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Which Index Values are "Correct"?

Posted by Leroy Nimka on 17 July 2001, at 9:32 p.m., in response to Re: Need Clarification on Variations, posted by New Counter on 17 July 2001, at 8:19 p.m.

Actually, no set of index values is absolutely "correct". Each such table represents some sort of compromise. I haven't read John May's book and can't comment on it, but if you want an alternate source of info for the Hi-Lo system, Professional Blackjack, by Stanford Wong is probably the best.

There are a lot of variables involved in determining which index numbers a player should use. To name a few:

1. The specific rules of the game, for example the number of decks.

2. Ease of memorization.

3. For practical reasons, index numbers are converted to integers, and this can be done by rounding, truncating, or flooring. The best method may depend on the manner in which you're estimating the true count while you play. Read through the articles at http://www.bjmath.com/bjmath/tcindex/tcindex.htm for more info.

4. The extremely complicated "risk averse" vs. "optimum expectation" issue. Read the articles at http://www.bjmath.com/bjmath/playing/playing.htm to learn more.

In fact, I suggest you read as many of the archived articles on the bjmath.com as you can.

On the matter of splitting tens, there are special considerations. The saying goes, "Everyone knows the only people who split tens are idiots and card counters, so if you're going to split tens, you'd better have the pit convinced that you're an idiot." Although splitting tens is a relatively valuable play, many or most players pass it up because of the attention and heat it tends to draw.

Leroy Nimka


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