Barring counting, I've found that if I only double against a dealer 2-6 I convert about 65% of my double attempts, because even if I draw a crap card I still have a strong chance of a dealer bust. I hit the other opportunities, and sure, I pass up doubles I could have converted but I also hit a ten and then draw a 3 and then an 8, turning what would have been a loss into a win.

I'd like to pose the question to both the Wizard and all the other wizards out there. Is this a bad approach?

I'm always appreciative of the things folks here are willing to share.

Not following it is a bad approach from a perspective of trying to lose as little money as possible playing blackjack.

If every time you lose a double you go into the bathroom and smash your head into the mirror then cutting out doubles against dealer 10/A sounds like a fine idea.

Also, 11vA is a hit in a S17 game.

Quote:bcmarshallI know the conventional wisdom. Double 10 against 2-9 and 11 against all. However, we've all had those 11 vs. 10 doubles where it looks perfect but you draw an Ace and the dealer has 20.

Barring counting, I've found that if I only double against a dealer 2-6 I convert about 65% of my double attempts, because even if I draw a crap card I still have a strong chance of a dealer bust. I hit the other opportunities, and sure, I pass up doubles I could have converted but I also hit a ten and then draw a 3 and then an 8, turning what would have been a loss into a win.

I'd like to pose the question to both the Wizard and all the other wizards out there. Is this a bad approach?

I'm always appreciative of the things folks here are willing to share.

What you are asking, in a nutshell, is it better to ignore the math and to play by the seat of your pants.

Quote:bcmarshallI know the conventional wisdom. Double 10 against 2-9 and 11 against all. However, we've all had those 11 vs. 10 doubles where it looks perfect but you draw an Ace and the dealer has 20.

Barring counting, I've found that if I only double against a dealer 2-6 I convert about 65% of my double attempts, because even if I draw a crap card I still have a strong chance of a dealer bust. I hit the other opportunities, and sure, I pass up doubles I could have converted but I also hit a ten and then draw a 3 and then an 8, turning what would have been a loss into a win.

I'd like to pose the question to both the Wizard and all the other wizards out there. Is this a bad approach?

I'm always appreciative of the things folks here are willing to share.

From a fresh shoe, or if you are not counting, you do not double 11 against a dealer Ace with more than two decks if the dealer stands on Soft 17. I assume that this is for precisely the reason that you said that you sometimes do not like to double when it is advised---the dealer is more likely to have a playable hand, (since he stands soft 17) so you do not want to risk getting stuck with a hand that doesn't play against an Ace showing.

Actually, now that I'm playing with the hand calculator, it seems that there may be a few exceptions with two decks:

TWO DECKS (DEALER STANDS ALL 17'S):

---Double with 6-5 against a dealer Ace

---Double 7-4 against a dealer Ace

---HIT 8-3 against a dealer Ace

---HIT 9-2 against a dealer Ace

It seems you would do well to know these if you're ever going to play a Stand 17 two deck game, rather than going with any one rule, because all of those situations are equally likely.

That aside, doubling is the best decision in the long run. It has nothing to do with pure win probability, otherwise, hitting WOULD be the best decision on many more hands specifically for the reason that you said...as you could then hit again (assuming your first card wasn't helpful) and would win more hands in certain situations. The idea behind doubling is that you are more likely to win the hand than you are to lose it, only taking one card, so you should always get as much money out there as you can in the appropriate situations to double.

If you use the calculator, you will notice that doubling is never advised when it is a -EV decision to do so. The calculations have already taken into account the fact that you could get stuck with a hand that cannot win/push unless you win via the dealer busting.

Quote:billryanWhat you are asking, in a nutshell, is it better to ignore the math and to play by the seat of your pants.

Perhaps I am, but perhaps I could phrase it differently.

I don't think anyone is going to disagree that doubling with a 10 v 6 has a higher probability of a win than 10 v 9. That's not seat-of-my-pants logic.

The WofOdds calculator shows 57.9% return with 10 v 6, and 14.8% with 10 v 9, and 11.7% return with a hit. So essentially there's a 3 point advantage for doubling, but 58% vs. 6.

I'm trying to understand whether the obvious large advantage to doubling vs. dealer low card overrides the 3 point advantage on dealer high cards.

