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Third Base in Blackjack

The role of third base at the blackjack table is one of importance and can influence a hand at almost any given time.

When playing black jack where the individual sits in relation to the dealer has a nick name. Let's imagine a table of four players. Player number 1 is the first player to receive card from the dealer sits on dealers immediate left and is called first base. Let's call the next two players numbers 2 and 3. The last player we will call third base.

Third base is the last player to receive a card from the dealer and sits on the dealer's immediate right. This player will be that last player to receive a card from the dealer before the dealer deals cards to themselves.

Many may ask or say how is that of such importance? How does it really influence a hand of blackjack? It is always up to the individual how they will play their own hands but how third base plays their cards will often influence on how that hand turns out for everyone.

Let's look at a sample hand to further explain what we mean by the role of third base. The dealer deals a queen to player 1, an 8 to player 2, then a 2 to player 3 and to third base a 5 is dealt. The dealer then deals face down a king to themselves. Now the second card dealt out is a 10 to number one, a jack to number 2, an ace to number 3, and to third base a king. The dealer then deals himself a 6 which is face up for the entire table to see.

Now most likely all the players' number one through three will not take a card except number three since they have only a total of four points. Let's say they now take three low cards and still don't bust and have a five card automatic winning hand. It is now up to third base who is sitting on 15 to take a card or stand. Normally players would hit on 16 and below and sit on 17 and above.

Well, third base now has a decision to make. There is a good chance a high valued card could be next since player number three took some those low cards. And since the dealer is showing a 6, the dealer most likely will have to take a card unless they have an ace. The role of third base has a lot of influence on all the other three players now. If third base takes a hit and it is a high card they will not only bust but probably take the high card from the dealer who most likely has to take a card.

What is the role of third base then? It is a role not of an individual but one of a team player in the minds of the rest of the table. Should third base stay on 15 or should they risk taking a card and hope that if they do bust there would be two high cards in a row or should they not care about the rest of the table and only play for themselves. In most situations third base will pass and let the dealer take the chance of busting. So that is how third base ends up having a major role for not only themselves but the rest of the players.


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