If you play blackjack in a live casino, you probably know what it is like to sit next to a bad blackjack player. You’ve seen them plenty of times. They sit there sloshing their drink all over the table and the cards, talk loud and brash, and slow down the overall play of the game. They cause you to bust out by splitting tens and hitting hard 17’s. How you react to these blithering blackjack idiots can affect your game more than you think. They are simply bad at playing blackjack.
The Psychology of a Bad Blackjack Player
To overcome a bad blackjack player who is sitting next to you in a casino, you need to understand their psychology. What makes them tick? When you get a handle on that, you’ll find it much easier to deal with them.
Bad blackjack players expect to lose. More specifically, they expect everyone at the table to lose. Because they have no hope of winning they can’t even consider that their style of play might affect your chances. Trying to convince a bad player that they are making mistakes is futile; they think the game is pure luck. When they manage to win their hand and cause you to lose yours, they will be happy. So, the first thing you need to do is realize that any attempts to confront the player about their bad decisions will only start an argument.
Bad blackjack players know nothing about blackjack strategy. They simply can’t wrap their mind around why you shouldn’t split tens. Furthermore, they know nothing about card counting and vary their bets according to their “hunches.” If you try to explain strategy to them, they will simply tell you that they go with their instincts and keep right on playing.
These players are going to go home broke. You can’t stop that. They approach blackjack like they approach a slot machine—play until the money is gone.
How to Handle a Bad Blackjack Player
If you find yourself seated next to one of these bad players, your first option should always be to consider moving to another table. Sit out a hand or two and walk around the blackjack pit. Observe the players. If you can, find a table that will allow you to play head-to-head against the dealer. You may have to be willing to raise your minimum bet to find another table. If so, that’s better than losing every other hand and getting into a negative frame of mind.
But what if the blackjack table is red hot and the count is high? It is very hard to leave a table like that. In this case, think about changing your seat. The absolute best place you can be at the blackjack table is in the third base seat. That is the seat to the immediate right of the dealer and the last one to act before the dealer acts on his/her hand. Get as close to that seat as you can and stay behind the bad player. You want to act on your hand after they do. If the bad player is sitting in third base, you can always ask to trade seats. Tell them that changing seats might improve their luck. If they won’t move, it’s time to leave.
Never Do This With a Bad Player!
The one thing you can never do is complain to the casino about a bad player. That is a sure way to guarantee they will stay at your table. Why? Because casinos love them! They are making everyone lose and the casino is making money. The one exception to this is if the player is obviously drunk. In that case, you have every right to complain and your complaint will.