Betting a dollar to protect the penny
  • A person who seriously wants to be a winning blackjack player may find no helpful hints in blackjack books. Anybody that reads a book on blackjack and expecting that for the price he pays, the author is going to teach them how to win, is an outright sucker. There are none BJ books on the market that teach you how to make money in this game. Not a single one. If you bet by the count or by any progression whatsoever you will lose. You will definitely lose no matter how you slice it. Yes, computer sims show an edge over the long run but you will not win following the computer strategy. If you take all the BJ book put all together you will not find any useful advice how to make money in this game. Don’t delude yourself that by using a advanced card counting system or any sophisticated progression you will make money in this game. Making money in BJ or betting/playing scientifically are like day and night. They don’t go together well.

    As long as you bet a dollar to protect a penny you will lose even if your dollar is posted during high positive counts.
  • I wonder if the MIT guys are reading your comments??? I just got back from LV and am happy to report I did win. My husband and I brought back all of our traveller's cheque and a mittful of American currency. We have enough for our next trip in April plus enough to hit the blackjack tables for another three days and nights!
  • Relax. Alexd30 also probably believes we did not land on the moon, that it was all done in the desert with cameras and actors. To say that statistics "will not work" is actually funny enough to repeat a few times. :)

    I agree with his "progressions will not work". That includes _his_ progression also, of course. But counting does work when the game is "fair". (IE MindPlay could make it unfair,
    obviously, as could a counting dealer that shuffles-up when the count passes some threshold, and uses deep penetration when it is negative.)

    I think the reason most lose is that most simply don't practice even BS correctly most of the time. In playing in Vegas for a week, I don't think I played at the same table with more than a half-dozen players that followed BS 99% of the time, and yes, this does factor in BS modifications based on the count although not everyone uses Hi-Lo which might confuse things even though they should probably be "pretty close" to what I am doing. IE if I have a 12 vs a dealer 4, BS says stand, modified BS says hit if count below "x". But it certainly would never say hit if count is at +6 (hilo) so such a hit can't be right for any type of BS/counter player.

    Before I learned to count, I learned _perfect_ BS which is not hard to do with places like ace-ten and hitorstand.com that offer good "drilling tutorials". And I could take a couple of hundred dollars and play 6 hours per night for three nights and not go broke at $5 tables. Just a few variations off from BS and that bankroll dies quickly. IE at 100 hands per hour, $5 per hand, for 18 hours, you'd lose some $450 over that period of time. I have no idea how many bad decisions you have to make during an hour to change the house edge from .5% to 5.0%, but something tells me it doesn't take that many.

    So BS loses (slowly). Progressions lose (slowly or quickly depending on luck). Counting loses at times, but not over the long-term. If you ask any counter, and I am one although I have only done this for right at 4 years now, any will tell you "It works, but it is not steady income as there are losing streaks even when you count." When someone says counting doesn't work, they are saying "probability theory and statistics don't work" and that is pure hokum. Most often self-serving "hokum" as only _their_ system will guarantee you a winning edge, if you buy it from them. We all know who wins and who loses in that transaction. :)
  • Very well said, Doc.
  • Great post, Doc
  • I am lost. Are you not the person that said repeatedly "counters can't win"???
  • Dr HiLo said:
    I am lost. Are you not the person that said repeatedly "counters can't win"???


    Yes, I am Alex, but read this first on BJ21.com "RC of 52 yesterday on 6D..." and let us know what is your oppinion

    Click ======> http://www.bj21.com/boards/free/free_board/index.cgi?read=138927


    Anyway, I have another way to play this game and I always win. I never lose.
  • I had already read that. It happens. I have had losing streaks with big plus counts, winning streaks with small negative counts, and everywhere in between.

    But "streaks" don't matter. It is the long-term advantage or disadvantage that counts. And unless the central limit theorem (the foundation of statistics) is wrong, the long-term outlook for a counter that plays reasonably accurately (not perfectly although that is even better) is still positive.

    I pointed out (in a different forum about computer chess) last week that I took 4 pennies from my pocket, and tossed each 4 times. One of those pennies will never produce anything but a "head". How do I know, because for four out of four samples, it produced a head. And I extrapolate that trend will continue forever.

    Of course that is ridiculous. Just as ridiculous as someone losing 130 betting units on a running count of +52. But counting is not a guaranteed win hand by hand. It is a guaranteed win over the long haul... It can even win over the short-term pretty effectively but discovery becomes a very real possibility if you want to spread your bets 1-50 or 1-100 to really improve your advantage.

