Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games of all time. Derived from the French game Vingt-et-Un, directly translating to 21, Blackjack has entertained millions throughout the centuries. There are many common myths and misconceptions surrounding the game, however, and knowledge of them could help to improve your strategy.
Read on to boost your knowledge, spot the myths from the facts, and potentially help you to bag the jackpot!
Myth #1: Assume the dealer always has a hold card valued 10.
The Jack, Queen, King and 10 are the only cards in the deck with a value of 10, which leaves 70% of the cards in the deck that have other values. This means that there’s only a 30% chance that the dealer has a 10 in the hole, even if multiple decks are being played. So, it’s advisable not to base your entire strategy on this myth.
Myth #2: Getting as close to 21 is the main objective
Whilst this is true in parts, the true way to win a game of Blackjack is to beat the dealer by having a higher value hand than them. By striving to reach 21, you are more likely to bust, as opposed to playing tactically in order to beat the dealer.
Myth #3: Beginners at the table lower your chances
A common misconception is that a less-experienced player at the table, who may be more inclined to stay when they should’ve hit, for example, could mix up the order of the cards. The order of the cards, however, has no major effect on your chances of winning, so worrying about what they are doing will just take up more of the time you should be spending focusing on your own hand.
Myth #4: You’re due a win
No matter what game you’re playing, suffering a losing streak does not increase your chances of the next game bringing you a win. Dice, coins, wheels, reels and cards do not have any memory, and the house always has the edge.
Myth #5: To be good at Blackjack, you must be good at maths
Another common misconception is that you have to be skilled in the maths department when setting out to become a Blackjack whizz. The truth is, like with anything, practice makes perfect.
Myth #6: Always take insurance
When you are dealt Blackjack, it can be tempting to opt for insurance. However, experts have proven that this is in fact the worst time to accept insurance, as you already have a winning hand, so the dealer’s chances of also getting Blackjack are even lower.
Myth #7: Online Blackjack is rigged
Whether you’re playing Blackjack online, or any other online casino game, they are never rigged. Hands, spins and wins are all procured by a Random Number Generator (RNG), and despite there being some strategy to Blackjack, any trusted online casino will ensure that it’s still a fair game. In fact, many land-based casinos now use an automatic shuffler, so there is now an even smaller difference between the two.
Myth #8: Card counting is illegal
A technique made popular by films and books is card counting, where players mentally keep track of the cards in play. It is widely believed that this strategy is frowned upon and even illegal, but this is not true. Many people use this technique, but you can get banned if you’re caught card counting. Most casinos, both online and on land, tend to use more than one deck, or shuffle the cards after around 70% have been in play, to prevent this.
Myth #9: Progressive betting helps you win
This technique requires a player to double their bets after each loss, until you win, or vise versa. Whilst this sometimes works in some casino games, the outcome of Blackjack is random, so progressive betting may just drain your bankroll rather than boosting it.
Myth #10: Copy the dealer
As the casino always has the edge, many people’s instinct is to copy the dealer. This, however, may make you miss valuable opportunities to win. Not only does the dealer still have the upper-hand, as going second means that, should you go bust, they automatically win, but they also can’t split or double, which could be the difference between you winning and losing. Therefore, by taking all this on board and practicing when you can, you will develop your own strategy, balanced with luck to get the most out of your next gaming experience.