Blackjack Software Question?
  • Say a person is using Software ABC to learn how to count. How can they determine is the software is dealing the various decks being practiced randomly? Ask the author? No...not an option in this example.

    SSR recently said, "...this also leads to many mis-statements that are then taken as fact to draw a conclusion that is dead wrong."

    Thanks, Jim
  • This is a forum that allows a person to post just about anything they want concerning the game of blackjack. It does not matter if the post if totally stupid and unjustified, a person can put his known knowledge of the game in the form of a post.

    I don't believe CVBJ is randomly dealt.

    Right or wrong I have this opportunity to post based on my research just like the creator of CVBJ had when he designed the software.

    I talked to Norm recently and he gave me his silver tongue concerning this issue. Not good enough. I don't have to prove my conclusion, he does. Why should I take his word on it? I have never read how he proved his software was dealt randomly. Now he has the opportunity to shut me up with a simple explaination on why the software deals practice rounds randomly. It's his creation, not mine.

    I could care less if other posters call me an asshole or whatever, but it's an issue that only Norm can explain. Don't waste your time responding to this because your "opinion" is useless unless you can explain what Norm has not elected to do. I don't want to hear about bias settings,etc., or that it is automatically dealt random without an explaination proving it. Norm can make some insane statements like, "Frank Scoblete knows nothing about blackjack." I think anyone in blackjack world would agree that Frant know something about the game. Maybe basic strategy? This is how Norm reacted when the subject of Speed Count came up. I know he is a tireless self-promoter and egomanic. I just want him and only him to prove to the blackjack world why and how CVBJ is a random dealt software system.
  • 1. I did not say that Scoblete knows nothing about BJ. You called me and used a nickname for Scoblete that I have never heard him referred by. That nickname is used by another person that sometimes plays at the California casino you mentioned and who indeed has poor BJ knowledge. My reaction to Speed Count is and always has been that it is falsely advertised. I am one of numerous people that believes this and it is backed up by simulations from three people using three different simulators.

    2. This is your sixth recent attack against me on one forum or another. I simply do not understand why you keep calling me names when all I have done is try to help you.

    3. I will say that in the 13 years CV has been distributed, some people have said the count is always negative and some have said it is always positive. Some say the dealer rarely busts while some say he always busts. That's variance and it is something every BJ player must learn to live with. If the software did not present different hands to different people; it would not be an accurate representation of casino play.

    4. I took the time to answer your questions in great detail. In fact, you responded "Norm, thanks for excellent answer." I believe I was patient with you when you called me on my toll free line and called me more names. I even offered more help at the end of the call despite your name-calling. Now you are claiming that I "elected" not to answer your question. I have no way to "prove" randomness. If you wish, you can see the RNG I use at http://www.advantageplayer.com/blackjack/forums/bj-tech/webbbs.cgi?read=2197. If this does not settle your mind on the software; you are more than welcome to return it for a full refund including postage. It will be my second refund in 2006. (The first was a guy that didn't know that MACs don't run PC software.)

    norm
    insane, tireless self-promoter and egomanic
  • Why would anyone design blackjack software that doesn't deal randomly? Its something simple to do and there is no reason for someone not to include it. I don't have the software myself, but it seems like a silly complaint.
  • Why? Funky Chicken said, "Its something simple to do..." Well, if that was the case there would be no argument.

    In addition, Norm, you are a LIAR. You certainly did say Frank Scoblete knows nothing about blackjack. Also, there was no name calling with the exception of you being called a LIAR today.

    Where in my posts have I called you names? Norm, you are just another con selling a system who can't even prove the cards are dealt randomly.

    You also forgot to mention the comment about how the Speed Count outfit is paying someone $3,000 a month for their endorsement. Do you remember making that comment?

    Your a small man and by denying you said Frank knows nothing about blackjack you touched on my integrity. This may be the biggest mistake you have made in your career.
  • Wow.

    [jimpenn said]"Why? Funky Chicken said, "Its something simple to do..." Well, if that was the case there would be no argument. "

    No, he said it was easy to deal randomly; and indeed it is and indeed CV does by default. He did not say it was easy to prove randomness.

