Golden Touch Craps


By Henry Tamburin

Are the following statements about blackjack facts, or are they fiction?

  1. Referring to a strategy card when you play blackjack is perfectly legal.
  2. A blackjack player who misplays his hand will always cause other players to lose.
  3. The third base player can influence a dealer bust by the way he plays his hand.
  4. You should always take even money when you have a blackjack and the dealer shows an Ace.
  5. Splitting a pair of 8s against a dealer 10 and Ace is for suckers.
  6. A progressive betting system will overcome the house edge.
  7. You should always hit 16 against a dealer 10.
  8. The increase in the house edge when the casino only pays 6-5 for a blackjack is offset when only a single deck of cards in used.
  9. A player who enters a game in the middle of a shoe will alter the flow of the cards and cause the other table players to lose.
  10. If you see the dealer’s hole card by accident and don’t say anything, you are cheating.
  11. You need to be a genius in order to be a card counter.
  12. It doesn’t matter how the casino shuffles the cards.
  13. You are cheating if you accept a winning bet that actually lost.
  14. If you lose five hands in a row you are due to win the next hand.
  15. It doesn’t make any difference which seat you take when you play blackjack.



    1. Fact. You should always have a strategy card handy in case you forget how to play a hand.
    2. Fiction. How well or poorly your fellow players play the game does not affect your chances of winning or losing in the long run. You could have five brilliant minds, or five chimpanzees on the same table with you, and your odds of winning remain the same.
    3. Fiction. If the actions of the third base player could influence whether a dealer busts, don’t you think the casinos would be doing something about it (like putting shills on third base to play in a manner that would improve the dealer’s chances of beating the table)?
    4. Fiction. Over the long haul you will end up with more money in your pocket if you decline even money rather than taking it.
    5. Fiction. Even though that’s what was said in the movie "21," you should always split 8s against a dealer 10 and Ace.
    6. Fiction. No betting system alone will overcome the house edge in blackjack.
    7. Fiction. If the casino offers surrender you should surrender. If your 16 is composed of three or more cards or the result of a pair split, you should stand.
    8. Fiction. Even the use of a single deck doesn’t come close to offsetting the ca. 1.4% increase in house edge when the house pays 6-5 for a blackjack, instead of 3-2.
    9. Fiction. Yes, the cards coming out of the shoe will be different, but you can’t predict if it will be better or worse. Long term it makes no difference.
    10. Fiction. There is nothing illegal about taking advantage of a sloppy dealer. It’s the casinos responsibility to ensure that their dealers are following the correct dealing protocols.
    11. Fiction. Casinos would like you to believe that you need to be a genius to be a card counter but that’s not true. Anyone with average intelligence can learn card counting.
    12. Fiction. If a casino is using a Continuous Shuffling Machine, the game is faster (more hands dealt per hour) and players stand to lose more per hour.
    13. Fiction. It might be unethical to accept the winning chips, but it not illegal. Again the burden of responsibility rests with the casino to ensure that their dealers are paying off bets correctly.
    14. Fiction. There has never been any mathematical study that proves your chances of winning the next hand in blackjack increases depending upon what happened in previous hands.
    15. Fact. Your chances of winning are independent of seat position. Any seat is just as good as any other.


Henry Tamburin is the author of the best-selling book, Blackjack: Take The Money and Run,

editor of the Blackjack Insider e-Newsletter, and Lead Instructor for the Golden Touch Blackjack course. For a free 3-month subscription to his blackjack newsletter with full membership privileges, visit For details on the Golden Touch Blackjack course visit or call 866/WIN-BJ21. For a free copy of his casino gambling catalog featuring over 50 products call 888/353-3234 or visit the Internet store at