Would You Play This Game?
  • I have found an Indian casino with these conditions:

    2 Decks
    Auto Shuffler (not CSM)
    50 % Pen
    Double after split
    Re-split Aces up to 4 times
    Dealer stands on soft 17
    No Surrender
    Double on any two cards
    Can play multiple spots with no premium
    $10 - $5,000

    I am a red chipper. I receive cash and room comps monthly. Is this a decent game for an advantaged player?
  • chxplay said:
    I have found an Indian casino with these conditions:

    2 Decks
    Auto Shuffler (not CSM)
    50 % Pen
    Double after split
    Re-split Aces up to 4 times
    Dealer stands on soft 17
    No Surrender
    Double on any two cards
    Can play multiple spots with no premium
    $10 - $5,000

    I am a red chipper. I receive cash and room comps monthly. Is this a decent game for an advantaged player?

    CP this might need to be reconfirmed by the experts on this board but I would say off the top of my head that if you could get a 1-12 spread down and play at only half full tables the game would be worth playing. The pen is bad and would be an obstical to overcome. I have certinly seen much worse games at indian casinos
  • Best way to offset poor penetration is either a big spread, or if possible, Wonging, which gives you an infinite spread. 50% is well South of lousy, and the chance for increasing bets is going to be diminished.

    As always, I recommend a phone call to qfit to order Norm's CVCX/CVData programs. Then you can answer this _precisely_, something any aspiring AP needs to be able to do without any guesswork. Guessing can lead to -EV situations too easily since the BJ advantage from card-counting is already razor-thin. You can't find a better investment than CVCX and then you will find yourself able to answer _any_ question about _any_ game, with regard to spread, hourly win rate, what a change in spread will do, how Wonging will affect you, etc...

    essential software...
  • There is also a 6-deck shoe game with the same rules, 75% pen. I am wondering if that would be more advantageous. However, fewer decks is supposed to be somewhat better. I suppose I should go ahead and get the software. I forgot to mention there is no mid-shoe entry on the 2D game.
  • OK... NMSE makes the DD game pretty lousy and requires a hefty spread to make headway. The 6D 75% game is certainly playable, but again you need to Wong or else get a big spread down. Heads-up would make it more attractive due to the increased hands per hour...
  • Stainless Steel Rat,

    Do you believe I should be cautious about spreading more than 1 to 4 on a double deck game, or do I remain below the radar since I play red chips? I have heard much about drawing lots of attention with big spreads on 2D games.
  • chxplay said:
    Stainless Steel Rat,

    Do you believe I should be cautious about spreading more than 1 to 4 on a double deck game, or do I remain below the radar since I play red chips? I have heard much about drawing lots of attention with big spreads on 2D games.


    The answer is not cut and dried. My target for DD is 1-8. If you are talking $5-$40, you can get away with that at most casinos that deal with larger action (strip, etc). If you look like the big fish at the table (you are betting nickles, everyone else is betting silver) then you might get noticed. :)

    The other issue is your "act". At the red-chip level, you should have few problems. But note that you can and will get tossed if you don't exercise a bit of caution in how you play. Your goal is to convince the pit that you are a nut, a novice, a gambler, anything but a card counter. The better you can pull that off, the bigger you can bet/spread without getting tossed out.

    I've seen red-chippers get tossed on the strip. I've seen guys spread $100-$1000 in a DD game with no notice. It all depends on how you come across. As your average bet goes up, the quality of your act has to improve as well...

    It isn't so simple to answer. So long as you spread 1-8 in a DD game, and you do it reasonably using red chips, you should have few problems anywhere at the larger casinos...
  • I would take a strong look at the variations in pen from one dealer to the other. Quite often it will vary and sometimes from one shuffle to the next wth the same dealer.

    Other than that, try to play with as few players as possible, effectively increasing pen. Also, because poor pen reduces variance you can have a steeper spread at close to the same risk (bet more per count). Don't try to get away with an unrealistic spread.

    Renzey covers some of this in his book and so do other writers.................
  • That game is fine even with 50% penetration if they deal at least two rounds you can win. The game holds a smaller than usual house edge.
  • A DD game dealing just two rounds is not going to be beatable without an _enormous_ bet spread. I'm going to switch to windows and run a sim. I'll post the results in about 5 minutes...

    OK, can't get CVCX to run a sim for just 2 rounds in DD, but here's some DD numbers for reference.

    spread 1-4, 50% pen, win rate is .98 units per hour, RoR with a 2K bankroll is 24%

    with 75% pen, win rate is 1.8 units per hour, RoR is down to 7.1%

    Double the spread, double your win rate... 1-8 would make 5-40 earn almost 20 bucks an hour, at least better than flipping burgers...


