Vegas Night at the Local Church...
  • I'm a green novice at BJ in a casino...never been in one except once to play a few slots. I know basic strategy and practice counting cards regularly using software, drills etc. Haven't been to a casino because I'm basically a homeowner in poverty. It's hard for me to scrape up even a sawbuck. Money comes in and goes out, you know the drill.

    The rules were not favorable: House took stand-offs as the purpose was to raise money for the church/school. A/c to Wizard of Odds that a 8% house advantage right off the bat. Other than that they allowed all splits, doubles, and BJ paid 2:1. Shoes were 4 deck and the penetration was like 80-90%, pretty much right down to maybe a half a deck left. It was easy to count cards, dealers were novices (I'm sure) and slow, plus no one seemed to care about counters. I played for 4 hours with a $100 bank roll and lost only $13. I was up around $30-40 for 3 hours (betting $1 and $5 chips), then lost about $70 in about 15 minutes when the TC near the end of the 2 consecutive shoes was very high 10-13, I increased my bets (I generally spread $1-5) and I got absolutely crushed with a series of crumby stiffs, losing splits, doubles, and 19s/20s that the dealer seemed to match. Then, I recovered and almost broke even. It was fun. I can see the importance of penetration (no cracks) as the count was subject to wild fluctuations near the end of the shoe and also the importance of tracking aces. Also, didn't bother to "wong out" on the crumby shoes as I was having fun shooting the breeze with the drunks at the table and the dealer(s).

    Someone on this board suggested keeping track of the count using a chip as the hands on the clock indicating the count. This seemed to work well when I was engaged in conversation. Everyone had their chips in a cup. Half of mine were in a messy pile in front of me that I constantly fiddled w/one chip indicating the chip for + and red for -.

    I had 3 different dealers. The first was a pill, boring too serious. The second was tired and somewhat medicated with beer. He made several mistakes like hitting when he had a 17 (not A-7) that resulting in his busting. He also forgot to collect everyone's bet a couple of times when there was a push. The last guy was intent of giving us financial advice as he was a mortgage broker.

    All in all, it raised money for a good cause.

    A side note, they had a $20k raffle with tix $100 apiece (maximum 1000 tickets sold). I bought ticket #306 as my dad recently passed away on March 6 of this year. Thought maybe he'd pull some strings for me...he tried...winning ticket was #360...guess I bought the wrong 3-6 ticket.

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