That said, I just realized the irony of this side bet. To break even you need to increase the chance of natural blackjack to at least 50% more than normal. By hi-low system that means at least +8 TC.
The problem is, if it's +8 TC you really shouldn't be worried about a $5 side bet when you should be betting REAL big on your main bet.
I'm looking at Hi-Opt II with ace side count as the only hope for this side bet to be realistic.
But even so, the only realistic use for this bet is a harmless cover to make the pitboss not think you're a card counter when it's profitable to make the bet.
Mea culpa! There is an error in my analysis related to generating a random shoe representation. I was removing cards from randomly selected card types rather than randomly selected cards. The initial results with that corrected suggest +EV shoes start showing up at 50% penetration and reaches about a 9% occurrence rate at 75% penetration. I'll post a corrected graph tonight. Sorry!
Don't know if this thread is still active enough to garner a reply...
Is there an easy correlation between HiLow TC and deck penetration that makes the graph relevant?
I wouldn't think penetration alone is a valid indicator - 74% penetration (the last round of a deck cut off at 75%) with a TC of +2 would not seem to me to be a "better bet" (there is no "good bet" in this game's horrible house edge, that's a given).
The graph doesn't have "TC" as the label on its Y axis.
Then there's the size of the pot.
At a jackpot of $700K, I have been playing at TC +3 or better, but only based on my gut. More tens and aces left in the deck... a big windfall if it hits... what's another $5 when I have close to my max bet out there anyway... why not? A TC of +3 is hard to come by with 5 decks remaining, so by definition I'm closer to the end of the show. So penetration does enter in it.
But that's not science, Mr. White.
Someone who wants to play this progressive has to turn the graph into decision points related to penetration and TC. Or is it not that easy?