Is Third Base The Best Place To Sit At The Table?

I get this one a lot. Somehow there is the perception that because a player is seated at third base, he has some sort of magical “pull” in which he could determine the dealer’s outcome on a hand. Well, that much may actually be true, but the player has no concrete knowledge of the consequences of his action as the third base player. For example, how does he know that he would be drawing the dealer’s bust card, or that if he refused to draw a card that would contribute to the dealer busting? What makes the player so prescient, so clairvoyant, that he would know exactly the effect of his actions on the outcome of the hand?
It would make sense that if the player does not know what effect the “hit” card is going to have, then it is of no material advantage to sit in the third base position.

The fact of the matter is, the position a player occupies at the table does not change the order of the way the cards are dealt, to any perceivable advantage, unless the player makes a conscious and proactive attempt to vary his own Basic Strategy for that specific purpose. And how can that really do anything but hurt the player in the long run?

From the logistical perspective, there is no real advantage for the Basic Strategy player to be derived from sitting at third base. As the myth about third base has built momentum over the years, however, players seem to derive some psychological comfort from it. For one thing, the player gets the aforementioned feeling of power or influence, however delusional it may be. Also, just the opportunity of taking his turn last gives the nervous player extra time to ponder a decision he may be unsure of.

However, the single-deck blackjack game can be quite a different story. Let’s remember that in single-deck the cards are generally dealt face-down. As a result, you cannot count them until either after the player has busted out or turned over a blackjack, or at the end of a round of play. Suppose you’re sitting at first base in a single-deck game, and trying to count cards. There are six other players at the table, all of whom play after you. You will not know which cards they are holding and consequently can’t put them in your count, which puts you at a supreme disadvantage. At least if you are sitting at third base you’ll be able to see as many exposed cards as possible BEFORE playing your hand, which gives that seat an edge over the others.

It has nothing to do with “pulling” the dealer’s card, or any other ridiculous superstition, for that matter, for as all educated players understand, since the player never knows for sure what the next card out of the deck is going to be, there is no control he can exude which can be manipulated to his advantage. It’s common knowledge among experts that “pulling” the cards helps or hurts both the player and dealer equally. IT’S GOT TO.