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Thread: Don Schlesinger: Just what is "Basic Strategy"?

  1. #21
    ET Fan
    Guest

    ET Fan: Correction

    Since Wong's "Generic Strategy" is total dependant, it would play T2 v 4 as stand, and 87 v T as surrender. I was also surprised to find A2 v 5 listed by Wong as "hit." (I'm looking at the chart in "Blackjack Secrets.") So there's only one difference between infinite deck basic, and the generic basic listed in "Blackjack Secrets" and "Basic Blackjack."

    Infinite deck basic (as well as r-a basic) on A4 v 4 is HIT, while generic basic is to DOUBLE. Everything else is the same.

    ETF

  2. #22
    ET Fan
    Guest

    ET Fan: Semantics

    > Yes but if you're playing shoes (say 8D)
    > then my c-d/t-d won't be any different from
    > using the infinite deck basic.
    > The question is: When do we need BS? If we
    > are playing against a slot machine with some
    > advantage off-the-top I'll try to do my best
    > even if I have to memorize 2-card and 3-card
    > composition plays.

    Agree 100%. I'm not saying you shouldn't go to the trouble of learning 2 or 3 card composition plays, I'm just arguing in favor of calling these exceptions to basic, instead of part and parcel.

    Looking at these plays as exceptions might make them easier to understand and recall. You can look at the cards involved, and appreciate how their removal affects the decision.

    ETF

  3. #23
    Kasey
    Guest

    Kasey: Re: I think of it as an "advanced play"

    > Cowardly answer! :-)

    > You're publishing an article that discusses
    > the off-the-top house edge in a SD game
    > against a BS player. You offer two figures:
    > one for t-d BS and one for c-d BS. Into
    > which bin does standing on 7,7, v. 10 go?

    > Now, weasel out of that one! :-)

    Weasel words on the way.

    First, I'm very excited about publishing my article!

    Second, I would put 7,7 vs. 10 into composition dependent. Your post leaves me with the impression I've fallen into a newbie trap here, so I'm waiting for it to snap shut.

    Third, I was thinking about the BS heirarchy from my previous post:

    1) Surrender?
    2) Split?
    3) Double?
    4) Hit?

    and I realized 8,8 vs. 10 breaks my own BS rules!

    It should be:

    1) Split?
    2) Surrender?
    3) Double?
    4) Hit?

    This is odd, because I'm pretty certain most BJ books list it the first way.

    Kasey

  4. #24
    Cacarulo
    Guest

    Cacarulo: Re: My definition

    > I'm actually surprised to learn this. The
    > difference with the pairs, in your analogy,
    > is that the other card, which is now split
    > away, is, nonetheless, a card from my
    > ORIGINAL hand!

    BS does not care about the other card. Once you have split (according to BS) you're left with two NEW hands which "must" be considered independent.
    After getting the first card for the first pair you may choose between c-d or t-d. C-d is more precise.
    The same goes with the second pair.

    > And, some describe BS as the EV-maximizing
    > play, given knowledge of nothing more than
    > the dealer's upcard and the cards in your
    > original hand !

    > See the problem?

    I would change that a little: "given knowledge of nothing more than the dealer's upcard and the first two cards!. After splitting you play each hand split as a new hand comprised of two cards against the same dealer's upcard" (I know it can be worded better )

    Sincerely,
    Cacarulo

  5. #25
    Don Schlesinger
    Guest

    Don Schlesinger: Re: My definition

    > BS does not care about the other card. Once
    > you have split (according to BS) you're left
    > with two NEW hands which "must" be
    > considered independent.
    > After getting the first card for the first
    > pair you may choose between c-d or t-d. C-d
    > is more precise.
    > The same goes with the second pair.

    OK. If that's the way it's done.

    > I would change that a little: "given
    > knowledge of nothing more than the dealer's
    > upcard and the first two cards!. After
    > splitting you play each hand split as a new
    > hand comprised of two cards against the same
    > dealer's upcard" (I know it can be
    > worded better )

    Perfectly clear.

    Don


  6. #26
    Don Schlesinger
    Guest

    Don Schlesinger: Re: I think of it as an "advanced play"

    > First, I'm very excited about publishing my
    > article!

