PLAYING MULTIPLE SPOTS AT BLACKJACK:
FACTS OR FANCIES
By Alan Krigman
Alan Krigman, and his poetic sidekick Sumner A. Ingmark, have been illuminating the dark recesses of casino gambling for more than a dozen years. Mr. Krigman is especially well known for sharing his insights into the mathematics underlying the various games (including blackjack), the influence of volatility and skewness as well as edge on bankroll during the course of a session, and the impact of betting as well as decision strategies on expected performance. A searchable archive of Mr. Krigman's prose and Mr. Ingmark's muse is online athttp://www.iconworldwide.com/winningways/search.php.
Some blackjack buffs enjoy playing multiple spots simultaneously. A few have more than intuition and specious logic about their preference. Mostly, however, their explanations for playing more than one spot has to do with things like, "you get more action," or "you make more on hot shoes," or "wins on one side can offset losses on the other when the game is cold," or "you change the flow of the cards, which may turn a losing shoe into a winner." Card counters have other reasons, principally involving getting a greater share of the good cards, and increasing total wagers under favorable conditions.
From the standpoint of edge, on a round-by-round basis, playing one spot at $10 is the same as playing two spots at $5 each. Pretend a player follows good Basic Strategy with the usual rules and faces a house edge is 0.5 percent. The house stands to win on average $0.05 per round whether the player bets $10 on one spot or $5 on two spots.
When time enters the picture, however, the impact of edge differs in the above two cases. This is because ...
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