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Bankrolls, Goals, Risk Data

Fortunately, formulae exist to aid us in planning for the inherent volatility of Blackjack card counting. This section charts the relationships between bankroll, risk, goals, and time, in several manners.

What is my risk of ruin?

Risk of Ruin refers to the chance that you will lose your entire bankroll. The charts on this page display three views of risk using formulae from Don Schlesinger’s Blackjack Attack. For all charts, we are playing six decks, S17, DAS, 5/6 penetration, Hi-Lo, betting optimally from $10–$180.

Let us start with simple risk of ruin. This is the risk of ruin with no limit on the number of hands and no quit point. We continue playing forever unless we go bankrupt. Along the x-axis you will see bankrolls of $1,000 to $20,000. At the above betting level with a $1,000 bankroll we can see an enormous risk of 82% that we will lose our entire bankroll. We can see that larger bankrolls dramatically reduce our risk. At a bankroll of $20,000 we see a risk of about 1.8%. At a bankroll of $18,000 (100 times the max bet of $180) the risk is 2.75%. Obviously, changing the rules, penetration, strategy, unit size, or bet spread will significantly change this chart.



 © 2009 Norman Wattenberger

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© 2009 Norman Wattenberger