Counting & Progressions
  • Just leaning to count with Renzey’s KISS system. Have mostly been back counting. The counting part is easy, the hard part is remembering what the count was after the play of the hand. Anyway, have noticed that when the count is negative, the players lose a lot. When the count is neutral or positive, both the players and the dealer seem be to about even, win & loss. Also, in a 6 deck shoe, it seems if the count goes negative right away, it never gets good again, so maybe the player should quit the table.
    Have been reading “The World’s Greatest BJ Book” by Humble & Cooper. They quote Epstein that in an even game their no tendency for wins and losses to even up. “It is much more probable for one side (W or L) to lead for the majority of time. Thus it seems, for a single shoe, that combining Walter’s progression with a non negative count, may be a winner!!!!! :lol:
  • Sage: Were Humble and Cooper quoting "Epstein" or "Einstein"? Charles Einstein was a noted expert on card counting and wrote one of the first books on the HI-Lo count. Five years later (late 60's, early 70's?) he wrote a book called "Win Without Counting" which advocated a $5 to $25 progression (based upon about 12,000 manually dealt hands) and was subsequently drummed out of the "serious" writer classification by the card-counting gurus.
  • Walter- I think all would say that Stanford Wong is a respected writer. I have an early book of his (1978) and it is called : Winning Without Counting
    There is info on "playing the table", "beyond basic startegy" etc. Some of it is now outdated, like playing the "warps and tells"
    I used to love to play a dealer with "tells". Some had them and some didn't.
  • Walter; Humble & Cooper quote two books: “The Theory of Gambling and Statistical Logic: by Richard A Epstein and “The Casino Gambler’s Guide” by Allan Wilson.
    Humble says the books are mathematical in nature and he has adapted the formulas to the common betting systems in Blackjack. The position taken in the book is that no progression system can be any better than flat betting or any other system. (Same old card counting disbelief of progressions)
    But, the interesting item is the paragraph stating that in an even game the eventual loser would likely be ahead only a small percent of the time. To quote” You could starve waiting for your trend to reverse in an even game, and do worse when you are at a disadvantage.” It is much more probable that one side or the other will lead for a majority of the time.
    I interpret the comments to mean that when a shoe is a loser from the get-go it will probably stay a loser for the duration of the shoe. In back counting practice I have also noticed that if the shoe goes negative for the first two rounds, the shoe seems to stay negative and the players seem to consistently lose with the dealer not breaking very much.
    Conclusion: When the shoe is negative from the beginning, Get Out!!
  • I would like to add to SAGE's comments... Is it possible that what was meant was that a BJ game with a HA built in would do worse than a BJ game with an even-chance, regarding progressions.

    IMHO since BJ as we know it has a HA, then all progressions must be 2-dimensional, rather than the typical 1-dimensional, approach. I have already suggested using such a 2-dimensional approach here. See "The HEAT is on" topic.

    A5 1x 2x 3x 3x
    -1 10 20 30 30
    +0 20 40 60 60
    +1 30 60 90 90

    Reproduced here for ease of finding. This is for 6D DOA DAS LS S17 SP4 NoRSA. Of course using Walt's 1x, 1.5x, 2x, 2.5x progression here is surmised to be better (range 1-7.5 as opposed to my 1-9). This would be...

    A5WT 1x, 1.5x 2x, 2.5x
    <=-1 10 , 15 , 20 , 25<br />Zero 20 , 30 , 40 , 50
    =>+1 30 , 45 , 60 , 75

  • Sage – I do not play much six deck, but I have noticed (and read about) that the count does remain positive or negative for long periods; although not necessarily for a full shoe. But the reason for this post is to suggest to you that if you want to look into this yourself, Bob Hubby’s “Blackjack Tracker” would be a good source. He has 800 shoes with the count listed for each hand. You could “track” your theory without very much effort.

