2 questions
  • #1- i use Fred Renzeys Kiss III count. i'm thinking of using a 1,2,3,5 progression for cover-using the progression while the count is low and increasing my bet as the count dictates when i should. what do you all think of that notion?

    #2- did Semyon Dukach and other members of the now famous m.i.t. blackjack team use cover? i'm thinking they must have used some kind of cover,like Ian Andersens Ultimate Gambit for instance-after all they were playing for BIG BUCKS and would have been observed by the eye in the sky and every pit critter around constantly-right?

    thanks-and best of luck to all-

    Prog
  • The M.I.T. team mostly used a spotters/big player (gorilla) approach. So the big player could walk around with a drink in his hand tossing down $1,000 here or there on what seemed like a whim. I believe they were mostly of Asian descent, which helped also because they didn't look like the 'typical' counters.
  • prog:

    q1: If you use a progression and fiddle with your min bet while the count is negative, you are quietly wrecking your spread. Say you want to spread something like 1-12 in a 6D shoe. But if your average bet in - counts goes up from $5 to $12, then suddenly your spread (5-60, 1-12) becomes (12-60 or 1-5) which will wreck havoc with your EV.

    Remember that in Kelly betting, the ideal min bet is zero. Which is not always possible in no MSE games. So as close to zero as the table min will let you get is the place to be. Now if your goal is to spread something like 20-240, then fiddling around on the lower end could help, if you get your average min bet to below 20, while bouncing it around enough to keep the math-challenged pit from figuring out your min bet. Bouncing between 10 and 30 could average out to 20 if you are careful, and at the same time make you look like a wild player from a betting perspective. And certainly going from 10 to 30 in negative counts will cause the counter-catching software to throw in the towel if you do it enough...

    q2: L-S had the right idea. With a big player, you don't use cover, but you do use an "act". You've got to make them convinced you are a wild gambler and not a big player, which everyone has known about since Uston's "The Big Player" book. That kind of activity is harder to pull off because betting at that level attracts the world's attention...
  • Prog – Many players (including me) who count use some kind of progression for cover, but IMHO the 1,2,3,5 is a little too volatile. For your six deck I would suggest something softer like a 2,3,4,5 played in two or three levels coinciding with the count. This will get you a spread of 1-7/8.

    Grifter
  • For an interesting read on this subject, visit ap.com and look at the recent data posted by Norm (qfit). What he looked at was the so-called "N0" value (the long-term number of hands you need to play to reach your expectation within 1SD). He took N0 for a normal game with perfect play by the counter, then varied the counter's play based on various "cover schemes" (never raise on a loss, never drop bet on a win, etc.) and the bottom line was that any type of cover greatly increased N0. Had not seen that particular idea tested previously, but the point was the using cover means it takes you longer to reach the "long-term" than a straight-up player. Of course, if one doesn't use cover, he might _never_ reach the long-term if he gets tossed out everywhere...
  • Thanks for the tip... I read up. Interesting that the ones that cause the least suspicion increase N0 the most. The A+D+E choices are close to the recommendations for A5. (no 1-4 jump, no increase after loss or tie, BUT reduce by score...)

    CV version 4 looks quite interesting. Might have to upgrade/exchange the V.3.

    Further down the list is the "I wanna reduce variance" message thread which is worth a read. I hesitate to add that playing only Basic Strategy decisions that DO decrease as score increases wasn't brought up. Most AP use additional indicies that increase PA, but maintain variance.
  • Separately...

    Agreed Grift... something like ($25 base bet) 25-35-50-75 is better than 25-50-75-125 (risk all on the 2nd win). A little longevity goes a long way.

    Lets say that one spreads 25-200. for the indicies that 25 is proper, using a 25-35-50-75 progression will increase the average bet for the progression to 35. Thus, the spread becomes 35-200 or about 1-7 as opposed to 1-8. BTW... win/lose or tie on the 75 bet is a 25 next bet... this keeps things in-line.
  • Yep, I don't know how anyone can say that a multi-level soft progression is not good cover; and the five level one you have one your site for the A5 is even better than what I was referring to above. Your average bet increases less than .5 unit, you still obtain a spread of 1-7, and the risk of heat is minimal.

    Grif'
  • Nickels_n_Bullets said:
    Separately...

    Agreed Grift... something like ($25 base bet) 25-35-50-75 is better than 25-50-75-125 (risk all on the 2nd win). A little longevity goes a long way.

    Lets say that one spreads 25-200. for the indicies that 25 is proper, using a 25-35-50-75 progression will increase the average bet for the progression to 35. Thus, the spread becomes 35-200 or about 1-7 as opposed to 1-8. BTW... win/lose or tie on the 75 bet is a 25 next bet... this keeps things in-line.


    Can you please elaborate on how exactly you would apply this playing a typical 6 deck shoe that they have here in CT.

    Maybe an example?

    Thanks
  • Grifter:

    Hope you weren't talking to me there. I didn't say a "progression is a lousy form of cover."

    I did say "a progression lowers your spread if you are not careful, and if you are playing the table min. If you are playing above table min, you can use a progression to perhaps increase your spread since the pit will have a hard time figuring out your minimum bet.

    Progressions are a lousy way to play the game in general. But if you factor in counting, then most every counter I know uses some sort of "gambler's look" or "progression". If I am being watched, I parlay wins if the count goes up, I try to act like a gambler would act and not give up the detail that I am counting cards...

    I will say that in most casinos I visit, spreading $5-$40/$50 at DD, I don't use any cover at all and don't have problems. I've spread $100-$1000 at the Beau on the MS coast in a DD game and also didn't attract any notice, although there was another player spreading $100-$2500 and losing his shirt so that might have been my "unplanned cover" for that session. I also spread $5-$40 (DD) and $5/$20 (SD)in Laughlin, and also got no notice. Which leads me to believe that a red-chipper can ignore cover totally. When I play green rather than red (less often) I use the same spread, but am a bit more careful, but even there I don't use what many APs call "heavy cover" (never raise on a loss, never reduce bet on a win, never change bet on a push, parlay wins when the count indicates, etc...).

    So yes, a progression "look" is not bad at all. But the progression itself is completely irrelevant to winning, as it is just introducing noise in your bet amount during negative segments of the shoe.

    So more power to those that use 'em for the right reasons. But don't use 'em to win...
  • "they didn't look like the 'typical' counters."

    Just curious...what would you say the typical counter looks like?... a middle aged average white guy, someone who stacks his chips neatly, concentraties hard on the cards, doesn't talk a lot to the patrons, etc.?
  • Basically chuckn, one would sit-down and play the progression and ease into the score or vise-versa, or perhaps if the score goes negative just progression for a bit. One generally augments the real reason for play with the game.

    I'd prefer not to tip my skills too much...
  • according to others, the typical counter is young and white. Not middle-aged. But there are other "tells". Too serious. Too "stiff". Concentrating 100% of the cards. Not talking. Slow getting a bet out... etc...
  • Chuckn - I'll defer to Nickel's decision about 'not tipping skills', but if you have more questions I would try to answer them via PM.

    Grifter

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