• Any insight on 4 deck blackjack??? I was playing it once at a casino. wondering what the win % using the hi lo count system was on it.. Would a 4deck game be profitable?
  • Mighty Joe BJ - Short answer because four deck games are very rare these days, especially in Nevada (they were common in the 80's).....If you do find that game, the EV with any count method will be essentially the same as six deck, perhaps 0.01% - 0.02% better depending on the method.

  • hey grifter,,
    Yea they have a few tables of 4 deck games at a couple of local casinos here.. THey have all types of decks :) the casinos will do anything just to get a extra advantage :) I have played theese 4 decks I dont know one night I did really good other night I did really shitty wasn't counting just playing BS... but it seems I had more wins on the 4 deck game..
  • basically you can ignore the number of decks and look at the penetration first, and the rules used second, and make a decision based on that. Lousy penetration will ruin any game no matter what the rules, so that's always my starting point in choosing games.

    One note, be careful in that I have seen games offered that are _not_ what they seem to be. A hand-held double-deck game can be a CSM game where the CSM device just spits out two decks approximately, and the dealer holds those in his hand to deal like a real pitch game, except that eventually the discards end up back in the CSM making counting hopeless... It is easy to confuse this with an ASM double-deck game where there are two double-deck packs in play, one being hand-dealt while the other is being shuffled. If pen is good, these are the perfect games for counters because they go faster.
  • duh....what in the world does all that have to do with this thread?
  • Agreed with the No-Rust Rodent. Penetration is the key.

    4 deckers not popular today because typically in the 80's these games dealt down to 1 deck remaining (75% penetration). I think you might be seeing 1 1/2 decks buried for a 60% penetration. Helps the house by not being so dynamic near end-game.
  • N/B - Certainly penetration is the key, but that is true for any number of decks, not just four deck.......The question was simply can 4 deck be profitable with hi-lo (or any count) and that answer is a simple yes, and the EV is comparable to the six deck game with the same rules.
  • Grifter:

    The original question was this:

    "Any insight on 4 deck blackjack??? I was playing it once at a casino. wondering what the win % using the hi lo count system was on it.. Would a 4deck game be profitable?"

    My answer pointed out that the number of decks is nearly irrelevant, the penetration comes first, followed by the rules. The tiny edge added to the house for the extra decks really doesn't affect whether the game can be beaten or not. If it is fairly deeply dealt, it can be beaten. If it is a 50%'er, I'd pass as it would take a huge spread and produce a huge variance.

    I couldn't answer his "win rate" question without knowing specific rules and penetration, however. But if he supplies those, I can give an exact answer from CVCX...
  • Grifter,

    you quoted the "can a 4 deck game be profitable..." and answered "yes". All I would add is that "can" is _not_ the same as "is/will be". A 4 decker with lousy pen can be just as bad as an 8 decker with lousy pen. So without knowing penetration, I'm not sure that a "yes or no" by itself is enough. Hence my comment about penetration being the main factor to make it beatable or not...
  • I think if I remember the rules they were Dealer Stand on soft 17 DAS is not allowed after splitDouble any two cards, as I recall the penetration was fairly good 1.5 closer to 1 This one casino I goto always stands on soft 17.. also ssr can you do a simulation for optimal play on a 2 deck game dealer hits soft 17 DAS is not allowed aftersplit and my bankroll would be $1000, how long would it take to make $500 consistently?
  • Here's what the sims can provide:

    1. optimal bet ramp, given particular rules, a specific counting strategy, a specific bankroll, specific penetration.

    2. Information about the overall EV of the game.

    3. N0 (n-zero)... how many rounds do you need to actually play at the table to reach your EV with some reliability.

    4. standard deviation, which gives some idea of the volatility of your bankroll, how much you might win or lose in an hour, etc.

    The typical betting ramp targets a 13.5% risk of ruin, which means that if 100 people play that game, using that bankroll and betting ramp, 13.5 of them will eventually go bankrupt, the rest will win. Over the long-run.

    If you buy CVCX, one of the nice features is that after you run the sim, you can play with various parameters to see how changes affect your EV. Change penetration, card-by-card even, to see what 10 extra cards does to your EV and hourly win rate. It provides a lot of other stuff. In fact, you can find most of this already run at www.qfit.com, norm has posted billions of rounds of sim data that you can look at for different games, counting systems, to see what CVCX offers. It's a tool that is indespensible IMHO.

    But if you want me to run something specific, I can do so. I need to know the rules which you provided above, the penetration range you are interested in, the counting system you use, and your bankroll available for play...
  • N0 -- that's what I was looking for on my other post. I'm assuming in Carribean Stud when the Jackpot is big enough, even though your EV is positive, your N0 is high and thus it may still not be worth it.
  • Don't think about it like that. N-zero is interesting. But a +EV game is a +EV game. That simply means that your probability of winning more than you lose is greater than zero. You are thinking more about "being guaranteed to win" and yes, that might be a long time. But for the 100% payback example I gave earlier in the thread, every time you bet $10, you expect to win $10 more. Just not on that particular hand. Somewhere along the way you are expecting to win a huge wad of cash, but you expect the thing to average out to winning 10 bucks for every 10 bucks you bet.

    Note that N0 does _not_ "guarantee" you to be dead on your EV after that many rounds. You should be within 1 SD of your EV after playing that many rounds. You can still be above or below just the same. To get "dead on" your EV, for any game, will require an infinite number of rounds to guarantee that. Think of it this way: the more you play, the closer you get.

    Have you had a calculus course? If so, one of the favorite examples there is this (I'll use an english-like syntax since I don't know how to do summation signs and other greek stuff)

    f = sum (1 / 2^n) for n = 1, 2, ..., infinity

    That turns into 1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 + ...

    what is the limit of that equation as n approaches infinity?

    1.0. You won't quite get there until n reaches infinity, but you will get real close pretty quick. That's what N0 discussions are about. We don't care about infinity since we can't play that many hands. So when will we play enough to get "close enough". That is generally considered to be "one standard deviation away"...
  • Yes, I've had lots of calculus in fact and am familiar with that equation.

    I disagree that you shouldn't pay attention to that number, though. Let me go back to my prior example but make it even more stark. Let's take a lottery with a $1 ticket, and a 1 in a billion odds of winning. The payout, though, is 1,000,000,001. Is it a positive EV game? Yes. Should you play it? Absolutely not unless you envision yourself being able to play it enough.

    I think the jackpot in Carribean Stud is the same -- granted, not as big of a problem; but do you think you really are going to win that jackpot? If not, it shouldn't figure into your equation even if it is a positive EV.

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