bet spread?
  • Could someone explain this to me a little more?or maybe recommend a bet spread to me?
  • The simple idea applies to card-counting. When the house has the edge (there are more small cards than big cards left in the deck) you bet small. When you have the edge (there are more big cards than small cards left in the deck) you bet big.

    The ratio of your "small" bet to your "large" bet is called your "spread". If you see someone mention a 1-20 spread in a shoe game, they are talking about betting something like $5 on negative/zero counts to $100 when the count is high. How you "ramp" your spread according to the count depends on lots of things, including limiting your risk of ruin, vs maximizing your bankroll growth, and so forth.

    Most use some form of "kelly" betting, which says to bet a fraction of your bankroll that is proportional to your edge over the house. For example, in a good SD game, a TC of +2 might mean you have a 1% advantage over the house, so you would bet 1% of your bankroll (that is called full-kelly betting). That is a bit "unstable" in terms of variance, so upper-level players bet fractional-kelly. For example, 1/2 kelly says to bet your advantage * your bankroll / 2 to lower your bankroll fluctuation...

    Hope that helps...
  • The bet spread depends a bit on the Method used. For example, using hi/lo some people feel comfortable with a 1-8 chip spread. Others more, and yet other folks like less.

    Best advice is NOT to spread too large... like 1-10 or 1-12 or 1-20. This generally causes attention, especially when one of the larger (and more infrequent) bets catches a winning DD or BJ. Yes you can make a lotta money. But, yes, it can be your last visit to that establishments 21 tables. IMHO a jump from say 1 to 6x (or more) or 2x to 8x is usually noticed. In many places, even going 1x to 4x gets attention.

    And attention is what one wishes to avoid.

    Most good methods work well betting just 1 to 4x... its not obtaining the BEST advantage, but varying one's bet successfully, without much notice that counts.

    For single and double decks, the opportunities for varying the bet are few, as there are fewer rounds dealt before shuffle. Thus the player is usually confined to 1 to 3x or 1 to 4x. Its the shoe that most counters find gets them the large spread. Yet the house advantage isn't too much worse than say a double-deck game with the same rules. Again, a 1 to 4x spread will get one an advantage, and most advantage players I know, use a simple rule for shoe betting.... 1x to # of decks. (ie 1 to 6x or 1 to 8x)
  • Spreading is not something one wants to do, it is something one _has_ to do to beat a particular game.

    Here is some sample data. Game: S17 DA2 DAS, 83% penetration, hi-lo with I-18 and fab4 indices only. Assuming one unit = $5 for simplicity.

    spread hourly win rate

    1-4 $4.66
    1-6 $7.98
    1-8 $10.90
    1-10 $13.82
    1-12 $15.50
    1-16 $18.66
    1-20 $20.23

    Personally, anything less than 1-12 in this game doesn't attract my attention. And clearly 1-4 is not going to be a big winner, although there will be significant "variance".

    My personal targets are 1-4 for SD, sometimes more if I can get away with it, 1-8 for DD, more if possible, 1-20 for shoes that I try to avoid for the most part...
  • I note the $5 unit in the example.

    If it were $25 = 1 unit... a spread of 1 to 4 nets more than a 1-20 spread at $5. ($23+ vs $20+) Yet each has a $100 maximum. This is financial variance at work.

    Everyone has their own ways.
  • "Write you own book", but don't publish it...makes a lot of sense.
  • Nickels:

    hourly win rate = EV * unit size...

    So of course, if you bet bigger units, your hourly win rate is higher.

    However, which would you rather win, betting at $25 per unit,

    $23 or $100? If I am betting green, I'm looking to win more than a green per hour...
  • Theory will produce an ideal bet spread for most any game, but in the
    real world, this may not be something that you can get by with. From
    what I understand, LV has really clamped down in the last few years.
    Also, what is ideal for you may not be ideal for others. Too much is
    about the individual situation and if you are not "Slick Willy" with an act
    that would win an award, you're at risk. Further:

    - Some winning strategies don't have a bet spread
    - Some high variance strategies use a very short bet spread

    Why do you need a bet spread? There are two reasons: 1) most of the
    time, if you play all, you're at a disadvantage and you need to make-up
    for that down time. 2) your advantage tends to increase over time and
    when the advantage is small your bet is, likewise, small,etc.

    If you win money at BJ, chances are that you have used proven concepts,
    but written your own book as to how you approach the game.
  • Ray/Nickels – Good posts about the reality of bet spreads under casino conditions, especially Nickel’s advice about not trying to spread 1-12, 1-20, etc., and Ray’s observation about ideal computer generated spreads not being applicable in the “real world”.

