on win goals & loss limits
  • i'm trying to establish some baseline upper and lower bounds for my game. i always enter the casino with these figures in mind but sometimes (especially in vegas where it's easier for me to lose headiness) play through them (at least the lower bound) and so need to shore up my discipline in this area. in my experience, setting high win goals (too high for a given bankroll) can turn winning sessions into losing sessions as i pursue a target that may be unrealistic. my general approach has been to set my win goal at +60% (rounded down to the nearest hundred) and my loss limit at -40% (rounded down to the nearest hundred). when i achieve win goal, i do not, under any circumstances (except to fund a double or split as dictated by basic strategy), allow myself to drop below that level. furthermore, i add 10% to this bank every time i achieve an additional 20%. however, in many instances, i have not reached + 60% (which i believe i arbitrarily picked up about ten years ago from Patrick's Advanced Blackjack). i'm curious what others (especially our resident professionals) use for these limits. thanks to all in advance.
  • ZEBRA: Short on time right now, but let me make this important point: IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE WHERE YOU SET YOUR WIN LIMITS OR YOUR LOSS LIMITS. The only place this matters is in determining how each of your singular days will go. But, realize that your blackjack compass is pointed firmly in the direction that the quality of your play steers it. This is inescapeable. Stopping at favorable intervals is easy. But your next hand, be it right now or next week is still just your next hand! All your carefully chosen session lengths will merely piggyback into one long record. You can play blackjack for 10,000 one hour sessions or for one 10,000 hour session and the bottom line will be the same. All these win/loss goals are purely for daily satisfaction, but cannot improve your overall chances at the game one iota!
  • thanks renzey -- i see your point. i'm at a funny place in my game right now where i have been playing a progression game (which develops a mindset that relies on streaks and one's ability to "get out while ahead"). this mindset is (correctly, i believe) grounded in the unsettling fact that over time it is certain that a (progressionistic) player will hand his/her winnings back to the house if he/she doesn't stop at some favorable point. while, i recognize the hard logic of the counting approach, i haven't mastered any system well enough to bring it into casino play, and so am still caught up in the business of trying to exploit swings in my favor when they come.
  • ZEBRA: You cannot exploit swings in your favor if those swings come at an unpredictable time and leave the same way -- which they do when you bet according to previous outcomes. When you've bet a streak and find yourself ahead, if you quit now, you falsely tend to believe you've "engineered" a winning result. But you could not have won had the streak not showed it's face at it's own free will. These streaks will continue to come and go unannounced and all the chops in between will do the same. After all phases have occured -- and you cannot stop all phases from occurring by stopping and starting -- the chops and losing streaks combined will eat up the profit from all your winning streaks, plus an additional amount equal to the house advantage.
  • i hear your argument and agree with it, renzey -- i'm just not ready to count in the casino environment yet -- working on it in the evenings as i can but i would say i'm not yet close. your book is on the way to my door and in the meantime i'm working on the hi-lo system with the help of some printouts i took off a linked website (really i'm still trying to develop lightning quick recognition skills). i'm a convert to counting -- just haven't taken the baptismal plunge just yet. while i completely recognize that i have not "engineered" anything when i have caught a streak (favorable or unfavorable), i have played with the expectation that such streaks (as well as chops) will take place. given the expectation of streaks, i have played a progression that has allowed me (quite likely out of blind, dumb luck) to win on choppy tables and positively streaky tables, while minimizing losses on negatively streaky tables by setting loss limits on percentage of bankroll and number of consecutive hands. you have convinced me of the error of my ways, but until your last post, i never thought about eliminating win goals and loss limits from my game plan once i begin to count. this is interesting to me but also a bit scary as i have relied on these prescribed limits (when i can discipline myself to follow them) to get me out of the casino when i'm getting clobbered, and to retain my winnings when i get on top.
  • Hello pro's. Regarding limits, good information here. but recently, I was on a boat and was up 35 units, on a 35 unit bank roll, just from 2 lucky shoes. (using progression) next shoe I lost quickly, went to another table. lost quickly again, and quit for the day up 20 units, went home happy and positive I would have givin all winnings back plus my bankroll had I not quit, being there was over an hour left of gambling time on the boat. I've done this before, as far as cutting my playing time short if I feel a bad turn in "luck". And, I've stayed and played, and given all winnings back plus some. :?: What do you guys feel about the old practice many use- leaving a table or sitting out the shoe after 4 losses in a row? I use to not believe in it, but now feel it is a good way to leave some bad energy behind and get back on to a better distribution of the cards.
  • Jedi - Good post, and.....Real quick, cause I'm on my way to Laughlin. Your fellow Floridian Walter Thomason and a fellow by the name of Bob Hubby (author of "BJT") are the strongest proponents of "quit points" I have ever met.

