Thomason Progression: Deck Comparisons
  • I normally play at a 6D shoe/DAS/RS4/S17/NS/DOA place with HA = 0.40% after Basic Strategy + Mag 7 Advanced employed (and even lower since I hand interact).

    As the title says, I play Thomason progression but was wondering if the amount of decks matter using his progression in order to yield the best results.

    What I'm confused about:

    Double-deck (with same rules above of course) has lower HA and Single-deck is obviously better, however, according to a friend of mine, he said that because of my progression and maximum amount of hands I'd get on DoubleDeck being only about 4-7 (as opposed to ~20 for 6D) and since his progression restarts at beginning of each shoe, I wont get the MAXIMUM effect of the winning streaks with double deck, even though the HA is only ~0.20 at places with good rules.... so, is this correct? If so, for my purposes and the type of BJ player I am, would I be best to go ahead and continue playing at 6D venues ONLY, since I cant really capitalize on LONG streaks at DD & SingleDeck?
  • sup bug,

    I believe the progression player would often make his winnings on shoes with high card clumping as these situations tend to arise with high card bust discards going straight into the discard pile, or insufficient shuffling.

    If you can shuffle track to a certain degree, betting up thru a high card clump would be totally advantageous to the progression player. In a SD/DD game, there is no memory between the last hand of the old deck and the 1st hand of the new deck.

    If you bet 2,3,4, and there's a shuffle up, are you going to bet 5 on the 1st hand of the new deck? That is as good as just betting big on any first hand IMO. Wonging a shoe deck for a high count would probably be an excellent time to start progression play. Other than that, mathematicians have proven that progression play will even out to 50/50 in the LR.

    On a side note, has anyone played @ the new Cache Creek indian casino near brooks about 1.5 hrs from san francisco? I card count using hi-lo, with I18 mods to basic strat. I was playing at the high-limit tables betting from 50-250 on 2 hands. (i.e. 100-500 per hand)

    I had an incredible run of bad luck, but I noticed the dealer using the mechanic's grip and often making scrapping noises with the cards as the cards were being dealt. I made 9 top bets, and even doubled down on a couple of them and I counted only 1 win. I saved 2 on insurance, but nonetheless lost alot where statistics say I should have made. I was suspicious especially on my last top bet as the dealer dealt her own card face down, and took a long time to flip it over. To create suspense perhaps as a cover, but I was really suspicious.

    I know the mechanic's grip and the scrapping sounds are possible indications of dealing seconds, but I can't be sure. Nonetheless while I dropped a couple thousand @ the HL tables, I made most of it back by switching between shoe tables on lower limit while still betting high for a total loss of $425.

    Has anyone had similar experiences @ Cache Creek? I don't think they're cheating all the time, but the fact that they take longer to deal when I have big bets out on the table still makes me suspicious. I'm trying to put it all behind me as a negative fluctuation and try that place out again sometime. Any advice?
  • Bug,

    Good question. I see your point. As you start at one unit after a shuffle regardless of where you are in the progression, it would seem that you would not be able to take advantage of winning streaks which is entire premise of the system.....especially at a crowded table.
  • Yes, exactly... only thing I'm thinking about is that since it's Single/Double deck, we'll be winning more than we lose (or losing LESS at it vs 6-8D) but still, they still technically have the HA in their favor unless one implements even MORE advanced techniques like counting or hand interaction... but yeah, I'd like to know what's up for sure, so I'll know either to avoid those or play them when I go to Vegas in <2 months!
  • Yes, exactly... only thing I'm thinking about is that since it's Single/Double deck, we'll be winning more than we lose (or losing LESS at it vs 6-8D) but still, they still technically have the HA in their favor unless one implements even MORE advanced techniques like counting or hand interaction... but yeah, I'd like to know what's up for sure, so I'll know either to avoid those or play them when I go to Vegas in <2 months!
  • You and 1 or 2 other players is best at single or double deck play because
    you will see all the cards without much trouble. You may have to play at
    4 AM, but so what.

    Progressions and single or double deck games, in my view, is just as good
    as a shoe with any number of decks. Why? Streaks do not occur because
    the sequence of the cards is somehow sacred. Think about it. Why would
    you restart your progression after a shuffle, what is the reason for that?
    What possible difference could a shuffle make when in every case, in every hand you are facing the unknown? It amounts to one contiguous run
    of cards and it makes no difference if you have one shuffle or twenty.
    If the dealer gave you the option to shuffle or not or even better let you
    do the work, rather than him, what could you produce? What magic would
    you use to shuffle up a streak? The idea that a shuffle affects your chance
    to win is irrational.
  • Ray said:
    Progressions and single or double deck games, in my view, is just as good
    as a shoe with any number of decks. Why? Streaks do not occur because
    the sequence of the cards is somehow sacred. Think about it. Why would
    you restart your progression after a shuffle, what is the reason for that


    Okay, that is where we disagree, primarily because the author and OWNER of this progression, Mr. Thomason himself says to restart the progression over at the shuffle and NEVER, I repeat NEVER continue on past the shuffle.

