Count cards all you want
  • Unless you have played MILLIONS of rounds, you can not discount the luck factor in this game. For instance, if you play around 152,000 rounds per year. This number is based on 40 hours per week, 52 weeks a year, less 3 weeks "vacation", 13 "paid holidays" and 8 "sick days" and a table that isn't too full or empty. A player using a spread of about 8:1 in a 6 deck game S17 still has around 33% chance (1 in 3) of being down.

    You can play perfect strategy and count cards all you want, but if you don't employ a responsible money management scheme, you will never make it. Progressive betting could very well be one of the most important techniques in your arsenal. With a progressive betting system, you continue to add money to your bet while you are winning while at the same time, dropping down when you lose. In this fashion, you maximize your winnings during winning streaks, but minimize losses during losing streaks. Progressive Betting is a betting system designed to capitalize on something which is manifested on any given night at the Blackjack table - Streaks. Using a Progressive Betting system will win you some big dollars when the play is streaky. If you properly integrate a betting technique into your game-plan, you will realize gains that you may not have realized. Use card counting for Insurance and deviations from basic strategy.

    Tiltless
  • Congratulations, you're the most misinformed poster of the year so far.
  • 152,000 hands played doesn't give you a 33% chance of "being down". The classic term "NO" (N-zero) is something that any good blackjack simulation program (CVCX/CVData from qfit) will give you for any game, penetration, etc. Note that you quoted table rules, but penetration has a far greater effect on "how many hands before you should approach your expected value?" than does whether the game is H17 or S17.

    Typical N0 for decent games and penetration is 20,000 rounds played. Not 150,000+.

    your comments about "progressions" are simply wrong. Progressions affect your average bet size, but have absolutely no effect on your winning/losing rate. To believe anything else will lead to ruin.
  • Why do progressive betting systems continue to exist? They have been
    around for hundreds of years, but have never been proven to work. Why is
    that so? In my view,they appeal to the uncertainty that comes with gambling.
    For example: In a game like BJ where you can arrive at some small advantage,
    you must expose yourself to variance, sometimes large variance over time.
    Most can not deal with the realities that produce a winning strategy:

    -Proper mental prep
    -Proper BR
    -No mistakes and no gut feelings
    -Variance ( large BR shifts).....At piece with the money dilemma
    -Work that comes with game conditions/selection/avoidance
    -Consistency

    Along with progressions comes the other money driven myths of win goals
    and loss limits. They all have the same root cause....................
  • Strange posts here. Please post a card counting system that will beat a real world casino. If you contemplate on Hi-Lo system, certainly could beat a Kitchen Table, but it fails miserably against Real World casino rules. So, please post the card counting system you claim will beat a real world casino, and the names of the casino(s) you say it will be successful. We then will mathematically analyze your system and the casino's in which
    you claim like to lose money to card counters. Common boys, get real. Post the system and the casinos you claim it can be successfully played. Or admit that any card counting system has been proved a loser against real world casinos.

    You cannot even calculate card counting probabilities against real world casinos as the casinos will change the rules of the game as the game is played. They also make these changes without any notification nor warning. The real world BJ rules are "fluid" Ray, they are NOT standard. Your conclusion that you can gain an advantage against such games with a proper bankroll is so inane that anyone would question your math credentials. Second, you do not understand simple "Random Walk" statistics. That is your problem.

    Use card counting for playing your hands but use a money management betting technique to capitalize on winning streaks. Let’s faced. If in a six hours session a card counter wins then playing the same hands all over again a positive progression player will win too. The progresionist will win even more. If a progression player loses over a six hours session then be sure and convinced that even the card counter will have lost playing the same hands. When a card counter wins, is NOT because he bets by the count but because he gets winning hands. Regardless how you bet, if you get the cards you will win. If you don't get the cards you will lose even more if you bet by the count. This case has been studied and researched many time over. Why don't you run a little sim and see for yourself?

    If you want to test how card counting fares, you just get the “Blackjack Tracker” by Bob Hubby and test all you want any card counting system against any positive progression betting method. The book uses the K-O system. You can bet any amount by the count and them bet by a positive progression. The book contains over 50,000 hands. You can choose any segment block of hands and go over with card counting and with any positive progression.

    You will find out that if and when the card counter method wins over a certain number of hands and if you go back and play the same hands using a positive progression betting you will win too. Now, play a progression system over 1000 hands or so and if you lose go back and play the hands again using card counting betting. You will discover that the card counter is losing MORE over the same hands.

    I’ve run over the entire book. I used Walter’s , Dahl’s and many others positive progression systems out there. When I won with progression so the card counter won. When I lost using any progression system so did the card counter. In every test I run the card counter lost the most when all players lost. And, when the counter won, so the progresionist won but he won even MORE. Why? Because when you get the cards you are in a winning streak mode and by using a progression system you geometrically amplify the $$ wins. The bigger bet you lose at the end of the streak the more money already you have accumulated in your winning pile. But, when you don’t get the cards, you lose no matter what you do. You lose even MORE if you keep betting because the count says so.

    Blackjack is a game of skill, and the game can be beaten in a number of ways.


    Tiltless
  • You First!

    Give us something to aim for.

    N0 Basic with 6D DOA DAS LS 75% is 100,000 +/- 1,000

    I'm sure no matter what we post, you'll do better.

    and oh, BTW, Advantage Players will sometimes not draw, or surrender, or DD wherein the Basic Player will do otherwise. Going back over the records will alter the shoe, as the hands will be played different.
  • Nickels_n_Bullets said:
    You First!

    Give us something to aim for.

