After my poor performance last trip to Vegas one of the areas of my game that I’ve been examining is my range. Specifically how aggressive should I be on the lower end of the deck. In this case if I have 13 and the dealer is showing a 3 what is the right play?
The book says stay in this situation. In the past I’ve always followed that advice without any question since in general I play a conservative game and it basically made sense.
In reviewing my last trip I started looking at some of the low-end cards since I seemed to run into more than usual 12/13 vs. 2/3 and ended up on the losing end more often than not.
The low-end cards provide a lot of coin-toss situations and I often see novice players working hard to make decisions every time they face them. I’ve usually played it conservatively and stand when holding a 13 vs. a dealer showing 3 as the book recommends.
Today I’m looking at the 13 vs 3 since I may start testing out a more aggressive strategy going forward. According to the great folks at Wizard of Odds the dealer has only a 37% chance of busting when he starts with a 3 showing. On the flip side if I’ve got a 13 my odds of busting when taking one card are only 38%.
So in this situation I have >60% chance of staying in the hand when taking a card vs. 100% of staying in the hand without hitting. My odds of improving my hand to a quality hand (18+) are 31%. So I’ve given myself a reasonable chance of improving while the dealer is only going to bust 4 out of 10 times.
I’m going to try this out in my next sessions and closely track the impact to see how it affects my results.