Best Blackjack Quiz by Henry Tamburin

Henry Tamburin was one of those authors of gambling materials I followed in my humble beginnings when I started delving into the strategy for gambling, along with experts such as Bob Dancer, Jean Scott, John  Grochowski, Max Compton and Frank Scoblete.  They always seemed to have the answers I was looking for, no matter what gambling topic.

Henry has been very busy over the years. His best-selling book “Blackjack: Take The Money and Run,”  being editor of the Blackjack Insider e-Newsletter, and Lead Instructor for the Golden Touch Blackjack course are just a few of his current accomplishments. His website SmartGaming is a go to website with “strategies for casino players who want to learn to play and win.”

For over 40 years, he has been an advocate for better odds for casino players, while also teaching the general public how to play smart. His specialties are blackjack and video poker.

Here are the publications that he currently writes for:

Casino Player Magazine
Strictly Slots Magazine
Midwest Gaming & Travel Magazine
Gaming South Magazine
Southern Gaming Magazine
New England Gaming News
Casino City Times
Jackpot
Bingo Bugle

In Casino City Times this week, he posted a Blackjack Quiz that I had to share.  Many of our followers are Blackjack enthusiasts, so I knew that if you thought you were so good at your strategy, you must take this quiz.  Answer the questions, take down your answers and check out how you did after all are done.  Here goes……


 

Blackjack

Blackjack

The Ultimate Blackjack Test – By Henry Tamburin

So you think you are a hotshot blackjack player? Take this short test and see how much you really know about the game. (Assume a six-deck game, with S17, and DAS.)

1. You hold a pair of eights and the dealer shows a face card. Would you hit, stand or split?

2. You hold an A-7 (8 or 18) and the dealer shows a five up card. Would you stand, hit or double down?

3. You hold a 10-6 and the dealer shows a seven up card. Would you hit or stand?

4. You hold a pair of nines and the dealer shows a nine up card. Would you stand or split?

5. You hold a 10-2 and the dealer shows a three. Would you hit or stand?

6. You hold a pair of fives and the dealer shows a six. Would you hit, split or double down?

7. You hold a pair of face cards and the dealer shows an ace and asks for “insurance”? Would you make the insurance bet? Yes or no?

8. You have 2-3-A-A and the dealer shows a five up card. Would you stand or hit?

9. You have 9-6 and the dealer shows a face card. Would you stand, hit or surrender?

10. You have A-3-4 and the dealer shows a nine up card. Would you hit or stand?

Which statements are true and which are false?:

11. Always take even money on a blackjack hand when the dealer shows an ace.

12. The third base player is the most important player on the table. If he stands or hits correctly, everyone will win.

13. A player who doesn’t have a clue about when to stand or hit will cause his fellow table players to lose.

14. Card counters always win.

15. Surrender is a playing rule that when used correctly can limit your losses.

16. Which of the following rules favor the casino, and which favor the player?
• Dealer hits soft 17.
• Double after pair splitting.
• Six decks vs. one deck.
• Resplit aces allowed.
• Double only on 10 or 11.
• Surrender.
• No resplitting of pairs

Cats Playing Blackjack

Answers (give yourself five points for each correct answer):

1. Split. You are better off starting a hand with an eight rather than with a 16 against a dealer face card. Overall you’ll lose money in the long run by splitting compared to hitting (standing is the least desirable play). As a general basic strategy rule, you should always split eights no matter what the dealer shows.

2. Double down. Even though an 18 is a strong player hand, you will win more money in the long run if you double down. The main reason is that by doubling, you can get more money on the table when the dealer has a good chance of breaking with a five up card.

3. Hit. Most blackjack players will hit a 16 against a dealer 10 but not against the dealer’s seven up card. They reason is that a 10 is a stronger card than a seven, so it’s more important to hit against the 10. In fact, the opposite is true. It’s a worse mistake to stand on 16 against a dealer’s seven vs. a 10 up card. Why? Even though the risk of busting the 16 is the same whether the dealer has a seven or 10 up card, your chances of eking a win by drawing a small card are greater when the dealer shows a seven compared to a 10.

4. Split. You are slightly better off starting with a count of nine on two hands rather than an 18 against a dealer’s nine up card. You’ll win 41% and lose 59% of the hands if you stand on 18 (at a dollar a hand, your net loss is $18 after $100 bet). If you split, you’ll end up winning about 47% of the hands and losing 53% (net loss is $12 – because you double your bet when pair splitting- per $100 bet). You’ll gain an extra $6 by splitting.

5. Hit. Only a 10-value card will bust your 12. Plus the dealer is not as vulnerable to busting with a three (and two) up card compared to a four, five or six up card. For these reasons, you should hit 12 when the dealer shows a three (and two) up card but stand if the dealer’s up card is four, five or six.

6. Double down. Most novice players make the mistake of splitting fives. Never split fives. Treat a pair of fives as a 10, and against a dealer’s six up card the best percentage play is to double down.

7. No. Insurance pays 2 to 1 on a bet that has less than 1 chance in 3 of winning (i.e., the odds are greater than 2 to 1). That will cost you money; about $7 for every $100 worth of insurance bets you make. Don’t do it!

8. Hit. Be careful with soft hands. A-2-3-A-A is a soft 17, and you should never stand on soft 17 no matter what the dealer shows.

9. Surrender. You will lose greater than 50 cents per dollar bet if you stand or hit. By surrendering, you limit your loss to exactly 50 cents. Therefore, you will save some money in the long run when you surrender.