    I don't see how you are going to beat a game with 2 rounds dealt. The hourly win rate will be almost nothing...

    2 rounds in a single-deck game is tough enough to beat..
  • This game posted (2-deck) 'should' be beatable betting 1-3, or maybe 1 to 2. Very small house adv. With 1 deck in play, I'd lean towards 1-3. You could play to -2 TC (quit if -2.0 or worse) to avoid table hopping... chances are there aren't that many tables with this good rule set.

    The 6-deck with 75% pen is twice as bad House Advantage ... about 1/4%. Still thats much better than whats offered in many places. 1-4 spread for this one and leave at -2 IF NME.

    Don't jump 1 to 3 or 1 to 4. Settle for a parlay (1-2 then 2-4) and recommended to increase only after a win.

    JM2c
  • LTC- Off the top your bet is -EV. The second round with just a few players gets close to random chance and makes a two round game an extremely poor choice. You need as many rounds as possible for your edge to take hold.

    It's like jumping off a cliff and hoping there is water at the bottom.....
  • Chxplay........Ignore all that horse puckey about 'big' and 'enormous' spreads and listen to Nickels and Ray. They actually play the game in casinos, including Indian casinos.

    As Nickels says, both games are beatable, although the 50% pen on the 2D makes it pretty marginal (but if it's the 'only game in town', yes it's beatable). Personally I would try to spread 1-4 on the 2D (and parlay like N/B says to do) or I would shoot for 1-6 and bet 2 units off the top.......For the 6D I would shoot for 1-6 (1-8 if you can do it), and again use the parlay.

    Note there is nothing wrong with N/B's recommended spreads, and the expected +EV for both games will be essentially the same for those spreads; but what I said above will bump that EV up just under double.

    Regards....Grifter
  • Grifter:

    one major point. We started with a min bet of $5. Spreading 1-3 can beat that 50% game, if you define beating as making less money per hour than you will make flipping burgers at mickey-D's... To use a $5 unit, _and_ make a reasonable hourly income, 1-3 or 1-6 is _not_ going to cut it. The sims showed that pretty conclusively...

    If that appears to be "horse-puckey" so be it. But it is fact...
  • I'm assuming with a $5 minimum that the poster is not out to do this as a career.
  • Funky - That's exactly the point, and I thought the same thing. He only asked if the games were beatable, and Nickel's answer was unequivably correct.....Yes they are.
    - Nobody was talking about flippin' burgers at Micky D's.
    - Nobody was talking makin' a zillion units per hour.
    - Nobody was talking about risk of ruin, 'precise' EV if there is a full moon on a Friday in December, etc.

    SSR - Your point is no point at all, sorry. By definition, beatable is playable to a positive EV......period.

    Grifter
  • Great answers to this question guys. I dont have qfits stuff yet so cant run sims but it kind of surprised me that with 50% pen this game could be profitable at all at 1-4 spread. would have though 1-8 would be the min needed,thanks.
  • Thanks for all the good feedback. Actually, the 2D games are $10 minimum, sometimes moving to $15 on certain days. I have been playing there so much, all the shifts know me. I believe I can get by with larger spreads with no problem at this place. I would certainly be satisfied with the $20 per hour rate someone mentioned. If things are moving along, I usually move to green. I believe I can spread with green here without much trouble, either. According to you guys, these games are decent. I may try to entice the dealer to improve on the 50%, next trip.
  • Just remember what the dealer has to lose and gain by helping you at all. He or she may like you and generally want you to win, but if the dealer is caught doing anything to help you, they lose their job. Thus, I wouldn't expect much.
  • nc-tom said:
    Great answers to this question guys. I dont have qfits stuff yet so cant run sims but it kind of surprised me that with 50% pen this game could be profitable at all at 1-4 spread. would have though 1-8 would be the min needed,thanks.


    Actually the 1-3 spread Nickels posted is profitable. Nothing to shout about, but profitable... ....somewhere between +0.2% and 0.3% (maybe one of the jammie boys will give you a "precise" EV, not that it matters).

    Grifter
  • FunkyChicken said:
    Just remember what the dealer has to lose and gain by helping you at all. He or she may like you and generally want you to win, but if the dealer is caught doing anything to help you, they lose their job. Thus, I wouldn't expect much.


    Funky......True statement, BUT refer to Ray's previous post. "Generally", in 2D penetration will vary at least somewhat from dealer to dealer; and if a dealer "likes you", "knows you", "whatever" and will give the table an extra round; that can make a tremendous difference. Just an increase from 50% pen to 60% pen in 2D will up your EV about 70%-80% at the same spread (again, maybe one of the jammie boys will give you a "precise" number, not that it matters).

