Walter Thomason???
  • I know he used to post a lot around here but apparently hasn't been active since 2005. Does anyone know what happened to him? Is there any way to contact him?
  • Maybe he tried using his progression system and went broke.

    -Sonny-
  • Sonny said:
    Maybe he tried using his progression system and went broke.

    -Sonny-



    Oh, come now Sonny. . . Walter's made a ton of money playing Blackjack. I have no reason to doubt that he is very much ahead overall.
  • shadow_priest_x said:
    Oh, come now Sonny. . . Walter's made a ton of money playing Blackjack. I have no reason to doubt that he is very much ahead overall.


    Not by playing a progression he hasn't. If he made any money using a progression, it was by selling it to other suckers, not by using it himself... P.T. Barnum had it right...

    It just doesn't work, period.
  • stainless steel rat said:
    Not by playing a progression he hasn't. If he made any money using a progression, it was by selling it to other suckers, not by using it himself... P.T. Barnum had it right...

    It just doesn't work, period.


    Do you know the man? Have you reviewed his playing records?

    This is the kind of sh!t that annoys the hell out of me. You make an arrogant statement that you don't know to be true. And don't tell me that after a million hands you are destined to lose X amount of money. I doubt he's ever played a million hands and I doubt you have either.

    If Thomason is a) not a counter, and b) a regular player who keeps strict records, then why would that be? What knowledgeable person--other than someone with money to blow and who "just plays for fun"--would continue to play a losing game year after year after year and then teach others to do the same? While I've never met the guy, I've read a lot of his posts on here and I've read his book and I see every indication that he is an honest guy and not a con artist.

    The only person around here who I know of that knows Walter Thomason personally is Fred Renzey.
  • You don't really need to know the man - if he is selling a progression he is selling a scam. They don't work and this has been proven hundreds of times legitimately by people who can show the maths to back them up, unlike the folks who sell these progression systems.
    Even if WT hasn't played enough hands to have lost - and if he hasn't, he doesn't hasn't earned the right to give advice to anyone - if he keeps playing he will lose. That is a simple fact. So selling this system on to other players is still selling them a losing system.
    Oh and he doesn't need to keep playing it for years, he just needs to tell the suckers that he's playing it and keep them buying his trash.
    I'll go a step further than the other posters have so far and say that if he is asking for any money what-so-ever to give anyone a progression system of any sort the man is nothing short of a fraud and a hack. Either dishonest enough to sell a system he knows doesn't work or dumb enough to believe other progression systems. Either way not someone to listen to.

    RJT.
  • Walter will tell you right up-front that his progression will not give you a mathematical edge. Also, I seem to recall that he can count cards. I think he said, at times, he counts along with his progression.

    The fickle finger of fate, commonly called luck, "SEEMS" to work for some people. No I ain't one of those lucky folks. Remember, if it can happen, it will happen.


    Edit: All progressions are the same and any logical mind does not need a sim to prove that, but abnormalities occur from time to time and we may not have the smarts to explain them.
  • shadow_priest_x said:This is the kind of sh!t that annoys the hell out of me. You make an arrogant statement that you don't know to be true.

    Really? How do you know it’s not true? Have you analyzed his system? Have you reviewed the math involved? Have you seen the simulation results? It seems like you’re the one who is making statements that you don’t know to be true. I’ve done all of those things and I’ve seen firsthand that his system does not give the player an advantage. I’ve seen definitive proof that his system is not a winning system. I’m sorry if that fact “annoys” you but it is the truth. If you had done the research like the rest of us you would know that.

    Before you respond, Google the words Walter Thomason Scams and see what the first enrty is:

    http://www.blackjack-scams.com/html/prog__systems.html

    Read the whole page, especially the part about One Billion Hands and Empirical Evidence. It will answer a lot of your questions.

    -Sonny-
  • Post Deleted......Moderator
  • Ray said:
    Walter will tell you right up-front that his progression will not give you a mathematical edge. Also, I seem to recall that he can count cards. I think he said, at times, he counts along with his progression.

    The fickle finger of fate, commonly called luck, "SEEMS" to work for some people. No I ain't one of those lucky folks. Remember, if it can happen, it will happen.


    Edit: All progressions are the same and any logical mind does not need a sim to prove that, but abnormalities occur from time to time and we may not have the smarts to explain them.


    Ray, I think you're very close to the point I'm trying to make. Walter never once claims in his book that he believes his progression will achieve a mathematical edge. But I also believe that he's telling the truth when he says that a) he plays his system himself, b) he's been playing for many years, and c) he keeps detailed records. And considering these facts, I can only assume that all in all HE has come out a ahead. Will the next guy or the next guy or the next guy have the same results? Who knows? He can only speak for himself.

    What bothers me is when people say that he cannot POSSIBLY have won more money than he's lost and they say it with all the assuredness of a suicide bomber proclaiming he's on the way to see Allah.

    I would say that Walter's system may not be able to give you an edge . . . but maybe for some people, even after years of play, they don't need one to walk away a winner.

    Imagine that.

    P.S. You're probably right about him having SOME card counting ability. I think that after reading and studying the game for a long time you will inevitably pick some skills up. I've never made a very strong effort to learn to count but in the right situations (slow dealer, etc.) I can keep the KO count, at least for a few hands.
  • shadow_priest_x said:
    Ray, I think you're very close to the point I'm trying to make. Walter never once claims in his book that he believes his progression will achieve a mathematical edge. But I also believe that he's telling the truth when he says that a) he plays his system himself, b) he's been playing for many years, and c) he keeps detailed records. And considering these facts, I can only assume that all in all HE has come out a ahead. Will the next guy or the next guy or the next guy have the same results? Who knows? He can only speak for himself.

    What bothers me is when people say that he cannot POSSIBLY have won more money than he's lost and they say it with all the assuredness of a suicide bomber proclaiming he's on the way to see Allah.