    N0 Basic with 6D DOA DAS LS 75% is 100,000 +/- 1,000

    I'm sure no matter what we post, you'll do better.

    and oh, BTW, Advantage Players will sometimes not draw, or surrender, or DD wherein the Basic Player will do otherwise. Going back over the records will alter the shoe, as the hands will be played different.



    I will use card counting for playing. Sometimes, like the card counter, I will not draw, or I will surrender, or I will DD wherein the Basic Player will do otherwise. I will play in the same way a card counter would play so the hands will NOT be played differently.

    But, I will bet using a positive progression betting system and if we both win over the entire 100,000 hands I will MORE. And, if we happen to lose, then you will see that I lose LESS. This has been tested numerous times before.

    Tiltless
  • Does anyone remember the location of QFIT'S Scam site? The one that
    compares flat betting, progressions and card counting.
  • First, if you can't beat real-world casinos with plain hi-lo, you simply are not playing hi-lo correctly. I've used that system exclusively, and I've done my share of damage to casinos, including "real-world casinos". It works for SD, DD and shoe games. So rather than knocking the "system", you really should make sure that _you_ are playing the system correctly. There are way too many players around using hi-lo and being successful doing so.

    Second, you say "casinos change the rules as the game is played." This is certainly _not_ the case. Gaming regulations do not allow that. So I have no real idea exactly what you are trying to say there. But the statement, as given, is wrong. So I'll assume you meant something else but wrote it poorly...

    Third, your comment to Ray about "random walk statistics" is irrelevant. The game of blackjack is demonstrably not "random" because once a card is played, it can't be played again until the shuffle. That's what makes counting work in the first place...

    Fourth "capitalize on winning streaks" is pure voodoo/crapola. There is not a person on this planet that can recognize a winning or losing streak until after it has happened. And by then it is too late. Money management can _not_ win. Otherwise you should be able to demonstrate a betting system that will beat a 50-50 game like a coin toss, if you can beat a game where the house has a better than 50-50 chance of winning. This topic has been discussed over and over. Brilliant math people have shown why it fails. Simulations have proven that it fails. Yet it keeps coming up again and again.

    Fifth, your "he wins because he gets winning hands" is simply wrong. I am not going to win many more hands by counting cards. I might win an extra one here and there due to index plays. But it is possible to beat the casino purely by varying your bet with the count. Why? Because the "count" tells you when it is more likely that you will get a winning hand, as opposed to a losing hand. But it doesn't make you get them any more often. If you don't understand that basic idea, it is no wonder you can't win with a counting system. Because you are not applying it correctly at all...

    Finally, yes it can be beaten a number of ways. But unfortunately, not by _any_ of the ones you are suggesting. Hole-carding, shuffle-tracking, card-counting all work. Progressions do _not_ work, and nothing you can say is going to make that true. Quit looking at the "hokum" books and pick up something decent if you _really_ want to beat the game. Otherwise the only winner is the guy that sells you the progression system that doesn't work for you, but puts money in his pocket when you buy it...
  • Then I suppose that you and I can sit at the same table and play our own hands for this comparison? Or would you rather that there be just one spot with two bets: a front and back-line?
    Personally, I think the former would be fine.

    Question #2: When will you sit-out, and not play? By count? by bankroll? With a bad count and a positive bankroll? Inquiring minds wanna know.
  • You can play perfect and count cards all you want day in and day out. If you don't get the cards you will not win.
    If you bet by the count and win then I will win too without betting by the count playing the same hands you did. And if you lose then I will lose too over the same hands.

    Betting and counting has nothing in common. Betting more YES but not related to the count. Playing by the count makes sense. I agree. But here I draw the line.

    Like Doyle Brunson, the legendary poker champion, says: " I know the mathematicians and scientists don't believe in rushes/streaks but that's why they only make $1,500 per month. I'll always be in the next pot after I won the previous pot regardless what cards I’ve got. I'll always be raising and re-raising into the next pot

    After I have couple winning hands and a small winning pile I have a free roll for the next round(s). I already have next bet(s) paid for. I'll always bet more after I won a hand and if I have a winning pile I'll bet much more if I am on a rush. I always make more money that a card counter does. Always! If I bet by the count I make a very small profit. If I play the rush/streak and use the count only for Insurance and playing certain hands, I always make MUCH MORE $$

    As a non-mathematician, I am always puzzled why it seems to be perfectly acceptable for the house to study past streaks and outcomes to predict the future, but players are not permitted by the "rules of math" to do the same. If you run a streak analysis of, say, 100,000 hands of blackjack, you will find a streak distribution pattern which is markedly similar to the pattern from any other sample of that size, assuming the same number of decks, the same rules, and the same style of play. For most of us, the past provides the only basis for predicting the future, and all the mathematical arguments expressed with such vehemence in this forum do the same thing -- they say that based upon something that's known and "proven," it isn't possible to do...whatever. I have a sim program that runs a streak analysis of computer-generated hands of blackjack, updating the chart with each recalc. There's very little change between one block of 5,000 "hands" and the next.

    The math mob have taken on the daunting task of constantly reminding all of us that we can't win without card counting. The point is that if we follow the math myth, we're all doomed to be losers.



    Tiltless
  • Tiltless said:

    You cannot even calculate card counting probabilities against real world casinos as the casinos will change the rules of the game as the game is played. They also make these changes without any notification nor warning. The real world BJ rules are "fluid" Ray, they are NOT standard. Your conclusion that you can gain an advantage against such games with a proper bankroll is so inane that anyone would question your math credentials.


