1. Welcome to VegasMessageBoard
    It appears you are visiting our community as a guest.
    In order to view full-size images, participate in discussions, vote in polls, etc, you will need to Log in or Register.

Table Games Odds of losing BJ hands and BJ vs. Spanish 21

Discussion in 'Table Games' started by Luckylaw, Feb 7, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Luckylaw

    Luckylaw Tourist

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2013
    Messages:
    14
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    2
    DH & I went out last night to our local casino for a promotion they were having. We had points to pay for dinner and thought we would play for promotion comps. I know playing for comps is a bad idea, but I'm highly gift motivated :)

    Anyway, we were playing BJ (3-2, HS17), table min $5, we played $10-40 per hand. We've played here 3x in the last month. First time we came out ahead and last 2 times busted.

    So, here's the thing-- just bad luck or what? Last night, DH lost 16 hands in a row!! We sat at one table, he lost-- I rode it out. We went to dinner and then he lost again. Dealer hit like a dozen Blackjacks/combo 21s.

    We would've stepped away sooner, but were playing for points and just couldn't believe. It got to the point where we could almost predict that the dealer would have the worst card possible :(

    I'm a newbie player, so this has cooled my heels a bit. Thoughts or advice?

    Also, our casino is much more focused on Spanish 21 and a friend says better payouts, less busting. As a newbie, who has just learned basic stratedgy. Should we try it out?? Will it bring back our mojo, lol.

    Thanks in advance! BTW, I know that you shouldn't put it down if you aren't prepared to lose it, but nobody likes losing :)
     
  2. Kickin

    Kickin Flea

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
    Messages:
    3,414
    Spanish 21 is a great game. Someone recently posted that it was in Vegas but I've never seen it there, they have it in AC though. With the rules here the house edge is lower than most of the blackjack offered. I don't know why your friend said there's less busting. Maybe since the 10s are taken out of the deck. But the player friendly rules are things like split multiple aces and hit them multiple times, double on any number of cards, automatically win any hand totaling 21, your blackjack automatically wins against a dealer blackjack, and some others. The doubling on any number of cards is huge, and automatically winning on your 21s is nice because in regular blackjack it sometimes feels like when you draw a couple cards to 21 the dealer inevitably draws to 21 too. You can also surrender after doubling if you don't like you're total.

    The basic strategy is a little different so worth learning. I hardly ever play the game so haven't studied the strategy. The only reason I don't play is because most of the AC casinos only have 1 or 2 tables and they keep them at low limits so they're usually packed. I'd love to see Spanish 21 at higher limits.

    As for losing 16 hands in a row at blackjack, yes of course it can happen. I've seen worse. On my last trip I went an entire double-deck shoe without winning a hand. That may have been fewer than 16 hands, but not by much.
     
  3. mike_m235

    mike_m235 Tourist

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2012
    Messages:
    2,421
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    12
    The odds of truly losing 16 hands of blackjack in a row, with no pushes or anything else, are about .003%...or about 3 times in every 100,000.

    This is assuming reasonable basic strategy.

    So it's pretty rare.
     
  4. Kickin

    Kickin Flea

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
    Messages:
    3,414
    Gamblers fallacy 101 :)
     
  5. mike_m235

    mike_m235 Tourist

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2012
    Messages:
    2,421
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    12
    It's math. Please explain why you feel it's wrong. I can draw out the equation if you want.
     
  6. Kickin

    Kickin Flea

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
    Messages:
    3,414
    It barely qualifies as an equation, PDEs are equations, this is grade school arithmetic. IIRC the odds of losing a hand are about 48%, so technically 0.48^16 (or 0.0008%) would be the odds of losing 16 hands in a row. That's not wrong technically, but the gamblers fallacy applies which it now sounds like you don't seem to get. It is pretty rare as a forward prediction only. BJ hands are technically not independent but are independent enough for these purposes. Assuming a neutral deck you're 48% chance of losing would apply to EACH hand. Just as if red came up 10 times in a row on roulette the odds of it coming up the next spin are still 19/38. But the odds of it coming up red 11 times in a row going forward are (19/38)^11.

