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Thread: Strange blackjack play experience

  1. #1
    I know there is not much appetite on this forum for someone sharing their real experiences, but I am going to do so anyway.

    Last night, or I guess early this morning, finishing up my holiday weekend play, I was dealt a pair of aces, which I spit as usual and received an ace on each ace. This occurs more often than you would think as anyone that plays a reasonable amount of blackjack knows. There also may be some selective memory at play as you probably remember split aces each drawing another ace, more than if they drew a 2 or 3 or some other bad card.

    There was still hope for my two max bet hands totaling 2 (lol) as the dealer had a 6 up, but he didn't break. Nothing unusual so far.

    So 4 rounds later (might have been 5 but I think 4), same shoe, still max bet out, I am dealt....a pair of aces. I throw my hands up making a fuss, as I do for show, but in reality, happy to have a pair of aces with max bet out. You are probably a step ahead of me now and figuring that I once again drew another ace to each of the split aces. THAT is where we are getting into weirdville. Any of you math guys want to figure the odds of this occurring twice within 4 rounds?

    Finishing the story, the dealer had a 9 up this time, which seemed even more dire, turned over a 7 and then broke. I have been playing this game a long time, but every once in a while I still see something new (to me) and find myself mumbling "hum".

  2. #2
    You need to find a better game that allows RSA.

  3. #3
    Originally Posted by jbjb View Post
    You need to find a better game that allows RSA.
    RSA has been one of the benefits of my play over the last year or so, playing higher limits. This however was only a $50 table and didn't have RSA. It did have fewer players and deeper pen than the $100 game at the very next table which is why I was playing. Deeper pen is one of my top priorities, although it matters less in the more crowded conditions that I now play.

    I am not complaining that I was at a no RSA table. I ended up splitting my 4 max bet wagers (after spits) breaking even. Who knows how it would have gone with RSA? I never look back and play the "what if" game. The only thing we can be sure of is there would have been higher EV. Your point is taken, that higher EV matters, though.
    Last edited by kewlJ; 02-21-2023 at 12:00 AM.

  4. #4
    Fuck the deeper pen Kew, you need MAXPEN !

  5. #5
    Originally Posted by Ozzy View Post
    Fuck the deeper pen Kew, you need MAXPEN !
    I know you are making a joke, Ozzy Nelson.

    But MaxPen's handle comes from his blackjack card counting roots, which he was when I first encountered him and began speaking with him on forums more than a decade ago now. MaxPen like any good card counter in this era, understood that good penetration trumps rules like RSA, no DAS, even H17. The saying goes that good penetration can easily overcome some relatively minor bad rules, but more favorable (minor) rules cannot overcome lousy penetration, which is why when scouting and picking games, penetration is what I am looking for first.

  6. #6
    Originally Posted by kewlJ View Post
    Originally Posted by Ozzy View Post
    Fuck the deeper pen Kew, you need MAXPEN !
    I know you are making a joke, Ozzy Nelson.

    But MaxPen's handle comes from his blackjack card counting roots, which he was when I first encountered him and began speaking with him on forums more than a decade ago now. MaxPen like any good card counter in this era, understood that good penetration trumps rules like RSA, no DAS, even H17. The saying goes that good penetration can easily overcome some relatively minor bad rules, but more favorable (minor) rules cannot overcome lousy penetration, which is why when scouting and picking games, penetration is what I am looking for first.
    We all know youíre looking for PENETRATION !!! Just not at the blackjack table

  7. #7
    Originally Posted by kewlJ View Post
    I know there is not much appetite on this forum for someone sharing their real experiences, but I am going to do so anyway.

    Last night, or I guess early this morning, finishing up my holiday weekend play, I was dealt a pair of aces, which I spit as usual and received an ace on each ace. This occurs more often than you would think as anyone that plays a reasonable amount of blackjack knows. There also may be some selective memory at play as you probably remember split aces each drawing another ace, more than if they drew a 2 or 3 or some other bad card.

    There was still hope for my two max bet hands totaling 2 (lol) as the dealer had a 6 up, but he didn't break. Nothing unusual so far.

    So 4 rounds later (might have been 5 but I think 4), same shoe, still max bet out, I am dealt....a pair of aces. I throw my hands up making a fuss, as I do for show, but in reality, happy to have a pair of aces with max bet out. You are probably a step ahead of me now and figuring that I once again drew another ace to each of the split aces. THAT is where we are getting into weirdville. Any of you math guys want to figure the odds of this occurring twice within 4 rounds?

    Finishing the story, the dealer had a 9 up this time, which seemed even more dire, turned over a 7 and then broke. I have been playing this game a long time, but every once in a while I still see something new (to me) and find myself mumbling "hum".
    I could figure out the odds, but they would be wrong. If you had your max bet out, then knowing you count High/Low, indicates to me that you had a TC of...what is it for your max bet, like +4 or more? +5? Also, this is a shoe game, so I am assuming that we started out with six decks, though it might have been eight. However, in order for you to have your max bet out, you'd need the TC that I mentioned and this would still be the max bet TC even after at least four aces came out just a couple of rounds before which tells me that we are quite deep in the shoe, at this point, so any odds based on a fresh shoe would be damn near irrelevant, to be honest.

