Everyone who plays blackjack at the casino has experienced it. The player in the table’s last position does not follow the basic blackjack strategy. Consequently, cards ‘meant for the dealer’ end up with the player in the last position.
Quickly considering a ‘what if he/she hadn’t taken the card’ scenario often leads to the conclusion that the bank would have busted if the player hadn’t requested the card.
Another example that every blackjack player will recognize: the player in the last position always splits tens or hits when they shouldn’t keep the bank from busting. Or aggressive losers that lose their temper at the € 5 table because they believe someone is not using the right strategy.
That is why CasinoWizard wants to end this persistent misconception once and for all. Do bad players at the blackjack table affect your chances of winning?
When all is said and done, they don’t.
Moreover, there is no need to worry about the best place on the blackjack table. There isn’t any.
We’ll also explain why bad players at the blackjack table do not influence your chances of winning.
How do the choices of bad Blackjack players influence your odds?
Naturally, each action at the table affects the further course of the game. After all, the cards are in a specific order. However, nobody knows which order they’re in.
The player in the last position has 17 points and hits. It’s a 3, meaning the player ends up with 20. The other players at the table have 17, 18, and 19 points. The dealer is at 10, gets a 2, and then a 9 for 21 points. Everyone loses their money.
If the player in the last position hadn’t stopped drawing, the dealer would first have hit 12, then 15, and finally 24.
Everyone, including the player in the last spot, would have won in that case.
But things could have been the other way around as well.
The dealer has 6 points. The player in the last position has 14 points and takes a card regardless. It’s a 9, meaning this player goes bust. Subsequently, the dealer takes a 6 and a 10. The bank is also bust, meaning that the players who stopped drawing earlier win.
What if the player in the last position had adhered to the basic strategy? He would have stopped drawing, after which the bank would have hit 21.
Things can go both ways. Actions by other players can negatively or positively affect you, compared to a situation in which everyone follows the basic strategy. Just like things might be affected if someone decides to skip a game or when a new player joins.
What effect? That depends on how the cards are stacked precisely. Nobody knows that order. Nobody knows what impact their actions will have on the other players’ further course of the game.
Things turn out bad as often as they turn out well. The bottom line is that it doesn’t matter what other players do. No matter how good or bad they are at blackjack.
This is the best strategy, but you are free to play according to your insights.
Everyone determines their tactics
First, if you want to optimize your chances of winning at the blackjack table, you are best off playing the basic blackjack strategy.
This is mathematically proven to be the most beneficial strategy. You’re best off standing with 12 when the dealer has a 4, 5, or 6. With 16 points and a 7 or better for the dealer, you’re best off hitting one more card.
But you’re not obligated to play smart. Within the blackjack rules at the casino, you’re free to determine when to stand, hit, double, or split. Want to split tens? Stand when the dealer has a 6, and you have 12 points? Or hit when you have 19. Not smart, but totally allowed. Even when someone behind you has bet money and is essentially playing with you, you’re still the one who decides how you play.
There is no need to worry that you might disadvantage other players. You don’t. Besides yourself, you don’t harm anyone if you don’t follow the basic blackjack strategy.
So why are players so worried about other players?
Fanatic gamblers are often irrational. The blackjack table sometimes has a bit of a ‘us against the casino’ vibe. In other words: we’re a team. And a team is only as strong as its weakest link. That is the first misconception. You’re not playing together against the dealer. Everyone is individually playing against the dealer. Your odds don’t increase when other players perform well and win.
Many fanatic gamblers are very sure of themselves. When they win, it’s not because they’re lucky but because they played well or correctly assessed the situation. And when they lose? The wrong cards were dealt, the shuffler was manipulated, or the other players made mistakes. It’s never their fault or the fact that the casino always has a house advantage for every game.
The confirmation bias reinforces this. People tend to remember things that confirm their theories – it’s a natural phenomenon. They do remember the 10 times that another player caused them to lose a hand. However, the 10 times that they won because the player in the last seat made mistakes are immediately forgotten.
Add to that some quirks that people generally tend to have. Most people overestimate themselves. Just like many people think they’re the best driver on the highway, many believe they are the best blackjack player at the table. Many people are sore losers, to begin with, especially when there’s money involved.
And, of course, some people are just jerks.
What should I do if another player’s mistakes bother me?
Everyone is free to give other players tips, of course. Often, it’s done with the best intentions. However, you should realize that other players are not obligated to follow your suggestions.
You won’t be able to explain the optimal blackjack strategy in a couple of seconds either.
Tips quickly become annoying if someone is giving them constantly without being asked. Especially if paired with profanity and aggression. In other words: don’t. Of course, losing is annoying, and of course, other players’ strategies can be hard to watch.
However, they’re entitled to play badly – statistically speaking, it doesn’t affect you, and they’re certainly not trying to harm you in the process. Simply put, there is no reason to get upset about their game. Also, remember that many people – especially at relatively low-stake tables – are there to have fun and not because they believe they’re going to clean out the casino that night.
Do you feel you are getting angry? Then you’re best off moving to another table. Or get yourself a private table. However, you’ll need to bring a significant budget to the casino to get a private table.
A cheaper alternative is the blackjack machine at a top 10 online casino. You won’t be bothered by bad players who are unwilling to listen to your well-intended tips.
And what if I feel attacked by another player?
Of course, it’s kind to thank someone for a well-intentioned and friendly tip. And if someone is giving tips too often? You can tell them that you appreciate that they are worried about your game but that you’re more than able to do things on your own.
Are players getting annoying or even aggressive? Then it’s up to the dealer to say something. And if the dealer doesn’t? Then you’re best off calling a floor manager or other staff member to the table. In practice, we see that dealers seldom do something about unpleasant players at the blackjack table.
This is probably because they’re somewhat bigger players who are often found at the table. However, that does not give them the right to annoy other players and ruin someone else’s night.
Never let yourself be intimidated or let these kinds of people influence your game. That’s often what they’re trying to do, for example, by setting up early with high stakes at the first seat.
You always decide your own tactics – it’s your right even if other players staked a higher bet.
Naturally, you can always use this article by CasinoWizard to take them down a notch. Someone who gets angry or aggressive over someone else’s game doesn’t understand the game all that well.