Blackjack Betting by Half Counts
I bet by half counts?
Most card counters determine the best bets to make at each count
before sitting at the table. We know that we should bet more at
higher counts. For example you might bet 1 unit at counts of zero
and below, 2 units at a count of +1, 5 units at a count of +2, etc.
Can we improve on this by creating a table based on half counts?
That is, can we improve our SCORE by betting 3 units at a count
of +1.5? As in most areas of Blackjack, the answer is it
In this chart we show the SCOREs for all reasonable penetrations
in a six-deck game using Hi-Lo. The red area represents the SCOREs
using bets based only on integer counts. The green area is the gain
realized in a more complex table using different bets for each half
count. The difference is so slight that you can barely see a hint
of green above the red area. There is no appreciable gain. But this
doesn't tell the whole story.
In the second chart we look at the same process, but using the
1998 Zen strategy. Using this strategy we now see a green area.
In fact, at 4.5/6 deck penetration in the middle of the chart; the
gain from using half-counts is 9.3%. What happened?
The Hi-Lo strategy calculates true counts by dividing by the number
of remaining decks. The 1998 Zen strategy calculates TCs by dividing
by the remaining quarter decks. This is a much higher divisor; so
you end up with a much smaller range of true counts. With a smaller
range of counts, there is less resolution and this means less accuracy.
You can gain back most of this accuracy by betting according to
half-counts instead of integer counts when using Zen.
Note: unbalanced strategies like KO, KISS and Red7 have a very
large range of counts and do not need betting by half-counts.
- Six decks, S17, DAS, LS 1 player, Hi-Lo, truncate, Sweet 16 &
Fab 4 indexes, half-deck resolution, 26-130 cards penetration
- Six decks, S17, DAS, LS 1 player, 1998 Zen, floor, Sweet 16
& Fab 4 indexes, half-deck resolution, 26-130 cards penetration
- Optimal betting by full and half counts
- Two billion rounds each