# One big bet vs two hands

#### EasyRhino

##### Well-Known Member
I know this has been covered before, somewhere, but what are the effects of betting one Big Bet when the count is very positive, say \$100, vs playing two hands (either 2x\$50 or 2x\$100)?

You can obviously measure the amount of money you're putting on the table, but I'm unsure what effect this would have on general fluxiness, risk, or other concerns.

#### zengrifter

##### Banned
EasyRhino said:
I know this has been covered before, somewhere, but what are the effects of betting one Big Bet when the count is very positive, say \$100, vs playing two hands (either 2x\$50 or 2x\$100)?

You can obviously measure the amount of money you're putting on the table, but I'm unsure what effect this would have on general fluxiness, risk, or other concerns.
Flux/risk-wise speaking, you can bet an aggregate of 150% your one hand bet, spread over two hands equally, with no risk increase. zg

Ps - this forum is for NON-COUNTING voodoo betting discussion.

#### sagefr0g

##### Well-Known Member
zengrifter said:
Ps - this forum is for NON-COUNTING voodoo betting discussion.
:laugh: it ain't over till the fat lady sings :joker:
vote is still 10 yea, 8 ney.....
can i change my vote to yea? i'm startin to get into this voodoo stuff.

best regards,
mr fr0g

#### EasyRhino

##### Well-Known Member
zengrifter said:
Flux/risk-wise speaking, you can bet an aggregate of 150% your one hand bet, spread over two hands equally, with no risk increase.
My intuition was that you're diversifying your risk somewhat by having two seperate hands on the table, but it's not halved, since there's still one dealer hand that can mess you up. I guess 150% splits that evenly.

The EV (long term) would still be 50% higher than a single big bet though, right?

And to be fair, I wasn't necessarily asking with regards to counting. Just wondering about the risk/flux in general with playing multiple hands at once.

#### Automatic Monkey

##### Banned
zengrifter said:
Flux/risk-wise speaking, you can bet an aggregate of 150% your one hand bet, spread over two hands equally, with no risk increase. zg

Ps - this forum is for NON-COUNTING voodoo betting discussion.
I'm not sure about that. Assuming no covariance (e.g., two hands on two different tables) my first educated guess should be 141.414141...% for no risk increase.

But if you are playing two hands on the same table, the result is covariant with the dealer's hand so if the dealer is having a tremendous lucky streak, playing 2 hands won't help you much. So the ratio would have to be less than it is for 2 hands on 2 tables. Which is why I question (but not doubt) the 150% rule of thumb.

#### Sonny

##### Well-Known Member
Automatic Monkey said:
I'm not sure about that. Assuming no covariance (e.g., two hands on two different tables) my first educated guess should be 141.414141...% for no risk increase.
If there is no covariance then the bets should be the same size since there is no increased risk. This is like playing to a joint bankroll - each player can spread the same amount even though they are sharing the same money.

Automatic Monkey said:
But if you are playing two hands on the same table, the result is covariant with the dealer's hand...So the ratio would have to be less than it is for 2 hands on 2 tables.
That's exactly right. The optimal bet will be somewhere between 1 bet and 2. We can use the Kelly formula to find out the optimal bet for any number of hands we want to play. This will ensure that we are not adding any extra risk to our betting system by spreading our bets. For a \$13,300 bankroll and a 1% edge:

(Bankroll * Advantage) / Variance = Bet

(\$13,300 * 0.01) / 1.33 = 133 / 1.33 = \$100

If we want to play two hands at the same table then our variance will change. As you pointed out, it will be greater than one hand but less than double. Each hand you spread to (at the same table) will increase your variance by about 0.5. That gives us:

Two Hands:
(\$13,300 * 0.01) / (1.33 + 0.5) = 133 / 1.83 = \$72.67 for each hand (total bet = \$145.36)

Three Hands:
(\$13,300 * 0.01) / (1.33 + 1) = 133 / 2.33 = \$57 for each hand (total bet = \$171)

By spreading to two hands we can increase our bets while maintaining the same level of risk. The numbers above show a 72% increase for two hands and a 57% increase for three, although most people will round them to 75% and 50% for simplicity. That is where ZG gets the 150% rule.

Alternatively, you could spread to two hands of half your usual bet (2 x \$50 instead of 1 x \$100) and have less risk on the same expected return. This can be a great way to reduce your ROR without cutting into your profits.

-Sonny-

#### jee_pack

##### Well-Known Member
-If you can take a 100\$ bet, split it in 2 to 2 hands of 50\$ each, this means you have the same expected return but less risk... and I guess the same goes for 4 hands of 25\$? And so on...? Always keeping the same winning rate but reducing risk? Why doesn't everyone do this? Is it because it also reduces the postitive fluxuations... Same profit, but less roller coaster ride?

