Bank Requirement
  • Hello All-
    I've always played basic strategy with a positive progressive betting system-my session bank has always been 40 x my minimum bet. $5.oo table-$200.00 bank-simple.

    Question: I'm now gettting into the area of counting-using Fred Renzeys' kissIII count-if I'm doing a 1-10 spread how much should my session money be? Minimum amount? Preferred amount?
  • Prog - For a four hour session with a $5 unit, you need about $500-$600 to cover that 1:10 spread. Why not play double deck where you only need a 1:4 spread?

  • grift-
    so if I play double deck is my session bank requirement essentially half of what the bank requirement would be for a 6 decker shoe game?

    what rule changes are there in double deck? if you bust do you turn your cards over right away? if you have a blackjack do you turn it over right away? is the basic strategy the same as for a shoe game?

    I understand there's also a difference in terms of being allowed to split or double down-true?
  • Prog - There is no "one size fits all" when it comes to double deck. Check the rules for the game in your area. Yes, when you bust you toss in your cards (face up). Yes, when you have a BJ, you show it. Most places will only let you use one hand on the cards. See if they hit or stand on a soft 17 and just what their rules are, before you play. Luck-2-U
  • Prog - I would use $350-$400 for $5 DD......There are eight changes to basic strategy. Check the good websites, or let me know and I will send them to you.

  • I also usually have $300 to $500 per session on DD but I can't remember ever finding a $5 table. My favorite Indian joint had $10 mins last year, then changed to $15. I think I saw $5 tables at Fitzgeralds downtown vegas last July.
  • Any thought on dahl bankroll requirement? If you have 5k you can play Black chips. This is the bankroll guide I use. I think it highly improbable for a single player to accumulate 70k. Most solo card counters players will not get to big chip play.

  • I will play devil's advocate here.

    If you use a 1-10 spread, with a unit of $5, that means your max bet will be $50. If you have a BR of $500, you can sustain 10 max bet losses before ruin. Now the question to ask is "have you ever sat down at a table and lost 10 consecutive hands even when the count is high?" I have.

    I have seen several "pro counters" suggest that your bankroll (not necessarily a session BR but the BR you take for (say) a weekend of playing) should be 100 "big bets". I've never done that myself, but then again I have played _many_ times where I had $500 to play with and playing any sort of decent spread (1-12 is typical for big shoe games for me) resulted in a fairly quick "ruin" and retirement for the night.

    A good test is to get a decent piece of computer software to play blackjack, one that does periodic shuffles like a real casino, and then play it. Since it is funny money, use $1 as your basic unit, and play a few sessions to see how much money you need to handle those bad streaks that will happen. Obviously if you go bankrupt ona losing streak, you never get to "catch up" as will usually happen over a long session. My last trip to vegas saw me play with $1000 for my bankroll. I lost 1/2 of that the very first night, using a normal high-low counting strategy. Problem was that even with a TC of +10, if there are more than 10 cards left, there are still some little ones left to throw a monkey-wrench into the action. :)

    I should note that I was really spreading about 1:8... more seemed to draw too much attention. In Vegas finding a $5 table was not easy (found a couple at the Tropicana and some at the downtown casinos. On the strip it seemed to be $10 in the afternoon, going to $15-$25 minimums at night. Playing on a $25 table with $1000 would likely bust out before your seat gets warm if the count goes up.

    So 100X your small bet seems (to me) to be too low. 100X your big bet could be a lot of money. The truth probably lies somewhere in between. There are computer programs around that you can use to calculate your "risk of ruin" probability for a given bet spread and bankroll. I've not used one but it probably would be worthwhile.
  • Dr HiLo - The "Pro's" that told you 100 big bets were either pulling your leg or they weren't pro's. I have made hundreds of weekend LV trips over the past 35 years and never used a bankroll of over 200 average bets.

    I will stand by the numbers I recommended to Prog.

  • A very good introduction to this problem is "post #51 by Sage" and
    several responses thereafter(so I don't write a book). Use that as a
    guide, then like Grif has indicated, hone it with your personal experience.