    My advice here is to ignore streaks, pay attention to the probability estimates, and play for the long-term advantage even if the short term fluctuations cause a bit of short-term pain...

    Again, you are making an evaluation based on a single short-term observation of results, without considering the long-term probability picture... That is why there are not as many counters as people that have tried counting but gave up. A bad short-term swing causes them to give up. Yet when you think about it, 1/3 (very rough number but ok here for discussion) will have a good first outing, 1/3 will have an ok first outing and 1/3 will lose on their first counting outing. Yet if all stick with it and practice the art correctly, _all_ will do well over the long-term. If they are in it for a get-rich-quick scheme like most of the "my system of winning BJ" books, they will become disappointed, disillusioned, and quit.
  • I missed your last sentence about "you always win". Here is a simple challenge.

    I am going to repeatedly flip a coin. Your task is to define a betting scheme that will win no matter what happens. I don't believe you can do it. And flipping a coin gives you better odds than the BJ table if you don't count cards.

    So explain how you are going to bet and win, when the underlying process you are betting on has a random element to it. Such a scheme doesn't exist and it is why no progression methodology works. Counting is a different animal because it tracks unplayed card distribution and uses that information, something only a counter can do.

    So, tell me how you are going to win on my coint toss experiment _every time_ as you claimed???
  • No, he was betting a max of 12 units. Betting max starting from a +5 while the count keep climbing all the way to +52. He lost 130 units. Obviously if you bet big during high counts while riding a losing streak you will lose huge. He lost 33% of the bankroll in a single shoe.

    Is that the way you suppose to play this game? - If you answer YES than you are for a ride and don't expect to make any serious money in this game.
  • Dr HiLo said:
    I missed your last sentence about "you always win". Here is a simple challenge.

    I am going to repeatedly flip a coin. Your task is to define a betting scheme that will win no matter what happens. I don't believe you can do it. And flipping a coin gives you better odds than the BJ table if you don't count cards.

    So explain how you are going to bet and win, when the underlying process you are betting on has a random element to it. Such a scheme doesn't exist and it is why no progression methodology works. Counting is a different animal because it tracks unplayed card distribution and uses that information, something only a counter can do.

    So, tell me how you are going to win on my coint toss experiment _every time_ as you claimed???


    If casino doesn't get more than 17% edge I always win. If you get to flip coin 100 times and if you cannot pull more that 17% "heads", I will always win if I bet "tails" and I will win HUGE if I bet "heads"
  • No, he was betting a max of 12 units. Betting max starting from a +5 while the count keep climbing all the way to +52. He lost 130 units. Obviously if you bet big during high counts while riding a losing streak you will lose huge. He lost 33% of the bankroll in a single shoe.


    If I recall he said he was spreading 1-15 on two hands.

    Is that the way you suppose to play this game? - If you answer YES than you are for a ride and don't expect to make any serious money in this game.


    Do your coin tosses always alternate 50-50 or do you see streaks?

    Streaks are part of it. You have to get over the valleys to reach the peaks. The average will always be greater than zero over the long term.

    I'll take you up on the coin toss whenever you want. You make a bet, I get 1% of it, you call the coin toss and if you are right I pay you your original 99% plus I match it one for one. IE there is a 1% "overhead" so that on a fair coin, I expect to break even with you on bets, and win 1% of the "action". You said you can beat me if my take is way above 1%. I can prove statistically and via real experiment that you can't. There is _no_ way to win the above match unless you can influence the coin. And since it is my coin, and since it will be a "fair" coin, the probability of heads or tails will be a true .50.

    You seem to think there willl be a "pattern" you can expliot. There isn't.

    Claiming there is would make any probability specialist roll over laughing.


    If you always bet tails you are going to lose 50% of your bets. If you always bet heads you are going to lose 50% of your gets. Only way you can win is by placing a big bet when you win or a small bet when you lose. But luck won't hold over the long term and you are back to 50-50 and I happily walk away with my 1% no matter what you do.

    I fail to see why this is so hard to understand.
  • Alex-We thought you were going so fast that you got lost in the fog.
    Nothings changed: If you don't control the bet you lose. Control it and
    you may win or lose gas money, but only if you have the patience of Job.
    Playing 5-10 tables with nit-wits and a gabby dealer is like watching paint
    dry.

    It's plain to see that with a choppy game your method will win money.
    However, what happens in actual play is related to the natural ouccurances
    or the probabilities. Games are only somewhat choppy, never completely
    choppy and there-in lies the rub. The dealer has a greater probability to
    win 2,3,4 in a row than you do. These min-streaks will occur more often
    for the dealer than for you. This means that you are always losing at a
    higher bet and for longer periods. When your winning streaks occur, you
    are winning at the lower bets for shorter periods. There is no possible way
    around this problem.


