**The opportunity to double your bet in return for agreeing to accept only one more card is a very powerful option for the player, if it’s utilized correctly.** I can’t tell you how often I see players double hands like 7 or 8 against a dealer’s up card of 6 and then bemoan their fate when they lose. Yes, the dealer is very vulnerable with a 6 showing, but placing an extra bet changes the mathematics of the hand, so all doubles must be well-considered. For example, in a six-deck game where the dealer stands on A-6, doubling a hand of 8 against the dealer’s 6 has a total return of 10.3% whereas just hitting the hand returns 12.3% and the risk is lower!

**That said, there comes a time when it is worthwhile to double an 8 against a dealer’s 6 and that’s when there’s a higher proportion than normal of 10s left in the deck.** That point is determined, of course, by the true count. As the true count gets more positive, it becomes more profitable to double. Conversely, as the count goes negative, it becomes a better play to hit some hands, rather than double.

**Just as you’re using flashcards to learn the hit/stand variations, make up, a set for doubling.** Here are the numbers you need:

Note from the BlackjackInfo.com editor:

There are slight differences in the GameMaster’s index numbers published here and the optimized numbers on the

BlackjackInfo Advanced Blackjack Strategy Cards.

These differences are usually due to the use of risk-averse calculations by the GameMaster. I maintain that for the majority

of players (who are not playing near the maximum Kelly fraction of their bankroll), straight indexes are preferable to

risk-adjusted ones. In any case where risk-averse indexes differ from straight indexes, even by several points,

the decisions are quite close and the effect of choosing one index style over another is minimal.

A-2 vs. 4 | Double at 3. | (Got this? Basic strategy says to HIT A-2 against a 4, but if the true count is 3 or higher, you should double.) |

A-2 vs. 5 | Double at 0. | (Don’t get confused here. Basic strategy says DOUBLE A-2 against a 5, but if the count is at all negative, just hit it; double only when the count is 0 or higher.) |

A-2 vs. 6 | Double at -1. | (or higher. As long as the count remains above -1, you’ll double; once it goes lower than -1, you’ll just hit — then hopefully leave the table if the count doesn’t improve.) |

A-3 vs. 4 | Double at 1. | |

A-3 vs. 5 | Double at -1. | |

A-4 vs. 4 | Double at 0. | |

A-7 vs. 2 | Double at 1. | |

A-8 vs. 4 | Double at 5. | |

A-8 vs. 5 | Double at 2. | |

A-8 vs. 6 | Double at 1. | |

A-9 vs. 5 | Double at 6. | |

A-9 vs. 6 | Double at 5. |

8 vs. 5 | Double at 6. |

8 vs. 6 | Double at 3. |

9 vs. 2 | Double at 2. |

9 vs. 3 | Double at 0. |

9 vs. 7 | Double at 6. |

10 vs. 9 | Double at -2. |

11 vs. A | Double at 1. |

Make up a set of flashcards for these variations and begin working them into your game.

All material in the Blackjack School is © Copyright 2007 The GameMaster Online, Inc.

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## Leave a Reply

37 Comments on "Lesson 15 – The Advanced Course – Part 3"

I don’t really get why you should start doubling on an 11 vs the dealers A when the count is 1. Both you and the dealer basicly have an “11” so the count favours both equally. But you only get 1 extra card while the dealer can keep on hitting. Shouldn’t that give the dealer a little edge over you?

I know its not that important but im just curious why this starts becomming a profitable play. Is it maybe because the dealer busts more often?

Thanks and great work, love this site

Oh and also, as the count gets bigger the dealer starts getting more Blackjacks which beats a regular “21” right?

Yes, the dealer’s hands also improve in high counts. But high counts favor the player more than the dealer because we get 3:2 on blackjack, and the dealer wins only even money. And we can stand on stiffs while the dealer must hit them. And we are more likely to succeed when we get a chance to double down in high counts, even though we will have fewer such opportunities. The game is full of subtleties.

It does seem confusing. Here’s the trick. The dealer with an Ace up already has a face-down card, and we know that it is not a ten. In the normal US “peek” game, the dealer checks under the Ace to see if he has blackjack before play resumes. So we know that the first card added to his “11” in the form of his Ace upcard can not be the best possible draw of ten. The player’s starting hand of 11 still has the opportunity to draw a ten immediately to make 21.

Oh now i get it. Thanks men know I can sleep peacefully again 🙂

So , in a game where the dealer gets only 1 card and he draws the other one only after every player stands (kinda the same as the “no peek” i guess) , what should we do? Should we still double 11 against that dealer’s Ace ? Does this affects other decisions against Ace ?

