Message To The Math Jocks
  • Far be it for me to start trouble, but I was wondering, why is everyone so hell bent on the mathematical gymnastiscs of blackjack than the actual factual nuances of the game. It seems as if so many are so caught up in math theory and statistics they're forgetting the big picture, playing an overall winning game. Don't get me wrong I come from a math backround, thats what sold me on the potential success of card counting, as well as the great success of others I knew who used it. That being said I believe there comes a time when over analyzing the math and the potentials of it hinders actual play. Sometimes looking so hard at something doesn't allow you to truly see whats right in front of you. There are so many so called blackjack experts out there handing out in depth, and theoretically sound advice, but have never really made a profitable run at it in real life. I find it absolutely amazing that someone would go through great lengths to analyze every system of counting, pour over countless statistics and percentages, run endless computer simulations, in an effort to get a better educated guess what unknown random cards might be coming out next. For me, I'm not much into guessing, I'd rather put my efforts into putting cards into my hand that I've already seen from a previous shoe, cards that for a fact I know will be advantageous to me. Blackjack is beatable because its one of the only games that has a history. That meaning you can and use information from previously dealt hands to try to calculate whats coming next. Well I say why stop there, those cards that you so carefully counted in that discard tray, are just sitting there waiting to be used over and over again, and with those cards you already know what they are. Now I ask you would you rather play through all the negative variance waiting for what you hope will turn into a positive percentage for making some just above minimum unit bets, or would you like to be gauranteed a chance every shoe of making multi unit bets, whether it be for one hand or 2 decks, you are almost aways going to be able to use something to your benefit. You see so much of what I talk about cannot be run on a computer sim. For example, yes you can factor in something like dealer errors, but it wont teach how to spot them. Nor will it give you information on how to use them to your advantage, or how to manipulate the game so the cards you want come to you when you truly expect them. Heres a secret that alot of pros know but can't sell because its not really a secret. The only math you need to know is, how to size your unit to your bankroll, risk of ruin, how to figure your e.v. to properly track and examine your play, and which games are good to play, although experience and common sense will soon take over having to use math to figure out percentages on house advantage. Those things with a solid counting system and flawless basic strategy(including the indices that go with your counting system) is all the essential math you'll ever need. For those that don't really care about winning and just love the whole math theory behind it, well I'm not talking to you. But to everyone else, this I assure you, to be as close to a gauranteed winner as can be in this game, you need to drop the calculator and get in the game.
  • What books do you read to learn what you are talking about ( such as using the information from undealt cards of which the count is known )?
  • Amen,brother,Amen
  • Sorry, but I have no idea what this thread is about. Why would knowledge of math harm your ability to play BJ correctly in any manner? Why would sims be limited to just counting systems? CVData/HC supports shuffle-tracking and cut simulation and hole carding. Isn't this the kind of thing you are talking about? Math is not limited. It does not end at some point. All aspects of all things are mathematical.
  • I nowhere in my post state that knowledge of math will harm your ability to play blackjack correctly. I did imply that over analyzing may make simple things right in front of you a bit hard to see. I agree math is unlimited and flawless. Putting complex theory into practical application is not. It has been my experience that there are very few who can put it into practice without enough human error to render it impractical. Also I am fully aware of the software to run simulations on shuffletracking and other such methods. I own the Casino Verite software and highly recommend it. I also own Madden football on playstation and recommend that. But running sims will no more make me a great blackjack player as playing video football will make me an athlete. You need to base your play on math in general or you can't play a winning game, this i do believe. But I also believe in the physicalities of the game. Most people can relate and learn faster to the see and feel method. With just a basic grasp of math and repetitive practical applications I gaurantee I could turn someone into a regularly winning bj player faster than any one painstakingly trying to grasp the calculus form equations used to find the optimum theory on how to win at this game.
  • Maybe I just don't understand who you are talking about. Who is "so caught up in math theory and statistics they're forgetting the big picture, playing an overall winning game?" The very point of all those formulae and stats is to find weaknesses and opportunities and to maximize earnings while minimizing risk. An overall winning game is always the goal. Obviously you also need to practice and to play.
  • Someone said your approach to blackjack depends on the way you think. I don't see that as fact vs fantasy to an extreme, at least, in the majority.

    Math, and penetration of the science is an absolute requirement, but so is common sense and the all important "street smarts".

    I believe the best gamblers are able to combine all of the above and don't display any of the pretender characteristics.
  • QFIT said:
    Sorry, but I have no idea what this thread is about. Why would knowledge of math harm your ability to play BJ correctly in any manner? Why would sims be limited to just counting systems? CVData/HC supports shuffle-tracking and cut simulation and hole carding. Isn't this the kind of thing you are talking about? Math is not limited. It does not end at some point. All aspects of all things are mathematical.

