By nature, many recreational gamblers are superstitious. Blackjack players are among the most superstitious people in the casino. For example, a blackjack player may only sit at the last seat before the dealer because they “control the table,” a blackjack player might offer advice to anyone playing so that the cards “don’t turn bad,” they may even tip the dealer after every hand when dealt a natural blackjack. The list of superstitions at the blackjack table can go on for days.
Over time these preferences don’t mean much but they make us feel better about playing blackjack. I’ve had plenty of these superstitions over the years. There was a time when I would only sit at first base so that nobody could mess up my cards. Once I realized that the play of other people didn’t matter, I lost that superstition and moved to something else. I now live a superstition-free life at the blackjack table and just play my cards.
To this day, the majority of people that I play blackjack with are paranoid about how other people play the game. I can tell other blackjack players that the odds won’t change because of someone else’s moves, but they don’t care. They often only see the cards in front and remember the session that they’re playing.
Learning basic blackjack strategy is important so that each player can lessen the house edge. However, over time how someone else plays won’t affect other people at the table. Everyone needs to be concerned about their own play. I hear players advising others to make the wrong move almost as often as they offer correct advice.
Do yourself a favor and practice basic blackjack strategy or use a card at the table that shows you the correct basic strategy. This will make you the best blackjack player you can be. This topic comes to mind because assemblyman Jim Wheeler recently sponsored a bill that would lower the age to gamble in Nevada from 21 to 18.
If approved, the bill would allow anyone 18, 19, and 20 to join you at the blackjack table or any other part of the casino. According to Las Vegas ABC affiliate, KNTV, “The bill has been assigned to the Judiciary Committee. Chairman Steve Yeager (D-Las Vegas) says while it’s not a big priority this session, he’s willing to give the bill a hearing.” The goal of this bill is to bring more people into casinos to gamble. More players would generate more revenue for casinos and more tax dollars for the government.
After hearing about this bill the only thing I could think of is the superstitious blackjack player. While craps, roulette, and slot machine players have superstitions, very few of them involve other players. However, many blackjack players are often concerned with how others around them play.
A similar bill was introduced to Nevada legislation in 2008 and didn’t pass. It appears as though this bill will face a similar fate. However, if it is approved there could be an influx of inexperienced blackjack players in Nevada casinos. This means that there will be more blackjack players who don’t know basic strategy yet making incorrect plays at the table.
Would this make you change how and where you play blackjack? Would younger players make you switch to another game where there isn’t an appearance that they could possibly effect your hand? You can sometimes find more experienced blackjack players by moving to a table with higher limits. Young players tend to gravitate to the lowest limits in the casino.
My personal blackjack habits wouldn’t change if this bill is approved. I’ve played blackjack long enough not to be bothered by other players moves. I’m just trying to add the cards correctly before I get scolded by other players or the dealer.