Table Hopping...
  • Recently at an eastern casino I back counted a six deck game and was about to enter when one player said, "Do you mind sitting out this shoe so the cards don't change?" I said, no problem. Should I have told the guy to go shit in it hat, or did I do the right thing and wait? From reading Blackjack Bluebood II it seems I should of told the guy sorry but I'm playing?

    Any comments?

    Thanks, Jim
  • I would say "I'm not here very long, if I sit out, I will end up not playing at all. By the way, my joining or leaving doesn't affect your winning chances at all, that is just superstition."

    You could also ask "If I need to leave, do I need your permission so that I won't screw up the flow of the cards a second time?"

    Then the first time you get two 10's, split them. Before you know it, the problem will be "gone". :)
  • LOL....I heard Grifter is the master at emptying a table during positive count....?
  • I've never met him, perhaps one day our paths will cross.

    But the art of emptying a table is an acquired skill that can be useful. In fact, it is probably more important than learning to split 10's. :)

    I used to have a small electronic "personal alarm" I would carry in my pocket. When an obnoxious ploppy would give someone advice, or criticize their playing, or whatever, I would give the button an unobserved tap and let it squeal. Someone (the dealer or a player) would ask "what in hell is that?" I'd respond. Sorry. It's my bullshit detector. Forgot to turn it off when I sat down, and that load of bullshit set it off.

    Worked pretty well. :)
  • A double order of huevos rancheros, refried beans, and jalapenos about two hours before you play will work wonders for clearing a table when needed.

    Grifter
  • Jim- You gave the right response...There is more fish in the river...
    Proper street smarts is pure gold and understood by the few.
  • OK grifter...

    either (a) our paths will _never_ cross... or if we do, (b) I'll be the guy with the portable oxygen tank and mask on the other side of the table.

    :)

    Actually (b) sounds bad. Oxygen + Methane + one smoker and we could blow hell out of the casino.. :)
  • Just curious....I have never seen a person on oxygen in a casino and curious if they would be permitted to play BJ at the same time other people were smoking...


    Jim
  • I have seen it in vegas and on the MS coast. Had a player at my table (old lady in a wheelchair with an O2 tank on the back) the last time I was on the MS coast in fact. Don't see this frequently, but do see it on occasion...
  • Jim, when you back count a game, for how many hands do you do it before you either move away or play? and how many players are there on average ?

    By the way, did anyone get less heat from the pit if they were sitting in first base with other places at the higher bases? I'm wondering if this improves cover in any way, because at least in an SD game one would want to sit as high as possible ?
  • At the present time I only backcount two decks for a 6D/3 decks for 8D game. I will count the first two/three (8D) decks and if positive I will jump in and play. This will happen about 20% of the time. At this stage in my counting I can't count with accuracy while playing with all distractions, etc. This is why I will move from table to table and backcount until I get a positive table. I have read where if you backcount a 6D game, and negative after two decks dealt...33% of time the entire shoe will be neg. I then will continue to play or if in Vegas I will go to a different casino. Hard to do if nearest casino is two hundred miles away....lol

    Hope this makes sense....Jim
  • In addition, I will look for tables with no more than three players in the game. I usually play in the am so this is not always a problem.

    Best, Jim
  • Sounds like you're there for a long time, what's your technique? Do you talk on the phone? just watch? play "search for the 100$ bill"?
  • If I'm in Vegas I'll just walk from table to table...leave and go to another casino, etc. If I'm playing an eastern Indian 8D I'll wait to enter a game with a positive count, and just keep on playing. I will also leave the table after two decks if count is -3 and find another. It dosen't really take that much time. Just look stupid with your fanny pack and and convention button on...lol

    I like to take advantage of every little thing I learn. Reminds me of when I read Barfunkle's (?) interview with Grif....when I made the comment in another post about Grif knowing how to lighten up a table during a high positive count, I meant like having a $25 bet out and receiving a 10,2 verses a 10....just double for a dollar and watch the other players cry and leave.....nice playing by yourself with a high count.

    Best, Jim
  • jimpenn said:
    If I'm in Vegas I'll just walk from table to table...leave and go to another casino, etc. If I'm playing an eastern Indian 8D I'll wait to enter a game with a positive count, and just keep on playing. I will also leave the table after two decks if count is -3 and find another. It dosen't really take that much time. Just look stupid with your fanny pack and and convention button on...lol

    Best, Jim


    Hmm... Convention buttons, I should think about that... But then again, they have our names on them ;) I hoped it wouldn't get as bad as fanny packs though :( The sacrifices we have to make... ;)

