To Double or not to double
  • Where I play in AZ, it is Las Vegas rules, with DAS.
    I buy in $200 with a $400 bankroll, use the 10,15,20,25 progression
    Had an interesting losing session:
    At the top of the progression, $25 bet, got 6,6 vs 2.
    following BS, I split, then got another 6. Now have $75 on table
    Then on 1st 6, got a 5, did a double down, now have $100 out
    on 2nd 6, got a 4, did a double down, now have $125 out. comfort level is exceeded
    Dealer got a 20 and I lost it all.
    About 10 minutes later, at $20 bet level, got 3,3 vs 3
    again with BS I split, got another 3, split again, $60 out.
    I got a 8 on 1st 3, 6 on 2nd and 7 on 3rd. so I doubled all three
    now have $120 table, lost all to dealers 21.
    So………….I left at a run, to play again someday…… :cry:
    In looking at the charts, it seems there are 7 plays where the only reason you split is because you can DAS. They are: 2,2 vs 2; 33 vs 2; 22 vs 3; 3,3 vs 3; 4,4 vs 5; 4,4 vs 6; and 6,6 vs 2. These must be weak hands?
    I’m thinking at the top of the progression, $20 or $25 bet I don’t want to split, so I’ll just hit, but at the $10, $15 progression, I will split.
    Question: How much will this cost in +%? It seems to be a more conservative way to play. comments?? 8)
  • At, there are EV tables, which show you the expected value from hitting, standing, doubling and splitting (if you can) for every three card dealer/player combination. You can get a very accurate answer to your question.

    I always keep two max bets in reserve for doubling after splitting.

    Your luck could have easily turned the other way and you would have walked away a big winner!!
  • Sage: First of all, I don't think it's wise to play a $10-$25 progression with a $400 bankroll... your "risk of ruin" is just too great if you lose several big double-down or split hands... as you did.
    Second, all splits/doubledowns are offered to help you increase your wins or decrease your losses, and even with the marginal splits you still lose more money by hitting rather than splitting.
    Also, the cards don't know how many chips you've wagered and will remain the same whether you have $10 or $25 at risk, so changing your strategy based upon your bet size is never a good idea. If your not comfortable with the amount at risk after splitting and doubling, lower your initial bet and play a $5/7/9/11 progression.
    Sorry hear the split hands didn't go your way, but in the long run they will!
    Good luck!
  • Sage, Has your resolve just been tested? Sure it has, and I can assure
    you that there are many members in this club who understand completely.

    But, when you elect to play a certain strategy, you must commit to the
    fact that all strategies have consequences that may at times tax your
    resolve(e.g.,at the five level in a bad situation). Making the right play
    is never the wrong decision, regardless of the outcome. If you want to
    re-think anything, then it should be your strategy and not some change
    to BS as a risk avoidance effort. How would you feel had you won both
  • Hi Mr Ed,
    I downloarded the EV tables. (all 15 pages of them) Help me with how to read them. Other than the obvious, bigger plus number better, smaller minus number better. But what do the various numbers mean and how to I translate into win/loss ratios? :?
  • BJ Math
    I recently downloaded the “Expected Value and Hand Probabilities” table for a BJ game with 6D, S17, DOA, DAS from I assume the values in the table are for the first three cards dealt out of a six deck shoe.
    The Probability part is straightforward, a probability of 1 is a sure event, a probability of 0 is a non-event. Values between 0 & 1 are the possibility (probability) of the event occurring. Thus any three different cards (not alike) and non 10 card should have the same probability. and they do .000919 or .0919% of happening. Ten cards, being more in the deck, will have a greater probability while two similar cards will have a lesser probability.
    But what is expected value and how do you use it???
    Stanford Wong defines “Expected Value” being the same as “Expected Win” It is further defined as “ The average result if you were able to make a bet over & over again many times is the expected win” What???
    Will someone help me understand what Expected Value is, how you use it & what the numbers mean??.
  • I learn best by example, so here goes...

    For BJ vs 6, your EV is 1.5. That means for every $1 you bet, you can expect $1.50 in profit.

    Say your EV is -0.60. That means for every dollar you bet, you can expect to lose $0.60. For example, you might bet 10 times, lose 6 times and push 4 times. You bet $10 and lost $6 - your EV is -0.600.

    For the typical BJ game the house advantage is 0.5%. This equals an EV of -0.005. Think of it this way: you bet 1000 times. You win 400 times, you loose 405 times and push 195 times. You bet $1000, and lost $5: your EV is -0.005.

    I found the tables very interesting:
    * 17 is about one of the worst hands you can get
    * 11 is about one of the best!
    * doubles and soft hands are very rare
    * 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16 are the most common hands after 20

    I hope this helps!
  • Mr Ed
    Thanks, it all helps I found some very interesting tables on the web site:
    The values in the various tables on both sites are close, so that gives credibility to them. All this helps to understand the game...............
  • WizardOfOdds is a trusted site (by me, anyway).

    Glad I could help.

    It's good to know the numbers. It won't take the pain away, but at least you won't be surprised when you lose with a 17v5. You'll also be smugly happy with a 20v9, while others will sweat. And you'll do a little dance whenever you get 11 or AA. :wink:
  • Sage - just keep doing WHAT YOU KNOW IS RIGHT and that's all you can do. Things like that will obviously happen; otherwise it wouldn't be called "gambling" you dig?

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