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Table Games Blackjack Basic Strategy Question

Discussion in 'Table Games' started by blissfulignoramus, Sep 3, 2012.

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  1. blissfulignoramus

    blissfulignoramus Low-Roller

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    I have a blackjack app on my phone that I play a lot. There is a strategy wizard in the game that tells you when make a mistake, and gives you a chance to undo it, and I have been annoyed that every time I hit into a 16 with a dealer 10 showing, it tells me that I should stand on 16. To be clear, I have already taken one or more cards so surrendering is not an option.

    Then I went to the blackjackinfo site, and there is a strategy engine that gives you basic strategy for different rules. Kind of cool. And of course, what does it say to do if you have 16 and a dealer is showing a 10? RS (surrender if allowed, otherwise stand).

    Am I crazy or does this make no sense? If you change the rules to "no surrender" it tells you to hit a 16 with a dealer 10 showing.

    I have always surrendered a 15 to a 10 showing, and a 16 to a 9, 10 or A showing, but hit all of them when I can't.
     
  2. mike_m235

    mike_m235 Tourist

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    The catch with a 16 against a dealer 10 is that 'basic strategy' is if you have only two cards. Mostly, it holds true even if you have a four card 6 against a dealer 10.


    Here's the thing about 16 v 10 when you can't split...it makes almost no difference whether you hold or stay. If you stand on 16, your expected loss is .5404. If you hit on 16, your expected loss is .5398. So it's 6 ten thousandths. That's so small that if you have a four card 16, the odds are now skewed back toward standing because you've got extra small cards out of the deck.

    So the real answer with 16 is that if you can't surrender, it doesn't much matter what you do against a 10 because the numbers are so close that over time it will have no effect on your bankroll unless you're betting $10,000 a hand.

    Edit: BTW, if you're a card counter at a no surrender table, even if you're not changing your bets to try to take advantage of a good deck (which will get you in trouble) then you can use your count to decide whether to hit a 16 or stay against a dealer 10. But again, you're really not gaining enough for it to be worth the effort.
     
  3. Someone

    Someone High-Roller

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    http://www.blackjackinfo.com/bst/bst.php

    http://www.hitorstand.net/game_m.html
     
  4. Auggie

    Auggie Dovahkiin

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    I think the strategy cards all say to hit in this situation if you can't surrender...

    But this software is probably basing it on what cards you used to make your 16, which can have a slight effect on what you should do.

    The reason its such a tough call is because typically when its a player 16 that is made up of more than two cards against a dealer 10 there is usually going to be 30 cards the dealer could have already that beat you... and 30 cards you could draw that will bust you. So its pretty even.
     
  5. Boogaloo

    Boogaloo Low-Roller

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    That's about the only reason I can think of as well - perhaps if the software is analyzing the (at least three) known cards that have been revealed (your two and the dealer's one), then that might somehow tip things one way or the other by minute changes in expected returns.

    I always hit, since that's what I'm accustomed to with basic strategy (though as mike pointed out, it doesn't make for that big of a difference in expected outcomes).
     
  6. mike_m235

    mike_m235 Tourist

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    I always hit because it seems kind of weak to stand. I'd rather go down in flames than to just fizzle out. Plus, when you hit on 16 and it works, it's kind of awesome.
     
  7. johnvic

    johnvic VIP Whale

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    wizardofodds says hit if no surrender for multi-deck. Maybe the OP's trainer is set for certain rules where it would be correct to stand.

    But mikem is right, the difference is almost nothing.
     
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  8. brklynmerckx

    brklynmerckx Tourist

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    Pressing

    So, my question is, do you guys have a strategy for pressing your bets? Do you leave your winnings on the table for the next hand? Do you take a little out? Do you only press on wins? Do you up your bet after losses to try to make up for the losses?

    I'm going to Vegas in November, and I'd like to move to a $25 bj table. I've been using a couple of the basic strategy tools found on this site for the cards. However, I'm still trying to figure out a betting strategy.

    In the past, I've always added to my wins (i.e. leave my winnings and bet with them on top of my original bet), and sort of started over with a minimum bet when I took a loss. I just don't see this strategy working, as I've never walked away with anything except a glass of booze from a bj table. What I'm thinking about now is pressing after a loss/push with an increased bet. My question is: how high should this press bet be after a loss and if/when I start hitting wins with the press bets, when do I take money off the table?

