blackjack bluebook II questions
  • Hi Fred, please allow me some question about your book...

    1) About the magnificent 7:

    for doubling why 9 vs 2 is a borderline play and not 9 vs 3 (hitting)?

    it's interesting to note both have the same absolute value indice
    in your mentor count.

    also splitting 2 vs 2,3,4
    3 vs 2,3,4
    9 vs 2
    6 vs 2,3
    A2 vs 5
    A4 vs 4
    A3 vs 4 look close enough.



    as we know that in more than 60% of the time the a balanced count
    stay near 0 so I wonder if some play like hitting 10 vs 9 or doubling 8 vs 6
    make sense ?! I suspect no but have you done some sim on this ?

    I wonder why you count only 10 vs 2,3,4,5 when counting 10,9 vs
    2,3,4,5,6 seem much more logical.


    2) About the Ace/ten front count why flat betting and not using a
    progression here ?
    I have done some sim with the thomason progression jumping between

    10,15,20,25
    20,30,40,50
    40,60,80,100 etc.

    with a good result.

    I suspect the extra variance is the reason but this is not a good reason
    at least for me.

    Another big problem is with full table you will reach just 2 decks
    when you are still in play making the 2 decks estimation impossible.

    Perhaps it should be possible to substract the number of hands played
    ( as 13/5 = 2.6 witch is the average number of cards for one hand)but again some sims are needed here.

    Hope to hear from you soon.

    Quartex.
  • Quartex: Just hitting w/9 vs. 3 is not an option along with the Mag 7 because you'll hardly ever get the required +5 Tens/Babies ratio on board. Notice with 9 vs. 2 or 3 that you already have a +Babies condition of either +2 or +3 depending upon the cards that make up your 9. To offset this and make hitting 9 vs. 3 correct would require seven more exposed Tens with no Babies. That same explanation pretty much covers the pairs you mentioned as well. As for the soft hands, A/2 vs. 5 and A/3 vs. 4 would not be too difficult, but their combined earnings from fine tuning them would help your overall game by well less than 0.01%. Hitting 10 vs. 9 and doubling 8 vs. 6 also would require too extreme a board to correctly activate those plays. If you thirst for those, you need to keep track of high vs. lows for several rounds in a shoe game - then you're a card counter.

    The Ace/10 Front count has nothing to do with a betting progression. If you're a money favorite on the remaining shoe because of the extra Ace/10's available, which hand should you ever bet less on - and why??? You done sims with a progression and had good results?? Please explain.

    Estimating two spent decks is pretty darned important with the Ace/10 Front Count. I can think of only two acceptable ways to do it. The more impractical one would be do actually count the number of dealt cards. The practical way would be to employ a sharp eye. Multiplying the number of rounds by the average number of cards per hand would easily get you six or eight cards off the mark here and there -- no good.
  • Two Spent Decks: One more thing -- If at a crowded table you feel you've reached two dealt decks in the middle of a round, note that there should be very close to two Ace/10's for every five dealt cards. So you can say to yourself; "Okay, we hit two decks with a front count of "36" and then five more cards came out to finish the round. If two of those additional five cards were Ace/10's, then the shoe is still four Ace/10's heavy -- and for my purpose, "38" after two decks and five cards equals "36" after two decks -- etc.
  • > but their combined earnings from fine tuning them would help your overall game by well less than 0.01%.

    In my opinion even with 0.00 % all these plays should be listed.
    Do you remember an article from you called 'What on Earth Were These Blackjack Players Thinking?' about someone hitting 9 vs 4
    and pressing up his bet after winning the hand ?
    There is possibly a reason for this, he has now more money to play.
    This is of course a very bad reason but let's take the same situation
    replacing 9 vs 4 with for exemple 2,2 vs 2 (double after split allowed)
    and thinks may possibly become more unclear here.
    In fact all play where you alter your initial bet after the initial procedure(mainly splitting,doubling,surrender) should be listed as far as there is
    no real cost.
    It will be very interesting to see how much some marignal move can cost
    ( or not !) to the player.
    A good exemple is hitting 14 vs 10 where early surrender is available.
    According to some sim from me even with more than 10000000 hands the
    result may be unclear between hitting vs surrender, a real borderline play.

