by Norm Wattenberger

Blackjack Table Seats

Where should we sit?

What is this chart doing in the penetration section? Because your seat can change your effective penetration. Not for betting purposes since everyone bets at the same time. But when you sit at third base (far left), you get to see more cards before you make all playing decisions except insurance. The more cards you see the better.

This chart shows a single-deck game with three players. The advantages for each count are provided for the players in Seats 1, 2 and 3. We can see that the blue bars, the seat 3 advantages, are a bit higher.

What is the effect on SCORE?

Although the bars do not appear to be much different in the previous chart, the overall effect on SCORE is significant. The first set of three bars in this chart shows the SCOREs for the players in seats 1, 2 & 3. There is a clear difference. The second set of bars gives the SCOREs for two players at a six-deck table sitting in seats 1 and 6. There is substantially less difference even though these players are separated by five seats. This is due to the facts that at six decks the percentage differences in penetration between the two seats are far less, six decks games are more reliant on betting and less on play, and six-deck games are dealt face up so you already see most of the other players' cards. In six-deck games other criteria may be more important in seat selection like ability to see all the cards and the shoe or space to switch to two hands.


Sim details

  • Six decks, S17, DAS, LS, 6 players, Hi-Lo, truncate, Full indexes, half-deck resolution, 4.81/6 penetration, Seat 1 & 6
  • Single-deck, H17, 3 players, Hi-Lo, truncate, Full indexes, half-deck resolution, three rounds, Seats 1, 2 & 3
  • Six billion rounds each


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