    I would say that Walter's system may not be able to give you an edge . . . but maybe for some people, even after years of play, they don't need one to walk away a winner.

    Imagine that.


    Someone wins a lottery every now and then. Are _you_ going to spend all your money buying lottery tickets just because _someone_ lucked out???
  • Sonny said:


    Really? How do you know it’s not true? Have you analyzed his system? Have you reviewed the math involved? Have you seen the simulation results? It seems like you’re the one who is making statements that you don’t know to be true. I’ve done all of those things and I’ve seen firsthand that his system does not give the player an advantage. I’ve seen definitive proof that his system is not a winning system. I’m sorry if that fact “annoys” you but it is the truth. If you had done the research like the rest of us you would know that.

    Before you respond, Google the words Walter Thomason Scams and see what the first enrty is:

    http://www.blackjack-scams.com/html/prog__systems.html

    Read the whole page, especially the part about One Billion Hands and Empirical Evidence. It will answer a lot of your questions.

    -Sonny-


    Sonny, been there, done that. . . I'm well aware of that site. I ran across it over a year ago when I was originally perusing Walter's book.

    As I mentioned to Ray, I'm not saying that Walter's system can give you an "edge," but I really do believe that Walter is probably an honest cat who--because of luck or whatever--has probably made more money at the tables than he's lost.

    Furthermore, I still don't believe that the case of the physical shoe game running streakier than the RNG will be truly settled until someone hand deals a billion hands and tallys it up. I promise that if someone would do that I would accept whatever results came out.

    Even Fred Renzey says in Bluebook II, "Until someone puts together a few hundred thousand manually dealt blackjack hands and records the occurrence of streaks within, we'll have to go with what we know. Based upon that, I SERIOUSLY DOUBT that blackjack can be beaten with a betting progression" (page 49, emphasis mine).

    And I think that that's an honest statement. Furthermore, I think it's fair. It leaves just enough room for him to be able to admit that while he stands firmly on one side of the river, the case is still not 100% closed due to insufficient testing.

    Now. . .

    You and I have been around about such things before back "home" on blackjackinfo. You know me over there as SPX and I'm sure have noticed that I can be a bit of the Devil's advocate. Do forgive me . . . it's just that if you tell me that Jesus walked on water I'm going to ask for the video tape to prove it . . . then I'll have that video tape examined by experts in the field to make sure it wasn't doctored.

    And I do believe that these are thus far not fully substantiated:

    *Progression betting has been 100% PROVEN to be ineffective in the shoe game.
    *You can't possibly be a winner after several years of play if you don't count cards.
    *All progression systems are equal.

    With that said, I should say that I don't play Walter's system. I did a few times a while back, but lost too much money, ha ha! Not that that proves anything because I really didn't stick with it for long. . .

    See you on the other side.
  • stainless steel rat said:
    Someone wins a lottery every now and then. Are _you_ going to spend all your money buying lottery tickets just because _someone_ lucked out???



    Well definitely not all my money. . .

    I have been known to throw a few dollars down from time to time though, "just in case." And if you want to say, "If a progression player is ahead after 20 years then HE'S SO LUCKY!" I will be much more able to emotionally to accept that than hearing someone say, "It can't possibly be!"

    Imagine how much of a character attack that is, for one. Especially toward someone you don't even know and also when you are admittedly unacquainted with all the facts.

    Second, it's just closed minded. I mean hell, if someone tells me they were abducted by aliens I will always assume they're either lying or delusional, but I'll also always have to admit that maybe I'm wrong.
  • shadow_priest_x said:
    Well definitely not all my money. . .

    I have been known to throw a few dollars down from time to time though, "just in case." And if you want to say, "If a progression player is ahead after 20 years then HE'S SO LUCKY!" I will be much more able to emotionally to accept that than hearing someone say, "It can't possibly be!"

    Imagine how much of a character attack that is, for one. Especially toward someone you don't even know and also when you are admittedly unacquainted with all the facts.

    Second, it's just closed minded. I mean hell, if someone tells me they were abducted by aliens I will always assume they're either lying or delusional, but I'll also always have to admit that maybe I'm wrong.


    Let's take your previous points in order.

    1. You mentioned hand-dealt vs PRNG-generated rounds. You are aware that there are _many_ good tests to verify that a PRNG is producing representative numbers? For example, there is the classic poker test. It is not hard to compute the odds of drawing a royal flush, for example, or a pair of aces, or three 6's. The poker test deals cards as produced by the PRNG, and then the resulting poker hands are evaluated. If the odds of drawing 4 aces is 1/52*1/51*1/50*1/49, which turns into 1/6,497,400. Suppose you deal 100 billion hands. You should have received roughly 15,000 royal flushes. Standard deviation can be computed to determine if your 14,297 royal flushes were within 1SD or not. If you repeat that for each possible hand, and you don't find anything odd (say 4 aces dealt 100X as frequently as expected, or something equally suspicious) then your PRNG passed the poker test. And that shows that at least for poker, and the PRNG in question, the cards dealt match what we would expect in a hand-dealt game. There are dozens of other tests used to make sure that the cards produced by the PRNG are both random, and properly distributed. And the PRNG used by Norm is a good one that has been tested by many different people.

    2. More importantly, casino shuffles are _not_ very random. Because they don't do enough riffles. The dealers don't perfectly interlace grabs one card at a time. But then with Norm's simulator, you can actually modify the way the shoes are generated, and then shuffled, to come even closer to imperfect casino shuffles. If you really care. Run enough rounds and it turns out that shuffle imperfections don't make much difference to the long run.

