Your Loss Limit Strategy

You can apply these strategies to your blackjack playing, and you may find them beneficial:

1. Limit your losses:

The first rule is this: Never reach into your pocket after a loss, if you've used up all your chips, or if you need the cash to make a bigger bet than the chips you have on the table; in other words, limit your losses.

Once you reach into your pocket, once you start cashing traveler's checks, borrow money, or cash a check for additional funds, after losing your original table stake, you are courting disaster. The first loss is the cheapest. This is a favorite saying, and one that will preserve your bankroll.

Never, never go after more money once the bankroll on the table is gone. Your session is over. Leave the table, get a snack, a soft drink, go back to your room and relax. Buy a paper, or magazine, or read a book. Stop playing blackjack for awhile.

2. Quit if you have lost your confidence:

The second rule is this: If you feel your money draining away at the table, and you feel unlucky, stop playing before you use up all the chips on the table. If you have lost confidence in the game, for whatever reason, get up and walk away.

Suppose nothing is going right. Your original $1,250 is now down to $600, but every time you double down, it's a disaster. No matter what card the dealer shows, be it an ace or a 6, you cringe. You feel you are beaten already. You have two 10s and have no confidence in your 20. Stop playing. Leave. You have dropped $650. That can be made up easily. $1,250 is a little tougher to make up; you know in your heart you are going to be down everything if you continue playing. It's time to leave.

3. Stop when you are tired:

The third rule is: You have been losing, get nearly even, start losing again, and time is dribbling by. An hour and a quarter of playing and all you have is a bad headache, and about $300 in losses. Not a huge loss, but you're sick of the game, and tired. Get up and leave. Rest up and come back strong for another session.

4. Stop when you have recouped losses:

Rule number 4: You have been playing for a long time, so long that you don't even remember if you have been at the table for one or two hours; or you have switched tables a couple of times, losing at each one. Your original $1,250 has melted away to $475. And suddenly, at a new table, the cards turn. You get a couple of blackjacks. The deck gets very favorable and you double-down on wins. You win again by splitting 8s against a dealer's 10 and come up roses. Now, counting your chips, you find you are ahead by exactly $5. What should you do? Leave.

Anytime you've been behind and found yourself clawing your way back to even, or nearly even, get up and go. You have done well. By nearly even, suppose in the previous example, instead of being even, you find you are still behind by $15 - hey, that's nothing. Leave.

The worst mistake you'll see players make in any game is, when they are way behind and they fight back to even (or nearly even), instead of then leaving, they stubbornly stay on, and watch it all go down the drain again.

It's probably happened to you if you have played serious blackjack. You have been down $500 and find yourself down $20, but instead of leaving, you go on and finally quit when you have lost enough money to once more be down $500. At that point, how sweet it would be to only be losing $20. You regret not leaving the table at that point. It gnaws at your insides, you can't even enjoy dinner. You have a sleepless night. You curse yourself for being stupid. Avoid all the grief and leave when you're nearly even after a big loss. © Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.

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