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Thread: SP21/Pontoon Bet Spread Sizing?

  1. #1


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    SP21/Pontoon Bet Spread Sizing?

    Why is it that the consensus for these two blackjack variants calls for massive bet spreads?

    I understand that 8D blackjack games for example, typically require a larger spread of at least 1-16+ when taking a play-all approach to overcome the increase of negative expectation hands. But I've read in various places that 8D SP21 requires a spread of at LEAST 1-20+, sometimes even as high as 1-40, when using play-all to pull a reasonable profit. Its SD is slightly lower than traditional blackjack too. Wouldnt its various bonus multi-card payouts somewhat negate initially negative expectation hands somewhat too? You're more likely to pull 2-6 and hit 19-21, as is the dealer, but they're not getting paid out 3:2, 2:1 or 3:1. Plus you have the advantage of being instantly paid out when you do. Surely this must offset the need for using a huge spread somehow?

    Anyway, I brought this up for my specific case. I'm using a wong out point of -1.5/-2 TC on 8D H17 Pontoon. The HE is .40%. Whereas blackjack is around .58%. Why would I need to use a 1-16 bet spread even when I'm wonging out of most negative shoes? Obviously the return of using higher spreads with wong out increases profitability dramatically, but my BR isnt overly large currently and I need to balance EV with my calculated RoR. Surely using either a 1-10 spread, or 1-12 spread would suffice when wonging out at -2 TC in this case?

  2. #2


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    if your bankroll can't sustain a large spread then use a smaller spread

  3. #3
    Senior Member Jabberwocky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meistro123 View Post
    if your bankroll can't sustain a large spread then use a smaller spread

    Sound advice ONLY if you are willing to Wong out.

  4. #4


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    These three points will explain it to you:


    • Your game is far more volatile than blackjack.
    • It is commonplace to suffer "losing streaks."
    • The dealer's bust percentages are rather low.

  5. #5


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    Sound advice ONLY if you are willing to Wong out.
    Even if you were to play all it would make no sense to over bet your bankroll in the name of playing with a large spread.

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    I guess my actual question is: is a 1-10/12 spread with wong out at -2 enough to "beat" this game?

    I use "beat" very loosely, as I'm aware of the fact that such a spread isn't going to generate enormous amounts of EV p/hr. However, I have a period of time in the near future where this can be overcome by the volume of hands I'll be able to play (1 month of annual leave coming up, plenty of spare time to burn). Heat shouldn't be an issue. My goal at the moment is just to build my BR up so I can lower my RoR, and hopefully build it to a point where I can place larger bets with lower risk.

  7. #7


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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushie View Post
    " ... is a 1-10/12 spread with wong out at -2 enough to "beat" this game?"
    Yes, (but not spectacularly).
    In this gameyou should not Wong-Out.
    Rather, you should bet minimally on one (1) spot.
    Play Two (2) spots otherwise. Three (3) if permissible.
    Understand that with two (2) spots you bet about
    75% of your optimal sum in each box. With three (3)
    boxes use 60% of your optimal bet in each box. This is
    how you reduce variance and R.O.R. while gaining e.v.


    Last edited by ZenMaster_Flash; 06-16-2017 at 10:42 AM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Jabberwocky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZenMaster_Flash View Post
    Yes, (but not spectacularly).
    In this gameyou should not Wong-Out.
    Rather, you should bet minimally on one (1) spot.
    Play Two (2) spots otherwise. Three (3) if permissible.
    Understand that with two (2) spots you bet about
    75% of your optimal sum in each box. With three (3)
    boxes use 60% of your optimal bet in each box. This is
    how you reduce variance and R.O.R. while gaining e.v.


    Kat Walker didn't follow your advice.

  9. #9


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    Quote Originally Posted by ZenMaster_Flash View Post
    Yes, (but not spectacularly).
    In this gameyou should not Wong-Out.
    Rather, you should bet minimally on one (1) spot.
    Play Two (2) spots otherwise. Three (3) if permissible.
    Understand that with two (2) spots you bet about
    75% of your optimal sum in each box. With three (3)
    boxes use 60% of your optimal bet in each box. This is
    how you reduce variance and R.O.R. while gaining e.v.


    After reading Walker's book, I was under the impression that when playing heads up, one box is ALWAYS optimal. You only play two boxes with 75% of your standard bet in each at positive counts when there are other players (1-2) and three boxes of 60% when there are 3 or 4 other players.

    Otherwise you just have more money out on two independent hands against the same dealer upcard in disadvantageous counts.And my BR isnt large enough to sustain inverse spreading (Grifter's Gambit).

  10. #10


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    With all due respect, Katarina Walker was wrong in some spots;
    I am not one
    to criticize a pioneer, to whom I am deeply indebted.
    Her book is an introductory text. She fully intended to progress with
    a second volume, when her life, sadly, drew to an untimely conclusion.

    There exists a tiny coterie of A.P.'s whose dogged work on Spanish21
    far exceeds the seminal work of the inestimable
    Ms.Walker, but does
    NOT address Pontoon, as that game is not found outside of Down Under.


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