Why did you hit 14 against dealer’s 6???? Now we all gonna lose!!

Last night, I was at a blackjack table, where this guy was mercilessly berating another guy for hitting a 16 on a dealer’s up card of 4. The guy being berated didn’t say anything back, but later hit a 16 on a 6, making the other guy even angrier. The dealer let it go until the first guy started cursing at the bad player.

Here’s my take on bad blackjack players: they make no difference in the long run, but they do make a difference to our psyche. I’m well aware that a player, such as our bad blackjack player, will have no effect on me in the long run, but it’s disingenuous to deny that we all don’t think, ‘if he had stayed, I would have won’. Sure, intellectually, I know that the bad player could have just as likely helped me by taking the dealers ‘pat’ card. Mathematically, in the long run, other player decisions will even out.

But I’ll be the first to admit that I wished the guy had stood on his hand, whenever he takes the dealers bust card. I’ll also be the first to admit that when he takes the dealers ‘pat’ card, I’ll probably file it away in my selective memory drawer and then move on. Regardless of the outcome and regardless of my emotions, I take it all in stride because in the long run, it makes no difference.

Bad players can cause good players to go on tilt, or as I say in blackjack…’steam’. It’s hard to lose multiple hands in a row and not steam, especially if a bad decision by another player resulted in the house to swiping your chips. The psychological component is compounded if you are already in the negative.

Just ask most poker players who are beaten by bad but lucky poker players. Consoling yourself that you had ‘the best of it’ before the flop or river is no consolation prize when your opponent played poorly but is dragging the pot. Sure, you might beat him later, especially if you’re smart and you don’t scare him off by berating him, but in the short term, tilt is a very real thing, regardless of the game.

Human beings aren’t robots; we’re emotional creatures. Everyone goes on tilt and starts steaming, and that includes the best poker and blackjack players. The question isn’t if we tilt, but what triggers it and how much will the tilt/steam affect our actions. I’ve seen really good blackjack players just foolishly bet their entire stack from tilt. I’ve seen it happen often.

And when they lose, the argument is always ‘at least the deck had a slightly positive count’.

Back to our angry gambler…I finally had enough, too, and just asked the angry guy to move to another table. He basically just ignored me and kept playing. Later the bad player hit a hard 12 on a dealers 3, causing an eye roll and a huff. Uhhhh, that was actually the proper basic strategy play, fella.


Posted in: Blackjack, Casino, Gambling

0 thoughts on “Thoughts on Bad Blackjack Players

  • Good article,I have been that bad player before many moons back. I was in Vegas for the first time ever just 21 mean just21 paint still wet 21. I tried to memorize a basic card didn’t work so well. I’ll never forget a fella at the table just ripping my ass over my play. It took me a lot of practice and reading too make myself sit down again at a table.

    • Good job sticking to basic strategy and learning the game. And congrats on not letting a bully push you away from a great game.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>