2 quick questions
  • 1. This is the info on the blackjack offered at Gold Strike in Tunica which is where I will be going this weekend.....its greek to me. lol If I have been learning BS on this site with a "Vegas" BS card, is that the appropriate preperation for what I will be playing? Id hate to bring a knife to a gunfight. If there is another BS guide I should be using, that info would be greatly appreciated.

    -.12% Single deck DOA, H17, no DAS, RSA, 60%+ pen, $25-2500, 1 table

    Double deck: $10 minimum

    Six deck: DOA, H17, DAS, RSA, ~75% pen, $5-$2500
    1-4 spread okay

    2. Ive been reading quite a bit on here about progressive betting. I do not hold a degree in stats etc however I do have a psych degree and had some experience with the experimental side of that. I know in roulette and flipping a coin etc., what appear to be trends are only independent tials. If a coin was heads 100 times in a row, the 101st toss has no more likleyhood of a tails result blah blah blah.
    That being said, Im interested in learning more about progressive betting but based on my above ststement it seems that by progressively increasing your bet amount to "ride the streak", you are AS likely to increase your bet only to lose...return to your original bet and win....increase your bet and lose etc etc etc. Thus losing your shirt.

    I have no knowledge on these things but insight would be greatly appreciated. Your advice on if I am using the correct BS chart for the casino/games i will be playing would also be greatly appreciated.
  • Newatthis - Welcome to the Forum. Here is the "Greek" for the single deck game you show:

    -.12%..........The house advantage is .12%.
    DOA............You can double down on any two cards.
    H17.............The dealer must hit on a soft 17.
    No DAS........You can not double down after splitting.
    RSA.............You can resplit Aces.
    60%+ Pen....The dealer will deal about 31,32 cards before shuffling.
    $25-2500.....Minimum bet at the table is $25, maximum is $2,500.
    1 table.........They only have one table with this game at the casino.
    Note: This is an excellent game!

    Note that in their 6 deck game they allow you to double down after splitting (DAS)......The house advantage for the six deck game is -.58; not great, but playable.

    Are you going to be playing 6 deck?....If you are, your "Vegas"basic strategy card should be o.k.....The are a few differences in BS with DAS vs No DAS....You might want to check on that, or send me a PM.

  • newatthis: Your view of independent trials and the lack of definitive
    logic for progressions is totally correct and that is a good start. As for
    learning in a short period; reduce the possibilities down to four sub-sets:
    Hard hands, soft, doubles, splits and write them down with the action
    that you should follow. Study each individually in the order listed and
    at some time try to list each one without any reference.

    Play the six deck shoe game because it is slower and you need the
    think time.

  • Ray and newathis: Blackjack is NOT a game of independent trials. Reject the concept of progressive betting if you wish, but don't do so on the premise that blackjack is a game of independent trials.
  • Walter: I don't think newatthis or I think BJ is a game of independent
    trials. He does seem to grasp the difference and I support his views as
    being accurate. Progressions are different and I don't support them as
    a valid strategy for any kind of game whatever. But, that's just my view
    and it appears that newatthis shares that view; a common occurance for
    like minded individuals.......................

  • But how can you reject his 5000-hand studies on multiple occurences showing clear ADVANTAGE versus flat betting and even CARD COUNTING?!?!??!??! His way is the way to go.
  • Bug: Each of us has the inherent right to believe whatever we choose,
    no matter how wrong we may be. Friends will, on occasions, disagree
    and like you have said, it's your money to bet however you like........

