Blackjack gives casino gamblers a legitimate shot at winning. Yet, I regularly sit and watch players burn through their entire bankroll without anything to show for it.
How can this be in a game where many players have learned to gain an advantage on the house?
Well, it actually comes down to several factors that can be chalked up to either laziness or a fundamental lack of knowledge. You can’t expect to do your best at a game without understanding how to perform your best.
If you fix the seven reasons the blackjack dealer is getting the better of you, then you’ll soon see better results from your casino sessions.
1 – Hands Are Over in Seconds
Blackjack inherently comes with a low house edge. Even without any strategy, the house edge may be as low as 2% at specific tables.
That equates to a loss of roughly $2 for every $100 you wager. Compare that to slot machines where the house edge can be over 11%, and blackjack advantages are evident.
However, much like slot machines, blackjack hands progress rapidly. It’s possible for you to see up to 200 hands per hour on an empty table.
Slow the game as much as possible, and you’ll automatically see better blackjack results. There’s a fine line you must walk between taking your time and slowing the game to a crawl.
The latter will lead to a stern talking to by the pit boss and some harsh comments from fellow players.
2 – You Haven’t Learned to Play the Best Games
Casinos are savvy, especially when it comes to bending the rules in their favor. Casinos will blatantly throw a game on the casino floor with rules far more advantageous for the house. Players seem to carry on with business as usual.
One of the most glaring examples of this falls down to the recent shift to casino blackjack games, paying 6:5 for a natural blackjack. Traditional blackjack payouts dictate that a natural payout is 3:2.
By sliding the payout into the casinos’ favor, the house edge doubles. This shift occurs due to the players not getting nearly the return when they get a natural blackjack.
For example, if you’re playing blackjack for $25 per hand on a 3 to 2 table, each blackjack pays $37.50. On a 6:5 table, that payout drops to $30.
In other words, you’re missing 25% of your total payout. That’s devastating to a player and makes it nearly impossible to beat the casino.
3 – You’re Ignoring the Blackjack Basic Strategy
Blackjack’s basic strategy can significantly reduce the house advantage for players. In fact, you can diminish the house edge to as low as 0.5% merely by employing this proper blackjack technique.
The basic strategy is nothing new; the system was developed in the 1970s using computers to generate millions of blackjack hands and analyze the results. That leads to creating the best possible decision in any circumstance based on your hand and the dealer’s face-up card.
Still, a vast majority of players completely ignore the beneficial strategy. I believe this comes from a lack of information.
You can print a basic strategy card from home or pick one up in most casino gift shops and use it at the tables. As long as you aren’t holding up the game, there’ll be zero problems.
Use basic strategy to slide the edge back in your favor, and the dealer will lose their high ground.
4 – You Vary Your Bet Size
Whenever you’re in the casino, it’s imperative that you stick with a flat betting style. When you begin increasing your bet size to recoup losses, you merely boost your losses.
Casino gambling is about getting the most entertainment for your money. If you’re increasing your bet amount, you’re increasing the rate at which you’re losing without much return.
This scenario becomes more troubling when you load a heavy bet on a hand where you believe you are due for a win. That’s known as the gambler’s fallacy, assuming you’ll see another result after a series of different conclusions.
Each hand of blackjack is mainly independent of all previous results. There are some apparent exceptions given the cards left in the shoe, but that’s most pertinent to card counters.
Card counters are really the only gamblers in the casino that should be using varied bet sizing.
5 – You Act Before the Dealer
The blackjack gets a tremendous advantage by waiting for all players to act before playing. Many players don’t understand this and try to play the same rule as the dealer.
This strategy increases the house edge to absolutely devastating numbers. What they fail to account for is the fact that the dealer acts last.
So, let’s assume four players are at a table, and the dealer is showing a Jack. When all four players bust, the dealer wins automatically.
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve lost a hand busting to J/3.
Understand that the dealer has a significant advantage by acting last. Should you ever find yourself as a dealer, you may enjoy the same benefits.
6 – You Make Sucker Bets
Casinos have a subtle way of cleverly disguising sucker bets throughout the casino. Unfortunately, blackjack isn’t immune to the trend.
I call the sucker bets disguised because the casino bills these wagers as a benefit to the player. Blackjack is a prime example of the dealer tossing you what seems to be a lifeline, but in actuality is little more than an anchor.
The insurance bet is sold to players as a way to negate their loss when the dealer has an ace showing. The premise is that their hole card is a value of 10, meaning the dealer has blackjack.
This seems like a great way to hedge your bets, but the dealer will have a natural far less often than they don’t. So, you’ll automatically lose your insurance wager.
Then you’re still in danger of losing your original bet also. You could effectively lose both bets on a single hand.
Avoid the sucker bets, and you’ll keep the house advantage as low as possible.
7 – Your Card Counting Skills Are Being Nullified
You may already know that card counting is a proven advantage gambling technique that gives players a long-term advantage over the house.
The problem is that the casinos are also well aware of the advantage technique. Needless to say, they aren’t in love with the idea of players maintaining an edge over the house.
However, the constant shuffling machines and eight-deck shoes are expressly aimed at slowing the card counters. Then there are the security measures in place to curb the card counters.
Contrary to popular belief, card counting is perfectly legal. However, the casinos will do anything in their power to stop a suspected card counter in their tracks.
That may include barring them from playing blackjack in their casinos or banishment in some cases. In reality, it’s much harder to evade the casino’s watchful eye than it is to learn to count cards.
Become an expert at both, and the dealer won’t stand much of a chance.
How You Can Get Back in the Black
Luckily, there are many ways you can overcome the casino’s tactics and at least stay close to even, if not make a profit.
Let’s pick up where I left off; card counting is a tried-and-true method for beating the casino. With enough practice, you’ll be able to hold a long-term edge on the house.
Practice as much as you’re able. Getting a partner to practice with can add tremendously to your success.
Another fantastic way to stop allowing the dealer to get the better of you is by picking up a basic strategy card and using it on every hand you play. You’ll do much better in the casino if you practice with the chart at home playing online games.
Finally, find the games with the best rules. I won’t stay at a casino that doesn’t have 3:2 payouts on blackjack.
Learn the best game rules and scout before you head to the casinos. Then you won’t waste time wandering around the casino like a lost puppy looking for a suitable game.
As you can see, these seven reasons why the blackjack dealer is getting the better of you falls mainly on you. Sure, the game has a well-established house edge, but you can quickly diminish that to nearly zero.
If you want to see better blackjack results, it’s on you to become a better blackjack player.