    Sage – In response to your opening post above. Last summer I started to develop a method using Walter’s progression with a count for double deck (Walt is aware of this and was probably wondering why I hadn’t responded to you). Had the pivots, spreads, etc., figured out in about a month and tested it for about 15,000 hands using manually dealt hands, Casino Verite, and real play. Results were positive (EV/$$$)…..On the flip side, I then modified it for six deck, tested it successfully for 5,000 hands and gave it to a recreational player who wanted to learn to count, and a betting method for it. His results with home testing were not positive, and he gave up on it after only about 3,000 hands. I say this only to be totally open with you about the results, but I honestly think his playing was flawed and/or simply not enough hands….I am convinced it will work with six deck, and can be a “winner” in your words.
  • SAGE: Sims support your view on negative counts and here is why. The
    player win rate of 47.5 remains very close to that from the zero ct. to very
    high positive counts. But, the most noticeable change in win rate is going
    from zero down thru negative counts. In some cases, down in the 45-46.6
    range and this does not consider the fact that all your tools to overcome
    the HA are also impacted. Ten to twelve marginal doubles are not available, splits and hit/stand decisions are less likely to help your position. The decision to not play negative shoes is a good one and I
    would say that there is also good reason to not play neutral shoes late in
    the game, its's just not going to change that often after you have played
    thru 3 decks. If you are "WONGING" you can reduce your exposure on
    both ends of a shoe game by considering both situations; when to get in
    and when to get out....................
  • Thanks Grifter, I will follow up to find the book.
    Ray, thanks for the confirming comments. Where I play they have CSM's & ASM's. To practice my counting, I count a CSM when I walk in the door. Thus I can stare at the cards if necessary with no trouble. (Perfect training cover, no one in their right mind counts a CSM!!) Them I casually walk over and count/play the ASM’s.
    Anyway, in my CSM counting (a small sample, as thing go) I notice that the count stays around neutral a lot. It is rare to see a swing either positive or negative. If so, the machine is doing what it was developed to do. Since progressions needs streaks, the CSM would not be a good choice to play.
  • Grifter: Can't seem to find Bob Hubby’s “Blackjack Tracker” . It is spiral bound, 206 pages dated April 1, 2000 (April fools Day?)and is not available. I'll keep looking.
    However, look at http: //
    It is recorded results of twenty four, six deck shoes, dealt to a table of five expert Blackjack players. It has the W/L tables. I may write a little Excel program to check $$ win/Loss of flat bets vs progressions.
  • Sage: I'll test my $10-25 positive progression against a $10 and $15 flat bettor, using the 25 shoes you mentioned... Will post as data becomes available.
  • Walter/Sage- I just found that site yesterday and was going to post about it. That way we can test different methods of play, on the same hands. Total hands is 1756 and while the sample may too small, but it is better than nothing. P-1 (player one) 334 hands w/p (win percent) 50.89% P-2 351 w/p 50.42% P-3 353 w/p 47.30% P-4 354 w/p 50.84% P-5 364 w/p 46.97% Total w/p 865/891= 49.25%
  • WT's system will completely anihilate and 0\/\/
  • Walter Thomason said:
    Sage: I'll test my $10-25 positive progression against a $10 and $15 flat bettor, using the 25 shoes you mentioned... Will post as data becomes available.

    When you test this, will you do a computer sim or actual cards dealt? If it’s the latter, where do you find the time and patience? :)
  • Sage - Sorry, I missed your earlier post completely. Shame Hubby's book is no longer available. It was a very useful sourcebook. I will check out the you site listed above........Grifter
  • Mike: I'll use the 25 recorded shoes from the site mentioned. I simply calculate how my progression guy (gal?) comes out for each shoe, then compare the results to how a $10 and $15 bettor would have done playing the same hands. Takes a while, but I hope to get this done over the weekend. One problem... Shoes 1 and 2 won't print out, and Shoes 16 and 20 are missing from the summary, so I'm leaving them out for the moment.
    Sage: I'll loan you a copy of Hubby's book if you like. If you make a copy of it, I won't know it, so it won't be a copyright violation :wink: E-mail me!
  • Walt - I have all 24 shoes printed out.....none missing. Suggest you go back to that site, and click on the "To View All Results, Click Here" icon. Print direct from there, rather than going through the .pdf format.

    Mike - It actually doesn't take that long.....Just copy the results to Excel, set up some formulas, and plug in the bets......let Excel do the rest. I have already played the 24 shoes with P5 using two different methods (three hours total, including transferring).

  • Grif: I did that yesterday, and everything printed except Shoes 16 and 20... when I checked the shoes on my monitor they were missing most of each shoe, just like they printed out. I'll check again, now. In the meantime, I've run my progression for the 22 complete shoes, and will post my results (with or without the two missing shoes) in a new thread.
    I like the results!!
  • Grif: I did what you suggested, and Shoes 16 and 20 really are missing! Check your printed copy and tell me if I'm nuts or not!
  • Walt - I'm sure not goin' to call you nuts, but right next to me are copies of shoes 16 and 20, biggerin' life.......that is strange.....Grif'
  • Grif: Checked again this morning... still missing 16 and 20. My wife thinks it might be a glitch in my server, whatever that means.
    Could you e-mail or fax me copies of the two missing charts? My fax number is 954-792-8539. THanks!!
  • Walt - E-mailed at 10:50 a.m. your time.....Grif'
  • There is an easier way than manually entering in the hands into Excel.
    Start by going to the , and copying the URL, for example for shoes 1 & 2; the URL is:
    Open up this site - Adobe PDF Conversion:
    and paste the just copied URL into the input box titled URL;
    Click on the button Get This Adobe PDF Document as HTML.
    The translator will convert the PDF file into a HTML formatted page; now select EDIT > SELECT ALL (CTRL A), then EDIT > COPY (CTRL C); go into an Excel worksheet and do an EDIT > PASTE SPECIAL > TEXT.
    The hand results are now in Excel in one column. It will be necessary to "drag & drop" (CUT > PASTE) the results so the results are 5 columns across and not one. One last thing to be done is that the second shoe of the set is showing up first; just reverse the order once both shoes are done.
    I can do 2 shoes in less than 5 minutes; entering the progression takes the time; since the "IF" statement is set for the results, it takes less than a minute to copy per shoe.

  • SBtS: Thanks! I didn't try this , of course, but thanks for trying! Grif's e-mails to me wouldn't download, so I had a friend fax me the missing shoes. My computer and I have a love-hate relationship... I hate it, and it loves to piss me off!!!

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