    All of us probably have opinions on it, but I'm sure Walter has done more resarch than anyone.....Some of his reasoning is in his book, but I would like to hear him elaborate on it. That could get a good discussion going.
  • Grifter said:
    Jedi - Good post, and.....Real quick, cause I'm on my way to Laughlin...

    :wink: :D Don't forget to record your mileage as a business expense, Grifter.
  • Desert Dog said:
    [quote=Grifter]Jedi - Good post, and.....Real quick, cause I'm on my way to Laughlin...

    :wink: :D Don't forget to record your mileage as a business expense, Grifter.[/quote]

    And meals/hotel, of course, unless they're comped. :D
  • zebra dont be hardheaded and listen to renzey. he knows what he's talking about.. so dont bother setting an upper and lower bounds since you know damn well it wont make a split of a difference.
  • Dawg/Buffarino - Thanks a million for reminding me about the gas. Can I include the tips too? :wink: Those two things were the only ones I had to pay for, and I won a few units besides.

    Grifter
  • Grifter said:
    Dawg/Buffarino - Thanks a million for reminding me about the gas. Can I include the tips too? :wink: Those two things were the only ones I had to pay for, and I won a few units besides.

    Grifter


    With what's going on with gasoline prices around here, it's not such a joke after all. Of course you're declaring the winnings, right?
    I know it was hot outside there, but were you also getting heat inside?
  • Dawg - None at all, but I was extremely carefully because there was hardly anyone in any of the houses due to the heat. I ramped every bet for the entire 16 hours, and started after a shuffle with two units. Gave up a little EV, but felt I had to and it was worth it.

    Grifter
  • If your going to play blackjack its essential to have a win goal and loss limit? Just think about all the times you were up only to lose back your profits. Always protect your wins. Check out articles by Al krigman on Bjmath and Casino times. His articles will demonstrate why it not only makes common sense to take profits but also the math behind the reasoning.
    Renzey I enjoyed your poker book!!!

    Playmaker21
  • Yeah, this is something that I really need to control myself... win limits and loss limits...

    How about DOUBLING your buy-in or losing it all as a quit point? Does this sound okay? Of course, if you buy-in for $100 and quickly lose it it's hard to NOT play... I guess we'd have to follow the 30-40x rule of the minimum tables when doing this, right??
  • WIN / LOSS LIMITS: When I play blackjack or poker, I have absolutely no win or loss limits other than the money in my pocket and the time I've given myself. I do this because I realize that aborting a session due to win/loss status only postpones eventuality.
    If I'm an overall winning player, then quitting before I'm out of time or out of money on average, is only costing me since I'm always more likely to win than lose over the next hour. If I'm a losing player, aborting only defers my underdog status (which is inescapeable) until I play my next hand, whenever that is.
    In a 50-50 game (such as a coin flip) you can win 80% of your playing sessions if that's your priority. But that does nothing at all to improve your long term bottom line.
    I've read post after post by players lamenting that they were up $800, then gave it all back plus another $500, etc. Understand this: If you're a "break even" player, then when you're up $800, your chance to finish $2100 ahead if you keep on playing is the same as to finish $500 behind. If both events haven't occurred equally often for you, then you're less than a break even player. And if that's the case, there is no money management technique that can protect you.
    I cannot find the article on BJMath or casincitytimes in which Alan Krigman supports win/loss limits as a means to beating a gambling game.
  • The article by Krigman is under the Risk of Ruin section and is titled "Why what you got ain't what you expected" . At the Casino times all his articles take the same theme of take the money and run. This issue of profit taking is really a matter of utility. For someone to say I'm going to go as high as the moon is not pratical. Everyone has a point were they say to themselves hey i better take this win. Whats your utility


    Playmaker21
  • With what's going on with gasoline prices around here, it's not such a joke after all. Of course you're declaring the winnings, right?
    ...Dawg - Forgot to respond to this last week. Yes, off course I will declare my winnings…..I already gave them to a charitable organization. Do you think this will be acceptable to the IRS? I gave to:

    “The St. John’s Baptist Latter Day Synagogue of the Episcopal Church of Methodist Blackjack for the Poor, Homeless, Elderly, and Good, Bad, and Ugly” .

