Splitting 10 Value Cards
  • I have been playing at a site that has real players with play money. My question:

    A significant number of players split 10 value cards against dealer 5 or 6, this seems to be against basic strategy. Any comments as to what the advantage may be?
  • Grumpworth,
    I noticed you said play money........I doubt you will see any experienced players doing this with real cash. We have all seen this occur in a casino, and said indivuals are soon parted with their money. :cry: Why throw away the second best possible hand? There is no guarantee the dealer is holding a 10 under that 5 or 6. I guess if you thrive on extreem risk....splitting 10's is quite the thrill, but certainly not a way to increase your odds of winning at the table. :wink:
  • It could certainly increase the odds of finding yourself alone at the table!
  • PJ said:
    It could certainly increase the odds of finding yourself alone at the table!

    I believe that's why it's common place to do this in a tournament situation.

  • 1. Splitting 10's is bad unless you are counting, know your indices, and split at the right time. For example, using hi-lo, split 10s vs 5 at TC >= +5, 10s vs 6 at TC >= 4. The down-side is that this will often draw unwanted attention from the dealer and pit critters and/or the eye in the sky folks.

    2. Splitting 10's online is a bummer, since every online casino I have heard of shuffles after each hand. Since you can't count, there is never a situation where splitting 10's is good, except perhaps in a tournament where you need to get more money on the table in a late round and splitting is the only way to do it with the cards you have (ie doubling 20 is hardly ever a good play, although it can be in a few rare cases.

    Now, in a real casino, splitting 10's can be used as a weapon for a different reason, namely to get rid of an obnoxious player. For example, I was at an Indian casino a while back with a _really_ obnoxious player at 1st base. He played oddly (ie BS mistakes like not hitting 12 vs 2 and so forth) and was _really_ giving 3rd base a lot of grief for making playing mistakes. I was sitting at the table, counting along, minding my own business and I occasionally got grief from him for BS plays like doubling A-7 vs 3... But I tried to ignore him. Finally, a new person walks up to third base and splits 10's. He gets incensed as this particular case resulted in the cards falling bad for him and he lost where had 3rd base stood on 20, the dealer would have busted and he would have won. He went on and on while the dealer was dealing. I got two 10's, the dealer had a 6 up, and the TC was +3. One short of the necessary count (2d game) but I decided to split anyway. Guy sputtered. Girl next to me, a beginner with a fair amount of money (this was 25 buck min table) said "hey, you've been doing well. If you do that, I'm going to do it too." She split the 10's. 3rd base did as well. Complainer at 1st base sputtered, turned red, left saying "you guys aren't taking any more of _my_ money..." I expected a bit of heat for that, but the dealer was laughing, the pit boss was laughing, and comp'd us all a meal at the buffet (barfet). Cool way to get rid of jerks. :) bad way to get food at an indian casino. Won one, lost one. :)

    But online? Bad play unless it is a tournament, since everyone shuffles after each hand in online games...
  • Smooth move Dr. I have enjoyed nearly the same outcomes with persons with teeth in their sphincters. It becomes obvious in their tournament mentality. (Re: you [players] aren't gonna take any more of my money!]. Some of the more arrogant types also begin doing the unwise as retalliation. A case of Mutual Assured Bankroll Destruction follows. The dealer gets the last laugh, but no tips. Be careful, some of these type of folks seem a bit unstable.
  • There are several actions I use. Splitting 10's is a bit dangerous if you want to avoid attention, but it can work. You can also go to two hands every now and then (a counter might do this at a table with multiple players when the count is high to get more of the good cards dealt to him). But these obnoxious players have this "flow of the cards" nonsense firmly in mind, and continually going from 1 to 2 hands, or having a friend sit in, sit out, sit in, etc... really tends to tick 'em off as well. Best approach is to sit at 3rd and really play your index BS variations. IE stand on 15 vs 10 when the index says to, or hit 12 vs 4 or 5 when the -TC says to, etc. Those are the plays at 3rd that will really run off most obnoxious players...

    I personally don't care if someone plays BS wrong. All I ask of players at the table is to (a) be polite; (b) play at a reasonable speed (ie don't study a card for 30 seconds before _every_ playing decision). If the player plays BS wrong, or is a progression-better (doesn't work) or whatever, that doesn't bother me at all. If he wants to load up on chip remover, fine. If he wants to smoke, fine. I don't like smoke, but it is a free country so I respect his right to do what he wants. But please, please, keep the obnoxious behavior away. The game can be miserable when the cards fall wrong anyway, no need to make it more so by constant complaining and providing playing advice that is just wrong...
  • gorilla player: I've read your posts on other boards; good to see you here!
  • I've been here a good while, but when I originally tried, I signed up for G.P. and put an email address that was not quite working in, as we had slightly changed our email here at work and I got ahead of things. Now that our email got straightend out, I decided to try the GP handle again, and got it working...

    For the record, I've been counting about 4 years, I do have a Ph.D. (in computer science) and posted elsewhere very recently with my old handle. You can probably figure out who it was. :)

    I got the name from my wife back in June in Vegas, has nothing to do with the MIT team and the concept of a "gorilla player" that waits to be called in, bets big, doesn't count, and leaves when signaled.