    Thanks in advance for any advice.

    Cheers,
    Robert
     
  9. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    Robert, are you asking what people like to do, or what works?

    Mathematically, no bet pressing system will help you win more often. The statistical impact of pressing your bet over the long run is just raising your average bet (and since it is a house advantage game, this means losing more).

    What bet pressing can change is your enjoyment of the game, and the distribution of results within your gambling sessions (for example, pressing on wins will lead to more losing or break even sessions, but the occasional wins will be bigger. The long run expectation doesn't change, but the variance does).

    Not many people like pressing on losses. Most of us are constrained on our buy-ins, and making your highest bets when your stack is the smallest can lead to not only getting whiped out, but whiped out fast without even getting much enjoyment out of it. In the long run, there is no statistical difference based on when you press your bets, but most people find this less enjoyable.

    Most of the people on here who press their bets have progressions they follow to press on wins. They are willing to risk more small losses and give away small wins for that hope of the big heater where they win a lot more than their buy in.
     
  10. brklynmerckx

    brklynmerckx Tourist

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    Thanks for response.

    I guess I'm looking for what people do, and a little of the reasoning behind it. I understand it won't change the outcome, statistically speaking.

    I'm trying to figure out how NOT to bust whilst still enjoying the game and occasionally enjoying a streak here or there where I can win something. I would imagine pressing is the only way to find a big win over the course of several hours on a table (other than doubling down/splitting).

    I've usually just pressed after wins, so I'm wondering if other people have different strategies for pressing. Just looking for ideas.
     
  11. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

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    Robert...

    ... I play either $5 or $10 two-deck...
    Even when I'm a bit drunk or just fatigued, I can still tell when I've seen more little cards than big cards leave the remaining 'deck' being dealt.
    When the deck seems to be poor in tens & aces, I bet the minimum. When the deck seems to be ten & ace rich, I increase my bet... sometimes by only $5...sometimes by $10 or $15.

    The point is that raising your bet only when the remaining deck is more favorable to the player is, in my view, the only betting strategy that makes sense.

    Good luck!
     
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  12. mike_m235

    mike_m235 Tourist

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    It depends on what you call a 'big win.' You can easily finish up or down 20 bets in blackjack while straight betting that single amount over an hour or two. Granted, you're more likely to finish closer to where you started, but runs happen both ways.

    So it comes down to a ton of factors. Nevyn hit it -- what do you want out of the session? Because if betting bigger gives you more entertainment, then do it as much as your bankroll can stand. But also, pressing bets is going to increase your risk of ruin, which if you're on a limited bankroll you might want to avoid, because you lose the fun of playing if you've got no money left.

    Here's a system I saw from a guy I played with this weekend that I found neat. He bet $25. If he won, he pressed his bet to $30. If he won again, $35. And so on until he lost, at which point he went back to $25. Does it matter? No, but it seemed like a fun way to get a little more action without a lot more risk.
     
  13. brklynmerckx

    brklynmerckx Tourist

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    I've played a similar system, where I bet $25, if I win, I up it $5 and so on. It does add to the excitement, no doubt.

    This strategy is starting to form in my head, and shoot me down if you think it is egregiously wrong-headed: win, take my winnings, and leave my original bet. Lose, up my bet by 1 additional table minimum. Lose again, up my bet by 2 table minimums, up to say a max of 4 times the minimum. Run the max until a win. Then drop to the min bet?

    Let me reiterate, I am really a neophyte that's trying to get better and sit for longer at tables and enjoy myself. I don't expect untold riches, but I want my money's worth (including booze and excitement). I'm also one of those annoying players at the table who wants the whole table in on the excitement. I introduce myself and try to get everyone involved, including the dealer. If this strategy sets me on the road to ruin, I certainly will stay away. But anything would be better than what I've tried in the past.

    Thanks again for reading my newbie drivel.
     
  14. mike_m235

    mike_m235 Tourist

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    You can google 'martingale system' for something similar. There's nothing you're going to do at a blackjack table, short of counting cards, that's going to change your likelihood of coming out ahead or behind. Mathematically, the more you bet, the more you lose.
     
  15. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    If you want to sit for longer, your suggested approach is probably not the best. Raising your bet when you lose means you are making your biggest bets when your stack is the smallest. You might have a lot of decent sessions, but you can also get whiped out pretty fast.

