Blackjack Myths Explained
Despite blackjack being one of the most popular games played in casinos across the US, the world of blackjack myth remains steeped in myth.
Myths aren’t uncommon in casino games, and it makes sense that they develop or evolve over time. Casino games are all about chance, and people tend to make certain observations that are as of yet unsupported by science. Over time, these ‘convictions’ are accepted among players, and even as new players learn these casino games, they are often passed on.
If you are new to blackjack, you should look out for these myths. If you internalize them, they can affect how you play the game, and they may limit your ability to win. For experienced players, it is time to bust these myths. They could be holding you back from becoming a better player.
It is important not to confuse myths with strategies. Myths are mostly about beliefs, and those who believe in them think that playing in a certain way or even sitting at a certain location when playing the game will lead to a certain outcome.
If you think about a myth, there is often no reason for it to happen. There is no scientific backing for it – it is just something that players believe is true. However, those who believe in myths are convinced that certain actions will lead to certain outcomes.
Strategy is different because it informs gameplay. There are no guaranteed outcomes. All it tells you is that if you play a certain way, you increase your chances of winning.
Whether you are a new or seasoned player, you should know what common beliefs surround the game so that you can steer clear of them. Every blackjack myth you are aware of will ultimately help you improve your game because you’ll understand that it doesn’t affect the outcome. In blackjack, what you can do is just give your best and hope that things go your way.
Below, we’ll bust 10 of the most common blackjack myths.
Myth 1 – Counting cards gives you an edge
Card counting is a fact of casino life. Indeed, some people have risen to fame because they were such good card counters. However, there are several things that all blackjack players should understand about card counting.
The first thing is that it takes a very long time for you to win if you use this strategy. It isn’t suitable for those who are only playing for a short time. It is a good strategy to employ if you plan to spend hours every day on the blackjack table.
The second thing about card counting is that you must have two important skills if it is going to work for you. You need to have a keen eye, and you need to be good at keeping track of what is going on in the game.
Many players who have tried card counting will tell you that it distracts them from the game. They are so busy trying to figure out who around the table is holding what that they miss out on what else is going on around them.
Lastly, card counters often experience losses in the short term, and if they want their strategy to pay off, then they have to continue betting. This means that they need a big bankroll to begin with. If you are only playing blackjack for fun, then you may not want to spend a lot of money.
The thing to remember about card counting is that if it was a winning strategy, everyone who plays the game would use it, and casinos would go bankrupt. Just like any other casino tactic, it only gives the player an edge.
Myth 2 – Players should aim to get as close to 21 as possible
Many new blackjack players have the mistaken belief that the aim of the game is to get as close to 21 as possible. This isn’t true: the main aim of blackjack is to beat the dealer.
As long as you hold a higher hand than the dealer, you win, and it doesn’t have to be close to 21. Players have been known to lose because they hit when they should stand, believing that they are as close as they can get to 21. Keep your eye on the dealer’s hand because that is what matters.
Myth 3 – A bad player affects your game
It is human nature to look for someone or something to blame when things go wrong, but in blackjack, it isn’t true that a bad player affects the outcome of your game.
A bad play from a player can indeed affect one or two hands afterwards, but in the long term, it doesn’t affect the game much. Keep in mind that the best blackjack players are those who think in the long term.
If someone plays a bad hand, keep your focus on the long-term play instead of blaming them for spoiling the game.
Myth 4 – You need mathematical acumen to win at blackjack
Lots of players who aren’t math geniuses are great at blackjack. Indeed, some mathematical geniuses do very well at the game, but it isn’t a prerequisite for becoming a good blackjack player.
The average player can become good at this game if they learn how to keep track of low cards and high cards and increase the count by ones up to plus or minus 10. It will seem complicated in the beginning, but it becomes easier as you get more and more into the game. You don’t need to be particularly good at math to get this simple strategy to work for you but remember that it is not infallible. It doesn’t guarantee you a win, but it can increase your odds of winning.
Myth 5 – You will win eventually
The dealer has won five or six hands in a row, and you are thinking that your odds of winning the next hand are good. You increase your next bet.
Thinking that you will win eventually is another blackjack myth that is quite common, but it simply isn’t true. The cards don’t care that the dealer has won so many hands in a row, and they will not align themselves in your favor.
It is true that the longer you play, the higher your odds of winning – this is how probability works. However, you have to keep playing for a long time, usually over many hours, before you get a win.
New players often want to know how long it will take. It will not take an afternoon of playing the game to increase your odds. You may want to set aside at least an afternoon and an evening of continuous play before you start to see results.
Myth 6 – Play at a table where the dealer is cold
A cold dealer is usually one who has been on a losing streak, and some players believe that if they place their bets at a table with such a dealer, they will have higher odds of winning.
This isn’t true because in the same way that blackjack is a game of chance for the players, it is also a game of chance for the dealer.
The dealer does not influence the outcome of their cards, and while they may have a cold streak, they could go hot as soon as you place a bet on the table. The dealer could start to win, and they might keep winning for many hands to come. For every hand they win, you lose, so holding on to this myth may greatly disadvantage you.
Myth 7 – A new player could cause you to start losing
This is not very different from the belief that a player who plays a bad hand will cause others to lose. It has no basis in fact.
If you have been on a winning streak and a new player joins the game, and then you start to lose, it has nothing to do with that new player. It is simply the way that the cards turn up.
There is no guarantee that your winning streak would have continued if the new player hadn’t joined the game, so don’t use them as a scapegoat. Look instead for strategies that can help you beat the dealer.
Myth 8 – Picture cards follow each other
Some players will see a face card and refuse to play stiff cards because they believe that other face cards will follow.
This isn’t true. When a face card is played, there are fewer of them on the table, which means that there are fewer odds of another face card being played.
Myth 9 – Progressive bets will beat the house edge
If you look at purely mathematical odds, this is just another blackjack myth. Progressive betting, where players increase their bets after a win, doesn’t give you any sort of edge against the house.
Your odds of winning will be the same as they always were, except that you may go through your bankroll much faster. Progressive betting is great if you have a lot of money to spend and plan to play for a long time – otherwise, place normal bets and hope for the best.
When placing your bets, it is important to think about how much you intend to spend for the whole gambling session and how long you will be playing.
If you intend to pay for a long time, but you don’t have a lot of money to spend, go for small bets that allow your bankroll to last.
Myth 10 – It is impossible to win because it is all a game of chance
If it was impossible to win, the game wouldn’t exist. Casinos would have got rid of it a long time ago because it wouldn’t encourage players to come back. It would be a loss maker.
The phrase ‘game of chance’ implies that there is a good probability of winning if you keep playing. Probabilities are fixed mathematical certainties, so all you have to do is bide your time.
Now that we have debunked 10 of the most common blackjack myths, you may be wondering where to play.
If you are in New Jersey, then we recommend Resorts Casino. It is one of the oldest establishments in the area and offers a great environment for beginners and seasoned players alike to try their hand at their favorite games, including blackjack.
If you would like to try your hand at online blackjack, Resorts Casino has also got you covered – a user-friendly virtual table offering a smooth gaming experience is available on their website, and the sign-up process is straight-forward.
When playing blackjack, or any other game, it is important that you gamble responsibly – make sure that you don’t bet more than you can afford to lose, and don’t hesitate to reach out for help if you’re experiencing any difficulties.