Table image question for Renzey
  • (though anyone feel free to chime in)

    I'm reading the Blackjack Bluebook II about Camoflage and Table Image and I had an idea about something else a counter might use as part of his "act"... basic strategy cards, those little cards/charts that some people use at the tables with all the basic strategy plays.

    I would think that someone sitting down at a table with a fake rum & coke and a little card to help them remember basic strategy probably wouldn't draw much attention as a threat to the House.

    Good idea, or "over the top"?
  • I'm not a counter but have heard from some counters here that they do use BS cards as cover.
  • Good idea, but not for me. I just can't pull off making any deviations without giving away my cover.

    I prefer to just ask the table for advice when it's a close call - should I hit this 16v10? Should I take insurance? Should I hit 12v4? Then I make the correct move. I always let the other guy know when his advice works and I keep quiet when his advice does not.

    I like to appear like I'm indecisive. I never use the words "basic strategy"; I'll say "it's what the book says" or "I heard you're supposed to hit A6v7"
  • Buffarino - Yeah, I figured others have probably thought of it. It's a pretty obvious idea...

    "My brother-in-law gave me this card with all the right plays on it. Says I can't go wrong with it."
  • I prefer to just ask the table for advice when it's a close call - should I hit this 16v10? Should I take insurance?

    Whether or not you should take insurance is NOT a close call by any means. You know why? Cuz it will take 25 more babies than 10's on the table to make taking Insurance the CORRECT move so that's not close at all and you couldn't be closer than the truth! Taking insurance is a HOUSE BET!!!
    Also, it takes a true count of +3 or GREATER before taking insurance is the proper move!!
  • Correct, Bug. Insurance is definately a very bad play for the basic strategist.

    I really meant the "most common" deviations, not the closest calls. Actually, the closest call is A2v5 - but this hand happens rarely. On the other hand, a +3 count with an Ace up happens all the time (well maybe once an hours or so, anyway).
  • Actually, the closest call is A2v5 - but this hand happens rarely.

    Really? I always thought it was 12v4 because all it takes is to have the same amount of 10's as there are babies in order to HIT instead of stand since this is an extremely marginal call. Than after that hand it is 16vs10, taking only one more baby then 10 displayed on the board to warrant STANDING as the proper move.

    As far as I know about A2v5, that is a 52% advantage play for the double downer. I never heard it as a close call! :shock:


    Speaking of Renzey in the title, where has he and Thomason been? He hasn't posted in so long!!!
  • Hitting A2v5 gives you an expected value (EV) of 0.1363.
    Doubling A2v5 gives you an EV of 0.1366.
    Both moves are clearly winners, but which is better? If you played that hand 10,000 times, betting $1 each time, you'd expect to be $3 better off by doubling rather than hitting. Of course, the chance of that hand actually happening is only 0.0917%, so you'd expect to play 11 million hands before seeing that hand 10,000 times. So if you played blackjack 8 hours a day for 37 years (no weekends or holidays) betting $1 a hand, you'd be down 3 bucks if you played that hand wrong every time.

    Probabilities were compiled by Cacarulo for 8D, S17, DOA, DAS, RSA=0, RSP=4, and posted on
  • But where do you get that A2v5 is the closest call, compared to the 2 hands that I provided? 12v4 and 16v10 are closer calls.
  • Whoops, I made a mistake,
    A2v5: Hit 0.13633, double 0.13636, difference is 0.00003, not 0.0003. It will now take you 370 years to make those three dollars.

    10,2v4: stand: -0.21110, hit -0.21116, difference is 0.00006
    10,6v10: stand -0.54083, hit -0.53597, a whopping 0.00486

    For each of these, the index is zero. Renzey probably doesn't mention A2v5 because it happens about 10,000 times less often than 16v10 and is therefore hardly worth remembering.
  • Very interesting. So for 16v10, in other words we're gonna LOSE ~54% of the time no matter what we do?
  • Bughouse – Yes, you will lose either way, and by more than 54%. Here is your answer in “plain English”, and it is the way blackjack “players” evaluate these things.

    Multiple Deck Basic Strategy for 16 vs 10:
    - If you hit you will lose 76.6% of the time.
    - If you stand you will lose 77.2% of the time.

  • Grifter you know where I can get other hand comparisons on their % winning and losing or a site that provides such info? I'd like to see stuff like hard 17 vs. 10 or hard 18 vs 10 or ace etc.

    You know what I'm saying?
  • Bughouse - I think you are saying you would like to see more plain English, common sense, seat of the pants data that everyone can easily understand.

    If so, I agree.....I think anyone trying to learn blackjack today is coping with a tremendous "informational overload". Good data is a necessity for learning good blackjack, and there are many good websites for just about everything......But if I were just starting out I think I would have a hard time separating the "wheat" from the "chaff".

    And I don't know of a website that really gets down to the bare basics like that answer I gave you yesterday. There are plenty of sites like 'bjmath' that can probably give you the odds of two one-eyed jacks being dealt back to back to the 6th decimal point, but that doesn't do the average person much good.

    Sorry to digress, and here is your answer.....The data yesterday came from a book published in 1980, "How To Playing Winning Blackjack" by Julian Braun.....I would recommend this classic to everyone. It is out of print now, but available used from Amazon. It is pretty pricey, but worth it.....About $40 for a copy in "Acceptable" condition and $90 for one in "Very Good" condition.


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