Detailed Information

The output of SBA simulation is a text report file. You can see sample of SBA's report file: SBA's Report File.

And here is the Explanation to the report file.

SBA will allow you to analyze the game of blackjack for a wide range of casino conditions and practically all existing rules. You can use an arbitrary counting system with (or without) matrices for playing departures from basic strategy. SBA will tell you exactly what your advantage (or disadvantage) and risk are.

The latest version of SBA supports the ace-side count for both playing and betting adjustments. Furthermore, the new version supports secondary count, again for both playing and betting adjustments. In fact, you can combine the main count, secondary count, and ace-side count.

If you do not have playing matrices, SBA's strategy generator will create them for you. Note, that the indices generated by SBA are precise (within random, sample error, of course.) If SBA gives different indices than your book or any other software than the indices generated by SBA are the correct indices. The Kelly risk-averse indices, which SBA can generate, are the optimal indices that one should use. An exception could be a high roller who is not allowed to bet as much as he would like to, from practical reasons. Such a person could use the expectation maximizing indices rather than risk-averse indices. Optimally, such a person should still use risk-averse indices but set 'Aversion ratio' in SBA to some value greater than one.

Note: To generate precise indices, you need to set precision to 3 sigma or more

With SBA, you can run practically an unlimited number of hands in one simulation. The technical constraint is set in SBA menus to 300 billion rounds. You can run any number of simulations simultaneously, which further increases the total effective speed.

SBA can simulate play under almost all varieties of casino conditions and rules. You can set different betting strategies, where the bets can be arbitrary fractions of your unit bet. You can also analyze cover betting, where the bets depend on the result of previous hands.

You can set an arbitrary state of the deck too. This way you can analyze games like Spanish 21, where the tens are removed (only J,Q,K are in the deck). SBA supports also rules common in Spanish 21 (lost ties, redouble option, etc.) You can analyze what effect on your advantage would removement of aces (or any other cards) have, or what effect would addition of any cards into the deck have.

The "Wonging" and "Anti-Wonging" features (leaving the shoe/deck on negative counts) are worked out in detail. You can leave the deck depending not only on the true count, but also on how many cards have already been dealt (how deep in the shoe you are.) This is extremely useful for unbalanced counts. You can also simulate backcounting and sitting out negative counts by betting zero units on some counts. The major new simulation feature is the ability to simulate precise wonging-in strategy. The user can use Wong-in and specify a Wong-in count. For example, the player can wait for the TC to reach +1 before entering the shoe. The Wong-in feature can be combined with leaving on disadvantageous counts. One can wong-in at TC +1, and leave the shoe at TC -2 (or other TCs, possibly depending on the number of cards dealt). This new feature was used for simulations in Don Schlesinger's article Knowing When It's Time to Leave published in Blackjack Forum, Vol. XX, #3. SBA was used to simulate the Mr. Pefect, WiWo, and White Rabbit style of players, defined in that article. Now you can run these simulations yourself!

You can set penetration as the number of rounds or number of cards played, or both.

You can play a different number of hands depending on the count. Furthermore, you can set the actions of other players, who play one of three available strategies (no-bust, mimic-the-dealer, or Basic). You can seat the players and yourself (the counter) at any position you want. This way you can see what effect more players have on your advantage.

You can also set your bankroll, and see what the probability of doubling it (or tripling, or whatever you want) is. This way you can analyze risk of ruin by a simulation. SBA also calculates the risk of ruin based on a formula first published for usage in blackjack community by Don Schlesinger in Blackjack Attack.

SBA has some other features, which make the simulations very close to a real casino game. For example, you can estimate the number of decks remaining (for true count conversion). You can estimate the remaining decks to one deck, halves of a deck, thirds, quarters, etc. Of course, you can calculate the true count exactly too.

You can also set whether you round, truncate, or floor when calculating the true count for playing and betting decisions. This is an important feature since some blackjack authors use truncating, other prefer rounding, and the modern and most effective approach is flooring. SBA strategy generator can derive playing indices for all these cases.

You can analyze both face up and face down games by simply toggling a switch.

SBA is not only superior in speed but also in the amount of information and data it provides. You can observe all statistics with respect to each true count (TC) (or running count)! Not only that, you can also obtain the statistics with respect to any fraction of a TC, while the simulation does not slow down at all!