  • I suppose the first question I should ask is this:

    (a) 100 small bets. = $500.00. I personally busted out with $500 on a $5 table at the Tropicana in Vegas this past June. Sometimes bad things happen. For example, I had the following happen:

    True Count at +11. Dealt two 7's, dealer had a 6 up. Split the 7's. First 7 got a four, I doubled, now have two big bets on that hand. Got an ace for total=12. Second 7 got another 7 so I split to a third hand. Second hand got a 3, doubled that hand and got a second 3. Total = 13 with two big bets on that hand. Third 7 got yet another seven, split for the fourth(!) time. Third 7 then got a 3 (or 4 I really don't remember) but after doubling I got another small card. Fourth hand got a 2, for 9, which I promptly doubled again. Total of 8 big bets out. Dealer flipped over his hole card which was a 5, draw a 10, and sucked 8 big bets off the table at once.

    Now agreed, that has only happened to me 4-5 times total in playing, and I didn't lose all 4 hands every time, most were probably at least partial winners if not all, but in one hand I was down 8 big bets. If I had only 100 small bets, and was spreading 1-10, on a $5 table, that turns into an instant $200 loss.

    So, IMHO, 100 small bets seems too small _if_ you are using a 1-10 spread on a multi-deck shoe. I could be wrong, obviously, and should ask some of the real stats gurus (say on what would be an appropriate BR for the above scenario to have an acceptable risk of ruin.

    (b) if 100 small bets is too small (IMHO) then your idea of 200 average bets deserves some analysis. I really don't know what the average bet would be on a $5 table with 1-10 spread on betting based on TC. Clearly if this were a "team effort" then the "average bet" would be the same as my "big" bet most likely, as the gorilla would really only jump in on a good count and drop a big bet rather than varying by the count and getting caught. So on that end of things, your 200 average bets would be bigger than my 100 big bets.

    So back to reality of a single player trying to win some money. On a small dollar table, we are talking 5$ small, 50$ large (on 8 deck probably make that $60 large). $500 seems like it has too great a risk of ruin based on my getting ruined at that exact level in June (I had 2x that so I really was not ruined and eventually ended up for the week, but had I only had $500 I would have gone home broke for that trip). So $500 seems to be too low, you are saying the $5000 is too high which it probably is for the casual player) so where does that leave us? If your average bet is $10, then you are talking $2000 which is not that far from the $5000 I have heard pros write about. If your average bet goes up with a couple of "good shoes" to $20, then you are talking $4000 which is very close to that $5000.

    Note that I won't claim to be an expert here. I have gone to a casino with $100 just ot have fun, and have played all night without busting out and leaving broke. I have also gone with $100 and been broke after 15 minutes.

    And note that I am not at all saying you are wrong. I'm just giving a bit of perspective as to what _can_ happen on the BJ tables. Counting wins over the long haul, but I have personally seen it lose for a solid week, every night, on occasion. I have heard of 3 month slumps but fortunately have never experienced one of those.

    I suppose a lot has to do with your particular betting schedule based on the TC also, ie how quickly do you ramp up. I will add that I _never_ go from 1 to 10 betting units on a single hand as some do, so I am probably a bit more conservative in my betting and yet I have still gotten burned a few times. And yes I realize that by ramping rather than jumping my bets, I am missing out on a bit of advantage, but at least I can still _play_ in the casinos I visit often. There is one in Las Vegas where I didn't ramp and got rammed as a result (rammed = banned) but I didn't really care and really did it to piss off a obnoxious dealer and pit boss.

    (that is another story for another time however).

    So, if you are happy with your BR, it probably works for you. I don't personally carry 100 big bets with me either. But there is that risk of ruin to consider...
  • check out Blackjack attack that has the best bankroll requirements for counters. Don suggest 400units overall and about half that for a weekend junket. However, most solo counters like Ian Anderson play with 1000unit+ overall bankroll.

  • I went back and looked at my old notes. It turns out that the Pro I mentioned said "50 big bets" not "100 big bets" So I was off by a factor of 2, and 50 big bets is probably fairly close to grifter's 200 average bets.

    So, at 56 years old, memory is the first thing to go.

