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Table Games Blackjack soft 19?

Discussion in 'Table Games' started by SW, Dec 20, 2013.

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  1. SW

    SW Well-Known Member

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    How do you play a soft 19 vs. 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6?

    Basic strategy tells us to stand vs. 2, 3, 4 and 5. And double vs. 6. Often I feel the urge to double against the 4 and 5’s, as the dealer's bust-out rates are similar to that of a 6. Not so much against the 2 and 3's.

    What are your thoughts?
     
  2. ams722

    ams722 Side Bet Shunner

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    My thoughts: play how you want to play as it is your money you are risking, but just be consistent.

    I tend to always stand on my soft 19s, even against a 6. I don't have the energy to explain to incredulous players (and dealers) that doubling is indeed proper strategy.
     
  3. vegasvic

    vegasvic VIP Whale

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    I always go by the math so I play basic strategy. Seems as if there are always players that question other players. I "love" when I'm at third base, hit a 15 vs. a dealer up card of 6, catch a face card and then get told how dumb I am because I "took the dealers bust card" :rolleyes: Bottom line is, just as was said above, it's your money, do what you're comfortable with. :)
     
  4. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

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    But they're not, actually. (correction: the bust rates are similar! The win versus loss rates are not!)

    Assuming a 10 in the hole, there are 8/13 cards that bust a 16, versus 7/13 cards on the 15 and 6/13 cards on the 14.

    One could make the argument (barely) for the 15, as the chances of busting are about 54%, but the 14? There are more cards that DON'T bust him than there are that do.

    Again, the problem is not that you'll ruin your 19...that will only hapen if you double and draw a 3 through 7. You'll end up with a 17+ 61.54% of the time.

    The problem comes in risking 2x your bet on the 38.46% crap hands (16 or less) against hands where the dealer has 46% & 57% chance of making a hand.
    However, risking the 38.46% versus a dealer's 61.54% of busting is a good opportunity... and, when you weigh the probability that you both make a hand, the odds strongly favor you, starting with 9, than they do with the dealer starting with 16. There are 6 cards that give you 18 or better. There are only 3 cards that give a 16 an 19 or better to beat you.
    So, you have a 2 to 1 chance of not losing if you both make a hand and you also have a nearly 2 to 1 probability that he'll bust with a 16.

    It's a just-over borderline double against the 6, but it's the mathematically wrong double against any other dealer up-card.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2013
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  5. merlin

    merlin VIP Whale

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    Huh? you talk about basic strategy and then say you hit 15 vs a 6, why would you do that?
     
  6. hillwood24

    hillwood24 High-Roller

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    I'm confused too lol. If there are people willing to hit a 15 vs a 6, I'll gladly risk the racketeering charges to open my own underground casino.
     
  7. silver-tls

    silver-tls Tourist

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    I think he means a soft 15?
     
  8. merlin

    merlin VIP Whale

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    I dont think so, no one would criticize someone from taking a card with A,4, no matter what the upcard.
     
  9. Breeze147

    Breeze147 Button Man

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    I would double down on that!
     
  10. stackinchips

    stackinchips High-Roller

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    I became a vegetarian 6 years ago. Now I only eat steak 3 nights per week, the rest of the time I eat chicken.
     
  11. Royal Flusher

    Royal Flusher Savvy Gambler

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    I'm pretty much in awe of this analysis.

    My approach to expert blackjack play is to practice at home with a strategy card in hand and then when I sit down at the table in Vegas, promptly forget about 70% of it.
     
  12. meyers67

    meyers67 High-Roller

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    It should be noted that the doubling a sort 19 versus 6 is only done is the game is H17. If it's S19, it's a stand (unless you are counting).
     
  13. Malibugolfer

    Malibugolfer High-Roller

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    I've always doubled the A8 vs 6 in 6d and DD h17, but stood in s17 6d and DD.
     
