Playing Two Hands

Discussion in 'Skilled Play - Card Counting, Advanced Strategies' started by aslan, Nov 28, 2011.

  1. aslan

    aslan Well-Known Member

    I was wondering just how much playing two hands with aggressive wonging out reduces variance. All I am going on is anecdotal evidence, but it seems to dampen variance quite a bit for me. The most often occurrence is winning one hand and losing the other. Intellectually, I understand the possibility of doubling my losses with the rare occurrence of continually losing both hands. In practice, this has never happened, but with only a 100 or so hours of playing in this manner, I know I don't have enough information to go on. Has anyone run a sim on this scenario? I generally play 6-deck, S-17, sometimes LS, sometimes not, and occasionally 8-deck, S-17 with LS.
  2. Coyote

    Coyote Well-Known Member

    I don't have a simm for ya but I played two hands and took several breaks during bad counts. It worked out nicely for me.
  3. tthree

    tthree Banned

    I like playing two hands as well but I have definitely lost both hands in the same round on many occasions. It does happen. I had a run where all I got was 2 hands of 15 versus a ten and they didn't offer surrender. All the ploppies started telling me I should go to the roulette table and play 15. I switched tables when the count tanked and the same thing happened. Again a different group of ploppies said I should bet 15 on the roulette table. Luckily some good opportunities came at the end of the session and more than made up for the nightmare shoes. Thankfully the count was low and I caught some cards to split some of the hands for an aggregate push for the round so the nightmare shoes weren't as bad as it could have been.
  4. sagefr0g

    sagefr0g Well-Known Member

  5. Alvaro

    Alvaro Member

    Actually, playing two hands increases variance, but increases Ev as well, and the net result is benefical (in terms of EV/VAR)

    In that way, you have to see at which point is convenient to spread to 2 (or more) spots, because the contramesure here is the "card eating".

    Is a point in which the "card eating" doesn't affect to much the Hourly Ev.

    I wrote a custom version of PowerSim to yield covariance and, with a spreadsheet I figured that this point is which represents about an Ev of about 1%.

    Here take a look if it works for you aslan.
    (Dead link:

  6. aslan

    aslan Well-Known Member

    I could not open your sim file. I guess I need something installed to read it.

    The variance may be increased, but it seems the opposite. I feel much more comfortable playing two hands than one when I am underfunded-- maybe I'm just lucky. I do wong out, but I also do play a lot of non-plus-EV hands.
  7. winnawinna

    winnawinna Well-Known Member

    Aslan I have mostly played two hands and have over 800 hours doing so. I have experienced both great positive and negative variances. My CVCX sim with two hands, states the ROR doubles than playing with one hand. Variance also increases which makes sense. I now ususally play one hand and like it much better. i have also doubled my min bet but my BR in replenishable.
  8. aslan

    aslan Well-Known Member

    That's a lot of hours. I did not realize how risky my strategy was. I recall Qfit saying (I think-- I don't mean to put words in his mouth) that playing two hands was slightly more beneficial than playing just one hand. I am surprised that variance increases, since my gut was that one hand tended to offset the other. Does it actually increase, or does it just speed up, since it seems equivalent at first blush to playing one-handed at twice the speed?

    My bankroll is also replenishible, but I may decide not to replenish it if I meet with disaster. I may change back to one hand, based on your remarks. I know that I have thrown caution to the winds by choosing $25 min games over $5/10/15 min games. Maybe now with about 17 consecutive winning sessions it's time to cut back and beat the variance gods who were lurking in my future. No telling what diabolical ends they had in store for me! :laugh:
  9. moo321

    moo321 Well-Known Member

    Playing two hands while wonging is 100% essential. Since, by definition there will be other players, it's best to play two hands from a card-eating pespective, it helps you get more action in high counts.

    Playing two hands also enables you to wager more at the same risk of ruin. So, for example, you could play $100 or 2x$75 and have the same ROR but higher EV. OR, you could lower ROR with the same EV by playing 2x$50.

    In any case, my opinion is that, when wonging, if there are two spots, it should be STANDARD PRACTICE for any counter to play two hands.
  10. aslan

    aslan Well-Known Member

    But are you talking about wonging in and out or simply wonging out? In the case of the latter, playing two hands at a lessor amount (80% of max bet) in plus counts and two hand at min bet in negative counts is not the same as spreading to two hands only in plus counts and betting 80% max on each. I think in the former case, variance must be greater, although it does have the card eating advantage.