I hope my question makes more sense now.

Quote:billryanWhat you are asking, in a nutshell, is it better to ignore the math and to play by the seat of your pants.

I stand corrected. It is far more than "conventional wisdom". That was a poor choice of words on my part. But my question still remains. Please see my other response for a more detailed explanation of my thought process.

Remember, this is a question to all of you I'm not suggesting it's the best approach, and I really want to hear your opinions.

There is a huge advantage to doubling against low cards and a very small but not insignificant advantage to doubling against high cards. If I forego that small advantage I also don't lose those doubles, and instead focus on those that have a much greater chance of return.

Wondering if overall I'd win more money factoring out the double losses vs. high cards.

Quote:Mission146If you use the calculator, you will notice that doubling is never advised when it is a -EV decision to do so. The calculations have already taken into account the fact that you could get stuck with a hand that cannot win/push unless you win via the dealer busting.

My problem, or my reality, is that I'm not a counter. Yes, I understand that that one disadvantage is significant, but I also recognize that the calculated results are not based on counts. They are overall probabilities, like the wallet-sized basic strategy card.

Maybe you and the others have already answered my question and I'm just too thick to see it. Just follow the math. But I think you can see where I'm coming from as well. I know firsthand that I convert about 65% of my double attempts to wins when I don't double against a dealer high card. I think that's pretty significant. I'm looking at total dollars and just trying to wrap my head around the possibilities.

Quote:bcmarshallPerhaps I am, but perhaps I could phrase it differently.

I don't think anyone is going to disagree that doubling with a 10 v 6 has a higher probability of a win than 10 v 9. That's not seat-of-my-pants logic.

The WofOdds calculator shows 57.9% return with 10 v 6, and 14.8% with 10 v 9, and 11.7% return with a hit. So essentially there's a 3 point advantage for doubling, but 58% vs. 6.

I'm trying to understand whether the obvious large advantage to doubling vs. dealer low card overrides the 3 point advantage on dealer high cards.

I hope my question makes more sense now.

Doubling is NOT a decision designed to maximize the probability of winning. When you talk about doubling against a 2-6, then you're talking about hands where you would generally not hit again anyway, even if you could.***

Nobody will disagree with you that you have a greater probability of winning the hand hitting an eleven against a dealer ace (when it would have otherwise been appropriate to double) which will then enable you to hit again on hand total 16, or less. I would hope everyone would agree that you have a higher probability of winning/pushing if you go the hitting route.

The point is, there are certain win/push/loss probabilities that come from initially hitting and there are certain win/push/loss probabilities that come from doubling. When you do this:

(Win Probability * 2) - (Loss Probability * 2) = x

AND

(Win probability * 1) - (Loss Probability * 1) = y

Doubling is the recommended decision where Result x is greater than Result y. In certain instances, you DO have a lower probability of winning the hand with doubling. Actually, against Dealer 4-6 is the only time that the win probability is the same with doubling, because there's no situation in which you would hit twice anyway.

Another thing to note is that hitting ANY hard hand total 12-16 is -EV against ANY dealer upcard. It's the best decision, but you're still expected to lose money in that kind of situation.

You think you're saving yourself, but what you are failing to notice is the number of hands where you would have lost either way. That's called Confirmation Bias when you only notice the hands where this has helped you. The paltry percentage of hands that you will win by virtue of being able to hit again do not offset the fact that you could have doubled your bet when you actually had the advantage in the hand.

Finally, not everything is about probability of winning. If everything were about probability of winning, then you could just blindly bet sports picking -1000, or more, MoneyLine favorites and just win forever. Sometimes, making the best wagering decision means the one that doesn't have the best chance to win.

***In some cases, and of course you SHOULD HAVE doubled, but had you hit an eleven and drawn an ACE against either a dealer two or three...this would depend on the rules and number of decks and I'm not specifying all of this because it's the wrong decision to begin with...you would hit again.

Quote:Mission146Finally, not everything is about probability of winning. If everything were about probability of winning, then you could just blindly bet sports picking -1000, or more, MoneyLine favorites and just win forever. Sometimes, making the best wagering decision means the one that doesn't have the best chance to win.

