Ok, so assume I am Rain man...
  • Hey, I'm new to this great site and I'm still getting my head around how card counting works. Normally for any math concept it helps me to envision either end of the spectrum to better understand how the centre works. So:

    Simple) Using basic strategy the house has a an edge of 0.5% over you, resulting in guarranted losses over to a great number of hands.

    More complex) Using a card counting system (say Hi-Lo) the edge can be shifted to the player over the house of about 1-1.5%. This system tracks the high and low cards to see if more 10 or A's are in the deck.

    Most complex) I'm Rain man. An idiot savant with perfect memory recall. After watching the deck I can tell you exactly whats left. So whats my edge over the house? 10%? Should I bet as I would using the hi-lo method? I would seem to me that your betting strategy should change radically. Say the deck has a lot of 6's and 10's left. Wouldnt this be advantages for me over the dealer? If the dealer gets 16 he has to hit and if he gets a 10 or a 6 he would bust, whereas I could just always stay on a 16 or 20.

    I realize that this question is purely academic but questions like this help to understand things better. You board members have a lot more experience then I do and I was just wondering if I could pick your brains for and interesting theories. Any reponses would be great! Thanks.
  • There will always be a level of uncertainty as to where those cards are,
    even for the rain man. Suppose there are 10 extra tens and 4 extra 6's
    with 3 decks remaining and 1.5 decks behind the cut card. That is a 1:1
    ratio of cards in-play vs those behind the cut card ( six deck shoe).

    If we assume a uniform distribution accross the three remaining decks,
    those cards that are in-play will contain 5 extra tens and 2 extra 6's.
    Not a lock at all, but over time you should have a tiny edge, but
    not even close to 10%.

    In this example, the count would call for a bet of 8-10 units and for these
    last 4-5 hands we could lose them all or win/lose in some other combinations.
    Player favorable rules have their greatest impack during these brief periods.
  • Thanks for the response.

    Regarding the cards that are behind the cut card, doesnt that really nullify the card counters advantage? Thorp's method, the one that gave him a 1% advantage over house, assumed that the shoe was played to the last card. So cutting off say 2 of the 6 decks in play would to me seem to really screw up the counter. That +8 count could all be behind the cut card (the two decks out of the 3 left) and if I'm betting heavy for that last playable deck then I'm losing more than just flat betting.

    Also, how did the MIT team make so much money? Were there profits really just embellished? Like alot of people here, I became interested in card counting after reading the Wired article and watching the Canadian movie The Last Casino so I understand how the team play worked. The backcounters would get a good count and signal the BP or Gorillas to come and bet big, but this strategy seemed more to just throw off the pit bosses then give an even bigger advantage. Would the backcounters just walk around and wait for a really high count, say +10 or 15 or maximize there winning chances? Just curious.
  • The MIT teams won millions by more than just counting cards. They used a lot of advanced techniques like shuffle tracking, cut games, hole carding, along with counting. Most of their big players never played a game at a disadvantage. They also had all this down cold before they could even step into a casino. Most people will practice at home before they try it in a casino, but once they get there alot of times are blown away before they can adjust. The MIT students had no learning curve. Their practice facility was even harder than the actual casino environment. Add on top of that a million dollar bankroll from various investors, and you've now got the perfect scheme for "Bringing Down The House."
  • the m.i.t. team may have used most or all of the tricks you mentioned but i think overall they made the overwhelming bulk of their wins using the hi-lo counting system coupled with team play.
  • Sweetlou- Nope, sims prove the advantage is there. For every time that
    most ten's are behind the cut card, other times they will be in play.
    Some mix in the middle is more likely.

    In todays environment it is getting more difficult to win a buck or two and
    any additional advantage added to CC is helpfull. One of the best that
    I have seen lately is Renzey's hand interaction concepts. Others, you have
    just seen explained in the last wk or so.

    In todays casinos, you can find good rules in most parts of USA. Rules are
    not my big grip when it comes to good games. Fact is, you want find many
    businesses that are run any better than your local casino and that is where
    the rub is. These duds are very good at controlling table availability that
    just matches the number of players. That means full tables most of the time.
    Penetration for shoe games is very close to or at 2 decks. In dd, you are
    lucky to get 60% and many times and places 50%. All of this manages away
    part of your ability to win. It also forces you to expose yourself to a higher
    variance game. In short, you need all the tools that you can muster.......

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