wernerw
Joined: Nov 2, 2009
• Posts: 29
January 11th, 2017 at 10:32:18 AM permalink
I know BJ is not the perfect game to play matchplays, but I like BlackJack so I use them for this game, giving up EV.

I could not find rules for playing the hands:

Double UP:
Usually you can only double up the amount you bet and not the matchplay. How should this affect strategy:

Split:
I am not sure how splitting is handled by the casinos. If I have a 25\$ matchplay and I split hand, can I bet 50 or just 25 on the second hand and how would that influence strategy?

Is there any other situation where a strategy change is necessary when playing a matchplay coupon?
Romes
Joined: Jul 22, 2014
• Posts: 4052
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January 11th, 2017 at 12:39:27 PM permalink
Hey wernerw,

Double Up... You should stick to basic strategy (or deviations if you're counting) regardless of using a match play or not. The idea is that basic strategy is the best decision that will return the MOST to the player in the long run. Thus it doesn't matter if you're betting \$15, \$30, or \$15 + \$15 match play... The correct decision to double is the correct decision according to basic strategy.

Splitting... Same goes for splitting as doubling for strategy. As far as the bet amount the casinos look at your "total bet." So if you play 1 hand of \$25 + \$25 match play, then your total bet for the round is \$50. Thus, if you want to split, you'll have to put up another \$50 to split the next hand, and \$50 to double after split, or \$50 more to again re-split. This is fantastic though... Because the VAST majority of the time Splits & Doubles are VERY +EV for the player. So think about it... You only had to wager \$25 but now on EVERY Split & Double (which is to your advantage) you're GETTING to bet \$50 each (again, with an advantage). It's great when you use FP or MP and get tons of splits and doubles =).

The only time off the top of my head that strategy would change would be pending your goal for the match play coupon. Do you want a guaranteed \$X, losing EV in the process, or do you want to play the MP for maximum value, etc?

I know you stated you understand, but make sure you understand your casino rules for MP. Some casinos I've been to if you bet \$25 + \$25 match play and hit a blackjack, they ONLY pay EVEN MONEY on the match play and pay 3/2 on the blackjack. This is certainly -EV. Now, some casinos pay \$75 (3/2 on the whole bet) then take the coupon, so it depends from shop to shop. Typically with FP/MP that ONLY pays even money you'll want to put it on something with a lower edge... Because when blackjack pays even money the house edge soars up another 2.27%, quite often bringing the total house edge close to 3%! You'd be far better off betting it on a line bet in craps (1.39% DP or 1.41% Pass) or even Baccarat (1.06% banker or 1.24% player).
Playing it correctly means you've already won.
houyi
Joined: Jun 26, 2016
• Posts: 24
January 11th, 2017 at 1:03:08 PM permalink
Quote: Romes

Hey wernerw,

I know you stated you understand, but make sure you understand your casino rules for MP. Some casinos I've been to if you bet \$25 + \$25 match play and hit a blackjack, they ONLY pay EVEN MONEY on the match play and pay 3/2 on the blackjack. This is certainly -EV. Now, some casinos pay \$75 (3/2 on the whole bet) then take the coupon, so it depends from shop to shop. Typically with FP/MP that ONLY pays even money you'll want to put it on something with a lower edge... Because when blackjack pays even money the house edge soars up another 2.27%, quite often bringing the total house edge close to 3%! You'd be far better off betting it on a line bet in craps (1.39% DP or 1.41% Pass) or even Baccarat (1.06% banker or 1.24% player).

Romes is mostly correct here, but one point that may be worth clarifying is that while banker is the lower house edge play in baccarat under normal circumstances, when using a match play you will actually get greater utility by betting player if given the option. The tie bet is even more profitable, but I've yet to see a casino allowing this. With match plays, you generally want to try to maximize volatility.
Romes
Joined: Jul 22, 2014
• Posts: 4052
January 11th, 2017 at 1:13:29 PM permalink
Quote: houyi

Romes is mostly correct here, but one point that may be worth clarifying is that while banker is the lower house edge play in baccarat under normal circumstances, when using a match play you will actually get greater utility by betting player if given the option. The tie bet is even more profitable, but I've yet to see a casino allowing this. With match plays, you generally want to try to maximize volatility.

