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Best of John Grochowski

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The annoying blackjack player

9 June 2016

Some players avoid giving advice at the blackjack table, some give more than anyone cares to hear and some will advise only when asked. From time to time, I’ve shared readers’ experiences of all of those situations.

But what do you do when a player asks for advice not just once, not twice, but on every hand?

That’s the situation Leo found himself in recently. Whether the player in question really needed, or even wanted, the advice is an open question. But let’s allow Leo to tell his own story.

“A while back, this dude was asking people’s opinions on how to play every hand,” Leo told me via email. “He’d get 16 and the dealer would have a high card, and he’d say, ‘I’m supposed to hit this, right?’

People would say, ‘Yeah, you have to hit that,’ and he’d make the play.”

The way the question was asked seems significant, and Leo recalled it clearly. It was never, “What should I do with this hand?” It was always, “Should I make this specific play?”

“Thing is, he seemed to know basic strategy,” Leo continued. “He kept asking the questions, but he would always have the right play in mind when he asked. He could never have said a word, made the same plays and no one would have thought twice. As it was, asking on every hand, he kind of walked the fine line between kind of funny and kind of annoying.”

That continued for a while, and people could have continued being amused, annoyed or some combination of the two had the player not been dealt two face cards while the dealer had a 6 face up. Basic strategy there is to play your 20 and not split the pair, but the question came just as it had on every hand.

According to Leo, “He said, ‘You all think I’m supposed to stand on the 20, right?’ And everybody told him of course he was right. One lady said, ‘Never split 10s’ and another dude said, ‘That’s right, you never split 10s.’

The dealer was all ready to move to the next player when this dude says, ‘You all agree? Well, you’re ALL WRONG! Split those puppies!’ And he put out another bet.”

Needless to say, it caught everyone by surprise.

“Everybody was shocked,” Leo said. “The dealer did a double take and a triple take, and called out to the supervisors, ‘Player splits 10s!’ A pit boss walked over to watch the hand.

“I almost wish I could tell you he got his comeuppance and lost both. That didn’t happen, and he didn’t take a dealer’s bust card and make everyone else lose either, thank goodness.”

Leo said the player wound up with a 19 on his first hand, and busted his second by hitting 16 without asking for advice.

“One dude said, ‘Are you going to ask us how to play that?’ He just shrugged and hit,” Leo said. “On that one he got a 7 and busted.”

The dealer had an ace face down for a soft 17, and had to hit. A couple of cards later, the dealer busted. All the other players won, and the 10-splitter broke even with one standing hand and one bust.

One good thing came of it, Leo said. It was the beginning of the end to the advice requests.

“He tried to go back to asking his questions on every hand,” Leo said, “but on the next hand another player told him, ‘Play your own damned cards,’ and that was that. Nobody would answer him anymore.”

Look for John Grochowski on Facebook (http://tinyurl.com/7lzdt44) and Twitter (@GrochowskiJ).
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:

> 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:

> More Books By John Grochowski