Is BlackJack profitable?
  • countfast said:
    Good to see that everyone has opinions and personal success stories. I've been reading SSR's and Bojack's comments since 2003 and take them for a grain of salt. I've been around a few times and possess the drive, motivation, patience, and knowledge to achieve goals. My past includes starting, building and selling large three companies, in addition to being an Aide to the past Senator John Heinz when he was on the James Commission during the S&L scandal.

    I have a question for you and Bojack. Why, if card counting systems could win , are there so many new books on card counting? It's been over 40 years since Thorpe started the ball rolling and how many new systems can there be? I know the game changed and how Wong, Snyder,etc. testified for the casinos about bogus systems during the Atlantic City case on card counting. I think they used their real names during the case. I even think Rubin has a say at the trial. Hell, Snyder was a mail carrier when he started selling bogus gaming systems (on the side) in California. Aside from both of your forum success stories, how many documented wins have the both of you had in the arena? Hell, either one of you could be Renzy,etc. helping promote another one of his never ending new books.


    Alright countfast lets look at what you're saying here. First mistake you make is saying you've been reading my posts since 2003. Maybe SSR's but not mine. I didn't make my first post until Feb of this year. As a matter of fact it was only at the urging of a friend that I did, until then I never really looked at blackjack websites at all. But after posting I enjoyed the communication and stuck around.

    As far as you having goals and ambition, thats great. What you've done with building 3 companies and selling them seems to say just that. What it doesn't say is you know a lick about playing blackjack at an advantage. The same drive you've shown in your business is the same drive I possess and have possessed for this game for a long time. Simply put, I will gaurantee you that I am as good at what I do as you are at what you do. Furthermore I do not feel the need to question the validity your achievements simply because I may not fully understand the nature of your business. And rest assured friend I'm quite sure you're a clueless babe in the woods when it comes to playing advantage blackjack, which is fine, just drop the attitude and realize it. And I personally don't care what book you read or what information you have gathered that gave you all this pseudo blackjack knowledge you think you have, because given your opinion on the game, you're wrong.

    As far as why are there constantly blackjack books coming out, I don't give a damn. I do believe there are a lot of crackpots writing all kind of crap trying to sell bogus ideas out there. I subscribe to one counting method, and the same advanced techniques that I learned when I started. Many people feel they are reinventing the wheel with every new blackjack book that comes out. I do believe in the math and that is something that is unable to change, no matter who writes about it in a hundred different books. But I already addressed that in my Message to the math jocks thread.

    As far as my success stories, I have never once posted a monetary amount on any of my posts. Its really more about successful ways to gain an advantage than it is about money I personally won. By the way how exactly would you like me to document money that I have won from the casino. Short of giving you a copy of a tax return, which will never happen, it would be pretty impossible. I really don't care for your implications, but it has no effect whatsoever on the truth, so in retrospect your opinion doesn't really matter, which is a shame because if you put some of that energy into learning the game instead of disproving it, you might be worth listening to.
  • Bojack, SSR and Renzey have such vastly different signatures that one being the same as another is highly unlikely.

    Most, if not all, latter counting development has been geared toward simplicity. At least two (KO and KISS) are ligit based on independent reviews. Two others (not mentioned), IMO, should be avoided, again "my opinion".......

    Can you win a little extra money playing blackjack? Yes you can and here are my conclusions:

    - If you have played for 20-25-30 years and are still playing on a regular basis, you are a winner or a complete fool. I don't believe a fool can learn the ins and outs of such a complex game, nor can he last for such a long period.

    - Some basic strategy players, based on such a large sample, are life-time winners. They have been lucky beyond reason.

    - If you get logged off during the prep of a post, submit anyway and respond to the sign-on prompt. The sys will auto submit your post. If you do the submit again, we will see duplicate post, one after the other.
  • Countfast -- You made a statement about "Renzey and his never ending books". Actually, I have one blackjack book and one poker book. I wrote each out of the desire to help blackjack and poker players learn to win -- which is entirely possible. It was primarily a labor of love. The fact that the blackjack book took off was just gravy.

    In seminars I've taught, some sceptic has often stood up and asked, "If you can really beat blackjack, why would you teach other people how to win? Why not just play yourself?" My answer has always been the same. "Where does it say you can't do both?"
  • Ray, along with Grifter, you have always had my respect for your knowledge and willingness to share.

    Renzey...I'll back-off my statment concerning you and give you the benefit of the doubt. Peace...

    SSR & Bojack, whoever you are I will give you the benefit of your comments and also applaud both of you for your input into the forum. I still have issues, but they may be premature.

    Alex, you sure have made a turn in your post since mid 2003.

    Peace...
  • Wow how big of you to give Grifter and ray their props, let Renzey slide and, and let SSR and Bojack off with a warning. Oh yeah I almost forgot, give Alex his praise for a turnaround. You see countfast, I am an investigator for a law firm and the nature of my business makes me very skeptical. As a matter of fact I believe you are a big mouth phony. I may have a big mouth, but I'm very real.
    Alright Alex/countfast heres my conclusion. You've been on this forum since 2003 posting crap, and and reinventing systems every other month. In previous posts you stated you were a business man turned pro gambler, although not the same business' stated as countfast, still the same MO as having to tout your private life accomplisments when someone doesn't agree with your opinion on blackjack.

    Also with mentioning Alex in your last post you're trying to get the board to realize that you've changed because no one has yet to mention it. As Alex you can't really post anymore because everyone thinks you're a joke. So as countfast you can help Alex and still be a jackass. Your rants against certain members on this board are quite similar. And for good measure, nobody with your big mouth would ever be able to sit back and read this forum since 2003 and never post once until now. If you want to go further with your bullshit I can go all day.
  • countfast said:
    No sense telling the truth in this or any forum because they are all run by the snake oil salesmen who publish books and software.


