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more accurate blackjack insurance decisions and ace side count
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Best Internet casino software review

Best Casino Bonuses Online

by Rich Victor
(Blackjack Forum Vol. XXIV #2, Spring 2005)
© Blackjack Forum 2005

My article introducing the Victor Insurance Parameter appeared in the Spring 2002 issue of Blackjack Forum. Defined as the running count divided by the number of unseen aces, the Victor Insurance Parameter (VIP) is the optimal insurance parameter for blackjack players who side-count aces and use a balanced primary count that disregards aces. The article presented user-friendly rules of insurance strategy — derived from VIP “threshold-values” — and summarized the advantages of the VIP concept in terms of accuracy and especially simplicity. This supplement takes the concept a step further; it provides customized threshold-values and strategy for specific counting systems.

The originally stated threshold-values (0.5, 1 and 1.5, respectively, for count-levels one, two and three) may be characterized as “generic” in that none of them is tailored to a specific counting system. They are premised on the artificial but mathematically convenient assumption that every balanced counting system that disregards aces has a perfect VIP-enhanced insurance correlation. That assumption yields threshold-values that are reasonably accurate for every VIP-compatible system at their respective count-levels. Moreover, the generic threshold-values serve as baselines from which to compute customized, highly accurate threshold-values for specific systems.

The lower the insurance correlation of a given system, the more diverse the count-values assigned to non-tens — and the more volatile the running count. Greater volatility inflates the average size of both positive and negative running counts — increasing the number of seemingly favorable insurance situations and dictating a commensurately higher threshold-value. System-specific threshold-values are determined, therefore, by dividing the applicable generic threshold-value by the VIP-enhanced insurance correlation of the particular system. This process yields the following threshold-values: .57 (rather than .5) for Hi-Opt I; 1.08 and 1.15 (instead of 1), respectively, for Hi-Opt II and Omega II; and 1.63 and 1.65 (as opposed to 1.5) for the Uston APC and the Victor APC, respectively.

While the appropriate strategy rule from the original article will produce a sizable insurance gain, you may prefer the enhanced accuracy provided by the customized threshold-value for your system. If so, and if you are using Omega II or either Hi-Opt count, insure when the VIP exceeds the prescribed threshold-value. For users of the Victor APC or Uston APC, an equivalent shortcut is available: Insure when 60% of the running count equals or exceeds the number of unseen aces.

Whether you travel the generic or customized route, the Victor Insurance Parameter is your shortest path to insurance efficiency. ♠

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