Betting streaks
  • The way I understand it is that if you have the BS down cold, you have just about evened the odds with the house. I do not CC. In playing I notice that the game is very streaky many times. The question then becomes how to bet streaks. What do you guys say? Thanks, Angelina

    The question came to mind when reading a stock trading website

    Deviation from the Mean

    Before we discuss constructing your trading model portfolio, there is one other very important concept we need to discuss. Let’s say a hypothetical system generates 60% successful trades and makes $2 for every successful trade and loses $1 for each losing trade. Make 10 trades with this system and you have made $8 (6x$2=$12 – 4x$1 = $8). It appears that this system can’t miss. Right? That is not correct. How can that be, the math is right? Because, unfortunately, it is not the percentage of winning trades that determines the results, but the deviation from the mean of the average range of distribution of those trades. This range can be surprisingly large. Quite a mouth full. Let me explain it in an easy to understand example. A roulette table is numbered 1 to 36, with half the numbers red and half black. Green occurs on the board for zero and double zero or 2 out of 38 possibilities, the house vig of 5%. For the sake of simplifying this example, we are going to assume green never comes up, so odds of red and black coming out are each 50%.

    In real life, a typical occurrence if you were sitting at a roulette table could be seeing red come up 4 times in a row, then black, then red twice more. That is red 6 out of 7 times, when on average it will be only be 1 out of 2 that red will come out. Black will have to come out more times than red at some point to balance, for the chance of black or red coming out is 50/50. Now, if you are sitting at that roulette table betting red you are on a hot streak, and if you are betting black you are taking your lumps. The same thing happens with markets and systems. There are hot streaks and cold streaks. The point is that any statistical measure of winning trades is an average, and over short periods of time, the variance from the average (mean) can be great.

    And from another place on the site, he discusses why losses count more than wins in determining the bottom line.

    Each time you lose money, it is harder to make it up. And the more you lose, the more uphill the road becomes. Here’s why.

    Start with $10,000

    Lose 10% to $9000 You need to make $1000 on $9000 or 11% to get back to even

    Lose 15% to $8500 You need to make $1500 on $8500 or 17% to get back to even

    Lose 20% to $8000 You need to make $2000 on $8000 or 25% to get back to even

    Lose 25% to $7500 You need to make $2500 on $7500 or 33% to get back to even

    Lose 33% to $6700 You need to make $3300 on $6700 or 50% to get back to even

    Lose 50% to $5000 You need to make $5000 on $5000 or 100% to get back to even

    As you can see, you MUST CONTROL RISK VERY TIGHTLY, because it takes a bigger profit to offset a corresponding loss.
  • The answer is "you don't bet streaks". Why? Because you can't recognize a streak, until after it has happened. And by then, it is simply too late since it is over.

    Don't fall into the world of voodoo, streaks, progressions, hot/cold tables and dealers, and the like...

    As the old 15th century maps of the world used to have on them in various places that were unknown "Here there be dragons..."

    And for heaven's sake, don't buy into that crap about "at some point in times more blacks will have to come out to even things out..." It just doesn't work that way. If you flip a coin 100 times and get 100 heads, what is the probability that the _next_ flip will be heads? Or tails? Exactly 50-50. To believe anything else is a guaranteed way to lose your shirt, your house, and everything else...
  • Hi Angelina. It's been said many, many, many times (and it's true) that betting progressions can not help you overcome the house edge. As a matter of fact, they can hurt you by causing you to bet more than you should. If you're flipping a coin 100 times, and the first 10 come up heads, it will not even itself out. Over the next 90 flips, it should produce 45 heads and 45 tails for a total of 55 heads and 45 tails. But after 1,000,000 flips, that same difference of 10 will be practically nothing. Because any combination of wins and losses is equally likely for any number of hands, progressions will be practically the same as flat-betting in the long run. Knowing if the remaining cards contain more high cards or low cards and betting accordingly is the only way to come out ahead.

    And by the way, I'm from (South) Jersey too. What part are you from?