    So you don't back count in vegas ? or you do for a hand or two ? That's what I'm wondering, how long do you back-count to see a count change. It also seems difficult to count cards from the side or from behind, where exactly are you standing...
  • slpgh...In Vegas I would count 2 decks of a 6D shoe...not two hands. Remember I'm just learning and still slow at what I'm attempting to accomplish. In an 8D game, I would back count 3 decks and make a decision on entering or going to another new shuffle elsewhere in house, or leave and walk across the street. I'm not attempting to make a big score at this point...just attempting to put some logic in approach and gain an advantage. It's a lot easier to count looking over your shoulder than sitting next to you in a game, and I don't think I'm capable of counting and playing at this time. Once I would enter the shoe I would forget about counting and just play basic strategy.
  • Hey Grifter... If I were to light up a smoke about then, the table might get COMPLETELY cleared. And you thought ol 007 had an ejector seat !!

    LOL ;o)
  • jimpenn said:
    In Vegas I would count 2 decks of a 6D shoe...not two hands. Remember I'm just learning and still slow at what I'm attempting to accomplish. In an 8D game, I would back count 3 decks and make a decision on entering or going to another new shuffle elsewhere in house, or leave and walk across the street.


    Aren't the pit bosses getting nervous if you're near a table for 3 minutes and then joining in ? I'm just wondering how these things work...
  • This is part of the "act". You obviously can't stand over the table, counting intently, and then sit down when the count rises. Pit critters are dumb, but not stupid. :)

    If you can find two tables close together, back-count both. Not many pit critters are aware we can do that. Pretend to talk on your cell phone while back-counting. Have someone with you where you appear to be engrossed in conversation occasionally glancing at the table frequently enough to keep up with the count. If the count tanks quickly, go to another table/pit to back-count. If you are near to the "growing roots" stage, they will figure out what you are doing.

    For starters, stand way away from the pit and watch what others are doing. There are always many "observers" at games, your mission is to blend in with them and not stand out...
  • There are some casinos that won't let you in mid shoe. They will make you wait until the shoe is finished and after they have shuffled the cards they will let you play. When you are playing you can adjust your bet when the count is positive by doubling it and when it is zero or negative by betting your normal bet. The count is a small advantage only .5% per positive # not a huge precentage like they makeout on the history channel glamorizing card counting. By the way they are fairly interesting programs on how the mit blackjack team took vegas for over a million dollars and there is another one with an mit professor who wrote the book beat the dealer who won like $80,000 in the 50's.
  • no mid-shoe entry means one of two things.

    (1) you walk and find another game;

    (2) or you "play all" and use a big spread. 1-20 for 6D for example, because you will play so many hands (min bet) at a house advantage. Of course, while you can't wong in, you can certainly wong out if the count tanks, by going to the restroom.

    Also note that your advantage can be higher than +.5. That is a typical 6D advantage for a TC of +2. At +4 you have a 1.5 advantage. at +8 it is 3.5, etc. Of course those +8's are pretty rare.

    And remember that "a small number multiplied by a big number is a big number". That is, a .5 advantage times a $100 bet is a much bigger win than .5 * $5.00. You can multiply your advantage by ramping up your bet as your advantage climbs, and you can minimize losses by ramping down as the count tanks...
  • Most casinos will limit the "no mid shoe entry" to $25 and up. The other
    day I thought otherwise, but it turned out that they had not taken the
    sign down when going to 10-15.

    On the subject of the MIT group. Why do you think they were caught?
    My guess is the lack of real street smarts. Street Smarts 101 is not
    offered anywhere that I know of other than experience-ville. Even for
    us R&D guys the important learning comes after theory...........
  • I would agree about the MIT guys. 20 year olds, inserted into the lifestyle of a gambler with 40 years of experience. But they didn't have the experience, and made little mistakes here and there that no experienced person would think about. For example having everyone register using their _real_ address in Mass. Hard to teach experience. For example, I taught my son to shoot a rifle about as well as I do. But I can't teach him to hunt as quickly. Too much has been learned by experience, by walking thru the woods, by studying the animals being hunted, and so forth. Doesn't do you a lot of good if you can shoot the wings off a gnat at 100 yards, but you can't get within a mile of any game animals because you smell like after-shave. :)

    Another problem is "fairness". The guys doing the playing have a tough time realizing that the way they play is enabled by the "silent investors" that provide the bankroll to support that betting level. The players feel cheated, and it is hard to get the best effort from an employee that feels like he/she is being taken advantage of. I've done a little team play, but the "bank" was provided by we the players, equally. And when we finished up, we split the money since we went as a group and left as a group. And we all knew each other well enough to trust that someone that reported a $1000 loss really lost $1000 and didn't just pocket it. Without that trust, a team is doomed from the get-go..
  • This would be mandatory if I was responsible to the investors. No exceptions, period.

    Best, Jim

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