Let me start off by saying that one of the myths will not be that blackjack is a good game to play. In fact, it’s true that blackjack has some of the most favorable odds for gamblers on the casino floor.
With that being said, it’s important to note that although the odds are better than other games, it certainly doesn’t mean you have an advantage over the house – and it’s not 50/50 either.
Separating fact from fiction can help you make more educated plays and walk away with a bigger win, or at least a smaller loss. In this article, I’ll address the myths that are keeping you from getting the most out of blackjack.
1 – Myth: Card Counting Is Against the Rules
If you’ve seen enough movies with pit bosses giving shooting glances to the person who keeps winning in blackjack, you’ll justifiably assume that card counting is legal. This actually isn’t the case, but that doesn’t mean you should go showing off your skills if you do figure out how to do it.
The bottom line is nobody can regulate what goes on in your head. However, there are some tell-tale signs that someone is using the card counting technique to help their chances. Most casinos actually employ former card counters to help identify when someone at their table is using the misunderstood practice.
If you take the time to learn how to card count (it’s easier than you think), just be sure that casino workers don’t catch you putting your skills to the test. Even though there aren’t any technical rules against it, no casino is going to want to sit back and watch you make money by using controversial methods.
As a side note while I’m on the subject, don’t forget that you can’t use card-counting techniques in online casinos as the deck is shuffled after each hand.
2 – Myth: You Can Be Due for a Win
This theory has been misunderstood for so long that there’s even a name for it, The Gambler’s Fallacy.
It can be a comforting thought to think that, with a 2% house edge, if you play 100 hands, you’ll win 48% of the time. Keeping this in mind, it stands to reason that if you’ve lost five straight hands, you’re more likely to win the next one. The probability has to even up at some point, right?
The real truth is that no matter what, under all circumstances, the previous hands have no impact on the next few hands. Even though you feel like it has to even up at some point to get to the 48% chance you have of winning, that percentage is based on a single trial only.
Think of it this way…if you flipped a coin and it came up heads four times in a row, is it more likely to come up tails on the next flip? The answer is no, and if you don’t believe that, you can get in real trouble gambling.
No matter the game, always remember that previous trials do not impact future trials, no matter how logical it might seem in your head.
3 – Myth: The Goal Is to Get As Close to 21 As Possible
Yes, getting to 21 or very close to it is obviously a great way to put together many winning hands. With that being said, your goal is to beat the dealer, not get to 21. That means it takes careful consideration to avoid making unnecessarily risky plays in an attempt to get your number as high as possible.
So many inexperienced blackjack players have a tendency to think that they need a very high number to beat the dealer and win the hand. The reality is that you can win a good amount of the time with a 16. The lesson to be learned is that getting greedy will often set you back.
Whereas in other casino games it pays to take on a little extra risk in hopes of a bigger reward, in blackjack, you’re better risking staying then risking on an extra hit.
4 – Myth: A Table with Bad or Inexperienced Players Hurts Your Chances
This one actually could have some truth to it, but it doesn’t have to be true if you’re able to overcome.
To state the obvious, if you’re at table with the town drunk and his or her three closest (and loudest, most obnoxious) friends, you can become distracted. These distractions can actually hurt your chances of winning.
The good news? If you’re able to stay focused on what you’re doing and tune out the rest of the noise, you should be just fine.
Although they can’t do anything to mathematically hurt your odds of winning money, if you’re easily distracted, it may be best to stick to tables with more experienced players. It’s all about your personal preference and finding a playing environment that’s most comfortable for you will typically lead to better results.
5 – Myth: The Dealer, More Often Than Not, Has a 10 in the Hole
This one is another widely believed misconception when it comes to the most basic blackjack strategy. The false belief is that because there are more 10-point cards in the deck, there is a high probability of a 10 being the hole card. However, this assumption can lead to some bad decisions.
The reality is that the dealer has only about a 30% chance of holding a 10-card, which means that the odds are heavily on the opposite side. Now, that 30% chance is still high, relatively speaking, so it isn’t without some merit to hold this assumption, false as it may be.
While believing in the 10-in-the-hole theory has reasoning behind it, it’s just not enough mathematically to feel good making this assumption.
6 – Myth: Taking Insurance Is Smart
If you’re newer to the game, the concept of taking insurance on a hand might be unfamiliar. Here’s how it works: Insurance is an additional side bet that dealers offer when their up card is an ace. Once offered this option, a player can be half of their original wager, and if the dealer has blackjack, the player’s insurance bet will pay out 2 to 1.
All you really need to know about this scenario is that if it were truly that beneficial to the player, it wouldn’t be offered by the house, plain and simple.
The reason some players think that you should insure a bad hand is because they think there’s a higher chance the dealer has a face card. Other players believe that they should always take even money on a blackjack. Finally, others wrongly believe that if they get a 20 in their hand after the deal, they should protect it with insurance. To make things simple – it’s all wrong.
You have plenty of things to think about when you’re gambling, whether you’re real money playing blackjack or another game at the table. Save yourself some mental energy by remembering this easy-to-follow rule: don’t ever take insurance, and don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.
Despite these myths that have been laid out above, blackjack truly is a game that gives players favorable odds and a good opportunity to make a profit. Just be sure to follow the basic strategic rules, watch your bankroll, and don’t fall for any of these misconceptions that might be floating around the table.