GENERIC BASIC STRATEGY
THE HIGH-LOW SYSTEM
HOW TO WIN WITHOUT GETTING KICKED OUT
Head-On Blackjack Play
Hands Per Hour
You would rather be the only player at the table. One reason is more hands per hour; you easily get in as many hands in one hour of head-on play as in three hours of play at a busy table, and if you play fast the ratio can be higher.
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Win Rate Per Hand
The more players, the higher percentage of your hands are right after the shuffle. And the more players, the lower percentage of your hands that are started with a small number of cards left.
Playing head-on at single deck, with average or better penetration, you will get an additional round even after the dealer has already used half the cards. At a full table you never get another round out of a single deck after the dealer has used half of it.
For multiple decks also, your win rate per hand is higher with fewer players at the table, though the effect is not as great as with single deck.
Changing Bet Sizes
In some European casinos you can increase your bet by a multiple of 50 and nobody cares. In Nevada if you alter your bet size you should do so only gradually. When you are the only player at the table, the count changes gradually and so you can change your bet size gradually and still be betting about the right amount. When the table is full the count sometimes changes drastically; and you may not feel comfortable jacking your bet up or down as much as the count warrants. So you are more likely to end up betting too much or too little at a full table than when you are alone with the dealer.
Other Comments on Head-On Play
If you have a head-on game and the dealer is giving you good penetration, stay and play through negative counts. But if the table fills up, leave on the next negative count.
Though head-on games are best, you will generally play with one to three other players at the table because you will not find enough head-on games. But those other players have to play quickly. Do not stay in a game with slow players. On the next negative count you should be gone.
You might prefer a high-limit table. Those tables offer better opportunities for getting head-on games. And the other players, if there are any generally play faster at high-limit games.
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