I totally understand the fact that someone playing against basic strategy doesn’t have much of an effect on the overall results of a blackjack session. However, it can have some devastating effects in the short term. I have a “friend” who shared with me a recent experience he had, and I thought I would share it here to see if you would agree that playing with someone who goes against basic strategy can be a nightmare sometimes. I understand that there can be some gray areas when it comes to decisions based on basic strategy (such as hitting a 12 against a dealer 3), but when it is a blatant disregard for BS, it gets very frustrating.
Here is the “story” that was shared with me:
I was playing alone at a $10 table for quite some time. My buy-in of $100 had slowly but surely grown to over $300, and I was to the point of betting $25-$50 per hand. Just as a new shoe was starting, another person joined the table and sat at first base. (I was sitting in the 3rd position) For the most part, the new comer was playing what seemed like good BS, but then again most of the hands were pretty much no-brainers. Then the most devastating thing happened. I had finally gotten the nerve to put out a $100 bet. It was nearing the end of the shoe, and I was pretty confident that I had a chance for a really good hand. My table mate was dealt a 15, and I was dealt an 11. The dealer was showing a 4. Expecting the other guy to stand on that hand, I immediately put out another $100 to double down. To my amazement, rather than waving off the hand, this guy tapped the table for a hit. Despite the dealer’s hesitation, he insisted on taking a hit. Of course, he was dealt a 10, and busted. I was tempted to grab my double down back out of play, but between my shock and the fact that the dealer dealt my card so fast, I was not able to grab it back in time. Instead of the 10 that I “should” have been dealt, I was given a 3. If looks could kill, I would be writing this from a prison cell right now. The dealer flips over his hole card to reveal a 7, giving him an 11. And what do you think the next card was? Of course, it was a 10, giving him a 21. Bye bye $200. Now, had this guy stayed like he “should” have, I would have been dealt “his” 10, giving me a 21. The dealer would have drawn the 3 and then the 10, busting his hand. Easy $200!
What would you have done?