Joined: Nov 11, 2009
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December 4th, 2009 at 5:08:06 AM permalink
I've posted before that I follow Wizard's charts to the letter for blackjack these days, and today I played a game that allows surrender at the Wynn, and for the first time, I took it (16 against a 10). Immediately thereafter, I was heckled and jeered by players and dealer alike, and warned that "you should never take surrender", "just because the house offers it, doesn't mean that you should take it", and "it only gives more money to the house", I tried for a few seconds in vein to explain that it actually reduces the house edge slightly when you take it on the appropriate hands, but I don't believe that I was heard, as I was talked over by someone else saying "you also can't go by those charts because there are all different charts and they are conflicting on each one" -- I kept my next comment to myself, which was "of course there are various charts, because various tables have different rules". Anyway, I continued to play with surrender when called for, and eventually, when a new player entered the table they were asked "do you play normally?" (which was another shot at my taking of surrender.

A similar thing also happened to me when planing bj switch at the palms one night when following the rules (which differed from blackjack's rules of course - I think I hit 2 8's instead of splitting against a 10). When I was told that I was "doing it wrong" by a fellow at the table, I tried again, in vein, to explain the reason for the move, when I was interrupted by his snotty gf who decided to share with me "he knows everything about blackjack, if you need to know something about blackjack, just ask him", to which I replied, "super, next time I play blackjack, I'll ask him, but this isn't blackjack, this is blackjack switch".

Anyway, just thought I'd share, and ask, what's with all the know-it-all haters that don't quite know it all?
So I says to him, I said "Get your own monkey!"
Joined: Nov 16, 2009
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December 4th, 2009 at 6:11:19 AM permalink
Superstition. Mob mentality. You're disrupting/ruining the shoe/order of the cards. Making them lose.

Take your pick, it doesn't matter, it happens everywhere to everyone. My response is simple: "No, this is the way I'M supposed to do it." Hard to argue with that...

You can't reason with these people. It's not worth trying. I notice it the other way, when people make basic strategy errors that no one else seems to mind, and everyone loses because of it. I get grumpy but keep my mouth shut. Next time the error will go my way (I can only hope).

In fact, the one way I have found to make the situation fun again is to really exaggerate on those borderline plays. "Uhoh! 12 vs 3... what should i do... what should i do... HIT ME! ahahahahaha! Waitress! Another Manhattan!"
Wisdom is the quality that keeps you out of situations where you would otherwise need it
Joined: Nov 14, 2009
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December 4th, 2009 at 7:58:03 AM permalink
I've never gotten into an argument on a table when someone criticizes my play. I just figure they don't know any better. I have gotten into an argument when an "expert" berates a new player for playing "wrong". I only get involved when someone is being an ass to a player that doesn't deserve it. Here's a typical conversation.

Expert: [slams table] "God $%*! people don't know how to play"
Me: "You know it helps as often as it hurts, unless you're counting"
Expert: "No it doesn't, that's why we can never win somebody always screws up the shoe"
Me: "Really, in the long run it doesn't matter"
Expert: "I've been playing this game for 20 years and I know"
Me: "Well, I suppose thousands of years of mathematics could be wrong"
Expert: [leaves table]

I then try and explain to the new player that a lot of players think they know a lot more about the game then they actually do and their play does affect their (the new player) odds of winning but nobody elses.

Joined: Nov 25, 2009
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December 4th, 2009 at 8:23:59 AM permalink
In the case of surrender (which I do all the time too, when called for) I usually get a quizzical look from other players...who have never even heard of it. (facepalm)
Joined: Nov 23, 2009
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December 4th, 2009 at 8:57:23 AM permalink
Quote: marksolberg

Expert!: [slams table] "God $%*! people don't know how to play"
Me: "You know it helps as often as it hurts, unless you're counting"
Expert!: "No it doesn't, that's why we can never win somebody always screws up the shoe"
Me: "Really, in the long run it doesn't matter"
Expert!: "I've been playing this game for 20 years and I know"
Me: "Well, I suppose thousands of years of mathematics could be wrong"
Expert!: [leaves table]

I love this simulated conversation. It reminds me with great literary accuracy of the pain.

One way to make the pain go away is to be the biggest bettor at the table. Then everyone assumes you know what you are doing and they apologize for any play that for whatever reason causes you to not win. This is the contrapositive to the conversation above and is equally absurd.

I've learned to not have these conversations any more -- life is too short.


DGs Minimally Offensive Signature
"Who would have thought a good little girl like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness!"
Joined: Nov 12, 2009
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December 4th, 2009 at 9:11:39 AM permalink
I think you just play the game the way you want and let them yell at you. There are lots of ways to get these kinds of chiding players upset at you. Switch is one of the worst games where people continue to play basic strategy when the strategy calls are different. I imagine Spanish is the same way.

I've had dealers chide me in switch and don't understand the strategy changes.

Just play the best game that you can.
----- You want the truth! You can't handle the truth!
Joined: Oct 14, 2009
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December 4th, 2009 at 10:42:07 AM permalink
Usually other players think you're a fool to surrender, especially 17 vs. A when the dealer hits a soft 17. If I get rebuked for surrendering I always offer the other player to buy my bet for half of face value. If they do, great, both parties are happy. If they don't, at least you can point out they aren't willing to put their money where their mouth is. Once at the Venetian I had a high roller take me up on this about ten times, and he went 0-10. After that he quit accepting the offer, but at least it shut him up.

Regarding non-surrender plays, it used to be my policy to turn the other cheek, and just say nothing. However, I feel better about myself when I fight back. I usually say something like "Every book on blackjack, except John Patrick's, says to (do whatever I did), but maybe you know more than the best blackjack experts."
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
Joined: Nov 11, 2009
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December 4th, 2009 at 12:54:25 PM permalink
Surrendering is always 'chicken' and then taking even money is the always the 'smart move'. Insanity.
Joined: Nov 2, 2009
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December 4th, 2009 at 1:41:07 PM permalink
I have a hard time hitting on 16, even though all the strategy tables say hit.

The first time I get a 16 I tell the table that I never hit a 16 unless the dealer has an ace. Most people are "OK" with this non-standard play, because, I said I always do this.

FYI: I surrender 16 vs Ace, or hit if there's no surrender.

If they don't like the way I play, they can go to another table.

Similarly, if someone in third base 'screws up the shoe', I simply chalk it up to "It could have been shuffled differently so that the 'screw up' helps everyone." I say that out loud if people moan about the screw up.

Bottom line: Don't let the idiots affect your game, your play or your good time.
Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁
Joined: Oct 19, 2009
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December 4th, 2009 at 2:40:19 PM permalink
I just tend to ignore the idiots if possible.
EvenBob: "Look America, I have a tiny wee-wee, can anybody help me?"

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