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Re: novice count

Posted by Pete Moss on Saturday, 29 November 1997, at 3:32 p.m., in response to Re: novice count, posted by T-Hopper on Friday, 21 November 1997, at 4:33 p.m.

But which basic strategy should he learn perfectly? (Wong suggests multiple deck S17 as a one-size-fits-all basic strategy, and that's probably as good a choice as any.) There's very little to be gained by learning basic strategy for every possible number of decks and sets of rules. If you look at a b.s. chart for single deck, it will probably say to double with hard 8 vs. 5. But guess what. That play has almost zero added expectation over hitting, and does not justify the added risk for any reasonable bet size and risk criterion. Knowing the play is "correct" for single deck, in that it has a tiny, tiny bit higher EV than hitting, does not really help you at all. It just puts twice as much of your money at risk for a trivial gain in expected return -- less than a penny per $100 wagered, if I remember correctly. You could improve on that by learning composition-dependent BS, and doubling with 5-3 vs 5, but not with the more common 6-2 vs. 5, but that's really putting a fine edge on it for a beginner.

What you really need to know is which plays are automatic, or virtually so, which plays are not real close off the top, and which ones are close. Hitting soft 17 vs. 10 is automatic. Doubling on 11 vs. 7 is "almost automatic" -- not close, but a card counter who knows all his indices will occasionally not double. Doubling on 8 vs 5 is close. So is hitting 12 vs. 4. Ditto 16 vs. 10. That's what you really need to know as preparation for counting cards.




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