    3. On selling a system. If you sell someone a car that you know has an automatic transmission that is about to fail, because a dealer service center told you that, is it honest to tell the buyer about all the virtues of that car, but not about the impending $2,500 repair bill? Or selling a house without revealing that it sits on a sinkhole prone area where large holes have been opening up all year? Selling a system that leads the casual reader to believe it will win money in the casino is the same thing. Caveat Emptor? Certainly comes into play. But the "sin of omission" is just as bad as outright lying about something "Oh, that slightly hard 2-3 shift is normal, I just had the tranny re-built and it is just like new..."

    I (and a few others here) prefer to tell it like it is, rather than how it ought to be, or how we "think" it is, or whatever. Progressions do one thing, they lose money at a faster rate than if you flat-bet the table minimum because they increase your average bet. There will _always_ be exceptions. You might have read about someone winning over $7,000,000 at blackjack in Vegas either this past year or in '06. He was not a counter. He didn't even play correct BS. So yes, it happens, but if you put your money on that hope, the result is almost guaranteed. The more you play, the more likely it is you are going to lose everything. You would do better to go up to the table and bet your entire bankroll on one hand. There you have a nearly 50-50 chance of winning, while if you bet less and play 1,000 hands, you have a very poor chance of winning. And if you play 100,000 hands, forgetaboutit...

    So when someone tells me they played a progression for years, you bet I don't believe it for a minute. When someone tells me that they have played 100 sessions over the past 3 years and walked away a winner in 90 of those sessions, you bet I don't believe it for a minute. Anything is possible, including alien abductions. But I don't believe them for a minute without some proof since they go way beyond the point on the bell curve where everyone says "close enough to zero to call it zero..."

    About the only thing I can say with near 100% certainty is that anyone that sells a system based on a progression certainly makes far more selling the system than they made using the system. Because long-term use of such progressions are guaranteed to loose unless you are that occasional lottery winner. I don't like the odds, and have personally never met a lottery winner in my 60 years of living.
  • stainless steel rat said:
    The more you play, the more likely it is you are going to lose everything. You would do better to go up to the table and bet your entire bankroll on one hand. There you have a nearly 50-50 chance of winning, while if you bet less and play 1,000 hands, you have a very poor chance of winning. And if you play 100,000 hands, forgetaboutit...



    While i agree with most of your points on this subject SSR, i can't agree with the above. Putting all your bankroll down on 1 50/50 bet has massive variance. While i agree that your chances of coming out ahead might be improved, the in between results of coming out partially behind are totally wiped out. Many times it is a good idea to lose a little EV to decrease variance.

    RJT.
  • When Walter's book came out; he claimed in scores of posts that quit points worked and his strategy gave you an edge over the house. He claimed to have proved this with both hand and computer simulations. Many people told him his sims were bogus and the system failed. He claimed that they were all wrong and people using his system would win. After a couple of years he started to tone down his claims and then faded away. Who knows how many people are fooled by such.
  • RJT said:
    While i agree with most of your points on this subject SSR, i can't agree with the above. Putting all your bankroll down on 1 50/50 bet has massive variance. While i agree that your chances of coming out ahead might be improved, the in between results of coming out partially behind are totally wiped out. Many times it is a good idea to lose a little EV to decrease variance.

    RJT.


    I would not follow that advice either. But my point was this: Given two choices below, which one gives a pure gambler the best chance of winning a lot of money?

    (1) walk up to a table, bet your entire bankroll on one hand (say $100,000).

    (2) walk up to a table and flat-bet $100 until you either win $100,000 or lose everything.

    Choice (2) has a greater risk of going bankrupt, even though you get to play longer before doing so.

    In that one hand trial, if 100 people try it, 42 or so will actually win. In that long trial, almost everyone will lose... That was my point, not that it was a good idea, but it was an attempt to make the point that the longer you play, the closer you come to your theoretical expectation. Which for a progression/non-counter is to lose at a rate of about -.005 * average_bet...
  • shadow_priest_x said:You and I have been around about such things before back "home" on blackjackinfo. You know me over there as SPX…

    Oh, hey man! I didn’t recognize you. Hey, sorry about my last post. I was a little rude, but I though you were one of those progression fanatics. My patience is always a little short with them. Sorry about that.

    You do make some very interesting points that I’d like to address.

    shadow_priest_x said:
    And I do believe that these are thus far not fully substantiated:

    *Progression betting has been 100% PROVEN to be ineffective in the shoe game.


    That has been substantiated with one caveat: in the long run. In the short run a progression system might be able to increase the probability of winning a certain amount of money despite the fact that it does not give you an advantage. However, it also increases the probability that you’re next loss will be a big one. For people who understand and are willing to accept that risk there is nothing wrong with using a progression system.

    shadow_priest_x said:
    *You can't possibly be a winner after several years of play if you don't count cards.


    That’s definitely not true. I know several people who don’t play with an advantage but are ahead after several years of play. Of course, they only play once or twice a year. For someone to play full-time for several years and still be ahead would take an incredible amount of luck. I’m not saying it can’t happen, just that nobody can reasonably expect it to happen to them.

    shadow_priest_x said:
    *All progression systems are equal.


    That has certainly never been proven. Since different types of progression systems have different characteristics, the results will also be different. Some progression systems will give you a higher probability of winning over a given time period but they will also cause you to lose more money in the long run. In that sense you are paying a “fee” by losing more money in order to possibly prolong a winning streak. In my opinion, it is the per-hand “cost” of a progression system that should be weighted against the probability of winning. That way a player can decide how much he is willing to “pay” in order to increase his chances of winning.

    shadow_priest_x said:Furthermore, I still don't believe that the case of the physical shoe game running streakier than the RNG will be truly settled until someone hand deals a billion hands and tallys it up.

    Why bother? With the CV software you can define the shuffle to mimic whatever real-world shuffle you want. There’s no reason to differentiate between the two.

