Ace advantage?
  • For you wiz's out there:

    If my first card is dealt an ace, what is my win percentage on that hand? In other words, how valuable is that ace to me? What are my odds to win that hand?
    (Assume DD, S17, DAS, DOA)
  • chexplay said:
    For you wiz's out there:

    If my first card is dealt an ace, what is my win percentage on that hand? In other words, how valuable is that ace to me? What are my odds to win that hand?
    (Assume DD, S17, DAS, DOA)


    I don't have Griffin's book where I am right now, but I believe if your first card is an Ace, you have a 51% advantage right off the top...
  • stainless steel rat said:
    I don't have Griffin's book where I am right now, but I believe if your first card is an Ace, you have a 51% advantage right off the top...


    do you mean a 51% chance to win the hand, which is actually a 1% advantage? Or do you mean a 51% higher chance of winning the hand than
    the house does? which would actually be about a 75% chance of winning the hand. (75 minus 25 = 50)
  • You have a 2% better chance of winning the hand over the house.
  • Chexplay, why do you consider this question important? I'm just curious why this would interest you.

    Best, Jim
  • A 51% chance of winning any hand is huge! Think about any other card, then consider the ace. I read some sections from Ben Mezrich's book, "Busting Vegas", where the MIT team learned to look for a dealer who exposed a card just before rolling the deck. The team member would place the cut card and count how many cards would come out until the exposed card showed up. If they were fortunate enough to predict an ace coming out, they raised their bets to gain the big advantage. Is this called Ace Prediction? Have any of you used this technique with success?
  • Yes it is a huge advantage to knowingly land an ace in your hand. It does give you about a 51% advantage for that hand. Not a 2% like learningtocount stated. Its 51% on top of your already close to 50% chance you have from playing basic strategy. My team has been incorporating this method of steering cards to our hands for quite a while. We call it the cut card placement technique because thats exactly how you control getting the card you want, by using the cut card. It is very difficult and takes lots of practice, and on top of that its very opportunistic, but when you can do it it is really something. I explain in detail how we do it in my thread "A.C. really isn't that bad". If you're interested check it out. It also explains the advantages of steering and landing tens and low cards like fives and sixes.
  • I'm assuming this is why the"first card is an ace" promos are just about extinct these days.
  • michael990 said:
    do you mean a 51% chance to win the hand, which is actually a 1% advantage? Or do you mean a 51% higher chance of winning the hand than
    the house does? which would actually be about a 75% chance of winning the hand. (75 minus 25 = 50)


    I mean that you expect to win 51 cents back for every dollar bet.

    It is pretty easy to understand the main reason why...

    You get an ace. You now have a 4/13 chance of getting the 10 needed to get a blackjack. When you get that blackjack the dealer odds for "pushing" are _very_ small (2/169 roughly). So 4 of every 13 such hands you are going to get 150% return on your money. The remaining 9 of 13 times, things are more normal although just having the ace gives you slightly better odds since you at least are not forced to "break" when you hit A-2 since it is soft.

    If you look at the above, you will win 150% about 1/3 of the time, and have a very slight edge (which you can call even if you want) the other 2/3 of the time. So your advantage is just over 50% (would be slightly less if the Ace wasn't better even if you don't have a blackjack.)

    Hope that helps. And it is a 51% advantage, not a 2% or anything else advantage. Now you know why the trackers/steerers are so interested in tracking an ace and steering it to their hand. That's a huge edge when you pull it off....


    Chexplay:

    Yes, I (and a few I know) have used this at times. I think Bojack has mentioned this in his "cut card game" description. It is not so easy unless you find the "right shuffle". Casinos are wll away of the "play" and when someone is wildly jumping their bet here and there, they call them "chasing aces" and watch carefully to see if somethng happens too frequently when they do this. It's an easy way to get a backoff if the casinos know about it. Most use a shuffle that makes it more difficult although it is certainly possible to track one or two aces through a complicated shuffle if you don't mind frequent (and bad) headaches from concentrating on the strips, the plugs, the grabs, the riffles, etc... From what I've seen, most casinos don't know anything about the play. But in Vegas, you can get tagged with the right pit. Pays to know how careful they are. Here you track and play at min (or zero) bets, then bet really big when you know an ace is coming out and you think you have a good chance of getting it. And you watch a big bet go down the drain with the usual probability when the ace lands somewhere else on the table. But when you get one, it offsets the big variance on the times where you played with your normal -.5% edge but had a big bet out...


