The Blackjack Candlestick Diaries

Candlestick charts were invented by a Japanese rice trader in the 18th century to give a quick overview of an investment over time. They are now often used by financial traders. So, why not Blackjack as an investment?

In the middle of this page, you will find an interactive chart detailing the day-by-day results of three Blackjack players over a seven year period. The aim is to give a glimpse into the ups and downs of Blackjack play in a casino. (Note: This is a flash chart. It will not display on an iFad.)

The chart

Four hundred Blackjack hands are simulated each day, all weekdays except for holidays. The total amounts won or lost from the first day are charted.

Initially, the chart displays the first year, starting Jan 1, 2002. There are seven methods of changing the date range. The easiest methods are using the zoom buttons at the bottom right, or simply clicking on the chart and dragging it forward or backward. You can also animate the chart via the Play button in the bottom left.

This is a candlestick chart. Each column of the chart shows the open, low, high and close. That is, the current winnings at the start of the day, the lowest and highest totals for the day, and the value at the end of the day. The low and high are the bottom and top of the vertical line. If the box is red, there was a loss, and the open is at the top of the box and close at the bottom. Green indicates a gain, and the open and close are at the bottom and top respectively.

If you are displaying less than eight months of data, each column represents one day of data. If a larger amount of data is displayed, each column displays a week of data, and the open, close, low and high are for an entire week. Display yet more data, and a month is displayed for each column. As you move the mouse over the chart, the close is displayed in the upper left and the time period in the upper right. With short periods, you will see much volatility. As you increase the time period, the chart will become more and more straight and green with an upward trend. But, you will still see losing months. If you move the mouse down to the bottom bar, two handles will appear at the start and end of the time period displayed. You can drag the right handle to the right to extend the time period and see the line straighten dynamically as you change the date range.

You need to upgrade your Flash Player

The Players

  • Player 1: Six decks, stand on 17, double after split, resplit aces, 75% penetration. HiLo with Illustrious 18 and Fab 4 indexes, $100-$1,500 betting spread.
  • Player 2: Same, but fairly heavy cover betting.
  • Player 3: Single-deck, hit on 17, double after split, double on 10 or 11 only, three players and three rounds. HiLo with full indexes, $100-$300 bet spread.


  • Players make incorrect plays 1% of the time.
  • Players make incorrect bets 1% of the time.
  • Dealers make errors in the players' favor about 1% of the time.
  • Dealers make errors against the players, not caught by the players, about .3% of the time.


  • This is a depiction of three players. Rerunning the sims would create charts that would display different results.
  • I am not claiming that 400 hands/day for years is reasonable.
  • Play at this level requires a substantial bankroll






Gambling problem, contact the National Council on Problem Gambling.
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