Thomason progression
  • I couted as one win any double down, two wins on a split, or a winning double down after splitting. One day last week I split sixes three times: Got two double downs and the dealer busted. I counted this as 1 win. As I understand Walters post he would count this as 5 wins. Counting double downs as 2 wins and handling splits this way would add quit a bit to total 4 win streaks. The double down counting as 2 wins especially.

    In re-reading my post last night when I said I played with 3 players what I should have said was that I sometimes played with 3 players including myself as one of them. Sometimes I play head to head with the dealer, sometimes with 2 and sometimes with 3, including myself. The other players score is not counted or their wins or losing streakes is not kept track of. I thought that made it as close to casino conditions as I could.

  • tuffy: Two days ago you were down $633... today you're down $315. I think it's worth noting that you've gained back 50% of your losses in two days.
  • DAY 25 A small loss today.

    (1) Total time played 55hrs.--25min.
    (2) Total number of bets 5994
    (3) Total amount bet $90482
    (4) Average bet $15.10
    (5) Total amount LOST -$361
    (6) #of four straight wins (2) two. 1 seven straight, 1 four straight.
    (7) #of four straight losses (3) three

    Walter: I had 2 good days following 2 bad ones. One of them very bad. Total loss below expected house edge. We will see what the next 5 days bring.
    Not sure if I was clear in last post. Whatever happens on split I have been counting it as one win or loss. Hope that is clear.

  • Charles- quite clear and a Very good job !!! I admire your tenacity.
  • I keep following this thread, and it seems to keep going on without any agreement about how to count hands……..Walt and Tuffy couldn’t be further apart if they tried. :wink:

    I will stand by my Monday’s post about the correct way to count doubles, splits, and BJ’s….As the way they are supposed to be counted in the “wonderful world of blackjack”.

    Walt – I simply can’t “buy” your rationale of counting a DW as two wins, relative to a ‘streak count’.
    1. There is one hand physically on the table. The fact that you add more money to your bet does not change it to two hands and two bets…..It is still one hand with one bet.
    2. Splits are different. There are two hands physically on the table and two separate bets, and you count them as separate hands.
    3. Counting “money” instead of hands won’t work either….By your own reasoning, then you should be counting a blackjack as 1.5 wins because you won 1.5 times as much money.

    That aside, the big thing that is going to skew the ‘streak count’ is the stopping of a streak at the end of a shoe……I will be interested to know how Fred handles the math of that. I know it is way beyond me.

    Finally….For what it is worth. I have been using “Casino Verite” since 1995 and “Blackjack Tracker” since before it was even published. I have noticed no difference in ‘streaks’ between Norm's RNG hands and Bob's hand dealt hands.

  • Grif: Please let me try again...
    Every comparison I've ever made between flat and progressive betting has been a MONEY comparison. For instance, with the 5,000 hands played in my progressions book, I logged the financial results for each and every initial hand played, and kept a running total for both the flat and progressive bettor through the end of each shoe. Since both players played the same hands against the same dealer hands, and since both players had identical win/loss records in the same sequences, the only indicator that progressive betting might be superior to flat betting would be the bottom-line amount of money won or lost by each player at the end of each shoe.
    The outcome of these shoe-by-shoe cash results indicated that the progressive bettor won more or lost less than the flat bettor, and the only difference was the amount of money bet on initial hands, splits, and doubles, and the actual money won on Blackjacks. It also became obvious that the progressive bettor's results were more favorable because of the streaks of winning bets that were occurring.
    Winning doubles, splits, and Blackjacks generated more profit for the progressive bettor during winning streaks, and generated about the same profit as the flat bettor during losing streaks. That's why a streak should be determined by the number of BETS won or lost, rather than the number of hands won or lost. And since double-down and split rules always favor the player (regardless of his betting style) it's important to track these results when comparing different betting styles.
    Frankly, I don't really care if I win two hands in a row, but I do care if I win 6 bets as a result of winning two hands in a row, since my progressive bettor is often betting more than the flat bettor when these multiple wins occur. When a streak of losing doubles or splits occur at the start of a progression, or when the progressive bettor has just experienced a losing hand, the outcome for both the progressive and flat bettor is the same, assuming they both started with the same size initial bet.
    I'll pause for a bit and let your react to what I'm trying to say... :D
  • DAY 26 Good day.