    Personally I don't do this much. I'm not sure how Bojack is doing it frequently either, but maybe he's found exploitable shuffles in AC or somewhere else. I have found a few good 'uns myself. How about a single-riffle with no plugging or stripping? But it just isn't common, unless you know about some physical characteristic of a dealer or have seen it in the past. I found one that was dead-tired in Tunica a month back. Tired because of unexpected weekday crowds due to a couple of big concerts, and having to work longer shifts, particularly not getting much in the way of breaks (I have seen some that switch dealers every 15 minutes, but this one was going 2+ hours before a break.) As a result, he/she was just too tired/lazy/didn't-give-a-damn or whatever and provided a golden opportunity.

    There is no way to accurately steer an ace every time. Don't think that can happen. But the math is very favorable. The advantage for knowing you are getting an Ace is huge, as I mentioned. And even if you only get the predicted ace one of every 10 times, you still have a 5% advantage, which is way more than you get just counting cards.

    Hope that helps to explain why this is a "big deal"...
  • NYB said:
    I'm assuming this is why the"first card is an ace" promos are just about extinct these days.


    Yes. Casinos don't want to give us that 51% advantage, ever, if they can avoid it. :) I did find one such promo (coupon) the Summer of 2004 in Vegas. I have not seen one since although that does not mean nobody is doing it. The one I found also had a $100 max bet limitation. You could not bet more than that when using the coupon...
  • SSR I must say you have explained the percentage of landing the ace quite well. But you seem to be confusing the cut card placement method with ace sequencing. When I speak of steering an ace, or any card for that matter, its done after the shuffle is done. Some casinos do not cover the bottom card of the shoe so when they roll them you can clearly see what it is. If its an ace you can than cut a deck off the back, the dealer then moves that what you just cut to the front, and you count down the amount of cards you cut to know what hand the ace will land in. Again this is not easy. You must practice cutting 52 cards and than know if you are off by a couple by how many. That part of it is actually not that hard. On average if you have good eyesight in about 8 hours of practice you should be very accurate. The difficult part comes in playing the hands in such a way that you actually steer the ace to the hand that you expect it. This usually means playing multiple hands, and on the key hand maybe surrounding your big bet with some smaller ones in case you were off on your cut count you still land the ace and not the dealer. Like I've said before there is a lot to it, and requires alot of practice. I do go more in depth about it in the "A.C. really isn't that bad" thread and also in the thread "Nice Trip". This is not shuffletracking or ace sequencing this just cutting a known card into play and counting backwards. If you want my take on shuffletracking than read the thread "More than counting".
    I also talk about in those other threads how to practice spotting the bottom card of the shoe even if they do cover it. Again all of this is opportunistic, but when the chance arises if played correctly, can really change the game for you.
  • Bojack1 said:
    SSR I must say you have explained the percentage of landing the ace quite well. But you seem to be confusing the cut card placement method with ace sequencing. When I speak of steering an ace, or any card for that matter, its done after the shuffle is done. Some casinos do not cover the bottom card of the shoe so when they roll them you can clearly see what it is. If its an ace you can than cut a deck off the back, the dealer then moves that what you just cut to the front, and you count down the amount of cards you cut to know what hand the ace will land in. Again this is not easy. You must practice cutting 52 cards and than know if you are off by a couple by how many. That part of it is actually not that hard. On average if you have good eyesight in about 8 hours of practice you should be very accurate. The difficult part comes in playing the hands in such a way that you actually steer the ace to the hand that you expect it. This usually means playing multiple hands, and on the key hand maybe surrounding your big bet with some smaller ones in case you were off on your cut count you still land the ace and not the dealer. Like I've said before there is a lot to it, and requires alot of practice. I do go more in depth about it in the "A.C. really isn't that bad" thread and also in the thread "Nice Trip". This is not shuffletracking or ace sequencing this just cutting a known card into play and counting backwards. If you want my take on shuffletracking than read the thread "More than counting".
    I also talk about in those other threads how to practice spotting the bottom card of the shoe even if they do cover it. Again all of this is opportunistic, but when the chance arises if played correctly, can really change the game for you.


