Top four blackjack myths busted

Jan 8, 2013 3:09 AM

Blackjack Myths

One of the best parts of playing blackjack is the camaraderie at the table.

Blackjack is a very social game filled with a lot of small talk between both players and dealers. Many blackjack players think they know everything about the game. Unfortunately, they often don’t know the facts.

They know the myths other people tell at a blackjack table and not the math behind the game. If you watch the dealer while these people are talking you’ll see them smirk a little when players are talking nonsense. Here are some of the biggest myths and untruths you’ll hear at the blackjack table.

The dealer always has a 10 in the hole. First of all, this isn’t possible. Mathematically it’s not even close to being possible as only only about 30% of the deck have a value of 10 (10, Jack, Queen and King). Mathematically, the odds the dealer doesn’t have a 10 in the hole are actually better.

Bad players hurt your chances of winning. In the short term the person who plays before you may have an effect on the cards you receive but in the long term this all evens out. We just remember the bad scenarios more than the good ones. This is much more psychological than mathematical. I have to remind myself about this because it’s easy to get caught up in the moment.

Avoid choosing the last position at the table (aka third base). This rolls into the previous myth that a person’s incorrect play will always affect the next person’s cards. In this case it’s the dealer and third base holds the power of the entire table in their hands. Again, over time this all evens out. If you’re a novice blackjack player you may want to play in the middle of the table to avoid the ridicule of players who don’t know any better.

Card counting is illegal. Like Alan in “The Hangover” says “Card counting is not illegal, it’s just frowned upon.” Casinos don’t like card counters and will ask you not to play if they see you counting cards. Casinos have the right to stop taking your bets and when you play with the advantage they will always stop you. Casinos weren’t built with players having an edge.

There is a difference in superstition and myths. Nobody can argue that your superstitions are wrong because these are just feelings. They may be wrong but that’s how you feel. However, myths can be busted by doing research and finding out the correct information. In the case of blackjack this information becomes playing with correct strategy and is irrefutable by doing the math.

If you’re not a math nerd, to get the facts and correct strategy on your own you can always use a training app or blackjack strategy card to back up your reasons for playing a certain way. The math people are always smart and using their intelligence as part of your gambling will only make you a smarter gambler.

Marc Meltzer covers Las Vegas, gambling and men’s lifestyle for various outlets. Follow Marc on twitter @eastcoastgamblr. Check out his blog at Contact Marc at [email protected].

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