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Unit Size

If the spread is 1-12, and the unit size is $10, then the amount we bet is $10 to $120. But, how do we determine the unit size? Well, that depends on the risk we wish to take. A few comments before we start:

  There is always risk in any investment. Anyone who tells you that you are guaranteed to win just because you have the edge is not to be trusted.

  Risk of ruin is defined as the risk of losing your entire bankroll. When you increase your unit size, the risk of ruin increases far faster than the unit size. So, there is always a balance between the risk you are willing to take versus the amount you wish to win a common trade-off in all investments.

  To determine unit size, we must first decide the risk of ruin that we can accept. This depends on your circumstances. A professional will accept only a very small risk of ruin say 0.25%. This is because a loss of his entire bankroll puts him out of business. On the other hand, someone who plays more as a hobby and for a little extra income can accept a much larger risk, since he has a replenishable bankroll. That is, he has other sources of income and can replace a lost bankroll. Typically, the pro also has a much larger bankroll.

  A major purpose of teams is to combine bankrolls. With a larger total bankroll, and more hands played, higher bets can be placed without increased risk.

The unit size and betting ramps can be calculated for any risk and set of circumstances using software like CVCX. On the next page, I will provide examples. Some notes:

  Each row provides a set of decks, rules, and penetration. For shoes, penetration is given as decks dealt (e.g., 5/6 means five out of six decks dealt). For double-deck, the percentage of the cards dealt is given. For single-deck, all data is for three players and either 2 or 3 rounds dealt per shuffle.

  Different columns provide data for different spreads, and different risks of ruin.


 © 2009 Norman Wattenberger

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© 2009 Norman Wattenberger