    I have never published a book. Bojack has never published a book. SSR has never published a book. Other than Renzy, has ANYONE here ever published a book?! Has Ken Smith ever published a book (www.blackjackinfo.com)? Had Eliot Jacobson ever published a book when he was running his website (used to be www.cardcounter.com)? Who exactly are you trying to insult on this website?

    There are a few other websites run by legitimate authors (and players) like Don Schlesinger (www.AdvantagePlayer.com) and Arnold Snyder (www.BlackjackForumOnline.com), but how does publishing an accurate, widely respected book (like Blackjack Attack or Blackbelt in Blackjack) destroy someone's credibility? I don’t understand your logic (if there is any).

    I'll agree that there are plenty of worthless blackjack books and websites out there. The names John Patrick, Jerry Patterson, Bobby Singer, and Doug Grant seem to come up pretty frequently, but how does that discredit all of the worthwhile websites like this one?

    countfast said:
    I have a question for you and Bojack. Why, if card counting systems could win, are there so many new books on card counting?


    That is like asking " If the first automobile was invented in 1886, why are there so many different cars today?" The game has changed and technology has changed. Both have been a big factor in creating more sophisticated counting systems. The creation of unbalanced system has opened the door for all sorts of new simplified counting methods. Even the old systems like the Dubner Hi-Low have been revised and improved several times over by many players (Braun, Wong). New rules (Multi-deck games, Surrender, Five-Card Charlie, 6:5 blackjack, 7-7-7, 6-7-8, etc.), game variations (SuperFun 21, Blackjack Switch, Spanish 21, etc.), side bets (Over/Under, Lucky Ladies, Royal Twenties, Free Ride, etc.) and equipment (CSM, ASM, Mindplay, etc.) have been introduced. All of these have been widely researched, published and beaten by smart players. Perhaps you should read a few of those books before you complain that "the game today can't be beat." Just because you don't know how to do it doesn't mean that the rest of us aren't making good money from blackjack.

    countfast said:
    Hell, Snyder was a mail carrier when he started selling bogus gaming systems (on the side) in California.


    What bogus gaming system was he selling? His first broucure in 1980 (The Blackjack Formula) was a legitimate tenchique for estimating your win rate against various games (the predecessor to DI and SCORE) based on Peter Griffin's work. His second publication in 1981 (Blackjack Forum) was, and still is, widely recognized as a legitimate Advantage Play resource.


    countfast said:
    The game today can't be beat. I do believe you can break even with comps...


    You can do MUCH better than break even with comps alone. Check out Max Rubin's Comp City for more information on how to beat the comp system. Being able to count cards and "comp count" can double you EV. I guess that was another one of the "new blackjack books" that you didn't read.

    countfast said:
    Like one poster said attempting to achieve a positive count is an 8D game is almost impossible today.


    Unless you cut the high counts to the front of the shoe every time. In that case EVERY SHOE is a positive one! And besides, why would a smart player count an 8-deck shoe in the first place? Game selection is a very important part of being an Advantage Player. Maybe that player isn't as good a player as they think they are. In that case, the person does not have an advantage because of their lack of skill, not a fault in the card counting system. Card counting only recognized a player’s advantage when one exists. If you’re playing a game where the advantage does not come up very often they you are not playing a good game and are not a winning player in the first place. You can’t expect card counting to overcome the house edge AND the player’s bad judgement.

    countfast said:
    Recently I was wonging at a local casino and backcounted 8 tables before I found a count worth entering.


    Were you counting the whole shoe or were you abandoning the "hopeless" shoes after counting the first two decks? What is your optimal departure point? Optimal entry point? Were you counting two tables at once like most skilled counters? Were you backcounting full tables as well (to take advantage of Wong’s backline strategy)? I have a feeling you may not have been trying as hard as you could have been...but don’t try to blame your failure on the system. The system works just fine for the rest of us.

    -Sonny-
  • Sonny said:
    Were you counting the whole shoe or were you abandoning the "hopeless" shoes after counting the first two decks? What is your optimal departure point? Optimal entry point? Were you counting two tables at once like most skilled counters? Were you backcounting full tables as well (to take advantage of Wong’s backline strategy)? I have a feeling you may not have been trying as hard as you could have been...but don’t try to blame your failure on the system. The system works just fine for the rest of us.

    -Sonny-


    Sonny, I think you mean well but I wonder about your comments. It is hard to pick up on the tone from this type of communication, but it seems condescending. Sorry if I am wrong.

    About those rating cards and getting comps. I signed up for one at the Hilton as part of my "act". I figured a counter would never sign up for one of those, so it could be part of my cover. Also starting off the 6D show with a medium-sized bet, then letting it ride until I lost seemed to be a good cover play. Once it loses, I would go down to the $10 minimum unless the count was really good, which is doubtful that early in the deck. I would appreciate the lowdown on rating cards, I figure they are just a way to track players, and are only useful to big losers earning comps.

    With regard to exit stategies, I think you need to stick it out for at least 2 decks in a 6D shoe, because the count can change quickly. Early exit does not make sense to me unless the count is just horrid. I use KO but I start at zero so I can avoid most negative counts.
  • Knox said:
    Sonny, I think you mean well but I wonder about your comments. It is hard to pick up on the tone from this type of communication, but it seems condescending. Sorry if I am wrong.

    About those rating cards and getting comps. I signed up for one at the Hilton as part of my "act". I figured a counter would never sign up for one of those, so it could be part of my cover. Also starting off the 6D show with a medium-sized bet, then letting it ride until I lost seemed to be a good cover play. Once it loses, I would go down to the $10 minimum unless the count was really good, which is doubtful that early in the deck. I would appreciate the lowdown on rating cards, I figure they are just a way to track players, and are only useful to big losers earning comps.

