My blackjack strategy, and an outing report
  • For my first post here in this forum I figured I'd give you all my betting strategy and a little report of an outing I had recently. Just found this board and would love to become a participating contributer, so hope this helps. I've used this strategy with success every time I've went to a real deal brick and mortar casino. I don't use card counting or any other form of advantage play (not denying it's effectiveness, but in practice it's just too much work for me).

    I went to a casino a couple of days ago (had the day off) and had a great time (casino arizona, off the 101 in south scottsdale AZ). I went in with 500$ and an intention to double it. While I waited on a 5$ blackjack table to open up I walked through the slot row's (very depressing to watch people just dump their money into these things) and ran into a video blackjack table. Now normally I don't play the video blackjack (I think it's called BlackJack Blitz) but I figured what the hell, why not. It had a 1-8 dollar betting limit (although you could double down) so I gave it a go.

    I started with my simple blackjack system. I bet a sequence of units, 1,1,1,2,2,3,4. If I lose, I go to the next number. If I win, I put double the sequence bet I just made on the line. If I win the double bet (IE: I win 2 hands in a row at any time during the sequence) I start back at 1. If I lose at every stage of the sequence (lose at 4 units bet) I start back at 1. All during this I play basic strategy, and I split and double etc as normal. So if I get 11 vs a dealer 6 and I'm betting 8 units (I won a 4 and bet 8 as the final bet) I would obviously double down and go for the gusto. Lose and I'd start back at 1 as normal. Win and I'd start back at 1 as well. It works with any sized unit, if I'm betting 5's, the sequence is 5,5,5,10,10,15,20, for example.

    Example: You've got a win/loss sequence of l,l,l,l,w,w,l,l,w,l,w,w
    Your bets would be as follows:
    bet 1 (loss), bet 1 (loss), bet 1 (loss), bet 2 (loss), bet 2 (win), bet 4 (win, up 1 unit, reset to 1)
    bet 1 (loss), bet 1 (loss), bet 1 (win), bet 2 (loss), bet 2 (win), bet 4 (win, up 3 units, reset to 1)

    Any split's or double down's you do are completely on -top- of this system. So if you at some point in there won a double down or lost a split, you just keep going as if the hand was normal. You dont bet more or less because of it. You stick to the sequence. The only goal of this system is to get 2 wins in a row. At worst you lose every number in the sequence and end up down 14 units and start over with 1. This happens, but all the wins and double downs and blackjacks counteract it nicely.

    Using my little system I kinda got into playing the machine, I was there slowly climbing in chips (I put 10$ in to start, and was steadily climbing). While I sat there, people came in left and right of me, and every single one lost their asses. They kept feeding in 20$'s and losing, then walking away. The table was taking EVERYONE else down, but there I sat for hours. I lost track of time and forgot I was intending to play at a regular table. Next thing I knew a middle aged woman sat next to me on the table. She was as haphazard as the rest but she put her 20$ in right in the middle of the best run of the day. The dealer busted, and busted, and busted. She was betting 8 units at a time, and I watched her cash rocket up. I was up to around 170$-180$ (I had cashed out my first 100$ and only had 80$ on the machine) and she was up from 20$ to 80$ in a handful of rounds.

    I got into it, I told her we'd both get to 100$ and walk away. I kept going with my strategy and she kept up with hers. Another 10 minutes I was at 100$ and cashed out my ticket, but she still hadn't gotten there (she was already back to about 60-65) so I wanted to help. The cards started turning bad and she seemed a little depressed about the whole thing, so I said "hey, look, your still up 40-50$, thats great!" and her response was "I'm down a LOT more then that.". I explained my strategy to her and started having her bet the way I was. The cards went on one of the worst strings of the day and she still ended up ahead (had she been betting the way she was, she would have been out of the game right here, the hands went 6 losses, 2 wins, 5 losses, 1 win, 1 loss 2 wins). I explained that if she just kept doing this, she should slowly march upward, and at the VERY least, she wouldn't have such crazy downward volatility. I sat there awhile helping her understand, and as she pressed up toward 85$ she looked over and told me thanks. I really hope she takes to using this system, it sure beats the hell out of dumping hundreds of dollars in a few hours at the casino.

