Everything You Know About Blackjack Is Wrong

We always recommend blackjack as the go to game for anyone who wants to make a career of gambling. It does not have to be the only game. It does not even have to be the favorite game. But it is most consistently the most lucrative game for people who know how to play it. Obviously, to play blackjack like a pro requires lots of study and practice. If you have been brushing up and fine tuning your skills, that’s great! Do not make the assumption, however, that you are ready to play with the big boys. There are several misconceptions that all blackjack players need to be aware of.

The following set of misconceptions is particularly nefarious because you will find that even seasoned gamblers will be unaware that they are wrong on the matter. If you learn to recognize these, you will have an immediate leg up on everyone else at your table. If you choose to ignore this information, you will find out the hard way that you are throwing away potential wins. It is a short list, so take a few minutes and keep an open mind.

Myth: The dealer’s down card is always a ten

Fact: The dealer’s hole card is not necessarily a ten

This is the kind of statement that starts flame wars. Everyone is taught to always assume that the dealer’s hole card is a ten until proven otherwise. This is how basic strategy works. It literally prescribes the assumption that the dealer’s hole card is a ten. To go against this cardinal rule is such blasphemy, that the mere implication of it at the casino is enough to make one feel shunned and excommunicated. Pros will take you aside and school you on the matter and make you feel dumb.

Hold steadfast. Because instinctively, you already know that the hole card is probably not a ten. It is true that there is a large number of ten value cards in the deck, but not enough that this should statistically be the case at any given time. The best way to form a play strategy is to play against the up card and not based on an assumption about the hole card. This will automatically place you at an advantage against other players who are playing on a hunch or an assumption. You will be playing based on the facts.

Myth: Bad players will throw off your game

Fact: Inexperienced players at the table will not hurt your hand

One can see this time and again, especially at brick and mortar casinos where belligerent players at a table gang up on the newcomer who gets accused of ruining their hand through poor play decisions. Even more ridiculous, are players who study tables to make sure there are no amateurs before they sit down. The simple truth is that it does not matter what other players do at the table. The shoe is always covered and it is most certainly shuffled enough times to ensure random order. There is no way to tamper with how the game will play out because the game is not predetermined one way or another. This assumption is rooted in magical thinking. Inexperienced players cannot tamper with destiny itself.

Myth: The order of the cards in the shoe will determine the game

Fact: The card shoe is not organized in any meaningful way

The outcome of each game is not defined by the order present in a shuffled deck. This assumes that a cosmic decision of who wins or loses was determined before the game even began. This is utter nonsense. This misconception rears its ugly head when players join or leave games. People who buy into this theory become upset because they believe that their predestined cards are now out of order. To be perfectly clear, to believe that the casino is fair is to believe the cards are random. If the cards are random, then it does not matter in what ordered they are dealt. Each card’s identity is only revealed after it is looked at.

Myth: Never play the final seat at a table

Fact: You do not need to avoid the last position at the table

This is another strange misconception. Some people think that if the dealer wins it is somehow the last player’s fault for allowing the dealer to get a specific card. That last player has no idea what cards await in the shoe. It is inconceivable to think that a dealer win is somehow do to poor play by one person at the table. This is nothing more than projecting anger and blaming an innocent scapegoat. Any one player’s decision in a game of blackjack is inconsequential to the final outcome of the game as a whole. The only place where decisions count is in how one handles his own hands.

Myth: Counting cards is illegal, immoral, or unethical

Fact: You should always be counting cards if you know how

Because of the media, card counting is seen as some illegal thing that will get one to be arrested or have his kneecaps broken by the mob. Hollywood likes to perpetuate this myth because it is a handy tool to get a story moving along. Casinos promote the myth because they don’t want anyone to have any sort of advantage, obviously. The truth, however, is that counting cards is perfectly legal. It is not unethical, and it is an accepted practice. Any reputable online casino will have a web page dedicated to letting its players know that they condone the use of card counting and encourage it. Counting cards is not easy and it takes a lot of practice to use it correctly. Some online casinos will have basic guides to get you started. It is worth reading a book or two on the subject to gain an in depth knowledge on this technique.