    With regard to exit stategies, I think you need to stick it out for at least 2 decks in a 6D shoe, because the count can change quickly. Early exit does not make sense to me unless the count is just horrid. I use KO but I start at zero so I can avoid most negative counts.



    Player's cards are pretty dangerous for a card counter. Here's how my fairly infrequent backoffs have come:

    I played using a player's card. I always kept my sessions to an hour or less. But every now and then, something would trigger a question, and the pit would request an after-the-fact skills check using the video from the table I played at. The next time I would go back and present the player's card, they would be waiting as it would have been flagged after the skills check showed I was playing closely according to the Hi-Lo system.

    I have not been run off that many times, and it has been very rare for the last 3-4 years since I stopped using my own player's card to play 21. But the majority of the times I was told to stop playing BJ, it came at the start of a session rather than at the end. Since I stopped with the player's cards, backoffs have dropped off, although now they happen during the session of course, if I forget and "camp out" too long...

    Your goal is to give 'em as little to go on as possible, so that the next time you return, they won't have a "BOLO" on your player's card info...
  • Andree, you just stuck your foot in your mouth. You may be a part-time sneak for a lawfirm, but I owned the largest family owned security firm in the United States from 1981 until I sold it in 1985, with annual sales in excess of $30 million dollars for five consecutive years. The firm was started from scratch in 1969. Don't tell me about your investigative ability. I 've been there. Send me a private message and I will tell you the name of the firm and you can do your D&B and any other mickey mouse investigative techniques you may employ. I had at any given time 150 legal Investigator's working at least forty hours a week. I participated first with the AEC (I hired Dave Lowe in 1972 over dinner in Georgetown when I was 24 years old. He was the former Chairman of the AEC) and then the NRC in establishing security systems for 14 Nuclear Power Plants from Duquesne Light, Three Mile Island (GPU), New Jersey Electric & Gas, Virginia Power, Carolina Power and Light, South Carolina Electric and Gas and Georgia Power. In addition, I was on the Island the day TMI almost went into a meltdown. Please, don't tell me about your investigative ability. I have testified before Senate Sub-Committee's and the list goes on. I don't care if you share the information I will give you with forum members, but I don't want to see the corporate name mentioned on this web site. I sold the company to Figgie International after George Wachenhut backed off because of the price. Wachenhut's firm was larger, but he at the time was public. I want you to do a BG on my firm and then you can crawl into your little briefcase and go investigate some divorce case. The ball is in your court now...go investigate. I'll be waitng for your private email and god forbid if I see our corporate name on this web site. Any correspondence between you and I will remain between us, but I don't mind you sharing with members off the board. This is not a rehearsal.
  • So a man as rich and powerful as yourself should have no excuse playing in some rinky-dink Ohio casino when you can be in Vegas,playing under good conditions, in a few hours.
    I missed the part of your biography where you tell about your AP experiance.
  • Does Ohio have any casinos? My friend who always played just BS would go to AC or NY.
  • No Ohio currently does not have any casinos. A bill is coming up in November for a vote, and in addition, the Redskins are on the war path concerning opening one on tribal land. West Virginia votes in January for table games. The public is supporting it by a 2/1 majority in the polls.

    My AP experience is limited to three years with extensive research concerning the effective nature of counting. As I said before I believe today that the best (99.9%) of so called AP's are breaking even with comp consideration. Maybe 1 in a thousand can make $35,000 a year, but that's it as far as I'm concerned. No question it will limit your losses to a breakeven point with comps. Renzey said himself he knows 4 or 5 players who are making a living. Dosen't seem like a lot for his connections. Fred, did you say that? If you don't say no, then you are lying. I play blackjack for the challange and enjoyment of the game. Money is not a consideration in my play. It's sort of a David and Goliath with me. I haven't achieved a break-even point todate, but I will if rules stop free falling. I keep asking myself the question of why expert players like Grifter is devoting his time today to poker rather than blackjack. I believe he thinks it will continue to decline considering corporate stockholders demands for increased profits. I also can see a softening of the rules in Vegas in the next few years because of the same games being offered throughout the country primarily by the Redskins. I guarantee you West Virginia, for example will offer 6 and 8D games with the following rules: Shoe Games...3/2, DAS, S17, RSA and the posssibility of late surrender for $10 tables. Why go to Vegas if not an AP? Look how Bogata has taken over AC with their favorable games. They are one of the only couple of casinos offering S17 for $10 games. My AP ability will improve within the next few years because I'm determined to achieve a level of play that basically lets me travel and enjoy the game with limited cost of entetainment. In closing, I don't have to lie to impress a blackjack forum made up of want to be counters (Yes, there one or two who are professionals, but that's it.) Did you read the recent article in "All In" about Wong and a few other "Hall of Famers" having a free ride for life at Borgona? What a joke. Now Rubin is attempting to get on the list...lol
  • Sonny, you're no Grifter, SSR or Bojack...you just think you are. You get your rocks off in a forum, not on the green.
  • Its a shame someone so rich and powerful is so full of vile and hate.
  • countfast said:
    Sonny, you're no Grifter, SSR or Bojack...you just think you are. You get your rocks off in a forum, not on the green.


    When did you become a believer in SSR and Bojack. I mean you already stated you respected grifter, and I'm sure thats because back when you were Alex he constantly put you in your place. But to put the others in with Grifter you must have had a change of heart. Does that mean you are going to change your name again too. I suggest maybe Bill Gates, I know its already taken but with that incredible resume of yours I'm sure he would be honored to share a name with the likes of you.
    And I guess Sonny is on your tantrum list now because he categorically beat the hell out of yours-and Alex's disillusioned ideas on blackjack and some of its key players.
    And what of that ridiculous rant about you're so called professional life. I'd be very surprised that someone of your alleged stature would get rattled that easily by just another poster on a message board. I know the people I work for wouldn't, and you know why, they're real! Stop with all the crap Alex/countfast, and come back as someone who believes that playing blackjack is not a lost cause. That way you might make more friends while posting on a board ABOUT BLACKJACK!
  • countfast said:
    Look how Bogata has taken over AC with their favorable games. They are one of the only couple of casinos offering S17 for $10 games.