    (1) Total time played 58hrs.--25min.
    (2) Total bets made 6322
    (3) Total amount bet $95362
    (4) Average bet $15.12
    (5) Total amount LOST -$237
    (6) #of four straight wins (9) nine. 5 four straight, 2 six straight, 1 seven straight, 1 nine straight.
    (7) #of four straight losses (9) nine.

    Was doing well after 2 hours, so decided to play longer. Played almost 3 hours. Made all the money in the first two hours. Actually lost $25 in the extra hour. Still ahead $124 today. Four more days. Getting a little tired, but will finish and then take a long rest.

    Don't know why the disparity over straight wins and losses. I just play and record the results.

  • Charles: From a personal standpoint I can't remember ever having played this many hands without having mere serious win/loss swings... just the luck (unluck) of the draw, I guess.
    By the way, I didn't intend to start a new thread on this subject. I just pushed the wrong icon on my mouse, and it was either retype my post or start a new thread. I opted for the lazy way out!
    Only a few more days to go... it's time to hit a hot streak and come out a few bucks ahead!
  • DAY 27 Lost $108 today.

    (1) Total time played 60hrs.---26min.
    (2) Total bets made 6544
    (3) Total amount bet $98688
    (4) Average bet $15.09
    (5) Total amount LOST -$345
    (6) # of four straight wins (6) six. 4 four straight, 2 five straight.
    (7) # of four straight losses (9) nine.

    Not a good day, but not real bad. At the end of the first hour I was down over $200.

  • Walter Thomason Posted: Wed Oct 15, 2003 10:30 am Post subject: Continuation of Thomason Progression Study

    Grif: A couple more things...
    A friend of mine worked with Bob Hubby's 50,000+ manually-dealt hands for months... Did an excel spreadsheet study of all four players, and concluded that almost every type of positive progression was superior to flat betting. I can't use his results to argue my position because I didn't do the research.
    I did conduct a study of 1,050 manually dealt hands where the players each won and lost the same number of bets: 1,050 hands, 1,096 bets, 548 winning bets, 548 losing bets, 34 Blackjacks... The $20 flat bettor won $340 (the extra money won for his Blackjacks, based on his $20 bet). The $20 to 50 progressive bettor (same initial bet as the $20 flat bettor) won $525. The ONLY reason that the progressive bettor won more than the flat bettor was his progressive betting style.
    Just food for thought...

    Grifter Posted: Wed Oct 15, 2003 11:02 am Post subject:

    Walt – Somewhere we had a “slip of communication” which is rare for us…..and now people will think we are arguing and we’re not. Let me be more precise.

    1. I was not questioning the rationale of your use of “monies” as a comparison in your posts or in your book. There is nothing wrong with that as long as you explain to people what all the numbers mean...and you do a good job of that.

    2. My concern was totally with the ‘project’ Fred is doing about “streaks”, and the related posts about that. There is no way Fred, or anyone else, can compare the amount of ‘streaks’ that are occurring if the contributors in the ‘test’ are counting them differently.

    My post was simply the way I thought you guys should be counting your doubles, splits, and blackjacks. It will not work if you count them differently, and right now ya’ll (Tuffy/Midnite/Walt) are miles apart.


    Walter Thomason Posted: Wed Oct 15, 2003 12:55 pm Post subject:

    No problem, Grif, and really no argument... I'm simply trying to build a case for my method of calculating streaks. I'm pretty sure that some of Fred's interest in progressive betting is an outgrowth of discussions that he and I have been having for years, and my intention is to put us all on the same page when it comes to measuring outcomes. I, being the self-centered smartass that I am, want everybody to do it MY way!!
    But you're right... it's impossible to build on anything if we are all using different methods of construction.
    But, on the other hand, there's no reason why we can't agree to disagree on specific issues, is there?
  • DAY 28 Not a good day.

    (1) Total time played 62hrs.--34min.
    (2) Total number of bets 6770
    (3) Total amount bet $101914
    (4) Average bet $15.08
    (5) Total amount LOST $457
    (6) # of four straight wins (5) five. 4 four straight, 1 five straight.
    (7) # of four straight losses (8) eight.

    Loss about the normal house edge now. Two more days to go. Be glad when it is over.

