Uninterrupted betting is an impossibility in real life
  • Stop play in a damaging location, transferring your play to a new deck, shoe or table whenever it's convenient. Experienced gamblers know that trends exist, and that a persistent downturn will sometimes seem unbeatable. Track wins and losses and stop playing that shoe as soon as the house gets, say, 10 bets ahead of you in any series (for instance, if the house has taken 16 bets vs. your 6). The advantage of this method is that it's more consistent than quitting after 4 loses in a row.

    We all have to beat a safe retreat when a dealer gets hot or our "luck" runs cold. Computer simulations presume that a player will stick it out through thick and thin, betting bravely onward regardless of repeated punishment and waiting patiently for a negative trend to reverse itself. Human beings just don't play that way. For years, I applied this technique of bailing out of a bad situation and got great results.

    Walking away from a costly string of losses is not merely an option for a real gambler (as opposed to someone who bases his "knowledge" of casino games upon computer simulations), it's a fact of life. No simulation exists which can imitate more than one or two components of real casino play at a time, and their most critical omission is human nature. The one advantage of a computer simulation is that it enables you to test a variety of strategies against the same set of outcomes, but even when analysis of a million plays indicates that you would have won more without the bailing out when the house gets 10 bets over you, you can't say: "OK, I'll never walk away from a game again" because uninterrupted betting is an impossibility in real life.

    Walk away from a shoe (or a series) if the house pulls 10 bets ahead of you, winning 15 bets out of the first 20, for example. At -10, you won't have to move very often, whereas at -5 you'll be abandoning non-profitable situations pretty frequently, taking your action to another location and resuming your play. Personally, I favor frequent moves and "natural breaks" -- they alleviate boredom and keep me alert, and reduce the temptation to wobble off the rails.

    No human being betting real money in a real casino should "bend over" when he is the victim of a clear house bias, and few of us do. Anyone who has ever played BJ knows from experience that trends happen, but the math brigade keeps denying it. And presumably, the mathemaniacs are the only gamblers in the world who'll keep shoveling their chips into the dealer's tray while the cards defy the odds in bet after bet.

    I am always puzzled why it seems to be perfectly acceptable for the house to study past streaks and outcomes to predict the future, but players are not permitted by the "rules of math" to do the same. If you run a streak analysis of, say, 100,000 hands of blackjack, you will find a streak distribution pattern which is obviously similar to the pattern from any other sample of that size, assuming the same number of decks, the same rules, and the same style of play. For most of us, the past provides the only basis for predicting the future. I have an advanced computer program that runs analysis on past results/events/streaks. Have run that program many times over and over on different blocks of computer-generated hands of blackjack, updating the chart with each recalc. There's very little change between one block of "hands" and the next as long as the rules and numver of decks are consistent.
  • Hi Alex, What percentage of your Session Bank Roll is 10 bets?
    In my case, the SBR is 22 bets, so waiting until 10 bets down would wipe out about half my SBR. I currently walk away from a table at a 25% loss of the SBR (5 bets). I do walk a lot and maybe need to rethink the quit point. :?
  • Comment for Alex

    I guess I am one of those so called "mathomaniacs". The problem I have with your comments are the following:

    I do believe trends or streaks happen in blackjack, the problem is you can't predict them, just because you have lost 6 hands in a row doesn't mean you can't win the next 10 hands in a row. Anyone can disagree with these statement, but the rules of probability say this is true.

    I agree if you lose 5-10 hands in a row it might be a good idea to quit the table, but the key is to quit altogether, and not go to another table. By going to another table, you are not improving your chances of winning. What happens if you move to a table that has a longer losing streak? By your logic your chances are even worse (and of course you don't know the current streak because you were at another table).

    I do not mean to keep arguring this point, I guess I just need proof (proof isn't I have played 1 million times and the rules I play by always win, because luck might be the main factor not the rules you play by.)

    Look at it this way, why do you hit 16 vs. 10? Because the math told you so, so why get up and leave the table if the math says it doesn't matter?

    You bring valid points to the table, I'm open for discussion, I have learned in life that there are a million ways to do the simpliest thing, and usually the way I pick is not the best. Maybe someone can shed some more light onto the conversation about quit points!
  • Hi jmpoehler
    Suggest you read the book: Twenty-first Century BJ by Walter Thomason.
    He documents some real life examples of how the quit point saves money and lets you play another time. However, Interesting point you made, should you move to a new table or move to the parking lot and go home! :wink:
  • Sage said:
    Hi Alex, What percentage of your Session Bank Roll is 10 bets?
    In my case, the SBR is 22 bets, so waiting until 10 bets down would wipe out about half my SBR. I currently walk away from a table at a 25% loss of the SBR (5 bets). I do walk a lot and maybe need to rethink the quit point. :?

    Well, 10 bets is about 33% of my SBR. If I'm down 10 bets at a table then I'm moving out. If I lose 4 in a row, I'm moving out too.
    I'm uncomfortable being in a "bend over position" while losing hand after hand. Move to a different table and start a new shoe or stay at your table but wait for the shuffle.
  • Alex - Your theory is fine, but from a "real play" perspective with a six deck shoe it is not very practical in my opinion......I was going to mention this before when you made your first post about exiting a shoe when you were down ten decisions, and you used examples of 16-6 and 15-5.

    You will very rarely get down ten decisions in a shoe unless you are playing heads up, or possibly one other player (and lets exclude those for this discussion since apparently most players on this site have to play at more crowded tables).

    With 3, 4, or more total players the chance of getting down 10 decisions in a shoe become almost nil, and if you did reach that point the shoe would be almost completed anyway.........i.e. With four or more players at the table your examples of 16-6 and 15-5 can never even happen......There aren't that many hands in a shoe.

    It is a nice "theory" but for "real play" it will not happen enough times to become a "rule of departure".


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