    In the end I basically gave her a money management system so she'd stop betting like a madwoman. The way she was playing she was hellbent to lose every dollar she put into the machine. I think almost everyone who's at the casino plays like this. They try to say it's entertainment, they try to say it's the cost of going to the casino. All I can say is I'm entertained when I go there and leave with more cash then I went in with. With the help of good self control, money management, and luck, I'm ahead of the casino's nicely.

    Used the money I won to buy a new pink razr for my fiancee. The nice thing about investing in your fiancee is she ends up paying it back in spades . Thanks Casino!

  • Oh, just wanted to point out that playing the video blackjack was stupid from an odds perspective, I know that....

    It did pay 3 to 2 on a blackjack, but only if you were betting 2 or more (so a bet of 1$ lead to a 1-1 payout). It allowed splitting on anything, split aces only got one card apiece, no double down on splits, no surrender, double down on anything was allowed. I wont do the math but just eyeballing it I'd bet it's still not -terrible- odds though, better then a double zero roulette table I'm sure......

    So basically, it would have been smarter to wait on a regular old fashioned table to open up, but I didn't feel like standing around waiting.

  • Ncin said:
    Oh, just wanted to point out that playing the video blackjack was stupid from an odds perspective, I know that....

    It did pay 3 to 2 on a blackjack, but only if you were betting 2 or more (so a bet of 1$ lead to a 1-1 payout). It allowed splitting on anything, split aces only got one card apiece, no double down on splits, no surrender, double down on anything was allowed. I wont do the math but just eyeballing it I'd bet it's still not -terrible- odds though, better then a double zero roulette table I'm sure......

    So basically, it would have been smarter to wait on a regular old fashioned table to open up, but I didn't feel like standing around waiting.


    So what are you telling us you got lucky on a slot machine thats great but so what. Progression systems dont work,never have and I dought they ever will. To promote one for playing BJ is just feeding people bad advice and has been done many times before by hucksters and quick money wanabe's. Check the site wizardofodds and study BJ alittle bit before dispencing to much advice.
  • Actually not trying to be a huckster or a wannabe...... Lucky maybe, but do you honestly believe it's better play to sit down at a black jack table, any black jack table, and just dump your money onto it?

    Let me put it a different way..... If your one of the majority of blackjack players, the ones who dont count cards, the ones who play somewhat flaw'ed basic strategy. Is it smarter for you to go into a table with a controlled, low risk progression (with a small chance of a small loss), or is it smarter for you to just walk up and bet randomly and lose your ass (with a small chance of a win)?

    I know the odds nc-tom, I've read the books and studied the materials. That doesn't change the fact that I've been winning. Winning enough that I would require a rediculously bad run (a lot more then I'd be willing or -able- to wager) to put myself anywhere near the red. I'm not going to argue with card counting, it works (albeit not very well on a multiple shoe deck game in the middle of a casino you can get barred from for counting in). I'm just saying this is how I play, I make money playing like this, and I felt it was a better strategy then the lady was using prior to me getting to the table.

    Just for the sake of it, load up a blackjack program, I'm sure you have one. Try betting 5$ units, using the 1-1-1-2-2-3-4 (double your bet on a win, move forward in the line on a loss, start over if you lose at every point in the line or if you win a double bet, double down and split as normal). It's a simple enough betting strategy, just try it. Watch which way your cash goes. Play your basic strategy. Tell me it busted and I'm an idiot. I know it sounds rediculous, but honestly, give it a shot.

    I'm not even going to argue that I should probably be losing money....