    Like many, I was hoodwinked by the Kard Kounting Kabal (tm) and wasted many hours learning strategies, practicing and otherwise dancing JUST LIKE A PUPPET ON A STRING. Little did I know that as soon as I started upping my bet on a positive count, I would be thrust BEYOND THE LOOKING GLASS!!!! For, as only wise progression players know, once the shoe starts to favor the player, ALL FACE CARDS START COUNTING AS THREE AND A HALF! And if you want to double down, you have to earn the right to do so by beating the pit boss in a race to the buffet! I have even been in games where pushes were decided at the roulette wheel. EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT CARD COUNTING IS USELESS AGAINST A ROULETTE WHEEL !!1!1!!! ONLY PROGRESSIONS WORK!!1!ONE! TALK ABOUT SOME FLUID RULES!
  • Any new BJ player should look at the facts and make his own judgment with
    regard to progressions.

    Here are a few to think about:

    - Streaks occur at the rate probability suggests, but they do not have
    some special place in time(like your session). When they occur is random.

    - Each individual outcome of a positive progression has an equal chance
    to occur. Thus the net effect is zero other than some average bet.

    - The win rate of positive progressions and some flat bet is exactly the
    same. This proves the null effect of positive progressions..same as flat bets.

    - There is no known rating system for progressions. If one was better than
    the other don't you think the world would know by now.

    - Do casinos bar progression players in your world?

    - The honest progression guru will tell you that his system will not produce
    an edge. You can't win without some kind of edge. Ask the house.

    - Finally, if you could configure a program/progression that effectively
    captured the unknown you could win at all the casino games and even a
    coin toss.
  • Witless,

    I'm not usually rude to people on public forums but you've proven yourself to be a complete idiot. Do you realize you're talking to some people who KNOW card counting works because that's what we do? It's been proven over and over and over and over again that no progression will overcome a game with a house edge.

    As far as progressions being better than card-counting, imagine this: You and I are playing at a roulette wheel. It's normal roulette except that as each number comes up, it disappears off the wheel. You're betting black, I'm betting red. The first two numbers that come up are both black. As a counter, I would now bet bigger on red because there are two more, and therefore a better chance of the ball landing on red. As a progression bettor, you would now bet bigger on black because you won the last two. Which one is the smarter play?
  • Ray said:
    Does anyone remember the location of QFIT'S Scam site? The one that
    compares flat betting, progressions and card counting.



    I think this is what you are looking for:

    http://www.blackjack-scams.com/

    Go there and click "prog systems"


    I hope Grifter is around. Needs to hang some garlic on the door or something, as the vampires are out tonight...
  • The one important thing people don't understand about progressions is that they merely condense your wins into a commpressed area -- your streaks; then they spread out your losses to include those sequences where you win just as many hands as you lose. The overall result however, is merely redistributed, but unchanged.

    Here's a very simple example. Say you use a 1-2-3 progression. Notice that if you win three in a row, you win 6 units. But if you lose three in a row, you lose only 3 units. But what happens when you go 2 & 1, or 1 & 2? For the sake of illustration, we'll test it out over every possible W/L sequences for three bets.

    WWW = +6
    WWL = 0
    WLW = 0
    LWW = +2
    LLW = -1
    LWL = -2
    WLL = -2
    LLL = -3

    If you add up all the units won, you get +8 units. If you add up all the units lost, you get -8 units. And which one of those eight possible sequences is most likely? In a 50-50 game, they would all be equally likely! So your averaged expectation in a game where you'll end up winning half your bets is "0".

    Now these next two points finish the story.
    A) It doesn't matter whether you check this progression over the course of three bets, thirty bets or 300 bets. All the units won on all the winning sequences -- subtracted from all the units lost on all the losing sequences will always add up to zero. You can't avoid it.
    B) It'll be the exact same story with any kind of progression you can dream up, be it a positive, negative or regressive progression. This is nothing more than solid arithmetic.

    So then why will progressions eventually lose at blackjack? It's because blackjack is not a 50-50 game. You lose more bets than you win. Therefore the sequences of 1 & 2 will occur more often than 2 & 1. In fact, as you play beyond three total bets, most of the sequences where you go 50-50 will produce a net loss -- such as 2 & 2, 3 & 3, etc. That's what cancels out perfectly, the fact that you win more in your winning streaks than you lose in your losing streaks. Trying to win with progressions is trying to bend the math -- and it just won't bend.

    P.S. -- Betting more while you're winning is impossible. Betting more when you have been winning up to now is easy, but useless. Every streak is as likely to end right now as continue for one more bet. And where does that put you?
  • So there!!




    Thanks Fred.
  • LeonShuffle said:
    Witless,

    I'm not usually rude to people on public forums but you've proven yourself to be a complete idiot. Do you realize you're talking to some people who KNOW card counting works because that's what we do? It's been proven over and over and over and over again that no progression will overcome a game with a house edge.

    As far as progressions being better than card-counting, imagine this: You and I are playing at a roulette wheel. It's normal roulette except that as each number comes up, it disappears off the wheel. You're betting black, I'm betting red. The first two numbers that come up are both black. As a counter, I would now bet bigger on red because there are two more, and therefore a better chance of the ball landing on red. As a progression bettor, you would now bet bigger on black because you won the last two. Which one is the smarter play?


    Of course you are wrong again Leon - so wrong I doubt if you learned very much in your school. What is the name of your school, your real name, and the name of your math professor? After your post above, we need to check your credentials. If you believe the casino BJ could be beaten by card counting, as you stated above, then you seriously need to repeat some math classes. The only person I have seen moronic enough to make such statements before was “Ingram & Cowley” – but we know they were retards. Where are you getting your obviously flawed information Leon? Certainly not from your college professors I hope?