I agree. It's not about the probability of winning hands, but it sure as hell is about winning money! And that's where I'm hung, and what is the basis of my question. Would I win more money overall by ignoring high card doubles?

My best friend used to tell me that there was "madness in my method", rather than "method in my madness". Sometimes I think he was right!

Quote:bcmarshallI agree. It's not about the probability of winning hands, but it sure as hell is about winning money! And that's where I'm hung, and what is the basis of my question. Would I win more money overall by ignoring high card doubles?

My best friend used to tell me that there was "madness in my method", rather than "method in my madness". Sometimes I think he was right!

I don't know if there is some angle vis-a-vis advantage play that has you playing Blackjack in the first place, but if not, then you're not playing Blackjack to win money. You will not win money, lifetime, playing a game that is negative expectation to begin with. The only thing that you will accomplish, by making the right playing decisions, is to lose your money playing a -EV game more slowly.

That out of the way, yes, you are ONLY doubling when you have the advantage in the hand to begin with. I will illustrate this in my next post with an example because I fear that it is necessary.

Because you have the advantage in the hand in your doubling situations, you will indeed win more money by betting more with this advantage, as appropriate. Please stay tuned for the next post, but I'm going to need a few minutes.

If so, you are looking at it the wrong way.

Don't compare the results for doubling against a 2-6 vs doubling against a high card. Those results are utterly meaningless to this equation. The only thing that matters is: Is doubling against a high card better or worse than simply hitting.

Not doubling against ten means you lose out on almost a third of your potential doubles and will take an almost break-even game into severely negative territory.

Quote:bcmarshallWould I win more money overall by ignoring high card doubles?

You don't make more money by making plays that make less money.

https://wizardofodds.com/games/blackjack/hand-calculator/

Is not by itself sufficient just looking at that one decision point, so what we are going to do is use the calculator in a different way.

For this, we will look at the case of doubling a Hard total of 11 against a dealer showing ten vs. hitting. Naturally, the dealer peeks for Blackjack, or you would not be doing this. This represents one of your less favorable doubling situations, but is still advantageous.

What we are first going to do is look at the expected values of standing on certain hand totals, 17-21, AFTER Hitting/Doubling 11 as you would be doing that anyway:

Stand on 17: -.421221 or -.842441 (If you had doubled)

Stand on 18: -.180423 or -.360846 (If you had doubled)

Stand on 19: +.062002 or +.124004 (If you had doubled)

Stand on 20: +.554446 or +1.108892 (If you had doubled)

Stand on 21: +.962687 or +1.925374 (If you had doubled)

Let's add these all up:

.962687 + .554446 + .062002 - .180423 - .421221 = 0.977491 (Hitting to total 17-21)

AND:

1.925374 + 1.108892 + .124004 - .360846 - .842441 = 1.954983 (Doubling to Total 17-21)

From this, we learn two important things:

1.) The only results from the hit/double where the player is expected to WIN money are hand totals 19-21, which is going to be true whether you hit or you double.

2.) As an extension of #1 and with eight decks, only hitting/doubling and receiving an eight, nine or ten actually gets you to the point where the hand value against a ten is in your favor. I've started you with 6-5 to keep this somewhat simple. There are 413 remaining cards (the dealer has a ten), so there are (8, 9, 10, J, Q, K) six ranks and (6 * 4 * 8) - 1 = 191 cards that get you to this point. (Six ranks * Four Suits * Eight Decks) - (Dealer has a ten).

Now, by hitting instead of doubling (unless you hit and get a five for sixteen total, in which case, you would still stand) you create additional opportunities to perhaps get to the most desired hand totals of 19-21, which are your ONLY profitable expectation totals. However, the probability of reaching those totals from the various hand totals that would result in continued hitting (12-15) are going to be insufficient to make up the positive value of doubling and getting to those totals with one card.

In fact, the quickest way to any of those totals is with one card. It doesn't matter that you have a greater probability to win a few more hands here and there because that probability is insufficient to compensate for the lost value of not doubling your bet when you had the chance.

And...THAT's against a dealer TEN!!! You're sacrificing WAY more value not doubling against 7-9!

Quote:Mission146I don't know if there is some angle vis-a-vis advantage play that has you playing Blackjack in the first place, but if not, then you're not playing Blackjack to win money. You will not win money, lifetime, playing a game that is negative expectation to begin with. The only thing that you will accomplish, by making the right playing decisions, is to lose your money playing a -EV game more slowly.