    However, I can't give you the odds for YOUR situation because I don't know exactly how many cards were left in total and I do not know how many of those were aces. Pretty damn low, anyway, but almost certainly not as low as to have that situation happen within five rounds from a fresh shoe.

  8. #8
    Another problem that would make it difficult to give exact odds is I would have to know how many aces came out in the intervening hands. I guess I could do it, in general, but then I would have to calculate for every possible number of aces that could have come out in the intervening hands.

  9. #9
    Originally Posted by Mission146 View Post
    Another problem that would make it difficult to give exact odds is I would have to know how many aces came out in the intervening hands. I guess I could do it, in general, but then I would have to calculate for every possible number of aces that could have come out in the intervening hands.
    I appreciate you thinking about it Mission, but really not necessary for you or anyone to waste any time on it. I just was thinking....you know what are the odds of that? A conservative estimate is that I have played well over 2 million rounds of blackjack and never seen it. Hopefully won't see it again for another 2 million rounds.

    So anyway, your reply did get me thinking a bit about the situation, not that there is any reason to. Yes, you are correct it was late in a 6 deck shoe. The second set of aces was the last round. I max bet @ TC +4, but the count had dropped just below that for this final round, but I still maxxed bet. It was something like a running count of +5 with a deck and a half remaining, for a true count of between 3.5 and 4. Close enough that I didn't switch up my wager for that one final round.

    So anyway, what I was really thinking about this morning, was if the running count was +5, meaning an abundance of 5 extra aces and ten value cards, well, my hand, split Aces each drawing an ace were 4 of those 5 "extra" high cards. So as I started that final round with Max bet out, the 10 value cards were really close to normal (maybe +1), but it was Aces that were in abundance.

    So my count hi-lo, and even most other higher level counts wouldn't identify that. One of the very, very complicated counts, like an ultimate Uston or ultimate Thorp count might, but those counts are really unplayable. Even Uston and Thorp didn't play them. The late member Moses had a specialty column count that he used for single deck that I guess would have identified that the remaining "extra" high value cards were aces and not 10 value.

    What I was trying to figure out is even if you had that information, would you play the hand differently, not splitting aces? In card counting Aces are counted as a high card for betting purposes, but counted as a low card for playing decisions. So if you had that extra information, a player would still bet high (maxbet), and when it came to the playing decision of whether to split, the count would be adjusted and with the two Aces already out, the count would be -1, not nearly enough to consider not splitting. So my conclusion is that even with some super advanced count that broke down just what the extra high cards remaining were, optimal play would be to have a high or max bet out and to split the aces. Just some meaningless thoughts.
    Last edited by kewlJ; 02-22-2023 at 11:06 AM.

  10. #10
    I don't think that I would say, "Meaningless." The fact that I find something interesting is enough to give it meaning, at least, for me.

    I can absolutely say that the probability of this happening (meaning from the OP) in a single-deck game is zero. lol

    The correct play would definitely be to split, but we can verify that here:

    https://wizardofodds.com/games/black...nd-calculator/

    We can call the ten value cards +1, just for the sake of argument, so we figure out the expected number of ten cards for a deck and a half where ten cards would normally represent 4/13ths of the deck:

    (52 * 1.5) * 4/13 = 24

    Which means we would normally expect there to be 24 cards. Actually, that was a little fancy and we could have just went 16 * 1.5, but that's okay. We're going to say there were 25 ten value cards.

    Naturally, for Aces, we can be less fancy and say that 4 * 1.5 = 6 is the expected number of aces, so we just add four to that and get ten aces.

    With that, we will put 25 ten-value cards and ten aces in our starting deck of 78 cards.

    That would mean that 78-35 = 43 cards are neither of these things, which we could say are equally divided amongst the other eight card ranks, which would be 43/8 = 5.375 of each. That leaves us three cards short, which I am going to distribute the extra into twos threes and fours because all of those are roughly equally bad for split aces in this instance.

    Against any dealer upcard, not only is splitting the proper decision by a mile, but it remains +EV against any dealer upcard.

  11. #11
    Originally Posted by Mission146 View Post
    Against any dealer upcard, not only is splitting the proper decision by a mile, but it remains +EV against any dealer upcard.
    Right.

    My thinking about it this morning after you posted was basically along the lines of my being pro-simplicity as far as card counting in this day and age. You may or may not know, but I have had many "discussions" with other blackjack players about the value of higher level counts. And it is in those terms that I was thinking.

    Here is an interesting one, from my perspective anyway. I know or knew several players that side counted 7's. Whatever their primary count was, they kept a second side count of 7's.

    Players that do this, argue that the key hand is player 14 vs dealer 10. There are other hands that knowing exactly how many 7's remain might benefit slightly, but supposedly the key hand is 14 vs10.

    So when you think about that, suppose you side count 7's and know exactly how many 7's remain. If there is an abundance are you going to double down instead of hitting? NO! If there is a depletion of 7's are you going to stand instead of hitting. Again, No. There are other cards that could still improve your hand. Standing would be a very costly play.