    By the way, we miss you Qfit! :)

    -Sonny-
  • stainless steel rat said:

    1. You mentioned hand-dealt vs PRNG-generated rounds. You are aware that there are _many_ good tests to verify that a PRNG is producing representative numbers? For example, there is the classic poker test. It is not hard to compute the odds of drawing a royal flush, for example, or a pair of aces, or three 6's. The poker test deals cards as produced by the PRNG, and then the resulting poker hands are evaluated. If the odds of drawing 4 aces is 1/52*1/51*1/50*1/49, which turns into 1/6,497,400. Suppose you deal 100 billion hands. You should have received roughly 15,000 royal flushes. Standard deviation can be computed to determine if your 14,297 royal flushes were within 1SD or not. If you repeat that for each possible hand, and you don't find anything odd (say 4 aces dealt 100X as frequently as expected, or something equally suspicious) then your PRNG passed the poker test. And that shows that at least for poker, and the PRNG in question, the cards dealt match what we would expect in a hand-dealt game. There are dozens of other tests used to make sure that the cards produced by the PRNG are both random, and properly distributed. And the PRNG used by Norm is a good one that has been tested by many different people.


    Well I do know that a number of tests have been run but I admit I've never run across the poker test. That's pretty interesting and certainly sounds logical. On the same note, let me point out that I don't necessarily NOT believe that a million simulated hands are not indicative of real-world results . . . I just think that there always will be, and should be, at least some element of doubt until it's proven by actually hand dealing at least 100,000 or so hands.

    That's actually been a bit of a hobby of mine but after several months I only have been able to record about 8500 hands so far. I need a team!

    stainless steel rat said:

    3. On selling a system. If you sell someone a car that you know has an automatic transmission that is about to fail, because a dealer service center told you that, is it honest to tell the buyer about all the virtues of that car, but not about the impending $2,500 repair bill? Or selling a house without revealing that it sits on a sinkhole prone area where large holes have been opening up all year? Selling a system that leads the casual reader to believe it will win money in the casino is the same thing. Caveat Emptor? Certainly comes into play. But the "sin of omission" is just as bad as outright lying about something "Oh, that slightly hard 2-3 shift is normal, I just had the tranny re-built and it is just like new..."


    Well I think there's a difference between someone who blatantly lies and someone who speaks from their own experience. I think a guy like Walter probably is just speaking from his own experience. And if in fact Walter has been able to personally win money and supplement his income playing his progression then is there really something wrong with relaying that information to others?

    Let me give you another example. . .

    Another book I'm a fan of is The Most Powerful Blackjack Manual by Jay Moore. He has a system that has progressive elments but it's not a straight progression. The details aren't really important here but this is:

    He never once says "This will give you a mathematical edge" (and he was previously employed as a math teacher). He says, "This has worked for me over the years." Furthermore, he has the recorded results of his real-world play for one year. He played 2 times a week, about 5 hours per session, for a total of about 25,000 hands. His hands-won/hands-lost rate are right in there around what you would statistically expect (about 44%/48%) and yet he claims, in the end, after a year of play, to have won an average of 2.5 units per hour.

    I've exhanged several e-mails with the guy and I have no reason to assume he's lying (and isn't a man innocent until proven guilty?). He just says, "These are my results and here's how I did it." And I really don't see a problem with that.

    I will also say this: I have only compared the results of his betting method against the results of flat betting for 25 out of the 125 shoes that I have hand-dealt, but out of the four "players" (I deal to 4 spots for realism and comparison purposes) whose results I've thus far processed, EACH ONE is farther ahead using Jay's concepts than flat betting, ranging from about $25 ahead to over $400. (Using a $10 base bet.)

    I'm not saying that PROVES anything and I understand that that's a tiny sampling but it's still interesting.

    stainless steel rat said:

    Progressions do one thing, they lose money at a faster rate than if you flat-bet the table minimum because they increase your average bet.


    Well what about ol' Oscar? Supposedly he never had a single losing session and even Julian Braun and his cohort, after reviewing the system and the man's records, agreed that he could very well be telling the truth. Did he have an edge? An advantage? No. But he played intelligently and was able to come out a winner.

    And yes, Oscar's Grind can lose a lot of money but I would not at all be surprised at a recreational gambler who plays a few times a month (or even every week) who says that he uses the system and is ahead overall.

    stainless steel rat said:

    There will _always_ be exceptions. You might have read about someone winning over $7,000,000 at blackjack in Vegas either this past year or in '06. He was not a counter. He didn't even play correct BS.


    First off, how do you know he didn't play proper BS? Second, well . . . that's what dreams are made of. I didn't hear about it but that's pretty cool.
  • QFIT said:
    When Walter's book came out; he claimed in scores of posts that quit points worked and his strategy gave you an edge over the house. He claimed to have proved this with both hand and computer simulations. Many people told him his sims were bogus and the system failed. He claimed that they were all wrong and people using his system would win. After a couple of years he started to tone down his claims and then faded away. Who knows how many people are fooled by such.


    I at least know that in his book he never actually says that his system will give you an edge, nor does he say that you will win more than you would counting. His main thrust is actually to say that he thinks you'll win more than you would flat betting.

    I wonder what's up with the sims he used? I remember reading that he had problems finding any existing software that he could use to test his progression and he had to go to a programmer to have something custom made. He included some results in the book, but not a million hands, just another sampling of 100 shoes like he had hand dealt.

    Faded away? Hmm. . . I'm sure he's out there somewhere. I think the last I read he said that Blackjack was starting to get a bit dull after all these years and he was getting more into poker these days. I think I ran across that on a post of his in the archives here from '05.
  • Hmmmmm......Are all progressions equal? My view is yes because I care only about advantage or not.

    Any progression, no matter how complex, will break even in a 50/50 coin toss because a progression is a break even strategy. Each step has an equal chance to win or lose. Therefore, if you add up all the win/lose bets the sum must be zero. Add a little bias to heads or tails and you have an advantage or disadvantage.