    Ray
  • I don't follow the concept of "if the game is choppy your method will win money." The +only+ way to win money is to predict what will happen in the future, which is why counting works. It doesn't matter whether the game is choppy or streaky, any sort of progression will lose _unless_ you assume there is a predictable pattern you can take advantage of. In BJ there is no such pattern long-term. I've seen wins flip back and forth between me and the dealer, I have seen long streaks of wins or losses. And everything in between. And counting has given me the only way to predict the future by knowing the composition of the remaining deck(s) yet to be played, based on what has already been played as measured by counting.

    Next thing someone will claim is that it is possible to stick pins in a voodoo doll of the dealer and influence the cards he deals to you.

    Probability is not based on a "hunch" or whatever. I'm waiting to start the coin flip challenge. Let's use pseudo-bets of 1-100$ so he can spread whatever he wants. He places a bet, I'll extract my 1% "tax" and then he calls heads or tails. I'll flip the coin. If he is correct, he gets his bet back paid 1 to 1. If he is wrong, I get his bet.

    Over the long run he is going to lose .01 * average bet * number of cycles this is done. There is no way to do better. Otherwise he would go to the roulette wheel, bet on red or black, which has a house edge of 5.28%, and he would take them to the cleaners. He can't, and he doesn't, so there is really no need to test this "system" when you think about it. Supposedly he can beat an edge of 10%, so he should be able to wreck most any game in a casino.
  • HiLo- You may have not seen some early post......If you can't find one
    that explains the Alex method I'll try to explain.....Ray
  • Consider a starting bet of $5: If I lose i'll inc up by $5...down by $5
    if I win.

    Example:(a slight variation, but the same principal)

    L 5 5 The second number is a running total of where you stand
    L10 15
    W15 0
    L10 10
    W15 -5
    L10 5
    W15 -10
    L10 0
    W15 -15
    L10 -5

    Win $5 while losing 6 and only winning 4(a choppy game)
    Any minus number is a win
    Ray
  • I saw a lot of his explanations, but they seemed to change from day to day as someone would punch a hole in his analysis.

    Your above game is not "choppy". It is almost a perfect pattern.

    I define choppy as a game where the wins/losses occur in streaks of 4-5 or less, although W-L-W-L-W-L is not very common. I define streaky as a game where the streaks are 5+ rounds long.

    But the underlying principle of the game must still be based on random behavior, which card games are. IE in your example you gave, there are 6 losses and 4 wins. It isn't hard to come up with a betting scheme that will look good for a particular set of wins/losses. Blackjack doesn't tend to stay in an alternating pattern very long at all. A series of losses becomes murder since you keep ramping up the bet, but not in a Martengale progression that will either win or run into the table limit and lose. IE I see as many or more streaks than alternating W-L results. And I don't see how this scheme is going to handle that.

    IE it has to handle random distributions of wins and losses that come in blackjack hands...

    Why not just test this on Roulette?
  • HiLo- I'm with you, but let me tell you that the reasons that this
    method fails is far more complex than meets the eye. The first
    thing to consider is the bet. It can and will get out of control to
    the point that the average dude can't respond. You can test this
    thing with many streak configurations and unless they are many
    and cause the bet to go out of control it will still work up to a point.
    It comes down to the fact that no program can out guess the unknown
    and I believe that is the crux of your argument. Correct?

    Ray
  • Ray said:
    HiLo- I'm with you, but let me tell you that the reasons that this
    method fails is far more complex than meets the eye. The first
    thing to consider is the bet. It can and will get out of control to
    the point that the average dude can't respond. You can test this
    thing with many streak configurations and unless they are many
    and cause the bet to go out of control it will still work up to a point.
    It comes down to the fact that no program can out guess the unknown
    and I believe that is the crux of your argument. Correct?

    Ray

    Ray, I don’t want to argue and have contradictions on this issue again because I know in real live game my method works. I understand all the nuances of the game and I understand what you are saying, but the reality is that the house cannot sustain an edge big enough over the player for long periods of time. The worst what could happen is to grind small profits but most of the time you will win big. When I say "big" I mean an average income of $100 per hour while playing at the $5 minimum table.