    As far as I know, all AC casinos are S17 no matter what the minimum.
  • Knox said:
    Sonny, I think you mean well but I wonder about your comments. It is hard to pick up on the tone from this type of communication, but it seems condescending.


    I don’t mean to be rude, but some of the comments countfast made were absolutely ridiculous! He implies that all blackjack authors are snake oil salesmen, which isn’t true. Then he implies that Renzy is a book-pushing phony, which he later admits isn’t true. He goes on to say that Snyder sold bogus systems through the mail which definitely is not true. He is also very quick to criticize blackjack books that he has never read which contain methods that he doesn’t understand. And, most importantly, he claims that blackjack is not profitable.

    There was a similar post on Wong’s site recently. Someone claimed that all the good single-deck games are dead and the multi-deck games are a waste of time. I explained to him that the multi-deck games can be much more profitable than single-deck if played properly. He ignored my advice and insisted that single-deck games were much better. I pointed out that the remaining single-deck games in Reno, Sparks, Vegas and California (which are alive and kicking!) are all watched so closely that you would have a very hard time getting enough action to make any decent money, while the shoe games available all over the world are susceptible to various AP methods that have built-in camouflage. He continued to ignore me and claimed that it didn’t matter because all the good BJ games are gone anyway. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that there are two games here in California that have a positive expectation off the top!

    Countfast is doing the same thing here. He claims that there are no good games anymore because he’s decided to play an 8-deck game with straight counting. Even with a big spread and aggressive backcounting the SCORE will still be depressingly low. It seems hypocritical to claim that all blackjack games are unbeatable yet refuse to look for any good ones, and refuse to learn more powerful techniques designed to beat them. He either needs to learn a few advanced techniques (zone tracking, cutoff tracking, cutting/steering, front loading, side bets, backline strategy, team play, sequencing, couponomy, comp counting, etc.) or he should find better games to play. A true Advantage Player would never settle for a marginal game. They would either find a better way to beat it or leave it alone. They most certainly wouldn’t complain about it on a forum full of real Advantage Players who are making good money from some great games!

    I’m sure countfast is probably a good card counter and a great businessman, but he has no right to make many of the comments that he made about the game or the accusations that he wrongly stated about the authors and players. As much as I hate to create antagonism between players, I really think that the truth needs to be told in this case. Hopefully countfast will not take this personally. I am not attacking him personally, I am only trying to state the facts that I have seen which happen to be contrary to his opinions. If he decides to hold a grudge against me I will understand. I would rather have one person hate me if it means that everyone else learns the truth.

    -Sonny-
  • countfast said:
    Sonny, you're no Grifter, SSR or Bojack...you just think you are. You get your rocks off in a forum, not on the green.


    That's awful funny coming from a guy who counts 8-deck shoes. You can't get your "rocks off" in either place!

    -Sonny-

    P.S. - I may not be the Grifter, but I learned quite a bit from playing with him.
  • Andee said:
    When did you become a believer in SSR and Bojack. I mean you already stated you respected grifter, and I'm sure thats because back when you were Alex he constantly put you in your place. But to put the others in with Grifter you must have had a change of heart. Does that mean you are going to change your name again too. I suggest maybe Bill Gates, I know its already taken but with that incredible resume of yours I'm sure he would be honored to share a name with the likes of you.
    And I guess Sonny is on your tantrum list now because he categorically beat the hell out of yours-and Alex's disillusioned ideas on blackjack and some of its key players.
    And what of that ridiculous rant about you're so called professional life. I'd be very surprised that someone of your alleged stature would get rattled that easily by just another poster on a message board. I know the people I work for wouldn't, and you know why, they're real! Stop with all the crap Alex/countfast, and come back as someone who believes that playing blackjack is not a lost cause. That way you might make more friends while posting on a board ABOUT BLACKJACK!


    First, I find it amazing that someone like yourself that would
    resort to libel, malicious libel, false allegations, nonsensical
    references calls himself intelligent and capable playing BJ for profit.

    My God man, read your post! You sound like a raving lunatic!
  • AlexD30 said:
    First, I find it amazing that someone like yourself that would resort to libel, malicious libel, false allegations, nonsensical
    references calls himself intelligent and capable playing BJ for profit.


    I think you accidentally inserted the wrong post above. It sounds like you meant to insert a quote from countfast instead of Andee. Countfast is the one who has been spreading libel about the game of blackjack, many of its legendary authors, and some of the players on this site. Andee simply called him on it.

    AlexD30 said:
    My God man, read your post! You sound like a raving lunatic!


    Andee sounds perfectly sane to me. He's not the one who went on a convoluted rant about "Duquesne Light, Three Mile Island (GPU), New Jersey Electric & Gas, Virginia Power, Carolina Power and Light, South Carolina Electric and Gas and Georgia Power...and god forbid if I see our corporate name on this web site...This is not a rehearsal."

    -Sonny-
  • Sonny said:
    It seems hypocritical to claim that all blackjack games are unbeatable yet refuse to look for any good ones, and refuse to learn more powerful techniques designed to beat them. He either needs to learn a few advanced techniques (zone tracking, cutoff tracking, cutting/steering, front loading, side bets, backline strategy, team play, sequencing, couponomy, comp counting, etc.)


    Can you direct me some sources for information on the topics you mentioned? I would also be interested in what you know about how Player's cards work. I assume they try to track your chips in and out, and flag you if you seem too skilled.

