“Hot & Cold” Won’t Help You
One of the most common and prevalent myths in all gambling is the belief in “hot” and “cold”, or “lucky” and “unlucky”, be it in certain numbers, cards, bets, or the frequency of something occurring, etc. The general belief is that, by avoiding or utilising these instances of “hot and cold”, one can gain an advantage, or “edge”. In blackjack, for example, there is the common phrase “don’t play when the dealer is “hot”. I.e. “winning or lucky”.
The truth is that in blackjack, and in any game or activity involving random chance, the idea of “luck” is generally far more of a hindrance than a help. Rather, the best way to make predictions or decisions, such as when or not to play, is by gaining a solid understanding of the game rules and strategy, factors like probability, odds, house edge, and bankroll management.
Twenty One Is NOT The Goal
“21” is obviously significant in blackjack. It is after all the highest number a player, or dealer, can get before going bust, and therefore optimal, unless the dealer has it of course. This unfortunately leads to a common misconception, especially amongst beginners, that the aim of the game is to try and actually get 21. This is a very reckless way to play, and will most often only lead to disaster. The goal should rather be to beat the dealer’s hand, by employing careful strategy, and not going bust.
Card Counting Is Not Illegal
There have been plenty of fictional books, movies, and stories involving what is commonly known as “card-counting” in casinos. Some are based on real events, such as the infamous MIT Blackjack Team scandal that inspired the movie 21. Card-counting, which includes a number of methods, has, however, received a rather exaggerated reputation over time. By itself, it is neither as complicated or effective as many think, and only when used with further aid, such as devices, and collaboration amongst players, is it then considered actual cheating. It can, however, give players a slight advantage when used correctly, and so casinos tend to frown on its use, and may reserve the right to ban players for using it.
You Don’t Need To Be Good At Maths
Contrary to how it is often exaggerated in movies and television, as mentioned above, blackjack is actually a fairly easy game to learn and play. It also does not require advanced mathematics or special powers of reasoning to learn and employ the strategies. The same goes for understanding odds, probability and house edge.
Low House Edge Is Not A Guarantee
Blackjack is often referred to as one of the few “skilled-based” games offered by casinos, another being poker, and is also noted as being a game with a low house edge. While it is true that a player can carefully and skilfully lower the house edge to as low as 0.5%, this is by no means guaranteed. In fact, reckless betting and repeated loss can potentially increase house edge to treacherous levels, so be warned.