As all casino games, blackjack also has its share of myths. Most of them only apply to land-based tables, though, so if you play blackjack online these will not affect you in any way. So let us pretend we are in an episode of “Mythbusters”, and bust some of the things blackjack players believe about their game of choice.
Myth #1: Hot tables mean winning streaks
Punters often say about a blackjack table that it’s “hot”, by which they refer to the fact that they had some significant winning streaks during the game. But the table being “hot” doesn’t affect any of the upcoming hands in any way. The only thing that can influence the outcome of the next blackjack round is chance (or, if you want to use its exact name, mathematical probabilities).
Myth #2: Other players “mess up” the cards
Have you ever been told by another player not to sit to the table where he has a winning streak? The reason why punters don’t like to play at tables with more than one players is that they believe other players will “mess up” the cards. But in fact the existence of other players has no influence at all on the sequence of the cards in the shoe (how could they). The only negative effect when playing at a multi-player table is that the game loses a bit of its pace, as the players at the table are served in order.
Myth #3: Lucky seats
Pure superstition. Just like the above myth, by the way. The seat you take at the blackjack table has no influence on your luck (how could it have?). Players might have preferred seats or positions, but these have no influence whatsoever on them winning or losing. Repeat after me: gambler’s fallacy.
Myth #4: Insurance
This is not as much a myth as a strategy casinos use to incline the balance of the game toward their advantage. Insurance is a side bet a player can place on the dealer having a blackjack. It is the bet with the highest payout (it usually pays 2 to 1), and we all know about bets with large payouts, don’t we? For those who don’t, let me explain: the higher the possible payout, the lower the chances of a player winning the bet. This is a general rule at casinos, online or otherwise: just look at jackpots and single bets at the roulette table.
Myth #5: Card counting is illegal
It is not, although it is a practice casinos (which are not charitable organizations) consider undesirable. Casinos have the right to deny service to any player they don’t want on their premises, but there is no legal requirement not to count cards at the blackjack table. Basically, card counting is a skill that can help a player gain the favor of goddess Fortuna, but is not legally considered cheating.