    Regarding some of the other folks on here, if they obviously don't know what they are talking about I don't spend much time reading or responding to their posts.
  • Max Rubins Comp City is a great place to get started on comp counting.Not the end-all of it but a great place to start. Jean Scotts Frugal Gambling series is also a must read,as are the members only boards on the Las Vegas Advisor forum.Those guys know the ins and outs of every players club better than any public forum I've come across.
    Plenty of posts here on cutting,steering ect,ect.
    But its hard work,on many different levels
    With all the new players being drawn into poker rooms thru-out the country,I can easily understand why some APs might be attracted to playing poker.
    One of the hardest things of being an advantage player is staying one step ahead of the house,something poker players don't need to worry about.
  • Knox said:
    Can you direct me some sources for information on the topics you mentioned?


    I'd be happy to! Here's a quick start:

    Zone Tracking:
    Shuffle Tracker’s Cookbook: Arnold Snyder
    Blackbelt In Blackjack The New Revised edition: Arnold Snyder
    http://www.blackjackforumonline.com/content/Cookbook.htm
    http://www.blackjackinfo.com/bb/showthread.php?t=2140
    http://www.bjmath.com/bjmath/playing/statman.htm
    http://www.bjmath.com/bjmath/playing/shufdrv1.htm
    http://www.bjmath.com/bjmath/playing/tracking.htm
    Blackjack Ace Prediction: David McDowell
    Blackjack Blueprint: Rick Blaine

    Cutoff Tracking:
    Blackjack Essay’s: Mason Malmuth (he calls it Card Domination)
    Shuffle Tracking for Beginners: GeorgeC
    http://www.blackjackinfo.com/bb/showthread.php?t=1919
    http://www.blackjackinfo.com/bb/showthread.php?t=1920

    Cutting/Steering
    http://www.advantageplayer.com/blackjack/forums/bj-main/webbbs.cgi?read=5655
    http://www.blackjackinfo.com/bb/showthread.php?t=2303
    MIT “Advanced Techniques” DVD

    Front Loading:
    Blackjack Essay’s: Mason Malmuth
    Million Dollar Blackjack: Ken USton

    Side Bets:
    Big Book of Blackjack: Arnold Snyder
    Blackjack Attack: Don Schlesinger
    http://www.blackjackinfo.com/bb/showthread.php?t=1233&highlight=Lucky+Ladies
    http://www.blackjackforumonline.com/content/Over_Under_Card_Counting_System.htm
    http://www.blackjackforumonline.com/content/unbalancedoverunder.htm
    http://www.blackjackforumonline.com/content/royalmatch.htm

    Blackjack variations (Spanish 21, SuperFun 21, BJ Switch,etc.):
    Big Book of Blackjack: Arnold Snyder
    http://www.blackjackinfo.com/bb/showthread.php?t=388
    http://www.blackjackforumonline.com/content/blackjackswitchbasicstrategy.htm

    Backline strategy:
    Basic Blackjack: Stanford Wong
    http://www.gamemasteronline.com/indexa.shtml (click on Secrets at the top right, then look under “1999 Articles” for the Rider Bets article)

    Team Play (BP, Gorillas, Spotters, Relays, EMFH):
    Million Dollar Blackjack: Ken USton
    Blackjack Blueprint: Rick Blaine
    Blackjack Forum Spring/Supper/Fall 1996
    Anything from the "Team" section: http://www.blackjackforumonline.com/content/TOClibrary.html

    Sequencing:
    Blackjack Ace Prediction: David McDowell
    Blackjack Blueprint: Rick Blaine
    ZenGrifter Interview (somewhere in there): http://www.blackjackinfo.com/ZGInterview.pdf
    Get The Edge at Blackjack: John May

    Couponomy:
    http://www.blackjackforumonline.com/content/CompSecrets.htm
    http://www.bjrnet.com/archive/BlackjackTherapy.htm
    Bargain City: Anthony Curtis
    Theory of Blackjack: Peter Griffin
    http://www.blackjackforumonline.com/content/beyondcouponsbjfo.pdf

    Comp Counting:
    Comp City: Max Rubin

    Scavenger BJ:
    http://www.blackjackforumonline.com/content/scavengerbjfo.pdf

    Let me know if you have any questions about any of this. I'll be happy to answer them here.

    -Sonny-
  • Thanks Sonny. I appreciate you taking the time to do that!

    I'll try to be more patient with some of the novice questions I see on here. I may even be able to answer a few!
  • Sonny: that is a lot of info. What order would you recommend adding these additional "modules" to my arsenal? I can play error-free KO now, but I am not quite ready to bankroll $100 bets. I want to slowly build a bankroll with $50 max bets. I clobbered the LV Hilton for several hunderd $ last week but I had a bad 8-deck session over at the Venetian that ruined it. I lost two $100 bets with the count in the +30s (I start KO at zero). On the last one, I had an 11 but no more $ to double! So the guy next to me pulls out $100, an obvious scavenge attempt. We both lost, but I guess I was lucky I didn't have the extra $100!! LOL.
  • Knox said:
    Sonny: that is a lot of info. What order would you recommend adding these additional "modules" to my arsenal? I can play error-free KO now, but I am not quite ready to bankroll $100 bets. I want to slowly build a bankroll with $50 max bets. I clobbered the LV Hilton for several hunderd $ last week but I had a bad 8-deck session over at the Venetian that ruined it. I lost two $100 bets with the count in the +30s (I start KO at zero). On the last one, I had an 11 but no more $ to double! So the guy next to me pulls out $100, an obvious scavenge attempt. We both lost, but I guess I was lucky I didn't have the extra $100!! LOL.



