DreadedParms
DreadedParms
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August 9th, 2018 at 8:35:47 AM permalink
I know I'm a casual blackjack player. I enjoy the social aspects of the game in casinos, I don't count cards and play in accordance with accepted general strategy. Except in one instance.

I like to double down on hard 12 when the dealer is showing a 5 or 6. I'm still more likely to not bust than to actually bust, I get double my money out on the table, and when a nine shows up, it's an event. I mainly do it for fun and enjoyment, not because it's the proper thing to do. Over a three hour period, I expect to see that combination a handful of times.

What's the breakdown of how bad mathematically this is?

I appreciate the response.
OnceDear
OnceDear
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August 9th, 2018 at 9:06:59 AM permalink
Quote: DreadedParms

I know I'm a casual blackjack player. I enjoy the social aspects of the game in casinos, I don't count cards and play in accordance with accepted general strategy. Except in one instance.

I like to double down on hard 12 when the dealer is showing a 5 or 6. I'm still more likely to not bust than to actually bust, I get double my money out on the table, and when a nine shows up, it's an event. I mainly do it for fun and enjoyment, not because it's the proper thing to do. Over a three hour period, I expect to see that combination a handful of times.

What's the breakdown of how bad mathematically this is?

I appreciate the response.

No mathematical breakdown from me. However, welcome to the forum. If you've found an inexpensive way to buy more fun for your money, then you're a winner.

Someone will be along with critical analysis soon. Don't let it offend you.
Psalm 25:16 Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. Proverbs 18:2 A fool finds no satisfaction in trying to understand, for he would rather express his own opinion.
Romes
Romes
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August 9th, 2018 at 9:22:57 AM permalink
Welcome to the forums DreadedParms.

At least you're understanding that it's not good strategy and if you get an entertainment value out of it, then by all means. The wizard has every hand/play Expected Value (EV) down in his Appendix 1 here: https://wizardofodds.com/games/blackjack/appendix/1/

EV(stand 12v6) = -0.153699
EV(double 12v6) = -0.341052

...12v5 is even worse for both scenarios.

Thus it's more than double as bad, to double 12v6.

To put more perspective... if you had a $10 bet, by standing you could expect to lose $1.54... by doubling you could expect to lose $3.41. This is of course "in the long run" over tens of thousands if not more of this particular hand. Short term variance could yield a win or a loss, but in the long run you're going to more than double your losses from this particular hand by doubling.
Playing it correctly means you've already won.
odiousgambit
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August 9th, 2018 at 9:25:43 AM permalink
exact depends on some factors, I looked up 8 decks, dealer stands on all 17s

for example, you have 10,2 .... dealer has 6

to stand, EV is -0.154441

to hit, EV is -0.169202

to double, EV is -0.338403

you can look up the other ones, probably not much different, see link

your notion is a case of increasing variance at the expense of HE. If you flat bet BJ, these things are worth considering. However, this looks pretty expensive.
https://wizardofodds.com/games/blackjack/appendix/9/

PS, Romes beat me to it using appendix 1
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
FleaStiff
FleaStiff
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August 9th, 2018 at 10:39:53 AM permalink
If the difference has to be carried out to several decimal places, I say do what you like and remember that one tip to the cocktail waitress will alter those digits anyway. Sometimes I go against 'the book' and when it turns out a winner, I enjoy getting a few 'congratulations' from the neighboring player or players. They know what Basic strategy is and they see me ignoring it from time to time. Why should I take offense at their style of play or think they should take offense at mine any more than we should all order the same cocktails.
billryan
billryan
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August 9th, 2018 at 10:49:56 AM permalink
A player has to work so hard to get an edge in BJ, that it annoys me when people make plays like this. It's their cards and money so I'd never say anything to them, unless they ask. I just don't understand knowledgeable players surrendering value.
I look at BJ as a one on one game. Other than someone smoking a cigar or abusive behaviour I tend not to notice other players most hands.
The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction is supposed to make sense.
KevinAA
KevinAA
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RomesRSOnceDearDeMango
August 9th, 2018 at 11:00:50 AM permalink
I love it when people play poorly. It keeps the game in business. Thanks! :)
ChesterDog
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August 9th, 2018 at 11:15:29 AM permalink
Quote: DreadedParms

...I mainly do it for fun and enjoyment, not because it's the proper thing to do...