    But I'm not.....
  • If you are not using a strategy that gives you an advantage then what you should do is flat bet, or not bet at all. Your method is no better than the method used by the lady that you put down. Actually, she had a far better system since she would get 3:2 for BJ and you usually would not. That makes an enormous difference. If she continues following your advice, you have harmed her.
  • Ncin glad to hear that you have been winning money. You sound like you are a pretty sharp person. Why not take the next step in you game. Perfect your BS play and maybe move up to a simple unbalenced count system possibly KISS 1 or KO rookie.If you are persistent in using a progression betting system maybe you can incorperate that with a simple counting system.Just remember the math when using progressive betting it does not lie.
  • Actually qfit, she wasnt flat betting, she was betting a variety of amounts, from 1 to 8$, randomly. She was chasing losses, betting at random, losing badly. I cant see how I harmed her, seeing as my way of playing would end up with a total loss of 14 units if she had a run of bad luck (and this would take awhile, as it would take a minimum of 7 hands to acomplish), whereas she could end up down 16 units if she lost a couple hands in a row. She was playing on tilt and was going to lose every dollar she had put into this machine. It's not like I told her to play a martingale strategy. The progression I taught her would limit losses, and give her plenty of chances to win. You really dont believe this to be an improvement?

    As far as the blackjack, I understand the downside to playing on a table that wont pay you the .50 cents extra when you hit a blackjack on 1 unit (although it paid proper 3-2 on every other amount, 2-8$). I wouldnt have even touched this table if a 5$ live table had been open. Sometimes you end up playing whats available. I imagine the odds on this table are -still- only slightly worse then a regular game. Although I'm the first to understand a lower advantage against you = better game to play.

    And NC-tom, I've already got my basic strategy down pat. I split and double down as outlined, I hit and stand as outlined. I'm not knocking counting cards (I've done plenty of study on the subject), it just seems like too much work for a real table. Once you start getting into shoe's with 6-8 decks that dont deal very deep into the mix, the real advantage is hard to achieve.

    I'll give you an example, just ran through a 6 deck shoe here on my desk (with 70% penetration) using a pretty standard card counting strategy.
    2,3,4,5,6= +1 count
    7,8,9= 0 count
    10,J,Q,K,A= -1 count
    Then I determined the true count by dividing the running count by the remaining half-decks left in the shoe (approx).

    Using that strategy I dealt through the shoe in a regular old game of blackjack, I used dealer stays on soft 17. The highest the running count I got was 14, but with so many half-decks left my true count was only 1 (which as you know is fairly neutral). I managed to get to a true count of 2 on exactly 3 hands for the whole shoe. I never got beyond a true count of 2. I bet properly, I played through the shoe pretending I was betting 100$ units. At the end of the shoe I was down 700$.

    When I finished a hand here I also figured what my bet would be if I was playing my progressive strategy instead. Since I play exactly the same, all that changes is the bet amounts. That ended up leaving me up 2850$.

    I'm not trying to say counting is impossible or a bad thing, but on real games in real brick and mortar casino's, how are you getting a real advantage? I could run through dozen's of shoes here (I know because I have) and only see the occasional -decent- true count. Unless were talking about a single deck game that doesn't really exist anymore, I'm having a hard time seeing this as advantageous.

  • Ncin -- Lots of people make money, pretty much year in and year out by counting cards. I know several.

    It's true that with today's multi-deck conditions, the player has the advantage only about 20% of the time. That being the situation, there will sometimes be very long spells where no advantage arises at all. Then, sometimes one advantage after another comes your way. But if you seize those advantages by getting appreciably more money into the betting circle during that 20% of the time than you did the other 80% of the time, then you're playing with an overall edge. It's a long, volatile roller coaster ride, but it works -- provided you're properly financed and accumulate a couple thousand hours over your lifetime.

    Your progression -- any progression for that matter brings you no edge. Regardless of it's structure, you'll eventually end up winning 43.5%, losing 48% and pushing 8.5% of all your 1 units bets, of all your 2 unit bets, of all your 5 units bets, etc, etc. -- which renders the same result as flat betting all hands for the averaged amount. That's because your bets were not sized according to your chances on next hand -- but according to the last result. With regards to your chances on the next hand, your bets were sized randomly!

