To Play or Not Play: Hot Tables vs Cold Tables

 To Play or Not Play: Hot Tables vs Cold Tables

Do you believe in hot tables and cold tables? Do you think it’s luckier to play where other players are winning than to play where the spaces are wide open because players have been leaving with diminishing bankrolls?

That’s not my style. I learned early on that the dice have no memory, the wheel has no memory, past results have no impact on future outcomes, and there’s no tendency for a hot table to stay hot.

Still, there are many players who choose tables based on whether others are winning.

A blackjack player named Brian emailed me to tell me he’s among those who look for the hot tables.

“Deep down, I don’t put a lot of stock in hot tables or cold tables, but it’s more fun to play with happy players,” he wrote. “I look for blackjack tables where players have big piles of chips.

“Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. One time I took the last seat with six players who all had that winning look. One man told me, ‘Get ready to win. Joy – the dealer – has been really good to us.’ Another said, ‘I just hope you don’t change our luck.’

“It worked to a charm. My first hand I won a double down. Joy seemed to bust half the time. Even when a new dealer came on – Frank was his name – we all did pretty well. I bought in for $100, played for an hour and cashed out more than $500.”

That’s the upside. But, Brian wrote, he’s seen the downside, too.

“Everybody was in a good mood,” he wrote, “but as soon as I joined the game the dealer started pulling 21s. It didn’t matter what she had up. She’d have a 6 up, turn up a 10 and everybody has their hopes up. She pulls a 5. Boom! goes the dynamite.

“Other players started joking about my draining all the luck. At least most were joking. One lady left the table and told me, ‘I’m sure you’re a nice guy, but I hope never to play with you again.’”

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