Boney526
Boney526
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November 4th, 2012 at 7:29:56 PM permalink
I was reading up a little bit, mainly just out of curiosity, about the concept (The Floating Advantage) and started to think about it and it's implications. It's presented in "Blackjack Attack" by Don Schlesinger, and I'm pretty sure Arnold Snyder's website has a couple articles about it.

For those who are not familiar, (I'd imagine a lot are not) I'll summarize. A card counter keeps a running count of the proportion of high to low cards using tags. Then, they divide this count by the number of decks remaining to get a True Count, an estimate of the expected value of the next hand. It is assumed that a True Count has the same edge throughout the packet, however, it was discovered that this isn't true. In fact, given decent rules, a 6 deck game with a Running Count of 0 has a slight player advantage when only 1 deck is left. The actual effect is pretty much directly correlated to the same rules' edge with "n" decks.

This has no value to the non card counter as the effects of using non-optimal (basic) strategy against high and low counts will eat up this advantage. To the counter, this knowledge has some slight effect, but hardly enough to utilize heavily. (It's probably good to know that at a RC of 0 with 1 deck left has a slight edge, and that higher counts will have a higher edge later in the shoe than earlier if you use the proper index plays)

But here's what I was wondering. The explanation of why this effect occurs is essentially that the remaining deck essentially acts the same as a single deck over time, when the Running Count is 0. So it's like playing against 1 deck, but with the 6 deck rules. That being the case, would you use a single deck basic strategy at a RC of 0? And Double Deck strategy with 2 decks left? Or would you always use the multi deck strategy? Which is better at that point in the deck, and if you do use the "n" deck strategy, is it also best to use "n" deck indices?

Optimally, if I was a perfect blackjack playing machine, would I constantly adjust my indices according to the number of decks left? I realize that constantly adjusting not only the RC, TC, Floating Advantage effect and so called "Floating Basic Strategy and Indices" if they exist may just be overkill, but I'm mostly wondering if it would theoretically be applicable. (Even if not practical)

Has anybody read anything about this? I'm not sure if anybody has ever bothered to do any research on this, but I am looking for any literature I can find.
Wizard
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Wizard
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November 4th, 2012 at 8:08:25 PM permalink
The Floating Advantage is both very technical and esoteric. Only the most mathematically curious blackjack students need to be aware of it. For the basics, please see my Ask the Wizard column #182.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
Boney526
Boney526
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November 4th, 2012 at 8:39:01 PM permalink
What I'm trying to figure out is if anybody has ever researched whether the same effect that causes the Floating Advantage would cause you to change your Basic Strategy based on the number of decks remaining. I pretty much understand the concept as described in the Blackjack Attack, and understand that it's not that practically useful.

Mostly out of curiosity, and partly because if these changes exist, they would be easy to learn, I'm wondering whether the effect would cause you to play "n" deck strategy, where "n" is the number of decks left, at a RC of 0.

Say with 1 deck left in a liberal 6 deck game, the RC is 0. You bet, knowing that you're playing at about a .2% advantage if you use Basic Strategy. Would it, however, be more beneficial to you to use the one deck strategy? Say you get 3,5 v 6, the change in index is enough to justify doubling. However, say you get A,8 v 6. In 6 deck you stand. In single deck you double. The RC is still 0, so I think that the same effect that causes the Floating Edge may justify a doubling down in this scenario, but I may be wrong.

As far as I know, though, nobodies ever done any research on that. And it seems to me, since I have most of the differnces between 1, 2 and 4+ deck strategy memorized, it may be worth knowing if this effect is present.

BTW: I have read that before and it does a nice job of explaining and simplifying the known concept, but I'm trying to find if anyone has studied the effect of penetration and Strategy at a neutral count.
Ibeatyouraces
Ibeatyouraces
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November 5th, 2012 at 6:20:22 AM permalink
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DUHHIIIIIIIII HEARD THAT!
Wizard
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Wizard
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November 5th, 2012 at 6:23:08 AM permalink
Quote: Boney526

What I'm trying to figure out is if anybody has ever researched whether the same effect that causes the Floating Advantage would cause you to change your Basic Strategy based on the number of decks remaining.



No, you wouldn't. The last deck in a six-deck shoe has the same odds as the first deck, for the non-counter.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
Ibeatyouraces
Ibeatyouraces
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November 5th, 2012 at 6:42:29 AM permalink
deleted
DUHHIIIIIIIII HEARD THAT!
MangoJ
MangoJ
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November 5th, 2012 at 7:10:06 AM permalink
Floating Advantage is an effect of card removal, so it is not governed by the true count (which is an estimate of card distribution).

I have no doubt that there is a better strategy for TC=0 at 1 deck left (i.e. better than basic strategy), but it won't be the single deck basic strategy.

The only question is: how much mathematics are you willing to "spend" ?
Boney526
Boney526
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November 5th, 2012 at 10:52:57 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

No, you wouldn't. The last deck in a six-deck shoe has the same odds as the first deck, for the non-counter.



I realize that, I meant for the Counter. I guess my wording is just off - I just realized I forgot to mention that I meant for the counter, who knows the RC to be exactly 0.
Boney526
Boney526
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November 5th, 2012 at 10:56:15 AM permalink
Quote: MangoJ

Floating Advantage is an effect of card removal, so it is not governed by the true count (which is an estimate of card distribution).

I have no doubt that there is a better strategy for TC=0 at 1 deck left (i.e. better than basic strategy), but it won't be the single deck basic strategy.

The only question is: how much mathematics are you willing to "spend" ?



Haha, OK so I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks that this would effect would probably exist. I'm not anywhere near good enough to do the math myself, I was wondering if anyone had ever seen any work done, or literature about, this topic.

I'm almost certain that there would have to be some effect, although my intuitive idea of it being correlated exactly to # of decks at RC 0 is probably wrong. I do, however, think that many single deck plays would apply if the RC is exactly 0. (Such as Double Soft 19 against 6).
Wizard
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Wizard
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November 5th, 2012 at 11:22:14 AM permalink
Quote: Boney526

I just realized I forgot to mention that I meant for the counter, who knows the RC to be exactly 0.



"Seems that, at the one-deck level, extremely high counts produce less edge than expected for the basic strategist (many pushes) and the extreme negative counts were found to be even more unfavorable than previously thought (doubles, splits, and stands tend to be disastrous)." - Blackjack Attack, third edition, page 70.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.

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