    One thing your progression will do is increase your volatility due to the different sized bets. Since you're playing with a disadvantage, that's not necessarily a bad thing. It will make your swings more erratic so that you'll have some winning sessions that wouldn't have occured had you been flat betting -- although, it'll also produce some bigger losing sessions than if you'd been flat betting for the averaged size of all your progressive bets. Bottom line though -- no change.
  • Ncin, Its hard for me to swallow peoples reasoning that counting is too hard to do and not effective in the real world casinos. Although I'm not against computer simulations, all of the metods I use are practically applied live on the felt. And this I assure you, they work better than any progression that you use. The problem that I see in your case is you're quick to dismiss counting because the method of adding and subtracting one, and some simple division didn't produce great results in a few shoes dealt to yourself at home. That my friend is NOT studying the game. I believe if you truly want to be an advantage player you have to count, but use it as a tool to open the door for other methods such as shuffletracking, and or sequencing, where you can gain large profitable advantages even in negatively counted shoes. Most novice or uninformed counters miss great betting oppertunities waiting for the count to get high enough to bet bigger. Thats fine but it can be a slow and arduous process with sometimes frustrating results. The fact is counters make there money as the count drops, whether it drops from +20 to +5 or -1 to -12. The whole idea is to be able to recognize when its happening. That can be done by gathereing information from the previous shoe. So now you can either cut those advantageous high cards into a spot in the shoe when you will know when to play them, or you've mentally marked the shoe with some key cards that will alert you when to raise your bet. If this sounds like work, you're right. But when played enough, like anything it gets easier. What really sounds like work is being forced to play the hand thats dealt to me and losing money. I prefer to have a say on which cards I'm betting on. Luck is great but it only goes so far, matching skill with it allows you to make your own.
  • Totally understand what your saying renzey. You take your lumps when the cards aren't coming your way, and you hope you can knock down some bigger wins when the cards are in your favor. I'm sure theres a few people out there playing blackjack for a living (counting), but I'd bet the true number of them is extremely small. Ultimately, you practice your heart out, you count and make a living, they notice, you dont play anymore. A sad cycle. If they can keep their head above water while keeping it below the all-seeing-eye, I say all the power to them.

    I came up with my idea for this progression several months back. I'm just waiting on 2 wins to win the sequence. I'm betting at most 4 of my units, with 4 units from the casino (winnings bet back). I know what your saying about this progression (and all progressions) having no net effect over flat betting (over a long enough time). However when I had this idea, I went to a casino and tried it. I doubled a 500$ bankroll. I went home and tried it again, and had the same result. Over the last few months I've kept messing around with it. I've doubled 26! consecutive bankrolls practicing (with a 6 deck shoe), and 3 in a real casino. I'm not going to fight the math that says this is rediculous, but I haven't busted a starting bankroll.......... yet......... Maybe I'm crazy. I've been playing blackjack for the last 8 years or so, I've managed to stay in the black (I play, I get ahead, I walk away either up nicely, or down little). I am the first to say I've been lucky, but practicing and doubling 26 bankrolls (and 3 in real life) is rediculous. I'm just saying maybe you should try what I'm explaining here. It keeps winning for me.......

    I have a vacation later this year, my intention is to play this strategy in vegas with 500$. Upon doubling the bankroll (takes several hours usually) I'll play with double the units. So I'll start at 5$ units, get to 1000$, start 10$, get to 2000$, use 20$, and so on. My goal is to succeed in doubling approximately 6 times (32,000$). Worst case I lose the 500$ (not going to signifigantly dent the amount I've won from casino's). I really just want to get to the point where I have 10,000$ in winnings so I can bet at the 100$ level and not feel bad about losing it. I'll even have my play rated, I have a feeling I can keep my play alive long enough (even if it -does- tank) to have comp's in excess of my costs.

