Chuck
Chuck
Joined: Jun 11, 2010
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June 25th, 2010 at 3:13:48 PM permalink
Disclaimer: I don't play blackjack.

However, it seems that I repeatedly see claims that players shouldn't grumble when they're at a table and someone makes a "stupid" play, because it doesn't "affect their own results".

Now I can see where a bum play might hurt, or it might help, but in both of those cases, it makes a difference.

Thought experiment: you're at a table at first base and you're playing out of a six deck shoe. You have superpowers and can see that the cards are arranged in such a way that if everybody at the table plays perfect basic strategy, after the first round of hands, you will get six blackjacks in a row.

But in the first round of hands, the player at third base takes an extra card. Boom. Your six blackjacks just went out the window (unless you unknowingly salvage some of them by taking a boatload of extra cards in the next couple of hands).

Now I understand that the cards could just as easily be arranged in the shoe so that the stupid play in the first round of hands CAUSES you to get six blackjacks in a row.

However, either way, the stupid play made a difference; it wasn't neutral to your results.

What I can see is, the likelihood of everybody playing perfect basic strategy for an extended period of time is probably small, and the more mistakes that get made, the more akin it is to basically reshuffling the cards in the middle of the shoe.

I guess kind of what I'm getting at is, once the cards are shuffled and in the shoe, the order they come out in is not an independent series of events. The players affect it.

So is it the likelihood of consistently non-perfect play that is behind the mantra "it doesn't make a difference"? Or is it the unlikelihood of six blackjacks lining up, or is there something else?
FleaStiff
FleaStiff
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June 25th, 2010 at 6:52:23 PM permalink
>the likelihood of everybody playing perfect basic strategy for an extended period of time is probably small,
It sure is.


>the more mistakes that get made, the more akin it is to basically reshuffling the cards in the middle of the shoe.
No, not at all.

Its like having an attractive girl walk by in a revealing dress. You get distracted. You can blame her for your hit or stand decision if you want to but its rather childish. Was there really a predestined sequence to the beautiful women strolling by? Players make decisions about the cards. Some of those decisions comport with basic strategy, some comport with refinements to basic strategy and some decisions are pure boners. You are playing against the dealer's hand with the cards you actually are dealt not with some pre-ordained theoretically pure sequence. Others will make mistakes, YOU will make mistakes. It happens.

You want to play at a BJ table all alone without anyone else screwing up the cards? You can do that in any casino in the world. Just tell the floorperson you want the table to yourself. He will politely issue dinner comps to any sitting there so as to politely send them on there way and then he will make the table limit 300.00 a hand minimum. From then on, the cards you get will be the ones that were pre-ordained to be yours. You will be the only one making decisions there.
dwheatley
dwheatley
Joined: Nov 16, 2009
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June 25th, 2010 at 8:35:56 PM permalink
Quote: Chuck

So is it the likelihood of consistently non-perfect play that is behind the mantra "it doesn't make a difference"? Or is it the unlikelihood of six blackjacks lining up, or is there something else?



It comes down to an unseen card is just as likely to be any unseen card, notwithstanding superpowers... The order the cards come out is predetermined by the shuffle, but you could argue the place the roulette balls lands is predetermined by factors such as the dealer's strength and mood today. But until the outcome is known, it is random.

Although you can't (under normal circumstances) know what card is going to come next, you are right that other players WILL affect the outcome. However, they are just as likely to affect it in a positive way as they will in a negative way. For playing purposes, the next card you get is completely random. Forget people playing basic strategy, YOUR expectation is effectively the same if someone hits EVERY time until they bust. They are only ruining THEIR expectation.

Exceptions arise when you are counting. If the count is good, and players are taking too many cards, they are cutting down on your expectation since they are taking good cards you would like to have.
Wisdom is the quality that keeps you out of situations where you would otherwise need it
Chuck
Chuck
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June 26th, 2010 at 3:56:08 AM permalink
OK, so more or less, it's the players' actions that introduce (or re-introduce) randomness into the draw. And since the probability of player "mistakes" increases to near 100% the longer you play, then eventually the ones that hurt you even out against the ones that help you, so it ends up being a wash. I just had a hard time with seeing the phrase along the lines of "it doesn't make a difference", vs. "in the long term, it's a wash."
matilda
matilda
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June 26th, 2010 at 8:17:38 AM permalink
You are confusing the extreme short run with the long run. You are applying a long run strategy to a short run situation. Basic strategy is a long run concept-the best play to maximize return over a large number of hands. There is no reason to assume it is the best way to play a single shoe.

