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The Ace/Five Count – Wizard of Odds by Story strategy

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strategy is SCORE is an acronym, coined by Don Schlesinger, for Standardized Comparison Of Risk and Expectation. It is defined as the advantage squared divided by the variance. The SCORE may also be interpreted as the expected hourly win per hand for a player with a $10,000 bankroll, who sizes his bets according to the Kelly Criterion, to achieve a 13.5% risk of ruin.

Appendices

1: Total dependent expected return table for an infinite deck

2a: Probabilities of dealer blackjack after peek

2b: Probabilities of dealer blackjack before peek

3a: Exceptions to single-deck S17 basic strategy

3b: Exceptions to double-deck S17 basic strategy

3c: Exceptions to single-deck H17 basic strategy

4: Blackjack standard deviation details

5: Infinite deck expected return by player hand and dealer upcard

6: Fine points of when to surrender

7: Effect of card removal

8: Analysis of blackjack side bets

9: Composition-dependent expected returns for 1 to 8 decks

10: Continuous shuffling machine vs. cut card

11: Value and strategy for 678 and 777 bonuses

12: Risk of ruin statistics

13: Probabilities in the first four cards

14: Value of each initial player card

15: House edge using total-dependent vs. composition-dependent basic strategy

16: Basic strategy when dealer exposes both cards

17: The Ace-Five card counting method

18: Basic strategy exceptions for three to six cards

19: Blackjack splitting strategy when a back-player is betting

20: Blackjack doubling strategy when doubling after splitting aces is allowed

21: Details on the Wizard’s Simple Strategy

Miscellaneous

My comments on the movie ’21’

Australian Blackjack

Introduction to Card Counting

Rule Variations

Blackjack ‘Charlie’ Rule

Rummy (Blackjack variant popular in Costa Rica)

External Links

Macau Blackjack rules

Simple Blackjack Explanation

The Wizard of Vegas

The Wizard of Macau

Las Apuestas

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The Ace/Five Count

Basic strategy blackjack players sometimes ask me for a simple way to overcome the small house edge in blackjack, with little worry over being recognized as a card counter. This is often done with the motive of milking the casinos for comps and offers. What follows is, in my opinion, the easiest card counting strategy to achieve the above goal and still put the odds in the player’s favor.
This strategy was designed to be most effective on a six- or eight-deck game. I recommend playing only on games with liberal Strip rules, which are as follows:
Such games are easy to find in Las Vegas, although sometimes a higher minimum bet is required. In the low-roller pits, the dealer will usually hit on a soft 17, which is bad, costing the player 0.22%.
The following results were provided by Norm Wattenberger using his Casino Vérité software. The rules above were used, with six decks, and 75% penetration. In my opinion, Casino Vérité is the most robust and accurate blackjack simulation software on the market. It can be used to test just about any card counting strategy under any set of rules and conditions.
SCORE is an acronym, coined by Don Schlesinger, for Standardized Comparison Of Risk and Expectation. It is defined as the advantage squared divided by the variance. The SCORE may also be interpreted as the expected hourly win per hand for a player with a $10,000 bankroll, who sizes his bets according to the Kelly Criterion, to achieve a 13.5% risk of ruin. As a basis of comparison, a Hi-Lo counter, with a 1 to 8 spread, under the same rules, has a SCORE of 8.40, compared to the 3.1 of the Ace/Five count.
After publishing this section, somebody accused me of stealing the idea from Edward Thorp. Indeed, in 1969 Thorp did discuss a similar strategy in his book ‘ Beat the Dealer ,’ in the fourth chapter titled ‘A Winning Strategy.’ The difference is that Thorp’s strategy tracks fives remaining against total cards remaining. Later, in 1971, Lawrence Revere published a similar strategy as Thorp’s in ‘ Playing Blackjack as a Business ,’ chapter 7 titled ‘The Revere Five Count Strategy.’
Practice your card counting skills with our trainer.

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