Chapter 14. Voodoo Charts

Unfortunately, there appears to be more misinformation available about Blackjack and gambling in general than accurate information. This chapter explores some common misconceptions.

"Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen." — Albert Einstein

How do targets and stop losses affect us?

Setting a target means that you will play until you win a specified amount. A stop loss is playing until you lose a specified amount. Many Basic Strategy players believe that targets and stop losses can improve their odds. Many card counters believe they have no effect. They can both be wrong. In fact, targets and stop losses do have no effect on Basic Strategy players. But it is important to understand that strictly enforced stops do have an effect on card counters. And this can be a hefty negative effect.

This chart displays the results of seven Hi-Lo sims with 200-hand sessions max betting $25-$400. I set win targets and stop losses of $1,500 and $2,500. By target I mean you immediately end a session when you hit the target, and by stop loss I mean you immediately end a session when you hit the stop loss. SCOREs are charted.
The SCORE decreases are a result of leaving the shoe when the count is high. Unfortunately, the count is very likely to be high when you reach either a target or stop loss. Obviously, if you play out the shoe or wait for the count to drop back before ending the session, you won't see any decrease. And of course if you hit your stop loss and simply have no ability to continue betting, your SCORE is lower than you think.

Sim details

  • Six decks, S17, DAS, 1 player, Hi-Lo, truncate, Sweet 16 indexes, half-deck resolution, 5/6 penetration, Spread $25-$400
  • Two billion rounds each


copyright © 2007, Norm Wattenberger, All rights reserved