Student Co-author

HMC Undergraduate

Document Type

Article

Department

Mathematics (HMC)

Publication Date

1993

Abstract

In the casino game blackjack or "21," mathematically determined best plays have been calculated by various mathematicians and gambling experts. These optimal playing strategies all assume that the casino pays even money on bets (excluding when the player has a "blackjack"). However, many casinos offer the player "lucky bucks" that pay the player either 3-to-2 or 2-to-1. In the usual game, the player's expected loss is under 1¢ per dollar bet. in this paper, we derive optimal strategies under luck-buck conditions, giving the player an expected gain of 26¢ or 55¢ per dollar bet.

Comments

First published in the Journal of Undergraduate Mathematics and Its Applications, vol. 14, no. 4 (Winter 1993), pg. 309-314, by the Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications.

Rights Information

© 1993 Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications (COMAP, Inc.)

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