However, I ran across a posting to Sam Barrington at Ask Dr. Blackjack that has completely thrown me off. I have no idea if the numbers he cited numbers are correct or not, but if they are his logic sounds escapable. In a nutshell, he is saying that the best strategy is simply to stand no matter what the dealer has showing.
I would ask you all to read the posting as it was presented and comment. I would love to hear whether you agree or disagree with what he said. I simply have no idea if he is right or wrong, but I will say that he sounds convincing.
The difference in his numbers is that he is factoring in the few times that a push occurs after hitting. If you stand you can only win or lose. There is no opportunity for push so those numbers don't exist.
Question: “What are the rules on hitting a “hard 16?”
Sam says: “This is a tricky play you have to watch out for or it can cost you a little money. To sum it up, never do it. Just sit there like a lump.
The “hard 16” is the worst hand you can get, so as the saying goes. You work with what you got when facing the dealer’s upcard of 7 through an ace.
If you hit the 16, you will win 25.23 percent of the time, bust out 69.31 percent of the time and push 5.46 percent of the time for a net loss of 44.08 percent of the time.
By standing on the “hard 16” you will win 29.01 percent of the time and lose 70.99 percent of the time for a loss of 41.98 percent of the time.
You end up 2.10 percent better off by “standing”.
That’s the same as winning two more hands out of every 100 times you face that scenario.
That’s better than the annual return on a CD, and you can do this hundreds of times a year.
Of course if I'm down 2,500 bets due to bad luck, that's a lot of bad freakin' luck! I'm down 0.5% in total bet amounts but down near 100% on number of bets bought in for on my Roku 3 BJ home game. If I just win 50 hands ahead, I could win it all back, as if. There's no surrender in this game so I must hit hard 16's against 7Ace unless I'm trying to fake out the computer a little.
Standing on 16 vs 78 is a big mistake costing you 67%
If I'm understanding you correctly, you disagree with the specific number that he offered?
Neither of you provided specific numbers, and each of you explained the way you feel is best to play it, but what I am struggling with is the very hard and specific numbers that he offered which say categorically no matter what you're playing against it's smarter than stand than it is to hit.
Do either of you, or anyone else for that matter, have any way to refute the actual numbers that he presented in his argument?
I'm sure I've seen a recent YouTube video of something else in play (Hit, But Never Bust Strategy) and it worked out for him for the video. But the math is horribly against him. It's like a 7% HA to play that way overall with a hit but never bust strategy. I'd only try it if I have money to burn, or I'm desperate to win on dealer busts, and never at a table with other players because they will get angry.
There have been charts floating around giving the EV for each hand against a dealer card. I don't have a link to that offhand, maybe someone else will soon. You're adding up stand 16's against 7Ace whereas the chart just gives individual answers for each stand 16 position against the individual dealer hand. Seeing how hitting is preferable to standing for all of those, I don't see how standing on all of those adds up to a better result. Just erasing the ties and folding most of them into the win column more is all it takes? I'm clearly falling into some gambler's fallacy here. Ties would be 17 or more and you'd still have 16, how can you win previous ties by not getting to at least 17? You would lose those previous ties!
I'd switch the numbers around, but don't take them as accurate or truthful because when you don't hit, your win rate should go down below 25.23%.
Quote: bcmarshall
I would ask you all to read the posting as it was presented and comment. I would love to hear whether you agree or disagree with what he said. I simply have no idea if he is right or wrong, but I will say that he sounds convincing.
The difference in his numbers is that he is factoring in the few times that a push occurs after hitting. If you stand you can only win or lose. There is no opportunity for push so those numbers don't exist.
