• Oliver

How Many Rounds is Enough?

Updated: Sep 23, 2019

BJSurvey analyzes two main aspects of a player, which are

  1. his betting pattern to determine if he is card counting,

  2. his basic strategy to rate his decision accuracy.

Both are part of the casino's long-term advantage or disadvantage. Since the two calculations are quite different, each requires a different amount of data to get an accurate reading on the player.

In order to determine if a player is card counting, a minimum of 75 rounds are required, but 100-120 rounds is recommended. Entering more than 300 rounds will increase the accuracy of the calculations only by a minuscule amount and is generally not necessary. This recommendation assume, that

  1. there were sufficient fluctuations of the count. For example, if the count was never positive, BJSurvey can't know how much the player will bet when it is.

  2. the player isn't "borderline". Players that use a winning progression betting strategy can look like card counters in the short-run. When the count is positive it is more likely to win a hand. Therefore, this type of player will sometimes bet higher when the count is positive - similar to a card counter. However, in the long-run there will be sufficient high bets when the count is negative to distinguish a winning progression player from a card counter. At the same time, some card counters will use a winning progression for camouflage. This makes it necessary to enter more rounds than recommended above to analyze this properly.

Number of rounds in the Status window

Number of rounds in the Summary Report

When you need to know a player's decision skills to a high degree of accuracy, at least 270 hands - not rounds - are needed.

This number is based on fact that

  • there are 350 different basic strategy decisions (16 hard totals, 9 soft totals and 10 pairs against the dealer's 10 different cards) That number does not even take into consideration that a 2-card soft 18 is not the same as a 3-card soft 18, since you can double on one, but not the other. BJSurvey does treats those as two different decisions.

  • a player has to make about 130 decisions per 100 hands.

Therefore, you need about 270 hands (350/1.3) to get at least one of each decision - that's assuming the decisions are perfectly distributed (which they never really are).

Since the player will make more decisions when occupying multiple spots, use the total hands played rather than rounds (dealer hands).

Use the "Total Hands - Player" in the Summary Report to determine sample size for this purpose.

The actual number of decisions the player had to make can be determined by adding "Basic Strategy" and "Easy Decisions" in the Summary Report.

For the Basic strategy decisions that were not encountered, BJSurvey has to assume that they are being played correctly. Therefore, a player would appear to be more skilled than he actually is when the sample size is too small as he never had the opportunity to make those mistakes. This causes a slightly lower-than-actual long-term "Total Casino Advantage".

"Decision Gain" can be lower than actual, if the sample size is too small.


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