    [jimpenn said]"In addition, Norm, you are a LIAR. You certainly did say Frank Scoblete knows nothing about blackjack. Also, there was no name calling with the exception of you being called a LIAR today. "

    Sounds to me like you are the one calling me a liar. I did not say that Scoblete knew nothing about BJ. You used a nickname that I took to be someone else. You are know claiming that you know better than I what is in my head.

    [jimpenn said]"Where in my posts have I called you names? Norm, you are just another con selling a system who can't even prove the cards are dealt randomly."

    Hmmm, where have you called me names? How about "con" and "liar?" How about "insane," "tireless self-promoter" and "egomanic?" And that's just today. AND I DON'T SELL SYSTEMS.

    [jimpenn said]"You also forgot to mention the comment about how the Speed Count outfit is paying someone $3,000 a month for their endorsement. Do you remember making that comment? "

    I most certainly did not say that. I said that BJ21 offered to give me a good review for $3,000 a year. I won't do business that way. I may have also said he does this now for someone else. I said absolutely nothing about Speed Count in our private discussion that you seem to want to make public.

    [jimpenn said]"Your a small man and by denying you said Frank knows nothing about blackjack you touched on my integrity. This may be the biggest mistake you have made in your career."

    Sorry, now this is become comical. Again, I have no idea why you have spent the last month posting attacks, accustaions and insults about me. All I did was answer your questions and try to help you. Tell me, who else would have even answered your phone call at 9am on a Saturday morning? Name a BJ software author that even publishes a phone number other than me.
  • This is getting a little out of hand here.

    Jim, exactly what answer are you looking for? Norm has explained how his software works and shown you the RNG it uses. What more do you want? What answer can Norn give that you will accept? If you can tell us what proof you need to see, I'm sure Norm can provide it for you.

    Norm, don't feel obligated to respond to posts like these. If Jim thinks you're a liar, let him. It's not going to ruin Qfit's reputation. Getting into personal fights like this is just a waste of your time.

    -Sonny-
  • Jim,
    You are really not doing yourself very well with this ongoing disputer.
    If you are unhappy with the software,for whatever reason,return it.
    I have valued your previous posts and always have looked forward to reading your take on various situations as they arose.
    Please don't make me change my mind.
  • Sonny said:
    Norm, don't feel obligated to respond to posts like these. If Jim thinks you're a liar, let him. It's not going to ruin Qfit's reputation. Getting into personal fights like this is just a waste of your time.

    -Sonny-


    Funny thing is that if I had said that Scoblete knew nothing about BJ then I would have been doing him a favor. I have said that the Golden Touch courses he runs are a scam. Lots of people have said that. Now if he really knew nothing about BJ - then he wouldn't be knowingly running a scam.

    Another humorous bit. The folk at Arnold's group have called these courses a scam more loudly than I. In fact, they criticized me for NOT calling Golden Touch a scam. So, I have been criticized both for calling them a scam and NOT calling them a scam:) Attacked if you do, attacked if you don't.

    In any case, it hardly makes a difference to how Frank thinks of me. He's disliked me since I simmed Walter Thomason's progression strategy and showed it to be negative EV. Of course it's negative EV - it's a progression system. But, Walter and Frank are friends and Frank is Walter's publisher.

    Thanks for the post,
    norm
    Professional insane, self-promoting, egomaniac
  • Sonny and NYB...you are both right, but I am not going to allow an old troll with a 800 NYC number insult my integrity. This will be the last post concerning Norm and Qfit. Yes, he gave me his Random Number Generator, and I can't understand why he can not run a Bernovlli analysis for randomness to an expected result, with a few other stas tests for bias.

