Over the last week, I’ve seen many TV and media outlets post their “Top Ten Lists of Yada, Yada, Yada for 2012.” Why should they get a Top Ten list and I don’t? No good reason. Therefore, here is my input for the top things you should say while at the blackjack table:
Say this when you have a four or five card seventeen and the dealer draws an eighteen. You’d be surprised how often the trick works. Dealers get tired and complacent just like everyone else. If they hear you say “push,” their subconscious thinks your hand is a tie. Once in a blue moon, the dealer will pass right by your hand without taking the bet. Of course, you risk getting a butt-chewing from the pit boss or casino manager if you try this trick too often.
2. “I bet you’re not the second worse blackjack player in the world.”
Play blackjack long enough, and you’ll be seated next to a player who makes horrible decisions. It is inevitable. Most experts say you should bite your tongue when this occurs. Not me—I have to say something, but I prefer the indirect approach. If a blackjackally challenged player is at my table, I’ll wait for another player to arrive. Then I’ll say, “I bet you aren’t the second worse blackjack player in the world.” The new player will always say, “Why?” Then I respond, “Because that would be too much of a coincidence!” Anyone with half a sense of humor will get the joke. The baffoon you are insulting probably won’t.
3. “This hand is so bad, even if you bust, I’ll still lose.”
Say this to the dealer when you stay on a poor hand. It makes absolutely no sense, but it is better than saying something that the dealer has already heard a million times. Originality is the key to eccentricity.
4. “Don’t give me a big card.”
Declare this to the dealer when you want a ten while taking a hit in a pitch game. If a face card appears, the dealer and everyone else will think you’ve busted. Quietly tuck your cards afterward, you sneaky, mysterious bastard.
5. “That is why I keep a picture of you in my wallet.”
Say this to a dealer who has been good to you. Again, it is better than saying the overused cliché response, “You are my favorite dealer!” My thanks to Brian Pierret for telling me this quote.
6. “Let’s see—what would Jesus do?”
Ask this question aloud whenever you refer to a basic strategy card for a hand. It won’t take long before you incite rage or passion from someone nearby.
7. “Marry me—our babies will be really cute.”
Once again, this is something you can say to a dealer who has given you a great run of cards. However, I only say it to male dealers. Declaring this to a female dealer would make me sound creepy. Saying it to a male dealer also makes me sound creepy, but with a hint of intrigue. One time it backfired—the dealer gave me a coy smile and responded, “They would!”
8. “Did you know that the game of blackjack was invented in America in 1962?”
Say this to another player during a shuffle or when there is some other break in the action. When the other player calls you on the obvious falsehood, argue passionately with them using as many lies as possible. Say things like, “Uh huh, blackjack was invented right after the TV game show, Joker’s Wild aired.” Or, “JFK invented the game while in office—That’s why they called him Black Jack Kennedy!”
9. “If you deal me one more losing hand, I’m gonna shit in your gas tank!”
Usually, cursing or threatening a dealer would be grounds for a patron being thrown out of the casino. However, saying the above quote will typically draw a smile from any casino employee within earshot. When I say it, and the dealer wins the next hand, I get up quietly from the table and head for the exit.
10. “Good thing I got out that hand. You got a blackjack.”
This is my absolute, all-time favorite thing to say at the blackjack table. Anyone who counts cards knows that it is advisable to leave the game when the true card-count is relatively low. If I sit out of the hand, and the dealer subsequently gets a blackjack on the next hand, I say, “Good thing I got out that hand. You got a blackjack.” Invariably, a pissed-off player seated at the table will get mad and reply “THAT’S BECAUSE YOU GOT OUTTA THE GAME!!!” They think it is silly superstition. I know it is skill, coupled with a dose of bad luck on their part. Their angry reaction makes me smile for hours.