    I'd be interested in your comments. Thanks.
  11. Friendo

    Friendo Well-Known Member

    Seems to be an eternal question

    The general rule of thumb, stated in Wong's book and elsewhere, is that two hands at 3/4*X is about the same ROR as 1 hand at X, where X is the maximum bet, and the ramps are similar in the sense that the max bet comes at the same count for either scheme.

    I am training for my first extended green-chip trip, and I have two ramps for each situation (depending on H17/S17, NSR/LSR, as well as number hands). The single hand ramp is $25-$300, and the two-hand ramp is 2x$25 - 2x$200.

    Wonging out at around -8 Mentor = -2 High/Low, they both come out to about 0.3 Kelly, with the two-hand version a little higher.

    For some reason, PBs seem to notice the guy betting $400 more readily than someone betting 2x$200, assuming the two-hands player isn't jumping back and forth between 1 and 2 hands, which is not a move I intend to employ.

    (If anyone wants to disabuse me of my notions in that last paragraph, please do so. It will be profitable to be corrected on that notion, if it's a mistaken one.)
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2011
  12. blackjack avenger

    blackjack avenger Well-Known Member

    who, what, where

    $100 on 1 spot or 2 spots of approx $73 are the same in terms of ror. In the short run, about 100 hours variance is higher. Trip ror goes up.

    If one spreads a $100 bet over 2 hands it would cut variance; long & short run, though EV is lost because you are eating cards.
  13. blackjack avenger

    blackjack avenger Well-Known Member


    Agree with last paragraph, makes sense a $400 bet is larger then dbl $200 due to variance.

    Make the betting easy:
    Remember the ramp you will use the most & then make the easy adjustment when facing the other situation. The same approach can be used when playing different games. Know the bet ramp of the most common game then bet more or less for diffetent games. one needs to know the effect of rules & penetration.

    Finally, with a big bank & table maxs one may bet near table max regardless one or two hands.
  14. blackjack avenger

    blackjack avenger Well-Known Member

    not again

    I assume you mean resizing kelly?
  15. Friendo

    Friendo Well-Known Member

    But of course: I insist on it.

    Are you of a different opinion?
  16. aslan

    aslan Well-Known Member

    A little clarification please.

    I know when I am betting a 1 to 10 betting spread that if I spread to two hands at say, +4, it is advantageous to bet 2 X 8 rather than 2 X 10 to keep variance close to the same while getting more money on the table.

    The situation I am asking about is when you are betting two hands "all the time" and wonging out <-1. In this situation where one does not spread to two hands "only" at some plus count, but all the time, is it still the same recommendation to bet 2 X 8 at max bet, or is some other formula better to keep a lid on variance.

    Of course, the right answer might be to NOT play two hands in negative or neutral counts.

    Does anybody know whether EV is greater with two hands all the time when RoR is not in question, as opposed to playing a single hand all the time?


    $25 minimum bet, wong out at <-1
    2 X $200 at +4
    2 X $25 mimimum bet, wong out at <-1
    2 X $200 at +4
    2 X $25 mimimum bet, wong out at <-1
    2 X $250 at +4

    ignoring gradually ramping up to max bet for the time being.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2011
  17. Most Interesting Man

    Most Interesting Man Well-Known Member

    Yes EV will be greater if you play 2 hands all the time when compared to 1 hand all the time. At high counts you have more money on the table. At low counts you're eating cards.
  18. aslan

    aslan Well-Known Member

    I would suppose, however, the card eating advantage is moot if you are playing at full tables; i.e., if you are not eating cards someone else is. The sole advantage, unless you are at a less populated table, must be getting more money on the table at plus counts, and this is partially negated by having more money on the table in negative counts. Is that a fair statement?
  19. blackjack avenger

    blackjack avenger Well-Known Member

    according to Qfit

    The highest SCORE is playing 2 hands all the time. This is for 100 hands played.

    Some factors:
    The 2nd hand slows the game down, not just your play but dealer payoffs etc.
    If you have to bet double table minimum it can be a factor, but for the dealer to even take the time to explain this is a waste for the house.
  20. Most Interesting Man

    Most Interesting Man Well-Known Member

    If there are others at the table let them munch on the cards for you.

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