    Sorry. And yes, I understand both. But seeing an ace on the bottom is much rarer than seeing aces actually played and then tracking them and trying to steer them to your (or a friend's) hands. But if you think about the "process" you are doing the same thing as normal steering, except you have better information as you know exactly where the ace is located (at the bottom of the shoe) as opposed to a tracker that knows a "zone" where the ace is located...

    But I agree it is a different play. however the "accuracy" issue is still present, except that a tracker has more problems to deal with. He has to accurately locate the aces (or slug of big cards) or whatever he is tracking, then he has to follow it from the discard tray through the shuffle, and still cut the cards properly if he can, or watch where they are cut if it is someone else's turn to cut, and figure out where things go from there.

    As far as estimating cards and cutting them, I'm sure you know that the resolution of the human eye is quite good. I've seen examples where a person can accurately judge the thickness of something to .001 (one thousandth) of an inch, which is mind-boggling to me. But I assume that with enough practice many can do it. Fortunately we need less than 1/10th of that precision to track a card.

    Otherwise, we seem to be in agreement, I just lumped all attempts at either tracking or steering or cutting aces into play in one big bin, where the potential payoff is 50%+... Because of that huge advantage you get when knowing an ace is on the way...

    BTW I once saw a friend do this in a hand-held SD game to perfection. Heads-up, played two hands, was using a "key card" approach. And he'd hit to wild totals on his first hand to eat the necessary cards to steer the ace to his big bet. But he had a great act to justify "damn, I hit a 30?" play here and there. :)

    Nowadays that would bring a quick boot.
  • The explanations given by Bojack1 and StainlessSteelRat concur with what I read in Ben Mezrich's book. I just found all this rather interesting. And it is all done without a counting system. It is easier to land the ace when you are playing multiple spots and can accurately estimate the number of cards remaining after the cut card is placed. I mainly wanted to know if advantage players strive to use this method.
  • Bojack

    Where exactly can I find this thread ? Very interested in these techniques.
    Thankyou for your time.
  • Golfnut101, You can find the "A.C. really isn't that bad" thread back in February's posts. Also the thread "Nice Trip" back in late March's posts also gets into an actual trip where we used this method.

    Chexplay, My team and I have been successfully using this method for more than 10 years now. Along with this we have incorporated other advanced techniques such as shuffletracking which also has been highly successful. Our methods are not widely used by a lot of advantage players. Even the MIT teams back in the 90's were split between using these methods along with counting, or just counting using team play. Its my personal opinion most people get the wrong idea about shuffletracking. They think that you are looking for a particular card or that the group of cards that you are tracking can't be diluted by other random cards by being plugged or shuffled. That is completely false. What most people don't seem to get is that if you track a strong enough packet of 1/2 a deck or less, using the right math you can figure out how strong the track is after dilution, if its still worth using, and how much to actually bet with it. And if used correctly the betting style of shuffletracking looks nothing like that of a conventional counter. Even some seasoned counters have not been able to pick up on whats going on because on the surface it looks nothing like they learned how to play. Not only is it lucrative its the perfect cover. I go more in depth on this in the "More than counting thread". If any of this interests you you'll find all of what I'm talking about there.
  • Bojack1 said:
    Golfnut101, You can find the "A.C. really isn't that bad" thread back in February's posts. Also the thread "Nice Trip" back in late March's posts also gets into an actual trip where we used this method.

    Chexplay, My team and I have been successfully using this method for more than 10 years now. Along with this we have incorporated other advanced techniques such as shuffletracking which also has been highly successful. Our methods are not widely used by a lot of advantage players. Even the MIT teams back in the 90's were split between using these methods along with counting, or just counting using team play. Its my personal opinion most people get the wrong idea about shuffletracking. They think that you are looking for a particular card or that the group of cards that you are tracking can't be diluted by other random cards by being plugged or shuffled. That is completely false. What most people don't seem to get is that if you track a strong enough packet of 1/2 a deck or less, using the right math you can figure out how strong the track is after dilution, if its still worth using, and how much to actually bet with it. And if used correctly the betting style of shuffletracking looks nothing like that of a conventional counter. Even some seasoned counters have not been able to pick up on whats going on because on the surface it looks nothing like they learned how to play. Not only is it lucrative its the perfect cover. I go more in depth on this in the "More than counting thread". If any of this interests you you'll find all of what I'm talking about there.


