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Ask the Wizard #51
Moisan from Paris, France
This is an interesting situation. Although you should surrender 5/6 of the time with 15 against a 10 in single deck it is still better to always hit than always surrender. Following is the expected return by hitting each way to compose a 15.
There are 4 ways to make a 10+5 and only 1 each of the other two. So the overall expected return by hitting is 15 against a 10 in single deck is (4/6)*-.501091 + (1/6)*-.509827 + (1/6)*-.474794 = -.498164. In other words the odds just barely favor surrendering a 10,5 and 9,6 but the odds favoring hitting 8,7 by a much wider margin. The reason the 8,7 has the better expected return is all the 5’s and 6’s are still in the deck, resulting in a greater probability of attaining a total of 20 or 21.
Moe from Philadelphia, USA
I’ve seen it at the Regent, New York New York, and Palace Station. I hear it is also at the Sunset Station and Santa Fe Station.
Tony from Taylors, South Carolina
My house edge calculator is based on the first hand after a shuffle. So it is perfectly suited for a continuous shuffling machine game. Contrary to popular belief the house edge is actually slightly higher on a hand shuffled game as opposed to a continuous shuffling machine game. I explain this in more depth in my blackjack appendix 10.