Blackjack Superstitions

As you sit at a blackjack table, you’re bound to hear all kinds of hype about what brings good luck or bad luck at a blackjack table.  Unfortunately, believing in any of that hype can actually harm your game.  Let’s go over some of the myths and facts:

MYTH:  Novice or Bad players will make you lose

FACT:  It’s true novice players can negatively affect the outcome of a hand, because they’ll stand when they should hit and hit when they should stand.

When a bad move happens like that, it’s easy to blame the novice player for costing you a hand (especially if that novice is in the 3rd base seat), taking the dealer’s bust card, but the reverse can also happen.  The player’s bad choices can help you just as often, evening things out. 

MYTH:  A new player entering in the middle of a shoe, ruins the flow of the cards

FACT:  There is no way to know the order of cards, so you can’t say there’s a certain flow for you to know what card is supposed to come next.  Once again, as with playing with a novice, the addition of a new player can change your luck for the better, just as well as “ruin” the flow.

The Superstition: Face cards always follow face cards—so if a face card is dealt, don’t hit your stiff hand.

FACT:   Keep the facts in mind.  If you include the 10’s with the face cards, there are 16 out of 52, 10-value cards in a deck, meaning 31 percent of the deck.  If you see two face cards in a row, the chance of another face card coming out drops to 28 percent.  Because there are now fewer face cards, you’re actually in a better position to hit a “stiff” hand (12, 13, 14, 15, 16).  Looking at it this way, that superstition would be a detriment to your game. 

The Superstition:  You will always bust if you hit a 12

FACT:  Many blackjack players feel that if you hit a 12, you will almost always get a 10-value card.  However, remember the point that  a non-10-value card is more likely to come up, than a 10-value card.  You have to trust the basic strategy charts and hit a 12 when the chart tells you to do so.

Final Fact

If you let superstitions direct your blackjack playing decisions, you can bet it will cost you more money!

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What is the House Edge

The house edge can be described as the built in advantage the casino has in games, in order for the casino to make money. It is the casino’s average profit on a player’s bet. It is well known that blackjack has the lowest house edge in all casino games, which explains the popularity of the game.

If you’ve ever wondered why blackjack has the best odds for the player, it’s because the casino has just one advantage in blackjack, which is the fact that the player makes the first move in the game.

Think about it, if the player decides to take a hit and busts, the house wins right away, without making a move. Even if the dealer busts later in the deal, that player that already busted, still loses.

Ok, say you try the strategy of never busting yourself. With that, the dealer will make 17 or better more often than you, so you still lose in the long run. When the first player to bust automatically loses, the player who has to act first, is at a distinct disadvantage. That distinct disadvantage has been calculated to be 8% for the player.

Yes, that is a ridiculous advantage for the house, so that’s why the developers of the game decided on rules that would bring down that percentage, making it a more enticing game to play.

PLAYER-FAVORED RULES

  • Blackjack paying 3-to-2 vs. even money
  • Hit/Stand at will vs. dealer hitting on 16 and standing on 17
  • May double down vs. dealer no doubling
  • May split pairs vs. dealer no splitting

As you look at the above rules, it does show that basically all the rules favor the player, except for the fact that the player must act first. The dealer also has to follow strict rules that must be played exactly the same, every time, so the dealer plays like a robot.

Maybe that’s why some dealers seem a bit grouchy! You sometimes hear players saying certain dealers are tougher than others, when actually every dealer plays by the exact same rules! In reality, no dealer is tougher than another. Therefore, the house edge over a player is ultimately decided by how well the player uses the favorable rules of the game!

PLAYER OPTIONS TO CUT HOUSE EDGE

  • 3-to-2 blackjack payout cuts house edge by 2.25%
  • Correct hitting/standing strategy cuts house edge by 3.25%
  • Correct doubling down strategy cuts house edge by 1.5%
  • Correct pair splitting cuts house edge by .5%

That totals a 7.5% player advantage if perfect strategy is used by the player, leaving the .5% house edge for casinos.

The casino doesn’t have to beat every player every time. Even the tiniest margin, as in blackjack, is enough to make it a viable game for the casino to offer players. All the casino has to do is make it a game that you will play and the casino will win in the long run.  That’s how and why the house edge works.

It can be said that there is some skill involved with blackjack. If you learn basic blackjack strategy, you can practically erase the house edge and actually enjoy profitable gambling when playing blackjack! However, as I have stated before, it is a game of chance and winning cannot be guaranteed, considering the house edge, but the chance at winning with blackjack is much better than any other casino game.

Is Gambling OK?

There are so many ways to gamble and people all over the world do it on a regular basis. The adrenaline rush that the regular casino gambler (someone who goes 4-5 times a week) gets is what drives them. An adrenaline rush is your body activating a heightened state of physical and mental alertness. As long as it’s not sustained for a long period of time, that burst of human energy can be a good thing. Besides the regular gambler, there are plenty more who enjoy the occasional trip to Vegas or the local casino, or placing a bet on a big major sporting event.

