I posted this on a different web site as well. I am looking for answers to this question. Any input is appreciated.

Does playing 2 spots heads-up make more money than just playing 1 spot?

Every book I've read says to play one spot heads-up, unless you hit table max or other people joining in. For example, SW's book PBJ suggests that in a heads-up situation you should play one spot, and that it really doesn't matter much if you play one spot or two.

I think it does matter. Somebody please tell me I have delusions of grandeur and I am wrong (if applicable). Here's my reasoning:

If you're a seasoned card counter you're probably able to play quickly, and your speed at the bj table is mainly limited by the dealer's experience and speed, rather than your lack thereof.

In PBJ, the table on p. 235 shows the number of seconds per dealing round are 12 and 20, going from 1 hand to 2, respectively. However, those numbers are averages that include bj decisions that are sometimes made on "ploppy time."

If it doesn't matter much whether you play 1 spot or 2, then why not play 2 spots, since you can wave 2 pairs of 20's with one long wave and be done with them, and since you're able to put the money out there more quickly in DAS and DD situations (if that's your cover, change your cover). I suspect that playing two (or more*) hands makes more money in all situations, except where the TC's negative.

So if doubling the spots you're playing doesn't double the dealing time, but only a fraction of the dealing time, then isn't it worth it to always play 2 spots?

I attempted to work out the math on this. Assuming 240 cards are used from a 6-deck shoe, here's the paste from my excel sheet:

sec/hand 12.00

hands/min 5.00

hands/hr 300.00

cards/hand 2.70

players/round 2.00

cards/round 5.40

cards/shoe 240.00

rounds/shoe 44.44

shuffle time (sec) 100.00

Total shoe time

sec/shoe= 533.33

sec/shuffle 100.00

sec/tot shoe 633.33

min/tot shoe 10.56

shoes/min 0.09

shoes/hr 5.68

hands/hr 252.63

For comparison, my figures agree well with PBJ's chart on p. 237.

If you play two spots and take as much time as 2 different people (20 sec vs 12 sec), the hands would not take double the time, but only 67% more time (20/12 = 1.67). Moreover, couldn't this number really be more like 1.4 to 1.5, since we APs make decisions faster, even irrespective of dealer speed?

First, let's assume conservatively that all card counters have ploppy-like speed and we just can't make up our minds about anything. Furthermore, we have 2 different personalities and as a result it takes us the same time to make a decision playing 2 spots as it does 2 separate ploppies playing 1 spot each. Of course, we're betting proportionately lesson both spots to achieve our desired RoR levels. Notice I changed the number of players to 3 (you, you again, and the dealer).

sec/hand 20.00

hands/min 3.00

hands/hr 180.00

cards/hand 2.70

players/round 3.00

cards/round 8.10

cards/shoe 240.00

rounds/shoe 29.63

shuffle time (sec) 100.00

Total shoe time

sec/shoe= 592.59

sec/shuffle 100.00

sec/tot shoe 692.59

min/tot shoe 11.54

shoes/min 0.09

shoes/hr 5.20

hands/hr 154.01

If you multiply this number by 2, you will get 314. This number is 24.6% greater than 252. So my math now shows that playing 2 spots vs 1 heads-up makes 25% more money.

Now let's assume you're the average seasoned veteran card counter and can play reasonably quickly, and it doesn't take your brain forever to spit out index-related decisions. Then that 1.67 number drops a bit. So on the 2nd hand you take only half the time to make the decision. Using the "7n + 5" number from PBJ, where n is the number of players at the table, we see that each extra person increases the seconds/round by 7 more seconds. So let's halve that to 3.5. So the average number of seconds per round is now 20 - 3.5, or 16.5 seconds. That gives us a new data set:

sec/hand 16.50

hands/min 3.64

hands/hr 218.18

cards/hand 2.70

players/round 3.00

cards/round 8.10

cards/shoe 240.00

rounds/shoe 29.63

shuffle time (sec) 100.00

Total shoe time

sec/shoe= 488.89

sec/shuffle 100.00

sec/tot shoe 588.89

min/tot shoe 9.81

shoes/min 0.10

shoes/hr 6.11

hands/hr 181.13

This new number, 181.13, multiplied by your 2 spots, yields 362.26. This new figure is 43.75% greater than our original 252 hands/hr.

So from my analysis, it seems that playing 2 spots instead of 1 will earn the average AP anywhere between 30% and 40% more money. If some finds any significant errors in my math or analysis, please let me know!

Prize Car

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