Modern Blackjack
Creating a Blackjack Strategy

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level I strategy, tens are counted as -1. Aces and or nines may also be counted as -1. Some or all low cards are counted as +1.

Ø  Side Counts – Some strategies use one or more side counts. The most common is counting the Aces in a separate count to make betting more accurate in Ace-neutral systems. This is because Aces are large cards for the purposes of betting but small cards for the purposes of playing when you don't have a Blackjack. There are several methods of side counts described on pages 185-187.

Ø  Suit/Color Aware Counts – Some counts will have different tag values for red and black cards. Examples are Red7 & KISS. The attempt here is to gain most of the advantage of a higher-level strategy without the higher range of counts. I would expect the error rate would increase somewhat but have no figures for this.

Ø  Other ease of use considerations – The fewer the number of cards counted the easier the count. Also, the more card pairs that add to zero the better. This is because most counters count pairs of cards when possible. If you see a +1 and a -1 card at the same time, you automatically ignore them since they sum to zero.

Now, how do we decide on the card tag values? First you need to decide on the above characteristics. Second, it is good to take a look at the popular strategies that exist. Most useful strategies can be found in the Card Counting Strategies chapter. Next, you need to understand Betting Correlation, Playing Efficiency and Insurance Correlation. These are terms created by Peter Griffin in The Theory of Blackjack. Reading this book will help you a great deal. These terms are defined starting on page 169.

The next question is how to calculate PE, BC and IC. In CVData, you can use the Efficiency Calculator. On the main screen, select Tools, then Efficiency Calculator from the menu. The calculator will appear with space for the ten card tag values. Click on the ? for instructions. You can experiment to your heart’s desire. PE’s max out at .7 for non-side-counted systems. BC’s max at 1.0.