Are the good days really over?
  • I was interested in learning about card counting only because I wanted to understand basic strategy more and most books have card counting as well. Is it even possible to make much money anymore (without team play)? Not only with all the technology casinos have but how much the game has changed since 60's I find it hard to succeed through card counting. And it sounds like if you want to make any money at all you'd need at least a 5-10 grand bankroll to start off. I'm still going to read up on it and maybe practice a bit for fun sakes. I was just wondering anyone elses thoughts on the matter.
  • circuz_phreak said:
    I was interested in learning about card counting only because I wanted to understand basic strategy more and most books have card counting as well. Is it even possible to make much money anymore (without team play)? Not only with all the technology casinos have but how much the game has changed since 60's I find it hard to succeed through card counting. And it sounds like if you want to make any money at all you'd need at least a 5-10 grand bankroll to start off. I'm still going to read up on it and maybe practice a bit for fun sakes. I was just wondering anyone elses thoughts on the matter.

    Sure you can make money.all you have to do is learn perfect basic stradigy, learn a 2 level count with indicies, learn to shuffeltrack, have a six figure bankroll, play 1/2 kelly, and find a game with good rules where you can spread 1-20 and they never back you off. Then it is not to hard.Otherwise start by learning perfect basic stradigy:wink:
  • circuz_phreak said:Is it even possible to make much money anymore (without team play)? Not only with all the technology casinos have but how much the game has changed since 60's I find it hard to succeed through card counting. And it sounds like if you want to make any money at all you'd need at least a 5-10 grand bankroll to start off.

    It is definitely still possible to make good money playing blackjack, but it is not easy. You must be a very skilled player and have a healthy bankroll behind you. Many players just use it as a means for supplemental income on the side. In that case you just need to know the basics of card counting and have a modest bankroll.


    You’re right that the casinos have changed the game quite a bit, but it is still very vulnerable. Here is a repost of something I wrote a few months ago:


    The game certainly has changed over the past decade, and many smart people have gotten rich from those changes. Let’s take a look back at the past few decades of the game:

    -Multi-deck games gave rise to techniques like shuffle tracking, sequencing, cutting/steering, backcounting and team play, all of which are much stronger than straight counting.

    -CSMs were invented, beaten (BADLY!), redesigned, and beaten again.

    -Side bets like Over/Under 13, Lucky Ladies, Royal Twenties and Royal Match have all been severely exploited by smart players. Several of those bets have disappeared as a result, but more are popping up everyday.

    -Variations like Blackjack Switch, SuperFun 21, Double Exposure and Multi-Action BJ have all filled the pockets of smart players.

    -Casino promotions like Free Ride, Monopoly 21, BJ matchplay coupons, free ace coupons, special payouts (BJ pays 2:1, 3:1 suited BJs, Five Card Charlie, etc.) progressive jackpots, and generous comp policies have all been fully exploited.

    -Faster computers and stronger software have aided in the development of very simple and very powerful systems. These new systems make advantage play available to just about anyone who wants to learn. The days of level-3 systems with ace side counts, half-deck TC estimations and 180 indices are long gone. These days you just need Hi-Lo with the Illustrious 18 or KO Preferred to get most of the power of the advanced systems.

    -The internet has brought together countless professional-level players (and billions of hacks, but they’re easy to spot) to share experiences and techniques. There is also a wealth of good knowledge and information published on the internet as well as most public libraries. Learning how to play BJ is easier than ever, especially now that online mentoring and training is available.

    Yup, the game sure has changed and it is more
    profitable
    now than it has ever been. Plus, thanks to court cases by Michael Russo, James Grosjean, Mark Estes and others, you won’t get your knees broken for winning!

    -Sonny-
  • In 90% of the casinos right now the rules are set up so even the best players can not beat the house. There is only 10% of casinos that have rules favorable enough to the player so that they can be beat. In the 10% of casinos that can be beat with liberal rules if you stay too long in those casinos you will get tossed from there. The only two beatable casinos right now are Boomtown and the Tahoe Biltmore and I have been backed down from Boomtown. Boomtown only has a really good single deck game and Tahoe Biltmore game is double deck that is beatable. Warning beating the games at the Eldorado, Peppermill, Grand Sierra, or the Atlantis is not nearly as profitable if you can do it and you will probably fail as a card counter at those places.
  • learningtocount said:In 90% of the casinos right now the rules are set up so even the best players can not beat the house.