    So like I said you're not wrong. But you're also not right. Just like any specific n-sequence of heads/tails of a coin flip would be 0.5^n but each coin flip is still 50/50. So is it rare? Yes in a sense. But so is any specific sequence of 16 wins and/or losses.
     
  7. mike_m235

    mike_m235 Tourist

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2012
    Messages:
    2,421
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    12
    I will no longer answer you, just because you are arguing simply for the point of arguing. I did 52% odds of losing a hand raised to the 16th. I was at work and couldn't look up the real odds of losing. If it's truly 48% then yes, I was off by a bit, but not a lot.

    So as you say, I'm correct. You, on the other hand, posted a snide comment with no explanation, that wasn't correct. I understand gamblers fallacy, but I wasn't referring to a single hand.

    Again, I will no longer respond to you in any thread.
     
  8. Kickin

    Kickin Flea

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
    Messages:
    3,414
    Wow you have some serious issues. Yeah maybe making fun of the idea that you called a simple mathematical function an equation was a bit snide but seriously me just pointing out the right interpretation of statistics on a board about GAMBLING shouldn't get you so riled up. Who's arguing??

    Once again: ANY SPECIFIC sequence of 16 SPECIFIC outcomes is rare. Win, lose, push - any order you want. That's why the stat requires some contextual understanding.
     
  9. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    Messages:
    2,664
    Location:
    Fort Worth
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    82
    guys...

    Wanna hear a weird one?

    Back in the early 90s, I playing a two-deck game at Circus... I was dealt 12 consecutive hard 12s. On all 12 of them, the dealer had 7 or better showing. On all 12 of them I busted with exactly 22.

    Even the dealer (and the pit-boss, once the dealer said something to him after the first 9 or so) were incredulous. They watched in amazement as three more happened in a row.

    I have no idea what the odds are for something like that occurring, but they have to be astronomically small.

    What did I learn?

    That my refusal to ever play a small-martingale system is well founded.
    I lost about $80. With martingale, it would have been my entire trip bankroll.

    As rare as many of these kind of events may be in terms of forecasting them, I think we all know that they do, occasionally, happen.

    Does that mean that any of us should play blackjack under the assumption that it will happen? Of course not.

    They are anomalies. Just as going through an entire 6-deck shoe without a loss is an anomaly. (Yes - that's happened to me as well). :peace:
    :beer:
     
    Seems like forever from now, but the flights are booked, so it counts!
  10. Luckylaw

    Luckylaw Tourist

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2013
    Messages:
    14
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    2
    Thanks all for the input! Didn't mean to start any controversy :)
     
  11. Luckylaw

    Luckylaw Tourist

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2013
    Messages:
    14
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    2
    @topcard: that helps to know it happens to others :) Also helps to think of it as an anomaly. Like I said, I'm a bit gun-shy now. DH does use a progressive betting system (not sure of the name), but we dialed back a bit after so many subsequent losses. Wish it had only been $80 though :(
     
  12. Luckylaw

    Luckylaw Tourist

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2013
    Messages:
    14
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    2
    @topcard: that helps to know it happens to others :) Also helps to think of it as an anomaly. Like I said, I'm a bit gun-shy now. DH does use a progressive betting system (not sure of the name), but we dialed back a bit after so many subsequent losses. Wish it had only been $80 though :(
     
  13. Luckylaw

    Luckylaw Tourist

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2013
    Messages:
    14
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    2
    @topcard: that helps to know it happens to others :) Also helps to think of it as an anomaly. Like I said, I'm a bit gun-shy now. DH does use a progressive betting system (not sure of the name), but we dialed back a bit after so many subsequent losses. Wish it had only been $80 though :(
     
  14. Luckylaw

    Luckylaw Tourist

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2013
    Messages:
    14
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    2
    Sorry about that triple post, it won't let me delete.


