All Comments

Here are all the comments posted on the site, with the most recent discussions listed first.
To participate in any of these discussions, you can reply on the article page.

  • Hey Ken. Quick question. I want to try out the casinos in my hometown ~ $5 minimum, 6 decks, H17, ds, late surrender ~ which (depending on which strategy engine I look at) gives the house odds of either 0.58% or 0.66%. Assuming the higher number (worst comes to worst), I calculated out the advantage with different counts, multiplied it by 0.76 as above, and calculated my optimum bet for each true count.

    But here’s the problem! ~ you said a 6 deck BJ game can be beat with a 12:1 split, but using my calculations, the only time I get anywhere close to betting $60 a hand (12×5) is when the true count hits the 11-12 range, which I don’t see happening very often.

    Plus there’s the fact that I might not have $3000 bankroll ~ $1500 is more likely.

    So do you have any suggestions for what by betting spread should be? Thanks!

    • Something’s wrong with your calculations. Let’s look at a true count of +6. That’s roughly 3% added to the base edge of -0.66%. So, at TC+6, your edge is 2.34%. (These numbers aren’t precise enough to use two decimal digits, but I’m doing it anyway to make the process clear.) Multiply that by 0.76 and get 2.34 * 0.76 = 1.78% of your bank. With a $3000 bank, that’s a bet of $53.

      Now, as for a smaller bank, you just can’t effectively play a six deck game with less than about $3000 you’re willing to devote to it. You can do two things: Back-count and play only positive counts until you build up your bank, or play anyway and just realize if you lose your $1500 you’ll need to wait until you build up more ammo.

  • Zippy is correct. The article is just plain wrong. The article should be amended, starting with this sentence at the end of the second paragraph:

    “Even money should always be taken when the player has a blackjack against the dealers Ace up card. Doing this gives the player a guaranteed profit for the round.”

    The above sentence should read:

    The non-counting, non-hole-carding blackjack player should never take even money, and should never take insurance.

    And that should end the article.

  • Ken Smith,

    Thanks for hosting this forum. I found your logic and knowledge to be very informative. I’m sure if we ever sat down and chatted, we could have quite an interesting discussion on the game. I’m in Vegas about once a month.

  • Hey Ken,

    I’m confused… I thought, with all else being equal, your advantage is highest in a single deck game because the penetration is naturally better since you are already starting out with one deck. So why would you keep smaller spreads in a one deck game? That’s where the money’s at… right? I get that you’re referring to the spreads that are necessary to “beat” a particular game, but it just seems counterproductive because you’re missing out on an opportunity. Or am I way off…

    • The supposed reason is that the single and double deck games are more closely watched, and you won’t be able to play for long with a big spread. Although there is some truth in that, it’s also true that any spread at all is dangerous, so a bigger spread to crush the easier games is tempting. It all depends on the situation, and what you can really get away with.

  • Anonymous said:
    (Posted to: Blackjack Strategy Trainer)

    Can someone post the correct basic strategy deviatons for a hard 10? I believe 10 vs 9 hits at -2 , 10 vs 10 Doubles at +4, 10 vs A doubles at +3. Someone please correct me if I am wrong. Thanks a lot!

  • Anonymous said:
    (Posted to: Blackjack Strategy Trainer)

    Sorry for posting twice, but I think it would be very cool if your trainer didn’t play just by basic strategy for the game you’re playing but it also included all of the basic strategy deviations for the card counting system of the player’s choice ( Hi-lo first because it’s what most people use) when it corrects your play. I would like this because I was playing the App and stayed on 16 vs a dealer 10 in a high true count and it said my play was wrong. I think this would be a cool addition. Another cool thing would be allowing the player to choose how much penetration the game has. Thank you for listening!

  • I played in a tournament on Carnival last month…I almost won..this blog would have helped..I’m going to Vegas next month..I will play in as many tournaments as possible..seems like a pretty good entertainment value..and winning would be great:-)

  • This is one poor trainer. The house has an unbelievable knack for pulling a 14-15-16 Right out of their asses and making a 20 or 21. Almost always beating you by 1. Definitely rigged.

  • Mike Gunter,

    Great comments. I agree with 90+ percent of your narrative and 100 percent agree on the heads up solo. The only thing I disagree on is surrender. My experience on hit & run using surrender to limit losses on poor percentage hands has worked pretty well. Maybe I’m just fortunate but I’m also not trying to retire every time I play. Thanks for the insight.

  • In BlackJack 16 of 52 cards 31% have a value of ten and 4 of 52 cards 7% are aces. This means there is a 31% or 1/3 chance of getting a high card which is a pretty high chance.

    Anyways my opinion is that no matter how many decks there are, blackjacks should be dealt 7 times out of every 100 cards in game play. Or to put it another way one of every 14 cards in play or about one in five hands of play could be a BlackJack because that is when an ace should appear. And that BlackJack could be for the player or for the dealer.