How well will you do in this true or false challenge?
By Henry Tamburin
I decided to do something different this month so I created a true/false black-jack quiz. Go ahead and give it a try. It’s easy, it’s fun, and you might just learn a thing or two about blackjack. (Answers are at the end.)
Which statements are true and which are false?
- The most important card in blackjack is the dealer’s up card.
- It doesn’t make a difference if the rules specify that the dealer must hit or stand on soft 17.
- When the rules specify that the dealer must hit soft 17, she will bust less often.
- The dealer busts about 2 out of every 7 hands.
- The best seat at a blackjack table is at third base because you can control whether the dealer will bust by how you play your hand.
- When the dealer’s up card is an ace, you should always insure your 20 against a possible dealer blackjack.
- Your dealer is sloppy and exposes her hole card. It is illegal to use the information that you just saw to decide how to play your hand.
- Bringing a strategy card with you when you play blackjack is illegal.
- In a hand-held game, you should hold your cards with two hands.
- It doesn’t make any difference how you stack your chips in your betting spot.
- You will win 50% of your hands playing blackjack.
- The best time to increase your bet is after you’ve lost five consecutive hands because you are due to win.
- Every blackjack table has the same playing rules.
- You should always split a pair of 8s.
- Progressive betting systems will overcome the house edge.
- Card counting is illegal.
- You should never hit a 10-2 against a dealer 2 up card because you have a good chance of busting.
- Always stand on soft 18.
- A player will get a blackjack once every 30 hands.
- A player entering a game in mid-shoe will change the flow of the cards causing you to lose.
- Bad players at the table will cause you to lose.
- True. The dealer’s up card is the most important card on the table because that card and the cards you hold in your hand determine how you should play your hand according to the basic playing strategy.
- False. When the rules specify that dealers must hit rather than stand on soft 17, the house edge against players increases by about two-tenths of a percent.
- False. When the dealer must hit soft 17, she will bust slightly more often than when she must stand. However, when she doesn’t bust, she will more likely have a final hand that will total more than 17, which is why the house edge against players increases when the rules specify dealers must hit soft 17.
- True. On average the dealer will bust about 28 percent of the time (or about 2 out of every 7 hands).
- False. As far as your odds of winning are concerned, it doesn’t make any difference which seat you take at a blackjack table. They are all equal.
- False. Insurance is a bad bet and it is worse when you are holding two picture cards (20).That’s because you are holding two cards that the dealer needs for a blackjack.
- False. According to gaming officials in Nevada, the responsibility to ensure that dealers are dealing correctly and not exposing their 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.
- False. There is nothing illegal about using a strategy card when you play. However, most casinos (for security reasons) prefer that you not place the card on the table. Therefore, it’s best to simply hold the card in your hand.
- False. Again, for security reasons you should never hold the cards with two hands (but rather with one hand only), and the cards must always be above the level of the table.
- False. If you are planning to place a “rainbow” of chips in your betting spot (i.e., several chips of different denomination), always stack your highest denomination chips on the bottom of your stack and the lowest on the top. You should always stack your chips in one neat pile rather than scatter several of them in your betting spot.
- False. Statistically, with average rules, you will win about 43.8% of your hands, lose 47.3%, and tie 8.9%. If you throw out the ties, to get resolved hands only, it becomes winning 48.1%, losing 51.9%.
- False. Unless you are card counting, there is never a “best time” to increase your bet. Whether 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 of playing because you are exposing more of your bankroll to the house edge.
- False. That may have been the case years ago, but nowadays most casinos have different rules and number of decks of cards on their tables. Some of the games have player-favorable rules while others are not so favorable. That’s why it’s important to check the rules (especially the payout for a blackjack), and the number of decks being used, before you sit down and play.
- True. Splitting 8s to play two hands, each starting with an 8, is always the better play than hitting or standing on 16, regardless of what the dealer’s up card happens to be.
- False. Progressive betting systems alone will not alter the odds against you. They can’t and won’t help you win in the long run.
- False. Using your brains when you play blackjack is not illegal; therefore, card counting is not “illegal.”
- False. When you are dealt a hard 12 and the dealer shows a 2, you are the underdog whether you hit or stand; however, you will less money in the long run when you hit.
- False. Most players mistakenly believe 18 is good enough to win at blackjack. Actually, it’s not, When you are dealt a soft 18, the best strategy is to double down if the dealer shows a 3 through 6 up card, hit if the dealer shows a 9, 10, or ace, and stand against a dealer’s 2, 7and 8. (Note: In double-and multi-deck games where the dealer hits soft 17, you should stand on soft 18 against a dealer’s 2 up card.)
- False. You can expect to get a blackjack once in every 21 hands.
- False. Changing the order of the cards by creating another hand when a player jumps in mid-shoe can help players as much as hurt them.
- False. Statistically, how your fellow table players play their hands (well or poorly) has no long-term effect on your odds of winning. In fact, in the long run you could get the same results playing on a table with six professional blackjack players as you would playing with six chimpanzees.
Henry Tamburin is the editor of Blackjack Insider Newsletter (www.bjinsider.com), the lead instructor for the Golden Touch Blackjack Course, and host ofsmartgaming.com. For a free three-month subscription to his blackjack newsletter, go to ww.bjinsider.com/free-trial. To receive his free Casino Gambling Catalog, call 1-888-353-3234 or visit www.smartgaming.com.