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Best of Alan Krigman

Gaming Guru

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Are you confused by Basic Strategy for Spanish 21?

4 January 2010

Author's note: I recently found an unauthorized translation of one of my blackjack articles on a Spanish Internet website. Google offered to show it in Spanish, or to translate the Spanish back to English using an automated program of some sort. I don't know how much of what came through the pipeline resulted from the first or the second translation. Either way, the result may give you pause before playing blackjack in Spain.

Can the game of blackjack likened to a religion?

Learn the correct way to play blackjack is like finding religion. Once accepted the "basic strategy" as a credo, the converts want everyone else as well. And they are not always subtle with their intolerance towards those who do not. The situation is beyond the mere pedantry as: "No you would have asked that letters with 14 against a dealer 6," or "Everyone knows that you should have separated these eight instead of plantarte with 16."

Sometimes, the faithful blackjack become painfully exaggerated for the pagans in their midst. Other times, the true believers, reaching as far as I lifted up the tables, stomping, or thinking about things murmurando (who wisely did not say out loud) on the kind of customers seeking casinos today. Of course, this behavior occurs in some situations than in others. For example, when a player asks agnostic blackjack cards with a hard 17 against a dealer's 8, 6 and takes it needed the disgruntled fan on the left to move from 15 to 21, instead of 9 that makes your hand break. When an infidel makes a similar decision heretical and received a ten, answering the prayers of the player blessed to read a four position calling for increasing its 17 soft, santurrĂ³n silence becomes deafening.

The way to blame faulty strategic decisions taken by blasphemous blackjack players when they lose their hands (and not to accredit the hands that earned) involves human nature, the character of the gambler, the intensity associated with money at risk, the importance the self-esteem in the face of adversity, and the ceaseless quest for meaning in life beyond luck alone.

The dogma of the deck is not conducive to the destination in the flow of letters. Guarantees from the deck mixed not presuppose that the order subyazga the apparent chaos. The blackjack straight, which follows the commandments of the basic strategy is predicated purely according to principles of likelihood. According to the odds on your hand and the dealer's, nobody else. The odds that the next hand-out will make you stronger, weaker or it will break. The possibility that the letter of the dealer will complete a hidden hand or forced to request a letter. The blackjack is not based on a predetermined stream of letters. You may remember losing hand after hand due to the hunches of the pagans, to which the Philistines came as a flock in each round, even when mixed crupieres different cards or a particular person cut the deck.

But remember circumstances like these and forgetting all others are loads of mortals who have seen the light. Well, we got news for the vilest of blackjack brothers who are looking for scapegoats on which to deposit the blame. Several examples of actual game play and a large number of computer simulations carried out have been analyzed extensively. Studies have failed to connect with the outcome all but with the playing of the table, and to base decisions in the hands of individual probabilities associated with the cards remaining in the deck.

The specific letters that anyone making are obviously affected by the mixture, cutting the number of hands-on, and the decisions taken during the game. In that sense, these factors influence the flow of letters and the outcome of each hand of blackjack. When a player is planted, calls letters, surrenders, separates, or doubles your bet, the flow is affected. But the process is essentially random. No one can say whether the changes are good or bad omen. The unorthodox decisions that have the probability associated with the cards in the deck, gives the house an unnecessary margin on the blackjack player that takes. These barbarians could win anyway, although the probability of that happening fell to the quality of their decisions. And while the decisions of those players play blackjack impacting the letters you receive, do not alter the likelihood of you to receive. As a time poet warned of the award-winning walkers of gambling, Sumner A Ingmark:

Your chances are not dependent, what other players do, But the letters we got, and what's left in the deck.

Alan Krigman

Alan Krigman was a weekly syndicated newspaper gaming columnist and Editor & Publisher of Winning Ways, a monthly newsletter for casino aficionados. His columns focused on gambling probability and statistics. He passed away in October, 2013.
Alan Krigman
Alan Krigman was a weekly syndicated newspaper gaming columnist and Editor & Publisher of Winning Ways, a monthly newsletter for casino aficionados. His columns focused on gambling probability and statistics. He passed away in October, 2013.