    Granted...short term variance and total $$$'s can be different, but that is true even for a flat bet player, but only in the short term. If the average bet for all progressions were the same they would all lose the same dollars over time and at the same rate.
  • shadow_priest_x said:
    I at least know that in his book he never actually says that his system will give you an edge, nor does he say that you will win more than you would counting. His main thrust is actually to say that he thinks you'll win more than you would flat betting.

    I wonder what's up with the sims he used? I remember reading that he had problems finding any existing software that he could use to test his progression and he had to go to a programmer to have something custom made. He included some results in the book, but not a million hands, just another sampling of 100 shoes like he had hand dealt.

    Faded away? Hmm. . . I'm sure he's out there somewhere. I think the last I read he said that Blackjack was starting to get a bit dull after all these years and he was getting more into poker these days. I think I ran across that on a post of his in the archives here from '05.


    His system does not beat flat-betting. But he continued to make this claim after many people showed him it could not. It is just like Jay Moore's and thousands of others created over the centuries. People keep on buying these systems and they keep on losing.
  • stainless steel rat said:
    You are aware that there are _many_ good tests to verify that a PRNG is producing representative numbers? For example, there is the classic poker test.


    You forgot my favorite one - the Infinite Monkey test! :)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diehard_tests

    -Sonny-
  • shadow_priest_x said:
    Well I do know that a number of tests have been run but I admit I've never run across the poker test. That's pretty interesting and certainly sounds logical. On the same note, let me point out that I don't necessarily NOT believe that a million simulated hands are not indicative of real-world results . . . I just think that there always will be, and should be, at least some element of doubt until it's proven by actually hand dealing at least 100,000 or so hands.



    That is even more dangerous as a way to think. Do you really believe that a few thousand hands, shuffled and dealt by hand, are absolutely random? That is a requirement for drawing long-term conclusions from a finite number of simulated rounds. If there is any bias in the cards, which long-term there won't be in the real world, then any test that uses those cards is going to be biased as well.

    Discussing random numbers is very difficult when talking to students. They think a uniform random distribution will have the cards evenly scattered, when that is not the expected case (otherwise flushes, trips/quads, straights would be impossible to draw). But "random numbers" with a 1-2-3-4-5 thrown in look wrong... But there really are lots of good PRNG tests. there are tests for uniformity (so that you get approximately the same number of each card), runs (so that you get strings of cards that increase or decrease according to expectations), the poker test I mentioned. And several others, all of which a good PRNG has to pass when used for this kind of work...




    That's actually been a bit of a hobby of mine but after several months I only have been able to record about 8500 hands so far. I need a team!



    Well I think there's a difference between someone who blatantly lies and someone who speaks from their own experience. I think a guy like Walter probably is just speaking from his own experience. And if in fact Walter has been able to personally win money and supplement his income playing his progression then is there really something wrong with relaying that information to others?


    Again, there are "lies" and there are "lies". Claiming a progression with a stop-loss point gives you an advantage is certainly false. Whether it rises to the point of an outright lie, or it is just a result of very poor testing methodology is certainly open for debate. But when someone has a vested interest in selling something he has, there is certainly a strong tendency to overstate the positives and ignore the negatives completely, which gives the wrong impression.




    Let me give you another example. . .

    Another book I'm a fan of is The Most Powerful Blackjack Manual by Jay Moore. He has a system that has progressive elments but it's not a straight progression. The details aren't really important here but this is:

    He never once says "This will give you a mathematical edge" (and he was previously employed as a math teacher). He says, "This has worked for me over the years." Furthermore, he has the recorded results of his real-world play for one year. He played 2 times a week, about 5 hours per session, for a total of about 25,000 hands. His hands-won/hands-lost rate are right in there around what you would statistically expect (about 44%/48%) and yet he claims, in the end, after a year of play, to have won an average of 2.5 units per hour.

    I've exhanged several e-mails with the guy and I have no reason to assume he's lying (and isn't a man innocent until proven guilty?). He just says, "These are my results and here's how I did it." And I really don't see a problem with that.


    I can't respond, other than to say it really stretches the imagination to reach his conclusion and take it seriously. Interesting that we now have _two_ authors, hawking progressions, and both claim "this has won for me over the long-term..." And of course those are not the only two. I can remember my first trip back in the late 70's where there were more gambling "systems" than Carter had little pills...



    I will also say this: I have only compared the results of his betting method against the results of flat betting for 25 out of the 125 shoes that I have hand-dealt, but out of the four "players" (I deal to 4 spots for realism and comparison purposes) whose results I've thus far processed, EACH ONE is farther ahead using Jay's concepts than flat betting, ranging from about $25 ahead to over $400. (Using a $10 base bet.)


    That scares me... Everybody is _ahead_ just playing normal hands? Talk about an event out in the N-sigma range (where N is large)....



    I'm not saying that PROVES anything and I understand that that's a tiny sampling but it's still interesting.



    Well what about ol' Oscar? Supposedly he never had a single losing session and even Julian Braun and his cohort, after reviewing the system and the man's records, agreed that he could very well be telling the truth. Did he have an edge? An advantage? No. But he played intelligently and was able to come out a winner.

    And yes, Oscar's Grind can lose a lot of money but I would not at all be surprised at a recreational gambler who plays a few times a month (or even every week) who says that he uses the system and is ahead overall.



    Yes, but there is a fallacy involved. For every one that plays Oscar's (or any other progression system) and comes out ahead, there are N that play it and come out behind. If you get N people to flipping coins, you'd expect one of them to get way more heads than tails to start with...




    First off, how do you know he didn't play proper BS? Second, well . . . that's what dreams are made of. I didn't hear about it but that's pretty cool.


