The first rule of Blackjack is you don't talk about Blackjack. Okay, so maybe that joke has been done enough, but the movie and more importantly the book are worth referencing, in my opinion.
So I deal Blackjack in Las Vegas, and as of Election Day, 2010 I have less than 6 months total experience doing it. It's obvious, however, that I have a lot more experience with Blackjack than many of the people I deal to.
I tell a lot of jokes at the table, but this one is central to a little story that happened last night. You see, a frequent mistake while playing Blackjack is just to look at your own cards and not mine (the dealer's). So frequently when it's obvious that someone is doing this I announce to the table that the first rule of Blackjack is "It's not all about you, you have to look at my hand too."
The most obvious error of this type occurred last night by a young guy with his friends at my last table of the night (approaching 4am). He wanted to hit his 13 when I had a 6 showing. I did my joke but some people just hate being told what to do. I think he didn't hit his hand out of shame more than me convincing him it was the right play, and he was further upset because he lost anyway.
I'm sure this guy was in his 20's, and I've got 10 if not 15 years on him, and now he is steaming at me a little. It wasn't anything overt, but he made some comment about me "wanting to play" in that way that tough guys use the word "play" as a substitute for "fight."
Things don't go well for the young guy and his friends and they leave me with the Asian man who is closer to my age but whose English is unfortunately very limited. With a language barrier, or if the music is very loud I feel I am much worse at my job, which is to entertain people. I entertain with my mouth, ladies.
A bit later the gang of young men return and it's time to play one big hand. Again I have a bust card and again Mr. Cock and Balls tells me to hit his bust card, this time I do it without hesitation, I don't want him to bust, but at this point I think it's the best not to try to help.
The card he gets is a small one and he actually makes a hand. Lo and behold I end up drawing to 21 and I beat the whole table. I scan over the cards and see what would have happened if he had made the right play...I would have busted.
Little punk! I didn't say a word. I do not usually encourage people to pay attention to hindsight, and I certainly didn't want to give this guy any more reason to be angry, but it is a little sad. Sad at my own failure. I think it should be obvious that I want my players to win. Of course I would never cheat for them, but the fact is if I did know how to play perfect Blackjack (and I don't) and I gave them advice so they they could play perfectly, the house would STILL have an advantage.
You really have to count cards to get an edge on the casino, and I don't have time for that, I'm too busy doing my job, trying to calm young studs down, and educating women that the naughty fun of Vegas is not just for men.