Greetings all and my first question!
  • G'day to all. My name is Jim (but most people call me..... Jim)

    Ok, sorry for the Mel Brooks joke, wasn't even funny in the movie.

    Now, here is a question that has been on my mind for a few days.

    Say the TC is high and there are many juicy cards in the shoe. I am at a table with three others and the dealer of course.

    There are seven boxes on the tables in Australia so there are a few spare that I can play.

    Now, with a favorable TC, why should I not play several boxes instead of just one? I mean if I don't, more of the good cards will be consumed by the other three players and the dealer (over more hands) right?

    If I play more than one box I will get proportionally more of the Tens and Aces and grab a further advantage.

    I cannot shoot holes in my theory. It seems sound to me. The thing that has put doubt in my mind was a reply to someone elses post on this forum (that I cannot find again damn it) by Fred Renzey that seemed to poo-poo the idea of playing multiple boxes for advantage when the TC was high.

    To me, I have found a way to gain advantage in a way that is not in any of "the books."

    Ok, guys, shoot me down. What have I missed?

  • I've since this mentioned in quite a few books.

    Under ideal conditions you're right: the more hands you play in true count on a packed table, the more of the good cards you will be getting proportionally. In fact, in many places (at least in the US) there's a rule that playing two hands means playing double the table minimum on each, so that even gives you an excuse to raise if you've been wonging.

    My guess is that the main problem, of course, is that the house is not stupid: when a player switches from playing one hand to playing two hands, he's attracting attention, even more than just doubling a bet. More so, if he quits playing two hands after a round or two (cause the count went down). If he keeps that going, somebody's going to try and figure out the pattern and a reasoning, and unless your cover is super good and the house careless, that's a tell... On a table with three other people, switching from one to two hands and back attracts way more attention than doubling or even tripling a bet. You're calling attention to yourself. Of course, the higher the stake, the closer you're watched.

    I'm not saying that it wouldn't work, I'm just saying that you might get the same position by a better spread. Yes, the good cards would disappear faster, but that would also mean they might notice less if you had a higher bet once.
  • Usually, playing two hands on high counts is limited to a few hands
    at crunch time....say 2-3 hands and the reason is simply to get
    more action in the game at favorable times and to improve pen
    a small amount. However, there is a great deal more to the idea of playing
    two hands. For example: Playing two at 70% can be used at times
    and combined with backcounting. You effectively get more money
    in the game with a bet spread that looks like a progression and at
    the sametime manage risk to some extent(covariance of two hands,etc).
    This method restricts the player from playing neg counts and maybe
    uses late shoe exits as well. Playing two is not new news at all...............

    In single deck days you would even consider playing three
    days, you would be "exit stage left" in short order......
  • There are other reasons. For example, take a SD game played with RO6 (sum of players + rounds = 6). If you sit down at an empty table, you get 5 rounds dealt, which turns into 10 hands or 26 cards. 50% penetration.

    If you play 2 hands, you get 4 rounds (2 players + 4 rounds = 6). Now you are seeing 12 hands of 2.6 cards, or 32 cards for 62% penetration.

    I'd take 62% over 50% any day...
  • Correct- But in todays environment you will get the shaft in short
    order. Also, in shoe games, casino conditions limits your ability to
    take advantage of this option no matter how you try to work it.......
  • I wouldn't do it in a shoe game for the penetration reason. But if I do it in a SD game, I don't get much heat since I play 2 hands each and every round, never dropping back to just one...
  • Thanks for the reply guys. I've been able to filter through them and and get the answer that fits the conditions at my casino. (Low heat, mostly supportive dealers...)

    In future I will play several boxes when it is advantagous to do so.


  • Another thing to consider:

    When the TC is high, part of player's edge comes from the fact that the dealer is more likely to bust if he has to hit. Playing more boxes you will see more 10s, but you'll run through the deck faster with fewer busts from the dealer. I am unaware of these statistics, but it might be worth while to look it up.
  • the math for playing two hands is well-known.

    1. rather than 1 hand of X units for a bet, play 2 hands of .75X units each.

    2. doing (1) doesn't do much for your EV or anything else, since you are betting 1.5X the money, and eating 1.5X the cards, making this a wash.

    3. Playing two hands in a + count only works well, since it lets you take 2x the "good" cards you would normally get playing just one hand...

    4. Playing 2 hands all the time is effective in RO6/RO7 games to increase penetration.

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