More Blackjack Advice: the Good and the Bad

This morning I posted about the amusing side of bad blackjack advice. Well, we’ll call this morning’s examples more ineffectual rather than bad. Here I will give some examples of bad blackjack advice being offered and why it’s bad.

In the same article that I was reading this morning I found this advice for choosing a blackjack table: “Always look for a table where the players are having a good time, where they are making bets somewhat larger than normal, and for the most part where the players have larger stacks of chips.”

While on the surface this is amusing advice, it is actually bad advice.

First, players having fun indicates nothing. They could be having a good time because they’re all buddies. Or they could have had a lot to drink. A ‘good time’ doesn’t indicate whether it’s a good table or not.

Secondly, a table at which players are betting more means that they have recognized that there is a run of high cards—card worth 10 and Aces. You don’t want to sit down then because the run could end at any moment, returning to low cards that favor the dealer. What you want to look for is a table that is currently playing through a run of low cards, because it is likely that a high card run will follow. I have a more in-depth blog on this that you can find here.

More bad advice: being told to not take insurance but to go ahead and take even money.

These are essentially the same thing! You’re net gain is the same!

If you take even money you are being paid the same as if you had won an insurance bet. If you take $5 insurance on your $10 bet and win the insurance but lose the hand, you will be paid $10. If you have blackjack on a $10 and take even money you will be paid $10.

You know insurance is bad for your overall blackjack strategy and bankroll. Think of even money as insurance for a natural blackjack. And don’t take it.

When you are looking for blackjack tips look at what they are saying very closely. Are they talking about gambling tips in general, like money management? Is their advice contradicting itself? Or are they actually talking about blackjack itself, including examples of their tips? Does their language reveal that they actually know the game and why certain plays are made or not made?

Reading closely can save you the chance of following some bad advice that may have the opposite effect on your blackjack game. There is good blackjack advice out there.