Mastering the Basics: Key Mistakes to Dodge for New Players with Basic Strategy

Mistakes New Players Should Avoid with Basic Strategy

SEASON 2: Basic Strategy / LESSON 8

When venturing into the world of blackjack, it’s crucial to steer clear of common pitfalls that can hinder your gameplay. As novice players, it’s easy to fall into detrimental habits or follow misguided advice from others. Today, we will explore the three most prevalent mistakes made by newcomers in blackjack and equip you with strategies for smarter play.

Mistake #3: Trusting Your Gut

One of the common missteps is relying on intuition rather than probability and strategy. Some players attempt to predict the next card through mystical means, diverting from informed decision-making. This haphazard approach places heavy reliance on luck alone, preventing you from progressing as a player or gaining an edge over the casino. Therefore, it is crucial to make calculated moves based on sound reasoning.

Mistake #2: Fear of Hitting

Another significant blunder is succumbing to the fear of exceeding 21. Certain players timidly refrain from taking additional cards, resulting in losses when betting on marginal hands. As the saying goes, “scared money don’t make money,” and this rings true in blackjack as well. Embrace the fact that busting is a natural occurrence in the game and not every hand can be won. Instead, focus on understanding the mathematics behind optimal moves, such as hitting, doubling, splitting, or knowing when to surrender. Mastery of these fundamentals is crucial in the captivating game of blackjack.

Mistake #1: The Hail Mary

The gravest mistake witnessed among new players is what I like to call “The Hail Mary” approach. This strategy involves taking excessive risks, akin to the individuals who bet their life savings on a single spin of the roulette wheel in the hopes of instant riches. Although some might achieve success through sheer luck, such instances are rare and can be orchestrated by the casino for publicity. Instead, it is vital to view blackjack as more of a marathon than a sprint. By employing basic strategy and utilizing card counting techniques, you can gradually tilt the house edge in your favor. This advantage, however, evolves over extended periods, encompassing various betting amounts across multiple gaming sessions.

If you wish to elevate your blackjack prowess, we invite you to explore our curated playlists dedicated to basic strategy and card counting. These valuable resources will equip you with the necessary tools to enhance your gameplay and gain a competitive edge in the world of blackjack.


In conclusion, understanding and avoiding common mistakes in blackjack is essential for new players aiming to optimize their gameplay. By steering clear of trusting gut instincts, overcoming the fear of hitting, and refraining from “Hail Mary” bets, one can embark on the path towards becoming a proficient blackjack player. Embrace the notion that success in blackjack is a long-term endeavor and can only be achieved through a combination of strategic decision-making, utilizing fundamental blackjack techniques, and discipline. It’s time to challenge the odds, make calculated moves, and emerge victorious in the exhilarating world of blackjack!


1. How can I overcome the reliance on gut instincts in blackjack?

Breaking the habit of trusting your gut can be challenging; however, by immersing yourself in the principles of probability and strategy, you can gradually transition to making informed decisions in blackjack. Familiarize yourself with basic strategy charts and practice them extensively to develop a solid foundation.

2. Is it necessary to hit even if it might result in going over 21?

Yes, hitting is an integral part of blackjack strategy. It is crucial to understand the odds and calculate the optimal moves based on the current hand and the dealer’s upcard. While the fear of busting is evident, taking calculated risks and making the mathematically correct decisions will yield better long-term results.

3. What is the significance of viewing blackjack as a marathon rather than a sprint?

It is essential to recognize that success in blackjack is not determined by short-term outcomes but rather by consistent application of optimal strategies over an extended period. By adopting a long-term mindset, players can better manage their bankroll, adapt to varying betting amounts, and capitalize on favorable situations to gradually turn the table in their favor.

4. How can basic strategy and card counting help me gain an edge in blackjack?

Basic strategy provides a foundation for making mathematically sound decisions in blackjack. It maximizes your chances of winning by considering the value of your hand and the dealer’s upcard. Additionally, card counting techniques allow players to track the composition of the remaining deck, providing insights into the relative abundance of high-value cards. By adjusting their bets based on this information, skilled card counters can gain an edge over the casino.

5. Are there any recommended resources for learning basic strategy and card counting?

Absolutely! There are numerous reputable resources available to delve deeper into basic strategy and card counting. Books such as “Beat the Dealer” by Edward O. Thorp and “Blackjack Bluebook II” by Fred Renzey offer comprehensive insights and strategies. Additionally, online forums and blackjack training programs can help enhance your understanding and proficiency in these key areas.

Doug I. Jones

Doug I. Jones

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