    I like the automatic wins on 21, that would've helped last night. I couldn't believe how many BJ/combo 21s the dealer got. Totally ridiculous. Our casino has more Spanish 21 tables (4-6 in smoking) than BJ (2 in smoking section) and they usually are packed too.
     
  15. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    Messages:
    2,664
    Location:
    Fort Worth
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    82
    Lucky...
    I doubt he uses the small-martingale... it calls for doubling your next bet after any loss (presumably to win back lost money from previous losses on the first subsequent win). It assumes that you won't ever lose 8 or 9 hands in a row.
    So, in my case, my base unit was $5. It would have gone like this:
    bet 5 & lose - bet 10 and lose - bet 20 and lose - bet 40 and lose - bet 80 and lose - bet 160 and lose - bet 320 and lose - bet 500 for the next 5 hands (the table limit was 500) and lose. My total loss would have been $3135....(of course, it would have actually only been $1000, which was my entire trip bankroll back then...meaning I would have only survived 8 hands.)

    If DH's base-bet was $10, he should have kept his total loss during that 16-hand bad run to under $200 (depending on the progressive-betting strategy he was using).
    If pressing depends on a win, then he would have only lost $160.
    If you think about it, that's actually not too bad when you consider how rare such an event is.
    The trick is to not up your bet in order to chase lost money. Up your bet based on the count or based on previous wins - never on "gut feelings".

    As to your Spanish 21 vs blackjack question - my advice is to stick with blackjack. Way more opportunities to play and a lot more information out there (and in here!) on the best ways to play, and which particular games are better than others.
    Personally? I would recommend playing a 2-deck game.
    Where you can find one, pick one that has DAS (double-after-split)... I doubt you'll also find one that stands on soft 17...but if you can, that would be ideal.
    If you do play a shoe or CSM, you should be able to find one that stands on all 17s, allows DAS and allows late-surrender. (Never, ever play any game that pays 6 to 5 on blackjack).

    Why 2-decks?
    Because even if you don't count, just "observing" the values of the cards as they come out will give you an idea as to when the remaining deck is "ten-rich" or not. Because there are only about 4 to 8 hands dealt before shuffling (depending on the number of players), it rarely gets too complicated. On a two deck game, you can even just wait until you see a hand dealt that has zero or only 1 or 2 ten-cards. Then modestly press for the next hand...say, from $10 to $30.

    Good luck!
     
    Seems like forever from now, but the flights are booked, so it counts!
  16. Luckylaw

    Luckylaw Tourist

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2013
    Messages:
    14
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    2
    @top--

    Thanks for explanation and advice! Our local casino (and I think most around the Seattle area) work off of a 6 or 8 deck shoe. There's also a single deck game called "Super Fun 21," but it actually has different rule than BJ.

    I guess the house advantage must be greater on Spanish 21, because there's def more of those tables.

    I don't think I could keep the count on 8 decks. Lol!

    BJ does play 3-2 (yeah), DAS allowed, HS17, up to 4 splits, one card for split aces. Staying on a S17 would be nice!
     
  17. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Messages:
    4,188
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    9
    Seems to have been a fairly innocent discussion to have gotten so testy.

    Mike had the right calculation more or less, and Kickin pointed out an important PS about that calculation, and you both know that the other is right.
     
  18. mike_m235

    mike_m235 Tourist

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2012
    Messages:
    2,421
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    12
    I just got PO'ed at the 'gamblers fallacy 101' post, which I found to be snarky and condescending.

    I probably shouldn't have. And I apologize to all who had to read it.
     
  19. Big Tip

    Big Tip VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Messages:
    1,713
    Location:
    Austin
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    67
    I don't blame you. I thought it was confrontational in it's nature and out of line. Of course it is always hard to understand the intent of an internet discussion board poster.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.