Gambling Tips > Blackjack

Blackjack- True or False

By Henry Tamburin

How much do you really know about blackjack?  Try answering these true/false questions and find out.


1.      Blackjack is blackjack. It’s the same game played everywhere. True or false.


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 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. 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. Depending upon the number of decks of cards being used and the rules determines how much an edge the casino has.


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


False. Dumb plays by third base players have just as much chance of ‘helping” everyone at the table as it does “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.      Never hit a 12 against a dealer’s 2 or 3 upcard because you will invariably draw a 10 or picture card and bust. True or false.


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


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


False. The cards don’t care that you lost the previous five hands. The chance of you 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 you are due to win.


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


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.


6.      You will win 50% of the hands at blackjack. True or false.


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%.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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.  A blackjack game that pays 6 to 5 when a player gets a blackjack (and the dealer doesn’t) is a better deal than the traditional 3 to 2 payoff.


False. Blackjack games that pay 6 to 5 are a rip off. The house edge is about 800% greater than an equivalent game that pays 3 to 2. Stay away from any blackjack game that pays 6 to 5 on blackjacks.


12.  You should always slit pairs. True or false.


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


13.  A basic strategy player will bust about 10% of the time. True or false.


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.


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


True. By dealing yourself hands and checking a strategy table to be sure 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 a playing mistake (one of the better programs is Blackjack Mentor available at


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


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.


If you had trouble getting the right answers, you may want to invest in a good blackjack book before you risk any money playing the game.