How Should a Card Counter Play His Blackjack Hand?
By N. Richard Werthamer
A casino blackjack player who counts cards in order to optimally scale his bet size can also use the count information to adjust how he plays his hand. The usually recommended procedure employs an elaborate set of guidelines, termed Count Dependent Strategy (CDS). A much simpler procedure has been proposed by Marcus and by Werthamer, termed Counter Basic Strategy (CBS), although their assertion that CBS has a value comparable to that of CDS has been challenged. Here I confirm that CDS and CBS do have comparable values, stemming from a not-well-appreciated dependence of expected return on pack depth. I also determine that those values are roughly half that of a generalized play adjustment strategy that has maximal value but is impractically complex.