    The example I mentioned was reported and comments were included about his wild plays including splitting 10's and such, none of which were correct BS since he was not counting.
  • Sonny said:
    You forgot my favorite one - the Infinite Monkey test! :)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diehard_tests

    -Sonny-


    I had forgotten about the "monkeys and typewriters" test until you mentioned it. :)
  • I don't know what happened to Walter, but his ears must be on fire.
  • stainless steel rat said:
    That is even more dangerous as a way to think. Do you really believe that a few thousand hands, shuffled and dealt by hand, are absolutely random?


    Well I would hardly call 100,000 of anything "a few thousand." Would you call 100,000 dollars a few thousand dollars? I would call it a brand new Corvette and a couple of years off work. . .

    stainless steel rat said:

    Again, there are "lies" and there are "lies". Claiming a progression with a stop-loss point gives you an advantage is certainly false. Whether it rises to the point of an outright lie, or it is just a result of very poor testing methodology is certainly open for debate.


    Speaking of lies, deceit and poor methodology. . . If you actually read Walter's book then his own tests showed that his progression lost money without quit points but won money with them. However, on the much-heralded test on the Blackjack Scams page you'll notice that there are results for Flat Betting, Flat Betting w/ Quit Points, Progression Betting and . . . oh, wait, sorry . . . Progression Betting with Quit Points isn't even there!

    You see what I mean? Maybe the test would've very well shown Walter's system to be an all-out loser but the tester was so lazy and partisan that he didn't even test it. And that's a problem in the world of honest research.

    stainless steel rat said:

    I can't respond, other than to say it really stretches the imagination to reach his conclusion and take it seriously. Interesting that we now have _two_ authors, hawking progressions, and both claim "this has won for me over the long-term..." And of course those are not the only two. I can remember my first trip back in the late 70's where there were more gambling "systems" than Carter had little pills...


    Well, let's see. . .

    Here is a bit of info that he provides in his book from his year/20,000 hands of play:

    Won: 8,842 (44.2%)
    Lost: 9,415 (47.08%)
    Push: 1,743 (8.72%)
    Total BJs: 939 / 896 paid 3:2, 32 took even money, 11 pushes
    Total DDs: 1,414 / 826 wins, 479 losses, 109 pushes
    Total Splits: 467

    At the end of the year he claims to have won about 2.5 units per hour on average, to have won 3 of 4 sessions on average, and to have always won more on the three winning sessions than he lost on the losing session.

    He mostly played 6 and 8 decks, as apparently that is predominantly what's available in Canada.

    stainless steel rat said:

    That scares me... Everybody is _ahead_ just playing normal hands? Talk about an event out in the N-sigma range (where N is large)....


    Well, after 24 shoes (I said 25, but after reviewing my records it's 24), yes, everyone's ahead so far.

    My shuffling method is the 2 Pass, Stepladder/Riffle & Re-Stack. I play all hands according to perfect BS (I even keep a chart next two me in case I have to double check a play), rules are 6D S17 DOA DAS, cut off a little over a deck, $10 base bet. . .

    After 24 shoes with an average of about 17 hands per player per shoe:

    Player 1: Flat Bet - + 445
    Jay Moore Method - + 542.50

    Player 2: Flat Bet - + 380
    Jay Moore - + 430

    Player 3: Flat Bet - +495
    Jay Moore - +517.50

    Player 4: Flat Bet - +815
    Jay Moore - +1195

    We'll see how it plays out as I keep dealing. I usually just get about a shoe in a night, a few nights a week. Slow going.

    stainless steel rat said:

    Yes, but there is a fallacy involved. For every one that plays Oscar's (or any other progression system) and comes out ahead, there are N that play it and come out behind. If you get N people to flipping coins, you'd expect one of them to get way more heads than tails to start with...


    I think for someone who gets out to the casino a couple of times a month and would be satisfied with modest profits Oscar's Grind would very possibly consistently provide him with what he's looking for.

    I know plenty of people who seem to "defy the odds." A friend of mine who used to go to Wendover with me had literally NEVER lost until the last time she and I went and she had been many times before I had even met her. She ALWAYS left ahead at least by a small amount. And she didn't even play perfect BS.

    My stepdad has a friend who he says wins EVERY time they go and she says she doesn't count cards. His explanation is just that "she knows how to play Blackjack."

    So I know it seems weird to people here but it happens all the time. I think a hell of a lot more money is lost due to sloppy play and crazy betting than the house's .2-.5% edge.
  • shadow_priest_x said:
    However, on the much-heralded test on the Blackjack Scams page you'll notice that there are results for Flat Betting, Flat Betting w/ Quit Points, Progression Betting and . . . oh, wait, sorry . . . Progression Betting with Quit Points isn't even there!



    I'm only dipping in and out of this thread and half reading these posts - progression systems of any form are just boring - but do you understand just how many different progression systems are in use today? hundreds would be a very low estimate. To disprove every one of these would be a massively time consuming and unproductive effort.
    Mathematically there is no reason why a stop limit would change a losing system into a winning one. No system that is not supported by maths has ever actually beaten a gambling game in the long run.
    And this is the same argument that every progression player comes out with on message boards - look at licentia over at BJInfo - always claiming that nobody has given her system a fair test and that anyone who has tested it and proved that it doesn't work is either lying or done it wrong.
    Look at the wizard Mike, who has finally got so bored of testing all these different systems in an effort to prove to people once and for all that progression systems don't work that he won't test them anymore.
    I'd use a simple analogy here - People said my car wouldn't run on water rather than petrol - and they were right - but i've got this peach flavored water that i'm sure will work and i will keep insisting to others that it does work. The burden's on them to prove that it doesn't work rather than on me to prove that it does before i make the statement.