Literally played my last FP on the Player in Baccarat =). If one were to get a copy of Beyond Counting JG gives a really good breakdown of all the different types of FP, MP, etc.
Playing it correctly means you've already won.
BobDancer
Joined: Jun 22, 2013
• Posts: 132
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January 11th, 2017 at 2:38:33 PM permalink
Quote: Romes

Double Up... You should stick to basic strategy (or deviations if you're counting) regardless of using a match play or not. The idea is that basic strategy is the best decision that will return the MOST to the player in the long run. Thus it doesn't matter if you're betting \$15, \$30, or \$15 + \$15 match play... The correct decision to double is the correct decision according to basic strategy.
.

I'm not a blackjack theoretician by any means, but I think this is incorrect --- at least some of the time.

Double up basic strategy rules are aimed at being mathematically correct if your new bet is exactly the same as your old bet.

But with a \$25 match play coupon where (at at least some casinos) you double with a full-valued \$25 chip, this is more akin to tripling up (assuming the match play coupon is worth approximately half face value) than it is to doubling up.

Why would you assume that the basic strategy rules for doubling and splitting (based on putting out an equal value bet) would necessarily be identical to basic strategy where you could put out a double value bet?

And whatever counting system you are using, it seems like some of the index numbers could change as well. I assume this is in the literature somewhere but I am not a student of blackjack literature.
Romes
Joined: Jul 22, 2014
• Posts: 4052
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January 11th, 2017 at 2:47:20 PM permalink
I'd be intrigued to know the number of blackjack players that know and deploy the proper deviations for match play triple bets. Also this will vary from shop to shop. I've played places that only let you split/double the original amount as well as places that allow you to split/double for the "full amount" of the wager (match play included). There are some other circumstances that go in to the full evaluation, but in the long run of things it will be much easier to just stick to basic strategy as the EV from these one time use match plays (less pushes or dealer forgets to take them)... in my opinion. I'd be willing to wager that the 'majority' (51%) of professional and self-proclaimed card counters alike don't even know full basic strategy, let alone full basic strategy for H17 vs S17. For the first year or so myself I didn't bother looking up the S17 rules because all of the games around me were H17, so when I came on a S17 game I used H17 basic before looking it up later.
Playing it correctly means you've already won.
Ibeatyouraces
Joined: Jan 12, 2010
• Posts: 10560
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January 11th, 2017 at 2:49:06 PM permalink
http://www.blackjackforumonline.com/content/beyondcouponsbjfo.pdf

Bottom of page 9 to page 11
"And that's the bottom lineeeee, cuz Stone Cold said so!"
Romes
Joined: Jul 22, 2014
• Posts: 4052
January 11th, 2017 at 5:30:21 PM permalink
Quote: Ibeatyouraces

http://www.blackjackforumonline.com/content/beyondcouponsbjfo.pdf

Bottom of page 9 to page 11

Great link IBYA. Forgot about that beyond coupons post. Admittedly I don't know the coupon deviations, though I rarely if ever play my FP/MP on blackjack.
Playing it correctly means you've already won.
TomG
Joined: Sep 26, 2010
• Posts: 913
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January 11th, 2017 at 10:24:46 PM permalink
Quote: Romes

I know you stated you understand, but make sure you understand your casino rules for MP. Some casinos I've been to if you bet \$25 + \$25 match play and hit a blackjack, they ONLY pay EVEN MONEY on the match play and pay 3/2 on the blackjack. This is certainly -EV.

?????

Even losing 2.27%, that would only move it from an EV of ~+49% to an EV of ~+47%. That's unquestionably +EV. Better than most roulette and only costs you about 75-cents compared to craps.

Unless it's printed on the coupon, these casino rules are usually just dealer or pit rules and the results could be different at another time or table. With \$5 coupons I would let an even money blackjack slide, just making sure to not tip. With \$25 I would question it. When you have a coupon and \$25 chip out there and it's time to split or double, just slide out another two green chips. The dealer will almost always accept it. If basic strategy tells you to split 8s, try just sliding one green chip out there and the dealer may accept it.

Best reason to use coupons at blackjack, especially double deck, is because you get to see cards. If a lot of little ones come out, keep playing. If not, walk away. A couple places I can load up with multiple coupons and it's like they're paying me to count through the decks.
Romes
Joined: Jul 22, 2014