MYTH: A body of such stories told among a given people. In this case the given people are the body of blackjack players who love to talk about the game’s myths and over the years this has evolved into quite a collection.
I’ve been playing blackjack since I was a wild kid in Boston playing in cellars and alleys with other young punks and we didn’t know about myths then; heck, we couldn’t even spell it. That street game was more about cheating each other or running like hell when someone yelled “cops.”
But along the way over these many decades I’ve been exposed to the game through hundreds on hundred of hours in regular and tournament play and have heard so many stories about the game and its players that it seemed like a good idea to pass along some of that knowledge to anybody out there who is interested in the myths of 21.
MYTH #1: You just say, “21” and some think the game can be simply explained by telling newbie’s that the object of the game is get as close as possible to the number 21 in your hand. That is a myth of course as the real object is beat the dealer any way you can with any count total you can muster.
MYTH #2: Never play with new players or fumblers as their stupid decisions will screw up your game. Crap. Those bad decisions can lead to a winner and even result in the dealer busting out. Players make individual decisions and sometimes the table rakes in the chips and sometimes the chips go back to the house. Players don’t know how the cards will fall so just put up and shut up.
MYTH #3: I’ve met some math whizzes who can count cards like an IBM computer and some folks think they have be a math genius to win at the game. Not so. The game is easy to learn…can you add ten and ten. There you go. But there are basic moves to play on certain combinations and that is why you should learn Basic Strategy after you go through your apprenticeship. There is plenty of info online about this subject. Go Google.
MYTH #4: Never split tens which means you take these two high value cards and play them separately against the dealer hoping to cash in twice. That move really upsets some other players in the game because they think it messes the deck up for the rest of the table. And why mess with what is usually a sure fire winner. This is a myth and it is a move that I have made times successfully. But, I am playing alone and have nobody else in the game to jump my butt. If the dealer is showing an up card of six, why not split the tens as there is a good chance he will bust. It is a fun move and raises the dealer’s eyebrows but it works very well.
Myths are part of the game and create a lot of chatter. Much has been written about these so-called myths so I am not going to rehash the whole body of work on the subject here. Go Google if you want to learn more. Learn the game and forget the myths and in the long run you will have many hours of fun and make up some myths of your own along the road like my pet myth: use a simple card counting strategy like the Speed Count and will beat the house.
Good luck, loser.
Written by Rudi Schiffer