  • Ray: I totally agree with your right to disagree with me, no matter how wrong you may be :wink: .
    Seriously, many people disagree with me, and I understand why they do. If it weren't for the continuing research I'm conducting (with results which support my contentions) I might also disagree with me!! For instance, I just completed a 1,000 hand study for an article for Midwest Gaming and Travel.... All players lost ($10-25 Progression, $10 Flat, $15 Flat) playing the same hands, but the $15 Flat bettor's losses were 40% greater than the progressive guy who had the same size average bet, and the $10 bettor also lost more than the progressive guy even though his average bet was two-thirds that of the ptogressive guy. This study is one of more than a dozen I've conducted since my progressions book was published, and they all support my position.
    What more can I say?
  • Walter: When you can show me a sim of say 500 million hands that
    supports your position and is verified by a second party, then I'll say
    there must be something to progressions. Have you ever wondered
    why such information is not available, and why so many scientist reject
    this concept without a second thought? Perception, more than likely, plays
    a substantial role. For example: When you win a hand, why should you
    double you bet when you know for a fact that your chance to win the next
    hand is 47.5. You double your bet going into a negative expectation and
    this gives ever appearance of being structuring for the sake of structuring,
    rather than a logical definable condition. I think it's been stated and to
    some extent proven, on this forum, that progressions of any shape/form
    tend to null(average out to zero) and their mathematical significance as
    related to the .5 house advantage is also zero. What more can I say?
  • Ray: Show me the actual results of 500 million manually-shuffled hands that are equal to the results of the 500 million hand sim, and I'll agree that the sim accurately predicts what happens in real-life play. I believe that "live" non-random shuffles produce winning and losing streaks that are more frequent and longer in duration than those predicted by simulation. The only practical way for me to test this theory is to continue recording the results of short-term manually-dealt play and see if the results differ from simulation prediction. So far (after many, many thousands of hands) the results ARE sigificantly different.
    But enough of this.... You are certainly welcome to your opinion, and I'd be the last one to try to convince you otherwise.
  • Thanks Walter, I had no idea we would, once again, get into this bottomless pit...............
  • Walt/Ray - And you two wise ol' owls know that bottomless pit has been there at least 25 years....ya'll shouldn't get that close to the edge and fall in .......Notice how I stood way, way, way back and watched you two from a distance today. :wink: .....Grif'
  • And there you have the rest of the story......Oh...oh....thats your line
  • I don't think the counting/progression issue will ever be settled. There are too many players that can't (or just don't want to) learn to count cards. For the recreational player (and there sure are a lot more of them, than card counters) I think Walters method is a good one. More fun to use than flat betting, with the chance for a good win. I think it fits well with what these players are looking for, a decent chance to win and not getting wiped out too early. It gives them more bang for their buck. Just my two cents worth.
  • midnite said:
    For the recreational player (and there sure are a lot more of them, than card counters) ........

    Midnite - Some numbers to substantiate your point. Per the latest figures I have........... You and the other recreational players outnumber counters by at least 200 to 1 (or 300 to 1 depending on who you believe). Either way, the ratio isn't even close.

  • Intersting conversation taking place.

    Walter: When you can show me a sim of say 500 million hands that
    supports your position and is verified by a second party, then I'll say
    there must be something to progressions

    Ray, but you must realize something... we are human beings and will never come close to playing 500 million hands... therefore, even if a 500 million hand simulation suggests that Walter Thomason's 1-1.5-2-2.5 progression is inferior to card counting, it wouldn't matter(!) since we're never gonna get the chance to play that many hands!

    Secondly, as far as winning x hands in a row (greater than 1), I agree that the chances of winning the next hand are exactly the same as pushing it or losing it. But, since this is the case, why are the odds so against someone winning or losing 10 in a row? Somewhere near 1:10000 hands!

    Finally, the reason why I play his progression is because Blackjack is a game all about streaks. Now when you hit those 2, 3, 4, or 5 winning streaks, it makes complete sense to have more money out so that you will end up profiting because you're in a winning streak. If you lose your 5th bet using his progression, you'd already be up 9 units (2 + 3 + 4 + 5 - 5 = 9)!!! At the $25 level, that's already some nice cash, +$225! Now if I start losing, I'm only at the minimum bet and EVEN IF I didn't implement his 4-loss-quitpoint, I would have to lose 10 IN A ROW in order for me to be down (not counting splits & doubledowns of course) for that session! But bottom line, blackjack is a game all about streaks and therefore it makes sense to maximize the winstreaks that come your way.
  • Grifter,

    That 200 to 300 to 1 figure is surprising. What kind of proprtion do you think there are of BS players to non?
  • Furthermore, I'd like to know where they got got those figures from... but I believe it!

    BS to non BS would be much lower, however I believe ~90% of people DO NOT play flawless BS.
  • Bug: Sounds reasonable to me and if you are comfortable, then what
    else matters? Millions of hands of simulation are required to prove the
    validity of theory, but do not reflect the practical application of theory
    in real life. I think that's the jest of your argument and you are quite

    I don't know about you, but I want play a game that it takes 3 months to win at muchless years. I expect to win everytime I sit down, but I am
    fully aware that on occasions, this just does not happen. The idea of having a losing year is completely foreign to my tolerance level. That
    just isn't going to happen; I'll quit the game long before that...........

  • Walter Thomason said:
    I believe that "live" non-random shuffles produce winning and losing streaks that are more frequent and longer in duration than those predicted by simulation.

    Why do you think that would be? I'm interested in this aspect very much. I've always wondered if my sessions with the sim (winning or losing) are as accurate as I think them to be, versus "live" play.

    Having said/asked that, you both should know that converstations like today's give the relative newcomer much more insight than can be gotten from books alone. I've learned and adapted from Walter's book, but the "supplemental" material here is priceless.