    > The Ace/10 Front count has nothing to do with a betting progression

    Where is the law ?
    As you probably know progression system work best in games where
    a balanced count stay near 0 so classic count system don't qualify well
    for this but there is 2 notables exceptions (as far as I know) witch are
    the aces five count and yes, your ace/10 count,the first because the 10 ratio is not take in account, the second because we stop to count after 2 decks.

    >If you're a money favorite on the remaining shoe because of the extra Ace/10's available, which hand should you ever bet less on - and why???

    This is the beauty of your system, ALL and NONE.
    I have read somewhere that progressive system are BREAK even system
    ( is it not from you ???) so ALL progressive system may qualify.
    If you are not agree with this simply supose you are facing a game
    where you have a slight edge (just like with the ace/10 count) on
    top of the shoes and this game is with a CSM (DAMN IT).
    minimum allowed is 5$ and you have enough money to play hands of
    15$ .
    Witch betting system will you use ?
    I suspect there is no real good answer because it depend mainly
    on your level satisfaction (STOP WIN, STOP LOSS) and the time
    factor witch are realy some personal consideration (and certainly not linked with the edge).
    Please give me your point of view here.

    >You done sims with a progression and had good results?? Please explain.

    "near 1 % EDGE with a progression system, thanks Fred Renzey"
    this is the tittle of a message I plan to post on bJ21, are you agree ?.
    Hey I was just joking.
    I supose I was not clear in my previous post (witch is not surprising with my knowledge of your language).
    You take a lot of enery to stay away from any implication
    of progression system and I respect your opinion but this is not the case
    here.
    this is how I have implemented my sim.
    the player always play a thomason progression : 2,3,4,5 UNITS
    he always start for the start of the shoe with
    the 10$ and up after a win to 15,20,25,25 ....

    when 100 or more cards are discarted (I have take 100 and not 104 to simulate some aproximation from the player) he STOP to count and
    play the rest of the shoes as follow:

    if count >= 37
    he continue in the same way (10$,15$,20,25,25... up as you win)
    else
    if count = 36
    BASE BET now become 20$
    so same progression but now with
    20$,30$,40$,50$,50$...
    else
    if count = 35 or less
    BASE BET = 40$
    same progression but now with
    40$,60$,80$,100$,100$...

    This is just an example , I have tested this with different values and
    I don' remember in witch condition the 1 % was reached but this was
    with some credible values (and without BS deviations!).

    if you look inside this you see that replacing the flat betting option by the progression simply incrase the spread of your system
    (and unfortunatly the variance).


    >Estimating two spent decks is pretty darned important with the Ace/10 Front Count.

    Absolutly and as far as I can remember underestimating vs overestimating don't have the same impact.
    You should have warned this in your book.


    > I can think of only two acceptable ways to do it.

    I have a third one, you simply use a hi low count until 2 decks
    reached (or more if you want !?).
    This make sence for me because the difficulty of counting is mainly
    linked to the betting system (12x minimum in 6 shoes !!!) and the fact this is a very very BORING way to play the game.

    An intersesting way to mix two conceptions of the game is it ?

    Yours.

    Quartex.
  • QUARTEX: On a progression with the A/10 Front count -- At counts of "37" and worse with bets of 10-15-20-25, your average bet will be 15. At counts of "35"and better with bets of 40-60-80-100, your average bet will be 60. If you re-run your simulation just flat betting either 15 or 60 in accordance with your front count, you should get the same results as when using the progression at those two different scales.

    On Expected Value of playing various hands different ways: There are charts that show your expectation by playing every hand every possible way. One is in the back of Stanford Wong's "Professional Blackjack". It assumes that the count is neutral except for the cards that make up the hand in question.

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