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Blackjack: True or False?

Which of the following statements about blackjack are true
or false?
1. Blackjack is more or less the same from one casino to
the next. True or false.
2. The third base player can cause other players to lose if
he makes a bad play. True or false.
3. I just lost five hands in a row so I’m due to win. True or
false.
4. The object of blackjack is to get as close as possible to
21. True or false.
5. You will win 50% of the hands at blackjack. True or
false.
6. The casino has the edge in blackjack because players
go first and if they bust they automatically lose. True or
false.
7. You will be dealt a blackjack hand about once in every
30 hands. True or false.
8. If you are dealt a blackjack hand and the dealer has an
ace showing always take even money. True or false.
9. Always stand on all 17 and 18 hands no matter what the
dealer shows. True or false.
10. I can overcome the casino’s edge in blackjack by using
a progressive betting system. True or false.
11. A basic strategy player will bust about 10% of the time.
True or false.
Answers:
1. 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 from two up to eight
decks of cards. In some games the dealer’s 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. Some casinos pay 3-2 for a blackjack while
others pay the less favorable 6-5. The point is that not all
blackjack games are the same.
2. False. Dumb plays by third base players have just as
much chance of “helping” everyone as they do of “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.
3. False. The cards don’t care that you lost the five hands.
The chance of you winning the sixth hand is completely
independent of whether you won, lost or tied the previous
five hands. Do not bet based on the misconception that
you are due to win.
4. 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.
5. False. On average you will win 43%, lose 48% and tie
9%. If you discount ties you will win on average 47% of
your hands and lose 53%.
6. 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 a higher probability of busting.
7. False. It’s once in about every 21 hands.
8. False. You’ll be giving away about 4% of your potential
profits when you take even money vs. passing on it.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. False. A basic strategy player will bust about 17% on
average. A player who uses a seat-of-the-pants playing
strategy will often bust more than this.
If you had trouble getting the correct answers, you may
want to spend some time and brush up on your blackjack.
You can read my comprehensive Ultimate Blackjack
Strategy Guide for free by going to this web site: www.
888casino.com/blog then click on the cover of the book.

Henry Tamburin, Ph.D. is the author of the Ultimate
Blackjack Strategy Guide, editor of the Blackjack
Insider e-Newsletter (www.bjinsider.com), lead
instructor for the Golden Touch Blackjack course, and
host of smartgaming.com. For a free three-month
subscription to his blackjack newsletter, go to www.
bjinsider.com/freetrial. To receive his free Casino
Gambling Catalog, call 1-888-353-3234 or visit www.
smartgaming.com.