  • Bug: I didn't say anything about your 10 in a row question. So, Before
    you start to play, you ask the question; what are the odds of winning
    10 in a row? Notice I said before you begin to play and that is very
    different from one hand to the other which is 47.5. After you have won
    say 5 in a row your odds of winning that 10 in a row have improved
    considerably. After 6, after 7, after 8, after 9 and now the odds are 47.5
    for the 10th hand. Thats why........................
  • jm: Very good question, and one that's not easy to answer. After three years of attempting to isolate the reason why my manual sims consistently show a better than predicted win rate for my progressive bettor, Fred Renzey came up with this answer: "Your system can't possible work unless streaks occur differently than the sims say they occur." ... or something to that effect. So, by process of elimination, I believe this is why my progressive system yields more positive results than flat betting... but I'm still trying to come up with more conclusive evidence to support this position.
    But don't misunderstand me... my progressive system alone will not lead to a long-term positive record. It takes other things, such as cluster counting, quit points, ramping the progression, etc. to have a shot at long-term wins.
  • Grif: Here's some other stats that I just made up, but I'd bet that they're accurate: 1. 75% of all card counters own and have read at least six books about blackjack. 2. 75% of all recreation blackjack players have never read a blackjack book, much less own one.
  • Grifter, Walter, Do you know of any work being done on cluster cntg
    based on dealer pick-up? I'm not talking about clump card theory, but
    more toward the idea of determining the favorability of the next shoe
    for the player. This involves, as near as I can tell, an assigned weight
    to clusters of various sizes and some threshold number that must be
    reached in relation to the total number of cards in the deck,like X:312.

  • Walt - For just 'making those numbers up, I'd say you are pretty close; but maybe low on the counters....I would guess at least a dozen books read and understood (I have two full shelves, of course I don't understand them all :wink: )......and yes, it is very sad!

    Ray - Sorry, I have only heard about it like you, and haven't looked into it.

  • Sorry, Ray... Can't be of much here, except that I sort of remember Arnold Snyder doing a series of articles on the topic in his Blackjack Forum quarterly publication... but don't quote me on this.
  • If you really mean books read AND understood.....I guess the percentage for card counters is even lower. I have read several books but tend to trust those before me and my motto while playing is "trust the math". (It IS hard to do on a losing streak, isn't it?)
  • Maybe the book you guys are talking about is "The Blackjack Shuffle Tracker's Cookbook" by Arnold Snyder???

    Here's another one... "Blackjack Tracker" by Bob Hubby. He's a former dealer who does a test where he manually deals over 50,000 hands to a 4 player table (6 decks I think) and records the results of everything that happens. It would be great if someone went through this and looked at streaks, applied a progression vs. flat betting system and see how it plays out for each of the players. Do we have any volunteers??? Walter, have you ever thought about doing this?

    Personally I don't think progressions offer an advantage of any kind, but the conversation can be interesting. One thing I was thinking while reading these posts is how come a progression player will trust computer sims and statistics when it comes to playing basic strategy - but discount them when they say progressions don't work. If the cards are somehow ordered/ clumped differently when manually dealt out of a shoe, then wouldn't it stand to reason that basic strategy is also flawed? Doesn't make sense to me.
  • Hi There :wink:

    Well I've been playing blackjack for about a year now ( Roulette before that ) and slowly buying most of the systems, E-books on the net and books at Amazon, ( my current favs are "Blackjack a Winners Handbook" by Jerry L. Patterson, "21st Century BJ" by WT, currently reading Freds "BJ BB II" ) trying to read as much info on Blackjack as I can, as I know the old trusted bs works in the long run, I'm interested in the money management side of things, ( as I use a incremental progression that works fine for me, more that flat betting does ) most systems out there for the most part are just bs with a different progression flung in, and enjoy reading info on internet play, as you just don't know what some one has discovered by either by accident or by thinking “outside the box” , and I enjoy having fun puting two systems together to see what happens :lol:


  • GH21: I suppose the claim comes down to the manual shuffles and I
    am wondering what is going to happen when all casinos use automatic
    shufflers. Are these somehow flawed as well? Personally, I think the
    best shuffle possible is the deal and random pick-up by the dealer.
    I would be satisified if the dealer just put the cards together, cut them
    a couple of times and put them back in the shoe. That should take all
    of about 15 seconds. Fred Renzey looked at Hubby's results and best I
    can remember he found nothing to support the streak claim(10,000R's)

  • Walter, I would like to read your article in Midwest Gaming and Travel.
    Will it be anywhere on the internet? How could I get a copy if it is not on the internet?
    I bought your book and enjoyed it. So I would like to read a followup.
  • Walter Thomason said:
    jm: Very good question, and one that's not easy to answer. After three years of attempting to isolate the reason why my manual sims consistently show a better than predicted win rate for my progressive bettor...

