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Thread: The "Sting" vs "Prevailing Wisdom": Limit on Number of Double Downs?

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    Senior Member SteinMeister's Avatar
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    The "Sting" vs "Prevailing Wisdom": Limit on Number of Double Downs?

    In my locale I can split up to 3 hands.

    Does anyone play different on multiple double downs (6 deck)? I know play shouldn’t change since all cards shown are counted and therefore the play is dictated. However, recently with max bet, initial hand was pair of 8’s with dealer showing 6: I split the 8’s and with the first 8 I received a 3 (8-3). I doubled that hand. My second 8 drew another 8… so I split again to get that hand 8-2… so again I doubled down. Final 8 drew another 3 and reluctantly I doubled down for the third time with max bet.


    Of course, the dealer drew into a 21, from a 6, and all 3 of my totals were less. Loss of 3x max bets in one swoop.


    The “sting” says maybe next time to limit the # of double downs when at max bet, but “prevailing wisdom” says to tough it out.
    OR… with the low frequency of the above scenario, should there be a limit to the # of double downs at max bet?

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    That thought should never enter your mind. You need to consider that maybe you are playing at stakes that are too high for you to bear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteinMeister View Post
    Loss of 3x max bets in one swoop.
    I think that made a 6 max bet loss not a 3 max bet loss. The only reason to not double would be if they are risk averse because of the small gain and too much of a percentage of your BR at risk. With a dealer 6 up those 10 and 11 doubles must be made. If you can't do that then you are betting too much. Either get used to it and take your rewards with your ass kicking, or lower your max bet.

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    Senior Member SteinMeister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Three View Post
    I think that made a 6 max bet loss not a 3 max bet loss.
    Good catch Three. That's what I meant.

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    Senior Member SteinMeister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BJPloppy View Post
    That thought should never enter your mind.



    Quote Originally Posted by Three View Post
    With a dealer 6 up those 10 and 11 doubles must be made.



    Thanks, that's the confirmation I expected, just wanted to verify that none of the experts "tweaked" doubles play in the rare extreme circumstances.

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    6 max bets lost like that (in one hand) should be pretty rare. But it still should represent only about 6% of your playing bankroll if you are bankrolled sufficiently for the stakes you are playing. Considering it's a worst case scenario it still stings but it should already be accounted for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteinMeister View Post
    Thanks, that's the confirmation I expected, just wanted to verify that none of the experts "tweaked" doubles play in the rare extreme circumstances.
    If it were 10vT it might get tweaked depending on your BR. This is what is called risk aversion. See pages 370-378 for the math, a great explanation, and some illustrative charts. True risk aversion is when the gain at or well beyond an index that you put more money out for is anemic. This is usually because of poor correlation of count tags to the play. The size of your bet compared to your BR is the deciding factor where this is considered. But if a double is right at the index with max bet out you can forgo the double, especially if it is a weak double. Most hard doubles are pretty strong doubles but some just have the EV maximizing index fall where the gain is small at the index despite gaining EV quickly after the index is exceeded. 10vT is very ace influenced. You know the dealer doesn't have on ace in the hole because he checked for BJ. The ace gives your 10 a total of 21. The ace and the 7 are the most important cards. You want a surplus of aces and a deficit of sevens. The T is worth significantly less than either of these but is the next most important card. The proper tag weight for the A is twice the T. The mis-tagging of the two most important cards gives a poor correlation of the playing EoRs to the typical count tags. With properly used additional information on aces the play is better correlated to the count tags. Add 7 info the play becomes strong. Of course that is for side counting those ranks and making the right adjustments for surplus/deficit. Unless you are using an ace neutral count, which all require an ace side count, most don't bother with side counting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteinMeister View Post
    The “sting” says maybe next time to limit the # of double downs when at max bet, but “prevailing wisdom” says to tough it out.
    I would refer to that situation (not the results) as utopia! And it is not prevailing wisdom, it is mathematically the optimum play.

    Any other thought would be that I can not tolerate the variance, if so I would resize bets. I will add that sitting at a table with 6 max bets out is not the time to question my RoR. Better preparation may be in order.
    Luck is nothing more than probability taken personally!

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteinMeister View Post
    In my locale I can split up to 3 hands.

    Does anyone play different on multiple double downs (6 deck)? I know play shouldn’t change since all cards shown are counted and therefore the play is dictated. However, recently with max bet, initial hand was pair of 8’s with dealer showing 6: I split the 8’s and with the first 8 I received a 3 (8-3). I doubled that hand. My second 8 drew another 8… so I split again to get that hand 8-2… so again I doubled down. Final 8 drew another 3 and reluctantly I doubled down for the third time with max bet.

    Of course, the dealer drew into a 21, from a 6, and all 3 of my totals were less. Loss of 3x max bets in one swoop.
    No, loss of SIX times max bet in one swoop!

    Don

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    Quote Originally Posted by angle_sh00ter View Post
    6 max bets lost like that (in one hand) should be pretty rare. But it still should represent only about 6% of your playing bankroll if you are bankrolled sufficiently for the stakes you are playing. Considering it's a worst case scenario it still stings but it should already be accounted for.
    The bigger the bankroll, the lower the risk. 6% loss of bankroll in 1 hand is really vicious. Your commentary suggests bankroll of 100 max bets which is pretty skinny. You should aim for a bigger bank.

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