I love the game of blackjack. The one on one feeling that you get from playing only against the table, even if you are at a full table. The smooth feeling you get when you know your blackjack strategy is doing its thing against the house edge. The feeling of knowing that I am playing the one game in the entire casino or online casino that has the best odds for me to win and make a profit.
But it is true that there are some things that I just do not like about blackjack.
For one thing I do not like insurance.
I do not like the sneaky way the casinos present this playing option as something that benefits the player when in fact it is designed purely to try to take more money from the player—sure, get them to put more money on the table in wagers, more money on the line means more opportunity for the house to take it which means lower odds for the player.
It is just a sneaky way, deceptive yet entirely game-legal way of lowering a player’s blackjack odds. And that sneakiness is what I do not like. Come on, just be up front and tell players, ‘Hey, this can maybe kind of help you, but it is likely to cause you to lose some money.’
Another thing? Side bets.
Side bets are found in blackjack variations. And variations came about in two ways. One way is that some are cultural variations, such as Pontoon and Spanish 21. But other variations are creations meant to take more player money—no surprise—through side bets.
The problem was that players were getting bored with blackjack and rather than give themselves and their bankrolls a break (which is smart), they wanted a variation of blackjack…kind of like the best of both worlds: a different game that is still the same.
Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it, and it just might cost you more. Which is exactly what blackjack variations with their side bets do.
Insurance and side bets are two of my biggest pet peeves with a game that I otherwise thoroughly love. And I will continue to warn players to avoid both insurance and side bets—which insurance is actually a side bet in its own right—so that players can hang on to their blackjack bankroll.