Quit points
  • After my trip to Casino Brantford, I was reminded of another thing that puzzles me about the mathematics of gambling.

    Assuming I have something in the neighborhood of a 2% advantage using BS + counting, meaning I should expect to take away $102 for every $100 I wager, should I quit once I win more?

    I'm sure you've all won more than your expectation in the first few hands of a session and kept playing. Is this rational? Assuming we're in this for the money, and not for the "fun", how do you justify staying in the game when you've already beat the odds, even if only after two hands? It can't be the possibility of winning even more, because you've already won more than you could expect to, and, if you kept playing, should expect to lose most of those extra winnings back, shouldn't you?


    ricardoest
  • You'll get some math experts with exact formulas, that will boggle the mind, but, to answer the latter part of your post...Yes, the longer you play the more you can expect to lose. I know this is very elementary, but that's the way I think, that's why the casino will give you rooms, meals, drinks, and all the other comps, to keep you at the tables, for as long as you have a nickel in your pocket. I wonder if that 2% advantage is during a session or during your Blackjack playing life/career.
  • ricardoest-

    Quitting while you're ahead only works if you never intend to play blackjack again for the rest of your life. Or did you have some sort of expiration date in mind?

    Your next hand of blackjack is going to come from a shoe full of cards that have been shuffled into completely random order. Does it matter whether you play this next hand five years from now, or five seconds from now? No.

    This is why some people say that all the blackjack you play in your life is all part of one long game. This is also why quitting simply because you have won, or lost, makes no sense.
  • A survey showed that 75% of people in a casino were ahead at one point in their visit. Most of those people went home losers though because they failed to leave when they were ahead. I don't belive in the camp that says all the blackjack you've played can be seen as one big series. Blackjack is a game of ups and downs, If you leave mostly on the ups then you'll come out ahead over time.
  • How high is up & how low is down ?
    If you are going to use quit points, you better think about what they are going to be, before you set foot in the casino.
    How much do "you" want to win and how much are "you" willing to put at risk to try and win it. Set some realistic goals and have the discipline......to use them.
  • johnked6 said:
    A survey showed that 75% of people in a casino were ahead at one point in their visit. Most of those people went home losers though because they failed to leave when they were ahead. I don't belive in the camp that says all the blackjack you've played can be seen as one big series. Blackjack is a game of ups and downs, If you leave mostly on the ups then you'll come out ahead over time.


    The only way to be ahead in this game is if you manage to have your average winning bet (AWB) greater vs. average losing bet (ALB) by a percentage greater than the house edge over a flat bettor. To accomplish this you have to win more money in less hands vs. what you lose in more hands. If, for example, after an hour of play when all the double downs, splits and BJ are counted in, your average winning bet vs. average losing bet is greater by 4% only, you have victory for that hour. If your AWB is $25.50 and ALB is $24.50 you will beat a house edge of 3% and obviously you make more money in less hands vs. what casino has made in more hands.

    You have to master this technique if you want to play this game for money. If you want to play for “glory” than you can use the scientific approach and expect to work hard and make close to nothing worth of your effort.
  • Alex- What you have said is true,of course, but there is an even more
    practical way of looking at the matter. No matter what your skill level
    is, you must win more in your winning sessions than what you lose in
    losing sessions, otherwise, why play at all. This is where limits show just
    how artifical they are. Suppose that you are a $400 BR, $5 player, and
    you set a $250 loss limit. Well, we know that during a session you will
    have large swings from time to time and many times you may exceed
    some loss limit like the $250. How do you know, at this point, that you
    want come back to double or triple your money for the session? You don't
    and this type limititation can't possiblity be in your best interest. The same
    is true for win goals. When you frame your playing time with limits you
    are making sure that you will always be a long time loser.................

