If you love playing and making money in blackjack, Knowledge is power!
Let's face it. If you play blackjack and you're not winning consistently, something's not right with your strategy. This is not the way it has to be.
You must have been doing something wrong along the way. Don�t you think so?
Nothing is written in stone (Probability Theory & Utility Theory)
Probability Theory The Basic Strategy is right -- and is the standard rule in BJ. But it tacitly assumes that your goal in playing the hand is to maximize your expected return on the bet.
Utility Theory There may be circumstances under which I have a goal other than to maximize the expected return on that specific hand. In such a case, deviation from the Basic Strategy may be the right thing for the moment.
Here's an example from my own play last night. I'd been playing for about 2 hours and couldn�t put together a substantial win, the Bankroll was hovering up and down +/- $500. Finally, while being on the plus side of $$ I decide that I should end the session. Well, the next hand I get was a BJ (T,A), the dealer had an ACE showing. My goal at that point was simply to break out from the game. I declare �even money� regardless, even if the count was down the tubes into the negative, I don�t care! .., Emotional victory is more important vs. making an additional half a unit. That half bet was far too low reward for the possibility of having a push with my BJ vs. dealer�s BJ. Buying insurance was the correct move under the conditions stated above since I locked up the chips for that bet and left the game.
Now, in a different circumstance I may play that hand differently.
Getting �even money� on a negative count is a losing move overall. But it is a tactic that many be used for another reason. Depends upon your attitude towards the game, and other factors as well. It might take years for the disadvantage of the play to actually cost you any money on this move alone.
As usual, Basic Strategy is not always cut and dried. Nothing is written in stone.
Advantage play at BJ has nothing to do with winning "consistently." It has to do with winning over the long run. Even pros will win only 55-60% of their sessions. Hell, the casino playing against complete morons sometimes takes a bath. Roulette tables sometimes show losses for casinos over the short run. Does this mean they're doing something wrong?
Who cares! .. If the bet was $500, who cares about 7% of that $500 I rather take right now $500 vs. a push with my BJ at that bet level.
It might take many moves like that to see any significant disadvantage, but in meantime I�m getting loaded with big chips. If my goal was to end that goddamned session with a profit, I see nothing wrong with taking even money in that specific situation.
Depends upon your attitude towards the game. Me, personally, I�m into this game to extract as many chips as possible! Right now!
I apply the law of large number to that chip extraction process also and not only to the numbers of hands played for Long Run expectancy.
Some other players may think differently. They may think that declaring �even money� on a big bet like $500 at the end of the session is worth to push sometime vs. taking $750 instead a $500 NOW. You see, the difference is a $750 or a $500 now or NOTHING for a push.
You were even before you started. You made a bad move to finsh a session even? Why did you play? You were even before you sat down.
If it had been a push, you would have been down $500. What is a lousy $500 you ask. Well, it must not have been that measly, or you wouldn't have been so concerned about it. You passed up $250, right now, in order to 'break even'. Why do you play? For the money? Well, it sounds like you left some of it on the table.
The 7% figure mentioned in an earlier post refers to the advantage that the Casino has over the player for an Insurance bet...At 2 to 1, the bet is equal with 48 cards but a deck has 52, which gives the Casino a 4/52% advantage or 7.69%...In your example of a $500. wager, taking Insurance is like throwing $38.45 out the window?...Please tell me which window that you are throwing this money out of!!...Why bother with other strategy decisions that might save, or make you $5. in other $500. bets, if you are going to throw away 35 bucks in the very next moment?
You raise a good point about the emotional aspects of the game...Are you going to let the performance of an individual playing session affect your emotional well being?...If so, you are wrong...Win or lose, if you are playing correctly, you should be confident and calm in the knowledge that you will be a winner in the long run.
If you lie awake at night because you didn't take even money in your example, and the dealer had blackjack and it was a push, then your emotional reaction to this situation will cost you money...If you owned a Casino and you had reached your daily quota of profit, would you shut the place down until the next day??...Play the right way whether it is the first play of the day or the last one.
Take another look at this situation Sonia, where are those nerves of steel??
Forget the Math, forget the count, a bird in the hand is
better than one and a half in the bush, why take nothing
for one of the best hands you will get? For those of you WIZ
guys that don't recognize it. THAT IS GREED TALKING!
"In blackjack,you are right when you play corectly and wrong
when you don't". This is a quoted directly from Don Schlesinger's
BJA. If a similar situation presents itself when I play, I hope
I have the good sense and discipline to do the "right thing".
"In blackjack, you are right when you play and win and wrong when you play and lose" - Sonia
There's no excuse to lose money at Blackjack. You can have temporarily fluctuations during a short session of couple hours but for every negative swing is an equivalent of positive swings that should put you on the plus side. Period! If you cannot manage to beat the game you should not play in the first place.