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Note: Please see my edit to see how I am doing it now.

I am making a simple blackjack game that only uses 1 deck and I read that Uston APC is the best one for just 1 deck. There is no doubling or splitting, it's a very simple game for a class.

I read here: http://www.countingedge.com/uston-apc.html and a few other sources and it seems the way I implement it is keeping a running count based on this chart:

2   1
3   2
4   2
5   3
6   2
7   2
8   1
9   -1
10  -3
J   -3
Q   -3
K   -3
A   0

I will call this running count "running_count". I also keep track of how many ace's ive seen, which I will call "ace_count".

When it comes time to make a bet, my decision for how much to bet is based on running_count - (3 * ace_count), that is for every ace i've seen subtract 3 from running count. This new count I will call "temp_count". If "temp_count" is 2 or higher, then bet the minimum bet multiplied by the temp_count. So if temp_count was 5 you would bet 5x minimum bet. If temp_count is anything lower than 2 then just do minimum.

After betting has taken place, I disregard "temp_count" and go back to my "running_count" and "ace_count".

Is this how Uston APC works? is there a table on how I should play based on dealer card and my total compared to the running count? Right now I am using:

Hard:

•  totals 11 or less, he always hits. 
•  totals 12, he stands if the dealer shows 4, 5, or 6; otherwise he hits.
•  totals between 13 and 16 inclusive, he stands if the dealer shows a 2 through a 6 inclusive; otherwise he hits.
•  totals 17 or greater, he always stands. 

Soft:

•  totals 17 or less, he always hits. 
•  totals 18, he stands if the dealer shows a 2, 7, or 8, otherwise he hits. 
•  totals 19 or greater, he always stands. 

But I wasn't sure how these might change based on the running count of Uston APC.


Edit:

A bit more about the strategy, dealer stands on 17 (soft or hard)

To make my programming a bit more simple, because there is just 1 deck it kind of seemed silly to count aces separate from the normal counter so instead I just had it do count = count - 3 when it saw an ace. Effectively using -3 instead of 0 in the table described above.

I found his matrix for APC but it seems to talk about a "running count" and a true count. My understanding was a running count is as it seems, the count based on cards seen, and the true count is the running count divided by the number of decks used thus far. Some people even use half decks for it, so because I have just 1 deck, I decided to make my true count always running count / 2. Based on this I am now using this strategy as an exception to the one given above:

if hand value is 16 dealer upcard is TEN and running count is  >= 0
    stand

if hand value is 16 dealer upcard is NINE and true count is  >= 6
    stand

if hand value is 15 dealer upcard is TEN and true count is  >= 4
    stand

if hand value is 13 dealer upcard is TWO and running count is  < 0
    hit

if hand value is 13 dealer upcard is THREE and true count is  < -1
    hit

if hand value is 12 dealer upcard is TWO and true count is  >= 4
    stand

if hand value is 12 dealer upcard is THREE and true count is  >= 2
    stand

if hand value is 12 dealer upcard is FOUR and running count is  < 0
    hit

if hand value is 12 dealer upcard is FIVE and true count is  < -1
    hit

if hand value is 12 dealer upcard is SIX and running count is  < 0
    hit

This seems to do lose money at around 5000 hands but at 50,000 hands it can turn 10,000 into 15,000

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I accepted the only reply mostly because solution isn't needed anymore. However, I added to what I was doing incase someone else trying to make a simple game strategy happens to come across this in the future –  BHare Nov 26 '13 at 1:10

1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

The above rules are good, but there are a couple of things you can do to improve your odds.

With a total of hard 16, against a dealer's T, it is very close whether you should stand or hit. You should hit if the count is at all negative, because you will make a winning hand often enough to compensate for the times that both you and dealer would have busted.

With a hard 13 against a dealer upcard of 2, you should hit if the running count is -1 or lower. Dealer is a favorite to improve, and with a low running count, you need to "keep up."

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