That out of the way, yes, you are ONLY doubling when you have the advantage in the hand to begin with. I will illustrate this in my next post with an example because I fear that it is necessary.

Because you have the advantage in the hand in your doubling situations, you will indeed win more money by betting more with this advantage, as appropriate. Please stay tuned for the next post, but I'm going to need a few minutes.

I understand the point you're making. As I said, I'm posing a question, and providing the logic behind my reasoning. In no way am I suggesting this is correct strategy. I just wanted to hear what all of you thought.

Looking forward to your next post.

The player is losing at a negative expectation game using best strategy, and gets frustrated. He respects the idea that it is best strategy, but somehow feels like it is not serving him well. He keeps losing, maybe has been on a losing streak. Usually, but not in this case, note well I say not in this case, his frustration makes it occur to him that he will lose less money if he hedges his bets. I won't go into what happens with that.

In this case the player wants to avoid betting more money [doubling] when the expectations change only marginally. Why isn't it better to bet less and live longer? The problem with that has multiple angles, but one he doesn't see too easily is that he is lowering the variance. The player's only hope all along has been variance, because he is playing a negative expectation strategy. With greater variance, he might win more sessions. He actually might be better off to consider doubling when BS says not to, if the individual instance has just a slight decrease in expectations, to boost variance*. His thinking process, though, is taking him into the wrong direction.

Does this fallacy have a name?

* I'm not going to say I'm recommending that, exactly

100k hands' 1400 doubles. 714 wins. 588 loss. 98 ties.

This is far below 65% win goal in the OP.

Basic Strategy are thresholds. Not advantages.

Again, this is why one counts. The win percentages increases the more positive the deck. Hitting and getting two cards is more likely the more negative the deck.

The humor in basic strategists. They hit 16vs10 and want a 5. They double 11vs10 and want a 10. Yet, have no idea of deck composition.

Quote:odiousgambitThis is a type of gambler's fallacy encountered a lot at this site. When consulting those places where they list fallacies, this one is hard to find. What name should it have?

The player is losing at a negative expectation game using best strategy, and gets frustrated. He respects the idea that it is best strategy, but somehow feels like it is not serving him well. He keeps losing, maybe has been on a losing streak. Usually, but not in this case, note well I say not in this case, his frustration makes it occur to him that he will lose less money if he hedges his bets. I won't go into what happens with that.

In this case the player wants to avoid betting more money [doubling] when the expectations change only marginally. Why isn't it better to bet less and live longer? The problem with that has multiple angles, but one he doesn't see too easily is that he is lowering the variance. The player's only hope all along has been variance, because he is playing a negative expectation strategy. With greater variance, he might win more sessions. He actually might be better off to consider doubling when BS says not to, if the individual instance has just a slight decrease in expectations, to boost variance*. His thinking process, though, is taking him into the wrong direction.

Does this fallacy have a name?

* I'm not going to say I'm recommending that, exactly

I suppose you could give it my name if you want!

Just kidding, but I see the point you're making. I hope I made the reasoning behind my question clear.

The 58% looks a lot better than the 14%, but the bottom line it appears is that positive is positive.

But let me phrase this a different way. I know that between 60% and 65% of my attempts are converted to wins by only doubling on dealer small cards. If I double as the "Good Book" says and my percentage goes down to say 55%, wouldn't that make a case for my suggestion?

Quote:FinsRuleThe math says double, so you double. If you want to play by feel that's fine, but if you're going to play blackjack regularly, you'll just lose more. This is an easy one.

Thanks. I appreciate the logic in that.

Quote:moses11vs10 will occur 1.4%. win 51% lose 42% tie 7%.

100k hands' 1400 doubles. 714 wins. 588 loss. 98 ties.

This is far below 65% win goal in the OP.

Basic Strategy are thresholds. Not advantages.

Again, this is why one counts. The win percentages increases the more positive the deck. Hitting and getting two cards is more likely the more negative the deck.

The humor in basic strategists. They hit 16vs10 and want a 5. They double 11vs10 and want a 10. Yet, have no idea of deck composition.

