Composition Dependent

There are two types of blackjack basic strategy hands. They are what is referred to as “Total” dependent or “Composition” dependent hands. Once we play basic strategy as it is outlined in Thorpe’s original basic strategy it is based on “Total” dependent hands. For example, in single-deck basic strategy we would hit a hard total of 14 against the dealer’s 10. Strategy says to go to 17. In “Composition” dependent hands, if we had a total of 14 in three or more cards, we would STAND on this hand

Basic blackjack strategy is based on a player’s point total and the dealer’s visible card. A player’s ideal decision may depend on the composition of his hand, not just the information considered in the basic strategy. For example, a player should ordinarily stand when holding 14 against a dealer 6. However, in a single deck game, the player should hit if his 14 consists of a 10 and a 4; this is because the player wants to receive any card other than a 10 if hitting, and the 10 in the player’s hand is one less card available to cause a bust for the player or the dealer.

Under conditions where basic and composition-dependent blackjack strategy lead to different called upon actions, the difference in expected value between the two decisions we can make will be very small. Also, The larger the amount of decks used in the blackjack game; the number of situations where composition determines the correct blackjack game strategy and the house edge improvement from using a composition-dependent blackjack strategy will decrease substantially. Using a composition-dependent strategy will decrease the house’s edge by merely 0.003% in a six-deck game, less than 1/10 the improvement in a single-deck game which would be 0.038%.

Strategy 4 Deck Strategy 8 Deck Strategy Card Counting
Composition Dependent Double Deck Strategy Shuffle Tracking Single Deck Strategy
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