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5 Common Mistakes Made While Playing Blackjack

Blackjack can be a lot of fun as you try to beat the house, deciding if you should hit or stay as you build your hand up toward 21 points - or as close as you can get. It's not an overly complicated game at its roots, but you do really have to know what you are doing to be truly good at it, to really be successful. A big part of that is knowing what mistakes to avoid. These are five of the most common ones to watch out for.

1. Refusing to give up.

Some hands just are not going to pan out. You can never predict perfectly how the cards are going to fall. New players often want to fight it out until the end, and they lose a lot of money. There is no shame in giving up a hand if it means that you can cut your losses and keep playing for longer. Learn how to recognize these hands.

2. Betting higher after losing.

It's fine to bet high when the cards look good and your odds of winning are also high, but you always have to let the cards dictate how you bet, not your past results. If you've been on a losing streak, you may be tempted to throw more in to make up for it, but this is merely a good way to increase the risk and lose more. Only raise your bets when it really makes sense.

3. Using gut feelings.

You may feel lucky, but that means nothing. A gut feeling that the next card turned will win for you is going to be wrong more often than not. Never bet on a feeling. You need to have a real strategy in place, dictating when you bet and when you don't. Sure, your feeling may be right from time to time, leaving you wishing you'd followed it instead of your strategy, but it's going to be wrong more often than not. Always follow your plan, not your feelings.

4. Not understanding a good risk.

Some people are always scared to double down, thinking that it is simply too large of a risk. They can't stomach it. In many ways, this is good; as discussed above, you don't want to increase the risk on a gut feeling or because you're trying to win money back. However, there are also good risks, when your cards look like they're going to carry and you have the house in a bad spot. That is when you want to double down so that you can maximize your winnings when you really have the edge.

5. Not understanding all of the rules.

This is probably the most common mistake. Players get the basic idea and start risking money without knowing all of the little rules - like when the house has to stay and when it has to hit - that can make or break a game. You must know the rules before you bet the first dollar.

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