The Effect of Number of Blackjack Players with Cover Betting

Normally, the number of players at a Blackjack table has no effect on your advantage. However, when a card counter uses cover betting, this can change. I ran a total of five billion hands with cover betting as follows:

  • No increase in bet after loss
  • No decrease after win
  • No bet change after push
  • Max increase or decrease two units
  • No cover plays
  • 1-8 Spread (1, 2, 4, 6, 8 at TC's of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  • I allowed bet reset to one unit at shuffle as not resetting would clearly hurt a full table player.
  • Five/six deck, strip rules


  • 1 player: 0.60%
  • 4 players: 0.45%
  • 7 players: 0.33%

I created a Bet Size by TC Chart for the three players. X-axis is TC, y-axis is average amount bet (including double downs.) The red bars show the rapid increase in average bet size for the head-on player. It nearly matches the ideal. It drifts off very slightly at very high TC's because there are slightly fewer DD's at high TC's. The green and blue bars show the players' at fuller tables much slower and smoother increase in average bet size as they have more difficulty raising there bets quickly as high TC's occur at lower hand depths. It also shows them overbetting at +1 and +2 as they couldn't lower bets as quickly as desired.

I tried small sims with various number of players and no cover. There is no difference without cover. Also, the effect of cover when playing head-on is negligible. I also tried softening the cover by allowing a doubling or halving of the bet and allowing bet increases after a lost split or double and bet decreases after a won split or double. Didn't appear to change the results much, but I need to make more runs in that area.

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