    LOL! :-)

    > Second, I would put 7,7 vs. 10 into
    > composition dependent. Your post leaves me
    > with the impression I've fallen into a
    > newbie trap here, so I'm waiting for it to
    > snap shut.

    No, no trap. It's just that, as such, it would be somewhat different than any other play, in that pairs and soft totals, of necessity, must consider the individual cards. So, even when you claim to be playing "just" t-d BS, you still learn the pairs and soft totals. the latter should have the "exemption I spoke about, and only hit, stand, and hard double decisions should be classified as t-d or c-d.

    I just wonder, when someone like Griffin states that SD EV is 0.00, but grows to +0.04 for the player with c-d BS, if he has included 7,7 v. 10 in the first number or the second. And, I'm guessing it's the first. Practically, there's no difference out to about the fifth decimal, but theoretically, I'd like to know what he did.

    > Third, I was thinking about the BS heirarchy [hierarchy!] from my previous post:

    > 1) Surrender?
    > 2) Split?
    > 3) Double?
    > 4) Hit?

    > and I realized 8,8 vs. 10 breaks my own BS
    > rules!

    > It should be:

    > 1) Split?
    > 2) Surrender?
    > 3) Double?
    > 4) Hit?

    > This is odd, because I'm pretty certain most
    > BJ books list it the first way.

    It's not odd, it's just that you were right the first time! Before any other decision (except insurance, which you didn't list), you should first decide if you're going to surrender. That comes before pairs!

    Don

  7. #27
    Don Schlesinger
    Guest

    Don Schlesinger: Re: Correction

    > I was also surprised to find A2 v 5 listed by Wong as "hit." (I'm looking at the chart in "Blackjack Secrets.")

    I've explained this quite often. Wong ran sims to determine his BS and then stuck by them, no matter what answer they gave. He knows that hitting is the "wrong" play, but didn't want to violate his own algorithm for such a borderline decision.

    But, he's taken a lot of criticism for having knowingly supplied the wrong play. In my view, he should have changed it to double and then furnished an explanation, in a footnote, that his computer actually said hit. Instead, he looks needlessly "wrong" in the eyes of many readers.

    In any event, there is no one, official "generic" basic strategy. Anyone can come up with one. Indeed, I've seen a few decent books, each with a different "one BS fits all" generic flavor.

    And, of course, the moment you introduce either counter's basic strategy or risk-averse BS into the equation, you complicate matters even more, which is why I didn't even bring them up.

    Each is not unique, even with a given set of rules. Each depends on the bet scheme used by the player, and so, trying to agree is quite hopeless.

    Don

  8. #28
    Cyrus
    Guest

    Cyrus: I have played against an infinite deck once

    I couldn't just get up and leave for some reason , and that damn shoe would just never end !

  9. #29
    ET Fan
    Guest

    ET Fan: All the more reason ...

    In any event, there is no one, official "generic" basic strategy. Anyone can come up with one. Indeed, I've seen a few decent books, each with a different "one BS fits all" generic flavor.

    Exactly why infinite deck basic is useful as common ground. It's easy to calculate, there's no disagreement on what it is, it solves all the ambiguities per pair splitting and all the rest, there's only one inf deck basic for a given rule set, and it's a perfectly adequate, accurate, and practical basic for attacking the shoes -- which you've always said are the games professionals are drawn to.

    And, of course, the moment you introduce either counter's basic strategy or risk-averse BS into the equation, you complicate matters even more, which is why I didn't even bring them up.

    I only mentioned them to illustrate that infinite deck basic is as viable and practical as any other. I'm not suggesting for a moment that counter's basic or r-a basic be chosen as THE basic.

    Each depends on the bet scheme used by the player, and so, trying to agree is quite hopeless.

    The plays I mentioned don't depend on the bet scheme.

    ETF

  10. #30
    Don Schlesinger
    Guest

    Don Schlesinger: LOL!

    > I couldn't just get up and leave for some
    > reason, and that damn shoe would just
    > never end!

    Nice to see you back, Cyrus. Why so damn long between visits?

    I can't warm up to infinite-deck anything. None of the statistics have ever interested me. If i-d BS closely resembles correct multi-deck BS, then I'll learn the latter, thank you, and be 100% correct, instead of being almost correct.

    It's not as if you get any prize for learning the i-d variety. It's basically useless.

    Don

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