Rule variations - perceived effect
  • I'm a believer in the numbers, I visit WizardofOdds.com regularaly, and I smile a little when relative novices post here using such language as "but it seems like ..." such and such should be the case.

    That being said, I just returned from the Seattle area, where there are some very nice casinos.

    Was playing a variation of blackjack called "Super 21" -- and I know when they add all the gimmicky rules, the net effect is always worse than just standard blackjack.

    It was single deck, cards dealt face up, H17,
    Double any cards (even 3 cards, after a split, whenever), surrender any time, split Aces up to 4 times,
    with the big downer being that BJ only paid 1-1.

    Wizard tells me that the net effect of all those added conditions was more negative than positive for the player, but it sure felt like I gained a whole lot more by being able to surrender at any time than I lost by not getting 3-2 on BJ.

    In a typical hour there might have been at least 10 times that I surrendered, saving me half of my bet. I certainly didn't get dealt 10 BJ's in that hour. I realize that some of the surrenders I may have won had I not surrendered, but it sure seemed like I saved a lot more on the surrenders than I lost on the BJ's. (Not to mention that your could DD on 3 cards).

    I know you can't base conclusions on short term results, and I still believe the math -- I always will. I just wondered if anyone else had played rules like this and came away with the same impression.

    Thanks!
  • Dealer hits soft 17 = -.20
    Double on any 3 or more cards = +.22
    Double down after resplitting = +.14
    Resplitting of aces one deck = +.03
    By surrender any time do you mean Early Surrender too?!
    Do you mean Asian surrender too!? (after you've hit your hand)
    Early surrender = +.61
    Asian surrender = +.14

    So depending on what you meant by "H17" (does that mean hit or stand, I'm out of the loop, sorry) adding up the rest the rules add
    .22+.14+.03+.61+.14 = +1.14, how much does bj paying even money affect the game? I know it's huge but don't have the #s in front of me. With BS & a one deck game it's an absolute coinflip in theory, so right now with those rules you seem to be way ahead ... I'd like to try the game especially counting and knowing when to double any hand vs. a dealer's 4/5/6.

    Stick
  • Stick said:
    ..... With BS & a one deck game it's an absolute coinflip in theory, so right now with those rules you seem to be way ahead ...

    Stick - Just an FYI.....It's not even close. The HA is +/- 0.94%.

    Grifter
  • Not if my memory serves me correct as I'm sure it does when we're talking about gambling ;) I'll admit, the book was from the mid 90s and probably assumes different rules than are in effect now, but I do remember the HA being nullified in a "las vegas rules" one deck game. I'm playing backgammon all day today but if you want me to look it up later let me know, I can find it...

    Stick
  • By all means look it up for your own sake if you don't believe me. I just pulled that -0.95% from the ol' memory bank so it may not be 'right on'; but I can guarantee you it won't be an "absolute coinflip" like you think 'cause right off the top you are giving away 2.25% for the even money blackjack.

    Regards.....Grifter
  • Stick- A good shoe game will run about .43 HA and that is with DAS at +.14.

    Add to that .21 for hit 17and we have .64 HA

    Now suppose your numbers for the other good rules are correct and will reduce the HA by a full 1% and not 1.14 because we have already used .14 for DAS.We now have 1.0 - .64 = .36 player advantage. Grifters comment on even money for blackjacks has the following effect:

    2.25 minus .36 = a whopping 1.89 HA.......All players lose
    Other games (number of decks with slight rules differences will have different effects, but you will not overcome the HA regardless.

    Example: Single deck with good rules is close to even. So, Zero HA minus .20 for H17 = .20 HA. 1.0 in good rules turns that to .80 player advantage, but 2.25 for even money blackjack reverts to 1.45 HA.......once again....all players lose
  • Grifter said:
    By all means look it up for your own sake if you don't believe me. I just pulled that -0.95% from the ol' memory bank so it may not be 'right on'; but I can guarantee you it won't be an "absolute coinflip" like you think 'cause right off the top you are giving away 2.25% for the even money blackjack.

    Regards.....Grifter


    I meant the normal Vegas strip rules before any of these rule changes was a coinflip for single deck blackjack played perfectly with BS.

    Grifter said:
    Stick - Just an FYI.....It's not even close. The HA is +/- 0.94%.


    Like I said, I was talking before figuring out the variance of all these rules, thought I was pretty clear, guess not.

    A one deck game w/Vegas strip rules is actually an advantage of .1% for the player playing perfect BS. This was from the Baldwin's team studies in the beginning and has been verified countless times by IMB, Gen. Dynamics, Jet Prop. Lab., MIT, Sperry Rand, etc...

    After this was figured out and Thorpe noticed, figured out the conditional probabilities and his 10 count and released his book Vegas snapped and the only time the rules of a major casino game were significantly altered was on AFD in '64. The rule changes got iced shortly after when the casinos realized they were overreacting and things went back to normal.

    Somehow I got off topic ... so I'll quit rambling, I think my point was LVS rules, single deck, perfect BS = coinflip lol

    Stick
  • Single Deck- I would be very supprised if you could find a single deck game in LV that is a coin toss. 35-40 years ago maybe.

    - 6:5 is not a coin toss
    - Hit 17 is not a coin toss
    - 1:1 BJ is not a coin toss
    - 10,11 doubles is not a coin toss
    - No DAS is not a coin toss
    - No soft double is not a coin toss

    Not to mention counter problems with penetration, heat and shuffle-ups.

    All those silly rules are for suckers and it sounds like there is an unlimited supply of those. Don't it?

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