Published on August 15, 2014 in Casino Tips

Blackjack bannerCan you tell us which of the following Blackjack statements are true, and which ones are false?

  • You should always take insurance on a 20 or 21.
  • Idiots can hurt your chances of winning.
  • Blackjack is an even game so I can’t keep losing.
  • I have to be as close to 21 to win.
  • It’s impossible to count cards in a multiple-deck game.

If you said that any of these are true, you are ABSOLUTELY WRONG! However, most Blackjack players would have said a few of these statements are true … and they’d be wrong. The reason behind their answers are simple; they need a reason as to why they did bad, instead of admitting to themselves that they were the reason the didn’t win. Sure, a bad play from another player will affect you for a hand or two, but they can’t affect every single hand that you are in.

If you seriously want to win at Blackjack, then you need to figure out what’s real and what isn’t. Having an excuse for your losses will not make you a better player. Instead, understand the game, the statistics, how to win even with a bad player around you, know what hands are good, what hands are bad, the winning percentages of each. Pay attention the cards (learn to count cards if you can). These tips will help you win at Blackjack; blaming your losses on someone else will not.

That’s why we’ve put together some of the most popular myths. We’ll explain the reasoning behind the myth and then we’ll explain why the reasoning is pure hogwash.

Myth # 1

If The Dealer Holds An Ace, Insure Your Blackjack Or 20!

The reasoning behind this is fairly straightforward. If the dealer ends up with a blackjack, then you can protect yourself from losing if you insure your bet. If you have 20, then you’ll end up pushing, losing your bet, but you win using the insurance. If you have blackjack, then you’ll still win even money if they end up matching.

Now, here’s why you shouldn’t take the insurance. If you’re holding 20, then you have two ten value cards that the dealer needs to make their own blackjack. It’s important to remember that you only win the insurance bet if the dealer’s hole card is a ten value card, giving them their own blackjack. Since you have two of the needed cards, your chances of winning without insurance just went up, and theirs went down. In most circumstances, your hand of 20 is a safe hand, without any type of insurance. So, don’t waste your money insuring an almost guaranteed winning hand.

Now, if you have 21, insurance will always net you a 1-to-1 payout. So, technically it’s not a bad idea to take the insurance. However, statistics have shown than when you refuse to take the insurance, you can actually get a 1.04-to-1 return. Of course, this is an exceptionally small return (only 4%), but it does give you more money. So, unless you know that the dealers’ odds are in his favor (i.e. you counted cards), it is best to leave the insurance only and take your chances.

Myth # 2

Third Base In An Idiot, And He’s Killing My Chances Every Time!

The third baseman is the last player to play before the dealer. Being in this position can be a precarious situation, especially if you are novice. However, the truth of the matter is, no matter where you are, someone is going to look to blame you for the dealer winning and the table losing. “Smart” players always blame the “newbie”; the guy who says “hit” when they shouldn’t have.

Now, here’s why all that stuff is pure non-sense. Dumb players, newbies, are going to make some bad plays that affect the table negatively. They are also going to make some bad plays that affect the table positively. Unless you are professional card counter, the odds are still going to be stacked for the house. If you are a solid player, then the third baseman’s bad decisions shouldn’t overly affect your final outcome. If you are a bad player, then it’s possible that the reason you’re losing so much is on you … not the third baseman.

Myth # 3

I’m Going To Win Soon Enough … I Can’t Keep Losing!

Most players understand that Blackjack is an almost even game, favouring the house ever so slightly. In that, they know that they’ll eventually start winning again. However, cards are emotionless pieces of paper with symbols and numbers. They don’t care that you’ve lost the past five hands. They don’t understand that they have to balance out.  If you’ve lost a lot, there’s a good chance you could continue to lose. If you just aren’t good, you’ll continue losing. 

While the odds are favoured around 52/48, you still have to be good at the game to win, and win enough to cover you losses.

Myth #4

I Have To Be As Close To 21 As Humanly Possible!

The easiest way to make people want to play is to make the game as simple as possible; so, marketers have spent plenty of time convincing players that they just have to be as close as they can to 21 to win.

That’s just not true!

You can win in Blackjack by having a higher total that the dealer or by avoiding a bust when the dealer busts. You can be at 20, and then the dealer gets 21 … he wins. You can be at 16 and the dealer busts … you win. Trying to get to 21 is a sure fire way to lose much more than you’ll win. Of course, marketers want you to play and they’ll convince you that getting as close as you can to 21 will guarantee a win … that’s just not true!

Myth #5

If Your Holding A 12, And The Dealer Draws A 2 Upcard, Never Hit!

Players have certain rules that they believe, whether they can prove it or not. In most instances, players believe that they’ll draw a ten card if the dealer draws a 2 upcard. If they pull a ten card, they’ll bust and the dealer will win.

However, statistics have shown that you have 35% chance of winning if you stand versus a 37% chance of winning if you accept the hit. Players understand that a hard 12 is bad hand, especially against the dealer. Even so, would you like to win 2% more of the hands you played (which equals more money in the end)? 

Even though a hard 12 is a losing hand, most of the time, you can still pay your payouts by playing with the statistics.

Myth #6

18 Is Good, Stick With It!

If you’re holding an 18, it is best to sit it out and wait. However, you have to understand the position you are in. If the dealer is holding weak upcards of 3,4,5 or 6, then you need to double down. You aren’t doing this to improve your odds of winning, you are doing this to maximise your winnings when the dealer is the most vulnerable. Statistically, your 18 will lose about 18% of the time whenever the dealer has a 9, 10 or ace showing. So, instead of sitting, double down and make the dealer pay as much as you can.