    If you have an 11 and can't double up on your own,DO NOT allow any else to put up the money.You have nothing to gain and everything to lose.Suppose you draw an Ace.Your stuck with 12. But if you had just bet the hand you could hit again.In the situation you described,you are limiting yourself to one card,with no reward.
    While jumping in on a hand in this situation is a great move,the reverse isn't. IMHO.
  • Knox said:
    Sonny: that is a lot of info. What order would you recommend adding these additional "modules" to my arsenal?


    The first thing you should work on is game selection. If you’re in Vegas there’s no reason to play 8-deck games. Also, if you’re playing nickels you should be downtown, not on the strip, and especially not at the Venetian. Downtown still has some good SD and DD games for red-chip players. They are prefect for small bankrolls because you can use a smaller spread which will reduce the variance and lower your ROR. You will be earning more money and doing it more safely.

    There are still more basic techniques you will want to learn before you move on to the advanced methods. Things like optimal betting ramps, ROR, and creating a good act will be essential to maximizing your profits.

    After that you can begin to look at advanced techniques. Which ones you use will completely depend on what games you are playing and what the casino conditions are. For example, if you are playing against an auto-shuffler then it won’t do you any good to know shuffle tracking or sequencing, but you might be able to employ a cutting/steering strategy. If you are playing against pitch games then you might be able to use front loading more successfully. Knowing how to beat BJ Switch or the Lucky Ladies side bet won’t help if you can’t find it at any tables. Some of the techniques I mentioned (like couponomy and scavenger BJ) will work in any type of game so those are probably the best place to start.

    If you’re going to play shoe games, the next step will be to learn about cutoff tracking which is a simplified version of shuffle tracking. The two links I gave are articles that I wrote that will give you a basic understanding of how it works as well as some of the math behind it. There is also a link in the Shuffle Tracking section to an article I wrote about recognizing trackable shuffles. Those will give you most of what you need to know to start scouting actual casinos.

    -Sonny-
  • Sonny, that was great information you gave Knox concerning the fellow who purchased his double. Is there any hand interactions that wouldn't hurt the player who run out of money?

    Thanks, jp

    P.S. I really never gave it much thought until you mentioned letting the guy participate in the double until you explained it. Of course, the player (Knox) would have to have run out of money or he would have player the double himself. I probably would also have left the player kick in the $100 for the double. Not any more.
  • I think they guy would have been miffed at first, but once I explained the rationale (can't hit again) I am sure he would have gotten over it quite quickly.
  • the casino would never kick anybody out that played blackjack that wasn't cheating.
  • jimpenn said:
    Sonny, that was great information you gave Knox concerning the fellow who purchased his double. Is there any hand interactions that wouldn't hurt the player who run out of money?


    I think it was NYB that mentioned that, and it was great advice. Most of the time it will hurt you to not play accurate BS, especially on doubles. For card counters insurance is another nail-biter. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve pushed all of my chips into the betting circle at a monster count only to have the dealer show an ace. The only thing to do is buy in again to take insurance.

    In general, not playing proper BS will cost you money. However, there is an exception. If you run out of money and you want to split a pair you should always ask someone at the table to help you. That is because most splits are defensive moves. For example, splitting eights against a ten is still a negative EV play. You will lose money no matter how you play that hand. However, having two hands of 8 is better than one hand of 16. You will lose less money by splitting. If you are putting someone else’s money on the second hand then you are actually losing MUCH less money. Imagine if, every time you were dealt 8,8 vs. 10, the dealer burned one of your cards and gave you a new second card. Now imagine that you could “surrender” one card ANYTIME YOU HAD A PAIR! You could actually have an advantage just playing BS without counting or varying your bets! That is the theory behind the “backline” strategy I mentioned above. Knowing which hands to have a "partner" for is the key.

    -Sonny-
  • Surely only a moron would fund half of an 8-split against a 10?
  • Knox said:
    Surely only a moron would fund half of an 8-split against a 10?


    Very true, but if you are backline betting (sometimes called a rider bet) then the player at the table (the "caller") will probably want to split his eights because it is basic strategy. As the "rider" you may not be required to place a bet on the second hand if you don't want to (some casinos will allow this while others won't). In that case the hand is being split but you are not adding any money to the second hand. This technique requires that you find someone who plays decent basic strategy (or perhaps a partner, hmmm....).

    Another benefit of this strategy is that it works when the casino is crowded, or at least one table (your “favorite” table with the “lucky” dealer that is always “cold” and the “flow of the cards” is always “player-biased”, or at least that’s what you tell the floorman!) is full. It is usually pretty easy to find a full table, especially the low minimum tables, at any time in most casinos. You can use this strategy as cover since the pit bosses will think you are playing terribly, or it can add even more advantage to a BP's play (or both!).

    -Sonny-
  • Sonny said:
    If you’re going to play shoe games, the next step will be to learn about cutoff tracking which is a simplified version of shuffle tracking. The two links I gave are articles that I wrote that will give you a basic understanding of how it works as well as some of the math behind it. There is also a link in the Shuffle Tracking section to an article I wrote about recognizing trackable shuffles. Those will give you most of what you need to know to start scouting actual casinos.

    -Sonny-


    The shuffle-tracking stuff was a bit much to digest but I read a lot of it. Put simply, it looks like the goal is to cut an unfavorable slug to the bottom of the deck and a favorable one to the top. I think I will take an incremental approach with it. First I will watch for trackable shuffles and see if I can influence slug placement. I'll worry about count conversions later. I still think I can eke out a small profit regardless if I am conservative.
  • I often pawn off losing basic strategy splits to other confident basic strategy players at the table. 8/8 vs 10 -- forget it! Nobody will bail you halfway out of that one. But when I have 2/2, 3/3, 6/6 or 7/7 vs. a 2 or 3, I often ask the table, "What am I supposed to do with these?" Somebody generally says you're supposed to split. Then I ask if they want half. They often take it, sometimes just to not back down from what they confidently advised, and sometimes because they believe they're getting the best of it.

