Full Table or Empty Table?
  • Okay, so I've been wondering... Frank Scoblete's book, "Blackjack" says to NEVER play with more then 3 people at a table... but he doesn't offer an explanation to this... can anyone tell me why he would say this is the case? I've asked people online here, and people are saying that it doesn't matter the amount of people at a particular table so why does he say to not play at a full table, or even just a table with more than 3? Personally, I notice that whenever I play at a full table I get poorer results with when I play with only 2 or 3 people at a table but I'd like to know the real reasoning behind this. :idea:
  • Neither of the above. Because the house has the edge, you will lose more in heads up play than at a full table because you'll play more hands per hour. If you happen to luck into a winning streak, you will win more. Your odds hand for hand are no different.
  • Exactly, DD. I want a one on one if I'm hot and a full table with a slow dealer if I'm losing... :D
  • But DD, if a well-known author of this BJ book said that you should play with NO MORE then 3 at a table, there obviously has to be a reasoning behind that statement. I just want to know why!!!!!!
  • Bug, I remember reading in an earlier post that as the table fills up, the house has more edge, and that ideal # FOR the player is about 3. I still do not understand the reasoning behind it. Maybe it would have something to do with the NUMBER of hands you get a chance to play when there are only 2-3 at the table? I seem to notice that I win more when there are less people at my table, but have no idea as to why this happens. I love to play "one on one" and always resent it when someone moves in for only ONE bet and then moves on-- for that seems to spoil the "rhythm" I have established with my dealer. I will sometimes "politely" ask them if they will wait for the shoe to end though some will only look at me as if I am crazy and buy in anyway.
  • Crackers, I'm really glad I found someone that is in almost the same exact boat as me on this topic. Yes! Also in Frank Scoblete's BlackJack book like I said he said to NEVER play at a table with MORE then 3 people. Or, it could have been *3 OR MORE* ...
    Surely some people would know the real reasoning behind it on this forum... guess we'll just have to wait and see.
  • Come on people!!!!!!!!!!!! Take part in my POLL if you haven't already!!! And for those of you who are saying that the FEWER amt. of players the better, post your reasoning behind that here!!! :)
  • I think that the only time the number of players has an effect on your odds of winning is when you are a counter. If you count cards, you want to play as many hands per hour as possible since you're playing when you have the advantage. Therefore, the more players there are at your table, the fewer hands you play per hour. Otherwise I don't think the number of players at the table has any effect on the odds of you winning.
  • whats up BJ players. I know it doesn't change odds of winning if there are more players. Have you ever seen a BS table that changes according to the number of players at the table? No. But a full table may attract more looks from the pit or floor, attention you dont want if you're counting. That, and the fact that you'll have more people that don't know BS at a full table, pissing you off if you're the type to get pissed at those people. (I am). Those are the only reasons I can think of as to not sitting at a full table.

    by the way, trying my luck at a boat off florida today- It'll have to do until I get out west. If anyone cares, I'll post info about it.
  • I know I don't like to play head to head. For that matter I dont like 2 players against the dealer. Not too fond of 3 either. Four or more seems to fit my liking. I always try to sit on third base. I need the room. I'm a big guy. But, I would sit at any table if there were a couple of chicks who looked like Salma Hayek or Cameron Diaz.
  • Well, for the people that DID vote for an emptier table versus a FULL one, I'd like to hear your reasoning and also if anyone knows the *REAL* reason why BJ authors suggest NEVER to play at a Table with more than 3 people because I've been wanting to know this for the longest. Thanks.
  • Creditable B/J authors recommend playing at emptier tables for two reasons. The first is that although the odds don't change with more or fewer players, the speed of the game does. Buffarino got it just a little twisted when he said he likes emptier tables when he's winning and fuller tables when he's losing. That (winning and losing) is apt to change at any time -- and then back again right after you move to the other table. Actually, you want to play at empty tables if you're a winner at blackjack (long term) and at full tables if you're a loser. That way, the winning players win more and the losing players lose less. There is however a second, more technical reason why winning players should play at emptier tables, and this refers to card counters only. It's because the emptier the table, the fewer cards there will be (on average) in the remaining pack at the time you select your bet size. And the fewer the cards, the more information you have. I won't go into the boring arithmetic of that unless somebody requests it.
  • Renzey said:
    Actually, you want to play at empty tables if you're a winner at blackjack (long term) and at full tables if you're a loser. That way, the winning players win more and the losing players lose less.


    I dont understand that at all. Everyone wants to be winners at blackjack and no one wants to be losers so what do you mean by this?

    So Mr. Renzey, it'd be perfectly okay for me to play at a FULL Table, rather than an emptier one for my type of play than? For some reason, I prefer the emptier tables (2 or 3 at one) rather than joining in being the 7th person at a hella full table....
  • Bug: What I meant was, since you get in about 60 hands per hour at a full table and 250 hands per hour heads up, perennial losers are best off sticking to full tables and perennial winners should play where they can get in more hands per hour. All this is true because your bottom line loss or win is a product of how many dollars in bets you make.
  • Ahhh :)

    I got you now.