    I learned to shuffle-track (somewhat basic approach at first) like this:

    Was playing in an Indian casino in MS. 6 decks dealt to 1 deck left (at the time, no longer there today). On two consecutive shoes we ended at a running count of +10 or more, and I was bemoaning the fact (to myself of course) about all those big cards being out of play. I watched the dealer take the unplayed deck, put it on top of the discards, and shuffle with one riffle, from two piles. No strips, no nothing. And it started to "bug me" that I was missing something, until it finally hit me. I left, went to my room, and thought about the problem and then realized, Hmmm... running count of +10, in a single deck of cards. Which was then mixed with a deck of unknown composition. So figure a running count of -2 for each of the 5 played decks since the entire shoe has to add to zero, and you have the starting point.

    Dealer takes the unplayed +10 deck and stuffs it in the discard tray. Then breaks the discards into two piles (note that on one pile, the +10 deck is on the _bottom_. So after a single riffle, that +10 was mixed with a -2, for a running count of +8 but spread over two decks that are on the bottom of the shuffled pile. Cut those two decks to the front, play like your true count is +4 for the first two decks, and bet big. The pit has no idea what is going on since counters don't bet big until the count rises, yet here you are betting big right off the top.

    Nowadays it is not quite that easy, since a single pass shuffle is _very_ uncommon. More commonly you see the cards broken into multiple piles, then the piles are intermixed with riffles, and this is repeated 2 or 3 times depending on how paranoid the casino is. And of course they more commonly break the unplayed cards into several plugs and scatter these through the discards rather than adding all to the top. And such a shuffle is pretty hopeless to deal with although there are exceptions. And there are some easier house shuffles as well.

    I know at least one person that claims to be able to beat a CSM due to anaysing several models extensively and discovering some quirks in the "randomness" and how cards are re-entered into the dealable cards (latency).

    Humans are tricky animals. BTW if the topic interests you, Arnold Snyder has a great book "the shuffle-tracker's cookbook" that will really open your eyes, including giving you lots of things to practice to improve your eye accuracy to a level that can make this incredibly profitable (I'm not big into this, as it is a skill that needs to be used every last day to keep at a peak.)
  • That type of shuffletrack is exactly the type that is becoming almost impossible to use. If you wait to see whats left in the unused cards those cards are normally nowadays broken up into 3 or 4 sections and plugged into the discards. That makes it a highly inefficient way to track anything. Besides its mostly guesswork as to where in the cards that you haven't seen are the ones you want. Basically my whole deal is to use the cards you've already counted, and make sure its in a tight group of no more than 1/2 a deck. With this method when you become proficient you can even track more than one section at a time. But as long as you're following a smaller group of cards its much harder for a discard plug to interfere and it still can be very strong getting diluted by even a 2 pass shuffle. Again I hate to beat a dead horse but I've talked about this extensively in previous posts. It is a more difficult way to shuffletrack because you really need to mentally mark the cards in the discard tray where they are. But if you know deck sizing for true count conversions than this type of tracking is no different. And it takes a little bit of math to figure out what your bet will be. But for the most part if used correctly the weakest track you'll use will be a true count of 4, and commomnly you'll see true counts of between 6 and 10, truly advantageous cards to say the least. And I swear to you, it can be used with almost all shuffles.
  • Bojack1 said:
    That type of shuffletrack is exactly the type that is becoming almost impossible to use. If you wait to see whats left in the unused cards those cards are normally nowadays broken up into 3 or 4 sections and plugged into the discards. That makes it a highly inefficient way to track anything. Besides its mostly guesswork as to where in the cards that you haven't seen are the ones you want. Basically my whole deal is to use the cards you've already counted, and make sure its in a tight group of no more than 1/2 a deck. With this method when you become proficient you can even track more than one section at a time. But as long as you're following a smaller group of cards its much harder for a discard plug to interfere and it still can be very strong getting diluted by even a 2 pass shuffle. Again I hate to beat a dead horse but I've talked about this extensively in previous posts. It is a more difficult way to shuffletrack because you really need to mentally mark the cards in the discard tray where they are. But if you know deck sizing for true count conversions than this type of tracking is no different. And it takes a little bit of math to figure out what your bet will be. But for the most part if used correctly the weakest track you'll use will be a true count of 4, and commomnly you'll see true counts of between 6 and 10, truly advantageous cards to say the least. And I swear to you, it can be used with almost all shuffles.



    Here is one nice thing you can do without a lot of mental effort, other than memorizing some patterns short-term.

