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The Horror of Blackjack

5 Apr 2022

By Frank Scoblete
British actor Christopher Lee was the best Dracula in the movies. Yes, he was far better than Bela Lugosi, the man who made Dracula his signature role and was buried in his Dracula costume.

Lee excelled Gary Oldman, Frank Langella and Gerard Butler along with a host of others in the role. Some of these Draculas were solid actors who gave good performances but, still, Christopher Lee was just plain better than them. Christopher Lee was Dracula.

With exception of his first film, The Horror of Dracula which was a solid horror movie co-starring Peter Cushing as Van Helsing, the Dracula movies in which Lee starred went from really uh-oh to truly awful. He was like Ted Williams on the Boston Red Sox. A magnificent player who went to the World Series only once, in 1946. Williams was injured and didn’t play any real role in the games. Williams played 19 seasons of major league baseball and is considered the greatest hitter who ever lived.

And Christopher Lee was the greatest Dracula.

Christopher Lee played the character nine times. He only needed Horror of Dracula to cement his legacy. His Dracula was strong, sophisticated, sexy and absolutely terrifying. His blood red eyes; his snarling face when he was about to drain someone’s blood. The only person who could defeat him was Dr. Van Helsing, his mortal enemy.

And that, my friends, brings me to blackjack.

No one doubts blackjack is by far the most popular casino table game. Just stroll about a casino and you’ll clearly see that. It surpasses roulette and craps in the percentage of players who flock to its tables. It is a game that many players think they can beat and some teeny-tiny numbers have done just that in the past 60 years. The rest? The millions of other players? They are not the Draculas of the blackjack tables.

So, what defeats the blackjack players? Are there elements that can bring a blackjack player tumbling down? Yes, I believe there are.

We can look at the spread of wins to losses. In general, the player will win about 44 percent of the hands, the casino will win about 48 percent of the hands, and the rest of the hands will be pushes (ties). I assume that the players are using the correct basic strategy when they play. If not, things are far worse for the player.

Right off, think of the players who like to parley their wins or increase their bets because they “feel” they are about to win. Sometimes that can be a big mistake since the next hand will lose 48 times and only win 44 times.

What can really knock a player out of the water? Those hands where you can double-down on the first two cards, split pairs, double-down on split pairs and resplit pairs. Check out the player who has increased his bets and suddenly must split a pair and double down after such a split – or split three ways and double down on those hands. There’s a lot riding on those hands.

Now, doing the above splits and double-downs is the smart move but it is not a guaranteed move. No moves are guaranteed, not even a blackjack hand. Those options, used correctly, make blackjack a very close game between the player and casino but they do not win all the time. When they lose, it really, really hurts.

Let us say that you have doubled your bet and now have to take that double-sized bet and increase the number of them to four or more by splitting and doubling down – and, now, think about losing them all. You are now in a giant hole that will be hard to dig out of. Yes, you could get some premium hands in the future, maybe even the near future, but here is the rub – you can lose them too!

That is the horror of blackjack. A wipe out on those premium hands makes you a would-be Dracula about to be destroyed by Van Helsing. Bad luck in blackjack is your Van Helsing.

Blackjack has some horrible moments if your play – your correct play – leads to big losses very quickly. Big losses on premium hands are hard to rectify.

I guess the only recommendation to be made here is to keep your betting levels rational, knowing that a bad run with higher bets, can be like a stake in Dracula’s heart. I think a player must be aware that a bad streak, even a small bad streak, can be deadly. Thus, good betting levels are a must. This is often easier to say than to do. But you have to do it.

Blackjack players have probably experienced the horrors as I stated above but at the same time when they beat the casino, it tastes as delicious as blood does to Dracula. That makes playing the game just that much more fun!

All the best in and out of the casinos!

Frank Scoblete’s web site is His books are available at, Barnes and Noble, Kindle, e-books, libraries and bookstores.

This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at

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