Your humor makes perfect sense. I used to laugh at slot players when we used actual quarters. They'd play for hours and run thousands through the machine without blinking an eye, but if they dropped a quarter on the floor they'd be on their hands and knees looking for it!

Human nature, I suppose!

Quote:billryanIt seems to me that you are thinking that since it is more advantageous to double against a 2-6 than a high card, that you should only double against the low cards.

If so, you are looking at it the wrong way.

Don't compare the results for doubling against a 2-6 vs doubling against a high card. Those results are utterly meaningless to this equation. The only thing that matters is: Is doubling against a high card better or worse than simply hitting.

Not doubling against ten means you lose out on almost a third of your potential doubles and will take an almost break-even game into severely negative territory.

I love this explanation. You put it exactly as I was seeing it and provided the clarity I was looking for. I'll go back to BS.

Seriously, thanks to all of you who provided feedback.

Quote:bcmarshallQuote:odiousgambitThis is a type of gambler's fallacy encountered a lot at this site. When consulting those places where they list fallacies, this one is hard to find. What name should it have?

The player is losing at a negative expectation game using best strategy, and gets frustrated. He respects the idea that it is best strategy, but somehow feels like it is not serving him well. He keeps losing, maybe has been on a losing streak. Usually, but not in this case, note well I say not in this case, his frustration makes it occur to him that he will lose less money if he hedges his bets. I won't go into what happens with that.

In this case the player wants to avoid betting more money [doubling] when the expectations change only marginally. Why isn't it better to bet less and live longer? The problem with that has multiple angles, but one he doesn't see too easily is that he is lowering the variance. The player's only hope all along has been variance, because he is playing a negative expectation strategy. With greater variance, he might win more sessions. He actually might be better off to consider doubling when BS says not to, if the individual instance has just a slight decrease in expectations, to boost variance*. His thinking process, though, is taking him into the wrong direction.

Does this fallacy have a name?

* I'm not going to say I'm recommending that, exactly

I suppose you could give it my name if you want!

Just kidding, but I see the point you're making. I hope I made the reasoning behind my question clear.

The 58% looks a lot better than the 14%, but the bottom line it appears is that positive is positive.

But let me phrase this a different way. I know that between 60% and 65% of my attempts are converted to wins by only doubling on dealer small cards. If I double as the "Good Book" says and my percentage goes down to say 55%, wouldn't that make a case for my suggestion?

No, it does not. If you have are going to win 55% of the hands, why do you think having less money out is better?

If you win 55% of the hands at $10 a hand, how is that better than winning 55% of the hands at $20?

100 hands at $10 The win rate of 55% gives you $550 in wins and $450 in losses for a net win of $100

100 hands doubled to $20 with a 55% win rate is $1100 in winnings and $900 in losses for a $200 profit.

Do we agree that $200 is better than $100?

How does the fact that you'll win 65% of your doubles against a different number affect anything?

Some doubles are apples, some doubles are oranges. All proper doubles are fruits. Some are better for you than others but they are all good for you and skipping any of them is a bad idea.

If BS calls for you to double, not following it will cost you money. If you learn to count, then there will be times you alter basic strategy but first you need to learn and accept the BS.

Quote:mosesWell said. If you're going to employ basic strategy do what the BS card says. You cant make the cat bark.

I don't believe people should attempt to learn to count until they have BS down. If you can't put the time and effort into getting it down pat, you aren't going to last as a counter.

Quote:mosesWell said. If you're going to employ basic strategy do what the BS card says. You cant make the cat bark.

I don't believe people should attempt to learn to count until they have BS down. If you can't put the time and effort into getting it down pat, you aren't going to last as a counter.

It's like a football player putting on his pads. Um, that pad is for your tailbone. It goes it the back.😲Quote:billryanI don't believe people should attempt to learn to count until they have BS down. If you can't put the time and effort into getting it down pat, you aren't going to last as a counter.

Quote:odiousgambitThis is a type of gambler's fallacy encountered a lot at this site. When consulting those places where they list fallacies, this one is hard to find. What name should it have?

I would call it the "Law of Gravity" fallacy.

I know what I should do, I know what should happen, but things have been going sideways today and since I never studied law, I'll do something else.