    Ray
  • Ray said:
    Alex- What you have said is true,of course, but there is an even more
    practical way of looking at the matter. No matter what your skill level
    is, you must win more in your winning sessions than what you lose in
    losing sessions, otherwise, why play at all. This is where limits show just
    how artifical they are. Suppose that you are a $400 BR, $5 player, and
    you set a $250 loss limit. Well, we know that during a session you will
    have large swings from time to time and many times you may exceed
    some loss limit like the $250. How do you know, at this point, that you
    want come back to double or triple your money for the session? You don't
    and this type limititation can't possiblity be in your best interest. The same
    is true for win goals. When you frame your playing time with limits you
    are making sure that you will always be a long time loser.................

    Ray

    Yes, true, but I'm not talking about time or loss limits. However, you have to play with a large bankroll and have your average bet a small fraction of that bank. You set the bets such that the average bet it comes to be around 0.05% of your bank. Play like that and you will never reach any Vegas top table limits.

    Ray, if you have an hour or a shoe of play where the house has 5% edge on W/L ration after all the doubling downs, splits and BJs are counted in, you cannot possibly beat that game with any positive progression or card counting for that matter. If you take for example Walter’s book and look on page number 31 and page number 38 and compare the results, you will discover that Walter’s system won ONLY in shoes where the W/L ration was even or the player won more hands than he lost. The same is valid for the card counter. See for yourself that when the counter won mostly when the W/L ratio was even or in player’s favor.

    Using Walter’s data, I run my system over and I won 90 shoes while losing in 12 for a total of $7340 profit. The data points from Walter's book is good for a heavy week of playing BJ full time. Walter’s lost money while winning 43 shoes and losing 59. The card counter lost money too, while winning 49 shoes, losing 49 shoes and making zero the rest.

    By the way, Walter’s data of 5000 hands was a very easy set to beat. The final house edge was only 2.54% after you count in all doublings, splits and BJs. In real live play I had weeks after weeks when the house enjoyed 5-6% edge on average and I still manage to make real good money. I had days when the house got to have 12-15% edge per 900-1000 hands on W/L ration. And that was after you count in all the DDs, SPs, and BJs, and I still made money for those horrifying sessions.
  • Hi! :) I'm Liezel, I'm a long time reader of the board but first time poster... was just wondering if after losing 5-6 different trip times with the Thomason progression, playing with optimally with quitpoints, basic strategy, & etc. if the cards are really just not in my favor even though I've been playing perfect basic startegy?

    I've lost a good amount of money already and dont want this continue so now I'm forced to lower my base amount in half. What should I do?
    Help me!!
  • Hi Liezel,

    Unfortunately, no progression will turn the odds in your favor. It may seem like it at times but over the long run, it's the same as flat betting. Despite what others may think.

    Leon
  • Ok, does anyone else have any suggestions for me? Any other tips?
  • hi liezel-
    sounds to me like you've just been having a run of real bad luck if you've been playing using b.s.,Walters' progression with quit points, etc.
    some might suggest you try this for awhile 'til your luck changes anyway:when and if your session bankroll is up 50% get up and walk out of the casino immediately!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    best of luck to you!
    prog
  • Liezel, I feel your pain being down nearly $10,000 myself this year using perfect basic strategy and various progressions and/or flat betting. For now, since I'm limited to shoe games, I'm just hoping that the cards turn in my favor. If not, the question for me is, when do I walk away and chalk it up to experience?
  • Liezel,

    Have you ever consider taking up golf?
  • wds_42 said:
    Liezel,

    Have you ever consider taking up golf?


    One is just as expensive as he other and I've rarely gotten a free drink, meal, or room from a golf course. Come to think of it, I've never doubled down on a birdie either. :wink:
  • Yeah, but you get to ruin a nice walk :)
  • haha you guys funny
  • I seriously doubt that you have a 2% advantage when you play cards but if you do. You will be able to keep winning for ever as long as you have a big enough bankroll time will only increase it! With average play the house usually has a 2% advantage over you that is why the houses bankroll continues to grow. I don't know of any programs out there that will caculate a players advantage long term including any mistakes the player might make. If you play too long with a 2% advantage over the house the house will catch on and not let you play blackjack. There fore I think that it is a balancing act but I wouldn't play for over an hour if I where you.
  • You said that you count cards and have a 2% advantage over the casino so why don't you get up in the middle of the shoe after a round where you have seen a lot of aces and tens pop if I see more than 5 aces pop in a round I'm gone. If you are really suffisticated counter you no when there is a negative count that is the only time that you should quit or at least take a break untill there is a new shoe. How much you are winning or losing should have nothing to do with when you should quit.
  • To shed some light on the futility of quit points, try to answer this riddle:

