Busting at Blackjack in Tunica Mississippi

 Busting at Blackjack in Tunica Mississippi

No blackjack player likes to bust and wind up with a total of more than 21 that’s a loser before the dealer even plays his hand. But if we’re going to take the best chance to win, accepting the risk of busting is part of the bargain.

Sometimes you’ll run across a player who doesn’t accept that risk, as a reader emailed to me.

“Another blackjack player at my table was playing so that he never busted,” he wrote. “He stood on every hard 12 or higher, no matter what the dealer had.

“Other players were giving him a hard time, but he said, ‘At least this way I have a chance. If I hit and go bust, I’m done before the dealer even plays. Give her the chance to go bust.’

“Does that make any sense?”

The answer: It makes sense only if your goal is to delay knowing whether you’ve lost as long as possible.

If you stand with a 16 or less, then you’re conceding losses 74 percent of the time when the dealer has a 7 face up, 76 percent vs. an 8, 77 percent vs. 9 or 10, and 83 percent vs. an Ace. That’s how often the dealer makes a hand of 17 or better without busting starting with those up cards.

When you have a hard 12, 13, 14, 15 or 16, you’re not in a great position. If you hit hard 16, for instance, you’re going to bust about 62 percent of the time. But you’re better off taking the 38 percent chance of improving the hand than just conceding that you’ll lose 74 percent of the time to a dealer who shows a 7 up.

Let’s say you have 9-7, and the dealer has a 7 up. If you stand, like your never-bust friend, you’ll average 48 cents in losses for every $1 wagered. If you hit, you cut the average loss to 40 cents per $1.

That’s why basic strategy tells us to hit those stiff hands when the dealer has a 7 or higher. Playing never-bust is self-defeating.

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