    The house has got to maintain a constant edge of 17% or more for long periods of time for me to lose. We all know, this is not happening in this game. I don’t know about your experience but I never encounter a house edge of more than 17% for the long run. As soon as the house edge drops under 17% I start climbing out from the hole and get myself into the positive $ again. Anything less than 17% house edge I make money and you know this is the case if one use my system. There is no way mathematically possible for the house to beat me if they cannot sustain an edge of over 17% for long periods of time so that I run out of money. The 17% is the breaking even point and you know it. If the house edge is going to be more than 17% I get into the hole and as the game balance out and converge to -0.5% I gradually cone out and start winning. The simulations shows that and so does the real live games. Starting from any positive advantage all the way down to 17% against I create a lock over the game. At 17% I break even, if more that 17% I start sliding down but not for long because we all know how it goes. It eventually will get to turn from that horrendous 17% against the player and when that happens I start making money as long as I have the bankroll.

    Now, since the summer when I start posting about this method till today I never bet more that 500 per hand. I was never more that 1500 in the hole. I’ve been in 1200 hole a couple times but not for long.

    I know what you are afraid of, Ray. You are afraid that you may go down to –1500 while betting 300-500 and from that point you will still sliding down compounding the hole. You are afraid of compounding the hole, Ray. Is that so? Well, that never happen Ray, because don’t forget how you got into the –1500 hole in the first place starting from $5. The house edge would have to be way over 17% for that to happen, and even if does you only need 3-4 bets to break even from any hole at any time.

    The bottom line is that any game, including coin flipping, in which the house has 17% or less edge is a money making with my method.

    I'm going to sleep now. Is 6:00AM here in Vegas and I am intoxicated of BJ all night. I still have to put 16 hours of play and I'm done for the week.
  • Ray:

    First, you are correct that I believe it is impossible to predict a future event if it is really random, with the one exception of counting cards. Because a hand of BJ is not really random (except for the first hand from a new deal) but is dependent on past hands because they removed cards from the deck that can't be used in the future.

    Yes, a progressive scheme has problems with streaks, What is the longest streak I've seen? I really don't remember, but I am certain it has been _way_ over 20 hands. IE where I lost 20+ in a row playing perfect BS (before I started counting so it was just pure BS). If you only increment by 5, that will hardly run the bet beyond something pretty normal like $105 if you started at $5. The problem is that to get there you have lost 5 + 10 + 15 + ... which turns into big money (2100 if a quick mental count works). After such a streak, it is not likely that you will get another opposite streak immediately so that you are going to be down for a long while, if you aren't already ruined.

    So my point remains, if an event can not be predicted (and without counting BJ hands are simply random disconnected events) then no betting scheme can produce a long-term positive outcome. IE my coin-flipping test...
  • Alex..

    I'm not going to argue about the central limit theorem that serves as the basis for statistical theory, I'm not going to argue about random events, and I'm not going to argue about some cockamamie progression that supposedly overcomes a 17% edge. Hardly any casino game has that big an edge, so why don't you go mop up in a high-limit roulette, 3-card poker, let-it-ride or some other equally "lucrative to you game"???

    My test still stands. Place your first bet, and call heads or tails. I rake off 1% first, then flip the coin. If you win, you get 99 cents on the dollar given back to you. If you lose, I keep the entire bet, not just the 1%.

    What's your first bet and do you want heads or tails...

    Your math is also faulty. You mention starting at $5 and getting up to a bet of 500. If you progress by 5's, how many losses did it take to get you to 500? And the important point what is the _sum_ of all those losses. Got to be _way_ more than the 1500 you quote.

    But all the hand-waving aside, let's see you beat my coint toss 1% house take. If you want to use a $5 progression, 20 consecutive losses is going to cost you 2+ grand. If you use 10$, make that 4 grand. 20 losses in a row will happen. Even worse the 20 wins you expect at some point doesn't offset that.
  • Alex- The house doesn't need 17% to beat you. He can take you into
    never,never land with a much smaller percent. The .5 HA ups the dealer
    probabilities by several points and this fact will, over time, push the bet
    out of sight. If you win less than you lose, the natural evolution of the bet
    must be up. In the land of the mystics, streaks occur more often than
    they should and other such nonsense. Don't get lost in the fog..........
  • Too late. ;)
  • HiLo-Maybe so.......Have you tried Tunica....Good hotel rates and good
    shoe games.
  • I have not been to Tunica. I've been to the Philly area (two casinos I believe) and the coast. Tunica is a good drive from here, over back-roads (ie up highway 82 toward North Mississippi).

    The coast is pretty good, except for the skyrocket minimums on weekends. But stay off of highway 90 (ie over to the IP) and things are pretty decent.

    Of course single deck sucks with two straws, but that seems to be the case everywhere.
  • is it just me or does this alex guy talk too much???????

Howdy, Stranger!

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