    That’s not true at all. In fact, I think it is the other way around. Over 90% of the casinos I’ve been to are beatable, and many of them were very profitable.

    learningtocount said:The only two beatable casinos right now are Boomtown and the Tahoe Biltmore

    I know of 5 casinos here in California and about 30+ in Nevada that offer a very good game. I’m sure I could find many more if I looked harder.

    learningtocount said:Boomtown only has a really good single deck game and Tahoe Biltmore game is double deck that is beatable.

    There are many casinos that offer the same games as the casinos you mentioned above. It is not hard to find games that are even better than that either.

    -Sonny-
  • Circuz_Phreak

    I disagree with Sonny, "Yup, the game has changed and it is more profitable now than it has ever been." Sonny, who ever you are, this is bullsh*t.
    Learning to Count's post made more sense.

    The game has changed to the negative, and with the addition of Macau, Singapore Hong Kong, Indian Reservations, and multi-state competition it will only get worse for Las Vegas.

    Sonny, you are an extremely knowledgeable AP Player, not just a "Forum Player." I believe there are no more than three members of this forum capable of making a fair living playing blackjack. Most are all talk. If this forum members were honest in their answers they would disagree with Sonny's comment about the game being more profitable today.

    The LVH has the highest rate of trip cancellations this December than in their entire history. Worst of all, over 35% of "Comp'd Rooms" were cancelled. Until hittng soft 17's, 6/5, higher penetration and elimination of 8 deckers, blackjack if a game of the past except for maybe 1% of so called AP's.

    It is what it is.
  • and you somehow conclude that the LVH cancellation rate is somehow proportional to the degradation in the game of blackjack there?

    That's one scientifically based conclusion....

    although science generally requires at least a modicum of supporting data for a conclusion, whereas here there is absolutely zero...

    Cancellations are up everywhere. Travel costs/fuel costs are up. There are other economic reasons that would tie in more closely to trip cancellations than BJ rules...

    And Sonny _does_ know what he is talking about. Just because the games are more beatable doesn't mean that everyone can beat 'em... Anyone willing to spend the game can certainly learn to beat 'em however. Plenty already have...
  • Missing from this thread is the single most detrimental aspect to the "new days": the TableBot. As more of this software permeates the casinos, even the "good rules" become a phishing expedition for AP's. I'm of the opinion that the better days are behind us. Do the rule-sets of the early 90's look better than today. Granted there's more choice, but the new choices favor the House, and the old ways are diminishing in table-count, and increasing in table-limit.

    JM2c
  • Jim- There are some locations that have games that just might be as good or in some cases, a tad better than they were 15-20 years ago. CT., up where Nickels plays have 6D shoe games with late surrender at around .35. Some of the places that you and I play .42-.43 HA. DD has good rules but poor pen at 50-60 and usually full tables, so you must be patient and have your act together.

    I've got to agree that LV and AC have gone down hill considerability and they are the source of most changes that have not been good for the player. I don't go there.

    Can you make some real money? Well yes, but you need to start from a real money position or spend yrs getting to that point by starting small. Also, you need to multiply your playing time 20X in-order to have some idea of how much time you need to spend at the tables. So, for most of us, it is a part time experience where we are motivated by the challenge as much as a little extra money.

    The game can be beat, but it is not like John Paul Getty's compound interest millions. It is not a sure thing no matter how good you are.

    If that sounds like a lot of work and a very ify situation........... it is.
  • Ray:

    One of those two CT casino's has Mind-Play. And the other one I haven't stepped foot in since I saw Ocelot pelts for sale during a Schmetzin (sp). Good rules yes, but the dreaded table-bot lurks.
  • Nickels_n_Bullets said:
    Ray:

    One of those two CT casino's has Mind-Play. And the other one I haven't stepped foot in since I saw Ocelot pelts for sale during a Schmetzin (sp). Good rules yes, but the dreaded table-bot lurks.


    I know I took my little skim off the machine that does not deliver as promised and so did other experienced players.
    The same is probably happening at Mohegan Sun but it will not effect them as much as Hilton. At the Hilton, the amatuer counters were identified and many of the ploppies just feared the thing and went to the strip, but expert counters and small teams beat the thing up.
    At Mohegan Sun you can get to another casino but not as easily as in Vegas so most of the ploppies will stay, the amatuers will get caught but since they will not lose their players, the effect of expert play will not hurt them much at all in my opinion.

    ihate17
  • Most of the games I land up playing have house edges between .19% and .34% plus some higher house edge games that offer superior penetration or opportunities to hole card. That said, there are fewer of those good rule games available today.

