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Readers Q&A #12

Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

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What is the right strategy in blackjack (European rules), if a player has an option of early surrender for a cost- 1/3 of the bet? When should a player surrender?

Regards,
JOHN

Dear John,

I checked with our math wiz Michael Shackelford, who analyzed your question. Here’s the results of his anaylysis.

"There is no situation under European rules that warrants 2/3 early surrender. However, if the dealer hits soft 17 then the player should take it with 16 against an ace (and almost on 15 and 17 against an ace). This play is very marginal if the dealer stands on soft 17 but slightly favors declining surrender. Considering the possibility of a dealer blackjack the expected return is –0.66623, greater than the –0.66666 which is the expected return by taking the surrender".

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

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Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

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Hello Henry,
i'm a new blackjack player in Athens Greece(semiprofessional as you subscribed).
1) Can you tell me the deviations from the basic strategy in Hi-Low counting system for the European casinos? (no hole card rule)
2) I've learned many hours about basic strategy, deviations, bet spreading but i lost almost all my money (about 3000$) What is your suggestion for me about the future?
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Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

 

Dear Nikos,

Your first question is too time consuming for me to do a complete analysis. You may want to post on www.bj21.com and see if anyone there has the time to set up and run a computer simulation.

In response to your second question I would suggest you read the sections on risk, expected return and losing streaks in the book Blackjack Attack. If you sized your maximum bet to bankroll ratio properly there is no way you should have lost all your money (you always need to have a 95% confidence level that you can double your bankroll vs losing it if you play in agame where you have the edge– this requires at least a 100-125 ratio between max. bet and bankroll – I can’t say if losing $3000 is expected because I don’t know what your max bet was – you will lose in the short term evewn though you are counting and have the long term edge –that means you are playign games where you have the edge and not making mistakes with count or betting - you need to be properly bankrolled to withstand the short term awings which will occur -see Blackjack Attack for details.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

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Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

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Is there any hard rule about when to leave a table that is only fair (breakeven maybe make $25.after an hour of playing.) or poor (win one loose one, dealer making 21's from everywhere.)
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Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

Dear Mark,

Assuming you are not counting, then it really makes no difference when you leave. However, psychologically it’s tough to lose hand after hand to a ‘hot" dealer. My advice is to leave if you lose 3-4 hands in a row and your spinning your wheels (or if you are getting killed, I’d walk if you are down 50% of your bankroll) This doesn’t change the odds but it gives you a chance to take a breather and try another table. If you are holding your own and winnign a small amount I’d pocket the profit, take a break and then try another table.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

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Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

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What do you do when a player is on has 16? Hit or Stand?
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Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

Dear Karankara,

If the casino allows surrender then you should surrender hard 16 when the dealer shows a 9, 10, or ace upcard. Against a dealer upcard of 2-6 you should stand and against the 7 &8 you should hit. If surrender is not available then you should hit against a dealer 9, 10, or ace.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

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Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

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I don't want to count cards. Is there an advanced basic stategy? And if there is can you recommend any books where I can read about it.
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Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

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Dear Chaz,

Check out the advanced basic strategy article and also the simple Ace/10 Front Count article in Blackjack Insider Newsletter #14

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

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Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

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what is the probability for the dealer to get bust when he shows a 4, 5 or 6 as his first card?
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Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

Dear Carlos,

Frequency that dealer will bust vs the 4, 5 6 upcard is:

4 – 40%

5- 43%

  1. 42%

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

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Hi: Which clubs in Colorado do you recommend for blackjack or 21
Sincerely,
Jack

Dear Jack,

I recommend the Lodge casino in Black Hawk, They have a good 6 deck game with DAS, late surrender, and decent penetration. Second choice is the 6 deck game at Bronco Billy’s (Cripple Creek) where they have DAS and resplit aces (also good pentration).

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

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Dear BJInsider.com Expert Guide,

The following question was asked by

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Is there any hope in beating casino that uses auto shoes that dealer insert cards after dealing player's initial two cards? (PS> dealer DO NOT have a hole card, i.e. dealer was dealt with a single card before players finish play.)
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Best regards,
The "Ask the Pro" Staff

Dear A. Chang,

If you are talking about the continuous shuffler where all the discards are put back into the shuffler after each round, the answer is no it can’t be beaten.

Regards,

Henry Tamburin

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