It's probably actually "Cherry picking", in the common fallacies. Insufficient data to come to a conclusion, selected from a biased set.

Amen to that. And just where is the Ace with a 9 or 10.🤔Quote:billryanThere is no surer way to get an Ace than to double down on an eleven.

If your goal is to maximize your percentage of successful doubles, then you should make only the safest doubles, at the expense of winning less overall.

Usually this argument is framed over taking even money with a blackjack against an ace. If you care about winning long run, you should go for the full 3 to 2. The argument the other way is taking even money is the right psychological play, as it has a 100% chance of winning, as opposed to 69%. However, successful people in the casino, and life, have a long-term perspective.

With things like 10 v 9 you're offsetting winning twice as much if the next card is good vs not having an opportunity of being able to hit again if the next card is bad. By hitting you're more likely to "win", since with a bad card you can draw again. By doubling you're likely to make a larger profit on good hands, albeit offset by losing more on bad ones; but the net effect is it makes you a bigger profit in the long term (the ups outweigh the downs).

So you're effectively losing money by not doubling when you should, although on any given hand the results may be different. It's similar logic to hitting 16 vs 7,8 or 9 (ignoring counting effects).

Quote:charliepatrickWhere you are only expecting to take one more card (e.g. 10 or 11 vs 6) if it's +EV, you're just doubling your money opportunities.

With things like 10 v 9 you're offsetting winning twice as much if the next card is good vs not having an opportunity of being able to hit again if the next card is bad. By hitting you're more likely to "win", since with a bad card you can draw again. By doubling you're likely to make a larger profit on good hands, albeit offset by losing more on bad ones; but the net effect is it makes you a bigger profit in the long term (the ups outweigh the downs).

So you're effectively losing money by not doubling when you should, although on any given hand the results may be different. It's similar logic to hitting 16 vs 7,8 or 9 (ignoring counting effects).

Please forgive me for being nitty, but that was the exact point of one of my posts. There is, in fact, a greater probability of winning the hand if you are able to hit more than once, in some cases. In other words, you're less than doubling your money opportunities, but you are improving your money opportunities sufficiently that doubling is the best decision.

Quote:FinsRuleI don't know if you're being sarcastic or sincere, but I'll take you at face value. You're welcome.

Definitely no sarcasm intended. It was a sincere comment.

Quote:Mission146Okay, so here is what we are going to do to illustrate your situation. Apparently, the calculator here:

https://wizardofodds.com/games/blackjack/hand-calculator/

Is not by itself sufficient just looking at that one decision point, so what we are going to do is use the calculator in a different way.

For this, we will look at the case of doubling a Hard total of 11 against a dealer showing ten vs. hitting. Naturally, the dealer peeks for Blackjack, or you would not be doing this. This represents one of your less favorable doubling situations, but is still advantageous.

What we are first going to do is look at the expected values of standing on certain hand totals, 17-21, AFTER Hitting/Doubling 11 as you would be doing that anyway:

Stand on 17: -.421221 or -.842441 (If you had doubled)

Stand on 18: -.180423 or -.360846 (If you had doubled)

Stand on 19: +.062002 or +.124004 (If you had doubled)

Stand on 20: +.554446 or +1.108892 (If you had doubled)

Stand on 21: +.962687 or +1.925374 (If you had doubled)

Let's add these all up:

.962687 + .554446 + .062002 - .180423 - .421221 = 0.977491 (Hitting to total 17-21)

AND:

1.925374 + 1.108892 + .124004 - .360846 - .842441 = 1.954983 (Doubling to Total 17-21)

From this, we learn two important things:

1.) The only results from the hit/double where the player is expected to WIN money are hand totals 19-21, which is going to be true whether you hit or you double.

2.) As an extension of #1 and with eight decks, only hitting/doubling and receiving an eight, nine or ten actually gets you to the point where the hand value against a ten is in your favor. I've started you with 6-5 to keep this somewhat simple. There are 413 remaining cards (the dealer has a ten), so there are (8, 9, 10, J, Q, K) six ranks and (6 * 4 * 8) - 1 = 191 cards that get you to this point. (Six ranks * Four Suits * Eight Decks) - (Dealer has a ten).