10. Hit. An A-3-4 is a soft 18, Normally you would stand when you hold an 18 but in this case you have a soft 18. Against a dealer’s nine, you are slightly better off hitting a soft 18 rather than standing.

11. False. You will be giving up about 4% of your potential profits in the long run every time you take even money. Your best percentage play is to pass on taking even money.

12. 13. All false. These are misconceptions that most players have about blackjack.

14 Card counters do not win every time they play. They have a long-term advantage, which means over time they will win more money than lose. Over the short term, like a single playing session, they can lose.

15 True. When used correctly surrender can limit player’s losses.

16 The player favorable rules are double down after pair splitting, resplit aces, and surrender. The casino favorable rules are dealer hits soft 17, six decks vs. one deck, double only on nine and 10, and no replitting of pairs.

If you scored 75 or 80, you should be holding your own at the blackjack tables.

If you scored 60 – 80, you are probably losing more money than winning when you play blackjack.

If you scored less than 60, you had better spend some time improving your blackjack playing skills; otherwise, be prepared to lose a lot of money.

12 Blackjack Tips For Beginners

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12 Blackjack Tips For Beginners will help to eliminate that table game intimidation.  Most players and dealers are sympathetic to newbies at table games. Unfortunately, there are always a few that can be impatient, or even down-right rude. You’ve come to the right place to get you started.

Get Started with Learning Basic Strategy

1) Become familiar with basic strategy – practice at home with free apps or programs that will teach you certain situations.  You need to become familiar with the basic playing strategy for hitting, standing, doubling down, and pair splitting.  For novices, I recommend the Wizard’s Simple Strategy that you’ll find on the blackjack page on Wizard of Odds website. The strategy consists of 11 rules presented in a colored-coded table that makes it easy to remember. The link to the Wizard of Odds website is also in our sidebar.

An example of a higher strategy card.

2) Go to the casino with someone who knows what to do at the blackjack table, and visit at a less crowded time.
3) Stick to your basic strategy, no matter what “experts” at the table say. This is one of the most important 12 Blackjack Tips For Beginners. Get comfortable with your strategy play, not what others say – and they will let their thoughts be known.  Be strong.  The playing decisions of other players on your table have no effect in the long run on your odds of winning – or vice versa. Remember, Blackjack is not a team sport. Always use the basic playing strategy regardless of how other players play their hand, how much you bet, and whether you lost or won your previous sessions.

BE WARY OF THE blackjack rules and tables

4) Don’t play any game that pays 6-5 (or worse, even money) for a blackjack. Play only on tables where blackjack is paid at 3-2.
5) Play on tables where the dealer manually shuffles the cards.  It is interesting to watch for beginners and gives you a chance to catch your breath, and even thinteract with the dealer a little.
6) Scout the tables to find the most liberal playing rules. A 3:2 payoff for a blackjack is a good rules to look for. By the way, dealer standing on all 17s (including soft 17), doubling down on any two cards, and after splitting pairs aregreat also. In addition, surrender is good if you are aware of that strategy. Most casinos don’t offer surrender outside of Atlantic City (or what’s left in AC)

Side Bets anyone?

7) Don’t make the Insurance wager no matter how much money you wagered on your hand. As a result, Insurance is a sucker bet.

8) Check the dealer’s up card – Before you take any action, check the dealer’s up card. Is it bad (2 through 6) or good (7 through Ace)? “What the dealer has makes all the difference on what action the player should take, according to basic strategy.

The Dealer's upcard is the card you see on top of the card you don't see. to the right is first base, to the left is third base.

The Dealer’s up-card is the card you see on top of the card you don’t see. To the right is first base, to the left is third base.

9) Don’t sit in the first base seat. Sit in the middle if you can to give you more time to review your hand and the dealer’s up card. Stay away from the third base, or last seat.  Some players think your play changes the outcome of the game.  Mathematically, it doesn’t in the long run. The decisions of other players at the table won’t impact your hand. “You’re playing alone against the dealer,” says Frank Scoblete, author of many gambling resources. “They don’t know what you have and vice versa.”

10) Always give your Players Rewards Card to the dealer before you play.  This gets you on your way to being rated and getting comps.
11) Have fun and bring only the bankroll you can enjoy spending. 
12) If the table isn’t fun – grumpy dealer, drunks, unhappy “know-it-alls” – then move!
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That’s all for now.  I hope you have many successful splits, double downs and dealer busts!
Binbin

The Five Steps for Blackjack Players – John Marchel

BlackjackThere are two sides to every story.

Last week I ranted on whining blackjack players who consider beginners to the game, and players that play hunches instead of basic strategy a detriment to their winning in blackjack.

Here’s the related article:  Blackjack Is NOT A Team Sport

It felt good…..I’m moving on…..

What what about the other side of the story from the experienced player’s point of view? – what about beginning blackjack players and what you should be doing to prepare for both you and your fellow players?

The following article, with permission by Frank Scoblete of Casino City gives the first five steps for anyone beginning to play blackjack.  It actually suggests what to do before even getting to the table.  Experienced players would greatly appreciate if all inexperienced players had followed the steps in this article.

More information on John Marchel & Frank Scoblete are provided below.  Their numerous books and articles on gambling together would be enough for any recreational or AP to improve success at gambling.  Now, read on…..

The Five Steps for Blackjack Players

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