Everyone thinks they’ve got the game figured out. From the “insider tips” that can help swing the game in your favour to urban legends which have gradually taken on some semblance of truth, there’s a whole host of blackjack myths out there, ready and waiting to trip you up.
If you want to have a decent shot at winning, the first thing you’ll have to do is figure out what’s true and what’s not when it comes to the world of blackjack. Check out the eight top blackjack myths in need of a good old-fashioned debunking:
Myth #1: The aim of the game is to get as close to 21 as possible
Wrong, wrong, wrong! Yes, the number ‘21’ and blackjack are synonymous with each other – there was even a hit movie about blackjack called ‘21’ – but blackjack is not, and never has been, about getting close to 21. It’s about beating the dealer!
You have to either get a higher score than the dealer or not bust before the dealer. Why is this important? Because it has a fundamental impact on your blackjack betting system. You don’t have to play aggressively to get to 21 – in fact, playing aggressively in the pursuit of blackjack is a pretty good way of ensuring that you go bust. More often than not, a score of 16 or 17 will net you the win.aliqua.
Myth #2: You should always assume that the dealer has a 10 in the hole
One of the most repeated blackjack myths is that you should always play as if the dealer has a 10 in the hole. This is seen as a safer option, since there are so many cards in the deck which have the value of 10 (10, Jacks, Queens, and Kings). So, if the dealer is showing a nine, the idea is that you should assume that his face-down card has a value of 10, and that he, therefore, has a 19.
But this simply isn’t good advice. Since there are 16 cards (from a 52 card deck) which have a value of 10, there’s just a 31% chance that the dealer has a 10 in the hole, and a massive 69% chance that he doesn’t. So it simply doesn’t make mathematical sense to play as if the dealer has a 10 in the hole. Instead, playing using basic blackjack strategies can help you to figure out what to do based on the dealer’s face-up card.
Myth #3: The blackjack insurance bet can save you money
Have you ever wondered when to take insurance in blackjack? Here’s your answer: never! In blackjack, taking the insurance side bet is one of the worst things that you can do. Insurance is a separate wager which the dealer gives you the option of taking if their face-up card is an Ace. You will bet on whether or not they have blackjack, and if they do, you’ll win a 2:1 payout.
As we stated earlier, the chances of the dealer having a card valued at 10 – and therefore being able to make blackjack – is around 31%. The blackjack insurance bet is pretty much guaranteed to lose you money, despite the fact that at first glance it might seem like a pretty solid investment.
Myth #4: Face cards follow face cards
Now, this one’s just a little bit silly, isn’t it? But lo and behold, there are plenty of blackjack players who really believe that face cards always follow face cards in the deck. There really isn’t anything to debunk here, it’s simply untrue. In fact, after you draw a face card you have a much greater chance of receiving a numbered card than another face card.
Myth #5: The other players at the table can affect your game
Some players think that if another player at the table is making bad decisions, it will ruin the flow of the game and have an impact on your strategy. This blackjack myth couldn’t be further from the truth. There’s really no mathematical impact to having a bad player on your table. They’re not taking your cards, in fact, they may be laying the groundwork for you to receive the exact cards that you need. Just try to ignore the other players and play your own game.
Myth #6: Stand on a soft 18
Although an 18 is a good hand, it’s not always best to stand on it. If the dealer is showing a three, four, five, or six (i.e. a weak hand) it might be worth doubling down. You won’t always make money, but capitalising on the dealer’s weakness is a key factor in determining how successful you’ll be at blackjack. Consider this blackjack myth thoroughly debunked.
Myth #7: You should avoid busting at all costs
It sounds sensible, but this strategy isn’t likely to bring you very much success. It’s very conservative and massively reduces your chances of getting a winning score. Any hand of 12 or more has a chance of causing you to bust. So, if you don’t hit on any hand worth 12 or more, you’ve got no chance of reducing the house edge.
Myth #8: Blackjack is a game of luck
Plenty of players assume that blackjack is all about luck, and there’s nothing you can really do to improve your chances. Actually, every decision you make at the table determines your chances of success. While you can never determine which cards you’ll be drawn, the best way that you can improve your ‘luck’ is to learn basic strategy – a blackjack betting system which is based on the fundamental mathematical principles of the game.
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