Blackjack Myths

There are a lot of myths surrounding the game of blackjack-myths that many people take as truths.  Many people think that bad players at the table hurt your chances of winning, that counting cards is illegal, that you should never sit in the last position at the blackjack table or other players will blame you for bad luck and a whole plethora of other "truths" that, in fact, are not true at all.  Read on to learn about some common blackjack myths and the truth about them.

Always Figure the Dealer for 10 in the Hole

One of the most common blackjack myths is that you should always figure the dealer for 10 in the hole. If the dealer is showing a 2 then you should assume that he's got a hand of 12, if a dealer is showing a 5 then you should assume that he's got a hand of 15.  This is a basic strategy of many players.  However, should we always pre-assume that the dealer's got a hole card of 10?

The truth of the matter is that there are 4 times as many cards in a deck that are worth a value of 10 than any other card.  However, only 30% of the cards in the deck are worth 10, so there is really only a 3:7 chance in any given round that the blackjack dealer actually has a 10 in the hole. If you get past the myth that the dealer's hole card is a 10 then you can start actually start playing more strategically and increase your chances of winning.

Bad Players at the Table Hurt Your Chances

Many blackjack players believe that having bad players at the table hurt their chances of winning.  If a player hits when he should have stayed or stays when he should have hit then many of the other players at the table may believe that this is throwing off the flow of the game, messing with the order of the cards and hurting the chances of all the other players at the table.  This goes along with the following myths-that the order of the cards is sacred and that you should avoid choosing the last position at the table.

In reality, mathematically speaking, bad players have no real effect on the outcome of the game.  While they may throw off your concentration or get on your nerves, it's a myth that they can seriously affect your chances by playing at your table.

The Order of the Cards is Sacred

A lot of blackjack players feel that the order of the deck in a game of blackjack is sacred.  If a new player joins the game in the middle or one of the other players surrenders then this sacred order can be thrown off, ruining the other players' chances of winning.

While it's true that another player surrendering or someone new joining the game will change the order of the cards, there is just as much a chance that their decisions will result in a shift that will help you to win.  This is a myth that many players probably use to place the blame on others for their losses, rather than owning up to their own bad strategy or luck.

Avoid Choosing the Last Position at the Table

Another common blackjack myth that goes along with placing the blame on others is to avoid choosing the last position at the table.  The player in the last position, closest to the dealer, is commonly the scapegoat for the rest of the players.  Say, for instance, that the last player at the table hits and receives an 8 and immediately following that the dealer shows his up-card and then draws a final card that gives him a total of 21, beating the rest of the players, whereas the 8 would have caused him to bust.  The last player at the table may be blamed by the other players for their losses.

However, the chances are just as likely that the last player at the table will make a decision that results in the dealer just missing blackjack and busting instead.  The decisions of the other players at the table shared just as big a part in leading up to the end of the round and the order of the cards as you did.

Always Take Insurance When Dealt a Blackjack

A lot of players think that you should always take insurance when you have a blackjack or 20 and the dealer is showing an Ace.  However, taking insurance in every instance is often one of the worst moves you could make.  When you take insurance you give up 13% of the profit that blackjack pays, cutting your winnings drastically.  Don't fall into the trap.

Card Counting is Illegal

One of the most widespread myths about blackjack is that counting cards is illegal. This myth is proliferated in movies about casino sharks and through word-of-mouth and the casinos are happy to let players continue believing this because, the truth of the matter is that counting cards is one of the most effective blackjack strategies.  When you learn to count cards well you can easily decrease the already low 2% house edge in blackjack to next to nothing.  Stop worrying about getting caught and learn this great strategy because in reality, card counting in blackjack is perfectly legal and can greatly increase your chances.