    Obviously, the best way to make your money last is to flat bet the table minimum, but I recognize that may be boring for you.

    If you find you are often getting cleaned out too fast, you also may not have a big enough buy in for the stakes you are playing. How much would you buy in with at a $25 table?

    If you want to spice things up, here is what I would do (note: I am usually a flat bettor, this is just the system I'd play to match your goals based on what you said).


    Buy into a $15 min table.

    Start by flat betting $25 playing basic strategy. If you get up 2 bets from your initial buy-in, start bumping your bet. Bump it $10 when you hit that mark, another $15 if you hit again, and add $25 for each win in a row after that. After a loss, reset your bet to $25. Only use the progression when you are two bets over even.

    If your session is going the other way and you get down to half your buy-in, drop your bet down to the table min until you are back over half.

    That will keep you playing some even when the cards go against you, and still let you mix things up and profit from a streak. Again, no edge in doing it this way, just fun without risking making your session really short.

    NOTE: If you care about comps/offers, you might want to ignore the 'reducing your bet' part of this, as it could really hurt how you get rated
     
  16. numeno

    numeno VIP Whale

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    Math assumes infinite time. One choice a player has is how much time they want to play. Yes, the outcome is still random(I'm ignoring counting). The fewer the hands you play the more of a chance that you will be winning.


    If I put $100 on the table, to me I have 2 choices.

    1) Flat bet(or close) at $5. I have 20 units and more than likely I can sit on this table for 2+ hours with very little chance of actually going broke. I also have a very limited chance to be up double or triple my money.

    2) I can start with something like $15 and press after wins(or whatever pressing strategy you want). The odds of going broke are extremely high. However the odds of doubling or tripling your money or more, is also fairly high.




    The choice is up to the player. Higher variance means the chances of coming out winning is higher. However, the tradeoff is that you may not be able to play for 8 hours a day. You simply may run out of money.

    I generally do a mix. I have a budget where I know I can't play at $25-$50/hand all day, but I can certainly do that for half a day. If I happen to not get a terrible run of luck, then maybe I can do that for an entire day. If I hit some bad shoes, then I can go find a $5-$10 table for the rest of the day. In the long run this doesn't matter, the game is still a negative expectation game. In the short run though, it is very possible to end up or in my case play at higher levels for longer than I should be able to.




    One last comment on pressing. I don't count. I have tried it a few times(Just a very basic A-5 count), and I just didn't like having to keep track. I prefer to find social tables, and I just didn't want to deal with the counting. I press on wins.

    I do believe this does one thing that happens with counters. If the count is good, they will be winning more often. So just naturally by winning more on these shoes and pressing on wins means I will be betting more when a count is good, and I don't even have to count. I have no idea if this is enough to push it positive. I don't press because of this, it is simply an added benefit to something I do already.
     
  17. brklynmerckx

    brklynmerckx Tourist

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    Thanks for the feedback. This is great reading.

    One other thing I'm curious about is preference regarding single-deck tables or multiple deck tables. I've always tended toward the multi-deck tables (6 decks or 8 decks I think). How does that effect your pressing/betting? Do you consciously change your strategy, or do you play it more by ear as you see cards being dealt?
     
  18. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    Single vs multiple deck shouldn't matter much for bet pressing approach, except if you are card counting.

    If you aren't, its usually better to stick with a shoe game, as the cheaper single deck games usually have less favourable rules.
     
  19. mike_m235

    mike_m235 Tourist

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    Agree 100%. The single deck itself helps the player narrow the house advantage, but they swing so many other rules against you (6-5 for BJ being the big one) that it more than counteracts it.

    As a rule in vegas, the lower you want to play, the worse the rules are going to get. That's why you won't find the dealer standing on 17 at a $5 table pretty much anywhere, but you can find it for $100 a hand.

    numeno: very good explanation. Of course you are right, and that the math reflects infinite time. If not, we'd never bet.
     
  20. brklynmerckx

    brklynmerckx Tourist

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    Holy moly, at risk of really sounding like a boob, I never really knew they altered rules like standing on a soft 17 for dealers on low limit tables. Great to know. I'll see if I can dig up enough bankroll to move to higher limits.

    See, I'm smarter already. Great stuff.
     
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