    Please name the mathematicians that claim BJ can be beaten if the cut card goes to 50% penetration in a 2D H17 game. Please name the mathematicians that claim BJ can be beaten if you get preferential shuffle. Please name the mathematicians that claim BJ can be beaten if you are restricted to “flat bet only” by the casino.

    What you are saying is that based upon your studies of your "non-existent kitchen-table rules and game" you **think** that card counting can beat your kitchen table game. And you obviously **think** that your “kitchen-table-BJ” is comparable with casino BJ.

    However, we do know that casinos need to keep the suckers coming in to make money. We also know, and the casinos know, that eventually they will run out of suckers. Casinos "mill" players. Once a player has lost all of his available money, there is a very good chance that player will stop playing casino games forever. Moreover, considering all the new competition in casino games, the overall reservoir (herd) of casino suckers is dwindling. So it is absolutely imperative that casinos hire people (public relations experts they are called) to tout and publish and post on newsgroups various pro casino hype. The casinos need all this hype and suggestions and fraudulent claims that "you can win big money - if you use card counting.

    The only BJ game that can be beaten using card counting is the Single deck, S17, DAS, with 99% penetration. The way was originally set-up during Thorp’s era when the entire state of Nevada was dealing only single decks all the way down to the last card.

    Have a nice day,

    Tiltless
  • Now I can only assume you're joking. Just trying to get a rise out of people by spouting nonsense.

    But anyway, I don't play 2D, H17, 50% pen, with preferential shuffle and restricted bets. I wouldn't. I play 6 or 8D, S17, 75-80% pen. and I bet how I please. I play in Atlantic City. I play quite often and have for some time now. I know what my results are.

    So go ahead and ignore what everyone in this thread has been saying to refute your claims. Play your way, and good luck to you.

    However, I would suggest you read Blackjack Bluebook 2 by Mr. Fred Renzey. You'll be glad you did.

    Goodbye
  • Tiltless said:
    Of course you are wrong again Leon - so wrong I doubt if you learned very much in your school. What is the name of your school, your real name, and the name of your math professor? After your post above, we need to check your credentials. If you believe the casino BJ could be beaten by card counting, as you stated above, then you seriously need to repeat some math classes. The only person I have seen moronic enough to make such statements before was “Ingram & Cowley” – but we know they were retards. Where are you getting your obviously flawed information Leon? Certainly not from your college professors I hope?

    Please name the mathematicians that claim BJ can be beaten if the cut card goes to 50% penetration in a 2D H17 game. Please name the mathematicians that claim BJ can be beaten if you get preferential shuffle. Please name the mathematicians that claim BJ can be beaten if you are restricted to “flat bet only” by the casino.

    What you are saying is that based upon your studies of your "non-existent kitchen-table rules and game" you **think** that card counting can beat your kitchen table game. And you obviously **think** that your “kitchen-table-BJ” is comparable with casino BJ.

    However, we do know that casinos need to keep the suckers coming in to make money. We also know, and the casinos know, that eventually they will run out of suckers. Casinos "mill" players. Once a player has lost all of his available money, there is a very good chance that player will stop playing casino games forever. Moreover, considering all the new competition in casino games, the overall reservoir (herd) of casino suckers is dwindling. So it is absolutely imperative that casinos hire people (public relations experts they are called) to tout and publish and post on newsgroups various pro casino hype. The casinos need all this hype and suggestions and fraudulent claims that "you can win big money - if you use card counting.

    The only BJ game that can be beaten using card counting is the Single deck, S17, DAS, with 99% penetration. The way was originally set-up during Thorp’s era when the entire state of Nevada was dealing only single decks all the way down to the last card.

    Have a nice day,

    Tiltless



    Your last statement is patently false. I can and have beaten most every game offered. 8deck, 6deck, double-deck and single-deck. a DD game with 50% penetration _can_ be beat with card counting. It requires a healthy spread, but it can be done. Go to www.qfit.com, and look at the free sim page Norm has up. Pick the game, the rules, the number of decks, the card counting strategy, and you can find _exactly_ what your expectation is for that game.

    I played in vegas most recently in July of 05. I found plenty of DD games with 67 percent penetration and up, all the way to 80% a couple of times. SD is dealt to RO6 or RO7 most everywhere. 6D with 1 deck cut off is fairly easy to find, 1.5 decks cut off is more common. Either _can_ be beaten with proper spread. CVCX data on Norm's web site can tell you the win rate. Or if you prefer, I can run CVCX here and give you specifics for a specific game.

    The rest of your post is simply nonsense. Pick up Fred's book. Or Snyder's blackbelt in blackjack. Or Wong's professional blackjack. Or Blackjack attack. Or 200 proof blackjack or ... you get the idea. Counting works. If it doesn't work for you, you ought to do a little more introspection to figure out why, rather than making statements that are so far beyond idiotic it takes sunlight 6 months to get from idiotic to where you are...

    Play however you want. If you want to use a progression and play BS, and recognize all of those "streaks" and take advantage of them, feel free to toss your money right into the casino's safe. We need players like you as you guys are the ones that keep the casinos open and happy so that we can win a little here and there. It is a free country, after all. Feel free to play how you want, but I'd suggest you not try to spill your "knowledge" onto others, as you are doing them a great disservice...
  • Fortunately for the rest of us on this planet, mathematicians do not rule the world, and it does not require a math degree of any kind to be successful in life -- or to win at gambling. In fact, there are indications that too much "knowledge" in that area may inhibit your growth. For one thing, you guys say "can't" an awful a lot, and us idiots know that if you live by "can't" you won't get nowhere. All I have done is distill my observations and experiences from a lifetime of gambling into a set of money management which mathematicians say are meaningless, but which are supported by analysis of huge numbers of real life casino BJ hands, experience, outcomes and results with real $$ value.