    Thanks in advance for your (or anyone's) advice
  • Grifter said:
    With what's going on with gasoline prices around here, it's not such a joke after all. Of course you're declaring the winnings, right?
    ...Dawg - Forgot to respond to this last week. Yes, off course I will declare my winnings…..I already gave them to a charitable organization. Do you think this will be acceptable to the IRS? I gave to:

    “The St. John’s Baptist Latter Day Synagogue of the Episcopal Church of Methodist Blackjack for the Poor, Homeless, Elderly, and Good, Bad, and Ugly” .

    Thanks in advance for your (or anyone's) advice


    You get a receipt for that, Grifter?

    LOL :lol:
  • Grifter said:
    With what's going on with gasoline prices around here, it's not such a joke after all. Of course you're declaring the winnings, right?
    ...Dawg - Forgot to respond to this last week. Yes, off course I will declare my winnings…..I already gave them to a charitable organization. Do you think this will be acceptable to the IRS? I gave to:

    “The St. John’s Baptist Latter Day Synagogue of the Episcopal Church of Methodist Blackjack for the Poor, Homeless, Elderly, and Good, Bad, and Ugly” .

    Thanks in advance for your (or anyone's) advice


    A colleague of mine told me that he gave a substantial contribution to the Vatican last year. I told him I gave a substantial contribution to the Venetian.
  • Buffarino - Yes sir, I certainly did get a receipt. Actually I can’t read it because it is in a foreign language but there is a big seal on top that says “Corleone”, and later in the receipt there is the word “grazie” which I know is “thank you” so they must have been pleased.

    What I don’t understand is that almost to the end there is the word “arrivederci” and then some pictures of dead fish. It is signed by someone named “Guido”.

    Any idea what this would mean?

    Grifter
  • Grifter said:
    Buffarino - Yes sir, I certainly did get a receipt. Actually I can’t read it because it is in a foreign language but there is a big seal on top that says “Corleone”, and later in the receipt there is the word “grazie” which I know is “thank you” so they must have been pleased.

    What I don’t understand is that almost to the end there is the word “arrivederci” and then some pictures of dead fish. It is signed by someone named “Guido”.

    Any idea what this would mean?

    Grifter


    It means keep making contributions... :D
  • Hey Griff, it sounds to me like you better pack a snorkel with your jammies. Guido may just want you to "sleep with the fishes"
    :wink:
  • If the fish are anchovies, you're OK. If they're mackerels, well.... :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:
  • To PLAYMAKER 21: I wrote to Alan Krigman and questioned him about the win/loss goals you cite in your post. His reply was that gamblers tend to "read what they want to" into his writings. I read the article you mentioned, and as Krigman described to me -- he basically just quantifies your chances to win and lose at a game by calculating your probabilities of winning or losing "x" amount within a given period. Since he uses the standard house edge for his calculations, then of course your chances become worse and worse the longer you play. This is NOT to be construed as meaning that quitting at any particular point is productive -- UNLESS -- you never, ever play again. Then of course, quitting saves you money in the form of all future losses, which are unavoidable if you're playing with a disadvantage.
    TRY TO RECOGNIZE THIS: If you don't have the overall edge in the game, then you're bound to finish behind over the fullness of time. During that process however, there will be several points at which you will be doing better than some recently previous point. This is the nature of a random walk along the way to its inevitable end. Interrupting the process at these favorable intervals merely gives you something good to stop and admire along the way. But your course has not changed since you're merely "pulling over on the side of the road while you're on a hill", then getting back on that same road again which is headed to that same place. There will be many more hills and valleys along the way, but the overall altitude of your journey will keep descending. The only way out of the valley is to gain the advantage! Then, it too will be a gradual uphill journey littered with many smaller hills and valleys.
    Gotta' go now!
  • The House doesn't have the advantage. It just provides a place for the player's to destroy themselves. Nick "The Greek"

