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Thread: Sweet 16 Question

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    Sweet 16 Question

    Hello All,

    I have been working on memorizing basic strategy with the Sweet 16 Index. I have been looking at the Charts in Casino Verite and the paper by Ken Fuchs and Olaf Vancura called "A Study of Index Rounding In Card Counting," which I found in a book called "Finding the Edge: Mathematical Analysis of Casino Games."

    The book I found here: http://books.google.com/books?id=UGX...indice&f=false

    On page 76 of the book/paper is given a Table of the Hi-Lo Sweet 16 - which is what I am trying to learn. However I notice that there are some differences between what is shown in this table and what is shown in the Casino Verite's tables. The differences are 1) 13 vs. 3 is given a -1 index in the paper and is shown as a non-decisive stand in the Verite software. 2) 12 vs. 5 is given an index of -1 in the paper and is also a non-decisive stand in the software. 3) 12 vs. 6 is given an index of 0 (zero) in the paper and an index of -1 in the software.

    First, I am wondering why there are differences between the software and what is shown in the book's list? Second, I notice that in the software I see only 13 decisions. Is this because the other three are insurance decisions (have not been looking at insurance decisions yet)? And third, what are the correct indices for these three decisions? My assumption would be the software is correct but you know what they say about assumptions.

    Thanks

    Night_Rider

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    The Sweet 16, as you may know, are a subset of the Illustrious 18, with the two plays for splittings tens (vs. 5 and 6) omitted. I first generated them for Hi-Lo, but, of course, they can be created for any card-counting system.

    In the original article, and again in chapter five, p. 62, of BJA3, which, it would appear, you don't have but should, the indices used came from Wong's Professional Blackjack, p. 173. Subsequent to these studies, Norm and I produced what we feel are slightly "better" numbers, based on flooring, which can be found on p. 213 of BJA3. They can be used with a great deal of confidence and reliability.

    Finally, let me chide you on "not looking at insurance decisions yet"! Insurance is the single-most important of all the indices. Why in the world would you place it last instead of first, in your studies? Makes no sense at all.

    Don

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    There are more than 1 type of index. Some sets of indices are EV maximizing indices. They just want to get you the most EV and are willing to risk double your bet to get an extra penny in EV. If you have a huge BR you may be fine with the swings such plays would bring but most people aren't in that situation. There are also risk averse indices which will not take extra risk until a criterion is met that is deemed to make it worth the additional risk. These plays are generally doubles but may contain splits as well. Also indices may be heat averse. For plays that draw a lot of heat the extra EV must be high enough to make it worth the heat it will attract. TTv5 or 6 are left out of the sweet 16 even though they are extremely high profit plays when appropriate. The heat was deemed not worth the large increase in EV. Many indices have a very poor correlation to your count which is why they are risk averse. If the dealers upcard is a 3 the chances of the dealer hitting to 21 are highly tied to the number of 8's left in the shoe. No counts keep that info in the primary count so unless you are side counting 8's soft doubling against a 3 is based on very sketchy information.

    Now in this case the guys in the paper don't seem to feel accuracy is very important for index plays. That should tell you how much weight to put on their indices. If you can't memorize all the indices you shouldn't be playing BJ. Memorizing indices is the easiest part of the BJ training. If you are going to go to all the trouble of counting why wouldn't you want to make the most of the information gathered. I know 110 indices for my count and even more side count adjustments. It took very little time to memorize them. With a couple dozen indices you can get most of what can be gained by index play but if I have my max bet out I want to win the highest percentage I can. I feel the same way about all my bets regardless of the matchup.
    Last edited by Three; 06-12-2014 at 11:07 AM.

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    With all due respect to Don and his great work, here is a take on indices by the controversial Eliot Jacobson.

    http://apheat.net/2014/02/20/the-not-so-illustrious-18/

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    Hi Tthree,

    Would you suggest a beginner to learn all indices from the jump or start by memorizing the i18 first? i have the i18 memorized but have not yet began to count in a casino. Also i Hope you do not mind me asking but what book or charts did you find easiest to look at and memorize the information quickly? wong's PB?

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    Memorize the most important first. I make sure I know the positive indices because that is when the big bets are out. I learn the indices like phone numbers. Hit/stand 12 has a series of indices for the upcards 2 to 6. I also learned them by dealer upcard. Once you see the dealer upcard you have an idea of what possible indices you might have to call up before your hand is complete. After practicing enough the matchup index will come up without the series. I found this works great for how my brain works. I am not good at memorizing things.

    If you use HILO Norm has a great visual tool for some hand matchups. Unfortunately he never completed all the matchups. Look at the vertical scale as it changes from graph to graph for hand matchups:

    http://www.card-counting.com/cvcxonlineviewer3.htm

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    Random number herder Norm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tthree View Post
    With all due respect to Don and his great work, here is a take on indices by the controversial Eliot Jacobson.
    I have a problem with the article. We all know, now, that there are certain indices that are more important and their gain is dramatically more important than the remaining indices, particularly as decks increase. The suggestion that the study wasn't complete bothers me. Fact is, once you get past the first 24, the next indices become more and more difficult to determine, and more and more dependent on the rules, decks, strategy, etc. I spent some time years back looking at a method of going beyond 18 given a particular set of circumstances. My conclusion was that it was a pointless exercise and that you should go with your gut and comfort level should you wish to expand your list.
    "Croyez ceux qui cherchent la vérité, doutez de ceux qui la trouvent." --André Gide

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tthree View Post
    If you use HILO Norm has a great visual tool for some hand matchups. Unfortunately he never completed all the matchups.
    If this is what you are referring to I will stop saying it. I have said it periodically as an interactive program for more counts and conditions would be very interesting as you get into correlation of the count to the matchup EORs. It makes it much easier for newbies to visualize the gain from indices and with Don's EOR matchup charts count correlation gain could be much easier visualized for most people. I have found some advanced APs are weak on understanding these things. It isn't such a big deal for BJ but other related games understanding this gets to be a very important part of developing a large advantage.

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    Random number herder Norm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tthree View Post
    If this is what you are referring to I will stop saying it.
    No, not at all. More charts would indeed be interesting. I just ran enough charts to make the point that indices are very different in how they work. Particularly splits. I was referring to the Ill18. Determining the Ill18 in 1986 was an enormous amount of work. When you get much past that, it's very difficult even today given the variations in circumstances.
    "Croyez ceux qui cherchent la vérité, doutez de ceux qui la trouvent." --André Gide

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    I kind of skimmed the article but pro's wanting to get the most out of their effort was what I thought worth the link. Depending on your style of play some indices are only used when you aren't there anyway. The most important indices depend on your wonging style and the game you are playing. The one thing that I learned over the years is if the play is so close to the index that you have trouble deciding which side it is on you are best off using basic strategy for many reasons.

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