    For now the subject is closed, and I can continue reading Grosjean's Beyond Counting.
  • New edition out? Or did you spend mad money on the older one? He writes a monthly column in ALL IN,if you are interested.
  • perhaps i'm off base here. seems i recollect from the days back when i was attempting some programing that about the best one can do when attempting to program something as random is what was then called psuedo random. and rng's as i understood them were actually psuedo random number generators.

    best regards,
    mr fr0g
  • sagefr0g said:
    perhaps i'm off base here. seems i recollect from the days back when i was attempting some programing that about the best one can do when attempting to program something as random is what was then called psuedo random. and rng's as i understood them were actually psuedo random number generators.

    best regards,
    mr fr0g


    Quite right. PRNG is nearly always shortened to RNG in programming discussions. I wrote my first monte-carlo simulator in 1965. Indeed the RNG was terrible back then. RNG's are vastly better today than in the old days. But old generators are still in wide use. For example, the generator in Excel repeats after about 32,000 numbers. I use the MARZAM 2 RNG. It repeats after 2,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 numbers. That means that if I had started generating numbers at the Big Bang, I still would not have repeated. But that is only a small part of the problem. You must also create numbers that are randomly dispersed. Marsaglia found that if you plotted the output from the most common Linear Congruential Generators, they looked random. But if you rotated the plot in three dimensions, the numbers all appeared in parallel planes. That is they were not really random even though they would pass simple tests like Bernoulli tests. So, he developed the Marsaglia DieHard tests. The RNG I use was designed by Marsaglia and Zaman to pass all six Diehard tests.

    I love irony. How's this: Jimpenn said he has gone back to reading Beyond Counting. I'll let you in on a bit of trivia. Look closely at the weird text on the front cover of Beyond Counting and then look again at the link to the RNG I use. It is the MARZAM 2 initialization routine. James and I use the same RNG. (And each found it independently.) Funny that JimPenn hasn't demanded that James "prove" randomness in all his calculations.

    norm
    The old troll

    "Random numbers fall mainly in the planes" - George Marsaglia
  • I always thought RNG's were based on some other event. As an extremely simply example, to get a random number between 1 and 10, the computer could simply give you the number that corresponds to the millisecond at which the deal starts. Thus, it wouldn't be really random, but to us it is random enough as we can't gage milliseconds. From your post, it sounds like RNG's basically have a strong of tons of numbers that they go through. Is that right?
  • FunkyChicken said:
    I always thought RNG's were based on some other event. As an extremely simply example, to get a random number between 1 and 10, the computer could simply give you the number that corresponds to the millisecond at which the deal starts. Thus, it wouldn't be really random, but to us it is random enough as we can't gage milliseconds. From your post, it sounds like RNG's basically have a strong of tons of numbers that they go through. Is that right?


    Common misconception. Random numbers based on events are very poor. Based on a clock they would be extremely poor. Unless you have a device that can measure the decay of radioactive materials or Alpha particles from space. Nearly all RNGs are algorithmic. Unfortunately, the RNGs supplied with compilers are all LCGs, which are very simple and fast algorithms but have lousy dispersion and short periods.

    Frankly, it doesn't make much difference in practice software since the point of practice software is to hit you with practice hands - not to measure the effectiveness of a strategy. High speed sims is where it matters.
  • It appears to me that the best measure of random shuffles or RNG's would be the frequency of hands recorded via a good sim. An example of non-randomness would be a bad shuffle that consistently stacks too many ten's behind the cut card. The frequency of 10,10 hands and others would be reduced over time and we could describe that as a non-random shuffle for obvious reasons.

    In the short term, I don't believe anyone can prove that cards are random or not. What method would you use to overide SD if we assume that bias has not been added?
  • Ray said:
    ......

    In the short term, I don't believe anyone can prove that cards are random or not. .....

    thats what i'm thinking. random is a rather nefarious concept. if something is random that means virtually anything can happen and well anything does happen all the time so how are you going to argue if some event is random or not? i guess with cards the idea of random should be that a random shuffle will result in no particular order or bias as described by Qfit when you set up the shuffle for cvb.
  • Of course, the shuffle and dealing of cards is non-random, so why be so worried about true randomness?
  • The problem is somewhat related to Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle. You must be careful about your assumptions and measurements in any experiment to avoid affecting the experiment by watching, or engaging in it. This is particularly true in card counting simulation as CC affects other players. Simple measurements like hand frequency cannot be used as an indication of randomness as such stats can be affected by the use of strategies. An obvious example is back-counting. Any method of back-counting harms other players. That is, it changes the ‘randomness’ of their hands. I did a study on this years ago – sorry can’t find a link. But, it is important to realize that you cannot measure the efficacy of a sim by looking only at what you would expect the results to be. Otherwise, there is no point to the sim.