    Edit-I guess SSR and I were posting at the same time.
  • that happens. great minds think alike. :)

    happens more frequently with me as I get started, then get a phone call or someone visits, or whatever, so that I am "in process of posting" for an hour or so... then I come back, hit "submit" and discover I am #3 response. :)
  • i was once a great beleiver in progressions(check my name for goodness sake!) Angelina,check out Fred Renzeys book available on this site"Blackjack Bluebook II" and let him show you how to teach yourself to count cards. i use Kiss III and it's a whole new the way you do NOT have to be mathmatically gifted at all as i'm sure the casinos would like you to beleive in order to be a card counter. best of luck-
  • the problem with casinos is two-fold

    (1) they'd like to convince all the beginners that counting is impossible, that nobody can count in a 6 deck shoe game, etc.

    (2) at the same time, they are frightened that everybody _is_ counting and taking them for enormous sums of money every day. They believe this because vendors that provide game-protection facilities (such as mindplay tables, or facial-recognition software, of counter-detection software, or lists of known APs, etc) have convinced them it is true. In reality the people making _most_ of the money from card counting are the people providing the game-protection services. :)
  • Amen to point #2, Stainless. Never heard it put that way before!
  • on the vhs tape from the history channel "breaking vegas;the true story of the m.i.t. blackjack team one of the former members of the team said "I COULD TEACH A PIECE OF FIREWOOD TO COUNT CARDS IF THE PIECE OF FIREWOOD COULD CONCENTRATE,THE WHOLE GAME IS CONCENTRATION"\

  • LeonShuffle said:
    If you're flipping a coin 100 times, and the first 10 come up heads, it will not even itself out. Over the next 90 flips, it should produce 45 heads and 45 tails for a total of 55 heads and 45 tails. But after 1,000,000 flips, that same difference of 10 will be practically nothing.

    What you say is true in theory and I also agree that if you flip a coin 25x and it comes heads all 25x, the odds of a head the next flip is still 50%.

    The problem is that taking the first example quoted, after 10 heads, the next 90 would not necessarily be 45/45 heads tails. It might be that way, maybe not. And within the 45 heads or tails there would be streaks both ways, that is for sure - just like at a black jack table. You guys play and know that there are always long streaks for and against even with pefect play.

    I agree the problem is identifying the streaks and changing the betting at the right time, i.e the end of the streak.

    I appreciate the feedback. Sounds like my next step is to learn counting.

  • I'd say the people making the most money are the ones writing books on card-counting.
    Use your imagination,have a witty,yet professorly manner,tell some cool ancedotes,and borrow many others previous works,grab a snazzy title and do a lot of link exchanges.
    With the wealth of reference books to work with,I suspect an author who'd never set foot in a casino
    could sell a gazillion books with the right hype.
  • And as we all know the flip of a coin is independent of the previous flip, and the next round of 21 in the shoe is not... but by better comparison, one could relate the outcome (win/lose/tie) of an entire shoe of cards to a single flip of the coin (heads/tails/edge).
  • I'd change your statement to "the next round from a shoe in 21 is independent of the last, if you are a pure BS player or any player that doesn't count cards." The hands only become dependent if you are counting, which takes advantage of information from previous rounds to influence your decisions in the current round. 99.999% of all BJ players can treat BJ the same as a coin-toss, since they are not counting.
  • If you are playing a 6 deck shoe and counting the taking of one card out of the deck changes it by 1/312 or .0032051 percent.......can't wait to up my bet if the odds change by 1/312...... It is still a random draw every time the dealers goes to the shoe.....
  • Yes SSR, very true. One must CC to say that. Mea Culpa.
    Thanks for the Strait_n_narrow.
  • Uncle Norm:

    1/312 doesn't sound like much. But do you realize that if you remove 6 5's from the shoe on the first 6 cards (of that 6D shoe), that your advantage has just gone up by .8% from the off-the-top value? That is just one card per deck removed, and most any BJ game is now a +EV game by nearly 1/2% depending on the rules, etc...

    Doesn't take much, even though only 6/312 of the cards (1/52) were removed...