    RJT.
  • shadow_priest_x said:
    Speaking of lies, deceit and poor methodology. . . If you actually read Walter's book then his own tests showed that his progression lost money without quit points but won money with them. However, on the much-heralded test on the Blackjack Scams page you'll notice that there are results for Flat Betting, Flat Betting w/ Quit Points, Progression Betting and . . . oh, wait, sorry . . . Progression Betting with Quit Points isn't even there!


    Please be more careful before you accuse people of "lies, deceit and poor methodology." The Progression column is WITH quit points. It clearly states that Player 3 stops after four consecutive losses as per Walter's book. Quit points make no difference using basic strategy. Walter is wrong and kept pushing this nonsense after many people explained his mistakes.
  • Shadow_priest_x(with all due respect)...There is little doubt that some blackjack players are life-time winners in spite of the house advantage. Based on the large number of players and limited playing time this is a real possibility. However, the numbers on the negative side limit the likelyhood of such wide-spread anomalies. But a reason to believe goes a long way in convincing a large segment of the population and that is the bait that attracts the fish.

    In short, a progression is a program with meaningless steps and application that attemps to time and capture the unknown future. Sometimes it does(good luck), other times it don't(bad luck). The math: Good luck - bad luck= 0 What remains is the HA.
  • RJT said:
    I'm only dipping in and out of this thread and half reading these posts - progression systems of any form are just boring - but do you understand just how many different progression systems are in use today? hundreds would be a very low estimate. To disprove every one of these would be a massively time consuming and unproductive effort.
    Mathematically there is no reason why a stop limit would change a losing system into a winning one. No system that is not supported by maths has ever actually beaten a gambling game in the long run.
    And this is the same argument that every progression player comes out with on message boards - look at licentia over at BJInfo - always claiming that nobody has given her system a fair test and that anyone who has tested it and proved that it doesn't work is either lying or done it wrong.
    Look at the wizard Mike, who has finally got so bored of testing all these different systems in an effort to prove to people once and for all that progression systems don't work that he won't test them anymore.
    I'd use a simple analogy here - People said my car wouldn't run on water rather than petrol - and they were right - but i've got this peach flavored water that i'm sure will work and i will keep insisting to others that it does work. The burden's on them to prove that it doesn't work rather than on me to prove that it does before i make the statement.

    RJT.


    Well I admit that I only half-way perused Licentia's posts so I could be way off here but I don't rememeber it really being a straight progression. I thought it was more a series of actions that should be taken when certain events take place, i.e. the dealer gets a blackjack so do THIS . . . or something of the sort.

    I don't know. I think that sometimes a system can work for a person that may never work for others, but this gets into some crazy talk about things like the scientific oberserver effect and things of the such, none of which could ever be subjected to a sim.
  • QFIT said:
    Please be more careful before you accuse people of "lies, deceit and poor methodology." The Progression column is WITH quit points. It clearly states that Player 3 stops after four consecutive losses as per Walter's book. Quit points make no difference using basic strategy. Walter is wrong and kept pushing this nonsense after many people explained his mistakes.


    You're right, I do apologize. It's probably been a good year since I first read that page and so, when I glanced back at it and saw Flat Betting, Flat Betting w/ Quit Points and Progression by itself it just seemed to typical of what I would expect.

    My mistake.
  • Ray said:
    Shadow_priest_x(with all due respect)...There is little doubt that some blackjack players are life-time winners in spite of the house advantage. Based on the large number of players and limited playing time this is a real possibility. However, the numbers on the negative side limit the likelyhood of such wide-spread anomalies. But a reason to believe goes a long way in convincing a large segment of the population and that is the bait that attracts the fish.

    In short, a progression is a program with meaningless steps and application that attemps to time and capture the unknown future. Sometimes it does(good luck), other times it don't(bad luck). The math: Good luck - bad luck= 0 What remains is the HA.


    Well, first off. . . Despite all the noise I'm causing around here I would never put my money on a progression system beating the house edge, especially not in a billion hand electronic sim.

    I think that what I'm fighting for really is that people who are trying new things get their chance to speak and to be listened to. While I fully believe in the effectiveness of card counting I would also like to see the development of ever newer, easier, more effective methods of play be developed. But ANY TIME someone attempts to look at anything that doesn't involve card counting or gimmicky tactics like hole carding or ace steering, they're immediately shot out of the sky like a WWII Kamikaze pilot.

    Consider the Leon Dubey 'No Need to Count' system. . . Even on Arnold Snyder's website, he admits that while the edge is tiny, you CAN get an edge using it. I will agree with him under that circumstances that you might as well just count cards all things considered. But that's not the point. The point is that it IS possible do gain a mathematical edge without counting cards. (NOTE: And don't say Leon's system works for the same reason counting works, because that still doesn't make it counting since you never count a single card!)

    But Leon's system would be BLASTED if he came onto a board like this out of the blue and tried to push it. Consider some of it's elements:

    Increase your Bet After a Loss
    Decrease Your Bet After a Win or Push
    Increase Your Bet After Any Non-Ace Pair Split
    Etc.

    On the surface it looks like straight-up voodoo but if you sim it it WILL come out ahead.

    And I think he was on the right track. And that's where I'm at. I just don't believe that the age of innovation is over. I think it's a good thing to try to find new ways to win more money, more easily, with less risk, etc.

    And after all, isn't that the definition of progress?
  • shadow_priest_x said:

    But Leon's system would be BLASTED if he came onto a board like this out of the blue and tried to push it. Consider some of it's elements:

    Increase your Bet After a Loss
    Decrease Your Bet After a Win or Push
    Increase Your Bet After Any Non-Ace Pair Split
    Etc.

    On the surface it looks like straight-up voodoo but if you sim it it WILL come out ahead.