  • Champ Tuffy......Hang in there. Go to your gym and get a rub down, then use the sauna for about an hour. Get a good night's sleep tonight, and get up and really loosen up in the morning......then go get 'em. Only two rounds to go !!!! :)

  • Charles: I'll be away from my computer until the end of next week... We're going to North Carolina to watch a bunch of leaves die and play a little digital blackjack at Harrah's.
    Hope your results are a little more positive in the next two days. Thanks for your efforts.
  • DAY 29 Good day

    (1) Total time played 64hrs.--35min.
    (2) Total hands played 6974
    (3) Total dollars bet $105294
    (4) Average bet made $15.10
    (5) Total amount LOST $295
    (6) #of four straight wins (8) eight. 2 four straight, 2 five straight, 1 six straight, 2 seven straight, 1 ten straight.
    (7) #of four straight losses (6) six.

    # of straight wins more than straight losses made today a winner.

  • Comparison of KISS II simulation to Charles/Tuffy88's simulation with the Thomason progression:

    I finally got to the 2000 hand point. At 1000 hands the position was negative because of two shoes with high counts that played out badly. I predicted that at the 2000 hand point the situation would turn around, and it did. Part of the reason is that the ratio of wins to losses came back to "normal" -- losses exceed wins by about 5%. Here's where it stands now:

    Hands Played: 2000
    Total Buy-in: $1500
    Current Bankroll: $1725
    Therefore net win as of right now: $225
    Hands won 850 (42.5%)
    Hands lost 952 (47.6%)
    ** Almost exactly the statistically normal win-lose ratio **
    Pushes: 198 (9.9%)
    Low Bet at count 19 or less is $10, 20 = $30, 21 = $60, 22 = $90, 23 and over = $100.
    Reshuffle immediately after hand that brings six deck shoe down to under 30% of cards left. (My prior series reshuffled at 20%. Its results were better. That last 10 percent makes a difference.)

    Charles has played more than 3x as many hands, so we don't have a true comparison here. Also, I don't track average bet, but my software does give the hands won/lost, so we're presenting slightly different information.

    My conclusion at this point for what it's worth is that if you've got the skill and energy to keep count through 2000 hands and not attract heat with the wild jumps your bets will sometimes take, counting is obviously the way to win, and we all knew that anyway. But Charles has only been losing at a rate of $4.50 per hour, roughly what a movie costs, so it's not too bad a price to pay for relaxing entertainment. (Aside -- I'm almost certain flat betting would have produced a worse result than where Charles is at.)

    Assuming my 2000 hands took 8.7 hours, (230 hands per hour in heads-up play) I made $25.86 per hour straining my brain, which is not relaxing at all and after really bad shoes, it feels like all that hard work gets you less than nothing. But at this point if I had done this all in one or two days, I'd probably be feeling pretty good about that $225 and I'd treat myself to a drink or two.

    Desert Dog
  • Since this is the last day I thought I should give the BJ rules I have been using.
    blackjack pays 3/2.
    6 decks
    dealer stands on soft 17
    double on any starting 2 hands, including soft double's
    re-split pairs to 4 times.
    double down on split & re-split pairs.
    no re-spliting ace's.
    no surrender

    The Cordosa program I am using flashes a warning if you make a mistake in BS. I make very few mistakes in BS, but with the warning I think I have played perfect BS in this drill. However I think the program makes several mistakes in BS. It says to only hit A/2 & A/3 against dealers up 5 & 6. Also to only hit 2/2, 3/3, against dealers 2 & 3: hit 4/4 against dealers 5 & 6: & to hit 6/6 against dealers 2. Here you can double after splits, so I split 2/2 & 3/3 against dealers 2 & 3. Also split 4/4 against dealers 5 & 6, & split 6/6 against dealers 2. With A/2 & A/3 against dealers 5 & 6 I doubled. At least I think that is BS. Correct me if I am wrong.

    I know I don't have as many win streakes as I should. Don't know why.
    I count as one win all double downs I win. With splits I count only 1 win or loss. If I win 2 or more splits or have 2 or more doubles after splits I count that as only 1 win. Start with 0 wins & losses with new shoe regardless what the count was at end of shoe.

    I have mainly played straight up with the dealer. a few times played with 1 extra player & a few times with 2 extra players, but it took too much time clicking back & forth with each player, so most of the time played one on one with the dealer.

