Hail Mary Blackjack Bankroll Defined

Discussion in 'Skilled Play - Card Counting, Advanced Strategies' started by blackjack avenger, Sep 30, 2011.

1. blackjack avengerWell-Known Member

Hail Mary is a Catholic prayer asking for the intercession of the Virgin Mary. From this we get the Hail Mary pass which is a desperation long pass at the end of a football game with little chance of success. Now let's try to define the Hail Mary bankroll in blackjack.

The term "little chance of success" seems very subjective. I think a more mathematical or objective definition is available.

Hail Mary Blackjack Bankroll Defined:
A bank being bet in such a way that in the long run will experience negative or no growth.

Examples:
Fixed bets betting 50% or higher ror.
or
Resizing bets betting 2 * Kelly or higher.

The above are formulas for bankroll disaster, for bankroll success one needs to bet far less.

Given the definition it seems the Hail Mary Bankroll is not a sound choice, in blackjack the game never ends!

2. CoyoteWell-Known Member

I would lean more toward your second definition.
As an example: Extreamly overbetting during a high count at the end of a playing session in the hope of increasing your total win for that particular session. Much like the Hail Mary Pass in football trying to increase the score for that game.

3. SuckerWell-Known Member

If one of my grandchildren had 3 days to live unless he had a certain operation, I would probably consider Hail Mary to be a VERY sound option.

4. SuckerWell-Known Member

On a more relevant tone, the Hail Mary strategy is an ESSENTIAL tool for successful TOURNAMENT play, whether it be BJ, poker, or whatever.

There are probably other times when it can be appropriate.

5. kewljasonWell-Known Member

I just have never heard those definitions of the hail mary BR. Where is it from? Again, I was going strictly by the definition on wong's site which states 40-50 top wagers. 50 top wagers doesn't represent over 50% chance of failure, but it would be much too high for my liking. But then again kelly is much too high for me. Hell, 2% is unacceptable to me. :laugh: I guess a non-replenishable BR tends to make one think a little differently.

6. blackjack avengerWell-Known Member

This Line, No Farther

50 top bets can be fine if you flat bet and only play very quality hands, so not necessarily Hail Mary.

Any bets just below the Hail Mary threshold is likely to succeed, though far from optimal. A clear line in the sand.

7. kewljasonWell-Known Member

If you flat bet, how can they be top bets?

I am just failing to understand your reasoning here, avernger, and apparently you are getting frustrated trying to explain it to me, so I will not pursue it further.

8. FriendoWell-Known Member

Don't re-size as your BR grows

I thought that the Hail Mary approach meant starting at some point above full Kelly, but not re-sizing your ramp upward as your bank grows.

Starting with a 50-max-bet bankroll and catching some positive variance, you could soon be at an 80-max-bet bankroll as long as you don't re-size bets.

This is essentially for those who want to ascend to a higher level of play and are willing to risk being out of action should they tap out. Once the higher level of play is attained, the betting becomes more conservative. To continue to place maximum bets at 1/50 of one's bankroll is suicidal.

My only problem with the Hail Mary bankroll is that the, say, 0.8 Kelly level you'll attain once you succeed is still too risky for my taste. You would have to have a dazzling run with a Hail Mary bankroll to go from 1.3 Kelly to 0.5 Kelly holding your bet ramp constant.

I know full well that underbetting is less profitable in the long run, but 0.2 - 0.4 Kelly feels about right to me.

9. Severity8Well-Known Member

This brings up a thread i was thinking about starting. I wanted to know what where the odds of success if you were rocking an undeveloped bank roll. I havn't done any math on it just ran off the idea that if you were playing your average 6decker S17 good pen the rule of thumb is you need 10K right, so what are the odds for the guy who saved up \$500 or a grand. For the guy playing \$500 thats 1/20th of \$10K or a 1 in 20 shot of success in a perfect world right or would it be worse? or am I in left field with the daisies lol? I wanted to see a graph of under betting hail marry style BR and its relation to it's chances of succeeding. Thoughts?

10. tthreeBanned

It would be way worse. I have a 10K BR and took out \$800 to play with at \$10 and \$15 minimum games. The \$800 is now \$2500 in 36 hours of play but twice I would have busted out with only \$500. I bring 1K to 2K for each session. Buying in at small increments I've needed \$600 and \$800 to last until a good run that puts me ahead. Once I shaved some off my max bets so I had enough left to split a hand that would suck if I didn't. This is a tiny sampling so you can imagine how much worse it can get.

11. FriendoWell-Known Member

Way, way worse.

I won't even address the \$500 situation, because that's within statistical noise even when you're red chipping: \$500 swings often happen in under an hour of play.

If you start with, say \$1000 and manage a good run to \$4000 - and that's a very good run - you have merely moved from a nearly hopeless bankroll to an abysmal one. You will, at that point, face a very high risk of ruin, and every fluctuation taking you below \$4000 will make it worse again.

Even at red chip levels the downswings can be breathtaking.

12. blackjack avengerWell-Known Member

Never Frustrated

The point is that number of top bets does not really tell us ror. Give one 50 top bets with any spread and one can possibly play without it being Hail Mary as defined. Not being Hail Mary does not mean necessarily optimal or prudent.

13. blackjack avengerWell-Known Member

Half is Three Times Worse

13.53% fixed ror but you have half the funds, think the ror becomes about 36%. So by definition this is not Hail Mary because one has a 64% chance of not going broke. I think we agree that this is not a sound bank strategy.

14. Severity8Well-Known Member

Just curious. It would have helped answer a lot of questions to know that my \$500 that I scrounged when I first started up (that I lost 4 d*mn times) was no where near doable that my odds were like a 1/120 shot or worse lol. I'm nothing if not persistant and so far fifth time's a charm fingers crossed but I've come to the realization that I will probably lose this as well. It's difficult to realize that even though your doing your best and applying the correct skills that unless you are properly bank rolled......... with all your new skill, knowledge, books and advice you are no more than a AP'er who is doing exactly what he is trying not to do and that's gamble. :cry: New counters should get a graph of what your odds are with what money have and be told to go watch the movie Rocky and then ask if they're still interested.

15. blackjack avengerWell-Known Member

Triple Threat

If you don't have the cash to overcome expenses of \$.50 per mile driven, bad.
If you don't have the cash to finish a session, very bad.
If you don't have the cash to finish a shoe worse.