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The ultimate blackjack quiz

14 Dec 2013

By Henry Tamburin
I have composed and also read many “blackjack quizzes” during my career, but the one that I found to be the most challenging was prepared by my friend Fred Renzey, a contributing writer to my Blackjack Insider (BJI) e-newsletter and author of "Blackjack Bluebook II." Here is his quiz; give it a try, but be forewarned, it isn’t easy.

1. When the dealer has a 4 up, she will bust: (1 point)

A) 4 times out of 10 – you’re an underdog to win unless you have 18 or better, but you still lose less money by standing with a stiff than by hitting it.

B) 5 times out of 10 – you’re a 50-50 shot to win with a stiff if you stand.

C) 6 times out of 10 – you’re a moderate favorite to win by standing with any stiff.

D) 7 times out of 10 – she has very few ways to complete a hand with such a confining card as half her hand. Any time your stiff loses against a 4-up, you took a bad beat. That’s just the nature of gambling.

2. When you have blackjack against an Ace up, if you don’t take Even Money, you’ll collect the 3-to-2 payoff: (2 points)

A) 7 times for every 6 times you push – a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Take Even Money and never look back.

B) 8 times for every 5 times you push, making it a tough call. If you need the win, take Even Money.

C) 9 times for every 4 times you push – you make more long-term profit by gambling it out than by taking Even Money. If you need the win, you have overbet.

3. By doubling down for just one-fourth of your bet, you’re often: (2 points)

A) Reducing your average profit to less than it would be by just hitting the hand. That’s because you’ve shrunk your edge on the hand by limiting yourself to one hit, without maximizing the size of your bet.

B) Maximizing your average profit by increasing your initial bet size only moderately. In this way, you don’t become overly aggressive with any one hand.

4. You have a frustrating 3-5-5-3 against the dealer’s 7. If you hit again, you’ll avoid busting only 3 times out of 8 — but any card that doesn’t bust you will put you in fair-to-terrific shape. If you stand with your 16, you’ll win the hand: (2 points)

A) 2 times out of 8, which puts you in worse shape than hitting and probably busting.

B) 3 times out of 8 – you’re simply damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

C) 4 times out of 8, making it better to let the dealer bust.

5. Playing alone against the dealer, your first hand off the top of the shoe is 7-5-4 against a 10. You should: (3 points)

A) Stand on this very close decision because two of your key bailout cards (the 4 and 5) are dead. It’s a "next level" refinement to the fundamental basic strategy.

B) Hit, because 7 times out of 12, the dealer will already have a pat hand – and even if she doesn’t, she can still make one.

The answers are:
1) A
2) C
3) A
4) A
5) A

Henry Tamburin is the editor of Blackjack Insider Newsletter ( and host of For a FREE three-month subscription to his blackjack newsletter, go to To receive his FREE Casino Gambling Catalog, call 1-888-353-3234 or visit

This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at

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