Cost of Blackjack Strategy Errors

The Cost of Errors Chart is an attempt to show the cost of various types of errors when counting cards. Five columns are provided using data from five multi-deck, multi-player sims. The height of the columns represents advantage.

  • Column 1 displays the effect of playing errors. The total height of the column represents the advantage with no errors. The green segment indicates the penalty resulting from one error per hundred hands. The blue section is the additional penalty of another error per hundred. And on through five errors. The red pedestal is the advantage with a 5% error rate. The errors are serious; but not idiotic. Insure is reversed, surrender is reversed, split or double is changed to hit, hit and stand are reversed. But, a hard 18 up is never hit, an eleven down is never stood, and a double or split is never taken when it shouldn't.
  • Column 2 displays the effect of betting errors for a non-cover card counter. Again, succeeding circular slices of the bar show the effect of errors. The player is spreading 1 to 8. Errors are: if should be a one bet, bet two; if should be a two, bet three; if should be a three through eight, but two.
  • Column 3 displays the effect of miss-estimating the remaining cards for True Count calculation. The green shows the effect of a 10% error and the blue shows the additional effect of an additional 10% error.
  • Column 4 shows the effect of using no card counting indexes at all. The green section is the penalty when using perfect BS vs. -10 to +10 indexes. The count is still used for betting purposes.
  • Column 5 is the effect of errors for a cover-bettor. The betting is very conservative not allowing large increases or decreases, no increases after losses, no decreases after wins and no change after pushes. The error scenario is too complex to explain here. (OK, I’m too lazy.)

I did not include a column for flat betting, because there wouldn’t be one. You’d lose all of your advantage.

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