  14. Tubbs

    Tubbs High-Roller

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    That's how it should be. Anything else is just playing on a hunch.:rolleyes2:
     
  15. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

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    Flusher - I doubt that it's that high! :beer:

    I can't NOT play correct basic strategy about 90% of the time...I guess it's just hard-wired in me after so many years.

    Certain soft-doubles cause me to pause at times and, every now & then, I have to check my 'topcard-custom basic strategy card', which lists all of the soft doubles - especially if I'm feeling the effects of all of the drinking I've doing.

    There are plenty of times I vary from basic strategy on purpose - and those are almost always based on the count...not splitting my Aces, or doubling 10 vs 10 seem to be the most frequent exceptions... or not hitting my 12 vs 2 on a very positive count.
    I will also surrender (when permitted) 8-8 vs 9 or 10 on a positive count, and occasionally just hit it on a very negative count...oh, and I always double 11, even against the Ace with any non-negative count, since I already know that there's no 10 in the hole...so I see it just like doubling 11 vs 10.
    Also - I try to sit at 3rd. If I have a 12 or 13, even against a dealer 4-6, if I see a slew (4 or more) of consecutive hit cards that are 10s, with zero non-10s, leading up to me and the dealer, I will hit my 12/13 against any dealer up-card.

    I do realize that when I employ these 'changes' to basic strategy, if not done perfectly I am increasing the HA.
    So, I'm sure there are a times when I make these plays when I shouldn't.
    I'm OK with that, since I have more fun thinking that I'm making a difference in the outcome because I'm counting. ~shrug~

    Most of the time, (probably like 90%) my variations either help me, or make no difference in the outcome.
    My doubling 10 vs 10 is probably the most risky, but even on those, I push or win at least 75% of the time.

    :beer:
     
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  16. vegasvic

    vegasvic VIP Whale

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    mistyped, hit 15 vs. dealer 10 :)
     
  17. blackjacknut

    blackjacknut VIP Whale

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    SOFT HAND BASIC STRATEGY:

    If the dealer has a 5 or a 6 – In these cases you should always double down if you have a soft 13 thru soft 18. The reason for this is that even if you do not get a good card to go with your hand there is a good chance that the dealer will bust.

    If the dealer has a 3 or 4 – For these cases you use the “rule of 9”. This rule states that if the dealer upcard is added to your card (non-Ace) and the total is 9 or more then you should double down. If the total is less than 9 then you should just hit. An example of this is if the dealer has a 3 showing and you have a soft 17 (Ace,6). The total would be 3+6=9 so the correct play would be to double down. The only exceptions to this rule is if you have a soft 19 or 20 (Ace,8 or 9) in which you should stand or if the dealer has a 4 and you have a soft 15 (Ace,4). On this hand you should just hit your soft 15.

    If the dealer has a 2 – In this case you should hit all hands that are soft 12 thru soft 18. You don’t want to double down because the chances of the dealer busting are not high.

    If the dealer has a 7 – In this case you would hit soft 12 thru soft 17. The reason you hit on soft 17 is that you really are not going to make your hand much worse because it is unlikely you will win with 17. Stand on soft 18 thru soft 20.

    If the dealer has an 8 – Hit on everything from soft 12 thru soft 17. If you have a soft 18 then stand and hope for a push. Soft 19 and soft 20 hands should also stand.

    If the dealer has a 9, 10 or Ace – In these situations you should hit all hands that are soft 12 thru soft 18 and stand on soft 19 and soft 20.
     
  18. SW

    SW Well-Known Member

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    Thank you one and all!
     
  19. gradytripp

    gradytripp Low-Roller

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    Just last week, at Ellis Island ($5, H17, 3/2 game), I doubled with soft 19 against a 6 and for the first time ever, the dealer not only didn't question the play but complimented me for knowing the correct strategy.
     
  20. macwjp

    macwjp Low-Roller

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    This thread has given me a lot of information to think through as a relatively new player to BJ, thanks.
     
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