Modern Blackjack
Creating a Blackjack Strategy







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discussion on the value of indexes. But it is concerned primarily with single-deck and doesn't take into account the frequency of decisions or the efficiency of the strategy used.

Risk-Averse vs. Expectation Maximizing Indexes Older strategies generally used expectation-maximizing indexes. (There are exceptions.) Such indexes result in decisions that give the greatest average gain for each bet. But this is not always the best method as the gain is so small in some cases it may not be worth the extra risk. For example, you may be better off hitting in close double down decisions. It is a common misconception that risk-averse indexes are used to reduce overall risk at the cost of lower results. In fact, RA indexes reduce the risk of specific decisions, which reduces the variance, which allows you to slightly increase your overall betting levels. This provides a slight overall improvement in results. RA Indexes are now preferred since they perform a bit better with no extra effort. Blackjack Attack contains a discussion on RA indexes.

Index Compromises Older strategies used the best possible indexes they could calculate at the time. Some newer strategies make compromises for ease of use. For example, the double down indexes for 9 vs. 2 and 9 vs. 7 may not be the same, but they are so close you can compromise and make them the same. This makes them easier to remember and use. If you wish to use compromise indexes, you will need to first generate the correct indexes using an index generator and then use trial and error with simulations to test various compromises. Red7, Hi-Lo Lite, Basic Omega II and 1998 Zen use compromise indexes, as do REKO and FELT.

Rules Compromises Stand on 17 vs. Hit on 17, Multi-deck vs. Single-deck, Double after Split vs. no DAS. These all affect indexes. You need to decide if you want to go through the effort of using different indexes or determining what games you will most often play and use just those indexes. Or, compromise by using indexes that are in-between.

Composition-Dependent Indexes These are indexes that look at the exact composition of your hand (8, 6, 2 vs. 10) instead of just the total of the hand (16 vs. 10). They add slightly to system effectiveness but few people use them.

Multi-Parameter Indexes These are used along with side-counts to improve playing decisions. MP Index Tables are rarely used today.


 © 2009 Norman Wattenberger

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© 2009 Norman Wattenberger