    Grifter
  • Grifter said:
    Funky - That's exactly the point, and I thought the same thing. He only asked if the games were beatable, and Nickel's answer was unequivably correct.....Yes they are.
    - Nobody was talking about flippin' burgers at Micky D's.
    - Nobody was talking makin' a zillion units per hour.
    - Nobody was talking about risk of ruin, 'precise' EV if there is a full moon on a Friday in December, etc.

    SSR - Your point is no point at all, sorry. By definition, beatable is playable to a positive EV......period.

    Grifter



    Sorry but I totally disagree. If this is a discussion of pure semantics, then OK, you can beat a 50% DD game with a 1-2 spread dealing 2 hands before the shuffle. If it is a discussion about actually winning something worthwhile, and a buck or two an hour is not worthwhile, then it is not beatable. I would not want to give someone the impression that they can go to a casino, play a 50% pen DD game, spreading $5-$20, and make enough money to make it worthwhile. That impression would be wrong. I've never seen a noob that would think that winning a couple of bucks an hour is really "winning"... hence my response to him...
  • I think most beginning players would be quite happy returning home with even 95% of their bankroll intact.Being able to squueze out any sort of profit would be gravy.
    If you play BJ as a hobby,who cares if you could make more flipping burgers at a MickeyD.
    There are very few hobbies one can find that turn a profit,and most casino players see gambling as nothing more than a hobby.If one can get away for a few hours,engage in an activity they enjoy and it doesn't put a dent in ones wallet,thats great.
    Plying $5 a hand,no one is looking to get rich.But it can be just as enjoyable as goingto the movies,which in NYC will set you back a sawbuck after popcorn and a soda.
  • NYB said:
    I think most beginning players would be quite happy returning home with even 95% of their bankroll intact.Being able to squueze out any sort of profit would be gravy.
    If you play BJ as a hobby,who cares if you could make more flipping burgers at a MickeyD.
    There are very few hobbies one can find that turn a profit,and most casino players see gambling as nothing more than a hobby.If one can get away for a few hours,engage in an activity they enjoy and it doesn't put a dent in ones wallet,thats great.
    Plying $5 a hand,no one is looking to get rich.But it can be just as enjoyable as goingto the movies,which in NYC will set you back a sawbuck after popcorn and a soda.


    You make a very good point. If the average player simply learned to play perfect basic strategy they would have some winning sessions without even counting if they play a game that is offering around the -.35.

    What I am saying is that not every one that visits this board needs to get caught up in the idea that if they are not a master card counter spreading 1-20 or whatever that they cannot have a good time and still win once in awhile. It still pays of to learn the game and learn to count but there are degrees of expectation that need to be understood.

    Beware of how you spread at even the shoe games in CT... 1 to 10 will eventually get you in trouble.

    I have no doubt about the quality of some of the posters comments here but lets all keep in mind that just because you can't turn that $20 an hour that you should give up the game.

    Fire away!

    Chuckn
  • Chuckn,

    You and I are in total agreement. Just by participating in a forum such as ours, you are demonstrating your interest in the game and a desire to improve your skills. After mastering the basics, it then becomes important to know you have found the best games and conditions available. (the topic of this thread) I have learned much from our interaction and this knowledge makes the game much more enjoyable.
  • NYB said:
    I think most beginning players would be quite happy returning home with even 95% of their bankroll intact.Being able to squueze out any sort of profit would be gravy.
    If you play BJ as a hobby,who cares if you could make more flipping burgers at a MickeyD.
    There are very few hobbies one can find that turn a profit,and most casino players see gambling as nothing more than a hobby.If one can get away for a few hours,engage in an activity they enjoy and it doesn't put a dent in ones wallet,thats great.
    Plying $5 a hand,no one is looking to get rich.But it can be just as enjoyable as goingto the movies,which in NYC will set you back a sawbuck after popcorn and a soda.



    In that case, play a good shoe game with perfect BS, bet $5 a hand, and lose about 1.5 cents on every $5 bet played. At 60 rounds an hour, that will cost you about a buck an hour, which is not bad if you are just wanting something to do at minimal cost...

    One doesn't have to invest the time to count cards to play an inexpensive game and lose. I'd think anyone willing to learn how to count, with the practice it requires to play reasonably well, would be interested in more than just "breaking even"...