    Have played 1 hour of Day 30. Will play the other hour later this afternoon & post later today.

  • DAY 30

    (1) Total time played 66hrs.--38min.
    (2) Total hands played 7194
    (3) Total amount bet $108710
    (4) Average bet $15.10
    (5) Total amount lost $398
    (6) #of four straight wins (7) seven. 5 four straight, 2 five straight.
    (7) #of four straight losses (8) eight.

    Interesting drill, but a little long. Came out within what has to be within 1 standard deviation, but with a lower loss than the normal house edge calls for.

    My wife and I will be leaving tomorrow going north into Wisconson to observe the changing follage and leaf collars. Back at end of week.

  • Tuffy - Nice job.....Thanks......Actually you were very, very close to the expected loss. The game you were testing has an EV of -0.43. Your results had -0.37, or a delta of only 0.07%.
  • Over 100k in play and less than a $400 dollar loss, pretty amazing statement about the strength of BS and/or Walter's progression. Since I day trip to the casinos in Tunica I don't work the 'comps' like others do. Grifter can you give us some idea of what this time period and level of play would get you from the Nevada houses you play at?
  • Doc – Obviously that is impossible to answer precisely because of all the variables, but I can give you some general answers…..First let me say you may be asking the wrong person because I don’t play for comps. I show my card just enough to get either a free room or casino rate…….That said,

    - This really isn’t enough action to get you much in the better places on the Strip. You are only talking a ‘handle’ of about $9K per day if you play six hours, and your unit is only $10. Most places won’t even rate you unless you are playing green. You would get some decent comps downtown, but I would play this in Laughlin.

    - This would be a perfect game for Laughlin. You asked about a time frame for Tuffy’s hands. I would play these by going every other week for five weeks, playing 22 hours per trip…… Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.

    - You are showing the casino a rate of $15/hour for six hours per day for 3.5+ days. In Laughlin this should be enough to get you almost everything, especially since you are losing and of course you will tell them at the end of your first trip that you are coming back in about ten days or so. :wink: If you don’t get everything, you will probably get your meals and your room for say $12-$15 a night.

    Doc, so much depends on how well you can “deal” (or “Grift”) 8) with the host, floor supervisor, or whoever you are dealing with; and how often you go there, etc., etc.

  • Doc -- You get modestly comped on the Strip provided you play x number of hours, but the comps jump to another level if your average bet is $25 or better.

    Hey Grifter, exactly what hours of the day Monday thru Thursday would you play those 22 hours? From 3am to 830 am?
  • Dawg - From 3-4 a.m. to 9-10 a.m. with a break for a steak 'n eggs breakfast......G.
  • By the way Dawg, that steak & egg brakfast (T-bone or N. Y. Strip steak) is $1.99, in Laughlin. Lets see 15% of, say $2.00, is a 30 cent tip. Just kidd-n....
  • Thanks Grifter, I think that I'm a little different than the ' the only thing that is fun is winning' folks on this board, I'm sort of ploppyish on the whole casino experiance as an entertainment venue, I think Tuffy's play would have great long term value for this in Laughlin or Tunica, with your comp return more than making up for the $400. Hope to get over to the delta this weekend as there is a break between muzzle loading and gun season here in Arkansas, otherwise 'if its brown its down'.
  • Doc: I doubled-up Charles' bet so that the progressive player would enter green chip territory. Based upon the casino expecting to win 2% of the action and comping at a 30% level (fairly moderate), the player would lose $796 but earn $1,304 in comps. By the way, had he won $796 he'd still qualify for the $1,304 in comps.
  • General observations re. tuffy's experiment:
    1. The data would have been more usefull if we knew how a basic strategy flat bettor would have fared had he played the same hands.
    2. Short term studies are interesting in that they show how volitility can effect outcome, and they show that short term results may not reflect long term expectation.
    3. The matter of "tips" generated by Charles' computer program does not appear to have been addressed in the final outcome of the experiment.
    4. The results seem to indicate that the progressive player lost less than that expected by a flat bettor, and I suspect that the progressive player would have won more than the flat bettor had the final outcome been positive in nature.
    5. Comps generated "income" and offset losses.

