CharmedQuark
Joined: Apr 28, 2015
• Posts: 56
August 17th, 2015 at 9:46:06 AM permalink
I’m new to this forum and UTH, having been playing about 9 months. I play the BS, in particular the 4X pre-flop portion of the strategy. More often than not, I’ve been routinely clobbered with the 4X bet having the dealer’s hole cards drawing out and winning more of these bets than I do. I know variance is probably the issue. Regardless, I’m a bit suspect of the 4X bet strategy, but I still play it (trying to trust the math).

My question is about the five –EV 4X bets (K2s, K5o, K6o, Q6s, Q8o). I would think that having a 4X –EV would be a disqualification, but obviously not according the statistical data analysis. Is it due to the fact that their 4X –EV is higher than their Check –EV? Or that these hands are marginal plays but have strong kickers so statistically they qualify as a 4X bet? Does win percentage come into play? Also, how much does one give up against the casino by not betting 4X with these five hands and just go with the other 64 4X hands?

I don’t intend to change my play. I’m just trying to better understand the data and strategy.

BTW – I referenced E Jacobson’s UTH combinatorial analysis data as the basis for my question.
teddys
Joined: Nov 14, 2009
• Posts: 5444
August 17th, 2015 at 10:24:38 AM permalink
Quote: CharmedQuark

My question is about the five –EV 4X bets (K2s, K5o, K6o, Q6s, Q8o). I would think that having a 4X –EV would be a disqualification, but obviously not according the statistical data analysis. Is it due to the fact that their 4X –EV is higher than their Check –EV? Or that these hands are marginal plays but have strong kickers so statistically they qualify as a 4X bet? Does win percentage come into play? Also, how much does one give up against the casino by not betting 4X with these five hands and just go with the other 64 4X hands?

Yes, you lose less by raising than you do by checking. It's definitely a "crying call" (raise). That said, it is so marginal that if you can look over at one other players cards and see that they don't have one of your outs, it's a plus E.V. bet for you.
"Dice, verily, are armed with goads and driving-hooks, deceiving and tormenting, causing grievous woe." -Rig Veda 10.34.4
miplet
Joined: Dec 1, 2009
• Posts: 1971
August 17th, 2015 at 10:47:00 AM permalink
I list all 4X plays and difference between betting and checking here. K6o is the worst:
4x EV: -0.020774
check EV:-0.10299
Difference: 0.082216
“Man Babes” #AxelFabulous
beachbumbabs
Joined: May 21, 2013
• Posts: 14232
August 17th, 2015 at 11:29:36 AM permalink
FWIW, I check K2s. Unless I pair the flop or get a flush draw, I bet 1x as the kicker on that hand. K3s and K5o are my bottom 4x bets. I'm using Grosjean's strategy card. Disclaimer: I could be playing it wrong. But I've been happy with the results.
If the House lost every hand, they wouldn't deal the game.
JohnnyComet
Joined: Feb 16, 2014
• Posts: 42
August 19th, 2015 at 9:22:39 AM permalink
As others have said, the game is truly diabolical (and well designed) in that it is really hard to put out a big 4X bet on something like K5o or Q8o, especially at high minimums. After a few bad beats with fantastic cards it becomes even harder and I find myself playing scared.
Deucekies
Joined: Jan 20, 2014
• Posts: 1273
August 19th, 2015 at 12:13:33 PM permalink
Quote: JohnnyComet

As others have said, the game is truly diabolical (and well designed) in that it is really hard to put out a big 4X bet on something like K5o or Q8o, especially at high minimums. After a few bad beats with fantastic cards it becomes even harder and I find myself playing scared.

This is why UTH is such a big winner for the house. People who don't play perfect strategy are going to add to the house advantage, and people who do play perfect strategy are often underbankrolled for the game. Assuming a \$5 minimum, you have to be prepared to put out a \$30 wager on one hand. The minimum you want to be playing the game with, at least in my opinion, is 10x that number, or \$300. And that's just to play the minimum.
Casinos are not your friends, they want your money. But so does Disneyland. And there is no chance in hell that you will go to Disneyland and come back with more money than you went with. - AxelWolf and Mickeycrimm
RS
Joined: Feb 11, 2014
• Posts: 8623
August 20th, 2015 at 3:46:50 AM permalink
UTH is a volatile game. Sometimes that volatility works in your favor, but usually it doesn't. :(

I think there's a good consensus about the average UTH player -- they play the game EXTREMELY POORLY. I don't know what the average player gives up, but I'd say they're playing with a 10% disadvantage. I've seen people not raise 4X on a pair of Jacks. Or having 2 pair and checking into the turn.

