Ask the Wizard #42
Gene from Laguna, USA
None of these factors matter. Walk away when you're not having fun any longer.
Bill from Corpus Christi, USA
You make a good point. In terms of what to expect in the short run then you should ignore the highest hands. I know video poker players sometimes disregard royal flushes when determining their short-term expectations. However, as a mathematical purist, I can't help but consider every possible outcome, regardless of how unlikely.
Richard from Binghampton, USA
As long as you are backing up your pass and come bets with full odds, it doesn't make any difference how many come bets you make. However, it does reduce the overall house edge to keep the odds on your come bets working on the come out roll.
Jan from Rotterdam, Netherlands
According to table 3, a four of a kind pays $500, a full house pays $100, and a flush pays $50. If m is the amount of the jackpot meter then the return per dollar bet is (1121800+4*j)/2598960. The meter would need to reach $369,290 for this to be a positive expectation bet.
Mark from Allston, Massachusetts
I don't have any information on the odds of that game so I can't tell you at what point the meter is high enough to give the player an edge. However, keeping an eye on the meter and only playing when it is high is a good idea.
Scott from Elmhurst, Illinois
Once you have hit n numbers, the probability of getting a new number on the next spin is (38-n)/38. If the probability of an event is p, then the expected number of trials before it happens is 1/p. Thus the expected number of spins to get a new number, given that you already have n, is 38/(38-n). For example once you have hit 20 numbers the expected number of spins to get the 21st is 38/18=2.11. So the answer is the sum of the expected number of spins at each step: (38/38)+(38/37)+(38/36)+...+(38/1)=160.66.
Scott from Saline, Michigan
In your example, assuming a negative expectation game, the best bet size to maximize the probability of reaching your win goal is $50. In a positive expectation game the best bet size is as small as possible. The reason is that the more you play the more the house edge will grind you down, or the more you will grind the casino down if you have the edge.
Mark from Allston, Massachusetts
I would hope they put enough encryption on their game to make that difficult. Nevertheless, I wouldn't say it is impossible.
Brett from Richland, USA
I took great pains to create my blackjack appendices 9A-9H to answer these kinds of questions. For example, in a six-deck game where the dealer stands on soft 17, you would use blackjack appendix 9G. There you can see the expected return by standing on two 10's against a dealer 6 is 0.702826. The expected return by splitting in this situation is 0.622165. So, the player can expect to win an extra 8.07% by standing as opposed to splitting. Don't pay much stock in what other players say or do at the blackjack table.
Helene from Sherman Oaks, USA
One could write an entire book on blackjack tournament strategy. Briefly, here are some pieces of advice:
- Positional advantage is very important. When you are last to act is the best time to take chances with big bets.
- Bide your time at the beginning. Sometimes on a cold table everyone else will burn themselves out while you coast to first place at your table.
- The second half of the round take big chances to get in first place.
- If competing against one other player you want to bet with him when ahead, and contrary to him when behind.
- Pay attention to the maximum bet allowed. If the maximum bet is small compared to the player stacks you should get aggressive early.