    Not Voodoo at all - but it should be blasted. This is an extremely weak counting system based on the fact that losing hands use more low cards on average. It doesn't work in a casino as it would require an enormous spread at single deck to obtain an advantage. Any system that 'works' must take into account cards that have been seen in some manner. This system does. Just not well enough to actually realize a profit.
  • shadow_priest_x said:
    Well I admit that I only half-way perused Licentia's posts so I could be way off here but I don't rememeber it really being a straight progression. I thought it was more a series of actions that should be taken when certain events take place, i.e. the dealer gets a blackjack so do THIS . . . or something of the sort.

    I don't know. I think that sometimes a system can work for a person that may never work for others, but this gets into some crazy talk about things like the scientific oberserver effect and things of the such, none of which could ever be subjected to a sim.


    Unfortunately the system didn't give any information about what was coming, so she could have used anything - a woman with a chest size bigger than a B sitting at the table, 2 6's getting dealt in a row, a waitress of an ethnic minority walking past - to justify raising her bet, it wouldn't make any difference. It was still just another progression system. We don't have to test every possible combination of progression system to know that they don't work.
    If you want to believe in that system that works for just one person, that's fine. But you have to accept the very real chance and by far the most likely outcome that you are not going to be one of the 'one' people. By that i mean that possibly there are statistical annomalies posing as gamblers out there who have won and continue to win using a progression systems, but it is just dumb luck, nothing more. These people are so rare that they are not worth considering and your chances of becoming one of those annomalies are equally unworthy of consideration. You are looking at worse than lottery odds (just a guess) that you are going to be one of these people even if you jump from progression system to progression system for the rest of your life.

    RJT.
  • QFIT said:
    Not Voodoo at all - but it should be blasted. This is an extremely weak counting system based on the fact that losing hands use more low cards on average.


    I understand that it's really not particularly effective in regard to actually making money, but it's definitely interesting from an academic standpoint. One thing I have to disagree with you about though is that you refer to it as a COUNTING system and it's not. Counting is a specific act that involves assigning values to cards and then keeping track of what cards have been dealt by tracking the sum of the values.

    So okay, say it works for the same reason that counting works, but don't call it counting.
  • RJT said:
    Unfortunately the system didn't give any information about what was coming, so she could have used anything - a woman with a chest size bigger than a B sitting at the table, 2 6's getting dealt in a row, a waitress of an ethnic minority walking past - to justify raising her bet, it wouldn't make any difference. It was still just another progression system. We don't have to test every possible combination of progression system to know that they don't work.
    If you want to believe in that system that works for just one person, that's fine. But you have to accept the very real chance and by far the most likely outcome that you are not going to be one of the 'one' people. By that i mean that possibly there are statistical annomalies posing as gamblers out there who have won and continue to win using a progression systems, but it is just dumb luck, nothing more. These people are so rare that they are not worth considering and your chances of becoming one of those annomalies are equally unworthy of consideration. You are looking at worse than lottery odds (just a guess) that you are going to be one of these people even if you jump from progression system to progression system for the rest of your life.

    RJT.



    Nah, I'm not saying I'm striving to be a statistical anomaly. Though I do feel that the edge against you in blackjack is so small that if someone like Walter or my neighbor or some guy I meet on the street tells me that he has been playing blackjack for several years, doesn't count and is ahead overall it's not some extremely shocking moment and I generally wouldn't doubt what they say.

    I've sat at a lot of losing tables and a lot of winning tables. Am I behind or ahead overall? To be honest, I haven't kept good enough records to know. But if someone else tells me that they have won more than lost I'll just shrug and think to myself that they sat at more good tables than bad.
  • shadow_priest_x said:
    I understand that it's really not particularly effective in regard to actually making money, but it's definitely interesting from an academic standpoint. One thing I have to disagree with you about though is that you refer to it as a COUNTING system and it's not. Counting is a specific act that involves assigning values to cards and then keeping track of what cards have been dealt by tracking the sum of the values.

    So okay, say it works for the same reason that counting works, but don't call it counting.


    Semantics. It's is one of numerous forms of card play that involves the passing of cards. Traditional card-counting, shuffle-tracking, Ace prediction, depth-charging, card-steering or simply looking at the number of Tens on the table are all based on the same principles. The particular reason the strategy you mention "works" is discussed in Theory of Blackjack. Also on a couple of my sites. You must make decisions based on seen cards in a manner that makes mathematical sense.
  • I do NOT beleive he is any kind of scam artist. In the past I always found him to be helpful and most willing to answer questions and help new players in any way he could. In short Walter is a nice guy and just because his method of playing blackjack is not the same as some others it doesn't make him a scam artist.
  • rogue1 said:
    I do NOT beleive he is any kind of scam artist. In the past I always found him to be helpful and most willing to answer questions and help new players in any way he could. In short Walter is a nice guy and just because his method of playing blackjack is not the same as some others it doesn't make him a scam artist.


    Read your own Voltaire quote. And add this by Voltaire "As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities."

    Yes he is a nice guy that helpfully delivers people to casinos to throw away their money.
  • If you are hell-bent on playing blackjack without an apparent/known advantage, then I am of the opinion that anything that will reduce the HA is better than a progression? The inferred low card count method is a good start. There are a few other little things that can be added to this concept that may give you an even better chance to win.

    - look at all those low cards- increase your bet and stand on 16 vs 10.
    - look at all those large cards- reduce your bet and hit 12 vs 4.
    - The doctor pepper rule for 12 vs 4 (10-2-4)
    - The rule of 4-5 for 16 vs 10
    - learn and play the (4) Mag/7 hands for doubles

    All of the above are simply extensions of basic strategy that you should learn until the plays are automatic.

    Lastly, a very big addition to your tool box could be "hand interaction" and is well defined in Fred Renzey's Blue Book. Some players have the personality for this action, while others don't.
  • At http://www.blackjackincolor.com/useless5.htm you will see a 1,000,000 hand sim of Walter's strategy. This is a small number of hands. But gives a graphical view of what a progression looks like.

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