-If you use the kelly formula and bet lets say with 3 hands and each hand is 50% of your bet... You keep the same risk, so does this mean you increase your profit? Your winning rate? Your edge? Again... why does't everyone do it? What kind of increase in profits does it represent? (I'm all new to these formulas...)

-So lets say I bet table minimum, which is 15\$ (Canadian), and then, suddently, the count reaches +2, so I jump to 1 unit bet (25\$). Table minimum being 15, I can't split it to 3 hands and have about 8\$ on each hand. But if I'm getting this correctly, I could lets say bet 20\$ on each hand, it would look like only a 5\$ increase... But then again, you could say its about (a lot a estimating going here) the same as a 25\$ bet on only one hand? It might actually be better or maybe worse, but I'll calculate this later...

-Again! Why doesn't everyone use this? I mean, the book I bough about card counting barely covered the subject. The only thing it said is that some people will just play 2 hands when the count is good and 1 when its bad....

-And lastly, no one talked about the count here? Does this mean that using 1, 2, or 3 hands gives the same result whether the count is positive or negetive. I think it doesn't because you are then playing more hands at positive counts so the better it is... But what does the math for this look like compared to the math of calculating the apropriate bet and risk for 1, 2 or 3 hands (like sunny talked about in his last reply)....

#### jee_pack

##### Well-Known Member
From what I read in this post, I made a few calculations and came up with this: To avoid detection as a counter, lower your spreads. Well you can make a 1-4 spread look like a 1-2 spread. This is how, lets say you take 28\$ as a Unit bet. Under TC+2, bet one hand at table minimum, lets say the min is 15\$. At TC+2 to +3, bet 1 unit (28\$ rounded up to 25\$) for 1 hand; total bet: 25\$. At TC+3 to +4, bet 40\$ on 2 hands; total bet is 80\$. TC+4 to +5, bet the same thing, 40\$, but on 3 hands; total bet: 120\$. And for TC+5 to +6, bet 55\$ on 3 hands; total bet: 165\$. So this is even more optimal than playing just 1 hand when the count is over +3, with the same risk. And instead of spreading from 25\$ to 100\$ (75\$ increase or 300% increase), you are spreading from 25\$ to 55\$ (30\$ inscrease or 220% increase). But you are actually increasing your profits......

1: Does this make sens, did I make do the math correctly (I rounded up to the closes multiple of 5\$ on each calculation and used the 50% and 75% rule, although I think I should have went with the exact number... but I can do that later)...

2: So your max bet with this is 165\$ total on the table, and on each hand, 55\$. The other way, always playing 1 hand, your max bet is lower: 100\$ total on the table instead of 165\$. But your max bet on 1 hand is much higher, 100\$ instead of 55\$. So which of these 2 situations do you think would bring less heat, taking out the fact that one of them is more optimal than the other and also taking out all the other variables that can influence heat...

#### bluewhale

##### Well-Known Member
there seems to be a lot of talk about betting on three hands. don't most places limit you at 2 hands? and thats only if you're betting more than the min, otherwise its just 1.

#### jee_pack

##### Well-Known Member
actually, I just realized that I have to look into that, there might be a 2 hand limit, that's very possible.....

##### Well-Known Member
bluewhale said:
there seems to be a lot of talk about betting on three hands. don't most places limit you at 2 hands? and thats only if you're betting more than the min, otherwise its just 1.
I believe most places WILL allow you to play three hands,but the minimum goes up quite a bit.At El Cortez,I think its \$25 a hand for three hands on the \$5 tables.

#### ScottH

##### Well-Known Member
I believe most places WILL allow you to play three hands,but the minimum goes up quite a bit.At El Cortez,I think its \$25 a hand for three hands on the \$5 tables.
Well if you only spread to multiple hands in high positive counts like most counters, that isn't usually a problem. I've heard that the general rule is if you go 2 spots you have to be 3X the table min on each spot.

#### Sonny

##### Well-Known Member
jee_pack said:
-If you can take a 100\$ bet, split it in 2 to 2 hands of 50\$ each, this means you have the same expected return but less risk... and I guess the same goes for 4 hands of 25\$? And so on...? Always keeping the same winning rate but reducing risk?
Exactly.

jee_pack said:
-If you use the kelly formula and bet lets say with 3 hands and each hand is 50% of your bet... You keep the same risk, so does this mean you increase your profit? Your winning rate? Your edge?
Yes. Any time you put more money on the table in a positive situation you will increase your EV.

jee_pack said:
-So lets say I bet table minimum, which is 15\$ (Canadian)…I could lets say bet 20\$ on each hand, it would look like only a 5\$ increase.
Well, maybe not. Most casinos make you bet a multiple of the table minimum if you play multiple hands. You might have to play two hands of \$30 or three hands of \$45, etc. Your example would work at a \$5 table but probably not at a \$15 table.

jee_pack said:
-Again! Why doesn't everyone use this? I mean, the book I bough about card counting barely covered the subject.
Most people do! Spreading to multiple hands with bigger bets is a very powerful AP technique. It can reduce your risk without hurting your EV, or increase your EV for the same risk, and it can increase your win rate when Wonging because you are playing more hands per hour.

