Simple And Advanced Blackjack Switch StrategiesBy: rkingsley, Saturday March 31st 2012
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Blackjack Switch is a fascinating blackjack variant that is offered by software provider Playtech at its online casinos like Omni Casino and Casino Tropez. The player wagers with two hands instead of one. After the two cards are dealt to each of his hands and the dealer's face up card is dealt the player has an interesting option. He can switch the second card dealt to each hand. After the player decides on whether or not to exercise this option, the game is played in the usual manner. The critical component of the strategy is when to switch and when not to switch. This article describes three strategies with increasing complexity. Obviously the more complex strategy yields better results.
In the simple Blackjack Switch strategy the player first needs to memorize the following list of hands that are in decreasing order of strength: 21, 20, 19, AA, 11, 10, 9, 18 or 8 and 8,8. If the dealer's face up card is a 7 or 8, the player must switch if he can increase the value of the weaker hand to the highest possible hand in the list. If the dealer has any other card the player must switch only if he can increase the value of the higher hand to the highest possible hand in the list. If the player cannot achieve any of the above mentioned then he must switch only if he can make the strongest hand possible from the following list: 7 or 17, any hand that should be split, 12 and 13. In all other cases the player should not switch. The simple Blackjack Switch strategy offers a lower return by 0.17% as compared to the optimal strategy.
The advanced Blackjack Switch strategy uses a table that is structured like a normal blackjack strategy table with the dealer's face up card in the rows and the player's hand value in the rows. However, the cells do not contain the blackjack moves but contain numbers from 0 to 3. A value of 3 is for the card combination most likely to win and a value of 0 is for the card combination least likely to win. The player must ascertain the values of the two hands as dealt and add the values to get a total. He must then visualize the situation after a switch and ascertain the values of the two hands and add them to get a total. If the total after a visualized switch is greater than the total before a switch then and only then must the player make a switch. The advanced Blackjack Switch strategy offers a lower return by 0.08% as compared to the optimal strategy.
The values from 0 to 3 club the hands into broad groups. However in reality all card combinations bearing the same value are not equal. The optimal Blackjack Switch strategy is based on computer simulation of each card combination to determine its expectation value. The expectation value can range from +1 to -1 in an almost continuous fashion. An expectation value close to +1 indicates a high probability of that combination eventually winning. An expectation value close to -1 indicates a high probability of that combination eventually losing. As in the advanced Blackjack Switch strategy the player adds the expectation values of both hands before and after the visualized switch. If the total after a switch is greater than the total before a switch then and only then must the player make a switch. The optimal strategy offers a return of about 99.4%.
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