Surviving a Terrible Blackjack Player: Tips for Success at the Table

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an aerial view of five players and a dealer sitting around a blackjack table in a casino playing blackjack
BetMGM Jul 10, 2023, 3:47 AM

Have you ever found yourself at the blackjack table, eagerly awaiting your turn, only to find yourself on the receiving end of terrible plays and baffling decisions? It’s beyond frustrating when an opponent’s decisions seem to defy logic, especially when the knock-on effect reduces your chances of winning at your favorite casino table games.

When you’re dealing with an unskilled blackjack player, there are several ways to stay focused and adapt to the circumstances. To make the most of every hand, keep the following five tips in mind and discover how to enjoy games with less-than-stellar players in no time. 

1. Stay Calm and Play Smart

In games like blackjack, the cards you’re dealt and the plays you make contribute to the collective experience for every player. In the same way, the actions of other players will impact the flow and outcome of the game. Tension comes into play when opponents make moves that test your patience, whether it’s hitting at the wrong time or standing on a hand that needs a hit. 

Letting the frustration of these moments get to you will influence your decision-making and could lead to costly mistakes such as poor bankroll management, for example. On the bright side, if you’re able to maintain your composure and play optimally, you can turn these vexing situations to your advantage. 

The first step for maximizing your odds is to stay focused on your own game, no matter how distracting it is to witness the bad decisions of another player. There are always going to be bad players out there. You can’t avoid them without losing the dynamic entertainment factor of online casino games, so it’s best to learn how to deal with them sooner rather than later.

2. Embrace the Odds

There are three fundamentals to focus on in any blackjack game: your hand, revealed cards and the dealer’s upcard. Optimal decisions are always based on this information, so you shouldn’t deviate from a sound strategy just because someone else makes puzzling moves.

Mastering the basics of probability will net you the best odds of success. It’s worth remembering, though, that variance is always going to be a factor in games of chance, whether you’re playing online blackjack live dealer games or learning how to play with a group of friends. 

There are no guarantees in blackjack; risk comes with the territory, but that doesn’t mean you have no say in the outcome. If you play with a clear bankroll management plan in mind and use the information in front of you, it prevents you from chasing losses and making impulsive decisions, placing you in the best possible position for success.

3. Avoid Confrontation

Every player has the right to make their own decisions at the blackjack table. When you register an account with a popular casino, you’re essentially entering a world shared with and enjoyed by many other individuals, each with their own betting style, temperament and personality.

A diverse range of players means a diverse range of experiences. While it’s natural for opinions to clash at times, engaging in blame games or confronting others will only create a negative atmosphere and put you off your game. Instead, focus on controlling the elements you have a say in, namely your strategy, behavior and decision-making.

4. Adapt Your Game Plan

Relying on your knowledge of the essentials of blackjack will allow you to make the most out of any betting situation. That being said, the issue of how distracting bad players can be remains. Is it possible to avoid these players? Are there signs to look out for that signal a quick exit?

Generally, you can recognize weak players by their uncertainty and rookie mistakes. They often struggle with making timely decisions and may even consult strategy cards during a game. They can also have difficulty following basic table etiquette, such as touching their chips at the wrong time, for instance or not tipping the dealer after a win.

If you want to avoid these players as much as possible, playing at tables with high minimum bets is a worthwhile strategy. Novices rarely play for high stakes and you can weed them out more effectively this way. Another way to adapt to the presence of a bad player is to reduce your bet sizes. This can help minimize potential losses during unfavorable games.

5. Be Patient

Bad blackjack players will eventually have to leave if they make confounding plays consistently. In the meantime, the best course of action is to remain calm and concentrate on making the most of the hands dealt your way. Enjoy the game for its essence of thrilling competition and remember that the outcome of a single hand or session is never a sign of long-term enjoyment.

The eclectic communities of casinos are something to look forward to. After all, a bad player might actually work in your favor in several scenarios. Moves they make could put the dealer in a tough spot. They could also throw off the rest of the table, causing your other opponents to lose their composure and make mistakes. In the best-case scenario, you end up in a stronger position before you even lift a finger.

Play Blackjack Online and Perfect Your Skills With BetMGM

By embracing both the good and bad aspects of blackjack, employing the right strategies and understanding the potential challenges, you can mitigate the impact of bad players and still find success at the blackjack table. If you’re ready to experience and enjoy everything that casino games online have to offer, register with BetMGM and unlock a plethora of entertainment options, from blackjack and poker to slots and sports betting.

Actress Vanessa Hudgens flipping casino chips next to the text "The King of Casinos"
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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.