    We certainly are not going to get any "fair" review from Norm Wattenberger's QFit. His software is so flawed it cannot even consider real world casino rules! Plus his math is non existent, and his simulation figures are inflated beyond belief. This person will never provide you with any objective information that could be negative to the fraudulent misrepresentation he makes that expert card counting can beat real world casinos.


    Tiltless
  • Yes, I'm here and have been monitoring the entire thread. Garlic didn't work so when Home Depot opens this morning I will go get some new wood stakes.

    What is missing from the rhetoric is a decription of what progression the poster is using that he claims will beat card counting. Until he posts the actual progression, this thread is just words, words, and more words.

    Grifter
  • Tiltless,
    I really find it hard to believe that someone could question others' math ability while having such a poor grasp of statistics themselves. You claim that the presence of "streaks" is a predictable occurance in BJ. Do you really believe that having a streak of good cards tips the scales in your favor for the upcoming hand? While its true that BJ has a memory up until the shuffle, if anything your odds are worse if you have been receiving good cards rather than better as there are fewer good cards left in the deck. Each bet made has a success rate directly related to the specific cards left in the deck, not the winning or losing "streak" you are on. If I flip a coin and it comes up heads 1000 consecutive times, what are the chances that this streak will continue? Same as always, exactly 0.5. As for math credentials, I am a third year Actuarial Math major, and I recieved a perfect 800 on both my SAT's and SAT2's in math. Not saying I know it all, or more than others on this board, but I think I have a fairly solid grasp of statistics. The same cannot be said for yourself, or you would not be making such ridiculous claims.

    Also, In the above quote you state that it does not take a math degree to be successful at gambling. Of course it doesnt. I'm not sure how this at all relates to playing smart hands. The idea is to maximize your chances of winning and minimize your chances of losing. If I have 19 vs. a dealer 6, the best play at that time could turn out to be hit, if the next card is a 2 and the dealer was going to make 20 or 21. If I played this way and luckily won big, I could go argue that I had a proven method to win on 19 vs. 6 up, and that method was to hit. However, anyone who plays this is clearly not playing smart cards. The point is I can play BJ like an idiot and win big, thats what gambling is. Basing a technique's validity on select experiences rather than sound math is simply foolish.
  • the "progression lovers" can find ways to win on paper. It is not hard to come up with a "streaky" win/loss string that will win if you bet your age when you win, your IQ when you lose, and your shoe size when you push. But picking arbitrary win-lose strings is pointless. Since there are no patterns to win-lose-push at all (other than the house _always_ wins more hands than it loses long-term) in a real game. And as Fred pointed out, the progression-lovers simply refuse to look at what happens with _each_ possible N-hand streak, focusing instead on the particular N-hand streak that shows that their progression will win.

    Also, if tiltless doesn't believe in the math, I wonder if he plays BS at all? If so, how does he justify "using the math" without "believing in the math?" As far as saying Norm's sims are worthless, all I can say is "what an intellect." Every serious BJ player on the planet trusts Norm's sims, and wong's math, and basic strategy, and probability theory, and risk of ruin calculations, and Kelly betting, and ...

    I think this is more troll than anything else. I'd suggest that we all treat it as such and let this particular "streak" of posts die a well-deserved death.

    :)
  • Although I haven't posted for a long time, I've remained a regular visitor to the board. It seems as if now may be the time to add two cents.

    Since many threads condemn posters for not having enough real time playing experience I will tell you that I play in live casinos a min. of 200 hours a year and have been doing this for 15 years. This past weekend was fairly typical. I got back Sunday night from Caesars. I played 27 hours and had an unusually good profit of 120 units. Based on this I don't know if this makes me a newbie or experienced, but probably somewhere in between. I play a progression after finding it better for me than counting - which I did with some skill I like to think - for several years. We mostly all agree that there is only one big session and until you play your last hand the session isn't over, but for the sake of breaking it down I will say that I haven't had a losing calendar year yet. Maybe I've just been lucky. I don't doubt the math people on this and other boards. I respect you and have learned from you. Thank you for your contributions.

    The progression(s) I play is/are fairly aggressive and absolutely require a fairly significant run to make up for all the choppy play. Fred's example of the results of 3 hands isn't long enough to get you in the black. But several runs of 4 or 5 hands will make up for alot of losing, the occassional run of 7 straight (which invariably includes some splits and dd) should turn an entire trip into a winner, and the rare and wonderful 8 plus is even better.

    I will say that the disdain the math jocks hold for anyone who doesn't agree with them is alternately amusing and irritating. If my winnings are the result of voodoo so be it, I'll become a convert. I wonder if there isn't a more rational explanation though. It's true as so many say that you never know when a streak is going to start. What isn't true is that you don't know you've had one until it's over. I'm on board the train all the time and if/when it leaves I'm in a first class seat. It seems to me that most streaks happen in the second half to last third of a 6 deck shoe. Could it be that I am merely the beneficiary of a very positive count and don't know it? Is this is at least a plausible explanation?

