• "But Bad Players Hurt Me at the Table"

    This is something I hear all the time - the notion that the player who doesn't know what he or she is doing hurts those who do. There are plenty of stories, like the guy who's in the third base position sitting with a 15, while the dealer has a five showing.

    The player busts by hitting with a ten. Then the dealer flips a ten and adds a six to get 21 and blow everyone away. Gee, if only that "bad" player wasn't there......well, you know how that complaint works.

    All of this operates under three basic assumptions:

    1. That there is somehow a "natural order" of cards that rewards "good" players;
    2. That this order can be upset by unskilled players and have a detrimental effect on better ones;
    3. That the bad player must be prescient enough to know what effect upsetting that natural order is going to have.

    Both of these assumptions must also be almost universally true.

    Has anyone ever stopped to consider the proposition that if the so-called "bad" players actually contained all this awareness, they might actually possess the ability to be GREAT players?

    The fact is, they make no difference at all. The fact is, they don't know any more than anyone else about which card is going to come out next, so they can't deliberately do ANYTHING to hurt you.

    The fact is, if you're that hard up for an excuse for losing, maybe the bad player is YOU.

    Okay - maybe you're not. So how does one deal with bad players? That's the subject for our next installment.

    By Charles Jay

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