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Psychology of the Blackjack Table


New Psychology In his books, Turning the Tables on Las Vegas, and Burning the Tables in Las Vegas, Ian Andersen offers us a new psychology for casino behavior. Andersen says that the more adversarial stance taken by most blackjack players is a mistake, and ends up working against them. Andersen offers us a more personable strategy based on finding common ground with the dealer.


New Psychology Andersen makes a point of befriending both dealers and pit bosses. He is also emphatic about coming across as humble and even feigning ignorance of the game. “A complete paradigm shift” is needed, Andersen says – calling for a more considered and more nuanced response to the house, one based on strategic alliances that are sub-conscious, subtle, and aware of the range of dynamics in the casino–player interaction.


New Psychology In contrast to Andersen, some psychologists recommend a more stealthy approach. Dealers, pit bosses and casinos are more likely to remember someone who stands out rather than someone less conspicuous, they say. It could range from the way you hold your cards to the kinds of clothes that you wear. This school of thought recommends blending in as much as possible, staying in the shadows so that no one notices you more than anyone else in the casino.


New Psychology The goal here is to become an everyman, to avoid anything that distinguishes you from the crowd. It even applies to the kinds of play that you make. Sometimes, even when you know you should play in one particular direction, the psychology of playing stealth says to be aware of your game holistically – attentive to the value of not drawing undue attention to yourself even if it means making an intentionally boneheaded play.


New Psychology Stanford Wong had something to say about the issue with his idea of ‘wonging’ – that is, entering a table mid shoe at the right time when the table is hot and ready for the highest wagers. Wong said he would sometimes fake an outstanding yet controllable feature like a speech or physical impediment. If he won big and casino personnel were alerted to his presence, Wong would merely return in the future without the impediment, making recognition by the pit bosses and dealers tricky and ambiguous.


New Psychology If you’re going to try wong the tables, though, you can’t be too obvious about it, because casinos will invariably be watching you watching the table and take careful of all your moves and movements thereafter. Some advise pretending to look as though you’re impatiently waiting for someone by frequently glancing down at your watch with a stern, irritated expression on your face.


New Psychology  Or you could pretend to be watching sport on the many television screens that casinos tend to have. Another option is to team up with an equally inconspicuous partner and feign having an in-depth conversation in the middle of the floor when in reality you’re both watching different tables and waiting for the moment to step in a bet big.


Blackjack Psychology If you’re good enough at blackjack to actually need these strategies, you should pick one that fits your personality type the best. Coming across as naturally as possible, giving the illusion of ignorance, and playing for the long-run, can end up netting you a tidy amount before the casino even realizes what has hit them Please feel free to distribute and republish this document providing that all links contained herein remain in tact ŠCrazy Vegas Casino 2011


Blackjack Psychology