Oscar's Grind
  • Am trying to establish how Oscar's G wld function if played within limits as suggested, being one of the best systems around.

    For eg. if stop loss was 100 units and one were to stop after winning 20 units each time, how many times would one win 20 units before one loss of a 100 units?

    Could anyone fill me in on this?
  • Hedonist said:
    Am trying to establish how Oscar's G wld function if played within limits as suggested, being one of the best systems around.

    For eg. if stop loss was 100 units and one were to stop after winning 20 units each time, how many times would one win 20 units before one loss of a 100 units?

    Could anyone fill me in on this?


    By "best" I assume you mean one that loses the least when compared to other progression schemes?

    The basic idea is this. If you play a good 6d shoe game, with a house edge of about .26% (-.26% from the player's viewpoint) then that is going to be what you are going to lose no matter how you modify your bets (unless you count cards of course).

    The question is, with Oscar's Grind, (and this is not something I can answer myself since I do not play progressions of any type) is "what will your average bet be over time?" Because once you know that, you know that for each round you are going to lose .0026 times your average bet, when summed over the period of time you play. There's not much other math that is important here. Your expected loss is a function of the house edge times your average bet. about once every 1000 losing sessions where you quit at -100, you are going to have an extra loser which is the -.26% house edge showing up.

    There is probably some math somewhere that breaks this down into groups of "hands" and "average bets" but hardly anybody discussions progressions nowadays since they are all losing systems, and they make you lose faster than if you just flat-bet the table minimum and play as long as possible losing as little as possible. It would be far better to work on counting cards and actually play with an advantage over the house where you can really win more than you lose, although it is a wild ride.

    The punch line is that you are going to have lots of 20 unit win streaks, about 1/5 the number of 100 unit losing streaks, but you are occasionally going to be hit by an extra 100 unit loss, to take you to that house advantage of -.26% overall. There's no way to get away from that. Most progression players live on the fact that they have way more winning sessions than losing sessions, completely ignoring the important detail that they are losing way more in those infrequent losing sessions than they are winning in all those short winning sessions. Sessions mean nothing, the bottom line is total winnings or loss. Progressions are going to lose.
  • Hedonist - One Important Question........Do you intend to play Oscar (1) as a recreational player for an occasional trip to a casino, or (2) to gain an edge over the casino?

    If your answer is (2), the Rustproof Rodent is correct above. You will not gain an edge over the casino using Oscar's Grind.

    If your answer is (1), then certainly Oscar is a viable alternative to flat betting.

    If your answer is (1), post a reply and I will be glad to respond further.

    Regards.....Grifter
  • Thanks a mil for the direct-to-the-point and very easy to understand reply!! In 2 mins I now confirm my fears....that Oscar too is a losing system, and EVEN if it loses once in a way, if that day tragically appears at the very outset, ure a goner! Just one clarification here:- do stats indicate that with a 500 unit capital, starting with a bet of 1 unit, and goin for a win for a 100 units per session, that Oscar would have lost once in about 5000 sessions, OR once after winning about 5000 single units?

    I've tried a lotta systems in the past, incl one which I dont read abt, named "The Tortoise", which was the recommended system of an author of a book on roulette, written in the 1920's.... here u had to play in series of 3's:- if you lost 3 series of 1, ud then start playing with 2's, and if you lost 3 series of 2's and 4's u'd try recovering with 8's, unless u lost 3 of those too, when ud start with 16....just another system that finally succumbs to the house edge!...and I've lost so much money with all those and ruined so many holidays, often losing more than I spent on the holiday, and quarreling with those around me to boot!

    Which would then mean the only way of having a good chance of winning at the tables would be counting, but am I right if I were to say this would require some amount of mathematical capability and dexterity, and is not for anyone with a poor aptitude in that regard?

    As for me, I'm average at math, so if I were to use the Simplified Blackjack Basic Strategy suggested by Mr. Arnold Snyder, and use the Hi-Lo counting system, would it suffice? In this regard, I would imagine that a +1 in a 1 deck game, would be equivalent to a +4 in a 4 deck game? Besides is there a case for using this kind of counting system in conjunction with an Oscar or a Fibonacci? Considering I'm not particularly adept at math, may I request you to suggest a balanced approach to the above, or what you think would be the best way to go about playing blackjack?

    Your simple and lucid answer has probably saved me any more chagrin, I was contemplating giving online gambling a shot, which I will NOT now, once again I thank you loads!

    Franco.
  • Hedonist said:
    Thanks a mil for the direct-to-the-point and very easy to understand reply!! In 2 mins I now confirm my fears....that Oscar too is a losing system, and EVEN if it loses once in a way, if that day tragically appears at the very outset, ure a goner! Just one clarification here:- do stats indicate that with a 500 unit capital, starting with a bet of 1 unit, and goin for a win for a 100 units per session, that Oscar would have lost once in about 5000 sessions, OR once after winning about 5000 single units?


