The count rises to a true 4.
I grab a stack of $100 black chips and place them in the my betting square.
I get a 9,3 and the dealer has a 7 up. I hit my 12 and get a 2, hit again and get a 4 so I stand.
The dealer turns the hole card over and reveals a 4. She hits several more times, standing when she has 4, 7, Ace, 3, 2. She then calls out, “push” and moves on to the next round.
What’s wrong with this picture?
One thing that is consistently revealed at our Blackjack Bootcamps is that players trust the dealer too much to add up their hands correctly. We understand; we did the same thing early in our blackjack careers, but then we got it trained out of us by more experienced card counters. It doesn’t matter how good of a card counter I am, if I don’t protect my money, I’m not going to be a winning player.
If you were paying attention to the story above, I hit to 18 while the dealer ended up with 17. Calling it a “push” is a $500 mistake!
It’s happened to me hundreds of times, and if I would have trusted the blackjack dealer’s math, even one dealer mis-pay would have cost me several hours of EV. Did the dealer do it on purpose? No. Dealers are human, too, so they’re just as susceptible to making mistakes as anyone. Unfortunately for us, if they make a mistake in the house’s favor, that can easily kill any chance of actually having an edge over the casino.
Now Repeat after me:
I AM ALWAYS RESPONSIBLE TO ADD UP MY HAND TOTAL AND THE DEALER’S HAND TOTAL FOR MYSELF.
It can feel overwhelming to have to add up your hand total while you’re keeping the running count, playing basic strategy, converting to true count, keeping an eye on the pit, and everything else that’s running through your brain. But there are a few tricks that will help: