As the most popular table game in casinos around the world, blackjack has developed a bit of a lore. Players are left to determine which portions of this lore are fact, and which parts are just myths that have worked their way into popular culture over the years. Much like the idea of hot streaks and cold streaks at slot machines or a roulette wheel that’s ‘due’ to land on black, some blackjack myths can be more than just inconvenient, they can have a real, negative impact on your results. Leaning on imaginary patterns or false strategies can dramatically increase the edge that you’re fighting to overcome while slowly leaching away your bankroll. Luckily, Silver Oak is here to help you navigate the world of blackjack myths and maximize your odds at the tables. Pay close attention, because these well-known myths can be seriously detrimental for blackjack players who aren’t in the know. Without further ado, let’s get started!
Bad Players Ruin the Table
Many blackjack players get seriously upset when they are forced to share a table with players who don’t follow basic strategy. When you think about it, it makes sense. If the player in front of you at the table hits when he or she should’ve stayed, that player could be taking the card you need to beat the dealer. When studied a little more closely, however, it seems that bad players don’t necessarily impact your results. Mathematically speaking, bad players don’t have any real effect on the outcome of the game for other players. Poor play could have an effect on your play experience, sure, but the odds remain the same. The fact of the matter is that blackjack isn’t usually an occupation, but a pastime. If you’re looking to maximize your fun and substandard play annoys you or disrupts your experience, it may be a good idea to find another table. Use your best judgment, and have a great time!
Card Counting is Illegal
Counting cards is a time-tested strategy for gaining an edge at the casino. These days, casinos go out of their way to make it difficult for card counters, using multiple decks and keeping an eye on the betting patterns of players across the floor. With all of these efforts to prevent counting, it would be easy to think that this crafty strategy was against the law, and that may be what casinos want you to think. However, the famous blackjack technique is not illegal. Just because it’s legal doesn’t make card counting an accepted practice. If casinos suspect you’re counting, you may get banned from future play. Right about now, you may be thinking that counting online could be a better choice, but think again. Online casinos shuffle the cards at the end of every round, so counting isn’t a possibility. Stick to basic strategy to maximize your chances.
Taking Insurance is Always the Right Choice
The insurance bet is one of the most controversial at the blackjack table. With this bet, players are offered a chance to wager half of their original bet as an even-money offering when the dealer’s face-up card is an ace. If the dealer’s other card is a 10, players who take insurance will cut their losses in half. Some insist that it’s a worthwhile choice in some instances, but this is usually not the case. In fact, insurance is a gimmick that casinos set up to sucker in the inexperienced players. To see why, let’s take a look at the math. Without counting cards, we’ll have to assume that the dealer’s hole card will be a 10 about 30 percent of the time. In other words, there’s a 70 percent chance that the dealer’s ace won’t lead to a blackjack. When it all shakes out, what’s left is a house edge of about 15 times the game’s true house edge. Are there times when taking insurance is the right move? Sure. If you’re not a very experienced blackjack player who knows exactly what you’re doing, though, the right move is to steer clear at all costs.
The Odds are Always the Same
One thing that can have a serious impact on your chances is the table you choose to play. With perfect basic strategy at a good table, you’ll be able to chip away at the house edge and come within 0.5 percent of even odds. This doesn’t mean that every table will be so favorable. It’s vital to check the rules at each blackjack table before taking a seat. A few important things to watch for include 3:2 blackjack payouts (as opposed to the less lucrative 6:5) and a dealer that has to stand on a soft 17 instead of having the option to hit. With these two, seemingly innocent rule changes, casinos are able to raise the house edge by about 1.5 percent, which is huge when you consider that a good table offers an edge of just half a percent. There’s nothing worse than taking the time needed to perfect basic strategy only to be fooled into wasting the edge by a tricky casino with less than favorable rules.
Now that you know which blackjack myths are pure fiction, you’re ready to hit the tables. Keep these tips in mind, and brush up on basic strategy. With a little luck, you’ll be able to take down the house and walk away a winner. There’s a very good reason why blackjack has established itself as a favorite amongst casino-goers from around the globe, and the odds definitely play a role. Remember the goal of the game. Some beginners assume that shooting for 21 is the way to win, but the true method of success in blackjack is as simple as beating the dealer. Take a strategic view and play the long game to make the most of your bankroll and enjoy success. While you’re at it, why not put in some practice at Silver Oak? We’ve got plenty of blackjack options to suit your preferences.