Counting vs Progressions
  • Doc, I use Desert Dog's method.

    I strongly urge you to count two or more at a time - you'll get to the point where you ignore zero combinations like 10-2, or A-4. This saves a huge amount of time and makes your life much easier.

    Try holding on to the count between rounds by using your fingers (under the table, of course!). Your thumb is worth 5; left hand for negative counts, right hand for positive counts.

    I found the hardest part is counting and adding. I decided it was better to look stupid and hold on to the count, than to add quickly and loose it. Sometimes I'll just say, "how much is that?"

    There's been a lot of talk about counting down a deck quickly. If you can do it in 30 seconds or less, it's more important to practice WITH DISTRACTIONS than to improve that time.

    As for "cheating" when counting down a deck - who cares? Here's my test: remove one card from a deck. When I say "go" look at the cards any way you want. Say "stop" as soon as you're ready to tell me what the removed card is (i.e. big, small or neutral). One at a time, two as a time, all at once, I don't care. Anyway, it really doesn't matter becasue the real test is can you do it in a casino?!
  • To follow on to what Mr. Ed posted, that's why I always prefer dealers who tell you what your hand adds up to. It's easy to get confused between a running count somewhere in the teens and a hand value somewhere in the teens. (Running counts in the high twenties :D are no problem.) I've also tried keeping count on the fingers of one hand below the edge of the table. Thumb touching a different phalanx of each finger stands for a different number. Doc can explain what a phalanx is.
  • Its what Bug is giving Buffarino :wink:
    Thanks for the help DD and Mr Ed
  • Desert Dog, how many phalluses do you have?!? :wink:
  • Doc- First, cool new word you coined "Renezyian". I get the count the same way Desert Dog does, But you can also only count each players cards in turn. We will say you are at third base, with three other players. The only cards you look at are the TWO that first base has. If he is pat or stands, add that to the count (if needed) and now you look at the next players TWO card. If he has to hit, you just stay with him and add or subtract, ONE at a time, as needed. This way the most you will be going up or down, with your count, is TWO at a time. If player one has two small cards and takes three hits, you are still only counting his First Two cards and then One card-One card and One card. You may find this easier, or you may not. I told this to a friend that had trouble keeping the count and he said it helped him. In the heat of battle, when he tried to count the whole table, he kept counting the same cards, a second time as the hands were played.
  • Mr. Ed said:
    Desert Dog, how many phalluses do you have?!? :wink:


    More than 51% of the world's population, but the same number as most of the rest. And of course the requisite cojones to play this game. (Remember that discussion, Doc?)

    I guess I should have just said "knuckles", but have I tried keeping my thumb pressed against the inside of a knuckle and found it was easier to use the space between the knuckles, which is a phaLANX, instead.

    If I'm backcounting it's easy enough to keep the running count in my head, but in actual play, this is helpful. Full details in my soon-to-be published book, "Giving Vegas the Finger."
  • i was just thinking about this while reading your posts. wouldn't a negative progression actually be more likely to win in the long run than a positive one?
    theory: the more hands you lose, the higher likelyhood that more small cards came out (causing you to lose 6 consecutive). it seems that a negative progression would have a built in counting strategy... bet more after losing because teh count is going up, you are losing because small cards have come.... and so big ones are left in.. bet up.

    just a theory, i dont mess with those negative progressions.
  • drew said:
    i was just thinking about this while reading your posts. wouldn't a negative progression actually be more likely to win in the long run than a positive one?
    theory: the more hands you lose, the higher likelyhood that more small cards came out (causing you to lose 6 consecutive). it seems that a negative progression would have a built in counting strategy... bet more after losing because teh count is going up, you are losing because small cards have come.... and so big ones are left in.. bet up.

    just a theory, i dont mess with those negative progressions.


    I would not advise playing with that theory........"bet more after losing because teh count is going up, you are losing because small cards have come.... and so big ones are left in.. bet up.".......Doesn't work that way. The fact that you lose 6 consecutive hands does not mean that the shoe is now positive and to your advantage by any means.......

    Bill
  • Negative Progressions: Lots of work has been done with this concept in decades gone by. It turns out that there is indeed a slight correlation between losing a hand and small cards getting used up in the process - but only a relatively insignificant correlation at that. Most of that work was done on single deck in an effort to devise a winning betting strategy based purely on sizing your next bet according to the last result - or last few results.
    If my memory serves me correctly it was found that after each loss in single deck play, your chance on average, improves by about 0.07% on the next hand. (with a six deck shoe, the effect would be only 1/6th as much).
    Anyway, Leon Dubey put out a book in the early '80's called, "Win Without Counting". He touted about a 0.30% net advantage using about a 1-to-4 spread as a negative progression in a single deck game that is no longer available (S17, DOA for a 0.00% basic strategy house edge).
    Some of these facts may be just a little off but as a practical matter, the concept is not viable in today's blackjack -- and never was really anything special.
  • interesting. thanks for the reply. so, if i hear you correctly, if i was playing a game where i was at a .04% disadvantage, after 6 losses i should be at an .02% advantage to win the next hand? after 7 losses alomst a ful one percent advantage... almost seems worth it. Unfortunately eight hands could only be played out in a single deck consistently if you were heads up, otherwise the shuffle is coming.
    it seems like after multiple losses that the % increase should mulitply upwards, instead of staying at a flat .07 for every loss.
    anyway, thanks for the reply.
  • I just re-read this whole thread because I am now MUCH more interested in its content (I've moved up to practicing the KISS III system). I have a few new questions. I was not very successful with KISS I because my local casinos use 8 decks, will I have better luck with the KISS III? Also, has anyone ever tried switching to a progression when they have LOST the count (any beginner will know what I mean)?

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