    1. figure out the specifics of the shuffle you want to try to beat.

    2. use something like CV-shuffle, or else write your own code, and learn where a group of "cards of interest" will end up, based on various starting positions. Then you don't have to be too concerned with grabs, piles, riffles, etc, since that usually is a constant. I have found this works really well for certain parts of the deck. For example, those unplayed cards. Or the first 1/2 deck played, since those are almost never bothered by plugging.

    Once you know the "patterns" you will know that the first 1/2 deck will end up at point X in the shuffled deck, with a dilution factor of Y, and you can make a decision on whether to tackle this shuffle or not.

    And yes, I did quickly learn to track more than just the unplayed cards, in that single-pass shuffle. As I counted, I noticed significant blocks of high or low cards, and tracked the high cards (I could do 2 with no problems, 3 sometimes) so that I knew where those diluted high-card segments were after shuffling.

    I will add that tracking 1/2 deck thru a double pass shuffle ought to dilute that slug enough to make it marginal. 1/2 deck with a TC of +8 ends up being 2 decks with a TC of +2, which is on the low end to toss out a max bet. And the good shuffles always have at least one strip, and I have seen two. This further dilutes things.

    Radar O'reilly (Arnold Snyders bjforumonline forum) has been holding such discussions in the "players only section" for quite a while, bringing things to light I had not considered, but all of which require well-trained eyes to pull off. cutting 52 cards +/- 1, for example..

    Unfortunately, 2 and 3 pass shuffles with 4 piles with grabs alternating between them, and with strips thrown in with every grab, pretty well kills things.

    But a good graphical program like CVshuffle will teach a lot about the flow of the cards from the discard tray to the final shuffled results. And quite often, things are not as well-mixed as the casinos actually think, depending on where the slug of favorable cards is initially located...
  • Although we seem to have gotten off the original topic of the ace advantage I really do enjoy the talk about shuffletracking as this is basically my bread and butter.
    Now a couple of things I would like to address that Stainless said. I agree it is imperative to learn the specifics of the shuffle you are trying to beat. Just like anything with advantage play blackjack, it takes studying and actually practicing the shuffle to understand what is happening with the cards.
    I'm not crazy about the idea of just following patterns and figuring your dilution factor. To really be good at shuffletracking you need to be as accurate as possible. If your lazy or just not trained with it and try to take shortcuts you will experience so much negative variance that you will be playing a losing game. Yes its true there will be patterns in which the cards will fall, but remember your trying to track these cards and figure what to bet also. If you start betting big just a 1/2 a deck too early you could be playing a losing game long enough that you will lose money or give up on the track thinking you missed it. And if you're a little late with it you could be betting on a what is really a horrible negative count.
    Also I wouldn't worry about +8 counts in 1/2 deck, although it still makes for an advantage, I'm more concerned with 12 and 15 counts which can be fairly common in 6 or 8 deck shoes. When you become skilled at shuffletracking thats when you can track a 12 or 15 card slug and thats when an 8 becomes pretty powerful in about 3/4 of a deck when the shuffle is all done.
    Also the stripping of cards is absolutely of no consequence when the cards you have tracked are in the packet its being done to. Its just taking the same cards and moving them around in the same packet, its quite harmless actually.
    As far as cutting cards at 52 + or - 1 well I think thats been established as something we've been doing for quite a while. And I truly believe I learned this along time ago from some of the best. And please pardon my ego when I say we run into some pretty established teams from Boston, New York, and Chicago, in our line of work, and have yet to meet one that can pull off this type of advantage play like we can. Not to say we're the best, we're just real good at it. The idea of shuffletracking and cutting to aces is not just some theory we read about from experts in a book or on the computer, its how we make our living, and some might now consider us also as experts.
  • Here's where the strips are critical:

    6 deck shoe. you are tracking something, for starters let's say 26 big cards, or 1/2 deck.

    The dealer breaks the cards into two piles (could be four but I'll go with 2 for simplicity.) He then makes a grab from each pile, say 3/4 deck and combines those. Then he strips. Now those 26 cards are diluted in 1.5 decks. And after a single riffle they are diluted over 3 decks. And a second riffle kills the advantage. Without the strip, the original 26 big cards are spread over 2 decks and is perfectly playable with a TC of 1/4 whatever the original cards had, assuming the grabs get the entire tracked section.