I think the problem most players have is, because they are not forced to fold and have an option to check, they don't realize how bad checking actually is. They view it as "if I have a good hand, I'll just wait till the river to play it, but by not locking in a gigantic [sarcasm] wager, I can fold on the river if there's a straight draw or flush draw the dealer can hit".

Sometimes giving players more options increases their expected loss. For example, playing BJ with late surrender, as soon as I surrender a 16vT, other players are like "wtf you can do what?" I or dealer explain surrender, and a few rounds later, the player is surrendering all their 12-16's vs 7-A's. I think casino's not offering surrender is an extremely stupid thing for them to do.....but there's likely a penny-pincher/bean-counter upstairs who said in the past "if we get rid of surrender, HE goes down by 0.X%.....so we'll be making an extra \$20M a year!"

CharmedQuark
Joined: Apr 28, 2015
• Posts: 56
August 20th, 2015 at 9:45:35 AM permalink
Thanks for your responses to my post.

Eddys – ‘Lose less by raising’- I understand the logic, but it’s ‘lose’ that is the operative word. Also, that’s the long term perspective (more hands than I will ever play) and I think the short term approach is ‘risking more’ to win more but still fighting -EV.

Miplet – thanks for link to the 4x-check table. I had not read that thread. Interesting unresolved arguments there on UTH although about 6 years old. Your numbers match the numbers I referenced on Jacobson’s spreadsheet. But I’m a bit math challenged in statistics and probabilities other than very basic stuff. I couldn’t grasp the per Ante values in that table. I guess those numbers get turned into gain/loss in the cost per ante. But that’s OK. I now have a good concise reference.

BBB – yeah – that K-2s is also my nemesis along with the K-5o and Q-6s. Hard to reach into my stack and pull out the \$60 to cover those. I bet them only because I trust the math that determines the 4X bet (I might be a bit too religious on this). Same with the other 2 –EV bets. Also, I have the Grosjean card and follow it fairly close until the river. For me, chasing straights and flushes are not my thing. Besides it seems the opportunities do not occur that often. I think the 20 or less outs covers a lot.

RS - <<UTH is a volatile game. Sometimes that volatility works in your favor, but usually it doesn't.>>
I have found that statement to be so true. I'm beginning to learn that as a player, I need to grab my meager gains and run like a bunny unless I'm on a good run of cards, and I set my stop/loss a bit high hoping the negative volatility reverses before I hit my stop/loss level. I guess that's why I seem to lose more than I win. But I do have a plan on gains and acceptable losses.

So after spending a few hours trying to mine the data tables, I ended up being annoyed I couldn’t answer my question - “What does one give up by not betting the –EV 4X bets?” I think the answer was staring me in the face when I re-read Jacobson’s article and it stated the player Raises 4x on 37.70739 % of the hands dealt and has a positive edge on 35.29412% of these hands. So the difference is 2.41327% (I think these are the 5 4X –EV bets). So the HE on UTH is 2.185% (on 69 starting hands) and adding the 2.41327% (if betting 64 starting hands) the HE becomes 4.598% (on 64 starting hands). I honestly think it's a lot higher. For me – 4.598% edge is unacceptable and I will keep playing BS. I’m sure my solution has a lot of holes in it, but it’s what makes sense to me.
BTLWI
Joined: Nov 6, 2013
• Posts: 429
August 20th, 2015 at 12:14:43 PM permalink
In miplet's chart linked above you could take the "cost per ante" of each of those 5 hands and add it together to see how much checking is (really) costing you.

0.000303330316742
0.000744036199095
0.000209357466063
0.000016328808446
0.000066503770739

= 0.00133955656 of an ante bet.

So if you play \$15 a hand, not 4X'ing those would cost you about \$.02. Since the house edge on that \$15 bet is about \$.32, adding \$.02 on top of that probably makes checking worth it compared to the amount of stress you'll endure by 4X'ing those hands.
JohnnyComet
Joined: Feb 16, 2014