    Anyway, for those 3 individuals who said that they'd prefer playing at an EMPTY table... can I get some reasoning behind your preference? I did not take part in this poll.
  • Hello? I'd like to hear arguments on both sides, preferably also from Renzey and Thomason... sld, you're welcome on this topic too man!!!!
  • I'm not one of the top three gurus mentioned above, but I'll give my opionion, bug. I dont think # of players affects a players win % who is following BS or counting over the long term. just as mentioned in earlier post, less hands per hour at a full table, could be good or bad depending how your luck is going at that time. I'd also like to know if there is any type of mathmatics behind an advantage of a smaller crowd. my guess is it would be the same-full or empty, and up to the individual's preference. It's probably easier for the pb or dealers to judge your type of play at a table with less players. (counting, progression, etc.)
    On my last experience, I was on a boat off florida. I sat at both full tables and not so full tables. At the first full table, an older man got upset at another older man for making stupid moves (hit his hard 15 against dealer 6 and took the other older man's 10), anyway, the pissed off guy got up and yelled "IDIOTS" and walked off. Entertaining, but when we get pissed off, that gives the casino an advantage I think, and I see this more often on full tables. one particular table where I made my stash had two other players, each using perfect BS. two of us won good, the guy on third base lost some. but we players were all in harmony and it just seemed like good energy flowing our way. for the record, i used Dahl's progression, brought $300 bank roll intended to go $5, sat at $10 instead, walked off boat with $500, after being up as much as $600. ( I know we're talking small potatoes, just messin around a little till I hit Vegas for a week in October. :wink: )
  • Roger L. Ford's Book
    "POWER
    BLACKJACK" :wink: (Remember nuthin to do with odds) wanna play fast might lose fast

    Playing Alone or With Others

    Playing alone has its advantages. By playing one-on-one against the dealer, I can
    get in more hands per hour. I also don't have to worry about some other player commenting
    on my play because I drew some card instead of standing, or stood instead of hitting, or
    otherwise offended him. I also avoid obnoxious players by playing alone.
    The other side of the coin is that I am more visible when I play heads up with a
    dealer. My play is more likely to attract casino surveillance, especially when I am playing
    with black chips.

    Number of Players at
    the Table
    Average number of
    Hands per Hour
    7 55
    6 65
    5 75
    4 90
    3 110
    2 150
    1 230
  • Jedi, I agree with you... now I am seeing that at a Full Table you're equally likely to win or lose at an Empty Table because either way, the cards you're being dealt are totally random and therefore wouldn't matter. I'm glad many people (14 now) have participated in this poll, and I'm seeing that playing at any table wont affect your longterm winnings or losings.

    Renzey, so basically, if I'm undestanding correctly, unless one is a card counter, it doesn't matter the amount of players at the table. Right?

    Just like today... I went and was up $50 but was about to go. I said to myself, why dont I just go to a $5 table with HALF of my winnings and if I lose that I'm still a winner and if I double it I'll stop. Well sure enough, at a very full table I sat 3rd base and either won all 5-6, or just lost 1 and won the rest, including 2 nice BJ's, winning $45 in less than 5 minutes. I was using SLD's modified-progression and caught nice doubles to be up $45 so it all worked out for the best.
  • Bug

    Another view ref less than 3 @ a Table..reference your actual poll Question

    Apllies to ability to count only :wink: (my humble opinion..as I am a newbie to your site)..just an opinion..I'm playing devils advocate..I might be wrong :twisted:

    I enjoyed the Poll Question and enjoy your site nice find for me :)

    For players who are playing a count strategy, the less number of players playing at the table the better. This is because they will get to play more hands during high counts when their large bets are out. In order to get even more of an advantage during high counts, some players play multiple hands when the count is high and only one when the count is low, thus resulting in a greater number of hands during favorable conditions
  • Hey bug wassup? i don't like to play with (oops i mean by) myself because things happen too fast! You can drop big cash in too short a time. Also, if you win a bunch real quick you gotta be disciplined enough to get up and walk away and that's hard to do if you have gotten comfy sittin there, waitin on your coffee and smokes, know what i mean, vern?
  • sld!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU'RE BACK!!!!!!!!

    Yeah, I totally agree with you... *way* too fast action for me and udano what to do when you've won say... 5 straight you know what im saying?! hahaha.
  • bug - actually that happened to me the last time in shreveport. I walked downstairs sun am ready to go home and i said ok im takin 300 and playin till i lose it or double it. well i doubled it in about three minutes! now what do you do? i know...GO HOME. but its easier said then done. so i cocked around for 5 more hours still left about 150 up so alls well i guess.
  • Hah, hell yeah, it's a helluva lot easier to say it than actually DO IT that's for damn sure.

    So... with your $300 were you just using your reg. 007 using quarters as your min?
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