    I think the first thing we have to do is seperate mathematical theorems and its real world application. Typically researchers want players to detach themselves from money and wait for this labyrinth called the longrun. They try to make money into some soulist number on a ledger. However, the game of blackjack is to volatile to ignore win goals. A players exit criteria is essential for survial. I trade stocks and commodities and its the same principal,you have to know when to get in and out. Whether your playing blackjack or trading your battling standard deviation. In fact, its more prudent that you have a win goal in blackjack. Unlike stocks and commodities there's no supply and demand concepts to keep you at the table.Only a hypothetical long run. Based on the high failure rate of blackjack players it doesn't appear that many have seen that place called the long run. A blackjack players profit potential is determined by skill, session bank and hours played. For example, I play 5hrs a day. Therefore, I have 5 hrs to make a profit. A typical session is either I reach my win goal early or late in the session. The most important thing is that I get to that point. Anybody thats played the game know what happens if you stay to long you lose. Unfortunately, thats the real world of blackjack. Its funny when you start playing blackjack your instructed to read Wong and Carlson. Great books but the author that I've found to be correct is John Patrick. Okay stop laughing!! I know his book are poorly written and he gives bad advise on basic strategy. However, he did get one thing right "70% of players get ahead at some point of a session but 90% of the 70% give it back" I can't speak for other players but about 85% of the time I'm going to get ahead in a 5hr session. I'm taking the money home period.
    Finally, author's like to state there's no optimal stopping point. Sure on a computer sim. However, as I stated in another post we all are subjects of utility theory. Know one is exempt from utility theory. Money matters!!!

