21 The movie, and counting cards (brain tickler)


Hello amigos and amigoettes,

Since i saw the movie “21” and I can’t stop thinking about counting cards, i hope people here wacthed it because i don’t feel like explaining much about it.

The idea i wanna talk about that in the movie, they counted cards to win in the blackjack game.

in general, what is counting cards?

Counting cards is basically having a system to estimate the average or anticipate the next card which will be drawn from the deck. for example, if you have 3 cards in the deck, 2, 5, 8. and u know they just drew the 8, then you know the average of the deck is down, so even if you have 16 on the table, u will still ask for one additional card ( because in blackjack 21 is the highest winning number, more and you lose)

anyway, to the important thing, in the movie they mentioned the general idea of counting they used. they said, as i recall, that if 10 and above was drawn, then the count get incremented by 1 and if something below 5 i believe, then the count will be the same, and apparently the higher the count the easier they can win.

the missing piece of the system they used in the movie, is what to actually do with the count, let’s say the count was 16. how can i use this fact to increase my chances. I had couple of ideas, but at the end i tried to make up my own counting system

Same idea, if something above 9 for example, then i will DECREASE the count by 1 and if something below 5 i will INCREASE it by one. the count in my system is basically an estimate of the average of the remaining cards, let’s say at the begining the average was almost 6.5, and to make things integers, i made it 65. so if a high card was drawn, the average of the remaining cards will be decreased, so 64.

in my system this average tells me when to make the dealer hit me, or when to stop. for example, if the count or the estimated average is 49, then in average the next card will have the value of 4.9, so if i had 16 or less in my sum already, then i will ask for another card, because i have more than 50% chance i will get a card less than 5, but if it was higher, then i stop.

As i understood, the dealers in the casinos have fixed rules, for example, if you get less than 14 , get another card, if not stay. so they use the same idea but their estimated average is constant. i thought this way will actually work

to test my theory, i wrote a program using java to simulate a blackjack game and i added a counting player, i made the program run thousands of times, but still the player loses. usually the player wins 43% of the time only. mainly because the dealer as an advantage, when both sums are the same, the dealer wins.

so, here comes ur part, i want to develop a better counting system. i think the general idea of my system is correct, maybe i need to tweak it, for example, i may use above 7 and less than 6 as the limits to change the count, or maybe make it change by 2 when a very low or high card is thrown. another improvement i am thinking, maybe i need to have more than one deck of cards shuffled together, in my program i only use the standard 52 cards, while in casinos, usually there are 4 or more decks shuffled together.

tell me what you think and if you want the program, i may give it to you if you asked nicely.

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2 thoughts on “21 The movie, and counting cards (brain tickler)

  1. how u gonna make it harder? it is suppose to be simple. or do u mean u want to make the dealer smarter?

    tell me what did ya use for the dealer algorithm? when he hits and when he stays?

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