Question about casino advantage and progression
  • I have been reading the message board and practicing my strategy. I have 2 questions however:

    1. Where does the casino advantage come from? I would think that if you played perfect strategy, there would be no advantage, but everything I read says the casino has a slight advantage. Why is that?

    2. The second question I have involved progressive betting what are the advantages/disadvantages to the following:

    the 1 -2 -3 -5 - 1 progression where when you loose you go back to 1 and the progression where is it 1 - 1.5 - 2 - 2.5 - 2.5 where you stay at 2.5 until you lose and then go back to 1?

    Thanks for your help! Also, I am staying at the Palms this weekend, any advice?
  • Answering your first point... I think the modern answer comes from playing Blackjack with more than 1 deck of cards. If I'm not mistaken, most 1 deck games were set up this way:

    Double Down on 10 or 11 only
    No Double Down with an Ace (No Soft Doubling)
    Double Down after split
    Dealer stands on soft 17
    No Surrender
    No re-splitting of pairs
    Hitting split Aces allowed.

    The first changes that were made due to Thorp, et al were

    Dealer HITS soft 17
    Split Aces CANNOT hit
    Some allowed Double Down on 9-10-11

    As time progressed, and the word spread about Thorp, and BASIC strategy was first published further changes made include

    Multiple Decks (notably 2 and 4)
    No Double after split (1 deck)
    Double on any 2 cards permitted Soft Doubling (1 deck)

    Multi-decks had better rules, but inherently have a higher House Edge. These included:

    Double on Any 2 cards
    Double after split
    Dealer STANDS on soft 17. (4 decks)
    Dealer HITS soft 17 (2 decks)
    Player resplit Aces, and all pairs, but no draw to split Aces.

    Then the real counters came along, using the simple +/- method and more changes followed:

    6 and 8 decks
    The loss of most 1 and 4 deck games in general
    Surrender option for the more availible 2 deck game when the dealer HITS soft 17, and the 6 & 8 deck dealer STANDS on soft 17. However, the 6 and 8 deck games saw the resplit Aces option dissapear.

    Now we have a competitive crunch, and areas of our country have slightly different rules, as transportation restrictions keep the vacationer closer to home since 9/11.

    Nevada in general 2, 6, 8 decks mostly Dealer Hits soft 17 and no surrender. But shop around Las Vegas especially there are some Dealer stand soft 17 games still availible. Avoid single deck that pays 6 to 5 for BJ. Spanish 21 has dealer HITS soft 17 and is to be avoided.

    NorthEast Corner: Atlantic City and CT are all 6-8 decks Dealer stands soft 17. AC does NOT allow surrender. Beware of the gimmick games in CT. (Bonanza and Super 7) Spanish 21 has dealer STANDS on soft 17, making it competitive to regular BJ... but get a special Basic Strategy card before playing!

    Not too familiar with the Miss. River Region, I do see all types of BJ games offered.

    Thats about the best I remember of it. I'm sure I messed up on something, or two, or three... hopefully others can remember better.

  • DB- Welcome to the forum.
    According to basic BJ rules, the dealer will win about 5 to 6 more hands/100 hands (-5.5%) than you will, discounting ties. Most of this is made up by naturals(3/2), Double downs and splits(about 4 - 5%). Then all the other table rules kick in (# of decks, DAS, RSA, etc.) to end up with the final house advantage for that game.
  • Brian: The major contributor to the house advantage is the fact that you
    the player must go first. If you bust right off, you lose then and there.
    later the dealer may bust, but that does not help you, it's too late. Rule
    variations alter the house edge to some extent, but not as much as most
    tend to think and that is why you see so many games with varing rules.
    A slight change in HA will help the casino over the long term, but it's not
    that big of a deal for the player in the short term, unless it's 6:5 BJ or H17
    or perhaps no dbl after splits.

    Progressions- My view: one progression is as good as another.

  • Ray- I think you nailed the first part of your response, player has to play first. However, I have to disagree with the part about all progressions being the same. That is saying that a Martingale method is no better or worse than Dahl's or Walters and that is not the case. While they may all be the same to "you", some are much safer to play than others.
  • Midnight: To the best of my limited knowledge, there does not exist any
    published hierarchy of relative goodness for progressions or any other
    money management scheme. To say that one is better or less risk than
    the other is a degree of arbitrariness without a solid foundation in principal
    or in fact. Thus my comment........However,one is entitled to believe what-
    ever he choses to believe and I have no problem with that..........

  • Ray- All what you said may very well be true, but let's look at it from a new player chance of winning, that has a $300 bankroll for the night, knows some BS and decides to play a progression. He sits down at a $5 table and plays a Martingale. He loses Six straight hands. Now, after five straight losess he has to borrow $15 from his buddy, to even be able to make the next step in the Martingale. Bets the $160 and loses it. He is now down $315 and has played SIX hands. Think he had any fun for the night? Now if he had played Dahl's or Walters method on the $5 table and lost six hands in a row, he is only down $30.00 and still has most of his bankroll left, as he has only lost 10% of it.(not 105% of it) Progressions are progressions, Casinos are casinos and People are people. None are exactly alike and some are Much better than others. Now stick a fork in me Mamma, cause I am Done.
  • Midnight: Sounds good to me and the average John is not Bill Gates
    who would like to play a martingale with reckless abandon. So what
    have we proved here, other than; try to live within your means? What's
    good and what's bad is still relative and undetermined.......................

  • Ray- I read in an artice on Bill Gates that said, on the rare occasions when he does go to a casino, he just flat bets $5 a hand. And he may be about the only player, that has more money than the casino. :wink:
  • Midnight: I've just been giving you a hard time mostly in jest. Does Gates
    really go to a casino occasionally? I would have guessed that he didn't, but
    his wife may like to play the slots like a zillion other wives......
  • midnite said:
    Ray- I read in an artice on Bill Gates that said, on the rare occasions when he does go to a casino, he just flat bets $5 a hand. And he may be about the only player, that has more money than the casino. :wink:

    Can't remember where I read/saw this (or if it's been mentioned here before) but there was a dealer, or someone, talking about Clint Eastwood playing at a $10 table, and scrutinizing each play for minutes at a time, trying to stare down the dealer, etc., as if there were a fortune riding on each hand. Thought that was hilarious.

  • Can't you just see "HARRY" sitting there telling the dealer: "Go ahead hit
    me, make my day"...... As my son-in-law would say: "That's Classic"
  • BUG: I can't say that any one progression is better than the other for
    anyone, nor can you. You can say what you think,what you like, what
    you have had good/bad luck with,etc. But, that is all you can say,nothing
    more or nothing less. I think my view on the subject is well know, but I
    want try to impose my view on anyone. Think what you may is my motto.
    It's your money.....................

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