The Game

The object of blackjack is for the player to be dealt cards that add up to 21, or as close as possible, without 'busting'. The opposing dealer must draw cards totalling a minimum of 17. Whoever is closest to 21 wins that particular hand. The skill, for the player, lies in deciding how many cards he or she should draw, relative to the degree of risk.

As is my nature (my stubborn streak again), I wanted to work out whether it was possible to gain an edge over the dealer. I proceeded to deal myself thousands of hands, analysing every possible permutation. After six months, I had studied 100,000 hands.

I never intended to deal so many cards, but once I had started, I was overcome with a relentless urge to continue playing and amassing results. The only way to test theories satisfactorily was to carry out thousands of individual trials.

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