Mathalicious Post: Doubling Down

My latest entry on the Mathalicious blog riffs on the strategy of doubling down, using the film Swingers as a jumping off point.  Here's a preview:

“You always double down on 11, baby.”  Sage advice from Vince Vaughn’s character in the 1996 film Swingers.  At one point in the film, Trent (played by Vaughn) and Mike (played by Jon Favreau) make an impromptu trip to Las Vegas, and Mike ends up completely out of his depths at a high-stakes blackjack table...Mike receives a six and a five, giving him a total of eleven.  Trent urges him to double down, and indeed, this seems like good advice.  After all, in a deck of 52 cards, 16 of them have a value of 10 – that’s over 30%!  Always doubling down on eleven is also consistent with the basic blackjack strategy popularized by Edward O. Thorp in his book Beat the Dealer.  From a mathematical standpoint, Trent is right.  You should always double down on eleven.
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