    Remember that all of this is statistical information, so it is not an exact answer. The bottom line is that you expect to lose .0026% of each and every bet you place. It is not so much related to wins/losses as it is to house_advantage * number_of_hands_played * average_bet_size.

    If you play 5,000 hands, with an average bet of $20, you are putting 100,000 at risk, and you are going to lose .0026% of that, or $260. How those wins and losse will pile up i far harder to predict, but somewhere along the way you expect to end up down $260. Variance in BJ is such that you can also win some, or lose even more. But if you play enough hands, you slowly approach your expectation as given above.

    Your 500 unit bank is harder to analyze since I don't know enough about what Oscar's Grind does to your average bet size, other than to recognize that it increases it, which increases the rate at which you bleed your money away.



    I've tried a lotta systems in the past, incl one which I dont read abt, named "The Tortoise", which was the recommended system of an author of a book on roulette, written in the 1920's.... here u had to play in series of 3's:- if you lost 3 series of 1, ud then start playing with 2's, and if you lost 3 series of 2's and 4's u'd try recovering with 8's, unless u lost 3 of those too, when ud start with 16....just another system that finally succumbs to the house edge!...and I've lost so much money with all those and ruined so many holidays, often losing more than I spent on the holiday, and quarreling with those around me to boot!

    Which would then mean the only way of having a good chance of winning at the tables would be counting, but am I right if I were to say this would require some amount of mathematical capability and dexterity, and is not for anyone with a poor aptitude in that regard?


    It is nowhere near as difficult as you are imagining. It takes a little work up front to get the mechanics down, then a significant amount of practice (there is good computer software available, see www.qfit.com for cvbj program) to reach a skill level where you can pull it off inside a casino with all its distractions). The difficulty of counting cards is exaggerated IMHO...



    As for me, I'm average at math, so if I were to use the Simplified Blackjack Basic Strategy suggested by Mr. Arnold Snyder, and use the Hi-Lo counting system, would it suffice? In this regard, I would imagine that a +1 in a 1 deck game, would be equivalent to a +4 in a 4 deck game? Besides is there a case for using this kind of counting system in conjunction with an Oscar or a Fibonacci? Considering I'm not particularly adept at math, may I request you to suggest a balanced approach to the above, or what you think would be the best way to go about playing blackjack?


    Arnold would say exactly what I have said above. I use hi-lo myself and it works just fine. If you use hi-lo, your betting "system" is trivial, as hi-lo dictates your bet based on the true count, to increase your bet when you have an advantage over the house, and to decrease your bet to a minimum when the house has an advantage over you. If you use hi-lo you don't need any sort of "money management" for your betting decisions, hi-lo does it for you.



    Your simple and lucid answer has probably saved me any more chagrin, I was contemplating giving online gambling a shot, which I will NOT now, once again I thank you loads!

    Franco.


    Progressions have been around for ages. The only money they make is what they make for the authors that sell 'em. Look up "blackjack school online" and print that out. Follow Mike's explanations and drills, and you'll be a hi-lo expert far quicker than you think, and then you can actually begin to win rather than to get ground down every time you enter a casino...
  • This post is partially in response to Hedonist, but mainly to “clear the air” in regard to conservative progressions vs. flat betting for the recreational player who is going to a casino to have fun and recreation, maybe see a show or two, and simply have a good time with his/her spouse or SO……….and does not want to or have the inclination to learn to count.

    SSR and the other computer jockeys are correct, there is no doubt about it. You will risk slightly more money playing say Oscar than flat betting a minimum amount. The only problem is these guys use phrases like progressions will “bleed your money away”, “make you lose a lot more”, etc., etc…….just short of saying you are a total moron if use one rather than flat betting.

    But let’s look at it from a “real” perspective……..That of the recreational player described above simply wanting to have a good time and maybe win a buck or two.

    Let’s use the 0.26% game SSR posted about above………And let’s say George and Laura go to LV for the weekend just to get away and enjoy themselves……Now here is the reality, folks………If ‘ol George decides to play Oscar’s Grind with a $5 base unit instead of flat betting $5, and he plays for 20 hours over the weekend……….His “expected” total loss will be a whopping $6.75 more for the entire weekend by playing Oscar.

    See the “reality”??...........It doesn’t mean “DIDDLY SQUAT” !!.........Quite frankly, I can’t think of anything other than watching paint dry that would be any more boring than sitting and flat betting a minimum bet at a blackjack table. So if a conservative progression trips your hammer on your next recreational trip, “just do it”…….If you have to worry about $6.75 you have no business in a casino anyway.