    The reason for it is to give the cool shoes a chance to get hot, while having a chance to GET a shoe hot. If a shoe has been hella hot before a shuffle and have been incrementally upping your bets, it makes no sense to continue doing so AFTER THE SHUFFLE.[/b]
  • Ray said:


    Progressions and single or double deck games, in my view, is just as good
    as a shoe with any number of decks. Why? Streaks do not occur because
    the sequence of the cards is somehow sacred. Think about it. Why would
    you restart your progression after a shuffle, what is the reason for that?



    Okay, that is where we disagree, primarily because the author and OWNER of this progression, Mr. Thomason himself says to restart the progression over at the shuffle and NEVER, I repeat NEVER continue on past the shuffle.

    The reason for it is to give the cool shoes a chance to get hot, while having a chance to GET a shoe hot. If a shoe has been hella hot before a shuffle and have been incrementally upping your bets, it makes no sense to continue doing so AFTER THE SHUFFLE.

    However, I do agree with you about playing 1-2 players max at double deck and single and it can also be added to the SHOE, in order to FULLY MAXIMIZE the chance of hitting the awesome STREAKS.
  • Bug: Luck has no schedule or feelings. It is random, helter skelter and
    we can not know or allow for it to have a change of heart. A lucky streak
    is independent of: Player, dealer, your last play, the shuffle, the time,
    the type of game your playing, and any other thing about the game.

    Two people side by side: person "A" wins 10 straight; person "B" loses
    10 staight. Is the shoe hot or cold? What happens in the next 10 hands?
  • Not the point. How can you argue with the MAN who invented this progression and in his book clearly states to NOT continue the progression past the shuffle! That's just like disobeying the police and speeding blatantly after you and him have given eye contact!!

    In other words, his word is a bit more followed than yours, especially on this matter :)

    Thanks though.
  • Bug: you are quite correct.....I should not comment on progessions at
    all and in the future, as difficult as it is, I'll keep my thoughts to myself.
  • Well appreciated Ray, well appreciated. You just were unaware, that's all. It's okay. We are all here to learn anyway right? :)
  • Ray: ALWAYS feel free to comment on progressions. I enjoy your posts and the logic behind them, although I disagree with some of your "black and white" opinions. Discussion and debate on this topic are quite usefull in helping the non-biased reader decide whether progressions are worth a try...
    As far as Quit Points are concerned, one of the most practical reasons to use them is to prevent the constant loss of the max bet in a progression -- a fault I find with many progression systems. Also, it's phychologically rewarding to "ramp up" the wager, then quit play while at the maximum bet level, in effect "cheating" the dealer out of winning your largest wager. There's even a sort of reverse pleasure in losing the first bet out of the shoe, when your wager is only a fraction of what it could have been had you carried the progression over from the previous shoe.
    Of course, when you win that first bet, and the next, and the next... that's a different story!!
  • Walt, while you're here, is your reasoning for restarting the progression along the lines of the the higher expected House Advantage at the start of the shoe? It seems that one could expect a more dynamic game towards the end of the shoe allowing for better progression play.

    I've always used 1-2-3-3 across the shuffle. A tie on the 1x or 2x is ignored and the progression continues. Surrender, the same. See the "N&B's Progression" topic for a few other rules I use.

    N&B
  • Walter Thomason said:
    There's even a sort of reverse pleasure in losing the first bet out of the shoe, when your wager is only a fraction of what it could have been had you carried the progression over from the previous shoe.


    Walter, that's one of my finest enjoyments of your system! After having just won the third of a 1 - 2- 3 progression, my first (lower) wager loses. Funny how you can be glad at losing!

    However, I have to say, I'm negligent at restarting at a new shoe. Just haven't done it yet. I'll change tables after the 4th quit point, but haven't restarted with the new shoe. Not sure why I haven't, but after reading this discussion I WILL implement that also.

    John
  • Walter Thomason wrote:
    There's even a sort of reverse pleasure in losing the first bet out of the shoe, when your wager is only a fraction of what it could have been had you carried the progression over from the previous shoe.


    From reading that it is more than evident, jm, that he is implying that you SHOULD restart at the beginning of the shoe and since you dont, I'm wondering why you haven't since, if you read his book he specifically states to restart and do NOT carry the progression over.

    I was just wondering the effect of doing so on a Double/Single Deck instead of shoe.
  • BuGhOu§eMASTER said:

    From reading that it is more than evident, jm, that he is implying that you SHOULD restart at the beginning of the shoe and since you dont, I'm wondering why you haven't since, if you read his book he specifically states to restart and do NOT carry the progression over.




    Bug, that is just what I said. I KNOW Walter says to restart, and I had no good reason for not doing that. However, I said I was now going to begin.

    John
  • I know for a fact that Walter does not recommend his progression for
    single deck. I don't know about double deck, but I suspect the same is
    true. In both cases, the limited number of hands will not provide a good
    streak environment as compared to the shoe.
  • N&B: Your observation is correct, but not the primary reason for my restart. I believe that each shoe is a "universe" all its own, and that the progression is potentially profitable based upon the configuration of the cards in each shoe. Clusters of wins and losses occur and are directly effected by the total number of cards in a shoe, and a continuation of a progression bet into a new shoe isn't in keeping with my way of thinking... (hope this makes sense!)

Howdy, Stranger!

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