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Thread: Indices and their importance to your winning/variance

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    Indices and their importance to your winning/variance

    As for betting, playing is another way that an AP can extract cash from the talons of the casinos. However; it seems that the gain in expected value deviating from the preferred optimal strategy can be less than that of the house edge offered(dependent on rules of course.) In other words, one cannot make money flat betting yet deviating BS. Yet, part of the community's decisions are based on such deviation. DonS's Illustrious 18 and Fabulous 4 are a prime example for many in the blackjack AP world. Simple and dependable, these offer the added benefit of increase winrate followed by decrease variance.Now, why do these at all? Why depart? Simply because of the added edge.

    So then, what decisions should you focus on? All of them would be optimal. There is something to be said about the "increase of ev over increase of error". Why take the time to study 20, 40, 100, 200! plus indices for a possibly small gain? Why add extra mental operations to complicate your game?

    "So what's your question dogman?! You answered your own question!!!"

    Not quite. There are a few things that seem to be foggy:

    1.) Since using ALL index plays available would be optimal, ignoring counts of greater magnitude (like TC -10 and 10 respectfully for Hi-Lo) could be an option. This reduces the need to remember 100+ indices for play departure. However; this reduces your expected profit and you WILL be missing much greater EV plays if you ignore them (like doubling 9V7/8 or doubling 10VA [if ever!])

    2.) A large array of indices to study would be bothersome. Not entirely impossible. Not everyone is born with a photographic memory(oh, you lucky few!)How would you go about studying a large array of departures for your game?

    3.) Are indices actually overrated? Considering AP's for blackjack derive most of their profit from betting decisions. Would YOU employ a no-index game, a some-inedx game with a specific range, or an ALL-index game?

    4.) What other value(s) can an AP gain from using indices?

  2. #2


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    First, not all index plays reduce variance. (Splitting 10s anyone?)

    I play Zen with full indices. I took the time to memorize each and every one of them no matter how big or small. I play lots of single deck and double deck, and much of the time heads up. When the count is sky high or in the realm of Hadies I know how to play each hand. All these departures allow me to extract the most that I possibly can while also making really unorthodox plays that are actually correct.

    I've doubled 9vs8. I've doubled A8vs2. I've even hit 16vs6. Makes me look crazy to the EITS. Sure, a couple places have picked me off, but I've managed to stay welcome at my home stores which is the most important to me.

    TL;DR: The vast majority of our advantage comes from varying our bet, but index plays are very valuable in my opinion.

  3. #3


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    Quote Originally Posted by dogman_1234 View Post
    In other words, one cannot make money flat betting yet deviating BS.
    not true. Also there is value with indices or lack of . Think AP not just counting .

  4. #4


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    What you may not recall with regards to extreme count indices, let intuition be your guide (on minimums). Know your indices inside and out for extreme plus counts - for the obvious reasons. You hear different percentages as to what indices are worth - I don't know - give or take 20%. Other factors come into play here. FWIW, extreme plus or minus help certain side bets. I don't play every index - some are just to dangerous for cover reasons, though I ce had the gastric fortitude to double 7v6.

    I strongly agree with hut that 16's last sentence.

  5. #5


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    I think I recall that it's basically the "80/20" rule:

    80% of your return from card counting comes from betting variation and 20% from playing deviations. And then 80% of your playing deviations will fall within the I18. So going beyond the I18 and learning most or all of the indexes may be worth up to another 4%?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigdaddy View Post
    "80% of your return from card counting comes from betting variation
    and 20% from playing deviations ... 80% of your playing deviations
    will fall within the I18 ... going beyond the I18 and learning most or
    all of the indexes may be worth up to another 4%?"
    80% X 80% = 64%

    The answer is complex and depends on how many and which
    ranks are side-counted, what count is employed, rules, pen'

    There is an amazingly excellent treatment of this issue in:
    "Theory of Blackjack".


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    No. 20% X 20%

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    80% X 80% = 64%


    An ultra-simple derivative is the product of the metrics.

    This implies that only 64% of the available power of the

    indices are tapped by the I-18. However, the linearity of

    this is assumed (by me) and that is almost certainly wrong.

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    20% X 20% was for 4% from

    ... going beyond the I18 and learning most or
    all of the indexes may be worth up to another 4%?
    Betting and IL18 give 96%

  10. #10
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    Read: The Theory of Blackjack (6th or 5th ed.)

    "Betting and IL18 give 96%"makes NO sense at all.

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