    Note: Again, the above is for recreational players……..If you want to get an edge over the house you simply have to count. And it is not that hard. I’m dumber than a box of rocks and I did it successfully for over thirty-five years

    Regards…..Grifter
  • Grifter- Wasn't it you that did a sim a few years back where there were 4-5 players? One was a flat bettor, positive progression, Oscar's Grind and maybe a counter.Best I can recall, you ran the thing twice and it showed how the results came out different for each player type from sim to sim. I know about QFIT'S sim of Walters', but I don't think he had Oscar's Grind in the mix. I think you used those 5000 hands of what's his name.
  • Ray......Yessir, that was me, and your memory is "right on" for an old fart....(lol). The counter came out best in both runs, followed by Oscar, then Walter, then the flat better. BUT those runs were only for 5,000 hands (of ol' what's his name.....Bob), so nothing conclusive.

    I guess part of the point of my previous post was that these newbie computer jockeys don't realize the difference between advantage play and recreational play......Most of them (including our present jammie boy who can't make a post less than half a page long) all had their start in BJ on bj21.com and have two mantra.......(1) Hi-Lo is the only way to play, and (2) Progressions are evil........They are so "green" they have no concept of the vast middle ground of 98% of the blackjack players who visit LV or wherever.

    Oh well, there are a few of us old "players" still around.

    GO BUCKS !

    Grif'
  • I'd appreciate any input on the following:-
    For a novice who's just started out with the basic strategy, coupled with the hi-lo system, but has not been able to master both, and yet wants to try his hands on the tables, what are the elements to be most particular about in the basic strategy, which offer a significant advantage, and which are the aspects that are not as relevant as the others, and could be mastered in due course?....for instance, if one has an eleven, doubling seems a tangible advantage. On the other hand, if one were to goof on surrender, it probably wouldn't matter all that much....so knowing full well that all tenets of the basic strategy should be followed per se, for purposes of interest, which components are of primary importance and which are the least important ones?
  • Hedonist- It is a matter of knowing what is important for house advantage reduction.
    .......HA starts out at 8%(player going first). What follows will get it down to .5.......

    - Proper hiting/standing is worth 3.25%. This is on stiffs, soft hands and after splits.
    - 3:2 blackjack payout gets 2.25%. Don't take insurance or even money (unless counting)
    - Doubles gets 1.5% make sure you have the doubles down pat. To have the best chance to win you need to get and make your doubles. Study the soft doubles.
    - Splits gets another .5% and can lead to more doubles. Make sure you understand the split and double rules.

    *All of the above will reduce the house advantage down to an average of .5 (8%-7.5%=.5).

    * Late surrender is worth about .10 in an 8 deck H17 game and may affect the above .5 depending on other rules.

    Lastly, play ony games with good rules. If you count, it is important to have rules that will allow counting to get rid of the .5 HA and give you a small advantage.

    Good luck,
    Ray
  • Hedonist said:
    I'd appreciate any input on the following:-
    For a novice who's just started out with the basic strategy, coupled with the hi-lo system, but has not been able to master both, and yet wants to try his hands on the tables, what are the elements to be most particular about in the basic strategy, which offer a significant advantage, and which are the aspects that are not as relevant as the others, and could be mastered in due course?....for instance, if one has an eleven, doubling seems a tangible advantage. On the other hand, if one were to goof on surrender, it probably wouldn't matter all that much....so knowing full well that all tenets of the basic strategy should be followed per se, for purposes of interest, which components are of primary importance and which are the least important ones?


    You need to have basic strategy down stone-cold. It really is not that hard to do. Practice with the game here will get you almost all the way home on getting this right. But whatever you do, you want to have basic strategy down cold as that is how you get to that minimum house advantage number we quote...

    As far as grifter's "jammie boy" I guess that someone that is almost 60 years old (60 next march) qualifies as "jammie boy".

    However, one point Grifter overlooked as well. The more you bet, the more you lose is true. And oscar's grind might not increase your average bet a lot, but it does increase it. And the more you bet, the faster you lose. But the point he didn't mention is that also, as you fluctuate your bets up and down, you also increase variance. And variance makes your bankroll fluctuate more. That can also be a significant consideration to a "recreational gambler". If I were going to gamble recreationally, I'd follow the general advice given on any good gambling web site:

    (1) play at tables that allow a min bet of no more than $5. And religiously don't bet more than the table min. You will still get some thrills on splits/doubles/etc.

    (2) play at crowded tables. more players mean fewer rounds per hour, which lowers the "bleeding rate".

    (3) play the best game you can find, and play perfect basic strategy to reduce the house edge to a minimum.

    I just can't see telling anyone to play a losing system that will increase your rate of losing. Would you voluntarily pay a movie theater 15 bucks to see a movie when they only charge 10 bucks for the ticket?