    Peace
    Playmaker21
  • I liked your post, Playmaker21. But I'm sure Fred will say whether you come back the next day or the next month, to the cards and chips, it's just the next hand. :D I had a stretch of 12 winning sessions out of 14 because I hit my win limit (when I see I've got 20 units over my buy-in of 40) or, more frequently, ran out of time when I was up, in some cases by a small amount. I thought this might be the key to winning blackjack. Wrong. Five out of the next eight sessions were losers, yet I hadn't increased my "official" win limit or reduced my loss limit (40 units). I just had more time. In effect my time constraints earlier were giving me a lower win limit, where I'd walk away a winner but only by 6 or 8 units. Yeah, that's winning, but not exactly exhilarating.
  • Trading stocks is actually rather the opposite of playing blackjack. One is a game that trends uphill overall (trading), and the other is a game that trends downhill if you don't count cards. If you just stick with your stock holdings, you'll eventually win anyway, and you might think that it was your win/loss goals that accomplished it. If you just stick with basic strategy blackjack, you'll eventually lose and no win/loss goals can't stop that -- because it's downhill trend WILL be adhered to. Lots of blackjack players who play a losing grade of game have hit the long run, and that's why they're losers.But -- I'm venturing outside my realm with this, and I don't want to put my foot in my mouth.
  • Desert Dog- From your last post if you add up your wins you are still 17 for 22. In my book thats a damn good record for BJ. You had a losing streak but thats inevitable, its going to happen to everyone who plays over time, thats why its called gambling. Just like the stock market no different. I agree alot with what Playmaker said. He has a win limit and knows when to get out, (very important for survival) It sounds as though he plays alot like us and thats good to know that other players out there are doing well with this style of play. Although I don't always agree with Fred's theory that you have to be a card counter to win, I do believe in his knowledge in the game and wish I had 1/2 his Knowledge. I will buy your book Fred just like I did Walter's.
  • Playmaker21, a very interesting, well thought out and well put post. Its the old battle between the newtonians and the empiricalists. I work in a field that has a basis in science but I am primarily empirical in my opinions. Many of the physical events I see the results of have been extensively described by newtonian study. When we butt heads they say I don't have the scientific training to explain the findings in comparison to the event, I tell them they don't have enough experiance in the real world to relate the study of the evidence in an isolated physical occurance to what really happened. The same arguement is occuring here. I once asked on a math oriented counter site if in the real world you can do anything intangible to shift the bell curve representing how much money you will win or lose over time in casino blackjack other than counting.
    The answer was a resounding NO. Trust the math only, if you don't you are labled a loser, period. Well I trust the math enough to not believe in any miracle system, and to have worked very hard lately on counting. But my empirical side see's real world logic in your statements and I tend to agree and follow that strategy, Deer Dog Deluxe (where is she by the way?) said it best: you got to make hay while you can, and know when to micturate on the fire and call the dogs in.
  • GUYS: The last thing I want to do here is develop a "debate" relationship. Just let me point out a few things and then I'll probably leave this topic alone.
    First, I need to say that my lack of win/loss goals comes not only from theory -- but from real world application. Somebody here said that, "You know what happens when you stay too long -- you lose!". Well, that's true -- if -- you're playing a losing game. But if you stay too long when you're playing with the edge, do you know what happens? You win -- even when you started out losing. That should seem apparent since the longer you play at a disadvantage, the more inevitable losing becomes -- and vise/versa. Just use the house against most players as a case in point.
    Now, suppose a typical disadvantaged blackjack player finds himself ahead after "x" hours and hits the door for the purpose of "survival". When he leaves, another typical player walks in and sits down in his spot. Is that new player any more likely to lose because the occupant before him won? If not, then what if the original player just stayed? Which of the two would be more likely to lose? What difference does it make to the cards and the chips which butt is in the seat if they're both playing the same way? The answer is that both players are likely to lose the same percentage of their betting action "from that point going forward". This liability is unavoidable and will still be true for the first player who left when he comes back the next time and plays again.
    Because of the volatility of gambling, there will always be high points and low points. Many of those high points will exceed a disadvantaged player's negative liability. But quitting there only hand picks positive "observation points" along the way to where he must eventually end up. If not, the house would lose money while holding the advantage over players who quit winners, even though that house just keeps dealing hand after hand to those players cummulatively. How is this possible??
    One last question: It's a fact that quitting winners can dramatically increase a player's percentage of session wins -- and many gamblers employ that utility. But how many of those players are ahead of the game after adding 200 or 300 such sessions together?
  • Fred, if its a debate I think it is a very healthy debate, we all respect and value your imput. As I've said before on this board, if you don't count you have to accept that you are playing blackjack at a disadvatage to the house and all that entails. Until you get to the point where you take the advantage in the game your goal should be to become a 'strong player', one in which the 'S for sucker' is taken off your chest and replaced by 'P for player', as far as the casino is concerned. Over and above basic strategy, your book is the first one I've seen that lays out some real card playing tactics to use to reach this level. Until you get to the counting level most of us are just left to those tactics, intangible playing strategys such as win/loss limits, and betting progressions. I know that long run is just over the horizon waiting to rear his ugly head, but I like blackjack too much to stop playing until I'm a 100% counter, and will have to use these other things until then because sans the count, these techniques give you the best chance at those short run victories, with bigger win levels, which keep us all in the game.
  • Thanks Doc, for your understanding on this elusive concept: And now to further embellish my point on win/loss goals, I've dreamed up the following riddle. I'd be interested in how many ways it can be answered -- logically.
    WIN/LOSS GOAL RIDDLE
    10,000 perfect basic strategy players (-0.5%) take turns sitting down in the same seat at a 24/7 casino. All 10,000 rigorously follow the same win/loss goal strategy. Each one plays until he reaches that pre-specified win/loss limit, then gets up and the next clone sits down. Nobody ever tips a dealer. Let's just say it takes 20,000 or 30,000 hours before everybody's had their turn. It's a fact that the majority of players will leave the table a winner (since small leads are easy to achieve most of the time). But the real question is -- will the house be up or down at the conclusion?
    If the house is up, then the players as a consortium must be down.
    If the house is down, how is that possible since it had a consistent advantage in the game over the course of tens of thousands of hours?
  • Fred- Let me play with your riddle and see what I can figuar out. In my style of play which is a 50% win limit on my session play and naturally 100% loss on my session play. In other words I will put at risk my entire buy in for a chance at a 50% return. FYI I also use a progression.

    In order for the house to get their (0.5%) as it is stated, this is how it would have to play out. If my math is right which I believe is close enough , Me and my clones would win Approx. 65% of the time and lose approx. 35% of the time. This will give the house their slight edge.

    This is suppose to be the way it works out for the casino, but does it? I understand the math for the house (0.5%) over the long haul and I agree the house has to have the edge. You state that the only way to beat the house is to be a counter, I partially agree with that also.

    In the scenerial above I will come out a loser in the (longhaul) But my experience so far does not indicate that, and I'll give you my theory as to why. All things considered, the use of good BS, money management and a progression system should put you over the top in the (longhaul)

    I beleive the progression alone will automatically kick in for you when the count is positive.(no need to count) therefore giving you an edge. I beleive you have to have a basic awareness of the cards and know when to alter your BS.(Not neccessarily count cards) There are other small varibles to consider also. I think progressive betting has a lot of validity and should not be considered a losing method in the (longhaul) At least from what I have seen and experienced so far.
  • Hey, check out www.vptruth.com. Rob uses short term win goal as his strategy. He is a professional video poker player!! The same concept can be used in blackjack.