    I also get in on quite a few doubles with 11 against a 10 or Ace. 11 against an Ace is generally not a proper double, but it still wins 53% of the time in a six deck game.
  • At one casino I frequent, there's a player whom I nearly always see there. He sits at the table and never takes a hand of his own. He simply makes friendly small talk with the other players, then gets in on their doubles and splits. This might be his entire M.O. I have however, sold him half of 6/6 vs 3 and 7/7 vs 2. The bad news is, we scooped both times.
  • Hello Fred,

    From your post and an article I read in Casion Times last year it seems you play frequently at local casinos. How do you get away with it since you are so well known? I would think a local dealer would have a handle on a local player who frequently uses hand interactions on a regular basis, and would bring additional attention to you since this is not very common at most casinos. It's not that often that a lot of hand interaction occurs that it would not draw the attention of dealers with certain local players using it often.
  • Jim -- I have been to my nearest local casino 600 times. I see a fair amount of hand interaction by other players at all of them -- not much, but a fair amount. It's probably important that lots of your hand interaction plays look like bad moves. I try to get somebody to split 9/9 vs 7 by offering to go partners. That'll win 59% of the time. I encourage them to double with 11 vs Ace and with 9 vs 7 in the same way, which both win 53%. Then I try to reciprocate by giving them half of my 6/6 vs 4 and 7/7 vs 3. In all cases, I'm making non-basic strategy doubles or splits and giving away basic strategy splits. Couple that with doubling down for an extra one tenth of the bet on 12 vs 2, 3 or 4, taking Insurance for $2.50 or $5 the first three times the dealer's got an Ace up, splitting 2/2 or 3/3 vs 8 and doubling A/7 vs 2 -- and how does it look?

    Don't get me wrong. I have been backed off from probably a dozen places. But it's a learning curve. Fifteen years ago, I was a straightforward, no-nonsense, bet-and-play-by-the-count player. I was terrified to deviate from optimum because I didn't know what it would cost me. But necessity bred the incentive to change. With today's analytical software and some working probability, you can come up with a fairly strong camouflage package that will decrease your earning power by only around 5%. And it's even fun.


    I think the biggest requirement once you have these things under your belt is to make sure your player's card looks like a loser and to behave in a "devil-may-care" fashion. You need to pocket chips equal to double your EV every time you play if you want to keep coming back to houses that know you on a first name basis.

    That's my take on things at the present. Two years from now I might be humming a totally different tune. I'm sure a big key is to have a helter-skelter looking, somewhat undecipherable style of play. Someday, somewhere, somebody will probably see thru it, I suppose.

    Ponder the loiterer mentioned previously who never gets dealt a hand of his own, but just scavenges other peoples' double and splits. He schmoozes all the female dealers /floorpeople and I've never seen anybody bother him. Yet, he has the edge on every bet he makes except for when he buys some bad splits. Note that the average double down which many people are leary of making carries around a 6% or 7% player edge. If that's all you ever do, that's your EV. Downside is, you'll get in maybe only 6 ot 8 plays an hour.
  • You make a lot of sense concerning your deviation from BS at a small (cover) disadvantage, expecially with the new software currently being used. It sure does make you look like a "feeling player" verses a highly rated professional. I don't know a single knowledgeable blackjack player who has never heard of Fred Renzey. What I find even more amazing is that nobody in the local casino knows who you are.

    Fred, I have a question for you concerning CVBJ software. I practice regularly (daily) and every time the dealer deals himself a 10 up, he never has an A under. Why is this? Today for example, I'm practicing 8D for a trip this week to Seneca Niagra. I played 12 shoes this morning and the dealer had a 10 up 15 times. Never once did he have an ace under. I just can't understand how this can happen with the software. Can you answer this for me? Thanks Fred...I know this is off the thread but I had to ask someone who knows CVBJ.
  • What'ya say we give the "knowing who I am" thing a rest. Actually, I do not know CVBJ, but the random chances of the dealer having a 10 up fifteen times with never an Ace in the hole are 30%. It'll happen plenty.

    What's more interesting is -- twelve 8 deck shoes and only 15 Ten-ups?? How many players were at the CVBJ table? If you were heads up with a two deck cutoff, you should've gotten in about 650 hands and 200 Ten-ups!
  • Renzey said:
    I also get in on quite a few doubles with 11 against a 10 or Ace. 11 against an Ace is generally not a proper double, but it still wins 53% of the time in a six deck game.


    I thought the proper play was not to double 11 vs. A in a 6-deck game. In a single-deck game, I thought 11 was ok to double against anything the dealer has. What is your source? (note: I am just talking basic strategy here, I understand that a strong positive count probably means doubling the 11 against anything under most systems).
  • Knox-11 vs A is not a good double for a basic player in a 6 deck game, true. The same would be true for Fred if the cards were in his hand. The skinny here is the fact that you win more by hitting in the long run, even when you are a 53% favorite if you double.

    When you buy in to an 11 vs A, it is nothing more than a side bet and not a part of your normal playing MO. Just a few of these can reduce the HA to zip or less. Think of it as a counter to 16 v10, 16 v A, 16 vs 9 and 15 vs 10, all are losers in the 70%+ range.
  • Actually I need to correct myself somewhat. Doubling 11 vs. A is correct when dealer hits soft 17 but not correct when dealer stays on soft 17. I agree this is one of those marginal plays where you lose very little by playing the hand "wrong". But most of us need every edge we can get.

    I would have assumed the 53% expectation took the doubling into account.
  • Knox -- Ray tried to explain it. But sometimes hearing a thing two different ways can turn the light bulb on.

    If you have 11 against an Ace in a typical shoe game with a neutral count, you have two alternatives. You can double down and win 53% of the time, or you can just hit and win 57% of the time. That's why hitting is the better play when you can do either one.