    To me, the hardest part is carefully following the grabs as it matters whether they are 1/2 deck, 3/4 deck, or something in between. Since we'd like to see a grab get our entire slug, not just a part of it. Fortunately, I don't see many shuffles with strips and can ignore this for the most part. Unfortunately I don't see many shuffles with one riffle either, so that the slug of cards is more diluted, and variance goes up as a result.
  • SSR what you're talking about is somewhat true and needs a little more concentration and skill. First I will concede that some type of shuffles will be harder to track than others. If thats the case the simple solution is avoid them and find an easier one. Just like you shouldn't play blackjack games that have bad rules, its the same thing. But if you feel you must than you must really examine the track you have and know at what point its strongest. For instance if you're tracking say a -10 in 1/2 a deck but you know it was -8 in a 1/4 and than went to -10 in that last quarter before rising, than forget about the last quarter and use the -8 in 1/4 deck. Its stronger and extremely hard to disrupt and not as likely to be affected by stripping techniques. You need to physically practice shuffletracking to really grasp whats happening. When you actually practice the shuffle you will be tracking you will be able to see the characteristics of distribution and realize things aren't always as random as they appear.
    My suggestion to all who want to practice this is, take 26 cards and make a high negative track out of them, say -12 or -13. Than color one edge with a dark marker making sure they stand out clearly when stacked in the shoe. Use the same amount of decks of the shuffle you wish to track, and keeping the marked cards together place them anywhere in the shoe. Now perform the shuffle exactly like the casino, watching the marked cards as you do. You will usually see they don't get split as random as you might think, unless they get split in a pick. This is especially true with sloppy dealers that don't riffle well and tend to have 4 to 5 card clumps. After you've examined the results of a few shuffles, do it again this time turning the cards so you can't see the markings. When you're done with the shuffle see if you can cut them into play, and if you can figure out what percentage if any is no longer useful.
    I will admit, especially to the beginner you should really look for the easiest shuffle done by the not so meticulous dealers. Also like I stated earlier, the smaller amount of cards in your track the better. When you get real good tracking 12 cards of -8 wont be a problem. Remember 1/2 a deck is the absolute most you want to try to track. As you get better you will see it gets easy to trim down.
    And I haven't even mentioned the positive nrs (non random shuffle) track yet. Its easier but usually not as strong. But basically all you're doing is instead of cutting high card into play, you're cutting low cards out.
  • Bojack1 said:
    SSR what you're talking about is somewhat true and needs a little more concentration and skill. First I will concede that some type of shuffles will be harder to track than others. If thats the case the simple solution is avoid them and find an easier one. Just like you shouldn't play blackjack games that have bad rules, its the same thing. But if you feel you must than you must really examine the track you have and know at what point its strongest. For instance if you're tracking say a -10 in 1/2 a deck but you know it was -8 in a 1/4 and than went to -10 in that last quarter before rising, than forget about the last quarter and use the -8 in 1/4 deck. Its stronger and extremely hard to disrupt and not as likely to be affected by stripping techniques. You need to physically practice shuffletracking to really grasp whats happening. When you actually practice the shuffle you will be tracking you will be able to see the characteristics of distribution and realize things aren't always as random as they appear.
    My suggestion to all who want to practice this is, take 26 cards and make a high negative track out of them, say -12 or -13. Than color one edge with a dark marker making sure they stand out clearly when stacked in the shoe. Use the same amount of decks of the shuffle you wish to track, and keeping the marked cards together place them anywhere in the shoe. Now perform the shuffle exactly like the casino, watching the marked cards as you do. You will usually see they don't get split as random as you might think, unless they get split in a pick. This is especially true with sloppy dealers that don't riffle well and tend to have 4 to 5 card clumps. After you've examined the results of a few shuffles, do it again this time turning the cards so you can't see the markings. When you're done with the shuffle see if you can cut them into play, and if you can figure out what percentage if any is no longer useful.
    I will admit, especially to the beginner you should really look for the easiest shuffle done by the not so meticulous dealers. Also like I stated earlier, the smaller amount of cards in your track the better. When you get real good tracking 12 cards of -8 wont be a problem. Remember 1/2 a deck is the absolute most you want to try to track. As you get better you will see it gets easy to trim down.
    And I haven't even mentioned the positive nrs (non random shuffle) track yet. Its easier but usually not as strong. But basically all you're doing is instead of cutting high card into play, you're cutting low cards out.