    Peace
    PlayMaker21
  • Quote from JC: "I beleive the progression alone will automatically kick in for you when the count is positive.(no need to count) therefore giving you an edge."

    I used to think the same thing. That a win was a sign of hitting the beginning of a clump of good cards therefore justifying the bet increase.

    But suppose you and all 5 or 6 other players were dealt 10-10 or 10-A and the dealer busted with 6-10-10? How sure would you be about increasing your bet for the next hand even though the progression calls for you to do so?
  • Several posters have said that they apply a "win limit" to their play -- often an increase of 50% of their bankroll. Personally, I've never seen the value of a win limit. I prefer a "ladder" system... Let's say that my initial goal was to win "X" amount. Upon reaching that goal, I'll continue playing until I lose "X-50%" of that amount. In other words, be willing to give up part of the profits on the assumption that the win streak will continue, but set a quit point that still allows for a reasonable profit. I'
    ve had win streaks that produced profits equal to many times the amount of my original bankroll -- profits that would not have happened in that session if I'd quit play with a 50% win goal.
    While it's true that a session is just a continuation of a previous session, I draw great pleasure from big wins in a short period of time -- wins that help offset a string of small losses.
  • Lets make things simple and let one player play all sessions, lasting
    30,000 hours. The win goal is "one" unit and loss limit is "two" units.
    We record each session(e.g, one win or two losses). Its true that
    winners may exceed losers by some margin. For Example: In the
    short term we may have 10 winners and only six losers. But a closer
    look at this short term example should tell us that the house will be
    the winner after 30,000 hrs. of play.

    10 x 1 = 10 (winners)
    6 x 2 = 12 (losers) This example is somewhat stark, but it demonstrates why one can't avoid the .5% disadvantage.

    Going from zero wins to one will happen more often

    THAN

    Going from zero to two losses,but look at the results
  • JC wrote: "In order for the house to get their (0.5%) as it is stated, this is how it would have to play out. If my math is right which I believe is close enough , Me and my clones would win Approx. 65% of the time and lose approx. 35% of the time. This will give the house their slight edge".

    My 2 questions for JC are:
    1. Just how long is a "longhaul"? Is it 50 hours of play? 500 hours of play? 5 years of play. 20 years of play. Can you be much more specific?

    2. If you win 65% of the time and lose 35% of the time, how in the name of Salma Hayek does the "house" get an edge? :?: :?: :idea:
  • 65% x your win limit which is 1=65
    35% x your loss limit which is 2=70
  • 5 unit difference devided by total units involved (135) x 100 = 3.7% house take.
  • Doc said:
    65% x your win limit which is 1=65
    35% x your loss limit which is 2=70


    Doc, there is no doubt at all in my mind that you know exactly what you are writing. There is no doubt in my mind that there are guys who have read your post and understand it completely. But, I will bet you anything you want that if there are 100 registered members on this site that 85 of them do not have a clue what you just said. I can read as well as the next guy, but damned if I can interpret what you said into usable English!

    I have found this to be a problem for me. I really don't understand the language that the experienced guys use. The best thing for me to do is to read Fred's book and Walter's for a couple of months and try to learn the language of BJ.
  • Sorry Ted I'll try again. You set a win/loss limit for each session you play. In this case your win limit goal is half your buy in. If your buy in is 2 red chips, your goal is to win 1 chip and the session is over. Your loss limit is your total buy in, 2 red chips, you lose those the session is over. If you play 100 sessions and win 65 of them you should have 65 extra chips from that, each winning session will garner 1 chip. BUT you have lost 35 sessions of the 100, unfortunatly in each of those sessions your loss limit has been two chips, a total of 70. You risked a total of 200 chips, 2 per session, and with this win/loss limit the house comes out ahead 5 chips, 2.5% of the total chips you put at risk, or the house takes in 3.7% more chips then it paid out.
  • Eureka Doc, I got it now!! :D :D :D
  • Nothing like trudging up old threads. Anyway, I've just perused this entire thread and would like to add my two cents. Here's why I agree with Renzey and don't understand the whole win/loss limit idea: You set your goals and play your session, you reach either your win or your loss limit. Then you do it again the next day or week or month. But why not just stay at the table and do it again. That's not "staying too long", it's just using your system again except instead of waiting, you do it immediately. It makes absolutely no difference.

