CasinoCityTimes.com

Gurus
News
Newsletter
Author Home Author Archives Author Books Send to a Friend Search Articles Subscribe
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Recent Articles
Best of Henry Tamburin

Gaming Guru

author's picture
 

Blackjack quiz (answers)

18 June 2000

Take this true/false blackjack quiz. You don't have any lifelines. You can't phone a friend or ask the audience, but you do have a 50/50 chance of getting each one correct.

First, the quiz. The answers will follow.

1. Blackjack is more or less the same from one casino to the next. True or false.

2. It's possible to make a living playing blackjack. True or false.

3. The third base player can cause other players to lose if he makes a bad play. True or false.

4. Never hit a 12 against a dealer's 2 or 3 up card because you will invariably draw a 10 or picture card and bust. True or false.

5. I just lost 5 hands in a row so I'm due to win. True or false.

6. The object of blackjack is to get as close as possible to 21. True or false.

7. You will win 50 percent of the hands at blackjack. True or false.

8. The casino has the edge in blackjack because players go first and if they bust they automatically lose. True or false.

9. You will be dealt a blackjack hand about once every 30 hands. True or false.

10. If you are dealt a blackjack hand and the dealer has an ace showing always take even money. True or false.

11. Always stand on all 17 and 18 hands no matter what the dealer shows. True or false.

12. I can overcome the casino's edge in blackjack by using a progressive betting system. True or false.

13. The sole purpose of the new automatic shuffling machines that you see on some blackjack tables is to speed up play. True or false.

14. You should always split pairs. True or false.

15. A basic strategy player will bust about 10 percent of the time. True or false.

16. The best way to learn basic strategy is to practice with a deck of cards or use a software training program.


Here are the answers:

1. Blackjack is more or less the same from one casino to the next.

False. The playing rules are often different from one casino to the next and even within the same casino. Some tables use single decks, others use 2 up to 8 decks of cards. In some games the dealers must stand on soft 17, in others they hit. Some games allow the players to surrender and to double down after pair splitting, and others do not. There are other rules, some which favor the casino more than the player and others vice versa. The point is that not all blackjack games are the same. The number of decks of cards being used and the rules determine how much of an edge the casino has.

2. It's possible to make a living playing blackjack.

True. But it's not easy. To do so, you must learn the basic playing strategy and use card counting to vary your bets and sometimes your playing strategy. Learning how to count accurately in a casino environment takes lots of practice. Then there is the issue of disguising the fact that you are counting. And finally, you need to have a sufficient bankroll to weather the negative swings that will occur over the short term.

3. The third-base player can cause other players to lose if he makes a bad play.

False. Dumb plays by third-base players have just as much chance of "helping" everyone as they do "hurting" everyone. While dumb plays can and usually do upset the smart players, it has no long-term effect on a player's expected outcome.

4. Never hit a 12 against a dealer's 2 or 3 up card because you will invariably draw a 10 or picture card and bust.

False. If you hit you will win 37 percent of the time and lose 63 percent. If you stand because you are afraid to bust, you will win 35 percent of the time and lose 65 percent. It's much better to win 37 percent of the hands rather than 35 percent of them. Even though a 12 is a lousy hand, you'll win more and lose less in the long run when you hit.

5. I just lost 5 hands in a row so I'm due to win.

False. The cards don't care that you lost the five hands. The chance of your winning the sixth hand is completely independent upon whether you won, lost or tied the previous 5 hands. Do not bet based on the misconception that you are due to win.

6. The object of blackjack is to get as close as possible to 21.

False. The objective is to beat the dealer by either 1) having your hand total higher than the dealer's hand or 2) not busting or going over 21 when the dealer busts.

7. You will win 50 percent of the hands at blackjack.

False. On average you will win 43 percent, lose 48 percent and tie 9 percent. If you discount ties, you will win on average 47 percent of your hands and lose 53 percent.

8. The casino has the edge in blackjack because players go first and if they bust they automatically lose.

True. That's why basic strategy tells us to stand on small totals and not risk busting when the dealer shows a small card and has a higher probability of busting.

9. You will be dealt a blackjack hand about once in every 30 hands.

False. It's once in about every 21 hands.

10. If you are dealt a blackjack hand and the dealer has an ace showing, always take even money.

False. You'll be giving away about 4 percent of your potential profits when you take even money vs. passing on it.

11. Always stand on all 17 and 18 hands no matter what the dealer shows.

False. If your hand is a soft 17 (containing an ace counted as 11), you should never stand. If you have a soft 18, you should only stand if the dealer shows a 2, 7 or 8.

12. I can overcome the casino's edge in blackjack by using a progressive betting system.

False. Progressive betting systems will not alter your long-term expectations in blackjack. What they will do is increase the swings in your fortunes one way or the other compared to flat betting over the short term.

13. The sole purpose of the new automatic shuffling machines that you see on some blackjack tables is to speed up play.

False. Although the machines eliminate the downtime that occurs during a manual shuffle and speed up the game, they also thwart professional players who can track certain groups of cards through the shuffle (known as shuffle trackers). In fact, newer automatic shufflers that randomize the cards after each hand make even card counting futile.

14. You should always split pairs.

False. You should only split pairs based upon the dealer's face card and never split a pair of 10s or 5s.

15. A basic strategy player will bust about 10 percent of the time.

False. A basic strategy player will bust about 17 percent on average. A player who uses a seat-of-the-pants playing strategy will often bust more than this.

16. The best way to learn basic strategy is to practice with a deck of cards or use a software training program.

True. By dealing yourself hands and checking a strategy table to check that you make the right decision, you will learn the basic strategy in no time. A quicker way is with the aid of a software program that alerts players when they make a mistake (one of the better programs is Blackjack Trainer by ConJelCo).

If you had trouble getting the right answers, I suggest you study up on the fine points of how to play and win before you venture into the casino kingdom.


For more information about blackjack:

Blackjack: Take the Money and Run by Henry Tamburin
Best Blackjack by Frank Scoblete
The Morons of Blackjack and Other Monsters! by Frank Scoblete
Winning Strategies at Blackjack! Video tape hosted by Academy Award Winner James Coburn, Written by Frank Scoblete
Recent Articles
Best of Henry Tamburin
Henry Tamburin

Henry Tamburin is the author of the best-selling book, Blackjack: Take The Money and Run, editor of the Blackjack Insider e-Newsletter, and Lead Instructor for the Golden Touch Blackjack course. For a free 3-month subscription to his blackjack newsletter with full membership privileges, visit www.bjinsider.com/free. For details on the Golden Touch Blackjack course visit www.goldentouchblackjack.com or call 866/WIN-BJ21. For a free copy of his casino gambling catalog featuring over 50 products call 888/353-3234 or visit the Internet store at www.smartgaming.com.

Henry Tamburin Websites:

www.smartgaming.com

Books by Henry Tamburin:

> More Books By Henry Tamburin

Henry Tamburin
Henry Tamburin is the author of the best-selling book, Blackjack: Take The Money and Run, editor of the Blackjack Insider e-Newsletter, and Lead Instructor for the Golden Touch Blackjack course. For a free 3-month subscription to his blackjack newsletter with full membership privileges, visit www.bjinsider.com/free. For details on the Golden Touch Blackjack course visit www.goldentouchblackjack.com or call 866/WIN-BJ21. For a free copy of his casino gambling catalog featuring over 50 products call 888/353-3234 or visit the Internet store at www.smartgaming.com.

Henry Tamburin Websites:

www.smartgaming.com

Books by Henry Tamburin:

> More Books By Henry Tamburin