The question is are all your doubled and split bets vulnerable to an eventual dealer blackjack. If so, it’s a “no peek” game. Use the Strategy Engine set to No Peek to get the correct basic strategy.

ok but what about the advanced strategy, how can i adjust to the count? Like, should i still stand a soft 18 against dealer A at TC>1 ? and hard 14,15,16 against dealer A is still stand at TC> 9 , 9 , 8 ? or any other changes? you know better

This question was actually answered above. You can use the same indexes in a no-peek game, except ignore any that suggest splitting or doubling against a dealer ten or ace.

I have a crazy question, I play, ” blackjack professional simulator “, by pepperdogsoft.com on my iPhone it is set for six decks, das, h17, surrender and da2 and at rather large true counts it tell me to double hard 12 v a dealer 2 as an I18 suggestion, I have won that a couple of times, but in all my reading I can’t find anywhere else that is suggested, have you ever heard of such a thing.? I thought you should hit 12 v 2 until true 3. Thanks

Thanks, I knew I wasn’t crazy, I thought the same thing you said, I would only ever do it I absolutely and positively knew my next card was a 9.

Are the numbers “running count” or “true count”,,,am a little bit connfused?

Index numbers for the Hi-Lo count always use the true count.

Do this Hi-Lo indexes apply with the European blackjack rules??

(no peek, dealer stands at soft 17, double any 2 cards, double after splits, no surrender, 4/6/8 decks)

Yes, the index numbers will be fine for a European no-peek game, with one adjustment: Ignore any index that has you doubling or splitting against a dealer ten or Ace.

Most of the deviation play amount to minute practical differences. For the vast majority of players would resources be best spent on focusing on a large enough kitty and supporting the psychology to contain a x10+ spread when normally you would play at best a x8 or x4 spread?

Yes, increasing your spread will have a much more dramatic impact on expected win than learning and using all the strategy variations. The advantage of card counting comes primarily from betting more when you have the advantage. Changing your strategy based on the count is just the icing on the cake. Focus on building your bank and increasing your spread first.

Thanks Ken. I’m just a poor student so I account for every dollar, as such I have a set amount set in stone as my bankroll. Thanks for the comments they are very helpful

That would seem likely, but it turns out to not really be the case.

See this page: Win/Lose/Push by True Count.

You do lose fewer hands, and most of the difference is offset by pushing more often. Win percentage is surprisingly flat over the range of true counts.

Yes, KO is a very effective yet simple counting system. It allows you to use just the running count because of the way it is structured (starting count, key count, and an unbalanced set of tag numbers). It’s an ideal first counting system, and you may never have to leave it behind.

The Schlesinger spread you mention would be pretty normal. Optimal spreads will usually get your top bet on the table at +5. How you get there does influence your results, but really not all that much. Any ramp that gets you from your small bet at <+1 to your top bet at +5 is going to perform pretty well. My comments about RA indices and Kelly are based on the fact that almost all players undercount their bankroll, considering only the cash they have on hand at the moment for gambling. In truth, their effective bankroll is much bigger; they can replenish funds from other income sources, and they probably also have other assets that could be counted. Once you get into a large enough bank that these factors don't overwhelm the accounting, you can probably safely afford to bet more than you can easily get away with anyway. If you still are in a place where these calculations have value for you, then yes, betting half Kelly is a pretty good target in my opinion. There's still plenty of excitement in that. 🙂

Why do some of your indices differ from Wong’s when using the same benchmark rules? For example you that the index for a hard 8 v a 6 is a double at TC 3, whereas Wong says it is at TC 1. There are quite a few other examples that differ greatly from yours can you explain why.

Here in the Mid-South and Gulf Coast – Dealers hit A,6 – they do not stand.

How does this process affect “doubling?”

Ken Smith, do you sell the individual advanced strategy card for 6 deck blackjack where the dealer hits on S17? I can’t find it as one of your individual cards and don’t have any interest in purchasing a full set of 6 to get 5 I don’t need.

Sorry, I don’t currently sell the advanced cards individually. My entire stock is already packaged in sets.

I found it available on a different site. Thanks!

I am a fairly successful speed count player switching over to the Hi Low system. I see that the Hi Low system is much more powerful system. In many of the variation decisions it is unclear in several cases if the count is true or running. Please advise if possible. Also I am an Atlantic City BJ player with 8 decks. Are the above rules almost the same as 6 decks?

Michael

The strategy indexes are all for true count. The only time you can use the running count is for the decision of 16vT where the index number is 0. (A true count of 0 or more is the same as a running count of 0 or more.)

You can safely use the same strategy and index numbers between 6 and 8 decks.