Less than optimal spread
  • How much does having a less than optimal spread really hurt you? When I've played, I play usually at $5 tables. When the count hits the magic number, I bet $10. If the count continues going up, I'll go up to $15. Obviously I'm not being precise and only using a 1-3 spread.

    But generally speaking, how much more EV would I get using a 1-4 spread or 1-5 spread (which actually might be easier going to a $25 chip). Is it so much more than I'm stupid to be using a lesser spread?
  • FunkyChicken said:
    How much does having a less than optimal spread really hurt you? When I've played, I play usually at $5 tables. When the count hits the magic number, I bet $10. If the count continues going up, I'll go up to $15. Obviously I'm not being precise and only using a 1-3 spread.

    But generally speaking, how much more EV would I get using a 1-4 spread or 1-5 spread (which actually might be easier going to a $25 chip). Is it so much more than I'm stupid to be using a lesser spread?



    You didn't mention the game specific info. I can answer your question but will have to make some assumptions unless you want different info:

    6 decks, S17, DA2, DAS, RSA, LS, 5 of 6 decks dealt (83% pen) (good 6d vegas strip game). These are using hi-lo, with the I18 and fab-4 indices only)

    spread (using unit = $5) hourly win rate
    1-1 (flat bet) -.71
    1-2 -.71
    1-4 2.64
    1-6 3.75
    1-8 5.84
    1-10 8.14
    1-12 8.14
    1-14 10.78
    1-16 12.25
    1-18 13.40
    1-20 14.77

    Note that the bigger the spread, the bigger your hourly win rate. Of course your RoR also goes up assuming your bankroll is the same for each spread. Notice that you don't make anything until you get to 1-4. By the time you get to 1-8 you are just about earning one small bet per hour. Most would advise 1-12 as a minimum for a shoe game, and I personally use 1-20. Of course the best spread is an infinite spread, where you bet 0.00 at negative/neutral counts and only bet on + counts. But if things are crowded that is often not possible (wonging).

    Hope that helps as a first cut at how to spread. 1-4 at a good SD game is far better: almost $11.00 per hour, all of these are assuming 60 rounds per hour which is pretty reasonable. Heads up you can play faster but it is harder to find empty/open tables... To answer your real question, a 1-3 spread is not giving you any advantage to speak of, your expected win rate is under $2.00 per hour. You can do better flipping burgers. :)
  • I see the math. I just can't imagine betting $100 per hand! $20 makes me nervous enough. Maybe I'll get used to it. There was a time when I wouldn't bet anything but the minimum. Then I got a bit more confidence. Now I spread 1-3. Maybe its only a matter of time. The blood has to be pumping when you place the $100 bet and then split, double, etc. Although its all relative.
  • FunkyChicken said:
    I see the math. I just can't imagine betting $100 per hand! $20 makes me nervous enough. Maybe I'll get used to it. There was a time when I wouldn't bet anything but the minimum. Then I got a bit more confidence. Now I spread 1-3. Maybe its only a matter of time. The blood has to be pumping when you place the $100 bet and then split, double, etc. Although its all relative.



    That's the reason most counters fail... It takes a lot of fortitude to bet as the count requires, if you want to play a winning game. If you bet too low (1-2 was a good example) you are actually losing.

    But there is a way to win (albiet slowly) with a $5 or $10 bet. Back-count and only play when the count reaches +2 or +3. It isn't going to be a great win rate, but it will be better than "playing all" while only spreading 1-3 or 1-4...

    Another solution is to play SD games where $5-$20 will win a reasonable amount of money. And I had no problems finding $5 SD games when I last visited Vegas, Laughlin, etc... Just don't look on the strip. :)

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