Blackjack is arguably the most popular card game ever in both land-based and online gaming establishments, and it is, therefore, not surprising that players are always thinking up new ways to try and beat the house.
The good news is that most Blackjack games feature very low house edge and thus give players a decent shot at winning, but even though the gameplay itself is not too difficult to understands, many people continue to believe some common misconceptions that have not proved to be true.
As part of our series of How to Play Blackjack articles, we have now set to bust some of the most famous Blackjack myths, so make sure to read on if you want to learn more about these and why they couldn’t be further from the truth.
Common Belief: The Goal of Blackjack is to Get 21
Facts: It’s ironic that the actual goal of the game is one of the most common Blackjack myths. Many believe that the main objective of Blackjack is to get a hand with a value of 21 (or to get closer to 21), but that is definitely not the most important. Granted, blackjack pays 3 to 2 (in some games 6:5) as opposed to even money (1:1) payout on other winning hands, but rather than chasing 21, you should make it a priority to beat the dealer and thus double your initial stake. If you can do that on regular basis, you will have a very good chance of turning a profit even if you don’t land a single blackjack. On the other hand, getting several blackjacks will not matter much if you lose all the remaining hands.
Bad Players Can Ruin the Game
Common Belief: Other Players Can Influence Your Game
Facts: Most gamblers like to find someone else to blame when they happen to lose some money, and players at the same blackjack table can find themselves on the receiving end, especially if they hit a card when they should have stood and that card saves the dealer from going bust. But, while this is inevitable to happen every now and again, so will the opposite, meaning that in the long run, fellow players’ decisions have no influence on your chances of winning.
Due to Win
Common Belief: I lost five hands in a row, so I am certain to win the next hand
Facts: Similar to Roulette players, who seem to think that the ball is bound to land on black after several consecutive red numbers have come up, Blackjack enthusiasts are tempted to increase their standard bet after losing a number of hands in a row. That is obviously the wrong strategy since past hands have no effect on future ones, meaning your chances of winning the next hand are exactly the same regardless whether you have won the previous five or lost the previous five.
Game of Luck Myth
Common Belief: Blackjack games are nothing more than dumb luck
Facts: The fact that you cannot choose which cards you or the dealer are dealt is enough to suggest that there is an element of luck in Blackjack, but to say that it entirely depends on luck would be wrong. You are the one who makes decisions after being dealt the first two cards, and if you perfect your skills and learn the basic strategy, you can seriously improve your winning odds. To ensure you always stand a good chance of winning, you should choose the Blackjack games with the lowest house edge and employ correct strategy. Combined with card counting, you can even get an edge over the house.
Good Seat Myth
Common Belief: The worst spot to play at the table is the last spot
Facts: As we said before, other players have no influence on your winning odds. Therefore, it really does not matter where you sit at a Blackjack table, as long as you play your cards right. The only exception is while counting cards. In this case, third base give a slight edge since more cards were revealed.
You Can’t Win in Online Blackjack
Common Belief: Online Blackjack is Rigged
Facts: There are some Blackjack players who believe that online Blackjack games have been designed to rob gamers of their cash, but that is by no means the case. Provided you play online blackjack at reputable casinos, you can be certain that the game is 100% fair, with Random Number Generators, audited by independent bodies, making sure that all outcomes are completely random. Online Blackjack games, therefore, offer the same payout percentages as their land-based counterparts, but some players prefer these due to convenience and anonymity they provide to gamers.
You Should Secure Good Hands vs. Dealer’s Blackjack
Common Belief: You should take insurance or Even Money when you have 20 or 21.
Facts: First, both options will cost you a lot of money and should be avoided. Second, Insurance (and Even Money) are side bets on dealer getting a blackjack. Whether you hold 20 or 5 is completely irrelevant. For in-depth analysis please check “Why you should never take Blackjack Insurance or Even Money” page.
Only Genius Can Count Cards
Common Belief: You need to be a genius with highly developed math skills to count cards
Facts: No, you don’t. Counting cards in Blackjack is actually quite simple and rest assured that anyone can do it. The easiest system is the high low strategy, meaning that you subtract 1 from the total tally each time a high card appears on the table, and add 1 for each low card (2-6), while 7’s, 8’s and 9’s are simply ignored. The main reason while people fail in card counting is not its complexity, but lack of practice and determination.
Card Counting is Illegal
Common Belief: Counting Cards is forbidden by law.
Facts: Card counting is not illegal due to the fact that you are not cheating, but rather using a strategy to improve your winning odds. The reality is that card counters are not welcome in brick and mortar casinos, which is not surprising when we know that they have found a way to beat the house in their own game. There are some ways to avoid being detected while counting cards, but even if the pit bosses see through your disguise, you will not be subject to any penalties, but rather asked to leave the gaming establishment in question.