Total newbie questions
  • Hi everyone. This is my first time looking at or posting to this board.

    I am a newbie to Blackjack strategy and come to this game through some reading on statistics and odds that I've been doing lately out of boredom more than anything else.

    I've been playing a free blackjack game at the web site www.blackjackcenter.com for the last week or so. Using a combination of the basic strategy (that can be read on that web site) and an odds-based strategy of my own I have "won" an imaginary $60,000 over the last 2 days. Sounds pretty hard to believe but it's true.

    Anyway, I'm wondering if this free on-line game is like real--as in playing for money--on-line blackjack games. Can anyone tell me?

    Also, if anyone has experience playing Blackjack in a Las Vegas or Atlantic City casino, is it against the rules to keep a note pad and record won and lost hands while playing. It's not card counting, just keeping track of how many hands are won or lost.

    I know this a lot to ask. Thanks in advance for any info.
  • Frank - I have never played blackjack on-line so someone else will have to answer that one.

    Re your other question.....Keeping notes at a BJ table at an LV (or any other) casino is NOT allowed.

    Regards....Grifter
  • Keeping notes is not allowed, but cheat-sheets (eg strategy tables) are allowed, right??
  • Swanson - Correct.....I have never seen Basic Strategy cards "barred" (although someone posted on the old site that they had).

    Grifter
  • I have my own BS card which I made myself. It is about 12" by 12" which I keep in my hand when I play. I play only in AC. Eight decks. I never place the card on the table. Pit bosses have wandered over to me and looked at my card. No problem at all. I wonder what they will say when I sit down at the table with my "cam corder". and tape each game.
  • ROFLMAO :wink: Ted, I would strongly suggest you don't even try to take your camcorder to a table. A tape recorder with the numbers +1, 0, +2, -1, -2, +4, etc. already recorded on it probably woudn't be a good idea either.
  • :wink: Frank, if you have a system that won you 60 grand on the online casino game, you have a money maker. The online game is the same as the casino's play. If I were you I would take that system and the one you devised and proceed to the nearest casino. I would then proceed to "send it in". It's OK to take notes too. If anyone say's you can't take notes just tell that you know Grifter from the chat room. The worse they could do is take your pencil away.
  • Ask Walter Thomason how one casino cruise boat out of Florida treated him and his party when they tried to take notes during research for the book, even after he had cleared it with management. And then on top they wouldn't even permit BS cards. Ever since they found out who they had dissed, they've been trying to make it up to him with all sorts of friendly invitations and offers. (all this in his book 21st Century Blackjack). I think Walter should get everybody on this board invited to that cruise ship, all travel to get there paid, and $500 in promotional chips per person. And free food and drinks. Then maybe they can be forgiven.
  • Ted - a 12" by 12" basic strategy card??!! Why not 36" by 48" and stand it on an easel?
  • LOL.... hahaha... anyway, what's up with not being able to take NOTES at a table... I thought the only thing you're not allowed to have is ELECTRONICS??? Why do they allow you to have a BASIC STRATEGY CHART but not take NOTES?! Seems pretty messed up to me if this is actually the case!
  • I'm at the stage where I can cut the chart down. Probably in half. I have trouble with soft hands, and which cards to split against which. But, I have plenty of time to study it. My next trip to AC will be Sept 15. Bug, I would never post bad info on here. I used the chart and no one said a word. And plenty of people saw it. The only comment from one pit boss was not to lay it on the table as a card might get under it and screw things up. I played about 6 sessions at different tables, but never more than a $15 table.
  • Ted said:
    Bug, I would never post bad info on here.


    Nor am I saying you are... I just find it very odd that casino's would NOT care about using a BS card to reduce the odds from 12% all the way down to 0.5%, but to care just for having a small notepad and a pencil.... :shock: As I said in my earlier post, it's not ELECTRONICS so why would it matter?!?!?!?!?!?!
  • BuGhOu§eMASTER said:
    [quote=Ted]Bug, I would never post bad info on here.


    Nor am I saying you are... I just find it very odd that casino's would NOT care about using a BS card to reduce the odds from 12% all the way down to 0.5%, but to care just for having a small notepad and a pencil.... :shock: As I said in my earlier post, it's not ELECTRONICS so why would it matter?!?!?!?!?!?![/quote]

    From what I've read of Renzey's articles, the basic house edge is around 1-3% for most players (not 12%). It drops to .5% if you play perfect basic strategy.
  • BuGhOu§eMASTER said:
    ... I just find it very odd that casino's would NOT care about using a BS card to reduce the odds from 12% all the way down to 0.5%, but to care just for having a small notepad and a pencil.... :shock: As I said in my earlier post, it's not ELECTRONICS so why would it matter?!?!?!?!?!?!


    Bug, with a notepad you could keep count effortlessly with zero mental strain. If they permitted them, casino blackjack operations would go broke in a week or two.
  • From what I've read of Renzey's articles, the basic house edge is around 1-3% for most players (not 12%). It drops to .5% if you play perfect basic strategy.