    At the very least I'm going to give it a shot.

  • 1:1 BJ multiplies the house edge by 5 to 6 times. It is an enormous change. You should never bet $1 if $1 pays 1:1 BJ and $2 pays 3:2 BJ.
  • It was undoubtedly a bad bet qfit, but with 50cents being all that's lost on the line, and myself actually winning money, I dont mind for that one small period of time. It's the one (and so far only) time I've ever played a video blackjack machine. I play live (where you get 3/2 blackjacks on everything), so it's moot for the future.

    And to bojack, I'm not dismissing card counting. I know full well it can be used, mathmatically, to give a player the advantage. I don't deny it's effectiveness and I was only using a run through a practice shoe on my desk to show you I'm not against actually -trying- to count (or lacking in knowledge to do so). I wasn't trying to make a definitave statement off one poor shoe. My point was for a typical game in a real live casino, the advantageous times are few and far between. You start trying to capitalize on them with a spread big enough to actually make some real money, and you get the tap.

    If your still in the black throughout your play bojack, I'm impressed. If you card count in casino's and are making a -living-, I'm really impressed. I've only met a couple people who play regularly and are still "up" on the casino, and I've never personally met anyone who made a living card counting. I'm not saying they dont exist, I'm saying it's stupid-hard. I have a 50-60 hour a week job that pays nicely, I have a fiancee. I dont have the time to become a blackjack master of that level.

    Now if were talking about shuffle tracking or sequencing, I'll need some convincing. Correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't most reputable blackjack literature explain shuffle tracking and sequencing as useless?


    ps: Try my strategy, just try it. Try it with a real deck, or a computer blackjack program. I dont care how you test it but give it an honest shot. If it doesn't work at least you can say it doesn't work. Maybe that'll bring my head back out of the clouds. I know it should lose but I HAVEN'T lost with it. It'll take you a couple minutes to give it a shot. If you end up doubling a bankroll 29 times in a row, maybe we can agree it's working. Even if it is rediculous. If it tanks on you, maybe we can say I just had the most incredible run of luck ever. It happens.
  • This must be Vol # 10 on progressions over the last three years. I doubt that it will make any difference, but here are a few thoughts to ponder:

    Why don't progressions have a rating system and the logic to back it up?

    Where is the math/logic for each action (other than basic strategy)?

    Where/what are the supporting stats/probabilities for xyz progression?

    Can you out program, out guess, luck?

    What are the expectations other than -.5

    Goose-egg to all of the above, right? This means that any novice that plays good basic strategy and flat bets some amount is smarter than every progression player out there.
  • Okay Ncin, I get the definite feeling that you are reading but not listening to whats been said. First off, yes I am very much in the black playing this game as it has been my primary source of income for more than 10 years now. As for shuffletracking and card sequencing being useless, that is flat out untrue, either based on lack of knowledge, inexperience, or just being to set in one way of play unwilling to try to grasp another. Which leads me to address your suggestion on playing your progression. As a new player almost 20 years ago I tried almost all types of progressions with some pretty fair success similar to yours. It wasn't until I was introduced to real advantage blackjack play by a true expert that it totally changed my thinking and my financial security. In ten years I with a team have increased our bankroll well over 100 times its starting amount, and could have been much more, but at this time we keep our bankroll at a set limit and take more profits. To say you understand counting because you've practiced some shoes at your desk, is like saying you can play for the Yankees because you play wiffle ball in your backyard. But even still its not stupid hard to do, its already been figured out for you. It just take time, and lots of practice and practical application to make it work. Once you get it, the advantageous situations are very plentiful. As I said before, there are so many great betting chances missed because most are not seeing whats right in front of them. After proper training in many aspects of advantage play, not just straight counting, you would not believe how many windows of oppertunity open up. If your sytem works for you great. I hope you do well with it. But luck of the cards for someone can destroy another, and thats all you depend on. On the same token no matter what way you play a little luck is essential, but I prefer to play using luck not being totally dependent on it.
  • Simply, progression players are comped very well by casinos and cardcounters, shuffletrackers or any kind of advantage player is bounced if noticed.
    I understand the appeal of playing any sort of progression over just flat betting every hand, but you should do this for enjoyment because the math is that you will still lose at your rate of disadvantage to the house edge based on your play vs basic strategy.
    I appreciate the bad player, the basic strategy player and the progression player because without them the casinos would change the rules and make the game impossible to beat. Let's face it, if your progression worked the casino would barr you.
    What I have a problem with is the progression system seller or the guy who comes to a forum and boasts that his progression can not lose. For profit or out of ignorance, these people are snake oil salesman and will catch some unwary folks.

