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Understanding "volatility"

Discussion in 'Ask the Meister' started by ronlovis, Mar 24, 2004.

    Mar 24, 2004
  1. ronlovis

    ronlovis Dormant account

    I wonder if anyone can help me better understand the concept of "volatility" in games of chance.

    For example: in the recent Caribbean 21 debacle, several news reports described the game as being "highly volatile", making it possible for someone to win (albeit at odds unlikely to be repeated too often) a million big ones.

    Knowing the optimum strategy for standard Blackjack, and having studied the rules for Caribbean 21, I can't see that there is a great difference between them. One is slightly more favourable to the casion than the other, but why is Carib21 more "volatile"?

    Biography: I have never played in a casino. I'm more interested in games of chance in general.
  2. Mar 25, 2004
  3. Casinomeister

    Casinomeister Forum Cheermeister Staff Member

    Mary would be a good answer giver on this one. She's more up to snuff on this game than I am. Mary, you 'dere? or even Spearmaster might have a better answer than me :D Spear? They have been playing this game much more than I have.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2004
  4. Mar 26, 2004
  5. mary

    mary Dormant account

    The key difference between the two is that in blackjack, you can split and then double down after the split and that's it. Sometimes you split, resplit, resplit again...but those occasions are very rare as you can only split cards of like value. I've never seen a blackjack game that had a hand multiply 16 times the base bet.

    In C21, you can split any two cards of any two values, double down, double down *again*, and again. So it can get up to 16 times the base bet, which happens about once every half hour in my play. Bear in mind that the player will be doing this when the player has the advantage (aka good cards) and you can see how one monster hand can give a sizeable win. That's volitility.

    You can download the software and play the game for free.

  6. Mar 26, 2004
  7. spearmaster

    spearmaster RIP Ted

    Devil's Advocate
    Not my area... Mary and the Wiz will know more about volatility and odds than I will :)
  8. Mar 26, 2004
  9. jpm

    jpm Dormant account

    I've had the same experience as Mary describes. I'll split almost anything against a dealer's "weak" hand and then double it maybe up to 4 or 5 times. And I too have been successful doing this, had some huge hits. I'm only playing $5 chips, but they add up quick when you redouble.
  10. Mar 26, 2004
  11. ronlovis

    ronlovis Dormant account

    Many thanks for your kind replies. I was confusing this definition of volatility to a slightly different one, where the player's bankroll can swing wildly up and down over a small number of plays/rounds/games, before the real probabalities of the game kick in over a large number of plays/rounds/games.

    Alas, I'm not old enough to play in any casino (not by a long shot) so I can't play for real money. But I will certainly try the free version, just to see how close I can get to $1.3 million ... before the rules are changed... :thumbsup:

    Last edited: Mar 26, 2004

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