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Best of Henry Tamburin

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Worst dealer's upcard and more (answers)

9 April 2010

Last month I asked you a few questions about blackjack. Here are the questions again, followed by the answers.

1. The most important card on the table is:

  1. The cut card
  2. Your first card.
  3. The third baseman's draw card
  4. The dealer's upcard.

2. The dealer's worst upcard is:

  1. 2
  2. 5
  3. 6

3. The dealer busts about 2 times out of every 7 hands. True or false.

4. When the rules specify that the dealer must hit soft 17, she will bust less often. True or false.

5. The best seat at a blackjack table is third base because you can control whether the dealer will bust. True or false.

6. On which of these players hands should you take insurance:

  1. 20
  2. 17
  3. Blackjack
  4. Never

7. Your dealer is sloppy and exposes her hole card. It is illegal to use the information that you just saw to make a playing decision. True or false.

8. It doesn't make any difference how the dealer shuffles the cards (manual or automatic shuffler). True or false.

9. Bringing a strategy card to the table is perfectly legal. True or false.

10. In a hand-held game of blackjack, you should not:

  1. Pick up your cards until the dealer is finished dealing.
  2. Hold the cards with two hands.
  3. Place the cards below the level of the table.
  4. Expose the cards.

11. It doesn't make any difference how you position your chips in the betting spot. True or false.

12. Coloring up means:

  1. You want the dealer to use a specific color (red or blue) on the backs of the playing cards.
  2. You want to change some red chips for green chips.
  3. You are done playing and want the dealer to exchange your small denomination chips for larger denomination chips.

13. You will win 50 percent of the hands. True or false.

14. The best time to increase your bets is:

  1. You've won two hands in a row.
  2. The dealer is consistently busting.
  3. You've lost several successive hands.
  4. Never.

15. You should use the same blackjack playing and betting strategy when you play in a blackjack tournament. True or false.

16. Blackjack is the number one table game. True or false.






Answers:

1. d. Of course the most important card on the table is the dealer's upcard. You will be making all of your playing decisions based on the value of the dealer's upcard and your hand.

2. b and c. The 5 and 6 are the dealer's worse upcard because she has about a 42 percent chance of busting (more than any other upcard). The 5 has a tiny fraction greater bust rate then the dealer 6 but it's a close call so mark either answer b or c as correct.

3. True. On average the dealer will bust 28 percent of the time (or 2 out of every 7 hands).

4. False. When the dealer has a soft 17 and must hit, she will bust more often than when she must stand. However, when she doesn't bust, she will more likely have a final hand that totals more than 17 which is why the house edge against players increases slightly when the rules specify that dealer's must hit soft 17 rather than stand.

5. False. As far as your odds of winning, it doesn't make any difference what seat you take at a blackjack table. They are all equal.

6. d. You should never take insurance when the dealer has an Ace upcard even when if you have a blackjack. Insurance is a bad bet unless you are card counting and have some idea as to the ratio of ratio of 10s to non-10s in the unplayed cards.

7. False. According to gaming officials in Nevada, the responsibility to ensure that the dealer is dealing properly and not exposing her hole card lies with the casino and not the player. If the dealer inadvertently exposes her hole card and that information is available to all players, there is nothing illegal about using that information to play your hand.

8. False. A new type of automatic shuffler that you will see in many casinos, called the continuous shuffling machine (CSM), will increase the number of hands that the dealer will deal to players per hour, and this will increase the theoretical amount of money a player will lose per hour (by about 20 percent). With a CSM, the discards are returned back into the shuffler after every round or two (i.e., the discards are not stacked in the discard tray and then reshuffled as they are with a traditional automatic shuffler).

9. True. There is nothing wrong with bringing a strategy card to the tables. Some casinos, however, prefer for security reasons that you not place the card on the table. Therefore, it is best to simply hold the card in your hand.

10. b and c. For security reasons you should never hold the cards with two hands (one hand only) and the cards must always be in view of the dealer.

11. False. For security reasons, you should always place your highest denomination chips on the bottom of your stack of your chips and the lowest on top. You should also stack your chips in one pile rather than scatter your chips in the betting spot.

12. c. It's a lot easier to carry a few larger denomination chips than a bunch of smaller denomination chips. So when players are done playing blackjack, they can simply push their chips toward the dealer and ask her to "please color me up." The dealer will count your chips and exchange all of your smaller denomination chips for fewer larger denomination chips.

13. False. On average a player wins about 43% of the time, loses about 48 percent of the time, and pushes about 9 percent.

14. d. Unless you are card counting, there is never a "good time" to increase your bet. Whether or not you won or lost the previous hands, or the dealer busted or not, has no bearing on the results of the next hand. In fact, increasing your bet will only increase your cost for playing blackjack because you are exposing more of your money to the house edge.

15. False. Although most of the time you should be using the basic playing strategy there will be critical times where the overriding factor on how you play your hands and how you bet is determined by whether you are ahead in chip count or behind and whether you bet early or late.

16. True. The latest player poll shows that blackjack remains the top table game in the country. The reason? Blackjack offers players some of the best odds and it is beatable with skillful play.

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