    Let me put this simply. If you are trying to prove X, and your sim says X is true; that does not mean your sim is valid. You must find independent corroboration and/or verify that your conditions do not force the results.

    Now on the concept of simming a particular shuffle, this is an important concept. It can be done. And although the results are “non-random,” you must insure that they are randomly non-random. I have invested much time at this (as have a couple of other people) and it can be done. The point is that any shuffle introduces non-randomness. But, within that there is clear randomness based on the dealer’s accuracy in grabs, plugs, etc and his riffle precision as well as the shuffle itself. The point is that a casino shuffle is neither completely random nor completely non-random. You must be able to define the shuffle and the degree of randomness that exists within each step of that shuffle. It may sound like overkill; but that’s what my software does even to the extent of varying shuffle precision by section of a simple riffle to sim the varying effect of the angle of the dealer’s thumb on the cards.

    And this is why it took me five years before I released the shuffling features in my software.
  • "Randomly non-random"- That may be the crux of the matter. If I were to get a blackjack every 21 rounds, that would be a non-random event. But, we know that things just don't work that way. Exactly when I get a bj and how it relates to the last one is a very random event in the short term, but close to non-random fact as measured for the long term.

    Question: I've got to ask....How do you assign a degree of goodness based on the thumb angle of the dealer? Isn't that a high degee of arbitrariness on your part or have you studied individual dealers?
  • Ray said:
    "Randomly non-random"- That may be the crux of the matter. If I were to get a blackjack every 21 rounds, that would be a non-random event. But, we know that things just don't work that way. Exactly when I get a bj and how it relates to the last one is a very random event in the short term, but close to non-random fact as measured for the long term.

    Question: I've got to ask....How do you assign a degree of goodness based on the thumb angle of the dealer? Isn't that a high degee of arbitrariness on your part or have you studied individual dealers?


    Dealers have been studied - not by me. As a result we have some idea of the percentage of times 1, 2, 3 or 4 cards fall during a riffle. CVData allows you to specify this and you can try different percentages. It also allows you to set a different set of percentages at the start and end of a riffle. The software assumes a linear progression from one set of percentages to the other through the shuffle. This is probably not accurate. But, according to my tests it is "accurate enough." Frankly, it is overkill. I just added it to see if there was a material effect. CVShuffle allows you to set shuffle randomness parameters and then overide them while looking at a shuffle map. In this manner, you can see if the effect is enough to matter.
  • Ray – I don’t think Norm quite understood your question about dealers and thumb angle, so I’ll take a shot at it.

    In the early 80’s a study was done with 100 dealers and their thumb angle characteristics. It was concluded that it did indeed make a difference, and that dealers with a thumb angle above horizontal dealt two more blackjacks per 1,000 hands than dealers with a thumb angle below horizontal.

    However, that study was declared inconclusive in the late 90’s because the control group of dealers were primarily male, white, Protestant Caucasian with an average age of 35. The computer guys determined the study had to include more variables because the effect of the thumb angle would change relative to gender, race, religion, age, weight, and possibly sexual preference.

    A new study was done including all of the above variables but before the results were released another group determined that drug testing had to included to keep the results from being biased…….that new group had determined that if a person had taken a Viagra pill prior to dealing, his angle above horizontal increased dramatically; and this skewed the results.

    So that’s where it stands…..you might have to wait a few years for your answer.

    Hope this helped…..Grifter
  • :) As I said, overkill.
  • Thanks Grifter- I don't know about you, but I would be inclined to trust QFIT'S software. Like I've said before, he can't afford to be wrong or at least right to the point that you can't prove otherwise.

