pair is the same as throwing good money after bad.

Statistical analysis of millions of hands has come to the conclusion that you should split a low pair in some cases and not in other cases.  Playing by hunch or not believing in and accepting these statistical analyses is what we are talking about avoiding!

Let’s Look at the Case of a Pair of Twos

A pair of twos is one of the most difficult hands for players who have not embraced statistics to play.  If you don’t split, you stand the chance of having 14 points after you get your first card. 

The hardest card in the dealer’s hand for a pair of twos is the seven.  If the dealer had a 5 or 6 it is easy to split this pair.  If the dealer has an 8, it makes it easier to hit and nor split the pair.  But a 7 poses a big problem to blackjack players who have not yet learned the results of all these statistical analyses!

If you don’t split the pair and the dealer has 17 or 18 points, you have a very large likelihood of losing the hand. 

If you split, however, you might end up busting with 22 or more points and thus losing twice instead of once. 

Here is where the analyses of hands plays a major role in directing your course of action.  In order to bust with 22 points, you would need to get two 10-point cards in a row or bust with the third card.  For example, if you get two tens, you bust.  But if you get a 9 or an 8, you could then double down! 

You might get intermediate cards and end up busting anyway.  The fear of busting overrides many gamers acceptance of statistics and they hit the pair of twos instead of splitting it.

The seven in the dealer’s hand may be bad news for you but it may also be bad news for the dealer.  In essence, splitting the pair reverses by a marginal degree the expected outcome of this particular hand over time.  If you don’t split the hand, you will come out on the losing end more often than if you split the pair. 

Statistical analysis is just that simple: it indicates which course of action is “better” even if it is only very marginally better.  What may be marginally better statistically may be a big deal financially to most gamers in most blackjack sessions over time!

Check out the Blackjack Variations at Intertops Casino

Blackjack is a great game!  It gives players the sense that they are enjoying good luck and it also gives gamers the feeling that they are intellectually in control!  As an adjunct to slots, blackjack and the other games of skill fill a vital role in achieving the overall goal of having fun at an online casino!

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