    If anyone is interested ina real-life Uston story, let me know. I have one that is a bit embarassing but has to do with a face-to-face meeting a long time ago in Circus Circus in Vegas. :)
  • Yep.....that's about "right on" with my numbers.....(of course I'm 64 so I don't even remember what I wrote 30 minutes ago) :wink: .....G.
  • Grifter- Ain't you going to tell us about Kan? The math tells me that
    I need 1200 for an ave. session. However, reality/experience tells
    me it is 1600 based on the way I play. Which one do you think I
    follow? Different games, bet spread, wong or not, etc, all are personal
  • Another note. Grifter asked "why not play DD with a 1-4 spread." My answer is money usually. Uston might have been happy with $1000 betting units, or the MIT team, but I'm not. :) Last time on the coast the Beau only had one DD game running and it was a $100 table. 100-400 was outside the range I could stand there. I've played $100 tables before, but only with some careful planning to be sure I had a big enough BR to avoid an early ruin and exit.

    I did see a counter spread 1-12 on a DD game with zero heat, zero attention, and a profit of maybe $5000 over about 1/2 hour of playing with 1200 bets max. My son and I watched open-mouthed once as he split and doubled with a $1200 bit bet out. Almost $5000 on the table waiting for one blink from lady luck to break his streak. But he won both. I was more interested in his ability to spread 1-12 with no attention of any kind. I can't do that in a 6d game very easily...
  • DrHiLo - Actually that was more of a comment than a question, and money isn't the answer. There are plenty of $25 and under DD games in both LV and Laughlin.......But I do understand that everyone does not have access to these games partially because of money (travel costs).

  • Speaking of travel cost: US Air, American and Southwest all have
    deals that are hard to beat. I went from Louisville to Denver roundtrip
    for $140. I don't think this is city of region dependent. School started,
    vacations are over and there is no holiday close. Chk it out...........
  • I live in Birmingham Alabama now. A drive to the mississippi gulf coast casinos is a 5 hour drive. A drive to Philadelphia MS is more like 3 hours. Also Southwest has some really good air fares from Bham to vegas. Our trip this summer was 89.00 one way, 178 round trip, which was not bad, although we did make them a couple of months in advance as the really cheap rates sell out quickly. We stayed at the MGM Grand for 79 bucks a night as well. But taking a week trip is a once or twice a year deal for me, whereas the drive to one of the MS destinations actually makes a drive-gamble-drive home trip doable, particularly to the Philly MS casino.

    Only problem is that the BJ offerings are getting worse and worse. SD in MS is 6:5. And hit soft-17 is taking over the 6d games. I found one DD game at the Beau, 100 min, stand on all 17s, other usual split all pairs, split to 4x, DAS, DA2, etc still seem to be present. But the SD loses most of that in addition to the 6:5 nonsense. IE Double 10/11 only, no double after split, etc... at least in the one SD game I almost played. This is not meant to be a complete review of all MS casinos of course. Found a good DD game at the Imperial Palace with $5.00 mininum. Had a good two hour session that almost tripled my money there.

    Looks like SD has gone to hell in a handbasket it seems.. at least at the vegas casinos I visited this summer (Grand, Casear's, Bellagio, NYNY, Paris, Luxor, and probably another or two I forgot, plus the ones I have visited in MS. I actually like 2d just as well, but they are simply not as common.
  • DrHiLo - "I actually like 2d just as well, but they are simply not as common". I'm sure you are right about the avaiaibility off DD games in Mississippi, but I believe you have a misconception about Nevada. In Laughlin alone there are 66 double deck tables of $25 or less...very, very common. (and I didn't even try to count the ones in LV, Reno, etc).

    If you want a complete list, you can get a copy of CBJN online.

  • When I said "not as common" I probably was really thinking more of the MS casinos that I get to more frequently, although I don't really recall much DD activity on the Strip in Vegas although I could be mistaken. When I played at the Grand, for example, first task was to find empty tables with a minimum that fit my plans for the night. On the weekend, from 5pm to 2am, it was tough to find an empty seat at the BJ tables, except for the $100 minimum tables. I really payed more attention to what fit my minimum requirement, and the DD games were very rare at $25 and lower. They may have had more than I noticed but either at higher minimums or fully occupied.

