Most blackjack players have been in the situation of thinking another person at the table is ruining their experience. Perhaps they hit when they weren't 'supposed to' which took away a ten that would have given the next player a total of 21. While this can certainly be frustrating at times, to say the least, it's nothing more than a myth.
Some punters also believe that bad blackjack players can work in favour of everyone else at the table, causing the dealer to make mistakes as a result. Again, this isn't true, which is another aspect that this article will explore.
In addition to the two myths mentioned above, players can find a whole host of other useful information on this page. Here at PartyCasino, we will be sharing details on how to deal with bad blackjack players, the impact they have on blackjack tournaments, and the associated psychology of the situation!
Before discussing the myth associated with new or inexperienced blackjack players, let's have a look at how to identify them. A few common signs of a bad blackjack player include:
So, do these bad blackjack players actually have a negative impact on the outcome of each hand? In short, the answer is no, as the outcome of each individual card relies on luck. While it might work against others during one hand, it's just as likely that the bad blackjack player will take a card that improves the round for everyone else.
The only way that a bad blackjack player could feasibly have a negative impact on gameplay consistently, is if they knew the upcoming cards, which of course, they don't. Due to this, there is no way that one player can sabotage a game of blackjack for others at the table.
To further debunk the myth that bad players ruin the game for everyone else, we must mention that blackjack is an individual game, not a team effort. Everyone should focus purely on their actions and not judge how anyone else is playing their hand.
As we've discussed, if bad players hit, or don't hit, when they are 'supposed to', the resulting cards are based entirely on luck. Players can, however, influence their own game by making correct decisions. In short, there is no way for all of the players at the table to work together, in order to beat the dealer. There is one exception to this rule, which involves players counting cards.
It's almost inevitable that at some point, players will run into someone that just isn't very good at the game. This could be for a number of different reasons, however, it's often because they're just getting started with blackjack. Reassuring them or offering advice on what to do in the future could be a nice way of keeping things pleasant at the table.
Before giving any advice, players should double check that their game is perfect, or at least at an above average standard. It's not uncommon for decisions to look strange, but actually be correct according to mathematics and basic strategy.
Another aspect of psychology is that bad blackjack players can distract others at the table. If the other players believe that this individual is causing them to lose consistently, they can become uncomfortable and spend less time worrying about their own actions. This can lead to mistakes and plays that aren't optimal, which is where the myth turns into a reality.
When it comes to blackjack tournaments and similar events, the potential impact of bad players is often less. This is due to the fact that they are unlikely to progress to the next round of the tournament. Individuals that are making the correct decision for every hand should always outperform beginners and bad players, so there's often very little to worry about.
So, if a bad player doesn't affect others at the table, can they have any influence over the dealer? Some people believe that bad players can have either a positive or negative impact on whoever is dealing the cards, however, neither is true.
This is because the dealer doesn't make decisions on their own. For example, many blackjack games state that the dealer must stand on 17 or above. Adversely, they must hit 16 or lower. Even if a bad player at the table did have some sort of psychological effect on the dealer, they wouldn't be able to change their actions for each hand, even if they wanted to.
Another myth related to dealers is that they want everyone at the table to lose. Ultimately, the dealer is a paid employee of the casino and whether players win or not is irrelevant to them. In fact, winning players can actually benefit dealers too, as they are more likely to tip after a successful hand. Dealers have no hidden agenda and are simply there to host the game, ensure that rules are followed, and keep players entertained, should they wish to chat.
Having a bad blackjack player at the table can influence others negatively from a psychological standpoint. Over time, the bad and good from them hitting or not hitting their hand should even themselves out, according to probability. Due to this, punters need to find a way to deal with the adverse psychological effects of having a beginner, or bad blackjack player, at their table.
There are only really three options for dealing with the psychological side of bad blackjack players, which include:
1. Staying at the Table - Some punters simply won't get as affected by bad players as others. There are a couple of things that players can do to reduce the psychological effects while remaining at the table. Arguably the most beneficial method is for players to remind themselves that the decisions of others won't affect their game in the long run. Watching out for when a bad player helps the table is another thing to consider. In these situations, players can find themselves being grateful, not frustrated.
2. Taking a Short Break - If a player is really getting annoyed at someone else on the table, it might be time to stand up and take a short break. Heading to the bar to get a drink of water, standing back and watching the flow of the game, or taking a few deep breaths during this time can help players to regain their calm.
3. Calling the Session Early - Sometimes, emotions can get the better of us. If there is no way of cooling down and regaining calm, players can either find a different table or cash out their chips and end the session. While this can be disappointing, remaining in control at all times and enjoying each session is of paramount importance.
In addition to remaining calm at the table, even when bad players are present, there are a few other improvement methods to test out. These rely on self-improvement and ignoring the actions of everyone else at the table, in order to focus more on individual play.
The best way to play blackjack, according to mathematics, is known as basic strategy. It was created by simulating hundreds of thousands of outcomes, before deciding which actions gave players the highest chance of being successful.
While this may sound incredibly complicated, most people can pick it up over the course of a weekend. It involves memorising a chart in which all the possible combinations of hands are displayed against the dealer's hole card. After looking at where the two meet, the optimal action will be shown.
Due to basic strategy specifying the optimal action for each hand, players should also avoid listening to their gut at random times. While following basic strategy doesn't guarantee a win, it can improve a player's chances of a successful hand over time, if followed perfectly and consistently.
To summarise, having a bad blackjack player at the table does not consistently have negative repercussions for others. It's all about luck and in some instances, the bad player may take a good card, while other times, they may contribute towards helping other people.
One way in which it can affect players is psychologically. As a result of this, players may make errors with their own hands, which is why identifying strategies for dealing with these situations can be crucial.
Instead of worrying about what other people at the table are doing, players should instead focus on making better decisions. This can be achieved by memorising a basic strategy chart, which showcases the most optimal action for each hand, depending on what card the dealer is showing.
It's worth noting that in order to benefit the most from basic strategy, it should be followed consistently. While it's sometimes tempting to listen to intuition, this can be detrimental to the chances of success over time!