Oh, the joys of playing blackjack online! It is so convenient to open up your laptop or tablet and play whenever you like. You can also expand your potential to make a profit this way, but it is very important for online blackjack players to have discipline. You must be able to manage yourself effectively if you want to win big money at the blackjack table. Here are five things that might indicate you have a lack of discipline.
1—Playing An Online Blackjack Session Too Long
Now this one might seem a little counterintuitive. As long as you are winning you should keep playing, right? Not so fast. Just because you have had a good session doesn’t mean that things will stay that way forever. The reason online casinos are willing to let you play blackjack as long as you like is because they can count on getting all of your profits back if you stay too long.
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Counting Edge advises that online blackjack players have the discipline to set win and loss limits for themselves. By doing this you will put in a safeguard that prevents you from spending too much time at the table. No one is saying you have to stop playing for a day. You can take a break and come back a few hours later. Just make sure that you aren’t stretching out one session too long.
2—Playing Too Many Hands
There is a real danger of this for online blackjack players. Most online casinos will let you play up to three hands at once. When you are sitting there by yourself and craving blackjack action there is a temptation to fill up those empty betting circles on the table.
When you play more than one hand you are simply giving the house a greater long-term edge. They already have an edge on the one hand you should be playing. Why would you want to multiply that by three? Again, the casinos are more than happy to let you do this because they know that they will win.
It can also be overwhelming to play more than one hand at a time. This is especially true for new blackjack players. A novice player should be focusing more on getting their basic strategy perfected than they are on being greedy and trying to play multiple hands. Another thing about playing multiple hands is that it can be a sign of problem gambling.
3—Betting to Recover Losses
Always remember this rule of thumb when playing online blackjack: increase your bets when winning and decrease them when losing. Too many players operate on a reverse principle. This will quickly send you to the poor house.
After a few losing hands there is a temptation to increase bets in order to recover losses. There is even a betting system that is based around this very thing. It is called the Martingale. In this system the player is advised to double their bet after each loss. The point of the Martingale is to simply win one bet. The doubled up bets after a loss bring the player back to even when they win and they start over with the minimum in an effort to win that one bet.
Can you see the flaw in this system? It is pretty obvious. It is not unheard of to lose ten hands in a row at blackjack. Pretty soon you will exceed the table maximum if you are doubling after each loss and then there will be no way to recover your losses. The Martingale is a system for suckers. Avoid it at all costs.
4—Betting Hunches Instead of Strategy
There is a reason why good blackjack players use basic strategy. It works. The same basic strategy that has been used for decades still works today because the general rules of the game of blackjack are still the same. Nothing has changed. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel by making adjustments to basic strategy.
If you catch yourself thinking that this time you just might need to stand on that 16 against the dealer’s 10 then you are showing a lack of discipline. If you think this time it might be better to just stand on that pair of 8’s rather than split them you are playing a bunch.
Playing a hunch is fine for roulette players. They are playing a bad game anyway. As a blackjack player you are armed with a variety of tools that players in other games do not have. Use these tools and stick to basic strategy.
5—Drinking Too Much While Playing
Okay, we will admit that this is more problematic for live players…we hope. Just because you are playing at home, though, doesn’t mean that you won’t have a drink or two. We have said it many times on Counting Edge. Drinking while gambling does not mix. There is a reason why casinos are all too happy to let you have free drinks while you play.
Drinking affects your discipline in a negative way. It makes you less inhibited. You will make bets that you aren’t supposed to make because you think you are ten feet tall and bulletproof. No one ever found a winning blackjack session in the bottom of an empty liquor glass.
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