Choosing to “hold *stand* at 12” when the blackjack dealer shows 2 or 3
Here, the smart move would be to hit *hit*, instead of waiting. Here’s why. If you ask most people, they will tell you that the reason for the decision is the chances of failure. Also, cards 2 through 6 are often referred to as “dealer beat cards”. Why? Because it is very likely that the dealer will go over 21. By pausing on 12, the dealer is likely to avoid the possibility of losing.
There are a few mathematical scenarios here that you should follow, and this is a general rule of thumb that you should follow.
If your total is 13, when the dealer shows either a 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6, the correct move would be to pause, as you would not want to deprive him of the joy of falling. Also, with 12 and the cards 4, 5 and 6, the correct move would also be to pause. However, with a 2 or 3, it is better to draw. There are certainly cards in the deck that will work against you and destroy your hand. However, there are twice as many cards that will improve it.
Holding on 16 when the dealer shows an ace
Another one of the blackjack mistakes where it seems logical, when in reality the odds are slightly better if you draw. You are very likely to lose here, as any card higher than 5 will make your hand flush. Here you are aiming to lose less in the long run, as opposed to more in the short run. With an ace showing, the probability of losing is now much higher. In fact, it’s not just in this scenario where you’ll have to hit if you’re stuck on 16. For any card that has 7 or more points on the dealer’s side, it’s recommended that you hit instead of holding back.
Don’t forget that in this case, even if you most likely lose, we are talking about losing less money in the overall game. On a side note, some casinos offer a so-called “surrender” option. It allows you to give up on a hand and return half your bet after the initial cards have been dealt. If this is the case, you have a hard 16 (no ace) and are struggling with a 9, 10 or ace, use it.
Choosing to hold – stand on soft 17 – soft 17
This is one of the more common mistakes in blackjack strategy and a golden rule in the playbook. First of all, in the game soft 17 refers to the combination of an Ace, valued at 11 and 6. Now it may seem that this hand is good enough to stand on and we understand why this is so. However, the reality is somewhat different and you can lose a lot more money at the table than you would by calling.
You can think about it from the perspective of the croupier and the casino. The croupiers have to hit with a soft 17 because it increases the house edge and therefore the casino’s profit. If it is more profitable for the venue to hit with a soft 17, why wouldn’t it be the same from the player’s perspective?
Not playing Double on 11
Doubling down refers to the process of doubling your initial bet, in return for which you get one more card into your hand. The general rule of thumb is to always double down at 11, as there is a very good chance that you could get a 10 from the deck and receive a blackjack. There is one exception where you should not double down and that is when the dealer shows an ace, which means a soft hand with 17.