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Manual Reference Pages  -  XBLACKJACK (1)

NAME

xblackjack - game of blackjack

Synopsis
Description
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Authors
Caveats
Keywords

xblackjack

DESCRIPTION

Xblackjack is a MOTIF/OLIT based tool constructed to get you ready for the casino. It was inspired by a book called "Beat the Dealer" by Edward O. Thorp, Ph.D. of UCLA. A number of important statistics are maintained for display, and used by the program to implement Thorp’s "Complete Point System" (high-low system). Harvey Dubner presented the strategy at a panel session of the 1963 Fall Joint Computer Conference.

The COUNT used by the strategy starts at zero after the shuffle. When you see a 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 you add one to the COUNT. Subtract one when you see a ten, face card, or ace. The 7, 8, and 9 have no effect on the COUNT. When the COUNT is positive your odds are favorable; you should bet more, and then stand, double down, and split more often.

The complete system takes the number of uplayed cards into account; a COUNT of 2 in the last hand is better than a COUNT of 2 in the first hand.

All selections are made using the LEFT mouse button. Bets are placed using the scale labelled "your bet". Choices are made by clicking on the pushbuttons (split, double down, hit, or stand).

Game status and results are shown in the message pushbutton below the card area. Pressing it will reveal the high-low INDEX calculation:

(COUNT*100)/UNSEEN

The strategy recommends you bet half the INDEX in favorable situations, and only buy insurance when the INDEX is greater than 8. When making a choice, the relevant table corresponding to the best choice is revealed too:

Pair Spliting
Doubling Down
Drawing or Standing with Hard Hands
Drawing or Standing with Soft Hands

Press the message button repeatedly to cycle through the relevant tables. There are separate standing tables for HARD and SOFT hands. A hand is SOFT if it contains an Ace that can contribute 11 to the total without exceeding 21. All other hands are HARD.

When making choices, first decide if you should split (when you can), then whether or not to double down, and finally if you should hit or stand.

Test the strategy using the slider to the right of the card area. The program will play unattended, until you return the slider to the bottom. You can stop by pressing the bottom area of the scale to return the slider there immediately, or click on the message pushbutton.

xblackjack

AUTHORS

Kirk Erickson (kirke@sgi.com)

OLIT support contributed by:
Guy Renard (grenard@elrond.stg.trw.com)

Cards courtesy of the folks that built Spider:
Heather Rose (hrose@sun.com)
Dave Lemke (lemke@ncd.com)
Don Woods (woods@sun.com)

CAVEATS

You can double down on 10 or 11 only. Dealer hits soft 17.

KEYWORDS

blackjack, twenty-one, van-john, pontoon, Ein-und-Zwanzig
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