I have used the Micheal Shackleford Blackjack Hand Calculator. Here's the link:

For some reason the link doesn't post. It's wizard of odds blackjack hand calculator. Hopefully you can google the page.

I have questions!!! Wondering what the resulting calculations mean. An example: Calculation for splitting 6's vs 3.

Splitting value is -0.098. Hitting is -0.23. Obviously -0.098 is less than -0.23. My question is why double your bet when either way, one is expected to lose. This seems especially pertinent when you are on a roll and have a 5 unit or 7 unit, or more unit bet. It seems to be it's better to not split. Wouldn't one lose less? Maybe if one bet the same unit every time, might not be as significant, but when you get to higher bets, why double when you expect to lose.

Also wondering what these value are. When the value is say 0.098 does that mean you'll lose 9% of the time and -0.23 means you'll lose 23% of the time?

I look at doubling soft hands. Say A-4 vs 4. The strategy cards recommend doubling. The odds are

double +0.064 the odds of hitting are +0.06. The idea of doubling a bet to gain say .4% doesn't seem like such a great advantage. Same with A-5 vs 4. Odds are doubling +.06. Hitting +.04. Is a 2% gain worth doubling a bet, especially when one is betting say a 5 unit bet? I think the cards may be right in terms of strict math, but in terms of practicality I think they are misleading and not really a good strategy.

Thoughts welcomed.

Thank You

DoctorYo

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

If you prefer to play with your gut, go ahead. Just don't suggest that Mike's calculations are not the optimal EV play just because your gut tells you that you would rather deviate from the optimal strategy.

In the end is it better to lose 100 with a $23 dollar vig or lose 200 with a 19.60 vig. Granted the vig to the house is less, but I'm losing more capital because I have to increase my bet. Would I be better to save the extra 100 for the next hand and take my chances there?

When you split 6's it allows for you to get a 4,5,6 allowing for double downs or another split

if you don't play the hand this way over many trials small numbers become big numbers.

Its not about winning the question is would you prefer to lose less.

Quote:DoctorYo

I have questions!!! Wondering what the resulting calculations mean. An example: Calculation for splitting 6's vs 3.

Splitting value is -0.098. Hitting is -0.23. Obviously -0.098 is less than -0.23. My question is why double your bet when either way, one is expected to lose. This seems especially pertinent when you are on a roll and have a 5 unit or 7 unit, or more unit bet. It seems to be it's better to not split. Wouldn't one lose less? Maybe if one bet the same unit every time, might not be as significant, but when you get to higher bets, why double when you expect to lose.

Also wondering what these value are. When the value is say 0.098 does that mean you'll lose 9% of the time and -0.23 means you'll lose 23% of the time?

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If you're betting $100 per spot on a game you can split to 4 hands and double after split, you need to be prepared to swing $800 per spot on the next round.

It sounds like you're choosing to "press" your bet size above your comfort level, and want some help justifying non-optimal play.

Are you also going to get upset when the new guy at third base "takes the dealer's bust card", and you would have had a blackjack on the next round if he hadn't?

You do not know the next card before it is dealt.

Best of luck.

Quote:MentalObviously -0.098 is less than -0.23 In fact -0.098 is less than half of -0.23. Imagine that these are not expectation values, but instead are required payments to the casino. Assuming $100 bets size, would you rather pay $23 or pay $9.80 twice?

If you prefer to play with your gut, go ahead. Just don't suggest that Mike's calculations are not the optimal EV play just because your gut tells you that you would rather deviate from the optimal strategy.

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When -0.098 is quoted as the expectation value for splitting it means that is the expected (average) loss over all split hands not over each split hand.

When splitting sometimes you're splitting a very good hand for two good hands, so the same logic applies. However sometimes you're splitting a pretty bad hand into two not-quite-so-bad hands. It's a similar idea that in the long run you're better to split.

Some plays in Blackjack go against one's gut feeling, e.g. hitting soft 18 vs 9; but mathematics has proved this is the correct play (in the long term). Obviously hindsight, card tracking, card counting, marked cards etc. might change your decisions, but without this, the advice will be to stick to what the calculation show.

btw if you actually work it out by hand (for infinite decks) it does give a warmer feeling!!

I was using $100 as a unit measurement, meaning one unit. I admit, I'm not a counter. I watch for runs of low and high cards but not able to count an 8 deck shoe.

I feel if I always bet one unit every single time, then following the rules seems to make sense. What I question is if I play some kind of progression in my betting based on winning hands, then my number of units played goes up as well. So, say I'm on a good run and I'm up to a 5 unit bet. That is where I'm questioning the wisdom of spit/double down plays on hands where the overall odds are I'm going to lose the hand. These are the hands I call the humpers. You get over the hump and life is good, or it's back to ground zero. So, I'm thinking of factoring my decision based on the number of units I'm betting.

In an ideal world, if I was a counter, I would know the make up of the remaining cards and could base my hit/stick/double decisions as well as betting amount. Being lazy, I'm playing a unit progression and basing my decisions on the basic strategy.

And May the Yo be with you. :)

My bad. You are right about that. This makes not splitting an even more costly error.Quote:gordonm888When -0.098 is quoted as the expectation value for splitting it means that is the expected (average) loss over all split hands not over each split hand.

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If the OP knows he is going to lose a given hand, then the best decision is not to play at all. But, he cannot know that beforehand. It sucks when you split and lose both hands, maybe even after doubling one of them. Beforehand, you have the chance to play the hand so as to maximize EV, and you cannot control how the cards come out. Just worry about controlling what you can control, which is playing the hand correctly and avoiding errors based on gut feelings.

Quote:DoctorYoWhat I question is if I play some kind of progression in my betting based on winning hands, then my number of units played goes up as well. So, say I'm on a good run and I'm up to a 5 unit bet.

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If you're not comfortable flat betting, you may be more comfortable with a less aggressive progression.

Nothing says you have to step up $25 to $50 to $100.

$25 to $30 to $40 works too, and you're less likely to wipe yourself out.

Losing or winning the last few hands is not a useful predictor for the next hand.

Sometimes third base takes the bust card; sometimes third base saves the table. It all works out to very close to the house edge of the game.

The problem, in a nutshell, is you. You are making bets you are uncomfortable with. Only you can fix it.

If you are playing at a level where you don't feel comfortable making a move you know is correct, you need to fix that yourself. Either bet less or learn to trust the math.

In a battle between your gut feelings and math, we all know who will win in the long run.