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Blackjack - Playing With Bad Players

Aug 17, 2007
The great majority of blackjack players simply hate playing with bad players. They hate playing with players who draw when they should stand or stand when they should draw. They especially hate it when the results of the poor player's decision cause their own hand to lose. So what is the best way to handle playing with bad players?

I frequently hear this complaint from players who describe how much money they lost because of the bad players at their blackjack table.

For some blackjack players, nothing is more annoying than sitting on the table with a 16 against the dealer's 5, and watching with horror as the third baseman draws on his own 14 - as opposed to standing and busts out with a 10. Meanwhile, the dealer flops over a 9 for a 14, and rather than drawing the 10 taken by the inept third baseman, proceeds instead to draw for a perfect 21, busting out the whole table and causing a rippling of mumbling and anger from the other players.

It is bad enough for the player holding the 15, how about the other player who holds a 20!

But you know what? It doesn't matter what any player does or how bad they are. It makes absolutely no difference to your chances of winning. Absolutely none. I personally couldn't care less if I was playing with a bunch of monkeys. And you should not care either!

In the long run, whether you have a good fundamentals blackjack player behind you or the village idiot who turns every hand into an adventure, the truth is that mathematically, this player has no effect on your winning or losing chances. This is a very important point and it needs repeating. Poor blackjack players have absolutely no effect on your chances of winning or losing.

Yes, you will always remember the bad decisions by a player that cost you money at the table. But do you remember the times when a player's poor decision making helped you to win a big hand? Most likely, you probably never even noticed when they helped you to win.

The truth is that it all equals out in the long run. The decisions made by the really bad players will help you out just as often as those decisions hurt you. You should just stop worrying about them. How could you possibly know what card they will take?

Your focus should be on following sound basic blackjack strategy. That is it. Block out what the other player does.

However, if you find that a really bad player disturbs your enjoyment of the game or your concentration then move to another table. If you are more worried about someone else's play than your own, obviously a change of scenery is in order.
About the Author
Michael Vall is the owner of Blackjack Strategy - Stop by and learn blackjack strategy, tips and check out our free basic strategy charts too!
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