    What Sonny said is correct but only correct but I think what he did not say was that the percentage of players who can now take advantage of these opportunities is perhaps much lower than it was in the past.
    Straight cardcounting was a good way to make money years ago, perhaps still hard to make a living at it because there were not as many games, but you definately could suppliment your income. Today counting becomes just one of several tools needed and the more tools you need the fewer number of people capable or willing to learn how to impliment all of those tools.

    So I come up with it is better today but for fewer people, more most it is perhaps worse.

    ihate17
  • Nickels- I had no idea that Mind-play had moved east. Don't tell me that they also have 6:5 games. I have some friends close to MS and plan to visit in the spring.

    I though LV had given up on Mind-Play and to some extent on CSM's. One thing that I learned the hard way is that automation for the sake of automation never makes good sense. M-P and CSM's are two good examples. Both are losers for the casino and "most" players.

    Some other bad rules: In MO casinos they have a 500 loss per hr limit and they track that.
    To get on the gaming floor you must get a players card (the only one I've ever had) and they
    log your buy in. If your loss amount gets to 500 you must quit for an hour. I think this must be some kind of political ploy for the politicians. You can't get around this by moving because you are in the system table to table. I go there on small trips and play low limit until I have enough capital to do otherwise. You can see how easy it is for the pit to nail you at any time.
  • I have not seen any evidence at MS in CT, at least in the Earth casino 6 deckers.

    What am I missing?

    I do know that they are using the match the dealer side bet now. Not sure about the payouts as compared to FW.
  • Nickels_n_Bullets said:
    Missing from this thread is the single most detrimental aspect to the "new days": the TableBot. As more of this software permeates the casinos, even the "good rules" become a phishing expedition for AP's. I'm of the opinion that the better days are behind us. Do the rule-sets of the early 90's look better than today. Granted there's more choice, but the new choices favor the House, and the old ways are diminishing in table-count, and increasing in table-limit.

    JM2c

    This is alittle off subject but could you clarify for me what is "tableBot". is it the same thing as mindplay?Thanks.
  • chuckn- How are the DD games at MS and do they have any SD games at the two casinos?
  • Ray said:
    chuckn- How are the DD games at MS and do they have any SD games at the two casinos?


    As far as I know there are only 6 and 8 deck games and csm's at MS.

    Their website claims that there is face up blackjack at MS... but I have never seen the game.

    Slow week days you may find some $10. Normally $15 and $25. Mostly $25 during busy weekends, although you might find cheaper on the 8 deck games that are mostly in the Sky casino at MS.

    Penetration is poor as MS and fair to good at FW. FW is mostly 8 deck except for High Limit.
  • Nickels_n_Bullets said:
    Missing from this thread is the single most detrimental aspect to the "new days": the TableBot. As more of this software permeates the casinos, even the "good rules" become a phishing expedition for AP's. I'm of the opinion that the better days are behind us. Do the rule-sets of the early 90's look better than today. Granted there's more choice, but the new choices favor the House, and the old ways are diminishing in table-count, and increasing in table-limit.

    JM2c


    table-bots can be exploited. Mindplay has already been zapped many times. New technology, when operated by idiots, can always be exploited. And the casinos operate these things with pure idiots...
  • the most hopeful statement i've heard made with regard to the future of genuine blackjack was " a long as there is a market for it some one will offer it".
    i for one see politics as the greatest danger lurking with regards to the viability of real blackjack.

    best regards,
    mr fr0g
  • About a year ago it was reported that Mohegan Sun had ordered a ton of Mindplay gizmos. Latest CBJN has never shown any, so either the order was delayed or canceled.
    Still, what I stated earlier about Mindplay is true and to add to it you can expect both the pit and the eye to hate the thing since it is designed to cut the amount of positions in those places.

    ihate17
  • What I've seen at MS that bothers me is 5 small plastic disks that protrude slightly above the table behind the insurance line. I can see black dots in the posts supporting these disks. The posts are shorther than this letter I and the disks look no bigger than a dime. I am under the impression that these are the "sensors". (cameras????)

    Am under the impression this is part of the MindPlay system... if not, my appologies.
  • I really think the worrying about the fall of playing advantage blackjack is way overrated. First off lets get something straight, there are no mindplay systems at Mohegan Sun. Not only that, but they have removed all of the csm that were once there. Now there are over 75 hand dealt shoe games available, more than half of them 6 deck.

