Jennifer from Arizona in the United States dropped us an interesting question that pertains to Blackjack: ”Can fellow players at a blackjack table have an impact on my success?
Thanks for reaching out, in a nutshell it depends on your attitude towards the game and how focused you are. Let’s have a look at a few other factors as well. If you keep track of your results at the blackjack table, more often than not you’ll notice that there’s a direct correlation between the amounts you bet, how long you play and how skilled you are. At first glance this might seem obvious but this also depends on how many players are at the table and how they play their hands.
Before we continue we’d like to bring the following to your attention. Visiting a online casino and expecting to win with a limited budget is nearly impossible nowadays. Slot games have become more volatile with higher maximum bets, the limits of table games have been raised and slot machine vendors have decreased their payback percentages.
Unless you’re playing for fun walking into a casino with $50 to $100 and expecting to play for an extended period of time is over. To give yourself a decent bite at the cherry your bankroll must be at least 2x to 3x that amount. Granted than many of us don’t have much spending money, this is why it’s important to carefully plan your casino bankroll and get creative on ways that will help improve our odds at winning.
When the player at third base hits a hard hand against the dealer’s up card of six and the dealer makes his hand when he should have busted, you feel like the world is just about to drop onto your head. If the dealer hits blackjack on the next hand, all we can say it’s a disaster. Luckily this is only in the short term because the next time a player does the same thing the results may be different.
Now, over the long run regardless how others play their hands it will have zero effect on your bankroll. Simply because it’s based on thousands of hands that’s been played, the cards will break even and converge to true probability numbers. The only thing that remains will be the subjective and selective memory of the players who think their results are based on the actions of other players – not their own play. Remember, the better you play the more you’ll win, it’s that simple really.
To prove this to yourself deal yourself three hands of blackjack from a standard deck of 52 cards. Make the dealer’s hand a ten down and 6 up. Your hand can be any two cards, your co-player’s hand can be the same. Instead of waiting for the dealer to go bust draw a card as if your co-player took a hit. Sometimes the card will help the dealer which means you’ll lose the hand or it can be a card that busts the dealer and you’ll win. Do you see a pattern? Nope, there’s no pattern.
Whether an extra card is used by the co-player or not after 1,000 hands the dealer will bust just as many times. This is what stumps us, keep in mind that we are not blackjack experts neither do we proclaim to be. The question we often ask ourselves why do so many players want to play alone? It all boils down to selective memory and the desire to feel in control, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this. Unless you’re a card counter, playing alone will cost you more than playing with a crowd. Makes sense?
Then again if you play alone you will get a lot more hands (up to 240 per hour) compared to when you play in a crowd (up to 60 hands per hour). This is where it becomes interesting, if you do the math you’ll see that when you’re playing along you’re playing four times as many hands as opposed to playing with a crowd. In other words if you’re not a smart blackjack player your bankroll will be gobbled up in no time.
In summary. When it comes to playing blackjack, it depends on how long you play, how much you bet and how many hands you get. Don’t worry how other players play their hands or how many players there are at the table. In the long run only you have an effect on your blackjack results.