    Just my $.02 of course... But I have personally never seen anyone that asked me about learning how to count cards, with the idea that they would just "break even" playing 21... One can come very close to that just mindlessly playing perfect BS and flat-betting... And they will remember the winning sessions, and forget the losing sessions, and be happy. A real AP tracks everything and knows exactly where he stands at any instant in time... And to get to that skill level, one is interested in a bit more than just breaking even. noob or not...
  • NYB/Chuckn/Chxplay - I agree with everything you say. I would guess that 99% of the members of this Forum are here because they want to become better BJ players; not to make a zillion bucks being an "Advantage Player" (lol). Wouldn't this forum be a huge success if we could just get half the members to learn enough about the game and counting so that when they walked through the door of a casino they were "favored to win"?

    on a different note:

    SSR - You are very, very book smart and computer smart about blackjack, and my hat is off to you for that and I respect that knowledge.....but you are not an experienced advantage player, and I personally don't think it is "right" that you try to pass yourself off as one. It is a whole different world sittin' and playin' at real tables with real felt and real chips than it is playin' on the computer, and you have to admit you don't actually play very much (once a year, maybe?). Absolutely no offense intended and no flame. As ex-moderator I simply think the folks should know the facts.

    Perhaps I'm totally out of line with the above because I admit I have not played a significant amount of blackjack myself in the last two years since I switched to hold 'em; but I do have forty years of counting to fall back on. If I was out of line, I apologize to all.

    Regards.....Grifter
  • I know BS perfectly, and use a simple count system. I don't play to make money. I play for the enjoyment of getting away and keeping my losses to a minimum. I am very happy to burn time taking two day monthly trips and returning home with same amount I left with. On most trips I lose when considering a $500 exp. for travel. I would say most of my trips end up costing me approximaely $250 when total costs are figured out for trip. I just consider it a cost of entertainment. This is the primary reason I enjoy AC over Vegas. I can backcount from table to table and casino to casino with low min bets and lack of heat whatsoever. Plus I get a considerable amount of exercise in addition to seeing some crazy people who I can attempt to con into taking some hand interaction playes. It's just a hobby and a story everytime. I don't use a player's card at any casino with the exception of initial buy-n for approx. $200 green. I'll play $50 first hand when I initially buyin and leave immediately after shoe becomes neg. In most cases it is the first round unless I win. I will play one green until I lose and then just backcount rest of trip with a couple hundred green in my pocket for wonging in. I started going on a local junket that plays approx two times per month in AC. Cost for two nights and travel is approx. $230 and I extend my stay with the two night comp'd rooms and pay for my trip back from Phil Int'l airport. ($74) I found a janitor who drives me to Phil Int'l for $70 at the end of my extended comp stay.
  • Jim - Yessir, that says it all.....And you are making a little bit of money, havin' fun and enjoyin' yourself; just like chuckn/NYB/chxplay were talking about;.....and you walk away feelin' like a "winner".

    And hell, I don't want to be philosophical about it, but isn't the "bottom line" for most folks on this forum whether you win or lose?.....and that's the way it should be, unless you choose to be a serious "player" (and that's a whole different ballgame).

    Grifter
  • Grifter, yes I do feel like a winner if I can relax and take the heat off my everyday stress that I call life, and lose a few hundred compared to a $50,000 bad decision back home/business. No cell phones, stupid people, leaning politicians, and host of other normal daily obligations that have to be addressed. Nobody knows where I am and how to get in touch with me. As far as I'm concerned that is heaven on earth worth a hell of a lot more than say $500 bucks.

    I have a tuff job just living. Everyone attempting to make a score and I have no way of escaping it once they see my car...lol Don' get me wrong, I'm also attempting to empty their pockets on a daily basis, but have to make time for the "get away" to keep my sanity. I go to the club when home daily for lunch and a two hour gin game is the norm. I get my rocks off by taking no more than $9/12 a game off the majority on a regular basis instead of emptying them so I have continued action daily. Just have to have action at all times. Hell, I've thrown in many winning hands letting these assholes win at times. You have to let everyone win once in awhile. Just like raising a family, you have to let the win at times to keep their confidence and drive alive.
  • Jim - I can relate to your club game. Earlier in the week I won a little $100 hold'em freezeout game and one of the young bucs said, "Grif', you %&$#, you're older than dirt and twice as ugly and you still kick our butts.....That ain't right." Hell, two free beers and a hundred bucks for less than an hours work. If I wasn't already retired I'd think about retiring...lol
  • Yup.... its always been a hobby here. I had just as much fun playin the $2 pit at Foxwoods as I did playin the $25, or the $5 Bally's tables in AC. Still think the best deal was Binion's $10 4-deck shoe midweek. All the good rules, but because people liked the pitch game, not too much action. Never thought twice about 1-8 with tips. Great dealers with lotsa stories to keep me amused.

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