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Thread: How does back counting affect unit size?

  1. #1


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    How does back counting affect unit size?

    Looking at BJA3, chapter 10 ("World's Greatest Blackjack Simulation"), the tables show a much higher betting unit (or lower bank requirement) when back-counting than in a play-all approach. Why is this?

    EDIT: I'm confused because optimal Kelly betting, upon which these tables are based, should be the same at a given advantage, regardless whether we are also playing at low or negative advantage, correct?
    Last edited by Optimus Prime; 12-02-2018 at 10:58 PM.

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    0 out of 2 members found this post helpful. Did you find this post helpful? Yes | No
    Average betting unit including waiting bets will be less than average betting units without waiting bets. Just to simplify as an example from thin air, suppose you bet 1 to 4 back-counting. Now you play-all and bet around 70% of the time a waiting bet made at a disadvantage. The optimal bet for the waiting bets is 0. But you are making a bet as small as you can get away with. So for an 8:1 spread you would make a bet of 1/2 when you have a disadvantage. For a 12:1 spread you bet 1/3 for waiting bets. And for a 16:1 spread you bet 1/4 for your waiting bets. What would you unit bet in each situation? What about your average bet?
    Last edited by Three; 12-03-2018 at 07:01 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Three View Post
    Just to simplify as an example from thin air, suppose you bet 1 to 4 back-counting. Now you play-all and bet around 70% of the time a waiting bet made at a disadvantage.
    Three, are you back counting or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Three View Post
    The optimal bet for the waiting bets is 0. But you are making a bet as small as you can get away with. So for an 8:1 spread you would make a bet of 1/2 when you have a disadvantage. For a 12:1 spread you bet 1/3 for waiting bets. And for a 16:1 spread you bet 1/4 for your waiting bets.
    I thought you were back-counting, what you are describing is a play all approach.

    Quote Originally Posted by Three View Post
    What would you unit bet in each situation?
    Quote Originally Posted by Three View Post
    What about your average bet?
    Seriously in your example are you back counting or playing all? Are you also interested in how much he is betting on an average bet?

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    I should have clarified my question in OP: Reading the tables in BJA3 Ch. 10, it appears that, at a given advantage, one should bet more if they've been back-counting than if not. Is this true, and if so, why?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BoSox View Post
    Three, are you back counting or not?
    Stop baiting people. Norm just banned us for this type of interaction. I am answering his question. Everything else has already been asked and answered. I should have just said how I play is none of your business and doesn't change the right answer to the question. Everything must be done in moderation and you should be constantly switching things up. If you understand that is important to longevity then you should know the answer to the questions you ask before you ask them.
    Quote Originally Posted by BoSox View Post
    Seriously in your example are you back counting or playing all?
    The question asked is comparing the two so to answer the question you must consider both. I know you understand that so stop baiting people. I think Norm is going to ban the instigators soon. This is instigating the wrong kinds of interactions.
    Quote Originally Posted by BoSox View Post
    Are you also interested in how much he is betting on an average bet?
    No. Read the question. He is asking why the average bet in the charts for chapter 10 in Don's book are different for back counting and play-all approaches. Advantage bets are made optimally and occur about 30% of the time for all rounds. The other 70% the optimal bet is 0 because you have no advantage but to play-all you must bet the smallest you feel you can get away with. This has an effect on average bet (his question). Try realizing my posts are about what is being discussed. Don't try to make every thread about me or Zee. I am not sure Norm will have much more patience for that. Doe really think Norm is so stupid that he doesn't see you as the instigator?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Optimus Prime View Post
    I should have clarified my question in OP: Reading the tables in BJA3 Ch. 10, it appears that, at a given advantage, one should bet more if they've been back-counting than if not. Is this true, and if so, why?
    Yes. RoR must be factored in to bet size. The added drag of the negative EV of betting at a disadvantage with the play-all approach increases RoR if the same bet sizes were made for the advantage bets. The charts keep RoR the same for all situations so the bets must be reduced to keep RoR the same.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Optimus Prime View Post
    I should have clarified my question in OP: Reading the tables in BJA3 Ch. 10, it appears that, at a given advantage, one should bet more if they've been back-counting than if not. Is this true, and if so, why?
    Out for (late) breakfast, and without BJA3 in front of me.

    The whole idea of backcounting is to avoid the waiting (losing) minimum bet. You dont need the same spread, since you’re dealing only with advantageous hands. Depending on factors, you can flat bet, or engage in spread anywhere from a minimum 1-4 (shoe) or up to a much greater spread if you so desire.

    In other words, regardless of approach, you’ll make money. Other factors such as non optimal betting and variance need to be considered. In even more simplistic terms, you don’t Wong in with a minimum bet.

    To check for errors, and auto correct type errors being pointed out by Don, I have reviewed my commentary employing - The Schlesinger Maneuver.

  8. #8


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    Everything said by everyone above is correct, with regard to the blackjack discussion. I haven't chimed in because there is nothing to add or to further clarify.

    Don

  9. #9


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    Quote Originally Posted by Optimus Prime View Post
    I should have clarified my question in OP: Reading the tables in BJA3 Ch. 10, it appears that, at a given advantage, one should bet more if they've been back-counting than if not. Is this true, and if so, why?
    One important thing to remember when you only back count, you will be playing "provided you get in at a TC of plus one" against only around 28.5% of the remaining TC frequencies available. That very first bet needs to be at the very least right on target with the EV edge it represents. Because you must be very careful about how many units bet jumping you want to use on rising counts. When you only back count you DO NOT NEED much of a spread at all, to begin with, to get the edges you will be looking for.
    Last edited by BoSox; 12-03-2018 at 11:32 AM.

  10. #10


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    Quote Originally Posted by BoSox View Post
    Three, are you back counting or not?
    Quote Originally Posted by BoSox View Post
    I thought you were back-counting, what you are describing is a play all approach.
    Quote Originally Posted by BoSox View Post
    Seriously in your example are you back counting or playing all? Are you also interested in how much he is betting on an average bet?
    Quote Originally Posted by Three View Post
    Stop baiting people. Norm just banned us for this type of interaction. I am answering his question. Everything else has already been asked and answered.
    That was not baiting. I said nothing rude in the above quotes, it was a genuine concern for full clarification on my part of what I was reading. Not to mention concern for, many of your responses are to newer players who could be easily confused on meanings.

    Quote Originally Posted by Three View Post
    I think Norm is going to ban the instigators soon. This is instigating the wrong kinds of interactions.
    Think whatever you want but that was not the case.

    Quote Originally Posted by Three View Post
    Don't try to make every thread about me or Zee. I am not sure Norm will have much more patience for that. Doe really think Norm is so stupid that he doesn't see you as the instigator?
    I did not realize that you have never spoken your open opinions on ZeeBabar. Three, I read your posts but sometimes I interpret some of those posts not the way you intended it to. You really need to stop talking about what Norm is thinking.
    Last edited by BoSox; 12-04-2018 at 01:10 AM.

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