    Every “player” I know (a bunch of them) that plays regularly (say on a weekly basis) generally uses about 1-4 for DD and 1-6,8 for 6D…….Anything more and you are just asking for heat.

    In deference to the poster above, the 1-8 or more for DD and 1-20 for 6D “may” be o.k. for the recreational counter who only plays in real casinos two/three times a year, but even then I personally wouldn’t recommend them…..way, way to much chance of getting caught and 86’d.

  • Grifter- As you know, I've started to play DD after a long absence. The
    5-6 games we have are 25 or greater and there is close tracking on
    every table. Even progression players get a close look and that may
    be because the games are new. I've not had a problem because of the
    lack of opportunity to push the bet. I think 1-6 is about it or maybe 2-6
    if I can weather the variance. Progressions as cover may get a second
    look, something simple like 123.
  • It seems to me we are talking a lot about the hypothetical spread that will get you caught without any hard evidence? Anyone actually know a friend who was banned from a casino for too large of a spread? Seems like we need some hard data -- for all I know, rat is right and 1-12 won't get you caught.

    Also, will you really get caught at minimum tables? If you are betting $5-$60, is even that large a spread really going to bring heat? Maybe if you play there every day for a long period of time, but it doesn't seem like they would care very much -- especially if you are with friends or ocassionally play other games too.

    Finally, does getting banned from one casino get you banned from a network of casinos?
  • I posted a few weeks back that I was "restricted" here in Connecticut playing a $15 table with a 1-10 spread.
    I was playing at this store for about a year about 2-3 times a month.

    Early on I would play various progressions and eventually started counting and became more and more confident with pushing out the big bets. When they caught me I was actually down for the session by about $60. If they had stopped me 10 minutes sooner I would have been down $1,000. They also yanked $250 in comps.

    I am a winner for the year only because of the come back right before getting stopped.

    The point I am trying to make is that once I became a good counter I shot myself in the foot because I was not a good player. I failed to play with any sort of cover and spread to large.

    In Fred's BJBB II he states that 1-10 is probably safe for the 6 deck the red chip level. As a regular player I guess it turned out to be to large.

    I still find it hard to believe that they would even care about me.

    So beware of all this talk of big bet spreads and take the advice of Nickels_n_Bullets and Grifter.

  • The flexibility of shoe games does allow for bigger spreads and there are
    several approaches that makes this possible. This is especially true for the
    low limit tables. However, pitch games are a different story b/c it is much
    easier to spot a counter and the minimum bet is usally higher. You will see
    the "no mid-deck entry" sign on 25 and above and that is an indication of
    greater house awareness. In DD you might consider 2 off the top rather than 1 and if all goes well most of your time is at 2,3,4,6 which is a mod
    to 1,2,3,4,6. Now look at it a little different with 1,3,6,10 or 2,4,8,12 and you will not last long. Those who play DD low limit may slide by and are lucky to have such games, most don't.
  • You anticipated one of my other questions -- is a spread of 1, 12 any better? (That is, bet 1 most of the time and then just bet 12 when the count is large). It makes sense that it would attract more attention, though.

    Still -- anyone know the answer to my other question (i.e. whether you get banned from a network of casinos or only that casino?) I know the casinos work together to identify and ban cheaters and assume they do so for known counters, but for the infrequent counter who gets caught at one casino, does that mean you probably won't be able to play blackjack at neighboring casinos?
  • There is the min/max strategy that somewhat fits your example. I can't
    remember which count system uses it, but it has to do with min bet until
    you reach the pivot point and then max bet.

    It is reasonable to assume that places like LV, AC, Reno and maybe
    Tunica contract/vendor-out to some security firm. I'm not sure, but I
    think this would be shared info for those under contract, nothing else
    makes sense. For each casino to manage their own complete security
    system would not be cost effective. Grifter may know........
  • Yes, the information is shared. Mainly within the properities of the parent corporation (i.e. Bellagio/MGM/Mirage/TI, etc.), but to a lesser extent between corporations (and I don't remember all of these "alliances" off the top of my head)......Info is also shared with the properties in Laughlin.

  • Ray, is it likely that I as a non-counter playing double deck, could be pegged as an AP just because I get on a lucky winning streak, and my "spread" has gone from one unit to maybe six or seven units? Or, if I am being watched, are they looking more at whether my bet patterns correlate to the count?
  • PJ- I think it was Midnite that told me about a progression player that was
    shown the door. So, as you can see they don't need to prove anything &
    most anything is possible...........

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