by Norm Wattenberger

Chapter 9. Optimal Betting Data

Optimal betting concepts have been around for quite a while, but have come into better focus over the past several years. This chapter contains some quick looks at optimal betting.

"He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough" — Lao Tzu

What effect does penetration have on optimal bets?

Optimal betting is discussed in many places on the Web and a discussion can be found in Blackjack Attack by Don Schlesinger. I will not go into the theory here other than to say it is the betting ramp that will maximize SCORE. SCORE takes into account both advantage and risk. The optimal bets can be greatly affected by penetration. For this page, a six-deck, Hi-Lo game with a bet spread of 1-24 units is used. Two charts are included, but they contain the same data. I supplied two charts as one or the other may be clearer to different people.

The optimal bets for nine penetrations are displayed. 26 cards to 130 cards cut off by half-deck increments. We start with the dark green line — a very poor penetration of 130 cards (2.5 decks out of 6 cut off). Bets range from $5 to $120. The bets ramp up very quickly with the max bet placed at a true count of +3. At TCs of 0 to +3 the bets are $5, $35, $75, $120. As the penetration increases, we find that the ramps can increase more gradually and the max bet is placed at a higher and higher true count. Also, the dollar amounts increase. The red line displays data for one half-deck cut off and the bets range from $15 to $360, three times the size of the bets at the worst penetration. The max bet is placed at a true count of +8. More typical penetrations call for a max bet at TCs of +4 or +5 using Hi-Lo.

Sim details

  • Six decks, S17, DAS, LS, 4 players, 1-24 spread, Hi-Lo, truncate, 22 indexes, half-deck resolution, 26-130 cards cutoff
  • Two billion rounds


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