Blackjack Mythbusters – Analyzing Common Blackjack Myths

Nathan Bennett
Nathan Bennett
7 Min Read

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Whether you a blackjack veteran or a beginner player you have probably heard of one of these ideas described below. They are some of the most commonly-repeated ideas or advice to new players. But are they true?

While sometimes an answer can be more complicated than a yes or no, in some of these myths the answer is simple. Following long-term blackjack play and basic blackjack strategy, let us see if some of these blackjack myths can be busted and disproved.

Your Sitting Position in Blackjack Matters

This is one of the most common myths in the blackjack world. The idea is that your position whether it be the third base or the first base matters in terms of the outcomes of the game. This is false. Since a game of blackjack is purely based on mathematics and chance, your position at a blackjack table makes absolutely no difference to the odds and outcomes of the game.

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Furthermore, there is the question of when the third baseman makes a suboptimal play it affects the whole table. This is also false due to similar reasons as described above. Blackjack is indeed a game of skill, but your level or the skill level of other players does not affect anyone’s odds. The crucial thing for quality payouts and outcomes of the game is your skill alone. Your outcomes will not affect other players or vice-versa.

Players Should Always Take Insurance

Insurance bets in Blackjack have always been a controversial topic. Their utility essentially allowing the player to break even when a dealer scores a blackjack by paying the player 2:1 for up to half their original bet. However, beginner players usually fail to notice that blackjack insurance bets have a big house advantage for the casino of 7.7%.

This mean that if you were to take insurance on every bet throughout your long blackjack casino game night, you would almost always leave the blackjack table every night with less money than you began with.

Unless you are adept at card counting strategies and the remaining deck is rich in 10-value cards, you should generally never take the insurance bet. It is simply an unprofitable bet over the course of countless computer simulated games.

A Continuous Shuffler Should Always Be Avoided

This one is a bit tricky as it has its advantages and disadvantages. The continuous shufflers is there to make the dealers job easier as they can simply pull in all the cards after the game in put it in the machine to shuffle. This means that after each game, the discarded cards are randomly placed back into the shoe with a chance of those same cards appearing once again in the following rounds. This makes card counting strategies much more difficult to pull off as you can never predict the deck outcomes properly.

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On the other hand, the high variance of the game just sightly increases the mathematical odds of positive outcomes. This is of course for non-card counting players only. Furthermore, since the dealer does not have to shuffle it reduces the prep time of games. This allows more hands to be played. This can of course be both beneficial and disadvantageous for players depending on their play style.

A Single-Deck Game Is Always Better for the Player

Taking into account basic blackjack strategy and various card counting methods, the number of decks in any blackjack game is quite important. The general idea is that fewer decks in a blackjack shoe provides more advantage for the player. This is due to the fact that it is much easier to use card counting strategies when there are less cards to account for. Consequently, a single-deck blackjack game is simpler to track than an eight-deck blackjack game.

However, the various casino establishments have been hosting blackjack games for decades. They are aware of this and have implemented ways like the single-deck table but with different paying odds to offset this player advantage. The most common are the 6:5 blackjack payout tables with single-decks. These can trick the player into a false sense of security as the 6:5 ratio is much less profitable than the standard 3:2.

Therefore, the blackjack table payout is much more important than the number of decks the table plays with.

Players Should Always Use Progressive Betting Systems

Finally, we have the infamous progressive betting systems. One of the most popular ones is the Martingale where you double your bet each time you lose. This means that as long as you score a win eventually, you will come out with a positive budget with at least one dollar in theory. This may sound great but progressive betting systems like the Martingale have their negatives.

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The problem is that in the long haul, you will realistically reach a certain point of your gaming budget. You will simply not be able to double your bet anymore after a long losing streak. In this case you would lose all your previously doubled bets. That is why the Martingale system is unreliable over the course of longer gaming careers.

The best option is to stick to the traditional tried and true options like the blackjack basic strategy chart guides.


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