Blackjack Player Weaknesses
At one time or another, every player has some kind of weakness in any game. Blackjack 21 is such a complex game with lots of different aspects ranging from card counting, basic strategy and betting systems. If you are serious about the game, you will quickly learn that memorization is a big thing in the game, especially odds and percentages when studying the basic strategy.
Since you can win and lose a lot of money based on how good of a player you are, you will certainly want to know your strengths and weaknesses in the game. More importantly, you want to turn a weak game into a strong game. To take advantage of the game, you should figure out your weakness by analyzing your playing style and then do a little bit of practicing to fix what you are doing wrong. If you find that you have been doing something wrong for years, do not go into denial. Admit to yourself that you need improvement in the game. A great thing to do is think about how much more money you could be winning or preventing from losing.
The way to do it is study some guides on this site, elsewhere on the internet or in books at the library. What I would recommend doing is practice blackjack online while studying these guides, and then do the real thing and play blackjack with real money later on. The quickest way to learn or re-learn is to play the game itself at the same time. Playing the free games online are perfect for learning basic strategy. There is also card counting software available where you can practice card counting online as well.
Possible card counting weaknesses and weak basic strategy
The greatest strength in blackjack is card counting. This is also a component of the game that you do not want to be weak at. It is a great skill that many of the most experienced players use and is a greatest method of actually advancing your odds over the casino and essentially beating the house edge. It is almost like cheating at blackjack but is usually not illegal since you are using the same information that is available to all other players and the dealer.
The idea behind card counting is to mentally keep track of what cards have been dealt and predict with some accuracy what kinds of cards are still in the deck. Usually the higher cards will subtract numbers from the count and lower cards will add numbers to your mental count when they are dealt. When you have a high positive count, this means there are many large value cards in the deck and this tends to improve your odds. The dealer gets an advantage when there are many small cards in the deck, which would be a large negative mental count. The idea is to make big wagers when the count is strong and small bets when the count is weak.
This is an easily a weakness with many players because it really is hard to learn at first because you are keeping track of all the cards mentally while trying to implement basic strategy and play a game of blackjack without getting caught! One thing to realize is that counting cards only improves your percentage odds and doesn't ensure that you win, just like anyone can have a lucky night at any other casino game and win even though the odds are always against them. Counting cards just means you will be guaranteed to beat the house over the long term as long as the count is high enough and you are playing a perfect game.
One of the huge weaknesses with counting cards is making big maximum wagers when you have the count wrong. This is just something that a player needs to work on and practice to get better at. One of the more important weaknesses is getting basic strategy wrong. Blackjack basic strategy is what operations you should take (hit, stand, ect.) depending on what your hand is and what cards the dealer is holding. This strategy tells you all the perfect moves or every move that gives you the maximum advantage and best mathematical odds. You must master basic strategy before you even begin to count cards.
Even with perfect basic strategy, your odds will never beat the house edge. You can only do this with the addition of card counting, which puts you over the top and beats the house. Once you have done this, the next most important thing to do is just get an accurate count using an easy system such as the hi-lo card counting system. Do this even before you start trying to learn all the different systems out there that can sometimes give you an even better edge. Doing this will seriously bring down your weaknesses and you will be winning more money in return.
Weakness with betting systems and strategies
The next thing you need to look for is how you are wagering and your strategy for betting. This ties in a little bit with card counting as well. You should be betting more when your count is high, especially when your edge larger than the house's. The higher that count gets, the more you should be betting in order to take full advantage of the great odds in your favor.
A huge blackjack weakness is not betting the right sized bets and wasting your advantage. Eventually a high count is going to decrease as the deck or shoe runs out of cards. You should be using some type of pattern while making bets. It works much like betting systems such as the Martingale or Parlay but usually it is best to come up with your own patterns ahead of time exclusively for card counting. For example, you should come up with a budget with a minimum bet and certain increments to increase or decrease your bets with as your advantage or count moves up and down.
It's a really simple setup and you can defeat your blackjack weaknesses by betting when the odds are in your favor in the count. That way you get to play an optimum game during the winning streaks. Otherwise with this weakness, you may not be taking advantage of great opportunities or even making bets at the wrong time. So it is best to set up your strategies accordingly when card counting.
Money and Bankroll Management
The next thing to look for is how you manage your bankroll. Notice that this is different than your bet management, which is actually your strategy used for the actual game play. Money management is how you are protecting your bankroll and deciding when it is a good time to walk away from the table and keep the profits. Your bankroll management is also a general strategy of how you are going to go into the game and how much you plan on bringing to the table. It works a lot like the stock market in some sense. You are setting your stop-loss or stop-gains in the game.
Your stop loss is the lower limit of how much money you are willing to lose before walking away. Unless you plan on gambling everything you have, then this shouldn't matter much, but if you are trying to get a "feel" for how the night is going to play out, then set a limit on how much money you are going to lose before walking away. You should also set a goal of how much you are going to win before walking away. This prevents the huge weakness of not knowing when to leave. We all know that over the long course of time, the casino will always win. Therefore you should have some goal in the short time so you can walk before that general long term trend eventually comes in and takes your winnings. One of the biggest weaknesses in blackjack is not setting your cap limits.
As I said earlier, bankroll and money management is like your general strategy for the game but not on a hand-by-hand basis. This is when you are deciding what type of game you are planning on playing. Are you going to be using progressive systems or a regressive style of play throughout the night? You should make a firm decision on what money management system or bet management plan and stick with the same one all night. These could include the Martingale and Labouchere betting system, both regressive or the 1-3-2-6 betting system, which is progressive, or some other style. These are types of money management techniques and tactics.
Blackjack Psychological and Stamina Factors
Many weaknesses are rooted in the mind and in emotions. Some of the biggest mistakes happen when you let emotions guide your decisions rather that mathematics, especially during very high stakes games. Psychological factors in blackjack are huge, just as they are in poker and it becomes important with card counting. It takes a lot of discipline to become an expert at the game and it also takes a lot of stamina as well when it comes to card counting.
A very common problem is drinking while playing blackjack. This can interfere with thinking and impair a sound strategy just as it can affect driving and just about any other skill. In fact, this is one reason why casinos offer free drinks because it has a negative effect on judgment and player strategy. So drink at your own risk, or if you have enough experience at the game where it won't weaken your strategy.
Like drinking, another bad mistake is getting too cocky and trying to show off. An example of this is trying to make huge bets that go against common sense strategy or trying to bet big and trying to act like a macho next to the ultra high roller sitting next to you. This is an example of weakness in the psychology of the game and playing the game based on emotions instead of mathematics. This would be fine during a high card count unless it is going overboard and getting to risky. Stick with the original plan and strategy.
Stamina is another attribute that takes a lot of practice, especially with card counting. The goal is to play the game of 21 at peak efficiency. New card counters tend to last only 20 minutes at peak efficiency before fatigue sets in. What happens is you start to think slower and you lose count. It's a lot like taking a rigorous math test and you can only solve problems for so long before you just get tired of doing it. This is a major weakness because you can only get in a short time of optimum game play.
In fact this is very common even among the most experience players and card counters. Although these experienced players can play 8 to 10 hours or more at a time because they practiced for so long. It's a lot like working out at the gym. If you are just starting out, you are usually weak and get exhausted quite quickly. After many weeks and months, you get used to it and can stay at the gym for hours at a time. In blackjack, you just have to take breaks more frequently when you are just starting out. Later on, your endurance gets better and you can play for longer periods of time as a proficient player. With all weaknesses, it takes practice in order to get stronger at the game. Last piece of advice: practice makes perfect!Also See: