Systems Archive 4

Re: 1 Deck Doubling Question

Posted by Leroy Nimka on 20 August 2001, at 8:18 p.m., in response to 1 Deck Doubling Question, posted by New Counter on 18 August 2001, at 5:09 p.m.

It's interesting that you asked about those particular hands, because the information about them that was published in Peter Griffin's Theory of Blackjack turned out to be incorrect. Here's a reprint of a response I got from Richard Reid (operator of the bjmath.com site) when I asked about this very issue last December 26, 2000 on rec.gambling.blackjack:

From: "Richard Reid"
Newsgroups: rec.gambling.blackjack
Subject: Re: Peter Griffin's Basic Strategy - What was the one flaw?
Date: Tue, 26 Dec 2000 22:50:42 -0800
Message-ID: <92c33a\$hs6\$1@newsfeed.smartt.com>

Actually, there is more than one known mistake in the notes to Peter Griffin's "Theory of Blackjack" Basic Strategy charts.

First of all, I need to point out that Note "p" on page 177 of the 5th edition is worded differently than that of the 6th edition. The 5th edition states, "Double (5,3) and (4,4) in one deck." You will also see this wording in earlier editions. Some time ago, Steve Jacobs discovered that one should also double (6,2) vs 5 in a single deck, h17 game and I believe that this is the basic strategy error found in TOB to which you are referring.

Most likely as a result of Steve's discovery, the 6th edition wording was changed to Note "p". However, the new wording is not correct either.

Note "p" (6th edition) on page 177 now states "Double in one deck, except not (6,2) v 6 if h17." Actually, one should hit, not double (6,2) v 5 and (6,2) v 6 in a single deck, s17 game. So, Note "p" needs to be yet again revised.

In addition to Steve's discovery, if you refer to Note "j" on p 176 (any edition), it says "Hit (T,3) in one deck". However, Cacarulo pointed out some time ago that one should stand, not hit on T,3 vs 2 in a single deck, h17 game. So, this note also needs to be revised.

If you wish to verify the points mentioned above, check the EV tables at www.bjmath.com > Table of Contents > Expected Value Tables.

Hope this helps.

Sincerely,
Richard Reid

So there you are! The difference in expectation between the two options is infinitesimal, but still it's an interesting bit of blackjack trivia.

Leroy Nimka

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