    I'm not looking to convince anyone to do anything my way, to get into an argument or to justify my experiences. Best of luck to all - in and out of casinos.
  • I get a real kick out of these mathletes who talk of how they can beat the casinos using card counting,but then play in Vegas once a year,if that. Sure,you can count cards in the privacy of your living room,just as the progressionists can come up with formulas inverting their birthdays,or whatever.
    If you truly can beat the casinos on a regular basis,why don't you? Are your jobs really that good?
    I'm off to Vegas for the third time since joining this forum,and I live in NYC, don't have nearly the advantage some of you claim to have,yet mange to cover my expenses and bring home a lil something.
    In the last six months,just how much time have you folks put in on a real table,in a real casino?
    Gamblers gamble,its what they do.
  • Good post Larz. When I first started out years ago, I believed in positive progressions. It seemed like a sound concept: Lose a little while on a losing streak and when I did happen to hit that winning streak, I'd have been taking advantage of it. It went alright at first, and then it didn't. The more I thought about it, the more I realized why it wouldn't work. It's exactly because of what Renzey says about any combination of wins and losses happening equally. So I thought I'd practice at home and just flat bet. The conclusion I came to was that sometimes I'd hit a good winning streak and think to myself, "A positive progression would have worked there". Then I'd go back and forth winning and losing and think, "A negative progression would have worked there but a positive one would have hurt". Then I'd lose 12 or 13 in a row and think, "A negative progression would have ruined me there".

    Since you never know how the wins and losses will go, it's not possible to know how to bet to take advantage of it. Play enough hands, keeping track as if you were: A) increasing after wins, B) increasing after losses, and C) betting flat, and you'll realize none of them is better than the others. Except that betting flat, your average bet will be smaller and therefore you'll lose less.

    So for anyone having success with progressions, I'd say keep doing what you're doing and don't even bother trying to convince the rest of us.

    LS

    P.S. I realize that last sentence could be taken as being sarcastic, but it's not.
  • If you are talking to me, fine.

    I play Vegas twice a year typically. Usually for a "long week" (8-10 days). Until Katrina, I played the MS coast much more frequently. Sometimes weekly since I have family down there. Sometimes once a month.

    The problem with blackjack is that there are _always_ going to be winners that don't count or track or whatever. Standard deviation and the probability theory _demands_ that this happens. But if someone plays a couple of hundred hours a year, and uses nothing but a progression, and then claim they win almost every time, you can bet there is some very poor record-keepting going on. Play enough and your expectation is going to collapse back to what the math says it should be.

    From Sept 1, 2004 to Sept 1, 2005, I played just over 190 hours in real casinos. During that same time period, I played over 400 hours practicing with CVBJ to keep my speed and accuracy as high as possible. My win rate in the casino and my win rate using CVBJ are nearly identical. Not perfectly, but not far away statistically.

    Go to www.blackjack-scams.com and click on "prog systems". The math and explanations for why they do not work is easy to follow. If you don't believe basic probability theory, then there is little hope we can ever agree. The math _is_ correct.

    I'm reminded of a current story in NYC. Seems the transportation workers voted down the last contract offer because the city wrote in they would have to pay 1.5% of their monthly paycheck to pay for their medical insurance. Those folks said "WHAAATTT? I want to pay a fixed amount, with this scheme the more I make the more I have to pay. That's not fair!" And then they turn around and say "screw the rich, make the income tax system make the rich pay more than us poor folks."

    Sheesh... what impeccable logic.

    Now, in BJ, we have the _same_ scenario. "The math is wrong, counting does not work, progressions do work, etc." And then that same person says "be sure you are using basic strategy for the right game rules, H17 and S17 are different games." Somehow the math works for defining basic strategy, but it doesn't work when it proves progressions can not possibly win consistently, or that counting will win.

    Can't have it both ways folks...

    I go with the math. Works for me. The simulations work. Etc.

    If you don't want to trust the math. Or don't want to bother trying to understand the math, then you are certainly free to join the flat-earth society, and claim the US did not visit the moon, etc. Or you can listen to the significant group of advantage players that are using the math correctly and making money, whether at a modest rate, or as a professional gambler making a small fortune doing it.

    But please stop claiming "the math is wrong". At that point, your credibility is shot, totally.
  • 190 hours in a year is about 3.5 hours a week.Why would you play less than 1/10th of the amount an average worker puts in on his job if you have such a great advantage?
    I,for one,am not saying the math behind BS is wrong.I've never said that. Some moves are questionable,in my opinon,but I've never said they were wrong. Only that BS is one way,not the only way to beat the casinos paying BJ.
    Correct me if I'm wrong,but wasn't Arnold Snyder recently quoted saying that if he was starting out today,basic card counting is not the way he would go?

    BTW- I'm not sure where you got that story about the transit workers,but you are way off base. The workers vetoed the contract because they didn't want to pay anything for their insurance. They figured that once they agreed to pay a small percentage,that that percentage would go up year afer year.Nothing to do with a flat rate.
  • 190 hours in a year is about 3.5 hours a week.Why would you play less than 1/10th of the amount an average worker puts in on his job if you have such a great advantage?
    I,for one,am not saying the math behind BS is wrong.I've never said that. Some moves are questionable,in my opinon,but I've never said they were wrong. Only that BS is one way,not the only way to beat the casinos paying BJ.
    Correct me if I'm wrong,but wasn't Arnold Snyder recently quoted saying that if he was starting out today,basic card counting is not the way he would go?

    BTW- I'm not sure where you got that story about the transit workers,but you are way off base. The workers vetoed the contract because they didn't want to pay anything for their insurance. They figured that once they agreed to pay a small percentage,that that percentage would go up year afer year.Nothing to do with a flat rate.
  • Easy to answer.

    First, closest casino is a 10 hour round-trip drive. I don't "camp out" to avoid getting caught. I limit sessions to one hour max per pit, which often turns into one hour per casino. 3.5 hours per week, is often more like 10-15 hours on one weekend per month.

