Grarg
Joined: Apr 30, 2015
• Posts: 2
April 30th, 2015 at 11:35:07 PM permalink
Online blackjack doesn't use a shoe and seems to have about 60% penetration on 6 decks. With standard rules (surrender only on first two cards, split limit of 4), is it worth just sitting around and betting big when the TC is high?
Romes
Joined: Jul 22, 2014
• Posts: 5506
May 1st, 2015 at 7:16:32 AM permalink
Quote: Grarg

Online blackjack doesn't use a shoe and seems to have about 60% penetration on 6 decks. With standard rules (surrender only on first two cards, split limit of 4), is it worth just sitting around and betting big when the TC is high?

There's another thread on page 1 talking about similar online games (50%) pen, asking if they could be beat, etc...

Short answer: No, it's not worth it. Any mild profit you'd have would consist of variance out the ass and a huuuuuge bankroll from max betting, aside from the hours of boredom waiting for a good count from the horrific penetration.

Also, if they don't use a shoe, how do you know what the penetration is? From their word?? If they don't use a shoe and you don't SEE the cards, I would bet they're in a continuous shuffler or something, and they just take a 5 min break every now and then or something.

Quote: Romes

Hmmm, 20 rounds no matter the number of players sounds not 'too' bad. Figuring each player on average takes about 2.5 cards, this would be 5+dealer so 6*2.5 = 15 cards per round... 15x20 = 300 of the available 312 cards. Sounds like a great game!

...aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnndddddddddd the expected anomaly revealed. So we now know the original game is heads up, so what does this tell us:

Game 1
Average ~2.5 cards for you and dealer... 5 cards per round * 20 rounds = 100 cards of the 312 card shoe. This means they're cutting off 66% of the show, on average. This is UNGODLY AWFUL penetration and makes the game beyond NOT worth playing (especially with a 1-20 max spread). Penetration is actually THE MOST important factor in defining a playable/good game. The more penetration you have the more you'll see fluctuating counts and the more opportunities you'll have to bet more in favorable positions. Decent penetration for a regular 6 deck game is 1.5 decks being cut out or "not played." This yields only 25% of the shoe being cut off and is the bare minimum for most who scout games, i.e. they look for even less being cut off.

33% penetration is simply not playable, nor profitable (even with a 1-20 spread, which btw your variance would be out of this world and you'd need a \$100,000 bankroll to play that \$5 game).

Game 2
More of the same above, but let's look at some numbers at least. ~2.5 cards per player (and dealer) results in 6*2.5 = 15 cards per round * 12 rounds = 180 cards dealt out of the 416 cards in the shoe. This results in 43% PEN, with 57% of the shoe being cut off. This is again just awful and unplayable. You'll be sitting around for hours and hours waiting for a count that has any kind of positive EV to bet, then you wouldn't even have a spread/ramp, you'd more likely just go from min to max bet as soon as you got any kind of positive expectation. Again, this would drive your variance through the wall and require a bankroll much much larger than I'm sure you have (and if you did have \$100k bankroll why on Earth wouldn't you just travel and play good live games).

Conclusions
Both games are not playable, nor profitable, unless you have a ridiculous bankroll and hours and hours to kill making below minimum wage per hour. Not to mention... Is this one of those "online live" dealer games? They could still disable your account, take your money, etc, if they see you spreading min to max (which you'd have to do). To follow that point up, you may say this is from a "reputable" site, but in my opinion there are NO online "reputable" sites I would trust 100%. Bovada is the closest thing I'd trust to being 'somewhat' reputable, and I still had a big issue with them 4-5 months ago. There's been many a horror story about online casinos refusing to pay winners, closing peoples accounts, taking bonuses back, etc, etc, etc... and the real problem is if they do, there's NOTHING you can do about it other than Name Shame them here. They're all hosted in a foreign country out of your reach, so just playing online alone is a 'gamble.'

It seems over the past month about once a week someone posts about some great 'online' game they find and ask "hey, why isn't this beatable?" Because most people don't understand just how important penetration is. They see S17, DAS, DA2, \$5... this has to be beatable?!?! If you'd like to understand a bit more please feel free to check out my A-Z Counting Cards in Blackjack thread, where Penetration (PEN) is discussed as the most important factor in any blackjack game.

Playing it correctly means you've already won.