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Blackjack Myths Busted

8 Blackjack Myths Busted

Written By Carla Harris

Blackjack

Blackjack isn't only the most popular table game in the casino, it also has the most myths and misconceptions associated with it. On the surface it's a pretty easy game. We can all count to 21. However, while playing the game is easy, there are aspects that need to be mastered and pitfalls that should be avoided. Most players know that blackjack can offer the best odds in the casino. 

What's difficult is deciding fact from fiction. Let's bust these eight myths to find the truth.


Myth #1: Get as Close to 21 as Possible

Many Blackjack players believe the objective of the game is to get as close to 21 without going over. This isn't true. The goal is to beat the dealer ! There will be times when you should be perfectly content standing with a hand of 12. Twelve isn't very close to 21, so why wouldn't we take another card? If the dealer is showing a six, the odds dictate that we're better off standing. We're hoping the dealer will bust. The decisions you make at the blackjack table are based on beating the dealer, not getting as close to 21 as you can.


Myth #2: You Should Change Your Strategy

Some players will play the same hand differently depending on the results. In other words, they'll suddenly stand on a hard 15 when the dealer is showing a 10 because they lost the last two times they hit in the same situation. Some players won't split eights because they have a large amount of money to bet. Correct basic strategy while playing blackjack is always the same. You shouldn't change the mathematically correct way to play a hand because you're losing or have a big bet on the table.


Myth #3: Always Stand on 18

Eighteen is usually a pretty good hand to stand on. However, there are three situations when you might have a soft 18 (ace and seven) where the correct play is to hit. If the dealer is showing a nine, 10, or an ace, you should take a hit.


Myth #4: Other Players Caused You to Lose

This might be the biggest myth of all. It's frustrating when the cards aren't going our way. What's the easiest thing to do to make us feel better? Blame someone else for our losses! It's a common misconception to believe the player at "third-base" (player on the left) can determine whether we win or lose. This would be true if the player could see the next card that was going to be dealt, but without that knowledge, their play has no statistical bearing on your long-term results.


Myth #5: Always Take Insurance When You Are Dealt Blackjack

If you're dealt a blackjack and the dealer has an ace showing, many players will take "even money." This means they'll take insurance to make sure they win. If they don't take insurance and the dealer has blackjack too, it's considered a "push" (tie). This seems logical. Guarantee yourself a win by taking insurance instead of risking a tie and not receiving winnings. However, statistics dictate that you'll win more money in the long run by not taking insurance.


Myth #6: Never Hit a Hard 16

Sixteen is the worst hand in blackjack. Players won't hit with a 16 for fear of busting. They believe they have a better chance of winning by standing, and hoping the dealer busts. This isn't a sound strategy. The correct play is to hit against a dealer's up card of seven, eight, nine, 10, or ace. Again, 16 is a bad hand and you're probably going to lose. 


Myth #7: All Blackjack Games Are the Same

Blackjack has many rules . Some benefit the player while others benefit the casino. It's important to learn the different rule variations and know how they affect your odds of winning. The most important rule to be aware of is the payout for blackjack. In most games, the payout for blackjack is 3:2. If you bet $10 and receive an ace and a 10 value card on your first two cards, you'll win $15. However, there are some casinos that'll only pay 6:5 for a blackjack. It may seem insignificant, but it's a huge disadvantage for the player. Stay away from games that only pay 6:5.


Myth #8: Good Blackjack Players Are Lucky and Bad Players Are Unlucky

In any game of chance, luck plays a role in your rate of success in the short-term. That's one of the reasons gambling is so appealing. You can win on any given night. However, blackjack is a game that involves skill. The more you understand the correct plays and the rules, the better your chances of success in the long-term. Don't let luck completely control your fate. Learn the correct way to play the game and you'll be better off.

Blackjack myths have been around as long as the game itself. Don't let them ruin your hand. Good luck! 

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