Question: “What are the rules on hitting a “hard 16?”
Sam says: “This is a tricky play you have to watch out for or it can cost you a little money. To sum it up, never do it. Just sit there like a lump.
The “hard 16” is the worst hand you can get, so as the saying goes. You work with what you got when facing the dealer’s upcard of 7 through an ace.
If you hit the 16, you will win 25.23 percent of the time, bust out 69.31 percent of the time and push 5.46 percent of the time for a net loss of 44.08 percent of the time.
By standing on the “hard 16” you will win 25.23 percent of the time and lose 74.77 percent of the time for a loss of 49.54 percent of the time.
You'd be adding over 5% HA to your game for those hands by standing on 16 for 7Ace.
link to original post
I'm likely making a fool of myself answering this, luckily nobody gives me a grade on attempting to figure out these baffling questions.
Quote: bcmarshall...Question: “What are the rules on hitting a “hard 16?”
Sam says: ....“To sum it up, never do it. Just sit there like a lump.
link to original post
Use Wizard's Blackjack Hand Calculator and see whether it is better to hit a hard 16 vs. a dealer 7 or 8.
Quote: TorghattenStanding on 16 vs 10 is a small mistake, costing you about 0,5%
Standing on 16 vs 78 is a big mistake costing you 67%
link to original post
If it's a singledeck or doubledeck game, I stand on hard 16 vs 10
According to the Ask Dr. Blackjack posting that I presented, the difference in this play is clearly minimal. His calculations indicate that it's 2.1% better for the player to stand against a 7+ rather than to hit.
But 2.1% is not insignificant when looking at the overall house edge of this game. Every fraction of a percentage point is what we are striving for to make the difference in the long haul. I mean, realistically speaking, isn't everything we are doing directed at trying to shave the house's edge as much as humanly possible? Why would any serious gambler leave this 2.1% on the table unquestioned?
I wonder if I could ask Michael for his direct intervention. He is the expert that we all recognize and all respect, and I would really like to hear what he has to say.
Looking at the way the numbers were presented, I can intuitively see that if you factor out the pushes, it means you are left with only the possibility of winning or losing the hand if you always stand, and that is where the difference comes in.
I am going to repost the salient points that were made in the original posting.
"If you hit the 16, you will win 25.23 percent of the time, bust out 69.31 percent of the time and push 5.46 percent of the time for a net loss of 44.08 percent of the time.
"By standing on the 'hard 16' you will win 29.01 percent of the time and lose 70.99 percent of the time for a loss of 41.98 percent of the time. You end up 2.10 percent better off by 'standing'”.
The way I read this, 69.31  25.23 = 44.08. The 5.46% push is completely ignored in the first set of numbers because it is meaningless to our win/loss ratio. Only the actual wins and losses are logically considered in this scenario because they are the only thing that matters.
Again, my reading of this tells me that if you consider the push percentages as 'not a loss', then the overall numbers for hitting appear improved. 25.23 + 5.46 = 30.69% not a loss vs. 69.31% loss. At first glance that appears to be more favorable than the 29.01% win and 70.99% loss from the second set of numbers, but you can see on closer examination that when it comes to your bankroll at the end of the day, standing is clearly the better option.
Again, please understand that I don't claim to know the answer, and that's the reason I'm here in this forum asking the question. I don't know if the numbers cited are accurate, but when I look at the way they are presented it seems to me that, if his numbers are correct, then his point is undeniable.
If you are comparing loss vs. not a loss, then hitting seems to be clearly the advantageous way to play, but if your consideration is loss vs. win then standing seems undeniably to be the appropriate action.
Help, Michael!
I choose to use:
8 decks, S17, D9, DAS, SPL3, NRSA, CDZ
Hard  Dealer's up card
hand  2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A