Suppose using your superpowers, you knew your next hand would be 10,9 and the next card is 2. What would you do. Of course you would take a hit. However this is not basic strategy. If you are not playing basic strategy, under what logic do you require other people at the table to play basic strategy? In addition, suppose you are not the only one at the table to have superpowers. Suppose the person before you had the same hand and took your 2 instead of playing basic strategy. Can you accuse this player of making a stupid play; after all it it the same play you would have made. On what basis can you complain that this person ruined your hand.
DJTeddyBear
DJTeddyBear
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June 26th, 2010 at 8:45:32 AM permalink
First: A bad play can be taking or not taking a hit.

Second: A bad play can result in good or bad results for you.

The result is no different than a shuffle that would have had a result one card different than the shoe you're playing.


By the way: You don't have superpowers, so the entire premise is moot.
I invented a few casino games. Info: http://www.DaveMillerGaming.com/ 覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧 Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁
Chuck
Chuck
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June 26th, 2010 at 9:10:23 AM permalink
Quote: matilda

You are confusing the extreme short run with the long run. You are applying a long run strategy to a short run situation. Basic strategy is a long run concept-the best play to maximize return over a large number of hands. There is no reason to assume it is the best way to play a single shoe.

Suppose using your superpowers, you knew your next hand would be 10,9 and the next card is 2. What would you do. Of course you would take a hit. However this is not basic strategy. If you are not playing basic strategy, under what logic do you require other people at the table to play basic strategy? In addition, suppose you are not the only one at the table to have superpowers. Suppose the person before you had the same hand and took your 2 instead of playing basic strategy. Can you accuse this player of making a stupid play; after all it it the same play you would have made. On what basis can you complain that this person ruined your hand.



I am not applying any strategy to anything. Go back and eliminate my statement about having superpowers because it appears to be throwing people off the point. Instead of using superpowers to determine that the cards are lined up in such a way that all players playing basic strategy would result in you getting six blackjacks in a row, I will simply STIPULATE that the cards are arranged that way, no confusing superpowers necessary.

What I'm really getting at is saying that the statement "[a "bad" play] doesn't make a difference" is different than "the differences in your favor even out the differences against you over time due to the virtual impossibility of 100% perfect strategy play".
matilda
matilda
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June 26th, 2010 at 12:32:58 PM permalink
Quote: Chuck

I am not applying any strategy to anything.

What I'm really getting at is saying that the statement "[a "bad" play] doesn't make a difference" is different than "the differences in your favor even out the differences against you over time due to the virtual impossibility of 100% perfect strategy play".



If you are not applying any strategy then why do you constantly mention basic, perfect strategies and why is the title of this thread "the effect of deviating from basic strategy"?

If you want an answer to your original question, you have to come to grips with the fact that you have not framed your question in an exact manner so we can try to answer it. In fact, it appears that when an attempt is made to answer your question, you then change the question. For example and most basic, define what you mean by "a bad play". Bad in relation to what? Is a bad play simply one that you do not like because you didn't get the card you wanted?

In your last sentence---your two statements may or may not be the same depending on your definitions.

So, if you stipulate a stacked deck, what is a bad play? Consider in your definition -- what may be a bad play for you may not be a bad play for the one making it.
PapaChubby
PapaChubby
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June 26th, 2010 at 4:21:36 PM permalink
Quote: Chuck

I am not applying any strategy to anything. Go back and eliminate my statement about having superpowers because it appears to be throwing people off the point. Instead of using superpowers to determine that the cards are lined up in such a way that all players playing basic strategy would result in you getting six blackjacks in a row, I will simply STIPULATE that the cards are arranged that way, no confusing superpowers necessary.

What I'm really getting at is saying that the statement "[a "bad" play] doesn't make a difference" is different than "the differences in your favor even out the differences against you over time due to the virtual impossibility of 100% perfect strategy play".



The last part of your final sentence is unnecessary. The differences in your favor even out the differences against you over time. And, I think more importantly, the actions of the other player do not affect the likelihood of the outcome of any particular hand. Lets say you have an 18, and the dealer has a 15 and needs to draw a card. Lets say there are only 2 cards left in the shoe: a jack and a four. Do you want the player at 3rd base to take a card or not? It doesn't matter, because at the time he makes the decision that decision doesn't affect you. If he doesn't take a card, there is a 50% chance the dealer will bust. If he does take a card and its a four (50% likelihood) then there becomes a 100% likelihood that the dealer will bust. If he takes a card and its a jack (50% likelihood) then there is a 0% chance that the dealer will bust. So whether he takes a card or not, there is a 50% chance the dealer will bust.

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