    BTW for sims of just 5,000 hands, the results are essentially random numbers with a standard deviation so high anything could happen.
  • Thanks for a very systematic and enlightening answer... it now becomes clear that amongst other things, doubling plays a very important role, and what I tangibly learn from your revert, is that doubling and split crucially aid strategy.
    What I did not comprehend is the part about "looking for rules that allow counting"...would that refer to casinos that are "player friendly", and which would those be?
  • stainless steel rat said:
    I just can't see telling anyone to play a losing system that will increase your rate of losing. Would you voluntarily pay a movie theater 15 bucks to see a movie when they only charge 10 bucks for the ticket?


    No, I did not overlook variance. But for twenty hours of play with those two methods it is essentially moot.......Now to your statement above.

    Stainless, I realize you are a computer guy and numbers oriented but once in a while back off from that computer and look a the practical side of things. I am not advocating progressions, I was stressing yesterday that for recreational play conservative ones are not nearly as bad as you (and others) make them sound. As I illustrated yesterday, the difference is DIDDLY SQUAT ($6.70) for twenty hours of play........From your statement above, you obviously do not agree, but what don't you see? So let's forget my analogy and use yours about the tickets.........YOU make the decision with an answer to this simple question:

    There are two events going on in your area next weekend. Both of these events last for twenty hours.
    - Event A: The tickets cost $10, but the whole 20 hours were be extremely boring.
    - Event B: The tickets cost $15, but you know you will have more enjoyment, fun, and recreation.

    Which event will you attend, Stainless?

    Regards.....Grifter
  • Ain't it true- Progressions give the novice a sense of system, a strategy. Now we all know that this warm fuzzy is certainly pseudo in every respect, but does a recreational player give a big rats A? No because it's his system and if you attempt to say otherwise you may make an enemy. A very high percentage of blackjack players fall into this group and they don't play enough for it to matter.
  • Grifter said:
    No, I did not overlook variance. But for twenty hours of play with those two methods it is essentially moot.......Now to your statement above.

    Stainless, I realize you are a computer guy and numbers oriented but once in a while back off from that computer and look a the practical side of things. I am not advocating progressions, I was stressing yesterday that for recreational play conservative ones are not nearly as bad as you (and others) make them sound. As I illustrated yesterday, the difference is DIDDLY SQUAT ($6.70) for twenty hours of play........From your statement above, you obviously do not agree, but what don't you see? So let's forget my analogy and use yours about the tickets.........YOU make the decision with an answer to this simple question:

    There are two events going on in your area next weekend. Both of these events last for twenty hours.
    - Event A: The tickets cost $10, but the whole 20 hours were be extremely boring.
    - Event B: The tickets cost $15, but you know you will have more enjoyment, fun, and recreation.

    Which event will you attend, Stainless?

    Regards.....Grifter


    The problem is, in the casino setting, both tickets are for the _same_ movie. I would take the $10 option. The minor point I didn't agree with was this: Your $6.70 is based on N0 hands to get you within one SD of your expectation 2/3 of the time. But the more you bet on average, the farther from that expectation you can end up.

    I wanted to leave the idea that the more you bet, the more distance between your result and the expected result you might end up. It is quite easy to lose $200 in under an hour. If you use something that increases your average bet by 50%, then you lose 300 in an hour. For just 20 hours of play, the variance will be very high, and the more you bet, the more you can win/lose, mostly lose...

    That's all I was trying to point out. If someone just wants to gamble, then none of this probably matters at all. It takes some time to learn basic strategy, particularly for H17 and S17 games if you play shoes, DD and SD. Probably a gambler is not going to do that, which means the house edge is going up along with variance. But if you are going to take the time to learn perfect BS, and look for games with good rules, then it seems reasonable to also play in such a way as to minimize your losses.

    I played a lot of 21 before I decided to start counting. I didn't find it boring at all to flat-bet the table minimum. Yes variance can cause you to win more if you bet more. But that's gambling, and if that is the only goal, probably none of this matters anyway. Playing at a crowded table helps a lot because it slows things down. And it is probably more entertaining at the same time. But it mainly reduces the bleeding.

    I wanted to make sure that he didn't think the grind was going to win. The various gambling books (not by APs) suggest that their progression will make you a winner and they give examples of where you win more sessions than you lose. Of course if you win $20 5 times and lose $200 the 6th time, you did win more sessions than you lost, but you are going broke all the same. The books don't point that out. My impression of his post was that he thought it would actually work to make money. It won't. If the goal is to just give you something else to think about while playing, without regard to loss rate, then go for it. The concept of "losing more is more entertaining" doesn't fit in with my thinking, otherwise I would spend all my time at the craps table where things are usually way more entertaining with all the yelling and noise.

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