    Now if you're sitting at the table and you see somebody else double down for less with that same hand, you have two different alternatives. You can either take the rest of his double and win that bet 53% of the time -- or you can do nothing! Filling in his double is a 6% edge! You can't make any money by just watching other people play a winning hand.

    There are lots of incorrect doubles that still win more often than they lose.
    8 vs 5; 8 vs 6; 9 vs 2; 9 vs 7; 11 vs A; A/2 vs 4; A/3 vs 4; A/7 vs 2 to name a bunch. If somebody doubles for less with any of these -- or if they are even visibly thinking about it and you convince them by offering to go partners, you'll have usually around a 7% edge going in. How big a count do you need to to have a 7% edge on your next blind hand? These plays are valuable if you make them a regular part of your strategy. Especially if you're one of the smaller bettors at the table.
  • Hit or double 11 v A (53% or 57%) ?

    If you play 100k hands you will get about (386) 11 v A. If you do the math and normalize the results to the same dollar investment, a $5 player will gain about 15 bets or $77.20 by hitting when an index play is not possible.
  • If you play blackjack with a payout of 6-5 it is not a profitable game no matter how good the rest of the rules are!!
  • learningtocount said:
    If you play blackjack with a payout of 6-5 it is not a profitable game no matter how good the rest of the rules are!!


    I don't care for the 6:5 game either. However, I think the "cost" of a 6:5 game is 60% * the penalty for even money of 2.32%, or about 1.4%. You can construct a basic strategy game that will advantage the player .15% fairly easily. Sometimes the rules may be even more favorable, such as double on any number of cards. Either way, you can gain about 2% expectation using KO preferred and a 1-10 spread. So as you can see 2%-1.4%+0.15%=0.75% advantage. I figure anything between 0.50% and 1% is playable.

    That assumes 65% penetration and no wonging. Each card less than 65% pen costs you $, so that is a critical variable. When there are a lot of players at a single-deck game, the dealer is likely to deal a preset number of hands, regardless of the number of cards dealt. This number will probably be conservative, so the resulting pen often may barely exceed 50%.

    If you can get some head-up play, you are more likely to get the 65% pen and the game becomes playable. It may even be more fun because you can use more index plays to deviate from basic strat. But you will not be able to wong in and out.

    It's pretty easy to find a six-deck game with 0.50% expected return using only a 1-5 spread. Then you can wong out to the bathroom 2-3 decks into an unfavorable count and have them hold your spot, timing it to return at the start of the next shoe. I have had pretty good luck using this tactic, but it is a slow process that still has ups and downs.
  • Knox said:
    I don't care for the 6:5 game either. However, I think the "cost" of a 6:5 game is 60% * the penalty for even money of 2.32%, or about 1.4%. You can construct a basic strategy game that will advantage the player .15% fairly easily. Sometimes the rules may be even more favorable, such as double on any number of cards. Either way, you can gain about 2% expectation using KO preferred and a 1-10 spread. So as you can see 2%-1.4%+0.15%=0.75% advantage. I figure anything between 0.50% and 1% is playable.

    That assumes 65% penetration and no wonging. Each card less than 65% pen costs you $, so that is a critical variable. When there are a lot of players at a single-deck game, the dealer is likely to deal a preset number of hands, regardless of the number of cards dealt. This number will probably be conservative, so the resulting pen often may barely exceed 50%.

    If you can get some head-up play, you are more likely to get the 65% pen and the game becomes playable. It may even be more fun because you can use more index plays to deviate from basic strat. But you will not be able to wong in and out.

    It's pretty easy to find a six-deck game with 0.50% expected return using only a 1-5 spread. Then you can wong out to the bathroom 2-3 decks into an unfavorable count and have them hold your spot, timing it to return at the start of the next shoe. I have had pretty good luck using this tactic, but it is a slow process that still has ups and downs.


    I'd like to see a game where a 1:5 spread (6 deck) gets you a 1/2 percent EV. If you can give me the rules you are talking about and I can run a CVCX sim. But I really doubt that 1:5 will cut it in a shoe assuming reasonable penetration (1.5 decks cut off, 1 deck in a _really_ good game). General wisdom suggests at least a 1:12 spread for 6 deck, with a 1:20 being better...
  • stainless steel rat said:
    I'd like to see a game where a 1:5 spread (6 deck) gets you a 1/2 percent EV. If you can give me the rules you are talking about and I can run a CVCX sim. But I really doubt that 1:5 will cut it in a shoe assuming reasonable penetration (1.5 decks cut off, 1 deck in a _really_ good game). General wisdom suggests at least a 1:12 spread for 6 deck, with a 1:20 being better...


    How about 6-deck, 75% penetration, S17, rsa, lsr, DAS, double any two cards? You are about 0.36% disadvantage without counting. With KO, the 1-5 spread would yield 80-90 basis points gain in play.

    I am all for huge spreads, if you can get away with them and your bankroll supports it.
  • Knox said:
    How about 6-deck, 75% penetration, S17, rsa, lsr, DAS, double any two cards? You are about 0.36% disadvantage without counting. With KO, the 1-5 spread would yield 80-90 basis points gain in play.

    I am all for huge spreads, if you can get away with them and your bankroll supports it.


    Here's what I get. Rules as above, 60 rounds per hour. KO preferred system with the playing indices as defined by Fuchs, etc... $25.00 unit, spreading $25-$125 (1-5). Hourly win rate is $9, average bet is $40. Pretty much sucks when you factor in the variance.

    I risk $40 * 60 or $2400 bucks in an hour, to make $9. EV appears to be 0.375% if I didn't mangle the math. I don't think I mangled the sim, which was run for two billion rounds...

Howdy, Stranger!

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