    Second, why don't I do it more often? Easy. I happen to have a full-time job that I have been doing for 36 years now. I play BJ because my wife happens to like the casino environment, and it provides us ample "get-away" opportunities for rest, relaxation, etc. When she started this "idea" 6-7 years ago, I played pure BS and we both were consistent losers as expected. Now, we are better than break-even on our trips. My wife hits the slots, I hit the tables, and with free rooms and food, we generally make a little as my wins usually offset her slot losses. We have a good time doing it, and we do it as a method of entertainment.

    Also, I don't claim to have a "great advantage". I claim to have about a 1% advantage. I have played for months in negative territory. That comes with the territory of 21.

    Doing it full-time is a totally different undertaking. I have known (still know) a couple of full-timers. Lots of air travel time, huge bankrolls to support the betting level required to make it full-time and survive the negative variance that happens. I happen to like drag racing, and am involved in it as a hobby. Why not full time? Because it is a _hobby_.

    One doesn't have to do this full time and support themselves doing so, in order to be an real AP. If you buy Norm's new CVBJ version, and want to compare test speeds/scores (he has added some sort of internet upload mechanism supposedly) then we can compare "sizes" if that is important to you.

    Further down you say "BS is one way to beat ...". That's wrong. BS is one way to lose money. It won't win you money.

    I got the story from an interview on CNN. Yes, the bus drivers seem to think they deserve about 2x the wages of typical bus drivers elsewhere in the US. Yes they seem to think they deserve free health insurance when most of us have to pay at least a part of hours. And yes, at least a few complained about having the insurance premium tied in a s a percentage of their monthly paycheck, claiming they would have accepted a flat-rate, but not something where the more you make, the more you pay. I didn't say _everyone_ thought like that. Just that a"few" did. The same way a "few" claim progressions work. They don't. I simply listened to CNN last night, then heard it again on talk radio this morning on the way in to the office..
  • SSR:

    I was confident that one of you would take exception and in your case make an accusation - the crack about 'poor record keeping'. For whatever it's worth the record keeping is exhaustive and complete. I didn't say that I almost never lose, in fact depending on how you want to break it up, I have more losing trips than winning. But the winners more than balance. Don't believe me, that's fine, but I resent the inference that I am either incompetent at keeping track, or worse, a liar.

    What about the honest question as to whether non- AP's may win consecutive hands due to a positive count and profit by having more money on the table, just as you might?

    In any event, I'm not taking the bait and joining the fray. This is the last you'll hear from me on this but for what it's worth Bug House was less condescending and more entertaining than some of the current regulars.

    Regards and good luck to all.
  • Larz177 said:
    SSR:

    I was confident that one of you would take exception and in your case make an accusation - the crack about 'poor record keeping'. For whatever it's worth the record keeping is exhaustive and complete. I didn't say that I almost never lose, in fact depending on how you want to break it up, I have more losing trips than winning. But the winners more than balance. Don't believe me, that's fine, but I resent the inference that I am either incompetent at keeping track, or worse, a liar.

    What about the honest question as to whether non- AP's may win consecutive hands due to a positive count and profit by having more money on the table, just as you might?

    In any event, I'm not taking the bait and joining the fray. This is the last you'll hear from me on this but for what it's worth Bug House was less condescending and more entertaining than some of the current regulars.

    Regards and good luck to all.


    Can I point out that +counts are scattered all over the game. And that the premise that "a non-counter might win because he happened to bet more when the count was up" is simply flawed. Unless you have some magic way to know when to bet more (we call that card counting of course). So yes a BS player is going to go up and down in more or less random fashion, but the long-term trend is _always_ down. _always_.

    I don't see where I "called you a liar". I said your record-keeping is "suspect". I stand by that, because I happen to have enough background in math and probability theory to understand that someone is not going to do what you claim to do very often. Yes, someone can play 10,000 hours at the table, using pure BS, and end up a million dollars ahead. But only one of every ten zillion players will get that many standard deviations to the right of the mean.

    So, either your record-keeping is lax, or you are just very lucky. But trying to convince others to try your "winning approach" is hardly doing them a service, because no way are they going to repeat your good luck.

    If that sounds "condescending" so be it. Sounds more like "someone just stating simple well-known facts" to me. Drop over to Wong's web site (rge21.com) or ap.com and bring up "progressions". It will be _far_ less gently dealt with than what you have gotten here...

    Progressions do _NOT_ work. Otherwise you should be able to enter into a coin toss match and win more than you lose. That's easier to beat than 21 with its house edge. You will find that most simply call this "voodoo" or "crap", which is what it is...
  • IMHO- Blackjack players reflect the political and/or population make-up of
    the good old USA:

    Conservative, Liberal, Moderate and each has his own individual mind-set and
    playing preference.

    1) Conservatives are typically progression players and tend to have faith in
    the concept of streaks and may, at times, doubt the truth of some basic
    strategy plays. Mostly doubles and some very close plays. They tend to see
    the "here and now" as the important consideration. Conservatives are about
    32%

    2) Liberals are math guys and tend to favor card counting and math proofs as
    being all import considerations. Hold a gun to their head and they might play
    a progression out of fear. They tend to see the future and make their plans
    along those lines. Liberals are about 25%

    3) Moderates are between a rock and a hard place. They have attributes of
    both of the other two (part conservative, part liberal). Some move from
    progressions to card counting or back the other way...or some combination
    of both.....as we have seen. Moderates are about 43%

