7 Things to Know About Getting Stuck Next to a Terrible Blackjack Player

Very Mad Man Holding Hands to Head While Sitting at a Blackjack Table

There’s only so much you can control when you’re gambling in a casino.

You always have a say when it comes to the destination you’re at, how much you’ll spend, and which games you’ll play. That’s pretty much it, everything else is left up to chance.

In truth, that’s why gambling is such a popular activity for so many people. That lack of control and reliance on luck can make for some unforgettable, exciting moments.

But, when you leave things up to luck, you’re bound to get burned now and then.

One of the things many gamblers can’t control is the type of people they’re gambling with. It doesn’t matter if it’s those sitting next to you at a poker table, or the gamblers rubbing elbows with you at the craps table.

Sure, you can gamble with a posse and fill a table with those you know and trust to make the right decisions. But most of the time you’re going to be playing with a few people you’ve never met before.

If you’re lucky, these people know what they’re doing and won’t ruin your experience. But there’s a chance you’ll get stuck next to a downright awful gambler.

When you’re playing a game like Texas Holdem, this might not seem like a big deal. Lesser competition means a higher chance of winning money.

There are other spots, like a blackjack table, where a bad player can become a liability. Here are 7 things you need to know about getting stuck at a table with a terrible blackjack player.

1 ‒ Horrible Gamblers are Impossible to Avoid

The gambling community is quite diverse and made up of all different kinds of gamblers. These players differ in their preferences, bankroll sizes, and, most importantly, their skill set.

If you go to a casino, you’ll likely run into people who haven’t gambled before and those that are at the casino multiple times a week. This is simultaneously one of the best and worst parts of gambling.

Interacting with all sorts of different people while you play can be incredibly entertaining. Additionally, gambling with people who are more skilled or experienced than you can also work to your benefit.

That’s especially true when it comes to games where everyone is competing against the house, like blackjack. But, few things are more unpleasant than sitting around a blackjack table full of first-time gamblers.

Unfortunately, this type of scenario will unfold if you plan to play blackjack frequently.

Terrible gamblers are everywhere. Blackjack is one of the more popular casino games and tends to attract a wide variety of gamblers, including some who would be better suited to play penny slots.

2 ‒ It Can Easily Derail a Casino Trip

Blackjack tables are often very unpredictable. You never really know who you’re gambling with, how hot or cold the table is, or what the overall mood of the table is.

Not only that, but the game is somewhat unpredictable as well, even if you’re able to count cards.

However, once things start going well, it’s possible to go on a streak and greatly increase the size of your bankroll. Unfortunately, nothing seems to kill a heater faster than an incompetent blackjack player.

Blackjack Players Seated at a Blackjack Table

There are many misconceptions about blackjack, which we’ll get into later. However, these types of players can easily ruin your experience at a table or even completely derail a casino trip.

That shouldn’t be the case as it’s possible to look past their mistakes and errors. Still, there are several reasons why it’s so hard to ignore someone who’s awful at blackjack.

3 ‒ Why It’s So Hard to Ignore

I mentioned this earlier, but it bears repeating: blackjack tables can often feel like a team. While the game technically pits players against the house, people often work together.

Whether or not that’s a legitimate style of play is an argument for another day.

When a table is in sync and everyone is carrying their own weight, there’s a good chance to make money. However, weak links can easily break the chain and seem to decrease everyone’s odds.

Playing with other players who aren’t good at blackjack can be incredibly frustrating. That’s because, unlike other games, there’s one type of strategic approach to the game.

There might be a few scenarios that are up for debate (like hitting or staying on 16), but that’s it. Every other hand should be played by the book.

So when someone misplays a hand, it’s only natural to second guess their decisions while closely monitoring the subsequent cards.

4 ‒ Signs of a Bad Blackjack Player

It’s usually easy to figure out who the weakest player at a blackjack table is. Even if you’re unsure, terrible gamblers usually reveal their true skills, or lack thereof.

If you’re concerned about getting stuck at a table with a bad player there are a few things you should be on the lookout for.

  • Someone who takes a long time to make decisions that should be second nature
  • A bad player tends to look unsure of themselves and constantly looks around for approval
  • New players often consult cheat sheets, or strategy cards
  • They seem to make carless rookie mistakes more frequently than other players
  • Terrible blackjack players tend to have a difficult time ignoring basic casino etiquette

Not all subpar blackjack players are created equal. Some might be introverted, while others are more outspoken and foolishly confident in their lack of abilities.

Once you become a player who others would describe as above average, you’ll likely find it easier to spot these types of gamblers.

5 ‒ A Common Myth About Subpar Gamblers

As I said earlier, there are tons of myths and misconceptions about gambling and casinos. Many of these are myths related to blackjack.

Gamblers can be superstitious and often believe things that have no legitimacy or truth to them. But, they persist and make their way from table to table nonetheless.

For the sake of this topic, it’s worth dispelling some of the myths associated with subpar blackjack players. The most popular of which is that other players can consistently impact your performance at a table.

There are certain situations where it seems obvious that players’ mistakes cost you money. For example, say you’re at a table with one other player. You have an 18 against a dealer’s six and the other player has a 15.

Closeup of Blackjack Table

This other player takes a 10 and busts. The dealer goes on to reveal a 10 under the six, takes one more card and draws a 5 for a final total of 21.

If the other player had stayed on a 15, like the book says to do, the dealer would have busted. Situations like these happen all the time and, while frustrating, are a part of the game.

Generally speaking, another player’s performance and decisions don’t impact you.

6 ‒ How to Minimize Contact With Them

There’s a way to avoid the type of scenario I mentioned in the previous point: play with competent gamblers. However, doing this is easier said than done.

You can’t always control the players around you. But, there are some things you can do to minimize your contact with bad players.

First and foremost, you can spend more money on each hand. High table minimums tend to scare off lesser players for obvious reasons.

If you can’t afford to price out the bad players then it’s worth scouting out tables before you sit down. As I said, you should be able to tell which players aren’t good at blackjack within a few minutes.

At the end of the day, avoiding bad blackjack players shouldn’t be a top priority.

7 ‒ How to Turn a Negative into a Positive

Many casino-goers react poorly when they get stuck at a table with a bad player. Some internalize their anger while others are more abrasive.

In my opinion, it’s inappropriate to be aggressive and hostile to other players, even if you think they’re costing you money.

Learning to play blackjack can be very difficult for some players. The game is full of complexities and hundreds of different card combinations to learn about.

Sometimes all these players need is a helping hand to steer them in the right direction. If you think you’re qualified to offer advice, don’t hesitate to be that veteran presence at a blackjack table.

Bad Players Can Ruin a Good Game

It isn’t ideal to play blackjack with people who don’t know what they’re doing.

If you’re hoping to avoid uncomfortable and frustrating experiences there are a few things to consider doing. Learn to spot bad players and always be on the lookout for obvious signs of a bad player.

Ignoring a bad blackjack player can be impossible to do. If you can’t seem to block out their terrible style of play, switch tables.

Don’t let another player ruin the precious little time you have at a casino.