Casinos, and the adjoining bars around the world, are full of armchair gambling pundits. These so-called experts are full of false information that proceed towards reckless.
Unfortunately, they have a steady stream of novice casino gamblers that absorb their drunken sermons as a matter of fact rather than opinion. On the surface, this seems like harmless banter.
My friends and I actually enjoy running into these barstool professionals as it makes for excellent dinner conversation. However, there is a real danger in these types of discourse.
Many new gamblers will lose countless dollars because of misinformation. Here are seven real money blackjack myths that you probably believe to be fact.
Other Players Cost You Money
A lot of casino gamblers stay away from table games for this very reason. Experienced blackjack players can often become irritated when a newbie makes a play that’s in contrast to what basic blackjack strategy would suggest.
Usually, when this happens, it’s a player that’s sitting in the last position to act before the dealer. So, by hitting when basic strategy would recommend one to stand, they get the 10 that would have otherwise busted the dealer.
In this regard, it’s true that a player may occasionally steal a weak win. However, these same players may bring about far more wins than they make losses.
You see, the casino also counts on the ability to hit on below a 17 to gain a slight
casino house edge. That 10 that the player drew in the last hand could just as quickly be the 4 that put the dealer at 20 on another.
My point is that you shouldn’t buy into the notion that your fellow players are costing you losses. Your mental space is of paramount importance in the casino.
Don’t waste your time feeling sorry for yourself. One of the most rewarding ways you can maximize your casino experience is by going with the flow and offering help to any newcomers.
Instead of verbally berating the novice blackjack player, hand them a primary strategy card and explain how it works. You’ll become an instant casino hero in their eyes.
Counting Cards Is Criminal
Despite what you’ve heard in your local square-dancing classes or whatever you’ve seen on television, card counting is not illegal in any casino within the United States or the rest of the world.
Of course, the casinos would never discourage the public from assuming card counting is illegal. The last thing they will ever need are hordes of savvy gamblers walking into the casino and fleecing profits from the blackjack table.
There was a time where this was probably somewhat accurate in rare instances, but this is the friendlier, softer Las Vegas of present day. In modern times, you’ll certainly keep all 10 fingers and toes.
However, you’ll be escorted to the exit, and your chips will likely not be joining you. Additionally, your picture will subsequently be distributed to all other casinos in the area.
Finding a table may become immensely more challenging. Still, there’s no better way to flip the edge on the casino. Just don’t get caught!
Blackjack Strategy Is Too Difficult
I don’t know where this particular myth came from, but the basic blackjack strategy couldn’t be more straightforward. Yes, there are a ton of variables on every hand, and you have to make a decision based on each of these.
However, the point of basic strategy is to make the best decision under any given circumstance. So, the basic strategy is actually perfect for players trying to reduce the house edge.
Granted, the time necessary to memorize so many different variants would be tremendous. What if I handed you a card that had the perfect play for you on any given hand? That would certainly make it about as easy as it could possibly get. Well, you’re welcome.
Basic strategy charts can be found in about any casino gift shop on the planet. In fact, you can find one on Amazon for under $3, and it’ll be at your front door tomorrow.
Hey, even better, just do a quick little Google search for basic strategy cards, and you’ll have one in under one second for free!
Best of all, you can use these cards on the tables. You’ll need to be quick though because dealers are not going to deal with your lollygagging as you fumble clumsily to find your next play.
You may easily avoid this by simply practicing at home before you head off to the casino. Playing blackjack online with your basic strategy card will pay huge dividends when you finally get to the tables.
Blackjack Has the Best House Advantage for the Player
I love blackjack. It’s one of the most thrilling games of chance on the planet for my money.
Many people assume that blackjack has the lowest house edge of all casino games. While the house edge on blackjack is among the lowest on the casino floor, it’s not the absolute lowest available.
However, not all blackjack tables are equal. The variation of rules from one table to another can substantially impact the overall edge the casino holds.
Suppose you walk into a casino and have a seat at the nearest blackjack table. The odds are that you’ll be facing a house edge of much closer to 2%.
That’s not terrible by any means, but it’s significantly higher than the 0.5% often tossed around in gambling circles.
Things like the number of decks, the dealer’s action, and payout on a natural blackjack are only a few of the factors that influence the house’s advantage.
The bottom line is that blackjack doesn’t necessarily have the lowest house advantage. However, it’s still an incredibly great game for the player with relatively low volatility.
You’re Due for a Win
Blackjack players win nearly 50% of the hands they play. This gambling fallacy lends itself to players thinking that they’re “due for a win” after a string of poor hands.
Yes, the likelihood that you’ll lose the next hand after nine consecutive losses seems high. However, cards have no conscience. They are merely inanimate objects with zero conscious thought. So, they don’t know or care that you should statistically win the next hand.
Every hand of blackjack is entirely independent of the previous result.
When players buy into the notion that they are due, dangers follow. Quite regularly, these players will begin doubling down to score back some of those losses. This act may be better known as chasing losses. It’s an absolute recipe for disaster on the casino floor.
You’re not due, you were never due, and you’ll never be due.
The Point of the Game Is to Reach 21
Reaching 21 is an ideal outcome for any hand of blackjack. However, it’s not the point at all.
The point of blackjack is to beat the dealer. Ideally, this comes as a hand close to 21, but a 12 is just as good if the dealer busts.
I see many new players ignore the basic strategy and hit when they shouldn’t because they fear the dealer has a 10 in the hole.
There’s something cathartic about seeing a dealer bust. It gets the entire table in a better mood watching the house go to its knees, even if only for a split second.
Don’t beat yourself up on the blackjack table. The phrase, “let the game come to you,” comes to mind.
Card Counters Make Millions
There have indeed been card counting teams that have raked in millions. Unfortunately, the average card counter is taking in a much smaller rake.
This casino myth is another one that has been ingrained into our thought patterns by dramatized Hollywood films. We see Dustin Hoffman fleece the casino in a single night or Kevin Spacey lead a team of MIT math wizards into seven figures at the casino.
Let’s assume you are playing for $20 per hand with a 1% advantage. Let’s also assume that you’re playing one hand per minute to keep the math easy to follow.
So, 60 hands at $20 per hand is $1,200. Well, 1% of $1200 is $12. Do you see where I’m going with this?
Sure, most counters are increasing their bet size significantly when the count is favorable. Still, the rake for an average session will be under $500 on average.
Don’t forget that you could still lose. After all, the casino holds a 2% advantage, and players walk away winners every day.
Don’t Fall for Blackjack Myths
Debunking the seven blackjack myths will point you on an easier path to success. By not buying into the malarkey that floats around the room, you’re free to focus on playing the game in the best way possible.