I stick to basic strategy, but blackjack is more fun for me when the other players don't, regardless of whether or not I win my hand. (However, I don't like players' delaying a long time while they plan out their non-basic strategy play.)


Also, their nonstandard play gives me ammunition when they criticize my play. One guy yelled at me, but I gleefully said, "You doubled on 12!"
Romes
Romes
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DeMango
August 9th, 2018 at 11:55:25 AM permalink
Quote: billryan

A player has to work so hard to get an edge in BJ, that it annoys me when people make plays like this. It's their cards and money so I'd never say anything to them, unless they ask. I just don't understand knowledgeable players surrendering value.
I look at BJ as a one on one game. Other than someone smoking a cigar or abusive behaviour I tend not to notice other players most hands.

Bill I agree and get your point, but to play devils advocate the answer to why people play like this is fairly obvious...

Take your words and extrapolate the idea... if they're adding negative value, why do they do it? Well, the OP said he's not a card counter, so he's adding negative value simply by playing the game... so does it ALSO annoy you that non-card counters play the game of blackjack, even with perfect BS? It should... It's pretty easy to find doctors, lawyers, accountants, and other intelligent people that play blackjack, so why wouldn't it also annoy you that these intelligent people waste -EV gambling at all?

Otherwise you realize people play the game for an entertainment value, which balances their -EV monetarily with a +EV entertainment... to them at least. So if the OP finds a lot of +EV entertainment in doubling his 12's, then perhaps for him that outweighs the -EV monetarily that comes with it. To each their own, so long as he's aware it is a poor monetary play and he chooses to do it for the added entertainment value.
Playing it correctly means you've already won.
DreadedParms
DreadedParms
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Romes
August 10th, 2018 at 2:03:13 PM permalink
Thanks to everyone for the responses. I was new to the site and was unaware of the glorious appendix.

Most of the people I've played with don't play by the book all the time. I know from the old Wizard of Odds website that my play is just as likely to help the dealer as to hurt the dealer, so it shouldn't matter how I play (or anyone else) to others at the table. This, of course, doesn't stop legions of people complaining about the "idiots at third base" and so on...
billryan
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August 10th, 2018 at 2:41:57 PM permalink
Quote: Romes

Bill I agree and get your point, but to play devils advocate the answer to why people play like this is fairly obvious...

Take your words and extrapolate the idea... if they're adding negative value, why do they do it? Well, the OP said he's not a card counter, so he's adding negative value simply by playing the game... so does it ALSO annoy you that non-card counters play the game of blackjack, even with perfect BS? It should... It's pretty easy to find doctors, lawyers, accountants, and other intelligent people that play blackjack, so why wouldn't it also annoy you that these intelligent people waste -EV gambling at all?

Otherwise you realize people play the game for an entertainment value, which balances their -EV monetarily with a +EV entertainment... to them at least. So if the OP finds a lot of +EV entertainment in doubling his 12's, then perhaps for him that outweighs the -EV monetarily that comes with it. To each their own, so long as he's aware it is a poor monetary play and he chooses to do it for the added entertainment value.



I can usually size up a players ability in a few hands. Many are clueless. Most have a general idea or understand math enough to make informed decisions. A small group puts in the work needed to be able to beat the casino. It's not about intelligence, it's about taking the time to learn the right moves, understand why it's the right move but then do something otherwise. Being a Doctor or a lawyer doesn't make one a good BJ player, though they should be able to learn it better than most. Lots of postal workers seem to be good players for some reason.
I compare BS to the multiplication tables we memorized. I don't mind if someone doesn't know 12x11 =132, but someone who knows it but ignores it anyway annoys me.
The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction is supposed to make sense.
charliepatrick
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August 10th, 2018 at 4:13:53 PM permalink
Playing BJ with basic strategy is a -EV game. Thus essentially one has decided to spend some money (expected loss) to have some enjoyment. If one knowlingly decides to make a slightly sub optimal play just for the hell of it then that's fine - I usually joke with other players if I do it. In the UK I will sometimes double 11 vs 10 (it doesn't cost that much and you were always going to hit in any case).
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