    Qfit I think the basic point he is trying to make is that people get so caught up in the math that they neglect the fact to learn how to really play the game well.
  • There may be such people. But all of the people I know that are deeply into the math are also deeply into the art of playing. I can only think of one exception and he hasn't posted in a few years.
  • There are most definitely people like that out there. If you don't know any you must travel in a small circle. My point is, for the most part the math has been done for you, learn that, then spend the rest of your life playing and learning on the felt. I have an education based soley in the math field, I also have been playing blackjack for a living for many years. Not once did I ever need one for the other. If you can perform simple math and learn the ins and outs of the physical game you will do just fine. All the other complexities are fun to talk about but in all honesty will not make the average person any better at the game. That is just my educated opinion.
  • To me, blackjack is not only a mathematical game, but also a situational game. Linear thinking helps, but the reality is more non-linear and non-random. Long run is only a theoretical construct which should be assessed by process. When I see debates between counters and progressors, I always have a feeling that we are cross talking each other. Blackjack is a game of arts and science, not a game of science only. Basic Strategy enables you to float, counting enables you to swim, maybe counting plus progression enables you to dive.
  • Bojack I must say so many times I have read your posts and really been intrigued to say the least on what you say. You seem to be a real player and not just somebody who spouts out numbers like a robot. I can relate to the things you say better because it seems to be more about actual winning situations than about theories on how to win. And if you're serious about being able to turn someone into a regularly winning player, sign me up, I'll be glad to be your testimonial to your theory.
  • I tend to agree with bojack on this matter. I believe in the math thats why I count. I don't really get into any of the super thought out numbers that I read even on this message board. If you are a math freak I'm sure its fun, but for me I like to take proven facts and use that along with just playing the game. Bojack has stated a few times he plays blackjack full time, I'm curious are there any math junkies on this board who can claim the same?
  • Last post deleted- I deleted the last post I made because it was not clear in what I wanted to say.

    "Math Jocks" are here to stay because that is their nature. Now, that would be ok if we had only math jocks on the forum that shared the same in-depth interest. Not so on a public forum.

    The basic problem that one can observe is that there is a temptation to provide too much information in response to a simple question. I think if we address our responses to the knowledge level of the person asking the question, much of the resentment described in this thread can be avoided.
  • I have never really been into the whole counting thing with playing blackjack. I think getting that small of an advantage really won't matter that much unless you're are excellent at all the things entailed in the counting method, and you must play very regularly to make the numbers start meaning something. Most people can't honestly do one let alone both.
    As far as all that shuffletracking talk, I have never met anyone who could really do that with any consistency. I think with the shuffles they use now its just not possible. So I believe all the math jocks should relax and keep all that complicated jargon amongst themselves. And I also think all these shuffletracking and other slight of hand methods should be put to rest too. I challenge Bojack to show me these techniques of his really work. I've been around along time and have yet to see it. I'm willing to put my money where my mouth is on this one.
  • As someone pointed out,the problem is that people tend to take a newbies simple question and overcomplicate the answer,scaring away the newbie,who now thinks knowing all this math is essential to the game.

    I think of a taxi driver analogy.
    He doesn't have to know how to build a car,or even fix one. All his paths have been lain out for him,and maps are available to show him the best ways to go.All he has to do is learn to drive,study the maps and he's ready to make money.
    Same thing goes for BJ.
    Many people have studied the game,shown us the best way to play every hand and when to up your bets.
    While I'm very grateful for these math geniuses preparing the way for those of us less number-oriented,I really don't see how knowing the standard deviation on a particular game is fundimental to either enjoying the game or making money.
  • Alright Aceten I must say your last post sounded a little close minded and rather on the negative side. To say its worthless to play with a small advantage sounds a little silly dont you think? Would it be better to play with a small disadvantage? Thats not really a trick question common sense can answer it, but it takes a bit of ignorance to warrant the question to be asked. And how would you know if shuffletracking works or not? I know you've been around the game a long time, but what I gather from what you say you're not an advantage player, So if you're not schooled in the techniques how can you judge what works and what doesn't. I will admit alot of people who try it don't get it, but that by no means implies it doesn't work. I emphatically disagree with you on this, and am offended by your implication that I'm a liar to say it does. If it is anyway possible to first hand show you , I will gladly take you up on your challenge. But I don't want your money, your admission of its success and the overall success of counting and advantage play will be enough. Its up to you now to figure out how this can happen. If you can't think of anything maybe someone can help with an idea. At any rate I'll waiting for your reply.
  • Bojack1- I don't blame you for trying, but I don't think a test between you and Aceten is in the cards. I've got an idea of how to get around the original problem and would like your opinion as well as others.