10 9  S S S S S S S S S S

10 8  S S S S S S S s s s

10 7  s s s s S s s s s s
9 8  s s s s S s s s s s

10 6  s s s s s h h h h h
9 7  s s s s s h h h h h

10 5  s s s s s h h h h h
9 6  s s s s s h h h h h
8 7  s s s s s h h h h h

10 4  s s s s s h h h h h
9 5  s s s s s h h h h h
8 6  s s s s s h h h h h

10 3  s s s s s h h h h h
9 4  s s s s s h h h h h
8 5  s s s s s h h h h h
7 6  s s s s s h h h h h

10 2  h h s s s h h h h h
9 3  h h s s s h h h h h
8 4  h h s s s h h h h h
7 5  h h s s s h h h h h

9 2  DH DH DH DH DH DH DH DH DH H
8 3  DH DH DH DH DH DH DH DH DH H
7 4  DH DH DH DH DH DH DH DH DH H
6 5  DH DH DH DH DH DH DH DH DH H

8 2  DH DH DH DH DH DH DH DH H H
7 3  DH DH DH DH DH DH DH DH H H
6 4  DH DH DH DH DH DH DH DH H H

7 2  H DH DH DH DH H H h h h
6 3  H DH DH DH DH H H h h h
5 4  H DH DH DH DH H H h h h

6 2  h H H H H H h h h h
5 3  h H H H H H h h h h

5 2  h h h H H h h h h h
4 3  h h h h H h h h h h

4 2  h h h h h h h h h h

3 2  h h h h H h h h h h

Soft  Dealer's up card
hand  2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A

A 9  S S S S S S S S S S
A 8  S S S S S S S S S S
A 7  S S S S S S S h h h
A 6  H H H H H H h h h h
A 5  h H H H H h h h h h
A 4  h H H H H H h h h h
A 3  H H H H H H H h h h
A 2  H H H H H H H h h h
Pair  Dealer's up card
hand  2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A

A A  PH PH PH PH PH PH PH Ph Ph Ph
1010  S S S S S S S S S S
9 9  PS PS PS PS PS S PS ps s s
8 8  Ps Ps Ps Ps Ps Ph ph ph ph ph
7 7  ps ps Ps Ps Ps ph h h h h
6 6  ph ph ps Ps Ps h h h h h
5 5  DH DH DH DH DH DH DH DH H H
4 4  h H H PH PH H h h h h
3 3  ph ph Ph Ph Ph ph h h h h
2 2  ph ph Ph Ph PH Ph h h h h

S = Stand
H = Hit
D = Double down
P = Split
Uppercase indicates action is favorable for the player
Lowercase indicates action is favorable for the house
When more than one option is listed, options are listed from left to right in order of preference.
Up 
card  Overall expected value (%)

2  9.225910487
3  12.495972100
4  15.977175560
5  19.760367795
6  22.968449016
7  14.446546319
8  5.773773293
9  4.099890703
10  17.325165933
A  34.068395591

Total  0.524673497
Up  Probability of outcome of dealer's hand
card  Bust  17  18  19  20  21 Blackjack

2  0.35353  0.13969  0.13452  0.12993  0.12402  0.11831  0.00000
3  0.37412  0.13448  0.13052  0.12531  0.12069  0.11487  0.00000
4  0.39547  0.13054  0.12453  0.12130  0.11645  0.11171  0.00000
5  0.41790  0.12195  0.12239  0.11761  0.11213  0.10802  0.00000
6  0.42292  0.16564  0.10621  0.10639  0.10159  0.09725  0.00000
7  0.26203  0.36905  0.13790  0.07848  0.07867  0.07388  0.00000
8  0.24395  0.12885  0.35980  0.12868  0.06926  0.06945  0.00000
9  0.22904  0.12023  0.11801  0.35158  0.12028  0.06086  0.00000
10  0.21238  0.11179  0.11161  0.11181  0.34056  0.03474  0.07711
A  0.11543  0.13021  0.13081  0.13064  0.13088  0.05359  0.30843

Total  0.28184  0.14522  0.13932  0.13363  0.17971  0.07284  0.04745
Compositiondependent stand/hit strategy variations:

( 26) Hard 16 vs. T : stand except, 88, 79, 6T, 466, 367, 33T, 268, 24T, 2266, 2239, 22336, 222T, 22246, 222226, A69, A366, A267, A23T, A2229, A22236, AA68, AA266, AA22T, AA22226, AAA67, AAAA66
( 2) Soft 18 vs. A : hit except, A223, AA33