Overall, there are definitely more people out there who think gambling is a total waste of money and time. So be it. Every single person is allowed to have their own opinion and gambling certainly is not for everybody. I certainly don’t believe in encouraging someone to gamble if they don’t want to gamble.

I’m hoping to reach those who are intrigued by the thought of gambling and whether or not they should try it. Perhaps I can enlighten you on the aspects of gambling you weren’t aware of, and by doing so, you can make a more educated foray into it or definitely stay away from it.

Of course, it’s impossible to give a concrete answer to whether or not gambling is ok. You’re absolutely going to find people on both sides of the fence about gambling being worth it or not. It’s going to depend on who you ask!

I’d just like to provide you with some information to help you determine the answer for yourself. I’ll go over the obvious pros and cons, plus other factors you should consider.

Full disclosure though: I absolutely believe gambling is ok! I’m not a professional, but I enjoy the heck out of it! LOL!

 

PROS

  • Possibility of winning money
  • Entertaining and fun
  • Easy to do
  • Big variety of ways

With the conscious awareness of keeping this article relatively short, I’ve only listed 4 pros, but of course there could be many more. These four are most important in my mind.

Without a doubt, the possibility of winning money, no matter the amount, (though more is better) is my number one reason for gambling. It’s possible for anyone, even a complete beginner, to win money. You just need to have some good luck!

I am totally entertained by gambling. I probably don’t look very entertained when I’m sitting at a blackjack table, but on the inside, the adrenaline is rushing and I’m excited about the possibility of beating the dealer and winning money! I think it’s a great form of fun. In terms of pure excitement, what other pastimes can compare with the opportunity to win money? I can’t think of any.

It is easy to get started with gambling, that’s a good thing. You don’t need much knowledge to play at a casino or place a sports bet. There are a few basic concepts you should understand, but nothing is overly complicated. If you want to be a more serious player, you’ll probably want to learn more, but as a beginner you can easily enjoy gambling with just a little bit of knowledge.

Last but not least, let’s consider the various types of gambling available. Casino games and sports betting are the most popular forms of gambling, but there are other types, like bingo, scratch tickets, poker and the lottery, to name a few. With so many to choose from, chances are there will be one that you’d enjoy.

 

CONS

  • Possibility of losing money
  • Consistency of winning
  • Approval from others
  • Can be addictive

There are absolute downsides to think about. Let’s honestly take a look at these, in order to make an informed decision about getting involved with gambling in general.

The biggest con of gambling is of course the fact that it’s possible to lose money. As a matter of fact, you’re almost guaranteed to lose in the long run with some gambling. The “house edge” of casino games is the best example of this. As mentioned in the “pros” section, luck is needed, allowing you to win frequently, but the overall odds are against you as a player. Over time, you are most likely to end up a loser.

Winning on a consistent basis can be difficult. I don’t think anybody can say they’re lucky all of the time, so regularly making money gambling is not a given.

If approval by others concerns you, (many people don’t approve of gambling), it could keep you from doing it. My thought is that it’s my money and I’m going to spend it however I like. I can’t let others approval or disapproval of what I am doing concern me. I just don’t mention my penchant for gambling to those close to me whom I feel may disapprove!

The last con I’ve listed is probably the biggest reason people disapprove of gambling. It can be highly addicting, and cause major problems and potentially even ruin lives.

Making Your Decision

So I’ve listed what I consider the main pros and cons of gambling, and now you can make your own decision as to whether gambling is okay or not. These are the things I thought about it in deciding whether gambling was okay for me. I can’t tell you either way what’s good for you, but I can point out some facts to help you make that decision.

Please carefully consider the pros and cons that were outlined above. Whichever side outweighs the other in your mind, should be your answer.

If you’re still not sure, you might want to consider these additional questions for clarification:

  • Are you okay with risking losses for the chance of winning?
  • Do you really think you would enjoy gambling?
  • Do you have money you can afford to lose, to spend on gambling?
  • Would your friends and family approve of you gambling?
  • Do you think you could gamble responsibly?

If you answered yes to all of these questions, then I’d say gambling is something you should try for fun.

I can answer yes to all of them and as I stated earlier, I totally enjoy gambling. If you answered no to any of them, then, in my opinion, it may not be okay for you.

I’m not a professional gambler, but I do go to my local casino on a regular basis and believe that gambling can be an extremely enjoyable pastime if done responsibly. However, I also understand and believe that it isn’t for everyone.

I hope my website is filled with information and advice that will help people have the best possible experience gambling. I can only guarantee that you will not win all the time, that’s the nature of the beast!