    No. That is assuming that "most players" play Basic Strategy NEARLY PERFECTLY and that is by no means a close shot with all the moronic players out there who get lost after they get dealt a soft hand against a dealer 2, for example. It's playing flawless BS that will reduce it all the way to 0.5%, but if players do not do hitting and standing moves properly, the single most highest % of how the house has so much of an edge, and couple that with not knowing when to double or split your hands, their edge is ~>10%. The house having just a 3% edge would mean that a VERY HIGH % of players are doing what they're supposed to be doing (SPLITTING 9's vs. 9, ALWAYS SPLITTING their 8's, even against a 10 or Ace) all the time and we all know many players are timid to do for example the examples in () that I provided because they're on the mentality that "oh, I'll just get dealt a 10 on both my 8's and lose anyway because the dealer will have 10 in the hole, giving them 20, etc. Not many players know BS PERFECTLY, and thus, the House will always have a greater advantage than the ideal 0.5% against most players.
  • Bug, I'll defer to the experts on this one, but for it to even be possible for the house to have a 12% edge (I don't know if it's reasonably possible or not), the player would have to be absolutely atrocious. Most of the deviations from basic strategy end up costing the player a few hundredths of a percent (according to Renzey). To get all the way up to 12%, you'd have to play about every hand wrong, I'd guess. Even then, I don't know if you'd get all the way to 12% or not.

    In this article, he says that the average house take on BJ is 1.5%.

    http://renzey.casinocitytimes.com/articles/1065.html
  • And this article says a 'rank amateur' gives the house about a 3.5% advantage. I honestly don't know if 12% would even be possible.

    http://renzey.casinocitytimes.com/articles/1082.html
  • Well, I may be overshooting it a little, but I even remember someone breaking down the %'s of how much Basic Strategy helps you, from making the correct hitting/standing decisions which decrease the house odds the most, to making proper doubling and splitting plays.

    I know for a FACT that if someone just plays their own haphazard way, and doesn't know about splitting things and just goes about splitting things however the hell they want (10's or 5's for example), it can get that high, 10% FOR SURE, and 12-12.5% from what I'm remembering if the player is just sucky.

    You have to remember, Buffarino, that BJ is the game in which the house can have the HIGHEST ADVANTAGE, simply because of all the poor players that dont know what to do, and are just playing on "gut". Think about it, if EVERYONE played flawless BS, do you think the casino's would enjoy having ONLY a 0.5% advantage, as opposed to the 5-7% BUILT-IN edge they already have in Roulette, or SLOTS? Of course not! But because the vast majority of players dont play BS to the max, their average edge remains up there, even if you have the few flawless BS players like myself, who force them to have UP TO a 0.5% edge.
  • Buffarino, here's a post by a strong BJ player that I notice you didn't say anything about on another thread:

    [i]I know the casinos expect a take of between 15-20% on the blackjack tables, if it averaged out to less than 1% I wonder what they might do? [i/]

    That's even worse odds than what I had said... @ 12%.... you mind asking him how he got it to 15-20%???
  • BuGhOu§eMASTER said:
    Buffarino, here's a post by a strong BJ player that I notice you didn't say anything about on another thread:

    [i]I know the casinos expect a take of between 15-20% on the blackjack tables, if it averaged out to less than 1% I wonder what they might do? [i/]

    That's even worse odds than what I had said... @ 12%.... you mind asking him how he got it to 15-20%???


    Renzey has done the math and has written books. I'll take his word for it. You do (and believe) whatever you like, Bug.
  • The 15-20% "take" is the typical "drop for a BJ table. Drop is calculated as the amount of money held divided by the total buy-ins. This is much different that the house advantage on each bet. The simple way to explain this difference is that the same money gets bet multiple times in a typical session. A typical non-counter, non-BS player might buy in for 10-20 times their average bet. They would then play approx 60 hands per hour for an average of maybe an hour. Under these assumptions, the same chips will be bet 3-6 times (and be subject to the house edge each time they are bet). So, you would expect the drop or take % to be some multiple of the house edge %.

    A player playing mimic the dealer strategy gives up a house edge on the order of 7-8%. 12% would be possible with really bad play. Most Vegas casinos factor in a house edge of 2-3% for comp calculations (they then comp 20-30% of this expected loss).
  • I always keep track of my games on a pocket note pad, I record the results after I leave the table but once as I was quitting I just turned in my chair and did it, but it was enough to get immeadiate attention from the pit boss, I wondered if they are trained to watch for any 'writing instruments' at the table. I have assumed since then that any note taking at the table is taboo. And it doesen't matter if as opposed to electonics if its 'legal or not', its thier game, they make the rules and can ask you not to do it or leave, except for AC, I don't know how they would handle it there. As for BS cards I have seen more than one pit boss pull one out of thier pocket when questioned about a play, and they were happy to tell the player which play was indicated by BS.
  • Thanks Coug fan for clearing that up, I had erroneously indicated that this 'take' actually represented the true house advantage percentage.
  • I removed the braw from this thread. Any more posts like that will be romoved from this thread. If you want to fight - use the "Bughouse Braw" thread.

    (I hope this works)

    Neil
  • Good deal, Neil :) Thanks for freely promoting Bughouse for me!! ^_^

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