Streaks and bet variations for non-counters?
  • Hypothetical question for the math gurus here... (sorry for the length)

    Quite a few books (although not exactly quality ones...) promote the idea of using streaks for progression, regression, etc., touting streaks as some mythical force in the world of professional gamblers. Thus, if the roulette hit red three times in a row, bet on red again. I've even seen BJ books recommending that for non-counters.

    At face value, it seems like bull because given a big enough bankroll, deciding money management or strategy by streaks in a negative expectation game shouldn't give you a chance of winning in the long run.

    On the other hand, unlike craps, blackjack does not consist of completely independent trials, so a streak could have some underlying meaning due to the count even if one is a noncounter. If one just won two hands in a row, it could be that I am in a more favourable count even if I am not aware of it

    So, if we take for example the following money management strategy for BJ: "bet 5, 10, 10, 15, 15,..." as long as you are on a streak, but quit if you lose four hands in a row" and a player playing BS with no variations on a single-deck game (let's assume 3:2 for optimism). What would the effect on house edge be in this case ? It seems that a player might be reaping off from counting without actually counting.

    I'm asking because the only good source on money management I know (BJMath) doesn't treat this issue, and I'm not proficient enough with CVBJ to find how to simulate this.
    I doubt the difference is significant, but I'm still intrigued after seeing all the "winning for noncounter" resources out there.

    Personally, I still intend to practice counting. In fact, I caved in and booked 5 days in Vegas for June... :) Decided to go to AC just to see how bad it is, but not play there.
  • slpgh said:
    So, if we take for example the following money management strategy for BJ: "bet 5, 10, 10, 15, 15,..." as long as you are on a streak, but quit if you lose four hands in a row" and a player playing BS with no variations on a single-deck game (let's assume 3:2 for optimism). What would the effect on house edge be in this case ?


    There would be no effect on the house edge.
  • The only betting strategy I believe in is betting the same amount of units each hand when applying the basic strategy unless your counting cards. Your betting strategy could put you in a position were your larger bets are placed during a minus count.
  • Grifter said:

    There would be no effect on the house edge.


    Would there truly be a 0% difference, or is the difference simply neglible?

    If I recall correctly, one can expect to win about 43% of blackjack hands on average, but the chances per hand during a high count are higher and they are lower during a low count.

    Wouldn't a player playing the described strategy be, on average, more likely to spend his time playing while the count is positive? If lower count decreases the chance of winning a hand (and not only of winning a natural, or is this the only advantage of counting except for strategy variation?), wouldn't the decreased count result in reaching the X loses streak faster, and thus evict the player from the table faster?

    Unless I am misunderstanding all the benefits of counting, it seems that this strategy would result in different expectation than simply paying BS without ever leaving the table until ruin?
  • Kuna said:
    The only betting strategy I believe in is betting the same amount of units each hand when applying the basic strategy unless your counting cards. Your betting strategy could put you in a position were your larger bets are placed during a minus count.


    That's essentially what I did on my first trip to vegas (wanted to get used to real casino setting). But I'm wondering whether there's even in a shred of truth in that mythical belief in streaks that I've seen or some reason why professional gamblers would play games like craps or roulette where there's no way to achieve positive expectation.
  • The 7% house advantage you are refering to is for those players who have not mastered the basic Startegy. They get behind and start increasing their bets when they shouldnt or they just make stupid moves ie hit when they shouldnt etc. Once you master the basic strategy the house advantage is cut down to below 1% if you play perfectly and keep your bets even.
  • Kuna said:
    The 7% house advantage you are refering to is for those players who have not mastered the basic Startegy. They get behind and start increasing their bets when they shouldnt or they just make stupid moves ie hit when they shouldnt etc. Once you master the basic strategy the house advantage is cut down to below 1% if you play perfectly and keep your bets even.


    43% referred to the chances of winning a hand. If I understand correctly, even playing mimic-the-dealer you are only with a 5% house advantage because BJs play 3:2.
  • You are never going to have an advantage over the house unless you master counting cards. Even playing perfect BS you will loose in the long run. One thing I forgot to mention before is that you need to be able to have a BR of atleast 30 units so that you could ride out a loosing streak. And the key is also to walk away once you are 30 units ahead.
  • History has no meaning in blackjack unless you count cards and here are
    some of the reasons: A CC gains much of his advantage after he is
    aware of his and the dealers hand. He may hit or not based on the count;
    he may double or not based on the count; he may split or not based on the count. How can streaks convey that information. Only the Mystics
    know or at least that is what they want you to believe.