    When you get to the home page you will see three options:

    -Blackjack Strategy
    -The Hit or Stand Game
    -Blackjack Experiences & Funny Stories

    Suppose they were modified to look like so:

    -Blackjack Strategy-Advantage Player
    -Blackjack Strategy-Casual Player
    -The Hit or Stand Game

    The sub-titles would need to be changed to reflect depth,etc.
    If a problem develops, some access control could be installed.
  • Ray I do believe you've got something there. I think it could lead to some insightful information and discussions without having ideas forced down your throat that you will never believe no matter what is said. It's got my vote if that counts for anything.
  • I definitely think new category titles are in order. Those that Ray has suggested are probably appropriate -- thanks, Ray.

    Personally, I think I'm somewhere in between the Advantage player and the Casual player. My basic strategy now is second nature, although I don't play that often. Don't know if that means we need an in-between category -- probably just means I'd check out both and go back and forth.

    Keep the good ideas flowing!
  • Title says all I have to say on this subject. I'll read all the forums either way. I just read the new posts catagory,anyway.
  • The number of adavantage players on the forum are few. They will post mostly on the advantage player section and you can expect that the level of science will increase as the methods are shared with like minded individuals. The intent is to isolate and avoid problems and personal differences. There are plenty of very good casual players who have a great deal of experience and can answer most, if not all, new player questions.

    I would expect that a "Mentor", such as Fred Renzey, and a Moderator will cover both groups.

    It is not a new forum, just a better alignment based on objectives and interest.
  • I sent you a private message Bojack, its up to you now if you are serious about the challenge. I left info on what casino I will be at all weekend. You have said in previous posts you've been there so you should have no trouble finding it. I mean no trouble for you, I just think your posts are misleading and I have trouble swallowing the advantages you say you play with. Your move son.
  • Aceten said:
    I sent you a private message Bojack, its up to you now if you are serious about the challenge. I left info on what casino I will be at all weekend. You have said in previous posts you've been there so you should have no trouble finding it. I mean no trouble for you, I just think your posts are misleading and I have trouble swallowing the advantages you say you play with. Your move son.


    You send him a private message and then call him out in public?
    You are coming off like a beligerant twelve year old.
  • What ever happened to the challenge aceten offered to bojack? Its kind of silly but I hope bojack takes him up on it. Aceten needs some humble pie.
  • Dude, Bojack schooled him bigtime! Check out blackjack experiences & funny stories, thread titled Old dog new tricks. He did it cool though so nobody got embarrassed. I'm pretty sure I would have handled it differently after all the smack talking, but its still great the way it turned out.
  • I must say,the more I read about Bojack,the classier a guy he seems to be.I hope to meet him one time,I'd love to buy him a beer.
  • Bojack1 said:
    Ray I do believe you've got something there. I think it could lead to some insightful information and discussions without having ideas forced down your throat that you will never believe no matter what is said. It's got my vote if that counts for anything.


    I post here and there on other BJ message boards. No matter where you go, or what the topic of the forum, you will _always_ get some beginner that pops in, asks a question, gets a clear/lucid answer, and then starts protesting. The most common such thing is about progressions. They pop into _every_ message board I visit (on the subject of 21 of course) every so often. Just like a full-moon comes around regularly. You can call a forum "advanced math for the blackjack theorists" and they will still post about progressions, or how counting doesn't work, or shuffle-tracking is a myth purported on us by casinos, etc...

    I don't think the title of a forum will change anything at all. The most successful way to keep out _most_ (note most, not "all") of the voodoo is to do something like Arnold Snyder did on his web site. He only allows people he has verified personally into his "player's only" forum, where either he knows the person personally, or personally knows someone that knows a person wanting in. As a result, at least there, we don't see much progression stuff (except for counting cover) and other such voodoo topics, although on his "anybody-can-enter" message forum, those topics come up often enough...

    It is most educational to be able to converse with actual "players" that have real experience in playing 21 in a real casino for real dollars... Probably 50% (if not more) of the so-called pros that post on open message boards are just players in their minds, never having really learned AP techniques and actually used them in a real casino long enough to make them work... As a result, you will never know who/what you are talking to here.

    When I first visited here, AlexD30 was a dyed-in-the-wool progressionist that claimed to win nearly every session. I'm a dyed in the wool counter and sometimes shuffle-tracker that never wins nearly every session. A year later, he was suddenly an experienced counter. And now is back to an experienced progressionist.

    And so it goes...

    Personally, I would not let _anyone_ I don't actually know or know of try to tell me how to play using my money. They have nothing to lose except _your_ money. Guys like Arnold and a whole litany of real 21 players just won't give bogus advice, it's just up to each of us to find those people and listen to 'em. And, of course, one should always invest in a very high-quality "bullshit detector". It will pay for itself many times over. :)

    I'm fixing to head to Tunica for a week, where the only BS will be "basic strategy". :)

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