For the 7 through 10 versus 16 made up of 97, all stand decisions are more negative EV than hitting.
Dealer 7 versus 9 7
Stand E(X) = 47.921365444%
Hit E(X) = 41.002958110%
Dealer 8 versus 9 7
Stand E(X) = 51.262401508%
Hit E(X) = 45.484029792%
Dealer 9 versus 9 7
Stand E(X) = 54.288925549%
Hit E(X) = 50.608264853%
Dealer 10 versus 9 7
Stand E(X) = 53.771858199%
Hit E(X) = 53.650775884%
A hard 16 versus 10 is a close call. Standing against an Ace is really bad.
Quote: bcmarshall<snip>"If you hit the 16, you will win 25.23 percent of the time, bust out 69.31 percent of the time and push 5.46 percent of the time for a net loss of 44.08 percent of the time.<snip>link to original post
bcmarshall,
These three percentages sum to 100%, but they ignore one of the possible outcomes: the player hits without busting but is beaten by the dealer. Does the original source consider this?
Dog Hand
Quote: ThatDonGuyQuote: TorghattenStanding on 16 vs 10 is a small mistake, costing you about 0,5%
Standing on 16 vs 78 is a big mistake costing you 67%
link to original post
If it's a singledeck or doubledeck game, I stand on hard 16 vs 10
link to original post
It's one of the few hands I'll scan the table for. A single four or five on the board swings it to stand.
Quote: bcmarshall
I am going to repost the salient points that were made in the original posting.
"If you hit the 16, you will win 25.23 percent of the time, bust out 69.31 percent of the time and push 5.46 percent of the time for a net loss of 44.08 percent of the time.
"By standing on the 'hard 16' you will win 29.01 percent of the time and lose 70.99 percent of the time for a loss of 41.98 percent of the time. You end up 2.10 percent better off by 'standing'”.
link to original post
The numbers you quote are just plain wrong.
The dealer bust numbers depend on the soft17 rules. However, the dealer only busts 26.203% of the time with a seven showing and S17 rules.
I don't know where he comes up with "By standing on the 'hard 16' you will win 29.01 percent of the time." This error is enough to flip the argument. This whole premise of this thread is based on faulty numbers.
However, in answer to the question I'm quite sure that it is taken into account. It's simply a loss. I don't think there was anywhere that suggested that all of the losses had to come from busting.
If they're defective numbers then the whole thing is a waste of time and energy. If that's the case I apologize to everyone for the wild goose chase. I simply didn't know in advance.
If anyone made a fool of themselves it's me. I appreciate your assistance in trying to untangle this.
that said, i actually vary it at a 50% rate whether or not im going to stand or not. i do this simply by remembering what i did on the last situation, because it is a situation that i have a serious mental issue with.
if the dealer has a 7, there is a very good chance that the dealers other card could be 9 or below simply because there are 7 low cards, and 6 high cards. AKA a flip.
i deviate on mediocre hands, dealer 7 vs my 5, or 6. Anything else I stand true to BS
Quote: bcmarshallYou and several other posters of indicates they believe the numbers are faulty and as I said, I apologize for having offered something that wasn't valid for consideration. I didn't know and was trying to investigate something that sounded scholarly.
If anyone made a fool of themselves it's me. I appreciate your assistance in trying to untangle this.
link to original post
You have done a good deed by exposing the author as a fraud.
http://askdrblackjack.com/abouttheauthor/
Quote:The following is an excerpt from the book Ask Dr. BlackJack by Sam Barrington.
What makes me a knowitall in Blackjack?
I’m not an expert but probably as close as anybody and I think my play and knowledge of the game of Blackjack for the last 28 years has made me one of the best Blackjack players in the country.
He wins without counting. LOL
Quote: bcmarshall
If you are comparing loss vs. not a loss, then hitting seems to be clearly the advantageous way to play, but if your consideration is loss vs. win then standing seems undeniably to be the appropriate action.
Help, Michael!
link to original post
Basic strategy has already been calculated to reflect the ideal mix of losing the least and winning the most.
Any deviation will win less or lose more, unless you know something.
Not a Michael