    You and the dealer have the same opportunity for good hands, streaks can
    not identify who or when. Steaks occur at the rate they should and they
    say nothing about advantage or diadvantage, currently or in the future.
  • let me add something about betting systems. While the house "edge" doesn't change, your loss rate can. If you don't count, your loss rate is simply hands_played * house_edge * average_bet_size. If your betting system tends to ramp you up above the table min, then you lose more per hand... A progression is perfect for this. You have a way to increase your average bet size, while maintaining the same house edge. They'll comp you to death while you slowly go broke. :)
  • slpgh:

    In response to a post a while back... you wondered if a lower count presumes a lower winning percentage and Blackjack percentage... Yes it does. For example, using A5 as a running count method... when the score is -6 (the lowest count one plays) you will be dealt BJ about 1 in 25 hands. When the score is +9 ( high, but occurs about once in 3,000 rounds, you might see it in a years worth of play) the odds of being dealt a BJ is 1 in 14. The winning pct. is a bit tricky to answer... as the lowest occurs at -2 (the starting point) being 42.65%, at the same +9 score its 43.5%. In this trick answer, although at -6 the win pct. is 42.9%, the fewer Blackjacks, and split-pairs offset the increase in DD opportunities, and the house gets a larger advantage.
  • All good points.......I would like to say something about advantage and
    bets that most new folks just don't understand. You bet more when there
    is a high count because you have a better chance to win more money,
    but not more hands. There is a big difference in these two concepts.
    One is just plain wrong(win more hands)...the other is correct(win more money).

    Ray
  • Hello SLPGH....interesting read.

    "I'm not proficient enough with CVBJ to find out how to simulate this issue."

    SLPGH...How do you like CVBJ....I was thinking about purchasing it and wanted to know if the cost was worth it.

    Thanks,

    Bubba
  • Hi Bubba.
    There are lots of people here who're experts on CVBJ and they can probably give better feedback than me.

    I've tinkered with CVBJ and its various tools and they are very impressive. The tool is pro-quality, you can pretty much run everything you could think of. Even a beginner can start using the main game (CVBJ) becasue you can select your level and cancel options accordingly.

    The problem is that if you are a beginner, the external tools like the "what-if" simulators are pretty difficult because of the range of options. Also, it feels to me like the simulator assumes that your choices always make sense. If you want something freeform, some crazy idea, it's more difficult to implement although I might be wrong here.

    Still, it is the best package out there. I can think of two weaknesses:
    1) Price tag: unaffordable if you are a recreational player whose using very low bankrolls to begin with but still want to beat the house. I would have to play for years with perfect counting and luck to pay back for the investment. If you're a green bettor though, it's not biggie.

    2) CVBJ uses a virtual "assistant" with speech, and it sounds terrible (mid-80s text-to-speech quality). You can turn it off, but its still annoying till you get to the options screen. That assistant is so annoying I would rather have the Microsoft Office Clippie assistant... :)






    bubba22001 said:
    Hello SLPGH....interesting read.

    "I'm not proficient enough with CVBJ to find out how to simulate this issue."

    SLPGH...How do you like CVBJ....I was thinking about purchasing it and wanted to know if the cost was worth it.

    Thanks,

    Bubba
  • SLPGH, .sounds like you "tinkered" quite a bit. Why would you have to play for years to obtain your own copy? Why can't you continue to use the one you already practiced on? What is the cost, thus putting it out of the hands of a red chipper? In addition, if I think the cost is acceptable, where can I purchase it?

    Thanks SLPGH....
  • bubba22001 said:
    SLPGH, .sounds like you "tinkered" quite a bit. Why would you have to play for years to obtain your own copy?


    If I play at an unfavourable 3$ or 5$ table with low spreads and limited bankrolls (I'm a poor graduate student and I don't have a good poker face for hiding my counting), it'll take me a long time to accumulate 200$ :)
    (Price of CVCX+CVDATA. Not sure about CVBJ pricing)
    Either way, you might the free version of CVBJ good enough for your needs.

    The simulations and the drills have some limitations in the demo mode, but if you're a relative beginner like me, the demo might be good enough for your needs

    good luck !

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