The value of the dealer’s hole card is very important in the game of blackjack. If players can only accurately predict the value of this card, then they’ll have a 10 percent advantage over the dealer on every hand. The truth is, there are no accurate means of telling what the value of the hole card is, and the sad part is that many blackjack players assume that the dealer’s hole card has a 10 value and will base their strategies on this belief.
This is one of the biggest myths in blackjack that will often lead to players losing all their money. When a dealer has an up card showing a value of 4, many players will automatically assume that there is a 10 in the hole and that the dealer has a total of 14. But players have no way of knowing or anticipating what the dealer has which is anything from 5 to 15. And assuming what the dealer has is a foolish strategy that will end up with you losing all your money.
The House Edge in Blackjack
One of the things that make blackjack an exciting game among casino players is its relatively low percentage of games that most likely will be won by the house, or what is more commonly referred to as the house edge. This advantage stems from the fact that all player should act first on their hand before the dealer acts on his. Players can bust first, or go over 21, and lose their bet and will continue to do so even if the dealer busts his hand later.
To a player who diligently applies basic blackjack strategy, this house edge can be as little as 0.18 to 0.5 percent on every hand, but this value can zoom up to 2 percent, or losing four times more, if little mental strategy is applied. This is a poor strategy and players will most likely just throw away all their money.
Casinos would naturally want to increase their house edge and would do this by offering side bets called “insurance” or “even money”, particularly in cases where the dealer’s up card is an ace. Insurance is offered to players as a wager on whether the dealer has a “natural” or a 10-valued card in the hole. This will increase the house edge to an even higher 6 percent advantage.
However, this house edge can continue to go even higher if the player will always assume that the dealer has a 10 in the hole. Such assume-a-ten strategies will work against the player and will give the house an advantage as high as 10.03 percent – and lose more hands in the game as well as their money.
Should You Be Worried About the Dealer Getting a 10 in the Hole?
This myth have probably stemmed from the fact that there are 4 times more card in a deck with a value of ten than any other cards. However, cards that have 10-values only account for 30% of the total number of cards, which in statistical terms is a 3:7 chance that the dealer actually has a 10 in the hole. There is a 70% chance, a much bigger value, that the dealer will have other cards not valued as 10 in the hole.
Players should have this understanding and get past the belief that there is always a 10 in the hole. Doing so would make the player start playing wisely and more strategically and increase their chances of winning their hand than ever before. Basic strategies are based on proven mathematical principles and have been simulated in computer programs to work, as well as proven effective during real-life black jack games.
However, only a small percentage of blackjack players will heed this advice and commit to studying basic blackjack strategies and avoid throwing away their money on each hand. Playing wisely and using basic blackjack strategies will reduce the house edge to the minimal level as compared to scenarios where players always assume that the hole card has a value of 10.
In summary, the dealer does not always have a 10 in the hole and there is a greater mathematical probability that the hole card has a value other than 10. Assuming that the dealers always have a 10 card is one of the worst strategies a blackjack player can make, preventing them from making wise judgment based on proven basic strategies – and lose all their money in the long run.