Blackjack Myths that lead to Major Losses
We all have a tendency to believe our buddy or the player next to us when it comes to learning blackjack strategy. This is especially the case if they have experience with the game. But the reality is that we can't believe every blackjack tip we hear because some of them are flat-out wrong. Nobody wants to follow wrong advice and increase the house edge, so it's important to check out the worst blackjack myths.
1. Your Goal should be to get Close to 21
Seeing as how the top score in blackjack is 21, many people think that the game's goal is to get close to this number. But while reaching this score almost guarantees you a win, the main objective of blackjack is to beat the dealer. So if the dealer's upcard is 5 and you have 13, the correct strategy is to stand - not hit for a higher score. Be sure to study blackjack strategy charts so you know what moves are correct in each situation.
2. Taking Insurance is a Good Move
Casinos don't want players to understand that "insurance" is merely a side bet on whether or not the dealer has a blackjack. So what are the odds that the dealer will actually have a natural blackjack and you'll win this side bet? If their upcard is an ace, there's only around a 31% chance of this happening. Because the odds of the dealer having a blackjack are so low, the house edge on insurance is 7.4%. This is in stark contrast to the 0.5% house edge that blackjack games normally feature. Bottom line: don't take insurance!
3. Bet against Streaks
Any time you play blackjack long enough, you're going to notice streaks. For example, you may lose three hands in a row to the dealer, then come back and win four hands in a row. During the midst of these streaks, many players advise to bet against them. The reason why is because blackjack is a near 50/50 wager. So it seems like streaks are bound to end quickly. But don't make too large of a bet since every result is independent of the last. Furthermore, just because you lose five hands in a row doesn't mean you're going to win the next one.
4. Don't split 8's
It doesn't seem like very good strategy to split a pair of 8's. After all, why would you want to start two hands off with a subpar eight? This is the logic that many people conjure when they advise to never split this hand. But in reality, failing to break up 8's is a bad move because 16 isn't strong enough to stand on its own. On the other hand, beginning two hands with 8 gives you a decent opportunity to get an 18 or better.
5. Only Big Bettors get Comps
In most cases, the glamorous side of comps is what gets advertised. You'll see high stakes blackjack players reaping the benefits of penthouse suits, limo rides and concierge service. Because of this heavy emphasis on high rollers, many low stakes players don't think they can get blackjack comps. But this couldn't be further from the truth because comps are theoretically available to anybody. Those wanting comps in land-based casinos just need to speak with the pit boss or host to get their play tracked.
Now that we've covered some of the worst blackjack myths out there, the obvious step is to avoid following them. Only through learning blackjack strategy and gaining knowledge will you avoid falling into the same traps that other players do.
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