Note: Click here to read Part 1 of this article.

As promised, at the end of this article you will find the questions with answers to the challenging 21-question test given to the elite blackjack pros at the 2023 Blackjack Ball. Give yourself one point for each correct answer. (If you get 12 or more correct, you did better than all the blackjack pros who took the test.) 

(Note: Several active players listed below used pseudonyms to protect their identity.)

The players with the most correct answers from the 21-question test were:

11 Correct Answers: Frank B, WRX, and Virginia

10 Correct Answers: Marty, Handyman, and Justin

(As an aside, I came close again to possibly advancing to the next round. The person who graded my answer sheet gave it back to me with  8 correct answers. He said my answer to question 21, which was “splitting the profits,” was disallowed. (The correct answer was Chopping.) I had a senior moment and couldn’t remember the name of the casino to question 12, which was the Golden Gate, where I had played their profitable 2 to 1 blackjack promotion every year that they offered it.) 

Since there was a three-way tie for the second most correct answers, there was a run-off. Each contestant in turn had to name a state that had a Native-American casino. If someone named a state that had already been named or answered an incorrect state, he or she was eliminated. 

Result: Justin was eliminated, and Marty and Handyman advanced to the final table with Frank B., WRX, and Virginia.

Next up was the skills competition on a blackjack table with Richard Munchkin as the moderator and dealer.


(Note: An overhead camera projected the competition on the blackjack table onto the large screens located throughout the ballroom.)

Round #1.

In the first skills test, Munchkin spread a shuffled single deck of cards face-up on the layout and each contestant had 30 seconds to memorize the sequence of cards. Each player had his deck of cards and he or she had to place face down on the layout what the first card was from the shuffled deck (suit and card value).  Each player then revealed what they thought the first card was. Surprisingly, WRX and Marty got the first card wrong and both were eliminated.  This left Frank B., Virginia, and Handyman advancing to Round #2.

Round #2.

The second test involved card counting a double deck of cards with speed and accuracy being important. Each contestant had two decks of cards. Munchkin randomly removed three cards from each contestant’s double deck and placed them face down in front of them. Each contestant counted down their decks and based on their final count, stated what the three cards were. (A high card, low card, or neutral card.) Bottom line: Virgina was eliminated for incorrectly naming the three cards. The two contestants that advanced to Round #3 were Handyman and Frank B.

(I found this tidbit from Munchkin after the fact. It turns out Virginia never played a hand of blackjack in her life … she was a guest of one of the blackjack pros in attendance. Therefore, it was not surprising that she was eliminated in this round of the competition.)

Round #3.

This round involved knowledge of the basic blackjack playing strategy. Munchkin was going to deal 21 consecutive hands to one of the two remaining contestants. If that player stated the correct basic playing strategy for each hand, he would be the winner. However, his opponent had a bell and if the player stated an incorrect basic strategy play for any hand, he could ring the bell. If he gave the correct basic strategy play, then he would be declared the winner.  

Since Frank B. counted down the cards quicker than Handyman in Round 2, he had an advantage in Round 3 because he got to select the number of decks of cards, the playing rules, and whether he would play the hands or let Handyman play them. 

Since Frank B. has played extensively in Atlantic City, he selected a six-deck game with s17, das, and no surrender and he declared to play the hands.  Munchkin dealt the first hand, which was a pair of 3s against a dealer’s 8 upcard. Frank B. called out split, which was incorrect. However, Handyman didn’t ring the bell so the round continued. Frank B. then correctly played the remaining 20 hands and was declared the winner.

Frank B. won the Grosjean Trophy as the “World’s Greatest Blackjack Player” with full bragging rights. The award was a very large bottle of Luc Belaire Rose Champagne imprinted with “The Grosjean Trophy Awarded to the World’s Greatest Blackjack Player at the 26th Annual Blackjack Ball” (see photo.). Handyman, who finished second in the competition, got a plaque engraved with “The Munchkin Award,” with the date, event, etc.

