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Best of John Grochowski

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Blackjack Bullies

8 December 2019

QUESTION: I’ve always laughed when I read about blackjack players getting angry with the third baseman for not being a team player. I kind of thought those stories might be phony. Nobody could really get that mad about someone making the right play, could they?

Well, it happened to me, and it was on a really stupid hand. I had a pair of 8s and the dealer had a 10 up. Basic strategy says you split, so that’s what I did. Then I got a draw that always makes me nervous. I got a 10 on top of each 8 for two 18s. Eighteen against 10 is not a great position in my experience, but that’s the hand I was dealt.

The dealer turned a 6 up, and I breathed easier with two 18s against 16. Then disaster. He drew 5 for 21 and beat everybody.

My own hand didn’t bother me so much. You win some and you lose some. But then this guy in the middle of the table pointed and yelled, “YOU did this!”

I wasn’t sure what he was getting at and said, “Huh?” Then he shouted, “You took the dealer’s bust card.” And a woman next to him said, “TWICE!”

I should have just ignored them, but said, “What do you expect? You want me to stand on 16 against a 10?” He said, “ANYTHING but split. You can’t take two chances on taking the bust card. You’re at third base. You’re playing for the table.”

It just seemed so insane to me. The dealer had a 10 up. He could just as easily have had anything from 7 to Ace down, and no one would have noticed. It’s just because he had the 6 down that it was an issue, and nobody had any way of knowing that.

ANSWER: I’ve seen plenty of bizarre cases of other players ragging on the third baseman, but yours ranks high on the strangeness scale.

I’ve occasionally told other players that if they want to fund my bet, I’ll make the play they want. Otherwise, I’m going to do what every other player in every other position does, and make the play that’s best for my hand.

For the record, splitting the 8s was the best play even though it didn’t work this time. If you stand, your average loss per dollar of your original wager is 53.8 cents. The average loss is 53.6 cents if you hit and 47.7 cents if you split.


QUESTION: I have a story for you. My dad and I like to play Triple Play Poker together. We used to camp out an a quarter machine that had 8-5 Bonus Poker, do pretty well and get a lot of club points. We got a lot of free rooms of that machine.

The good pay tables like that have become hard to find, but our last trip we found one that had 7-5 Bonus Poker with a nice progressive. There were separate progressives for royals on the top, middle and bottom hands, and a big one if you got all three on the same hand.

We were on a three-night trip, and the first night, Dad won the bottom progressive for $1,074. The next day, I hit the top progressive for $1,349, and that evening I hit the top one again for $1,053. Dad hit another one on the last night, this time the middle for $1,118.

We never got all three together, but that’s OK. With four royals the trip was a big success.

ANSWER: Congratulations! That’s a trip to celebrate. Thank you for sharing.
Recent Articles
Best of John Grochowski
John Grochowski
John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

The Craps Answer Book

> More Books By John Grochowski

John Grochowski
John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

Winning Tips for Casino Games

> More Books By John Grochowski