    So play your progression. Either know or do not know it will not make you a long term winner, but if you come to a blackjack site that has any semi or pro players on it, expect to get blasted.

  • Allright bojack.....
    Member of a blackjack team, making your living on blackjack for 10 years. Well in the black.

    That would be impressive bojack. Fair enough.

    Not trying to argue shuffle tracking, I had just read in a few places over the years that it didn't actually work, I am not an authority on this which is why I asked you to set me straight. I'm not against it one bit. Whatever works, right?

    It's ok though bojack, if you've been on a team counting for a living for 10 years, of course my skill at counting is not nearly as total. I have more experience with counting then just a shoe or two on a desk, but thats besides the point. I already said I dont have the time to be a master at it. I hear what your saying though. If I want to get serious about blackjack you say I should drop this strategy (whether it's working or not at the moment) and get into some proven advantage play. If I was playing blackjack at any level beyond leisure, I'd be absolutely behind you in this.

    Anyway, Ihate17, I never said it cant lose, I said I havent lost :/. I am not selling anything, I just wanted somewhere to talk about it. I figured the best place to discuss something odd like this (a betting system that is winning sorta freakishly for me) would be an experienced board of blackjack players. I haven't tanked a bankroll out of all the in casino and in practice tests I've run. That's obviously wrong, so I come to discuss. I have dreams of the big score, but I'm not telling people to quick their job and run out to put it all on the line.

    I guess I came off wrong, I don't mind getting blasted for it. Sorry?

  • Hey Ncin I have to put my 2cents into this. I hope you are doing real good with your method of play, but I've seen first hand some mad skills from my man Bojack! Him and one of his partners took some serious money in just a few hours right in front of me without a hint of suspicion from the casino. I'm talking at least 15 to 20 grand. On top of that I've been playing using those same methods and have brought my bankroll from $3000 to over $30,000 in just a couple of months. Granted I ran into some problems along the way, but that was from just plain not listening to good advice. I understand the luck factor, everyones been telling me for weeks how lucky I am, and there right. And you're right you've been lucky too, difference is when your luck runs out thats all you got, and nothing to fall back on. I think the more you play the more chance you take. I hope I'm wrong and you do great, but we'll see. In the meantime I think its best to listen to guys like Bojack and not try to give him advice on how he should try to play. If you saw what I saw you might feel kind of silly, its a whole different level dude.
  • I believe it booker, it's all good. I'm not telling him how to play, not one bit. In fact I'm not telling anyone how to play, just sharing what I've been up to. I wanted to get some constructive criticism. I've got respect for any player who can play blackjack for a living, or who can say they are in the black over their whole casino experience.

    I mean no disrespect here, I'm new!

  • Hello,
    It's very strange to hear so many crtic about betting in progress. It is still better than flat betting. I play Blackjack about 10 years and somtimes use certain progression in adition to card count. I think that that progression gives me more profit than aside ace count, or two levels count. If progression damage me, I will notice that, but I don't. Only minus is if bad luck - you can lost more moneyor faster. But many times it can help. Of course it is not wining system alone, but like aditional weapon can be used.

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