    And yes, it is a random selection process. But there is an advantage, in that a counter knows when a stiff is more likely to break, while the dealer has no choice to make and has to hit it even if there are nothing left but 10's...
  • Well, it isn't exactly true that if you aren't counting each hand is independent. That assumes counting is the only method by which to know if you have a greater or lesser advantage.

    For instance, I could envision a strategy where you keep track of the number of times you bust. When you bust X amount of times in a row, you lower your bet. This, in essence, would be a less accurate form of counting, but it could possibly make mathmatic sense. No one would call that counting, I don't think. Or maybe they would.
  • Don't see how that would help at all.

    I've busted 2-card hands many times. I've busted 5-card hands many times. And everything in between. Most likely busting that 5 card hand increased the count even though I lost, while busting that 2-card hand probably dropped the count.

    There really is no alternative to actually counting something to get an idea of how the remaining cards might work out... Otherwise, it is just random samples, without replacement, not using any composition information at all.
  • We'd have to do tests to see if it adds anything, but I agree the chances of it really being a helpful indicator are low.

    However, consider the OPP count where simply the number of hands played is used as an indicator to assit in making bets and counting -- now, of course this is paired with actual counting of simply less cards.

    My only nit with the above statements is that there may be other things to measure besides traditional card counting that could give you some edge and influence your betting.
  • Angelina-

    Take these folks words for it and just learn counting. When I first started and I had BS "down cold" I was dumb enough to think I could play and be fine with progression. So I decided to put in the time to pick a counting system and learn it. Once I learned it I got to test it out for my first time on a 2D game and saw the results were much better and that the system does mathematically work.

    All I can recommend to you is to learn to count. Believe me, you'll never revert back to progression betting once you see how counting works. It's one of those things where you just don't believe it untill you see it actually work. Be smart... if any game in the casino has a -1% player advantage or more you surely can't win in the long run by "riding streaks" that you can't pin point because playing by hunches or luck isn't accurate at all.

    Also just because you have BS down accurate doens't make you any better at BJ. I see many people playing at these casinos that always say they have BS down cold but on certain hands they will deviate from BS just because they don't understand the premis on why it recommends you play different hands a certain way, so they do it "their way". You know how many people I have engauged in conversations with that claim they know BS but can't tell you the real reason why the dealers bust cards are 2 thru 6 on certain hands played? Their answers are always based on myth. Therefore sometimes they still play on a huch and deviate from BS because they still have these myths about the game in the back of their mind. Moral of the story... know what you are learning. Just don't learn it and not know why.
  • well said Jaynie!!!!!!!!!

  • Hi guys - I certainly have enjoyed all the feedback regarding my questions, it is greatly appreciated.

    I have read everything on the forum and I must say that all of it has been interesting to say the least! In reading the posts though, I have seen a couple of different book recommendations for learning how to count. I am ready to learn and would appreciate a recommendation. Thanks!

  • My favorite is "Blackbelt in Blackjack" by Arnold Snyder. I also use his Advanced Red 7 count.
  • A new book that is worth reading, and which will teach you all you need to know is "200 proof blackjack" by 'bootlegger'.

    But you will discover that every reasonable author, including Snyder, Renzey, Wong, etc. has something to offer. Some give more details about "comportment" in the casino, some give unusual betting schemes to avoid detection, some cover things beyond counting, such as elemetary shuffle-tracking, etc.

    Bottom line is that there are lots of good books to read. BB in BJ is certainly a good one. Even Uston's books are must-reads for historical value and also just good fun to read. "The Big Player" is a classic. And "Beat the Dealer" to see how counting got started with some good "stories" in it to add to the fun.
  • Blackjack Bluebook II by Fred Renzey available on this site or at your favorite bookstore-I have learned and use the Kiss III count and it's a whole new world vs playing progressions-a great new world!
    best of luck Angelina-

  • Thanks! I love new adventures that are challenging :D Thanks! Angelina
  • One of the best books I've read,but gets little
    play on most forums is"A Womans Guide to Blackjack"
    by Angie Marshall.

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