    Grif: You mentioned in an earlier post that you had run a similar study using my system, and that you would post the results after tuffy concluded his study. Do you still plan to do so?
  • Walt – Here ya’ go. I thought I had 5K hands but only have 4K. Actually these hands were not a “similar study” as Tuffy’s. I was testing your method for an entirely different reason and didn’t care about streaks, average bet, etc. so I didn’t keep track of them. I’ll use Tuffy’s average bet for the results below.

    Method………………………WT 10/15/20/25
    Hands Played……………… 4,000
    Amount Won/Lost……….+$135
    Total Bet……………………...$60,400
    Win Rate (%)……………… +0.22%
    Win Rate/Hr ($)……………$3.38

    Two Notes from my Worksheet:
    1. “Hands were very streaky, minimal chop”…this helps WT progression.”
    2. “Won 11 in a row = $245” …11 hands (this session) made up for previous 50 shoe loss” (last session).

    Note to All…..I am neither pro nor con about this method . The above are merely the results of a meager 4,000 hands played for an entirely different reason than testing the validity of Walt’s method.

  • I'm curious... with Tuffy's experiment using WT's progression and losing only $400 is quite a marvelous feat... in addition to that Grifter's own analysis as well so...

    What makes WT's 2-3-4-5-5-5... progression so strong?

    I'm starting to lean towards that progression versus SLD/007 just based on Tuffy's >$100000 experiment!
  • Back from Wisconson. A nice time of year to drive in the country. Rained the last couple of days though.

    Bug: I came out pretty close to what would be expected using perfect basic strategy with the house edge on my play. It showed the strength of basic strategy & that Walter's progression held up pretty well.

    The amount of comps would at least reduce the loss. It might totally cover the loss in LV or Tunica. Where I play in Illinois it would not quite do it. We have a special tax problem here, & comps are pretty tight. The tax bite here was increased early this year & the casino's tightened up.
    I was at the casino here this morning. Did not win.

  • What makes WT's 2-3-4-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5... progression so strong though?
  • Hello? Anyone home?
  • i like wt's progession for these reasons:

    i hardly ever get on huge winning streaks (5-8 winning hands in a row), but i get a lot mini-streaks (winning 2-4 hands in a row).
    and with wt's progression, those mini-streaks become profitable.
    but if i do happen to hit one of those winning streaks, im way ahead.
    a huge winning streak is exactly what im looking for. the mini streaks just kind of keep me around and in action while im waiting for the big streak.

    also, if i get on a losing streak, 4 loses in a row...... im gone. and it keeps my loses down.

    i also like, if i win a hand.... i increase my bet, buy i dont risk all of my winnings. only a portion of it. at least i get portion of my winnings back.

    im sure there are a ton of other good reasons as to why his progression is so strong. honestly, i didnt read his entire book. i couldnt get into all of the math and probabilities.
  • I've been following the progression vs. counting discussions for months.

    Although belief-wise I'm firmly in the counting camp, it sure seems like it would settle a lot of progression discussions if there were software out there that could play a few thousand hands using one pre-set progression and then go back and re-play those identical hands using a different progression. Then the results could truly be compared.

    I'm not in the software biz, but wouldn't something like that be possible for any programmer worth his salt? Maybe it already exists, but I've never seen it mentioned.

    Thanks for all the great posts. Keep 'em comin'. Makes my day complete!

  • After 4 consecutive losses, are we supposed to just QUIT playing that shoe, move to another table or what? Are either okay?

    I'd like some explanation as to why 4 was chosen as the quitpoint... anyone?
  • PhilTx, that's exactly what Walter Thomason did (he posts here often, so you can ask him directly). Except theoreticians will point out that a few thousand hands is not nearly enough - try a few billion hands. Then progressionists will counter that actual experience experience at tables differs from simulated experience.

    I say, ask youself how many hands you will play in your lifetime. If you're at a million or more, then definately learn to count. If you're less than 100,000, you might end up far away from expected value, so only count for "fun" - progressions are fine.
  • regarding the quit point at 4. i use to play with a quit point at 3 loses in a row or 3 out of 4.

    from my limited experience, it seems that (with the proper bankroll), 4 is better. a lot of times i would be sitting at 3 loses. my old way, i would have left the table. but with it at 4 loses, i stayed and would win a few hand in a row and progress my bets and end up covering those 3 loses.

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