    So what you have is extra work, extra counting and the likelihood of increased error rate, for what benefit?

    And that is the way with most arguments in card counting. In Todays games, 6 or 8 deck shoe games, all these things that used to have some benefit in single deck games 40 years ago, just no longer matter. Just keep it simple.

    Anyway, you probably don't care about any of that. I am just thinking out loud. But thanks for the post that even got me thinking about blackjack. That rarely happens on THIS forum.

  12. #12
    I participate at WoV, so I am quite familiar with these, "Discussions," and the fallout therefrom.

    You're welcome for the post. I wouldn't say that, "I don't care," as the mechanics of Blackjack card counting can sometimes be interesting, I just have no interest in actually doing it. No offense meant, but there are few casino games I dislike actually playing more than I do Blackjack. That the writings of yourself, or someone like a Josh Axelrad can even simultaneously be about Blackjack and also pique my interest says something.

  13. #13
    Originally Posted by Mission146 View Post
    I participate at WoV, so I am quite familiar with these, "Discussions," and the fallout therefrom.

    You're welcome for the post. I wouldn't say that, "I don't care," as the mechanics of Blackjack card counting can sometimes be interesting, I just have no interest in actually doing it. No offense meant, but there are few casino games I dislike actually playing more than I do Blackjack. That the writings of yourself, or someone like a Josh Axelrad can even simultaneously be about Blackjack and also pique my interest says something.
    No offense taken. A lot of people think I am all gung-ho about blackjack. I am not. next to roulette, probably the most boring game in the casinos, except the few places left that offer 'War'. It was the possibility of making money that first peaked my interest. If it wasn't for that I would have never played a hand.

    But I don't hate the game either. And I really like that I have been able to support myself playing the game.

    I used to communicate privately, regularly with Josh. He is a very interesting human being.

  14. #14
    Originally Posted by kewlJ View Post
    Originally Posted by Mission146 View Post
    I participate at WoV, so I am quite familiar with these, "Discussions," and the fallout therefrom.

    You're welcome for the post. I wouldn't say that, "I don't care," as the mechanics of Blackjack card counting can sometimes be interesting, I just have no interest in actually doing it. No offense meant, but there are few casino games I dislike actually playing more than I do Blackjack. That the writings of yourself, or someone like a Josh Axelrad can even simultaneously be about Blackjack and also pique my interest says something.
    No offense taken. A lot of people think I am all gung-ho about blackjack. I am not. next to roulette, probably the most boring game in the casinos, except the few places left that offer 'War'. It was the possibility of making money that first peaked my interest. If it wasn't for that I would have never played a hand.

    But I don't hate the game either. And I really like that I have been able to support myself playing the game.

    I used to communicate privately, regularly with Josh. He is a very interesting human being.
    You donít support yourself by playing blackjack lier.

    Perhaps Mission can help you make some money writing about fictional gambling stories. Thatís a skill you have mastered over the last decade.

  15. #15
    Originally Posted by Seedvalue View Post
    Originally Posted by kewlJ View Post
    Originally Posted by Mission146 View Post
    I participate at WoV, so I am quite familiar with these, "Discussions," and the fallout therefrom.

    You're welcome for the post. I wouldn't say that, "I don't care," as the mechanics of Blackjack card counting can sometimes be interesting, I just have no interest in actually doing it. No offense meant, but there are few casino games I dislike actually playing more than I do Blackjack. That the writings of yourself, or someone like a Josh Axelrad can even simultaneously be about Blackjack and also pique my interest says something.
    No offense taken. A lot of people think I am all gung-ho about blackjack. I am not. next to roulette, probably the most boring game in the casinos, except the few places left that offer 'War'. It was the possibility of making money that first peaked my interest. If it wasn't for that I would have never played a hand.

    But I don't hate the game either. And I really like that I have been able to support myself playing the game.

    I used to communicate privately, regularly with Josh. He is a very interesting human being.
    You don’t support yourself by playing blackjack lier.

    Perhaps Mission can help you make some money writing about fictional gambling stories. That’s a skill you have mastered over the last decade.

  16. #16
    If you know the values of these variables, you can calculate the probability in question assuming the stuff I wrote below is correct.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Let A1 = the # of undealt aces before the start of the 1st round
    Let U1= the # of undealt cards before the start of the 1st round
    Let A1'=the # of undealt aces after receiving two aces on the deal during the 1st round
    Let U1'=the # of undealt cards after receiving two aces on the deal during the 1st round

    Let A4 = the # of undealt aces before the start of the 4th round
    Let U4= the # of undealt cards before the start of the 4th round
    Let A4'=the # of undealt aces after receiving two aces on the deal during the 4th round
    Let U4'=the # of undealt cards after receiving two aces on the deal during the 4th round

    Let P'=the probability of receiving two aces on the deal followed by receiving two aces after the split in the 1st round and also the 4th round

    P'=(A1choose2/U1choose2)x(A1'choose2/U1'choose2)x(A4choose2/U4choose2)x(A4'choose2/U4'choose2)

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