    As far as laughlin goes, what can you tell me about the area? IE one nice point for Vegas (this is really missing on the MS gulf coast) is that there are lots of things to do besides sitting at a BJ table, which is important when my wife goes with me. She will play the slots, or occasionally at a $5 BJ table (BS only) but also likes to get out and do other things during the daytime hours. On the MS coast, you gamble, or you gamble, the ocean is not worth getting in (barrier islands make it dead calm on the actual coastline beach, etc).

    I've only been to Reno a couple of times, nothing recent, but nothing seems to approach the glitz and glamour of the Vegas area with shows, things to see, places to go, day trips to incredible geographic landmarks, etc...

    Also, when you mentioned "xxx DD tables available" are they typically alive and well? IE on a tuesday morning on the MS coast, 2/3 of the blackjack tables will be closed down, except for the few low-limit tables that are stuffed and the few high-limit tables that are open but empty.

    I generally find better offerings off the main beach road in Biloxi. The Imperial Palace and/or BoomTown as one example where you can actually find $5 tables (my son likes BJ but is way beyond conservative in his betting. :) )

    In Vegas I found similar things downtown, but older casinos with low ceilings and the like just wreck my eyes with all the smoke. Newer casinos with their cavern-like ceilings and good ventilation seem to be much better for my older eyes. In Vegas just going outside when it is 115 with a 25 knot wind plays havoc with me. Toss in the smoke and I nearly have to play blind. :)
  • Hilo, Phd - Just leavin' to play some Hold 'Em at the local casino. I think I can answer most of the above......Let me get back to you later.....Grif'
  • Thanks... BTW my wife has also wanted to take yet another trip to NYC and perhaps a side-trip to AC. Is AC worth a visit for the casinos? I hear nothing but negative comments about the BJ, and since I don't do slots and other table games, that would be an important detail. Anyone have any specific data? IE "the gamemaster" calls AC "pitiful" but I don't know how recent those comments are
  • I play in A.C. all the time. I don't see what's so bad about it. 3:2 BJ, DAS, DOA, S17 no CSMs. Most all the casinos use 8 decks, with 6 for higher limits. The Borgata only has 6D. I'm not sure about the differences in penetration between the casinos.
  • That doesn't sound bad for a 6d game. I think "the gamemaster" is really a 1d player. Since 1d has moved to 6:5 where I play, I gave up on it. 2d is the best "counter" deal I can find at present. I suspect that was the basis for his suggestion to save up and travel to reno/vegas rather than playing in AC, but sad to say, 1d in vegas seemed to be 6:5 whereever I tried..
  • DocHiLo –

    Re LV Double Deck: There are plenty of DD games, but not under the “ideal” conditions and playing times you are personally looking for. Four or five of the big glitter palaces on the Strip with the high ceilings and ventilation you are talking about have excellent $25 DD games on the late graveyard and early day shift; but you won’t find them starting at 5:00 p.m………..Personally, I don’t recommend playing at that time of day anyway. Too many newbies/ploppies/drunks/whatever. I have always played between about 3:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m……….Both the Strip and Downtown have plenty of other stores that offer DD, but you will have to put up with the older, “smoke-filled” rooms. The games are there, Doc, you just have to “choose your poison”.

    Re Laughlin: Just let me “ramble”…. It is not LV…..It is not even close……If you want glitz and glamour, stick with Vegas…….You will not find the super hotels and restaurants like Bellagio and Caesars….That said, here ya’ go:
    - Casinos are medium size with fair to very good hotels and restaurants.
    - It is a gambling town, not a party town…..There is decent entertainment, but not the “A” acts you will find on the LV Strip.
    - Less traffic, less crowded, less expensive, slower paced.
    - I would guess the average age to be about 20 years higher than LV. An ol’ fart like you should feel very “comfortable” (this even older fart does).
    - Comps are easy to get with just moderate play.
    - Other activities….It’s on the Colorado River so there is boating, fishing, jet-sking, parasailing, day trips, etc…….Once a year there is a Harley rally if you want to ride your “Hawg”.

    That’s just a quick overview…..Send me a PM with questions if you want nitty-gritty.


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