(As an aside, if Handyman would have rung the bell on the first hand and then correctly stated to hit the pair of 3s against the 8, he would have won.)



Note: The following are the 21 test questions with answers is as shown on the screens in the ballroom via PowerPoint slides. I did NOT edit any question or answer for style or grammar.  What you see is exactly what was projected on the screens.

Number 1 
True or False? 
Arnold Snyder’s “Give Greed a Chance” Sermon was filmed OVER 100 days BEFORE Wall Street and the “Greed is Good” speech premiered. 

Number 2     
Which of these is NOT TRUE About Arnold? 
A.     He Shuffle Tracked on the Gulf Coast 
B.    1st Publisher to Accurately Explain the Values of Deck Depths 
C.     He and LSD took a Lot of Trips together 
D.    1st to Write Accurate HPH on 21 Games
E.    1st Publisher of an Unbalanced Count
F.     His RGE Publishing Store-Front in Oakland is Still There 
A. He didn’t shuffle track in the South.

Number 3 
Arnold Published This “Deep Penetration Technique” that Relied on “Card Eaters” Depleting Single-Deck Games 
Depth Charging.

Number 4 
True or False? 
You’re Playing Full Pay DD at Stations, Betting in Spots One & Two.  
Off-The-Top, You see the Dealer turn over an 8-Up, True or False: 
BEFORE YOU LOOK AT YOUR CARDS, You already Know that Your E.V. on Both Bets Combined is More Than 5%?
When the Dealer has an 8-Up Off the Top, Your Unseen Cards have at Least a 5.2% E.V.  #4 is True

Number 5
Who is the First Person to Introduce the Illustrious 18?
A.    Blackjack Hall of Famer Arnold Snyder
B.    Blackjack Hall of Famer Julian Braun 
C.    Blackjack Hall of Famer Ken Uston 
D.    Blackjack Hall of Famer Ed Thorp
E.    Blackjack Hall of Famer Don Schlesinger 
F.    Blackjack Hall of Famer Peter Griffin
This one is A or E. Don created it and Arnold Published it in Blackjack Forum Magazine. Either or Both are Correct. 

Number 6
You’re getting a 25% Loss Rebate. Pennsylvania Rules. The Max Bet is $100,000—aka “a Johnson” on One Spot. When You’re Winning, Within a Quarter Million Dollars, What is Your Win/Stop Playing One Hand on This Trip? 
In Other Words, When Should You Quit Playing if You’re Up?  Within $250,000
$2,250,000. With a Quarter-Million Buffer. $2,000,000 to $2,500,000 is Correct. 

Number 7 
True or False? 
The Las Vegas Sphere measures 150’ Wider than it is Tall. 
Not 149’ or Less. Not 151’ or More.
150 Feet On The Money. True or False? 
The Las Vegas Sphere is 516 Feet Wide and 366 Feet Tall. #7 is True

Number 8 
The Washington Tribal Max Bet is $125 on These Games. If You KNEW that the First Card Dealt to You would be an Ace, Which Game would Give You the Highest Possible Expected Profit?   
A.    Blackjack
B.    Mississippi Stud
C.    Three Card Poker 
D.    Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em `
a. Blackjack—53%
b. Mississippi Stud—69%
c. Three Card Poker—64%
d. Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em—85%

Number 9    
For Some, This “Dream Stream” in Northern Cal Has Graciously Taken BIG BETS For Over 20 Years
Cache Creek

Number 10 
True or False? 
Donald Trump tried to get a casino in Las Vegas and wasn’t able to. The only state that he’s ever Owned or Managed a casino in is New Jersey. 
For a brief while, he had a joint in Michigan and in the early 2000’s, a small Sweat Shop called “Trump 29” was Open in the Coachella Valley. #10 is False

Number 11 
You’re on a Special Team of Four that Needs a $100,000 Bank for a Single Play. You have One BP and Three Play Callers for Five Hours Each. Up $27,200,  Investors and Players get ½ the Win.
You put in $12.5k How much did you earn?
A.    $3,100     
B.    $5,850     
C.    $3,900   
D.    $6,800        
E.    $3,400            
F.    Not Enough Information
 B. $5,850    $3,900 + $1,950 = $5,850

