Joined: Nov 17, 2009
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March 23rd, 2013 at 11:25:56 PM permalink
As I have stated before, when I play blackjack I always increase my bet after each consecutive winning hand and then back to table minimum after a loss. So last night I was on a nice streak starting at $10 (w/$5 pair side bet) and was up to $40 (w/$5 pair side bet). I was dealt a pair of 8s against dealer's 5. I get paid $50 on the pair bet, split, 8/3 double 10 (21), 8/10 (18) stand and dealer busts. At this point my bankroll wasn't that large and if I had not been betting the side bet, paying for the split and double down would have put most of my bankroll at risk. This got me thinking about the overall game, (1) how likely is it that a player would have to split his hand if dealt a pair? (in my play it happens seemingly often), (2) the correlation between this side bet and House Money 21 (similar in that if you have pair and need to split you use the side bet money to pay for the split), and (3) was the fact that you can use the side bet win to pay for the split included in the analysis of determining the house edge for this game or does it even matter?

Thanks in advance for any input.
Joined: Jun 17, 2011
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March 24th, 2013 at 2:45:06 PM permalink
Firstly, the usual correct strategy is not to play side-bets (but you probably already know that). Also I suspect it's not wise to make the initial Blackjack bet if you're unwilling to stump up the extra cash for splits and doubles - it is certainly a bad bet if you're down to your last $5. If you're pressing after a win then you have to be prepared to (say) double 11 vs 6 if you've built up to quite a nice bet.

I've played House Money a few times and usually you want to leave the money riding (especially doubles, but quite often splits as well - some splits are taking a (say) 60% chance and converting them to two 56% chances, so you would want to keep your money riding - others like 8s vs 9 swap a bad chance to two slightly better ones - so you wouldn't). Also note with HouseMoney, say you have 65 and double, or AA and split, YOU have to put up the extra money; but remember you're on better than 50% odds (else you wouldn't be doing it)! I remember playing £2 and quite often would have to put up £8 of my own money, so it's a very risky bet as the swing is win £22 or lose £10, for an original £2 side-bet.

Of course if you're playing freebet then most of the time, there are rare exceptions, you only stand to lose your original bet.
Joined: Feb 24, 2011
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March 24th, 2013 at 4:51:14 PM permalink
On Perfect Pairs there is no option to stack your money on the original bet, you are just using your winnings to help fund your normal decision to split and double. That decision after a Perfect Pairs win is a separate and distinct bet.

On House Money a similar option is available if you simply decline the "stack it on my main bet" option and use the winnings and the original bet to once again fund your split/double, etc.

The difference in House Money is if you do decide to stack your winnings, you have simulaneously increased your required split and double bets for the remainder of the hand. Similar to what CP has indicated, if you aren't willing to maximize your bets when strategy tells you to do so, you should decrease your initial bets so you aren't uncomfortable with the additional dollars put at risk to play correctly.

For example, if you have a $10 main wager and a $5 HM bet and are dealt a pair of 9's against a Dealer 6, your House Money wager is paid and becomes $20 that you can stack on your main wager. I believe that correct strategy would then be to split your nines (requiring now $30 from you bankroll to complete the split) and then any doubles on the split 9's (i.e. if a 2 was dealt) would also require a $30 double wager. If one of the 9 Hands is doubled, you went from risking $15 on the BJ/HM hand to having $75 dollar of your bankroll in play and $15 of House Money in play. If that makes a player uncomfortable, then you can't play House Money.

I am sure that Roger & Co. factored all the increased dollars and their outcomes in play when designing HM. I thought I read that without the ability to stack and split/double larger amounts in advantageous positions, the basic HM paytable has a high teens to low twenties percentage house edge. It is the stacking and increased size of advantageous splitting/doubling that bring the overall HE down to 4-5%. I am sure Mips et al will give us an exact HE on the HM pay table excluding the ability to stack.

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