    There are so many really good games out there to play, some might not be in your backyard, but than again they might be but you just need to fine tune your game in such a way that you can actually exploit it. No matter what the thinking though, I believe the bottom line is that most people are not beating this game like they thought they would so they assume it must have been easier to do in the good old days. While in some cases that may be true, in most its more likely that there is a gross misunderstanding of the skill and dedication that it takes to really win at this game. We all know that even when playing a near perfect advantage game that the advantage is small and subject to variance. If you believe you can play this game with just fairly good skills and eek out a real profit, you will most likely be disappointed. But for the recreational player who breaks even or shows some profit in some instances, that should be enough. At the risk of sounding egotistical, and I apologize if I do, do not expect to beat this game like a pro if you are not one. A lot is to be said about not settling for whats in front of you. Finding and playing the best opportunities is usually a big factor. Also finding the highest level count is not even close to being a real factor as is mastering the more basic but strong counting methods such as hi lo and KO. Most professionals I know don't use advanced counting methods, they just use theirs perfectly. This also may bother a lot of people, again I do not wish to offend, but burning up your computer to find all sorts of perfect methods of play will only make you a computer whiz, not a great blackjack player. Don't get me wrong running sims can be a great tool, but in my experience the more you get sucked into trying to invent the wheel, the more the physical, and more importantly practical aspect of your game can suffer. I am by no means an all knowing guru when it comes to explaining what it takes to beat this game. What I do know is this, we personally beat this game in the 90's and we are beating it now. There have been some adjustments along the way, as is to be expected with anything over the course of time, but its not as easy as crunching numbers on a computer, or dealing yourself some hands at your kitchen table. To get results of that of a what you think a professional might get, you need to understand the real efforts it takes to get those results. Until then, playing a break even game, or slightly better, should be a realistic goal that most should be happy to achieve.
  • Bojack..do you work for any casinos? Damn, if your not starting to act like a shill for the gaming industry. No disrespect, but I can't remember a post where you mentioned a loss or extended loss period. Maybe your just a special player whe was born with with luck for life.
  • jimpenn said:
    Bojack..do you work for any casinos? Damn, if your not starting to act like a shill for the gaming industry. No disrespect, but I can't remember a post where you mentioned a loss or extended loss period. Maybe your just a special player whe was born with with luck for life.


    Well Jim thats not one of your better ideas is it? Let me ask you this, have I ever offered an opinion or gave any advice that might actually hurt a players chance at winning at this game? Or are some of my opinions just striking a chord of resentment? I have said more than a few times that it is impossible to win at this game all the time. If it makes you feel better to hear it, yes that includes me also. It is very rare for me to post win and loss totals, as a matter of fact I've never posted once using any actual monetary figures. I've never felt that my personal figures were anyones business, and would probably just hinder the belief in what I try to convey. If you honestly want to know, as a team we don't have extended losing periods. We do have losses, and a lot of times multiple losses in a row, but at the end of every year we are in the black, and by a good margin at that. We may go a couple of months without showing a profit, actually being in the negative, but it never lasts too long. We play too much for it to be any other way. Granted if we played at anything less than at the level we try to play at, I could see having other results, but thats not the case nor will it ever be as long as this is used as an income. The bottomline is this, I don't spout all kinds of statistics and percentages, I don't claim any thing I know is groundbreaking news or advice, and I don't tell anyone they're wrong if they don't make bushels of money playing this game. What I try to do is give what I deem to be sound advice and opinions based on actual play and thats it. Take it or leave it, its a free country.
  • Agreed Bojack... As most here are noobs, the goal is always: get it right, play it right, and remember that 1% isn't a lot money until you play 1,000,000 hands. Most of us here might only play 5% of that in a lifetime. So 5% of 1% of a million units isn't very large... $12,500 for $25 ave. bet... thats still a lot of hours.
  • Just answer the question. Do you work for the Casino Industry?
  • jimpenn said:
    Just answer the question. Do you work for the Casino Industry?


    I absolutely do not work for the casino industry. Please do not question my integrity on this subject again. I have tried to offer something to this board since my first post. If you think its been anything less than honest and helpful than thats just a shame. Stop trying to read between the lines and just start reading.
  • ok...enjoy the day.
  • Nickels_n_Bullets said:
    What I've seen at MS that bothers me is 5 small plastic disks that protrude slightly above the table behind the insurance line. I can see black dots in the posts supporting these disks. The posts are shorther than this letter I and the disks look no bigger than a dime. I am under the impression that these are the "sensors". (cameras????)

    Am under the impression this is part of the MindPlay system... if not, my appologies.


    The disks that I have seen blow air out and can be adjusted in such a way as the air can be directed to deflect smoke away from the dealer. I am not sure if they are one in the same.

    They have also done away with the button things with the light they used to use for checking hole card. The new ones I have seen have no light and require the dealer to look down thru the lens and check for the mark on the card.

    Chuckn

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