Number 12    
Las Vegas’ Oldest Casino That’s Still Operating Once had a Hotel Called the Sal Sagev  (That’s Las Vegas Sorta Backwards.) NAME IT.  
The Golden Gate Casino has been Open Since 1907
The Sal Sagev Hotel was from 1931 to 1955

Number 13    
True or False? 
IF you were playing DD at Barona, which we know none of you would, and got a 9/8 off the top with a Dealer Ace up, you should Surrender that hand? 
Yes, you should. Since none of you ever play at Barona, the LS rules don’t matter. Except Maybe Later. # 13 is True. 

Number 14     
The closest casino to Amarillo, TX featuring legal Blackjack is the: 
A.     Lawton Apache Casino, Lawton, OK
B.     Lucky Star Casino, Clinton, OK 
C.     Inn of the Mtn. Gods, Ruidoso, NM 
D.     Red River Casino, Red River, NM 
E.     Taos Mtn. Casino, Taos, NM 
F.     Boot Hill Casino, Dodge City, KA 
B. Lucky Star Casino, Clinton, OK

Number 15 
This technique has Made Money For Half-a-Dozen Blackjack Hall of Fame Members, among others who are with us tonight.

Number 16
True or False? 
Istanbul is in Both Asia and Europe. The Bosporus Strait Splits the Cities. To the South, Blackjack is Illegal Throughout All of Asian Turkey, Including Istanbul. You Can ONLY play Blackjack on the European side of Istanbul. 
The Answer is FALSE. You Can’t Play ANYWHERE in Istanbul, Even In Europe! 

Number 17 
Which two-card Starting Blackjack Total will Lose More Money for All the Blackjack Players in the Casino than Any Other Two-Card Hand? 
A.    17 
B.    16 
C.    15 
D.    14 
E.    13 
F.      7
E #13 (14, 15 & 16 will actually lose a bit more money on a hand-to-hand basis but due to the frequency in which you receive 13, it is the biggest money loser in the game.)

Number 18 
This Casino Has Been a Pit Stop On The Tour For Almost 25 Years (Southwest of Vegas)
Agua Caliente 

Number 19 
True or False? 
Resorts World in NEW YORK CITY has over 600 Blackjack Betting Spots that stay open from 9:00-5:00 a.m. every day.  EVERY GAME pays 3/2 for Naturals.
They’re Machine Games. You Earn Valuable Comps. For “Real Aficionados” of the Game, It IS Blackjack. Ask Them. #19 is True

Number 20 
You’re playing a 3:2  H17  6-Deck Game Online. 
Just as the initial cards get dealt, you Lose your Internet Connection, meaning that the Website will auto-Stand on your First Two Cards, no matter what they are. 
What is YOUR Percentage Edge on that hand? 

a.    Minus  15.75%
b.    Minus  45.25%
c.    Minus     9.37% 
d.    Minus     5.40%
e.    Minus   62.25%
f.    Minus   37.78%
Standing on Your First Two Cards has a –15.75% EV
a.    Minus  15.75%

Number 21
A Mouth-Watering Event for Everyone on Blackjack Teams.

To read Part 1 of this article, click here.

Acknowledgement: I want to acknowledge the assistance of Michael Dalton, Anthony Curtis, Richard Munchkin, and Max Rubin for reviewing this article and providing me with some additional details prior to its publication.

Henry Tamburin is one of world’s most respected blackjack experts and a world-class player. He is the author of the Ultimate Blackjack Strategy Guide, and Blackjack: Take The Money and Run. He edited the monthly Blackjack Insider Newsletter, and was a featured blackjack columnist for Casino Player magazine, Midwest Gaming and Travel magazine, Gaming South magazine, Southern Gaming magazine, New England Gaming News, Jackpot, Bingo Bugle, and Casino City Times.