There are a number of reasons that blackjack is my game of choice. It is fun, provides strategy without being as complicated as poker, and has good odds. In fact, it has the best odds in the casino if you adhere to basic strategy. If you count cards, you can even tilt the odds in your favor. Now, however, there is another reason to favor blackjack over other casino games: it is safer.
A recent study conducted by a team of psychologists at the University of Sydney found that blackjack is the game least likely to lead to problem gambling. Gambling addiction, problem gambling, or whatever you want to call it, is a major issue and although it only affects a small number of gamblers, it is a large enough problem that it needs to be addressed. People with gambling problems can lose their jobs, their homes, their families and more.
According to the study, though, blackjack players are the least likely casino gamblers to develop a gambling problem. The study interviewed patients at gambling rehabilitation centers about what forms of gambling they engage in, among other factors. The results of the study are that fewer than 1% of those who were getting treatment for gambling addiction cite blackjack as their game of choice. No-limit poker games and sports betting were the most represented, with both totaling 85%, indicating that they are the forms of gambling most prone to develop into a problem.
The study also found a correlation between alcohol and drug use and problem gambling. This may not come as a surprise, but the problem gamblers reported that most of their irresponsible betting was done while under the influence. The study found that intoxication while gambling makes the player 15,000% more likely to engage in behavior that leads to financial problems.
Based on the results of this study, it seems that the moral of the story is this: Don’t gamble while intoxicated. Stick to blackjack.