    I don't disagree with you at all. I am a "casual tracker" myself. I've listened a lot to Radar, someone Arnold Snyder calls "the best of the best" and realize that I simply don't play anywhere near enough to spend a couple of hours every day just calibrating my eyes that accurately... I mostly count, but am always watching for those easy shuffles so that the cut-card doesn't ruin a good + count leaving all the big cards in the shoe when it is time to shuffle. Cutting the ace off the back seems reasonable although probability would say that is pretty rare, happening about once every 13 shoes. But it does sound easier than doing the wong trick on 3 tables at once if you can find a pit where you can count three tables at once and jump in to the first one that goes +... but "hole-carding" the back card on the shoe is easier, at least for two adjacent tables, so maybe that goes to 1/6 shoes you can steer an ace, which becomes more interesting maybe.

    In any case, sounds like you have your ducks in a row, which is all one can ask for in advantage play...

    I've always realized that there are many better at various aspects of AP than myself. I'm fairly good at counting, and can handle some tracking depending on the shuffle, how tired I am, and whether I am playing for fun with family, for for blood by myself... :)

    A fun bit of relaxation for me is to play against CVBJ for an hour to see how many rounds I can play and how many errors I make. I strive for zero of the latter, which includes betting errors, BS errors, and BS departure index plays as well... Most would hate doing that as you can easily play a round every 5 seconds, including betting playing, payoff, and so forth... It takes some practice and concentration at first, after a while it becomes completely automatic. Were someone to ask me the TC or the RC when playing at that speed , I'd have to stop and think because I am not conscioiusly dealing with it... I just know with a RC of X, and Y/Z cards left, this is the right bet, that is the right index play...
  • Hey Stainless, with counting skills like that I think you should try the BP checkout offered by MIT Mike Aponte. He gives seminars around the country and nobody has yet to pass it. If you do, you get a free seminar, which usually goes for $700, and you get serious consideration for placement on a pretty elite team. Now I'm sure you're probably not interested in playing on a team, but passing the checkout would be quite an achievement as no so called "civilian" has yet to do it. The drills you do for fun are pretty much exactly whats needed to pass the checkout. What do you say? I think you could have some fun with it.
  • I cant find A.C. isnt really that bad. Where is it ?
  • You have to go back to Februrary 23 2006 to find it. You can just click on my name and choose view public profile, and than click on all threads by Bojack1 Go all the way to my first post on this message board, thats where it all started.
  • how can you cut your self an ace if you can't see it in the shuffled deck of cards you have the same chance of cutting your self an ace just the same as you do cutting your self any other card. On a six deck shoe sometimes I as the dealer I can see what the top card of is going to be, but the club has me burn the top card anyway.
  • Bojack1 said:
    Hey Stainless, with counting skills like that I think you should try the BP checkout offered by MIT Mike Aponte. He gives seminars around the country and nobody has yet to pass it. If you do, you get a free seminar, which usually goes for $700, and you get serious consideration for placement on a pretty elite team. Now I'm sure you're probably not interested in playing on a team, but passing the checkout would be quite an achievement as no so called "civilian" has yet to do it. The drills you do for fun are pretty much exactly whats needed to pass the checkout. What do you say? I think you could have some fun with it.



    I've had multiple conversations with Norm about doing something similar for CVBJ. I suggested several "canned" drill suites, such as (say) counting down a 6 deck shoe as quickly as possible with no errors, counting two tables at one time (CVBJ drills has this option), basic strategy + index plays drills, maybe something else. Let people see how quickly they can do that and use the network stuff already in CVBJ to upload your scores so you can compare with others. He could do the same thing for the actual play, see who can own the record for most rounds per hour with no errors... or something similar.

    Team play is out for me, too old, have a family, career, etc to deal with. And I can't imagine any circumstance where I'd want to wager 700 bucks with zero return potential and 100% loss a distinct possibility. :)

    But the idea of competition is interesting, as I've been competing in one way or another all my life... the drive is still there. :)

    One note, I've never come close to the record on the hit-or-stand game here either. I can't even move my mouse fast enough to get more than 28 or so on the bonus round, and most of the time I can't click that fast unless I get multiple hands in a row that need the same playing decision... I play some xbox live with my son, and I've seen similar reflex issues there. Some are incredibly quick physically (if not mentally). :)

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!