Now, by hitting instead of doubling (unless you hit and get a five for sixteen total, in which case, you would still stand) you create additional opportunities to perhaps get to the most desired hand totals of 19-21, which are your ONLY profitable expectation totals. However, the probability of reaching those totals from the various hand totals that would result in continued hitting (12-15) are going to be insufficient to make up the positive value of doubling and getting to those totals with one card.

In fact, the quickest way to any of those totals is with one card. It doesn't matter that you have a greater probability to win a few more hands here and there because that probability is insufficient to compensate for the lost value of not doubling your bet when you had the chance.

And...THAT's against a dealer TEN!!! You're sacrificing WAY more value not doubling against 7-9!

I'm sorry I didn't respond to your post yesterday. I'm a newbie here and I'm limited in the number of replies I can post per day, and just ran up against a wall.

All of this has really helped me understand the weaknesses in my original argument. You can't imagine how appreciative I am of not only your posts, but of those of everyone else. You have all opened my eyes to the true answers I was seeking.

One beauty of blackjack is that it can be accurately represented mathematically, and honestly, I'm a by-the-numbers guy. What has been said here makes perfect sense thanks to the explanations provided.

Thank you all again.

Quote:bcmarshallI'm sorry I didn't respond to your post yesterday. I'm a newbie here and I'm limited in the number of replies I can post per day, and just ran up against a wall.

All of this has really helped me understand the weaknesses in my original argument. You can't imagine how appreciative I am of not only your posts, but of those of everyone else. You have all opened my eyes to the true answers I was seeking.

One beauty of blackjack is that it can be accurately represented mathematically, and honestly, I'm a by-the-numbers guy. What has been said here makes perfect sense thanks to the explanations provided.

Thank you all again.

You're welcome! We'll still be here if you have any other questions, or if you just want to hang out!

Quote:billryanQuote:bcmarshallQuote:odiousgambitThis is a type of gambler's fallacy encountered a lot at this site. When consulting those places where they list fallacies, this one is hard to find. What name should it have?

The player is losing at a negative expectation game using best strategy, and gets frustrated. He respects the idea that it is best strategy, but somehow feels like it is not serving him well. He keeps losing, maybe has been on a losing streak. Usually, but not in this case, note well I say not in this case, his frustration makes it occur to him that he will lose less money if he hedges his bets. I won't go into what happens with that.

In this case the player wants to avoid betting more money [doubling] when the expectations change only marginally. Why isn't it better to bet less and live longer? The problem with that has multiple angles, but one he doesn't see too easily is that he is lowering the variance. The player's only hope all along has been variance, because he is playing a negative expectation strategy. With greater variance, he might win more sessions. He actually might be better off to consider doubling when BS says not to, if the individual instance has just a slight decrease in expectations, to boost variance*. His thinking process, though, is taking him into the wrong direction.

Does this fallacy have a name?

* I'm not going to say I'm recommending that, exactly

Thanks. You're clearly right and I'm satisfied that my thinking was wrong-headed.

By the way, I had mentioned being a newbie here and not receiving email notifications of posts. I finally figured out they were in my Spam folder! Duh!

I suppose you could give it my name if you want!

Just kidding, but I see the point you're making. I hope I made the reasoning behind my question clear.

The 58% looks a lot better than the 14%, but the bottom line it appears is that positive is positive.

But let me phrase this a different way. I know that between 60% and 65% of my attempts are converted to wins by only doubling on dealer small cards. If I double as the "Good Book" says and my percentage goes down to say 55%, wouldn't that make a case for my suggestion?

No, it does not. If you have are going to win 55% of the hands, why do you think having less money out is better?

If you win 55% of the hands at $10 a hand, how is that better than winning 55% of the hands at $20?

100 hands at $10 The win rate of 55% gives you $550 in wins and $450 in losses for a net win of $100

100 hands doubled to $20 with a 55% win rate is $1100 in winnings and $900 in losses for a $200 profit.

Do we agree that $200 is better than $100?

How does the fact that you'll win 65% of your doubles against a different number affect anything?

Some doubles are apples, some doubles are oranges. All proper doubles are fruits. Some are better for you than others but they are all good for you and skipping any of them is a bad idea.

If BS calls for you to double, not following it will cost you money. If you learn to count, then there will be times you alter basic strategy but first you need to learn and accept the BS.