Who has never thought about beating the house in a Casino? As the MIT students said in their documentary Breaking Vegas, it’s not all about the money; but about the feeling of beating a huge corporation in their own game.
It’s very easy to find online the basic strategy for BlackJack, i.e., the correct decision when the only information that you have about the game are your cards, and the dealers facing card. Understanding by correct decision, the one that would minimize your losing chances. Even with this basic strategy the odds against the house are negative, but greatly reduced to a mere -3 $ per 100$ played (aprox). Of course the Breaking Vegas students didn’t just played basic strategy, they also counted cards and played in a team not to raise any attention from the Big Brother.
For this post, I wrote a small Python notebook that computes what are the chances for the different combinations of cards and strategies in their most simplified way, standing and hitting.
The full notebook: https://github.com/Koff/blackjack/blob/master/blackjack_simulation.ipynb
And the results in two images:
On the Y-Axis, the starting score of the player, and on the X-Axis, the dealer’s facing up card (11 being the Ace). The color and values represent the chances of winning if the following the strategy.