algle
algle
Joined: Aug 12, 2010
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August 3rd, 2011 at 10:25:50 PM permalink
Quote: MarkAbe

Hmm...Double 9/10/11 if you will win sounds pretty good, it's close for 9 and right for 10 and 11 (as the Wiz's simple strategy uses).

I have a problem with split if both hands will win - it's going to get you to split 10's pretty often.

You didn't do anything about soft hands - what would your strategy be for them?


I would say that any 'Basic Basic Strategy' shouldn't include the word "except...".
So the split rule has to be all-encompassing.
Similarly, adding a soft hand rule has too many parameters - if a player can remember multiple parameters and exceptions, then they're ready for Basic Strategy.

The objective here is to simplify basic strategy as far as possible, while minimizing the inevitable HE trade-offs.

The ultimate goal is one-rule blackjack, e.g.:

"Mimic the dealer"
or
"Assume every unseen card is a ten, and let the dealer bust first"
If nothing will change then I am nothing.
MarkAbe
MarkAbe
Joined: Oct 23, 2010
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August 6th, 2011 at 12:44:34 PM permalink
Algle, I'm pretty sure if one-rule blackjack were possible the Wizard would have posted it by now.
The best super-short I've seen is the "30 word" (6 rule) strategy in Ask the Wizard #274. It's the "32 rule" strategy from earlier in this thread with "always" removed twice.
I believe it can actually be shortened by two words:
Remove "hard " from "hard 9" since 9 is always hard.
Remove "hard" from the hard 12 to 16 rule since you would stand on a similar soft total.
For ease of newbie memorization, I would change that to "hit 16 or less against a 7 to Ace"

For newbies who know the rules but still hate memorizing strategy, I can reduce to:
• Split eights and aces
• Double 10 and 11
• Stand on hard 12 or more against 2 through 6
• Mimic the dealer
21 words, 4 rules.

For those who know the rules, understand the game, and still can''t remember anything, rule #3 can become:
Assume 10s and never bust first.
17 words.

(Yes, I enjoyed "Name that Tune" as a child)
algle
algle
Joined: Aug 12, 2010
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August 6th, 2011 at 3:25:11 PM permalink
Quote: MarkAbe

Algle, I'm pretty sure if one-rule blackjack were possible the Wizard would have posted it by now.


Not sure what you mean by this - of course it is possible, it's just a question of how good the one rule is!
That aside, I do like your approach. Your four rules look pretty good.
Interestingly, two of your rules are actually my one rule blackjack, and the Wizard's suggested one rule blackjack:

Assume 10s and never bust first (algle)
Mimic the dealer (Wiz)

Maybe the correct challenge for "one rule blackjack" should be "Can one rule improve on the dealer's rules?"
Without knowing the answer, I think the combined power of "assume tens" + "never bust first" is greater than "draw to 17".
Especially when the dealer also has no option to double or split.
If nothing will change then I am nothing.
odiousgambit
odiousgambit 
Joined: Nov 9, 2009
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August 7th, 2011 at 4:10:27 AM permalink
Quote: algle

"Can one rule improve on the dealer's rules?"
Without knowing the answer, I think the combined power of "assume tens" + "never bust first" is greater than "draw to 17".



I found where the Wizard has calculated the cost of following such super simple rules.

Quote: Wizard

(near bottom of page)

Never bust: For my analysis of this strategy I assumed the player would never hit a hard 12 or more. All other decisions were according to correct basic strategy. This "never bust" strategy results in a house edge of 3.91%.

Mimic the dealer: For my analysis of this strategy I assumed the player would always hit 16 or less and stand on 17 or more, including a soft 17. The player never doubled or split, since the dealer is not allowed to do so. This "mimic the dealer" strategy results in a house edge of 5.48%.



Now if you could only mimic the dealer in making him go first!!
the next time Dame Fortune toys with your heart, your soul and your wallet, raise your glass and praise her thus: “Thanks for nothing, you cold-hearted, evil, damnable, nefarious, low-life, malicious monster from Hell!” She is, after all, stone deaf. ... Arnold Snyder
gchang
gchang
Joined: Dec 6, 2014
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December 10th, 2014 at 8:09:45 PM permalink
I agree that it's better to always stand (instead of always hit) soft 18 vs. a dealer 7 through Ace. The cost of incorrectly hitting soft 18 vs. 7 and 8 is 0.027%, whereas the cost of incorrectly standing on soft 18 vs. 9, 10, and Ace is less: 0.020% if dealer stands on soft 17, or 0.023% if the dealer hits soft 17. So it's better have the player consistently stand on soft 18, irrespective of the dealer up card (when doubling isn't possible).
gchang
gchang
Joined: Dec 6, 2014
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December 17th, 2014 at 8:11:57 PM permalink
Quote: DrEntropy

When friends come to Vegas, they often want to play blackjack, but won't take the time to learn basic strategy. After I finally get them to understand the concept (sometimes a task in itself!), I used to start them off with the simplified strategy stated here:
...

HOWEVER, my friends keep getting hung up on the soft 18 exception. Also, it is a bit odd to hit A7 vs a dealer 7, and the other ploppies might give you dirty looks. So I ran a sim with a slightly simpler rule for Soft 18: Always stand. Result:0.73%. Am I missing something here? If not I am going to start teaching them this slightly simpler version:)



When you give your visiting friends a simplified basic strategy to use for playing small stakes, I think simplicity is more important than accuracy. That means sacrificing a lot more correct plays to get a very easy-to-remember strategy:

  • Forget about splitting anything other than Aces and 8s. It's too hard to remember what to split and when, against which dealer up cards.
  • Forget about doubling down on soft totals.
  • Always stand on soft 18, as you suggested. The cost of not hitting against 9/10/A is significant, but it's too hard for newbies to remember this exception to "common sense".
  • Avoid making the player consider the value of the dealer's card, aside from just seeing whether it's low or high (2-6 vs. 7-A).

By following these guidelines, you get the Super-Easy Casual strategy. The cost of incorrect plays is about 0.44 percent. Combined with a base house edge of about 0.6 percent (typical Las Vegas playing rules), you get an effective house edge of about 1 percent, still much better than just about everything else in the casino. I've posted an introductory video on YouTube, Super-Easy Casual Blackjack Basic Strategy -- Memorize in 1 Hour.


This is the entire strategy:

1. If you have a pair of Aces or 8s, split them.

2. Do you have a two-card total of 9, 10, or 11? Double down on 11 always. Double down on 9 or 10 vs. a dealer low card (2-3-4-5-6).

3. Do you have a soft total? Hit soft 17 or less, stand on soft 18 or more.

4. Against a dealer low card (2-3-4-5-6), "never bust" (stand on 12 or more). Against a dealer high card (7-8-9-10-A), "mimic the dealer" (hit until you get at least 17).

If your friends find this too easy, you can direct them to the Simple strategy, which is a little harder to remember but reduces the cost of incorrect plays to about 0.14 percent.
Last edited by: gchang on Mar 9, 2017

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