charliepatrick
charliepatrick
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March 29th, 2015 at 2:41:46 PM permalink
Please forgive me but I am wondering whether anyone can give me some general advice on protecting a multi-deck game from countability and how one can measure it at the design stage or do you just ask the casino to use a CSM?

I'm designing a Blackjack based game, as normal you're trying to beat the dealer without going bust, but it seems Aces have a large effect on the edge. The basic House Edge comes out (using six decks) at 1.61%, but removing just one ace (i.e. 23 rather than 24) increases it to 1.83%, whereas removing a 5 decreases it to 1.54%. Based on wizard's analysis of Blackjack ( http://wizardofodds.com/games/blackjack/appendix/7/ ) it seems this game is more suspect to card removal.

Obviously Blackjack starts from a smaller number, so statistically sometimes there can be an advantage (and counters detect this and take advantage). However (i) is 1.6% sufficiently high not to worry about it, (ii) is the difference of 0.22% for one card in 6 decks a concern, (iii) should I aim towards using fewer decks and an even lower HE?

Many thanks (ps hope to be at Coventry in May).
surrender88s
surrender88s
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March 29th, 2015 at 8:19:07 PM permalink
Let us count :-)
"Rule No.1: Never lose money. Rule No.2: Never forget rule No.1." -Warren Buffett on risk/return
ssho88
ssho88
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March 30th, 2015 at 2:12:07 AM permalink
shuffle after each round :-)
CrystalMath
CrystalMath
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March 30th, 2015 at 5:39:20 AM permalink
It seems that counting might be effective in this game, except it will be more volatile than counting blackjack. I would at least develop a hi-lo count and run simulations where you track how often you hit each count and what you won/lost at each count.
I heart Crystal Math.
charliepatrick
charliepatrick
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March 31st, 2015 at 6:09:30 PM permalink
Many thanks for the excellent idea - it took a while to develop the program and iron out some bugs but I eventually managed to run 10 million shoes (338m hands) with 60% penetration (I have to assume the same player strategy all the time as it takes me ages to work it out). It got the House Edge from various small runs at nearer 1.66% (rather than the 1.61% I'd worked out). However it gave the following results.
11.167% 10 - 3% House Edge
20.236% 3 - 2% House Edge
40.760% 2 - 1% House Edge
19.811% 1 - 0% House Edge

6.659% 0 - 1% advantage to player
1.266% 1 - 2.5% advantage to player
0.011% 2.5+% advantage to player.
Essentially unless only betting when the count is high (i.e. back-counting), the player would have to jump from a small bet of 1, to a large bet of 39, to show a long term profit. (I'm not sure what happens at larger counts as there were few instances).

Since I've never analysed Blackjack in similar detail, is this spread of advantages similar to that in Blackjack? I also think, starting from a higher initial House Edge, perhaps the count has to be relatively higher before the advantage kicks in.


Many thanks
CrystalMath
CrystalMath
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April 1st, 2015 at 6:01:41 AM permalink
Do you have the return tracked by count? I'm not sure that is necessary because the return will follow the count even if you don't have the details of the count. At 60% penetration, I think a spread of 1 to 39 is too aggressive for counters and likely too volatile. I recommend trying this at different penetrations, including 4/6 and 5/6.

If you know the EOR for every card, then I would use that data to make a hi/lo count and track your simulation data by the count. This way, you can play with different bet spreads to see if it is profitable. if it takes a spread of more than 1 to 15 or 20, then you are probably safe. You can also recommend the maximum penetration and if they should disallow mid shoe entry.
I heart Crystal Math.
Romes
Romes
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April 1st, 2015 at 6:48:26 AM permalink
Quote: charliepatrick

...I'm designing a Blackjack based game... The basic House Edge comes out (using six decks) at 1.61%...


lol and casinos want to pretend we're the "thiefs." 1.61% basic house edge, how to protect that game? Sit on your ass and don't worry, that's an awful game and even the ploppies will figure it out. Shame on anyone promoting a 1.61% HE game as a game of "blackjack."
Playing it correctly means you've already won.
charliepatrick
charliepatrick
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April 1st, 2015 at 7:41:32 AM permalink
Thanks - yes I keep a running count (based on the EOR figures and decks left in shoe) and store the results in an array for each count value. I tried your suggestion as it seems 5/6 penetration does give the counter more or a chance, the count-in-favour opportunities occur more often (nearly 16%) and the spread only needs to be 1-11 to make a profit. Like standard Blackjack the advantage gets to about 5% and then reduces as the count increases.
Count	Exp	         Hands	
-10 -0.051 518 5047223 1.083 250%
-9 -0.047 801 6361648 1.365 356%
-8 -0.043 355 8391425 1.800 993%
-7 -0.039 425 10641819 2.283 979%
-6 -0.034 649 13902695 2.983 838%
-5 -0.030 603 17812656 3.823 006%
-4 -0.027 038 23857416 5.120 350%
-3 -0.023 460 31098405 6.674 433%
-2 -0.020 359 41997698 9.013 672%
-1 -0.017 065 46196724 9.914 879%
0 -0.013 885 72409988 15.540 848%
1 -0.010 048 42054017 9.025 759%
2 -0.006 821 30815677 6.613 753%
3 -0.003 571 22640681 4.859 211%
4 -0.000 762 17379906 3.730 127%
5 0.002 896 13002403 2.790 615%
6 0.005 705 10042215 2.155 290%
7 0.008 840 7617152 1.634 816%
8 0.011 517 6088367 1.306 704%
9 0.013 893 4639521 0.995 748%
10 0.016 416 3697202 0.793 505%
11 0.018 748 2832765 0.607 976%
12 0.021 164 2168712 0.465 455%
13 0.021 803 1920119 0.412 102%
14 0.024 860 1427668 0.306 410%
15 0.024 584 1081695 0.232 157%
16 0.025 776 876309 0.188 076%
17 0.028 475 719025 0.154 319%
18 0.032 118 542865 0.116 511%
19 0.030 261 415350 0.089 144%
20 0.032 400 348905 0.074 883%
charliepatrick
charliepatrick
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April 1st, 2015 at 7:54:46 AM permalink
Quote: Romes

Shame on anyone promoting a 1.61% HE game ...

You are right and agree that for a simple Blackjack variant I should be aiming south of 1%. btw the "ploppy" House Edge at the moment is about 2.5%.

My feeling is that I possibly need to introduce a bonus which counteracts the count and both reduces the House Edge and countability factor. I am very grateful for everyone's help. Thanks
Paradigm
Paradigm
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April 1st, 2015 at 2:09:14 PM permalink
Don't go too low on the HE........remember, you only get/keep a game on the floor and get paid for it if the game is winning more than the BJ table it is replacing. If the house BJ game HE is set at 0.6%-0.7% and is actually realizing closer to 1.2-1.3% due to player errors, your new BJ variant better be around 1.8-2% with player errors in order for it to make more money. I think it is difficult in a BJ variant to increase the HE adjusted for player errors by more than 80%-100% of the optimal play HE (although Spanish 21 is such a game, due to the participation rate in the Match the Dealer side bet). To me that means you need your base game to be right around 1%-1.2% with a goal of actual play HE of 1.8-2.4%.......about double what they property is experiencing at regular BJ.

Your average player that is likely to be engaged and entertained by a BJ variant is not going to be put off by the higher HE if in exchange they are getting game features they enjoy. The typical Forum member is not the demographic that will drive the success of a new proprietary BJ variant..

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