Newbie counter here, last night was my first night out counting
  • And luckily, I live in Slovenia, so most of the dealers and players don't really gab much with me so I can concentrate. And half the dealers deal very slowly, mainly because they are inexperienced and want to cut down their misdeals. Oh BTW, the rules:

    6 deck shoe
    D stands all 17's
    Double anything
    Split anything, only one hit on A's
    BJ pays normal

    So I bet one unit (5 euro) for the most part, brought with me 200. And I gotta say, it was taxing, it was work. After 4 hours/15 shoes, I had made 50 Euro. I took breaks from time to time, dabbling in Carribean Stud just to relax. I considered it practice, even though I was playing with real cash. That made things a lot easier on me. I never got upset when I lost, mainly because I would usually only lose 1 unit when I did.

    I am a newbie counter, and Ive spent approximately 60 hours at home practicing, and probably half that at a casino. I used to be a progressionist, but no more. IT DOESN'T WORK FOLKS!

    Currently studying Ferguson's Professional Blackjack, counting down decks, memorizing RC to TC tables, and a few other drills.

    Since Im a newbie, are there other things I should be doing in the meantime?

    Enlighten me.
  • BJ pays normal 3-2 or pays normal as in even money!? If it pays even money then get out of the game, that's a pretty huge swing, over 2% if I remember correctly.

    It sounds like you have a pretty relaxed atmosphere to play in. One thing you will need to incorporate once you get to the point where counting is no longer 'taxing' but second nature is spreading your bets. Flat betting is just that, flat. Much better to make larger bets (esp. since the place you're playing doesn't sound like they'd recognize Stu Ungar if he walked through the doors!) when you have the true count advantage. I don't know what count you're using, fill us in?

    I'm sure you are since you've obviously read up on it, but make sure you make all the 'little' adjustments in your game that differs from 1 or 2 decks to a six deck game. Such splitting sixes vs. a deuce if indeed you are allowed to double after a split? You weren't clear on that point. I've been in a game where they allow you to double on more than two cards also, you don't happen to be lucky enough to be in one of those games do you?

    I haven't read Professional Blackjack so I'm not sure what you're using to memorze the charts/tables but just keep practicing. 60 hours may seem like a lot of time but it hardly is. When I started I put in 6 solid months of reading, memorizing, counting and I don't even play blackjack anymore lol You're trying to do something that very few people can do, make consistent money from the casino, it's going to take a little work.

    I'll write more later, waiting to hear from you.

    Stick
  • BJ pays 3 to 2, with the even money option at ones own expense. I take that option if the count is high, that's the right move correct? Im talking +4 and above. I'm using the Hi-Lo, 2-6 +1, 10's and up -1.

    The atmosphere is very relaxed, especially if I go on Monday or Tuesday evening, and even at 7 at night it's usually just me and the dealer, but in that case I would have to play 2 circles, is that common practice?

    I forgot to mention why I didn't spread my bets that much, the only reason was I never really had that good of a count to work with. Highest all night was +3 with about 2.5 decks remaining. Like I said, I only played 15 shoes, and I took frequent breaks to reset my mind. I bet up to 3 units maybe a handful of times, and 1 hand really paid well, I was dealt 2 9's against a dealer 6, got another 9 to split up again, and the dealer busted and all 3 hands paid out.

    You can D after S with any 2 cards, and you only get 1 card in which to do double. And triple 7's, suited or unsuited, pay even money immediately with the opportunity to win again if you beat the dealer. And the table gets free drinks. I hit trip 7's that night by the way, my second time doing so at that casino.

    I havent memorized the indices for the variations of the count yet, but I plan to. I'll probably learn one at a time, and practice in between. Professional Blackjack is great, but it's going take a good effort on my part to understand and memorize the content. I am also reading Blackjack Diary, not sure if you have heard of it. I even ordered 20 packs of cards and set them up in my room in stacks of 2, 2.5, 3, etc..in order to estimate how many cards are in the discard tray. And I set up an excel document to memorize all the RC to TC conversions in half deck incriments. I plan on creating a binder with easy to read indices, that excel document I mentioned, and anything else I think is pertinent.

    I have a steady job and consider this a hobby, but this is the most dedicated I have ever been with a hobby. When youre playing with your earnings, it's best to be as knowledgable as you possibly can be. You wouldnt just invest into a mutual fund without researching it would you?

    Thanks for your input, and I welcome any further advice
  • That's good, I was scared you were playing in a game where blackjacks paid even money, I wasn't referring to insurance, which you should never take unless your count justifies it.

    It isn't common practice to be forced to play 2 circles if nobody else is around. Ludicrous in my opinion ... they either want your money or not right? I mean one player playing is better than ZERO people playing? Still, I wouldn't mind at all playing two circles, it doesn't really change much.

    Triple sevens gets paid twice basically? Hehehe...not that it happens much, but every little bit of equity helps! And free drinks :)

    It sounds like you're very practical and very patient and should do well if you keep on it. Once you get fully comfortable counting cards, betting according to the count/adjusting the true count & running count back and forth, and maybe even keeping a side count (of aces) I'd suggest you go with a stronger count system if it's within' your capabilities. I have heard no tell of one stronger than the one I use(d) on these boards, but the closest thing was the Zen Count which I believe was in Blackbelt in Blackjack.