    You and your friend work in the same office and decide that you'll bet on the flip a coin every afternoon during your coffee break. You'll play for one dollar per flip -- even money. You can quit anytime you want -- be it after the very first flip, or when your twenty minute coffee break is over. Being a staunch believer in quit points, you decide that you'll quit anytime you get one bet ahead for the day, then come back again tomorrow as another 50-50 shot with the same game plan in mind. It can be mathematically demonstrated that using this "money management" technique, you'll be a winner on roughly 80% of your coffee breaks. The question is, what will be your financial status at the end of a 20 year career?
  • At the end of your 20 year career you will be with in a few dollars of where you started you might even break even!!!
  • Renzey said:
    To shed some light on the futility of quit points, try to answer this riddle:

    You and your friend work in the same office and decide that you'll bet on the flip a coin every afternoon during your coffee break. You'll play for one dollar per flip -- even money. You can quit anytime you want -- be it after the very first flip, or when your twenty minute coffee break is over. Being a staunch believer in quit points, you decide that you'll quit anytime you get one bet ahead for the day, then come back again tomorrow as another 50-50 shot with the same game plan in mind. It can be mathematically demonstrated that using this "money management" technique, you'll be a winner on roughly 80% of your coffee breaks. The question is, what will be your financial status at the end of a 20 year career?

    please sir provide the correct answer to this riddle with how you get the answer. i am extremely interested in knowing and understanding the result and how you get it.

    best regards,
    mr fr0g
  • Renzey said:
    To shed some light on the futility of quit points, try to answer this riddle:

    You and your friend work in the same office and decide that you'll bet on the flip a coin every afternoon during your coffee break. You'll play for one dollar per flip -- even money. You can quit anytime you want -- be it after the very first flip, or when your twenty minute coffee break is over. Being a staunch believer in quit points, you decide that you'll quit anytime you get one bet ahead for the day, then come back again tomorrow as another 50-50 shot with the same game plan in mind. It can be mathematically demonstrated that using this "money management" technique, you'll be a winner on roughly 80% of your coffee breaks. The question is, what will be your financial status at the end of a 20 year career?

    please would someone post the math for this riddle. i'm very, very interested in this particular scenerio but don't have the probability math skills.
    would be very, very much appreciated!
  • sagefr0g said:
    please would someone post the math for this riddle. i'm very, very interested in this particular scenerio but don't have the probability math skills.
    would be very, very much appreciated!


    The math is quite simple. Expected result = Number of events times Advantage of each event. The advantage is zero. Therefore, the expected result is zero no matter what number of events.
  • QFIT said:
    The math is quite simple. Expected result = Number of events times Advantage of each event. The advantage is zero. Therefore, the expected result is zero no matter what number of events.


    thank you very much sir.
    learned something here!

    best regards,
    mr fr0g
  • A graphic illustration of quit points and why they have no meaning.

    Suppose we take Renzey's suggestion and only quit when we are up +1 unit.

    500 million flips: (hypothetical)

    L-1
    w E
    L-1
    w E
    L-1
    W E
    L-1
    W E
    W+1 (quit up +1 1st day)

    Second day starts next day or one nanosecond after the last flip, does not matter when you start.

    L E (back to even)
    L-1
    W E
    L-1
    W E
    W+1 quit up one (two day result)

    Third day starts ten years later or we just continue with day two.

