Blackjack is a casino game that shows different faces to different people. Unlike certain games, there’s more than one way to enjoy blackjack. Blackjack games have different rules, odds, and house edges for the casino. Each of these matters to some blackjack players and not so much to others.
Experienced and advantage blackjack players look at it as a game they can beat. The first thing is to find a blackjack game with fair odds. This means the casino is offering a game with a small house edge.
There are plenty of blackjack players that just want to play cards without spending too much time perfecting their skill for a few visits to a casino each year. These recreational players just want to find a blackjack game in a location they enjoy playing at an affordable limit.
It’s understandable that there are blackjack players that don’t care enough to spend time perfecting a hobby they may only enjoy for about 20 hours each year.
Everyone has a scenario that’s best for their blackjack and gambling preferences. Thankfully, there are plenty of casino options around the world that will suit the needs of all types of players. Unfortunately, not all games in every casino will work for the various types of blackjack players.
While experienced blackjack players know what to look for when playing blackjack, the hobbyist is more susceptible to misinformation and myths. It’s important for advantage players to find specific games that meet their needs. Recreational players may just be looking for a good time.
Recreational blackjack players often share information with others they’ve heard while playing. Since these players tend not to study or practice the basic strategy they could be passing on blackjack misinformation.
Some of the information may be correct but that’s not always the case. Recreational blackjack players don’t often research to see if the information they’ve heard is true. The incorrect information is passed on to a player who will do the same. This becomes a neverending cycle of mumbo jumbo.
Be careful about the tips heard while gambling. Blackjack is a game of skill that’s based on math. Many of the myths passed on at the blackjack table spit in the face of common sense, basic strategy, and mathematical odds.
The best way to deal with the misinformation is to find and use correct data and math to support decisions. A simple thing a blackjack player can do to easily avoid misinformation is to test a few of the myths that are passed on from others.
Recreational blackjack players may be open to spending just a few minutes a year to see if what they’re hearing at the table is true or not.
Here are five myths a player may hear when playing a live or electronic blackjack game in a casino that are not true. Finding the truth for some of this information can be as simple as doing math in your head. There are myths that are as “complex” as reading a basic strategy card and as easy as using common sense.
Always assume the dealer hole card is a 10
This is one of the most simple blackjack myths to bust. There are 16 cards (10, Jack, Queen, King) with a value of 10 in each deck of 52 cards. This turns out to show that just under 1/3rd of the deck is a 10.
2/3rd of a deck of playing cards for blackjack does not have a value of a 10. There are way more cards that aren’t a 10 in play. It’s probably safer to assume the dealer’s hole card is not a 10.
Never hit a 12 against a 2
Basic strategy says a player should always hit their 2 against the dealer with the same card showing. Myth busted. In fact, a player should hit their 2 against a dealer with 13 as well.
The latter play isn’t talked about quite as much at the blackjack table but is equally important when trying to make the best blackjack plays possible.
Card counting is illegal
Card counting is not illegal. While casinos don’t like players counting cards, it isn’t illegal. That said, a casino can ask a player to leave the table for any reason – including counting cards.
Card counters are always on the lookout for pit bosses and security watching their play.
Blackjack has the best odds in the casino
This has probably never been true for a recreational gambler and it’s certainly not always true. Some casinos have a beatable blackjack game with very good odds.
A player has to use perfect basic strategy in order to see a game with the lowest house edge. Unfortunately, the masses don’t play using perfect basic strategy. Every wrong play in blackjack increases the house edge for the casino.
A skilled player uses proper basic strategy and count cards to swing the advantage to themselves. There aren’t many of these games and there aren’t a lot of players with the skill to make the game the best in the casino.
More importantly, there are a few games with bets that have better odds for the player. Baccarat, Pai Gow, video poker, Spanish 21 and even some craps bets have a lower house edge than the average blackjack game in casinos today.
The machines are rigged
The influx of electronic and stadium blackjack installations may lead to some players questioning the validity of the machines. This is not true and is easily debunked by using common sense.
These blackjack games at commercial casinos are all overseen by local gaming commissions. If a casino fixes the machines to always beat players they can lose their gaming licenses.
It’s highly unlikely a casino operator – corporation or otherwise – would risk losing a gaming license in order to make a few extra bucks. Think about the larger casino chains in the US.