    Are you going to end up being #1 in both major sports?
  • Ray - Absoulutely I trust it, hell I was one of Norms first CV customers way back in '94 or '95.....My post was tongue and cheek about all the blackjack minutia that is currently not only available, but discussed as if it were the Holy Grail........that's o.k., and the "jammie boys" eat it up, but as Norm just said above, "Overkill."

    Grifter

    p.s......It's been 45 or 46 years since we were #1 in both.
  • QFIT said:
    The problem is somewhat related to Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle. You must be careful about your assumptions and measurements in any experiment to avoid affecting the experiment by watching, or engaging in it. ................
    And this is why it took me five years before I released the shuffling features in my software.

    thats the key Norm. you need to find some way to have a virtual pack pop into reality (like virtual particles do). oh yea and have them appear face up. :)
    that might take more than five years.

    best regards,
    mr fr0g
  • QFIT said:
    ...........This is particularly true in card counting simulation as CC affects other players. Simple measurements like hand frequency cannot be used as an indication of randomness as such stats can be affected by the use of strategies. An obvious example is back-counting. Any method of back-counting harms other players. That is, it changes the ‘randomness’ of their hands. I did a study on this years ago – sorry can’t find a link. .....

    does this mean the ploppies were right all along? we really do mess up the 'flow' of the cards. :)

    best regards,
    mr fr0g
  • sagefr0g:

    Maybe...

    Consider the following scenario that has be simmed by yours truly many times.

    1.) Player A & B sit down and play 21 using Basic Strategy. Over the long run the players will have the expected losses.

    2.) Player A & B sit down and play 21. Player A uses Hi/Lo, and spread 1-6 and will quit if the True Count reaches -2.0. Player B uses Basic Strategy.

    In scenario 2 Player B stands to have a higher House Advantage. WHY? Because Player A has left the table when the counts gets negative. Because Player A will take advantage of the positive TC indicies by altering both bet and strategy.

    Even using the simplest counts like A-5 in a good game such as 6 deck 75% S17 DOA DAS LS RS4 (0.33% House), I've repetedly seen outcomes for player B in the 0.40-0.42% range for House Advantage.

    I tend to think, "its not a team sport" to understate it.
    Yeah, we mess it up a bit for the Basic player.
  • That assumes that someone doesn't take Player A's place when he leaves the table. If tht is the case, then I would assume there is not a bigger house advantage -- or are you saying that simply by hitting or not hitting based on the count, it somehow affects the other players? That would have to mean that making decisions based on the count drives the count low more than average, which I don't think would make sense.
  • What is meant by Scenario 2 is that no one else sits down... Player B just keeps playin Basic. Because Player A cherry-picked the best of the game, including splitting 10's, and agressive soft-doubling, among other correct changes to Basic, Player B gets the Cherry pits when the deck goes against the player.

    I myself found this remarkable at one time. The effect is obvious even if A-5 is used, with a flat bet, with a recommended quit point of -6 for the case in point. Simply playing ONLY the best 70% of the shoe (by score) can cause the Basic player to have an increased House Advantage. It would appear consumption of the better cards and situations is somewhat responsible.

    Here are the general results of two sims: the 1st one shows all 3 players playing the same strategy, but in different manners. A&B are counters, and C is betting flat at any score.

    A: 1-3 65.4% $3.91 0.388% 0.436% 17.12 5.22 Base=10
    B: 1-6 65.4% $3.36 0.588% 0.648% 22.62 8.82 Base= 5
    C: 1-1 100 % -7.60 -.447% -.507% 11.45 19.6 Base=15

    The columns are Player, Spread, %Play, win/hr, Total Advantage, Initial Advantage, S.D./100 hands (NOT per hr!), SCORE, and Base Bet. Win/100 for Players A&B can be determined by Win/hr divided by 0.654.

    Now we let Player C play against the Dealer heads-up. Please note that if all players behave like player C, we have 3 players with the same expectation. For brevity of SIM, just a heads-up run.

    C: 1-1 100% -4.46 -.263% -.297% 11.42 6.78 Base=15

    Each sim 600 million rounds

    In a different thread the bet ramps and type of method is clarified (Level 2).

Howdy, Stranger!

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