    Hmmm, maybe we're just realizing the point that computer simulations (of anything, not just BJ) are missing that one (intangible?) element, the human touch?

  • Sage- For info log on to : www.midwestgamingandtravel.com
    or call 507-835-1662
  • GH: I've done a LOT of work with Hubby's numbers, actually using them in the same way that I analyzed the 5,000 hands in "21st Century". I've got tons of results which support my progression theories and have written several articles using his data. A friend has used an Exel(?)Spreadsheet (whatever that is), entered all of Hubby's raw data, and run dozens of progression and flat bet comparisons... his conclusion is that MANY progressions (mainly positive in nature) beat flat betting. MY friend wants to publish his results, but we can't find Bob Hubby to get a copyright release... Bob may have passed away, since his mail is returned and his phone is disconnected.
    I've actually considered writing a follow-up book using Hubby's data, but have the same problem with copyright.
  • GH: To answer the second part of your post, regarding Basic Strategy: The methodology used to determine correct Basic Strategy is totally different than that used to discount progression betting. For basic strategy, the computer "manipulates" the deck by having the player have a specific two cards and the dealer have a specific up-card, then plays out the hand millions of times to determine which move (hit, stand, double, split) produces the most gain or least loss. The program isn't designed to look at the frequency or duration of consecutive wins or losses, thus is useless in determining the validity of progressions. As best I can determine, rejection of progression theory is mostly based upon theoretical math and programs where the cards are totally randomly shuffled after each shoe or deck -- a situation that doesn't really take place in real play. The "uncontrolled variable" -- human shuffeling -- isn't accounted for in computer-generated play.
    As far as machine shuffeling is concerned, I don't have access to a shuffling machine so I can't compare manual shuffeling to machine shuffeling. From a personal standpoint (although I haven't kept records of this) my feeling is that my win rate is better with manually dealt play than it is with machine play.
  • Hi Walter :wink:

    Have you tried the progession from SilverThorne's ( Rodger. L. Ford ) "Power Blackjack" Book :?: I see he quoted your system in it, ( which in turn I eventually bought your book ) I tried it out in fun mode on a net casino and in my opinion it works so far but when you get stuck at the 35- 30- 40 end of the progression, it kind of a leads to some split-double down combos, where I loses all bets and wipes out previous profits :( :roll: what is your take on it :?: be lucky and take care.


  • Walt - FYI, and I might have told you this. I have also tried to contact Bob over the last couple of years with no success.....Grif'
  • colin: I've never heard of Mr. Ford or his book, and didn't know that he'd made reference to my book. What did he have to say about it?
    BTW: I checked out his book on Amazon, and his claims for success seem to be unreasonably optimistic, to say the least! And $29.95 seems a bit high for a book that probably cost less than $3.00 to print... just my opinion.
  • Walt - It's from SilverThorne, what would you expect? ....Just my opinion......Grif'
  • Hi Walter :wink:

    I sent you a copy to check it out, ENJOY! :lol: belucky and take care


  • Manual Shuffle- The only thing that is important about a manual shuffle
    is the sequence of the cards that you end up with. Right? Ok, so we get
    six decks and do ten manual shuffles and record the sequence of each
    in ten different tables. Now we configure a set of players of different
    skills,etc. Naturally, we would want two of those player to play identical
    progressions and at the same skill level. Our sim would do a random
    select of available manual shuffles. One suggestion that comes to mind
    is the need to play the manual shuffles in sequence. Ok, we can do that
    as well and it may require two different runs of the sim. Also, we may
    want to do as many as 100 manual shuffles with 10 different deck config's.
    These are not difficult tasks to accomplish, especially, if you believe in the
    validity of your strategy.
  • Walter -
    good luck getting the Hubby copyright, it would be an interesting study.
    Or better yet... why not hire a few dealers of your own and then you could write your follow-up book. I know... easy for me to say.

    I agree on computer sims for basic strategy vs wins and losses - its not the same thing. My point is in large computer simulations analyzing wins and losses, its been shown that winning and losing streaks occur within a normal expected range or deviation as what math theory says they should. So this would discount the streakiness of the wins needed to make a progression work.

    But I understand the bottom line for your progression analysis is that in any X deck simulation of wins and losses the cards have been shuffled by a computer, and therefore cannot be considered a true facsimile of casino play.

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