If you’ve spent any decent amount of time playing blackjack at a casino, you’ve probably heard other players tell you some “facts” about the game and how to play. I would say that at least 90% of players will misguide you. Dealers and floor managers are not much better. I am constantly surprised to learn how few of them know basic strategy and other aspects of the game.
Here is a list of common myths accompanied by the truth:
Myth 1: The first/last hand is usually won by the dealer.
Fact 1: The first and last hands are no different from any other hands.
Myth 2: A player who doesn’t know how to play will screw the table.
Fact 2: There is no truth to this popular myth. A player’s wrong move is equally likely to help or hurt the table. In the long run, it makes no difference.
Myth 3: Tipping the dealer will improve your chances of winning.
Fact 3: Of course there is no relation to tipping and winning.
Myth 4: If no one takes a hit, the dealer is more likely to win.
Fact 4: This is one of the more bizarre myths I’ve encountered. Why and how this myth got started, I don’t know. Needless to say, this myth is without merit.
Myth 5: Surrendering is a sucker bet.
Fact 5: Too many players and dealers will mock you when you surrender, convinced that it’s a bet that favors the house. However, when used correctly surrendering is an excellent option for the player that will decrease their losses.
Myth 6: Automatic shuffling machines are bad for the player. Fact: Almost all players think that automatic shuffling machines are evil.
Fact 6: They actually are better for the player because they shuffle more thoroughly and remove clusters of high and low cards. However, you will play more hands per hour, and if you’re not counting cards, this means you will lose your money at a quicker rate.
Myth 7: Adding or taking out a hand can affect the flow of the game.
Fact 7: Changing the number of hands will not affect the game in any way. Many players believe that if the cards are going good, and a new player arrives, the cards will somehow change and their winning streak is bound to end. Also, virtually all blackjack players will try to add or take out a hand if the dealer is hot, in an attempt to put an end to the dealer’s streak. Of course, none of this works, but it’s amazing how strong this belief is. Even I will cringe when a new player jumps in when the shoe is going incredibly good.
Myth 8: You should bet more when you’re on a winning streak, and less when you’re on a losing streak.
Fact 8: Winning five hands in a row does not mean that you have a greater chance of winning the next hand. Your odds of winning the next hand is the same as if you had lost the previous 5 hands.