Common Blackjack Myths

There are many fallacies surrounding the game of blackjack and it isn’t just the inexperienced, novice players that make these mistakes. Plenty of seasoned casino regulars fall into these common blackjack traps – don’t be one of them!

Blackjack is about getting to 21, or as close as possible

Totally incorrect! The object of blackjack is to beat the dealer’s hand, either by having a higher value legal hand yourself or by the dealer going bust. You can win a hand of blackjack with a hand containing nothing but a 2, providing the dealer busts – 21 has nothing to do with it!

Always take insurance for strong hands

Plenty of blackjack players like to insure their strong hands, as it’s frustrating to hold something like 20, only for the dealer to turn up blackjack. As it happens, insurance is always a bad bet in the long term, because players are paid at two to one, when the odds of the dealer having blackjack are almost always greater than that.

This is especially the case when holding a hand worth 20 because the player is probably holding two ten value cards – the very cards that the dealer requires in order to complete a blackjack!

You can’t beat blackjack – it’s all about luck

This is blatantly untrue, as card counting has been proven to allow players to reduce the casino’s edge and in some cases, give the blackjack player the long term advantage.

If a blackjack player makes their decisions based on superstitions and hunches, then, of course, the game is all about luck, but by applying card counting techniques, the element of luck can be reduced and even wiped out – in the long run.

Card counters win big most of the time

Similarly, card counting does not guarantee blackjack success. All that card counting does is decrease the casino’s edge over the blackjack player in the long run. If the counter is totally accurate and makes no mistakes, they can actually gain a slight edge over the casino, as much as 1%.

If that counter played an infinite number of blackjack hands, they could earn 1% of their wagers over time, but in reality, it doesn’t work like that. People do make mistakes, people get tired and despite playing perfectly, it is possible to lose a session through sheer bad luck.

If card counting were a passport to guaranteed riches, why doesn’t everybody do it and why do casinos still offer blackjack? Card counting is about small returns over a long period of time.

To count cards, you need a photographic memory / you need to be a mathematical genius

This sort of thinking has been fuelled by the media. Think about the Hollywood films and the press coverage garnered by the likes of the MIT card counting team. But there are actually quite a lot of simple card counting strategies around and many are freely available to anyone wanting to learn card counting.

Casinos would love for blackjack players to believe that counting cards is nearly impossible, but it really isn’t. If you can count from one to ten, you can count cards.

Best of luck at the blackjack tables and don’t fall foul of the blackjack myths!