One of the drawbacks is that you will be using up more cards in positive situations and that might cause you to get less rounds, which will hurt your win rate. Blackjack Attack by Don Schlesinger has a good chapter on playing multiple hands.

-Sonny-

#### halcyon1234

##### Well-Known Member
FWIW, I've been able to spread to 3 hands in each of the 3 Toronto-area casinos I've been to, without 3xing my table min bet. In fact, at one I was able to play 4 hands of \$5 (CSM, before I was ap), and at another table, 3 hands of \$25 (which was the min).

#### Knox

##### Well-Known Member

Let's take the example of head up play. Count gets very high/positive. Lots of tens and aces. If you have 2 hands out to the dealers one, you have twice the odds of getting a blackjack. You want to suck up as many of those good cards as you can.

And how many times have you been at the table with a great count and the ploppies suck up all the good cards and you get a stiff?

I'm hitting Vegas next week, and I think I will go from 1 X \$25 up to 2 X \$75. I may even go \$85 or \$90 each hand x 2. My norm is \$25-\$125.

I will also have to play a bit of \$5 BJ over at Cortez with the wife to keep her entertained. They love me there ever since I had a crummy session on their \$25 SD game and magnified my losses by pocketing several hundred in greens along the way.

#### positiveEV

##### Well-Known Member
Knox said:
Let's take the example of head up play. Count gets very high/positive. Lots of tens and aces. If you have 2 hands out to the dealers one, you have twice the odds of getting a blackjack. You want to suck up as many of those good cards as you can.

And how many times have you been at the table with a great count and the ploppies suck up all the good cards and you get a stiff?
When the dealer gets a blackjack, all your regular hands loose and all your blackjacks push. When you get a blackjack, you get paid 3:2 on a single hand if the dealer don't have a blackjack too, therefore even if the dealer is less likely to get a blackjack every times he will get one it will damage you more.

#### jee_pack

##### Well-Known Member
thanks for all the input!

So the only "ick" is that I still don't know if they would allow it, actually, before being a counter, I played twice at my local casino, and once, at the 15\$ min table, I saw someone decide to play 2 hands at one point, so later I did the same thing, at the table min on both hands, seemed to pass like a normal thing. Though I have never seen someone play 3 hands so I don't know if there is a 2 hand limit or not.

Question to sunny? So I think I get the math now... One thing I wish I knew though is BY HOW MUCH does it increase your EV or by how much does it decrease your RISK? If there is a formula behind this, I'd love to see it....

#### Knox

##### Well-Known Member
asiafever said:
When the dealer gets a blackjack, all your regular hands loose and all your blackjacks push. When you get a blackjack, you get paid 3:2 on a single hand if the dealer don't have a blackjack too, therefore even if the dealer is less likely to get a blackjack every times he will get one it will damage you more.
Actually I had 2 X \$75 out there and they paid \$112.50 each. The dealer did not get a BJ because I took his cards.

:grin:

#### Renzey

##### Well-Known Member
Don't forget the extra cards used

Betting 1 x \$100 won't produce the same overall EV as betting 2 x \$50 due to the extra cards used by the extra hands.

Just think about betting 1 x \$300 in a positive count with four other players at the table as opposed to 3 x \$100. You'll have the same EV on that round with a much lower variance, but will get in fewer rounds with each positive count. Thus, EV suffers. However, 2 x 73% or 3 x 57% improves EV with the same variance providing enough other players are at the table.

#### Knox

##### Well-Known Member
Let's make it even simpler. Assume I play two hands against the dealer's one in a highly favorable count.

In three rounds, three blackjacks come out. They should be evenly distributed, so say I get one on each of my hands and the dealer gets one. Assume further \$50 bets and 50% win rate on each hand.

Round 1:
Hand 1: blackjack pays \$75
Hand 2: loses \$50

Round 2:
Hand 1: wins \$50
Hand 2: blackjack pays \$75

Round 3 dealer blackjack both hands lose total of \$100

In this case we win \$150 on the first two hands and lose \$100 to the blackjacking dealer. That looks like a win to me of \$50.

The key here is that we win 1.5x the bet on blackjack, but only lose 1:1 when we lose, even if it happens to be two hands.

Am I missing something here, this looks like pretty simple math?