by Norm Wattenberger

Blackjack SCOREs — Cover Betting Reduction

How can the effects of cover betting be reduced?

Now that we have destroyed our advantage, let's see if we can crawl back a bit. The first three bars in this chart we have already seen. No cover is a six-deck game played with optimal betting. Cover 1 is the same game with full cover, pretty much destroying the game. Cover 2 is full cover except that we are allowed to reset the bet to one unit after a shuffle. This is fairly easy to get away with. Although if your last bet in a shoe was a max bet you might not want to drop all the way to one unit. You may even leave the table allowing a drop to one unit without raising eyebrows. Now the new columns:

Cover 3: When we split or double, the amount bet at least doubles. If we win a hand, cover betting calls for no decrease in the bet. But after a double or split that won, it is forgivable. So we gain a small amount for allowing a decrease after a win in this circumstance.

Cover 4. This adds the opposite. It allows an increase after a loss if we had a split or double. The gain here is more substantial.

Cover 5: This game includes surrender. After a surrender it is common to top off the bet. Let's also allow an increase or decrease after a surrender along with a suitable excuse.

Cover 6: Full cover does not allow a large increase or decrease. Let us relax this somewhat and allow a larger increase or decrease moving two rungs instead of one but still not allowing a jump of three or more rungs. That is, allow a jump from 2 to 8 units or vice-versa, but not allow a change from min to max bet.

The point of this chart is that we can retrieve much of the lost advantage through various compromises in cover. Additionally we can jump bets after a split, jump bets after a Blackjack, make excuses for rare large jumps when the count takes a nose dive or spurts up. Don Schlesinger adds pretending to be"steaming" (increase after a loss), reducing after a push with 20-20, mentioned in Blackjack Attack ("What's the sense; can't even win with a 20"), "taking profits" (reducing after a win: "Let's not get crazy here"), jumping (last hand before I go — "taking a shot"). The point is that you do not need to destroy your game using cover.

Sim details

  • Six decks, S17, DAS, LS, 4 players, Hi-Lo max indexes, 4.8/6 Penetration
  • Seven degrees of cover
  • Two billion rounds each


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