Stalked by a Hand Splitter

How does splitting to multi-hands affect others?

Some card counters play one hand at negative counts but then spread to two or more hands at positive counts. But, what happens when someone else does this at your table? This chart is very much like that on the previous page. The first sim had two players: a basic strategy player in seat one and a Hi-Lo card counter in seat two. The second sim was the same, but a third player plays one hand at true counts of zero and below, two hands at TC +1 and three hands at TCs +2 and above. We are interested in the effect on the Hi-Lo player in seat two. The chart displays the win rate by true count for the seat two Hi-Lo player in each sim. The red area displays the win rate for each true count for the Hi-Lo player at the first table. The green area shows the win rate for the same player, only at a table where the multi-hand player plays. As on the previous page, we can see that at the higher counts, where we win money, our winnings are reduced by the new player as he is stealing some of the good cards. Overall, the Hi-Lo player's edge drops from 1.37% to 1.15% — worse than the effect of a backcounter.

The Blackjack basic strategy player is not charted here but is also impacted. For the basic strategy player, the house edge increased from .38% to .48%.

Where did the lost winnings go?

We have seen that the frequency of positive true counts that you experience will decrease when a back-counter is present. This chart details that effect. The red line in this chart is taken directly from the red line on chart two on the previous page. At the negative counts, the Hi-Lo player plays about the same number of hands whether or not a backcounter is present. But when the counter is haunting the table, only 80% as many high true counts are enjoyed. Now we add a green line to show the effect on the Hi-Lo player of another player splitting to two and then three hands. The hands played at a positive count are more severely reduced.

Sim details

  • Six decks, 5/6 penetration, S17, DAS, LS, 2 players, Basic Strategy and Hi-Lo, Sweet 16 & Fab 4 indexes
  • Six decks, 5/6 penetration, S17, DAS, LS, 3 players, Basic Strategy and Hi-Lo and Hi-Lo splitting 1-3 hands, Sweet 16 & Fab 4 indexes
  • Five billion rounds each


copyright © 2007, Norm Wattenberger, All rights reserved