    L E
    L-1
    W E
    L-1
    W E (499,000,000 flips later we are even)
    W +1 or if it were L it would be -1 at 500,000,000 flips (somewhat idealistic)

    What does this illustrate?

    - It does not matter when you quit or start. Everything is just one big long session.
    - When there is Zero bias, there is zero expectation (50/50 odds, what is possible for heads is equally possible for tails)

    - This logic applies to blackjack, but there is an expectation to consider because there will be some bias).
  • There is a danger with quit points in Blackjack for counters. See

    http://www.advantageplayer.com/blackjack/forums/bj-main/webbbs.cgi?read=18995
  • this also leads to many mis-statements that are then taken as fact to draw a conclusion that is dead wrong.

    "I win money in 75% of the sessions I play, my system is a proven winner..."

    Ever heard that one before? :)

    The small detail that he loses more money in those N losing sessions than he wins in those 3*N winning sessions is omitted... and everyone knows 75% is bigger than 25%, right?

    The best way to understand this effect is to generate a long string of characters chosen randomly from the set {a, b, c}. a=win, b=even, c=loss. Use a good PRNG that produces about the same number of a's, b's and c's. Then take that string and look at it carefully and see how many "groups" of consecutive a's you can find, or groups of consecutive b's or c's... And you will realize that even though you end up dead even at the end, you had many long losing and winning streaks. And were you to base a conclusion on one of those streaks, the conclusion would be completely wrong. Forget about "sessions" in terms of winning or losing or stop-loss points... A session is just a playing session where you start when you want, and stop when you want to or have to... and the result at the end means nothing.

    And I'm not talking to Norm on this, he knows that... quit-points are simply voodoo, with one exception... if you have a fixed budget, and a fixed time to play, say 700 bucks and 7 days of playing, you should stop after losing 100 bucks to be sure you will have money to play the next day, if that is a goal...
  • I am not surprised at that result. For the last ten years I have been mostly a session player (day job demands). Time constraints can have a negative effect on your score. Runs happen (winning in chunks) and artificial or unwanted quit requirements makes me believe that trips is a better approach to this game.
  • Sage -- I thought there were many good replies here as to why quitting as soon as you get ahead is no help. I particularly liked Norm's -- concise, definitive and to the point.

    Perhaps a down-to-earth way to view it is this: In this 50-50 game, if you were to quit as soon as you got either one bet ahead, or one bet behind, then all your sessions would last just one flip and you'd win 50% of those sessions.
    But if your stop-loss point was three losses, then you'd win 75% of your sessions. And if you were willing to sustain losses beyond three in a session while still quitting as soon as you got ahead, your session win rate percentage would shoot up into the 80's.
    So here, you can basically choose your session win rate. But through it all, there's still one thing you can't get away from -- You're still going to end up winning half your flips! And where does that put you? You'll have a very high percentage of one-unit-winning-sessions, along with very few nasty beatings where you just couldn't get close.

    When we gamble, it's human nature to measue our progress by the day. That gives us psychological closure. But our pocketbooks can't feel where one day ends and the next day begins. To our money and the coin, it's just the next flip. When you quit to lock up a guaranteed winner, you're only stopping to admire your progress at a hand chosen, favorable interval, but you're not altering that progress. It's like driving down a long road to an ultimate destination. You can nearly always choose to stop and rest on a hill rather than in a valley. But that road is still going to the same place!
  • That road analogy was one of the best I've read, for the non-mathematically inclined reader. Hits the point dead square on the head...
  • Nice thing about riding in a car is that you see the future through the windshield. Unfortunately playing BJ is like sitting backwards in a car. You can see the past; but not the future.
  • QFIT said:
    Unfortunately playing BJ is like sitting backwards in a car. You can see the past; but not the future.


    That reminds me of the old joke:

    "An actuary, an underwriter, and an insurance salesperson are riding in a car. The salesperson has his foot on the gas, the underwriter has his foot on the brake, and the actuary is looking out the back window telling them where to go."

    -Sonny-

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