    This forum has all three and that makes for some interesting post. One thing
    is for sure: None will ever change no matter the logic or faith. Thus the claims
    and counter claims will remain........................
  • only thing I would change is to invert "conservative" and "liberal". I'm a staunch conservative, but I believe in math and counting, rather than progressions. :)
  • I forgot my main point..........maintain a thick skin
  • For myself,its not so much believing in progressions as it it believing that there are other ways to make money playing BJ. Several people here repeatedly say that the ONLY way to make money in the long run is to play perfect BS and vary your bets according to the count.And anything else is just voodoo.Pehaps it is voodoo to them,as it is something beyond their understanding,but that doesn't make it false.
    There are any number of ways a player can get an advantage over the casino,be it matchplay coupons,comp counting,capitalizing on dealers mistakes,taking advantage of special promos(Sahara has 2 to 1 BJ on Thursdays,for example) and simple observation.There are others but I won't go into them on a public forum.
    As far as questioning BS,there are some plays that occur so infrequently and your choces are so close to each other that the casual $10 player can misplay them for years before it cost them the eqivalent of a single bet.As a good AP should use some camoflauge on occasion,might as well be the plays one can't stomach anyway.
  • This is an interesting thread, and I can actually see both sides of the argument over progressions. My last trip to Vegas I sat down at a $25 minimum blackjack table and bought in for $100 - just 4 green chips. I usually play $5 or $10 minimum tables but sat at this table anyway. I then proceeded to go on a winning streak that was unbelievable, my little stack of 4 green chips turned in to more than 8 stacks of 4 green chips (over $800 from my initial $100 buy-in). Now at this point I have to agree with Larz177: it is possible to know and recognize when you are on a streak. I knew it, the dealer knew it, the hottie at the table who kept saying 'what the hell, you can't loose' knew it, and the pit bosses (who started milling around the table) certainly knew it. However, I will agree with Renzey's post on page 2 of this thread; streaks simply compress your wins into a small session, and the losses will eventually even it out; I learned this the hard way the following day when I couldn't win to save my life!
    Having said all this, I do believe in positive progressions because they can maximize those hot streaks.
    Btw, I'm actually going to Vegas in a couple of weeks, and I plan to use Renzey's KISS count AND a progression.
  • It is difficult to use a count _and_ a progression. A counting system has a betting ramp that can be optimized for specific rules, bankroll, risk of ruin, penetration, etc. If you vary from that optimal betting ramp, either you lower your overall win rate, or increase your overall risk of ruin to an unacceptably high level.

    A positive progression is going to have you increasing your bet when you win, even though every player just got 20's on the first two cards, and the count tanked as a result. You do _not_ want to bet bigger when the house suddenly has a significant advantage over you.

    "progression-like" betting schemes are used for "cover" all the time, if you are betting at a level that needs cover. In Vegas, if you are playing $5/$10 tables, you should just bet optimally and play a perfect game. If you go to green-level tables, on the strip I would continue to play optimally. Downtown I might begin to use a little cover to not be too obvious since they are not used to seeing tons of green action. Back on the strip, should you decide to start betting with a black unit, then you have to start worrying about getting backed off, so more cover plays are in order. But betting at that level, your hourly win rate will be quite high anyway and lowering it somewhat to provide longevity in that casino is worthwhile.

    Just make sure you know the optimal betting ramp for your situation, otherwise you take a great risk in losing it all. That is, you don't just increase your bet in positive counts, there is a very precise amount you should increase by for each change in the count. It doesn't take much to run your risk of ruin to 100% by just overbetting your bankroll a very few times, even when the count is way up.
  • O.K.
    bottom line: enjoy the game. if you want to win money get Renzeys book and get good at kiss III,then go to the casino and put chips on the felt.
    best of luck to all.
    Prog
  • Prog - Exactly!!........Go to the tables and play the game, and have fun doing it, and make a little money in the process..........I don't think the "jammie boys" (including our resident one) realize that blackjack is actually played on felt tables and not on their computers........They have their mouse in one hand and their joystick in the other; and don't know which one to play with next......Of course that don't stop them from telling others how to play the game; irrespective of the horse pucky like in the post below.

    Grifter
  • If you don't understand/believe/trust the computer stuff, not a problem with me.

    Since you are a moderator here, and I certainly respect you for doing that, you ought to be able to have some say-so in who does what here.

    In that light, I'll happily move along to greener pastures, since my presence here seems to somehow disturb you. If I've offended you, I certainly appoligize for doing so. However, if the "progression" nonsense and other stuff is discussed as though it actually works, and someone doesn't stand up and say "that's wrong" then disinformation becomes fact to new players. And that's unfortunate because reality will eventually set in and the will wonder "I did everything right, why am I losing?"

    In any case, caio, and good luck.
  • To any progression player -- you evaded the most telling question in this thread, I think.

    Why do casinos ban card counters from playing and yet they do not ban progression players? Don't trust the mathmaticians. Don't trust the professional blackjack players. Trust the casinos -- its their business. Or do you think they simply haven't gotten around to analyze progression systems?

    By all means, have fun at the casino -- and if you want to use a progression system and you are enjoying yourself, go wild. If you want to make money, though, take some advice from the professionals.
  • the casinos sell basic strategy cards in the gift shop-ever heard of them selling any kind of information on card counting?
    Prog
  • Sure they do ........I don't remember seeing any in-depth books, and I haven't paid any attention lately; but I remember picking up one of Tamburin's books at a gift shop (Mirage?) in the late 90's.

    Grif'
  • Is there any online blackjack games where card counting would be the least bit effective?
  • All our folks can be graded on a scale of 1-10. When a new player ask some
    guestion that you would expect from a 1 or 2, it should be a simple matter
    to answer that question without the history of CC and/or your life experience. Facts, or better yet a lead-in to the facts will work much better
    & will avoid the personal issues. I think that is what Grifter would like to see.

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