    I use the Advanced Omega II taken from Blackjack for Blood
    2/3/7 = +1
    4/5/6 = +2 (it is more advantageous if the deck is depleted of 4s, 5s, and 6s than 2s, 3s, and 7s ... the 4/5/6 are the 'meatier' of the positive cards, cards that will typically make hands the dealer is forced to hit)
    8 = 0
    9 = -1
    10 = -2
    A = 0 (but with an adjusted sidecount)

    Also sounds like you're playing within your bankroll/means which is good for fluctuation purposes. You're doing well so far, just remember, you will have bad days, don't let this put you off. Practice practice practice ... I've played cards my entire life so I never did the 'how many decks are in the discard tray' thing but it's good to see you are if it helps you. I also played back in the early 90s before computers were so widely available so I dealt out a ton of hands manually to myself to keep a count and make sure I knew all the right plays. This may not be for you but I always feel more securing doing such 'tests' myself, rather than have a computer simulate 'random hands'. It also etches it in my memory when I split 3x with fours vs. the dealer's five, end up doubling down on 2 of them, and lose every last bet. I swear under my breath but I certainly remember the hand and that I played it correctly.

    Have to run ... good luck out there ... that casino sounds like the perfect conditions to play.

    Stick
  • Yeah, trip 7's gets paid twice unless the dealer has BJ or 21, 21 would be a push obviously. I know of the omega counts, but for now, I'll stick with Hi-Lo until Ive got it down cold. I plan to switch eventually, but for now, the Hi-Lo is good for me. I should probably side count Aces, maybe after a few more monts of practice I'll incorporate that.

    There are some pretty funny characters at this casino too, I doubled a soft 18 vs a dealer 4 and everyone at the table looked at me like I was nuts. Well I got a 2 for twenty, dealer busted and I had the last laugh. I saw those same people hitting 12's and 13's vs dealer 5's and 6's too, but I never give advice unless I know the person.

    Did you see the thread I posted about the 5 Aces I was dealt in a row? That was a rought night, live and learn.
  • Stick....why dont you play BJ anymore??? After all that trouble>>>
  • I don't play anymore because I have more lucrative 'gambling' opportunities. I play poker for a living, and thanks to ESPN, WPT, Travel Channel, Chris Moneymaker, etc...there an entire planet full of fish who 'play poker'. I've always loved card games, so learning all the blackjack stuff wasn't 'trouble' to me. In fact I still don't play and these past two weeks I went out and bought two of the new BJ books that I've heard much talk about on here and read them from cover to cover.

    Also, most of my time when away from poker is spent playing Backgammon, my current obsession. I'd play blackjack from time to time if it was more convenient, but I live in Ohio and the best/closest game I can get is still two hours away on a riverboat.

    Stick
  • Stick said:
    I don't play anymore because I have more lucrative 'gambling' opportunities. I play poker for a living, and thanks to ESPN, WPT, Travel Channel, Chris Moneymaker, etc...there an entire planet full of fish who 'play poker'. I've always loved card games, so learning all the blackjack stuff wasn't 'trouble' to me. In fact I still don't play and these past two weeks I went out and bought two of the new BJ books that I've heard much talk about on here and read them from cover to cover.

    Also, most of my time when away from poker is spent playing Backgammon, my current obsession. I'd play blackjack from time to time if it was more convenient, but I live in Ohio and the best/closest game I can get is still two hours away on a riverboat.

    Stick


    I THOUGHT SO!!!

    aka: suited89
  • One thing you should not do is play carribean stud.
    Why work at one game to piss profit away at another.No game a casino has brought in for the last 20 years will give better odds than BJ or craps,why would it?3card poker,let it ride ,carribean stud,red dog,pi gow,and anything else they come up with will have an insurmountable casino edge,trust me I deal this crap.
    Congrats on your success in BJ,study and never stop learning ,good skill to you.
  • I have played Caribbean stud, but only briefly, and only to fully understand the game after reading about it. I have no problem knowing that I'm going to lose X% of my money and keep my bets to a minimum while learning a game. I just like to know all the ins & outs and if it costs me $500 to sit around, have a good time, socialize, and completely learn a game np, I won't play it anymore, but I like to etch it into my memory. The more weapons you have from any card game the more likely some of the information picked up from it is likely to leak over into another game and pay you off for something most other people would never think of. I know none of the other casino games are near beatable but that doesn't mean somewhere along the lines I didn't have a couple weeks of fun reading about them, learning to play, and then finally putting the statistics to the test :) Hell, I even played poker slots [which were at the time the best return on your money] for a while. Cheap entertainment if nothing else, knowing what I'm willing to lose on the game for fun, and like all the gamblers say...just might get lucky once.

    Stick
  • Some one said there is no training for csaino playing. Yesterday was my 3rd time playing i practiced and practiced i said i am ready this time well i sat down to my right retired truck driver. First mistake i am just learning to play this game. he decided to tell me how to play every hand i was trying to count cards and about evere third or fourth hand i lost my count. after that it was down hill. every where i played yesterday i couldent hold my count. It was noisey plus the girl on the pa system. luckley i still won. Beware its a different world when you set down in a casino. I am looking for a way to practice for that enviroment.

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