Insurance

Advice of well-meaning but ill-informed gamblers that you should insure only a natural is worth its cost - nothing; you should buy insurance if more than one-third of the unseen cards are 10s. As soon as you see the dealer's ace, begin considering whether you should buy insurance. Table 3 gives the minimum counts per deck for which insurance is a good buy, as a function of number of decks shuffled together. For example, if one deck is used, insurance is likely to be profitable if the count per deck, after counting the dealer's ace and as many other cards as you can see, exceeds +1.4. My suggestion is to use +3 as the decision number for more than two decks. Note that the number you use from table 3 is based on the total number of decks used, rather than on the number of decks yet unseen.

 Table 3 When To Take Insurance Decks Count Per Deck 1 1.4 2 2.4 3 2.7 4 2.9 5 3.0 6 3.0 7 3.1 8 3.1 9 3.1 10 3.1 infinite 3.3

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A Bad Night for a "Stop-Win" Policy

The next day you hear that he achieved a new "personal best" by dropping \$6,500 and that the other players in the game were smart enough to remain at the table until he had cashed out and gotten his car from the valet (it's a bad idea to let someone know his presence is keeping a game going).

When someone loses that much money, it's probably because he's trying to punish himself, has had too much to drink, or is somehow otherwise playing under circumstances that make him almost fated to get clobbered.