Some casino players are content to focus on their own play. Others are quick to offer advice.
The advice may be well-meant, but it isn’t always correct. Let’s listen to some experienced players who have tales of unsolicited advice they’ve received.
MARTIN: I read your column about the blackjack bullies a few weeks ago, and the one about hitting soft 18 and being labeled “the guy who hits 18s” really hit home with me.
Just like Kendall in that column, I was dealt Ace-7 and the dealer had a 10. Just like Kendall, I hit. I know my basic strategy, and that’s the right play.
Instead of one player giving me the business, though, I had two players and the dealer. The player started in as soon as I signaled the hit. “Oh, no! You’ve got to be kidding,” one shouted, and the other one said, “That’s an 18. You’re not really going to hit 18.”
The dealer wasn’t quite so over the top. She asked, “Are you sure you want to do that?” and she nodded over to a pit supervisor, who just looked and shrugged.
I assured the dealer I really did want to hit. I drew a 3, got my 21, and when the dealer ha a 10 down, I won a hand I’d have lost by standing.
I heard a round of “dumb luck” from the players, and the dealer wanted to set me straight. “Don’t get the idea that just because it worked, it’s a play you want to make all the time,” she said.
I just took my chips and made my next bet. What else could I do? I’m not going to lecture the table on basic strategy.
AMANDA: You wouldn’t think you’d get a lot of advice playing video poker, would you? You have to be looking at someone else’s screen to see the plays. It’s not a community setting like a card table.
I seem to get advice all the time. Last time out, I was playing Double Double Bonus Poker and was dealt three Aces, a 4 and a Jack. I held the three Aces and reached for the draw button, when this guy next to me shouts, “Wait!”
I looked over and he said, “You want to hold the 4, too. Then if you draw the fourth Ace, you get 2,000 instead of 800.”
I made the mistake of engaging. I said, “But if I throw away the 4, I’m twice as likely to get the fourth Ace. I have two chances instead of one.”
He wanted to argue, but I’m used to this. I said, “Look, this is the way I play it. OK?” He said, “It’s your money.” I hit the draw button, got no help and finished with three Aces.
This doesn’t happen every time out, but maybe once every five or six I’ll get somebody who wants to stop me from keeping a low pair instead of a high card or something.
RICK: Believe it or not, I had someone bug me about my roulette numbers. I made my bets with many $10 worth of chips at $1 apiece. From the end of the table I hear, “Dude! You have to watch the patterns.”
I won a column, lost my inside bets, and he said, “OK, now watch” and made his next bets.
He kept doing this. I wasn’t winning any less than anybody else, but he kept shouting at me about noticing the patterns. I don’t even know what patterns he saw, but he didn’t like my bets.
Look for John Grochowski on Facebook (http://tinyurl.com/7lzdt44) and Twitter (@GrochowskiJ).