10 Things Only Blackjack Players Will Understand
Blackjack is the world's greatest card game. You know it, we know it, and you know when you see someone who knows it. You sit down at the table to play a round of blackjack, you look at the other people who are sitting there and you just know if the people around you understand blackjack. There's that knowing glance, that wry smile and the knowledge that you're all reading from the same page. If you're the kind of person who knows their chip tricks, who knows how to play blackjack and has memorised the basic blackjack strategy – the kind of person who loves going for the thrill of the elusive Face and an Ace combo – you're the kind of person we're talking about. Here are 10 things that only blackjack players will understand.
1.10 is a big number; 21 is a small number
21, when you think about is a pretty small number. There are 52 cards in a deck and up to 416 cards in a shoe – counting to 21 is a relatively simple thing. The problem is that while 21 is a small number, 10 is absolutely massive and can completely devastate your game.
Don't believe me? Try hitting on 14 and see what happens – as far away as 21 is from 14, when the dealer flips a 10 your eyes will bulge, your heart will sink and you can't help but wonder how you got dealt such a huge card.
2.Your cards are not your cards
Anyone who has spent any real time at a blackjack table will know to avoid this rookie error. At best the dealer will politely ask to refrain from what you're going; at worst you will be asked to leave the casino.
This isn't poker – this is blackjack, and in blackjack you do not touch your cards.
3.Your maths professor was right about stats being useful
Did you ever fall asleep during stats class at school? Did your maths professor make you want to climb the walls in boredom? If only you knew then what you know now, you may have paid more attention…
Stats is a huge part of playing blackjack like a pro. There's the basic rule of thirds which helps you judge when you're going to see a 10-value card, and then there's the more advanced strategies which allow you to guess whether or not you're going to bust out on the next card. With even a basic understanding of statistics you're a lot less likely to bust out on every single hand.
4.Mumbling under your breath is a very bad thing
In poker you go to great pains not give your plays away – signals and tells are the bane of your life. In blackjack, your tells aren't that important because you're playing against a dealer, not another player – just make sure that you don't bother trying to hide your game plan by mumbling to yourself under your breath.
Casino bosses will be watching you on the CCTV and if they see something that looks like card counting (this really looks like amateur card counting), they won't hesitate in asking you to leave. Don't mumble under your breath – plan your move in your head instead.
5.A career playing cards is the best kind of career
Blackjack may not be the most glamourous of card games around, but that doesn't make the prospect of a career as a blackjack pro any less appealing. It's not an easy career and your losses as a pro are more impactful than they are as a casual player, but that doesn't make the job any less appealing, does it?
6.There's a time and a place for insurance
Insurance is a bit of a misnomer – it doesn't protect you like contents insurance does, does it? Insurance in blackjack is just a side bet as to whether or not the dealer has a 10 in the hole. There are times you may think the dealer has a 10 in the hole, and taking insurance could be a good call. Always taking the insurance however, is a rookie error.
7.Your best friend's name has numbers in it
Do you play online blackjack? Do you see the same players every time? Do they have names like B14CKJ4CK_88 or C4RdPr0? If you met these players in real life would you forget that they have a real name? If yes, then you're a true online blackjack player.
8.The autoshuffle is your worst enemy
The autoshuffle, the Continuous Shuffling Machine (CSM) which obliterates whatever small advantage you may have, is a blackjack player's worst enemy. Try as you might, it's so much harder to keep track of even basic stats when the machine is constantly shuffling the discarded cards back into the shoe at the end of the round.
9.That look when you see someone split the 10's
What? That was a hard 20! Do you know how hard it is to beat a hard 20!?
That incredulous look on someone's face when they see someone split the 10's is how you know you're among friends.
10.Life is a rollercoaster
Blackjack has its ups and its downs. Some days you're going to crush it, stacking up the chips like nobody's business. Other days you will walk away from the table feeling significantly lighter in the wallet. The trick is realising that without the losses you can't have wins – it's all just part of the fun at the end of the day; if you can still have fun while losing, that's when you know that you're a real blackjack player.