The most common way to work out gambling problems is with empirical testing (such as dealing hundreds of hands at home), by computation, or by simulation. Most problems in blackjack are perfect for computer 'sims' (simulations).

Let’s plug in a system and estimate its performance. We'll play six-decks, and deal 75%. The count, true count, playing strategy, and betting strategy are defined. We hit the run button, and 25,000,000 hands later the results come back with an expected win of two units per hour. Very impressive. Most of what we know about blackjack is based on the amazing repetitive prowess of computer simulations.

How lets play devils advocate, and ask a few questions. Did the simulation take into consideration the possibility of mistakes with the count, true count, recalling strategy indices, or bet spread? Did it factor in the very real possibility of attaining less than the targetted bet spread due to variance in cutcard placement, early shuffle ups, or heat? Did the simulation factor in the players bankroll, the possibility of overbetting, and toking? Did the machine take into consideration player discipline? Virtually every player I know, and all I have witnessed, will violate their strategy, for right and wrong reasons, at one time or another due to bad fluctuation, camouflage, a big win, and so on. Did the simulation take into consideration the fact that many clubs will react quicker to winners than losers, that many will let you get stuck significantly, but throw you out pronto if you get off a small winner. There are a myriad other human elements that often define who wins and who loses. Once a computer program is written and the variables defined, the test is inflexible; people are not.

If a sim generates a big number such as a 1.0 unit win per hour, this might be considered safe in the sense that if the real number is only 0.5 units, either number will get the money. Not necessarily. If the bankroll, unit size, and betting strategy are based on the more attractive number, this can be an invitation for disaster.

If the sim comes back with a small win rate, say a 0.2 unit win per hour, it can be difficult to even label this an advantage, and most of the sims relating to current conditions deal with relatively small player advantages and win rates. Computer simulations are the nuts when it comes to handling complex blackjack problems, yet real world obstacles can easily obliterate small computer advantages. Unfortunately, this dimension is rarely factored into player evaluations.