    I know others have basically said the same thing and I'm a few months late but, hey, I'm pretty new to this forum and didn't get a chance to participate.
  • I'll reply also because it's the an intriguing thread, and I had missed the original debate.

    What really interests me is the methods people come up with in order to try and push that little bit of advantage their way. Strategies that involve win-limits, progressions, playing time, etc are just interesting. I so badly want one of these to work. They all sound excellent to me while I'm reading them, but there's that nagging voice in the back of my head that knows they won't work. I really believe they won't. Empirically and mathematically, I just haven't found any evidence to believe otherwise. As I posted in another thread, it's the Monte Carlo fallacy. Changing your bet and when you play can not have an effect on your winning percentage in the long run.

    The thing is that mathematically, "the long run" is ideally infinite. The "long run" is so long that your life is but a small span of it. Furthermore, since blackjack has such a small negative expectation, the slope of the curve that would fit that long run data is swamped by the spikes inherent in the actual data. Because of this, it's possible for people to catch a total positive run for large periods of time -- possibly their whole lives. In reality that doesn't happen very often, but it is possible in anything with a semi-random distribution.

    That's why these systems are so alluring to me. People are going to go on extremely long winning and losing streaks. When someone comes up with a system to describe those, it appeals to the side of me that wants to beat the system, and it tells me something about that person.

    I forget who said it, or where I read it, but I once heard that when chance favors you, you attribute it to yourself; when it does not, you attribute it to bad luck.

    I think it's human nature, and that's what I see in all of these different systems.
  • Wanting to beleive is a strong human trait. If a reason to believe isn't
    there, many will invent one. "HITLER" knew that and took advantage.
  • Its called gambling guys! I believe there are people out there who will work on improving there knowledge and skills of the game and people who will just play and hope they win without putting any effort into the nuts and bolts of the game. We have all seen some of the bone head plays players make at the table and wonder what the hell they are doing there throwing their money away.

    I think it is great that people are willing to try different systems and methods wether it be progressions or counting or what ever. That is why this board has been so successful, it is a learning tool with alot of great contributors. Where else can you discuss issues like these with fellow blackjack players. Certainly not at the tables.

    I for one love the game with all its ups and downs. Its still the best odds in the house so why not try to master it.
  • I too, missed this thread when it first came out. My opinion of risk management is to have a plan. When a certain win-rate or loss-rate is matched or exceeded, leave the table and find a new one.

    Heres one I like... If I win 6 chips (usually green) in 1 shoe, I leave. Sometimes I get 8 in one shoe, and leave, and at 5, I'm thinking about it.
    Should I be ahead 8 chips in 2 shoes, I leave.

    On losing: lose 5 chips and I'm gone. Lose 10 total I'm history.

    JMHO
  • my.02:

    Some of us believe in luck and some don't. If you don't believe in luck you just don't play a negative expectation game, it is as simple as that.

    Many here think only of the math. They don't believe in luck and think it is stupid to do so. But that may be arrogant. For this subject you could define luck as "The ups and downs which eventually even out in the long run."

    There are no mathectical rules that define these fluctuations. But the fact that there are no known mathematical rules doesn't mean they don't exist. So you go by your gut and by what you've heard and experienced. You may be wrong, you may be right, you may be crazy, but nobody can say for sure either way. Architects built the Coloseum using such methods.

    Anyway that's how I see it. I for one play maybe 300 hands a year of blackjack, so I don't think I'll ever play enough hands to even out the games volatility. I'll play the streaks as well as I can play them.
  • I was following the logic Renzey used and he is wrong in his analysis, "WIN / LOSS LIMITS: When I play blackjack or poker, I have absolutely no win or loss limits other than the money in my pocket and the time I've given myself. I do this because I realize that aborting a session due to win/loss status only postpones eventuality."


    He is comparing blackjack to an independent system like flipping coins. When you flip a coin is has no memory, every subsequent flip is completely independent of the previous flip. Blackjack on the other hand is a dependent system. The hands dealt before influence the outcome of subsequent hands. That is why card counting works because it tells the players when the odds are in his favor. For example, there's a chance that if your loosing a lot you might be in what is considered the "negative" count of many card counting techniques and thus have a lower chance to win if you stay. ON the hand, if your winning a lot you might be "positive" count of the shoe and thus have a higher chance of winning a hand.

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