What is further absolutely unique about SBA compared to other simulators:

You get not only the advantage at each TC (or fraction of a TC), but also the standard deviation (risk estimate) for a hand played at the true count. This information allows you to calculate exactly the optimal bet at each TC. I describe in detail how to do this in a document accompanying the full version of SBA called Explanation of Blackjack Statistics.

Using this information, you can further make a fair comparison of the betting power of alternative counting systems. The betting power cannot be compared fairly, unless you know the standard deviation for each TC. Similarly, you cannot exactly calculate optimal bets unless you have this info, which presently only SBA and no other commercial simulator can provide.

The reason why SBA can do all that while keeping a superior speed is of a technical nature. SBA calculates the standard deviations most efficiently using all information from a simulation. SBA does not simulate the standard deviation using a general statistical formula, as other simulators do. Calculating is not only much faster (it actually doesn't take any time, since you calculate at the end of the simulation), but it is also the optimal approach and more exact approach. However, this approach is mathematically complicated and is much more difficult to program than the usual one.

SBA follows a multitude of statistics, all with respect to each true (running) count or to each true count adjusted for an ace side countw. For example: correlation (measure of dependence) between two hands, which allows you to calculate optimal bets for multiple hands, statistics for pushes, doubles, advantage on insurance, etc., etc. This additional information is provided in conjunction with the standard error.

SBA is not only powerful, but also user friendly as much as a program can be with a detailed help and nicely built menu structure. You can evaluate the user interface yourself by downloading the SBA Demo Version. You can also download the modern SBA help file and run it to evaluate for yourself the power of the latest html style help files, using which is the same like browsing web pages!

By purchasing SBA, you will not only get a powerful blackjack simulator, but you can also educate yourself in blackjack and blackjack statistics, if you want to. Among the help topics you can find a document called Explanation of Blackjack Statistics, which explains important blackjack statistics. You get to know how to optimally wager your bet, whether to play multiple hands and how to bet on multiple hands, and more.

The Explanation of Blackjack Statistics document is a part of the full version of SBA. Some parts of the document are generally known facts, some of it is based on my e-mail discussions with several blackjack experts, and some are my own insights. Some parts of the document were also posted by me on newsgroup Rec.gambling.blackjack.

Below is the content of the Explanation of Blackjack Statistics document:

I. What is Advantage and How to Calculate It

II. Standard Deviation and What It Tells Us
    1. What is a standard deviation?
    2. Practical quantitative examples for a blackjack player
    3. The second meaning of standard deviation in blackjack simulation

III. Calculating a Confidence Interval for Expected Winnings

IV. Risk-averse Indices
    1. The meaning and importance of risk-averse indices
    2. Generation of risk-averse indices by SBA
    3. Risk-averse indices for insurance

V. How to Calculate Optimal Bet

VI. Correlation Coefficient and Optimal Multiple Hands Betting
    1. Should one play multiple hands?
    2. Correlation coefficient
    3. Calculating optimal bets for multiple hands

VII. Risk of Ruin Calculation

VIII. How to Fairly Compare the Power of Two Count
ing Systems

All the text is, I believe, a source of very important information for a serious blackjack player. Note that SBA can also serve you as a reference, like a book. The truth is that you would hardly find some of the information provided in the SBA's document in any blackjack book.

SBA is a serious analytical tool. It is not a practice tool, so you cannot play blackjack with it. For practicing blackjack, there are other nice programs on the market. See for example the highly recommended SmartCards software.

The Price

I believe that the ratio of power and price is very high for SBA, and SBA is, in relative terms, low priced. This should become even more obvious if you compare SBA's power/price ratio to other blackjack simulators on the market. See what other BJ experts say about SBA.

Price of SBA

The regular retail price of the advanced edition is $159.90. After the special Internet discount of $11 for the advanced version the price is only $149.00. No shipping fee applies for electronic delivery.

Note: Add $5 as shipping and handling to the price, unless you want to download SBA or receive SBA as an attachement by e-mail, in which this case there is no shipping fee. All prices are in U.S. dollars.

Technical Details

SBA 5.5 requires an operation system of Windows 95, 98, NT, Windows 2000, Millenium, or Windows XP. SBA uses about 6MB of hard disk space, and a PC compatible computer 486 or higher. (Fast Pentium is recommended.) See Note for Macintosh users .

Please read the License Agreement to Statistical Blackjack Analyzer.