    My wife and I were down at Caesar's in June, she had wanted to see the Celine show when she came off of her extended vacation (not sure how long she didn't perform but it seems like it was a month or longer based on online ticket sales). I usually play at $25 tables, but everything was full and I only had about 30-45 minutes to kill. My wife and I were walking by and saw an opening at a $100 min DD table. I headed toward it with my wife dragging backward desparately hanging on my right arm. She said "you noticed that this is a $100 min table?" A sign of things to come. I bought in for $500, and in about 10 minutes had doubled that. She was saying "let's go, you are $500 ahead." I looked at my watch, and said "10 more minutes." A reluctant "OK." Got real interesting here. Got 2 7's, dealer had a 6 up. I split, got a 3rd 7 and split again. Tight pressure on right upper arm due to wife's grip. $300 bucks in so far. Still working on first hand, got a 4, total=11, doubled, got an Ace. Pressure on arm getting stronger. Next hand (7 card remember) got a 2, doubled, got another 2. Now $500 on table, significant loss of circulation in right arm. :) Next hand got another 7, split again, got a 3 (total 10) and drew a 3 or 4. Not looking real good so far except for the dealer's up of 6. (BTW during this time the TC is at +8 and climbing with these small cards I am getting.) Final hand get another 3 and another 2, so I am sitting there with four hands at $200 each, totalling between 12 and 14 or so, losing feeling in my right hand due to wife's death grip on right arm, and we wait. After everyone else had played, dealer flips over a 5, total of 11. Looks like a disaster coming. Dealer draws an A for 12. (whew). Then a 10 for a bust, my wife shouts "color up" to the dealer. He looks at me questioningly. I say hurry up, I've lost all feeling in my right arm now...

    As we left, she said "you play like a gorilla when you get into one of these places." I said "you have a grip like a gorilla." We both laughed and it kind of stuck.

    Note that when we started that fateful round, the first deck was gone, the count was pretty neutral, so I had bet the min. As the cards were dealt, there were plenty of small cards coming out, although it was too late to influence my bet, but it didn't influence my doubling either since BS would have had me play the same for all four hands.

    That was a good result. I can think of a very similar case that happened later this year, where the dealer turned over a card to make 11, then drew a 10 and blew away all my doubled hands...

    My most profitable session ever came a couple of months back at a Biloxi casino. Had gone down to Mobile to get a part for my outboard motor from a big salvage yard down there. Son said "lets ride over to biloxi and play some BJ" since we finished way earlier than we had thought.

    We drove over and I found a decent DD game ($25 min, which was a bit risky for me that day as I had about $1000 on me totally (I had taken about $2000 in cash as the salvage yard only took cash and I didn't know what they were going to charge me for a Merc XR6 gearcase). In any case, I bought in for $500 and after 15 minutes I can't remember having lost a single hand, even though the count was never positive. I was playing with one other player, and had about doubled my buy-in flat-betting and playing BS. The guy next to me was flat-betting also, but he was betting a single black chip to my single green. Suddenly the count finally started climbing at when it was time to bet, the TC was at +4 and I casually doubled my bet to $50. This guy went from $100 to $800. I said to myself "Uh. Oh. Here comes heat" and I thought I would probably have to leave the table. No one noticed. For 4-5 hands, he continued to spread 1-8 to 1-12, with _no_ attention at all. I decided "what the heck". I was now holding about $2k of chips and started spreading 1-10. For whatever reasons, lady luck was smiling, and I probably won at least 75% of the hands played for a little over 3 hours, and I hardly ever lost when I had a big bet out ($200). When I left, I cashed in almost $10,000 worth of chips, giving me a one-session profit of $9500. Never had a day like that. Probably won't again either. Got a bit of grief from my wife however, as she didn't go with us. When I handed her the stack of $100 bills, she said "what is this? Hey, you two went to Biloxi didn't you?"

    That's enough of the story. :)

    In any case, you will have days like that. You will have days where it seems that the dealer has a vacuum cleaner stuck in your pile of chips also.

    Went back down there with my brother,his wife, my wife and sone, about a month ago, and bought in for $500 at that same limit table, and was cleaned out in about a half-hour. Son asked me to go to a shoe game at the IP with him (he's a big spender and wanted to play at a $5 table and the Beau/etc seem to drop to $10 as a lower bound except during weekdays maybe). We went over there and won a lot, but a lot of $5 chips makes it slow going to win any serious money. But he's happy when he leaves 2-300 bucks ahead for a night...

    I generally play once a month overall, it's 5 hours to the MS coast, 3 hours to Pearl River, the two places I play the most. We will occasionally drive over to Pearl River for a day trip and not even stay overnight, although they often give us a free room from my wife's player's card activity... My wife and I will hit Vegas once or twice a year if we can, although she wants to go to NY soon and has mentioned going over to AC. I've told here that everyone I have read has said the AC games suck... But we'll probably go. :)
  • Great reading Gorilla! I'm heade to the Beau this Sunday. Its two days agwayand I am already nervious. This will be my first time playing.
  • It's really a nice place. Only problem on weekends is that you will find $10 min tables and up. Maybe 1-2 $5 tables if you are lucky but they are mostly crowded. you can go out the front and follow the road across highway 90 to the Imperial Palace (you will pass by it on I110 as you go in to the Beau from I10, and there you will probably find $5 tables in quantity, if that is your preferred bet. If you want 2d, you are probably going to see $25 min at the Beau. You might find $10 at the IP with some luck, but more commonly it is also 25. If you haven't been to vegas, the BR will give you a good taste of what it is like out there. Plenty of players, lots of green/black chip players. A zillion slots bonging like mad, etc...

    My brother recommends BoomTown because of their strawberry shortcake on the buffet (I think it is on the buffet, am not 100% sure).

    Play accurately and have fun. If you haven't counted in a casino before, you might search for a $5 table, flat-bet and count a shoe or two to get warmed up. Or find a good DD game and stand behind it and count, although the way you count pitched games is a bit different...

    good luck and leave some chips for the rest of us to pick up later. :)

    Just noticed you said you are heading down Sunday. You will be there beyond the weekend, so you might find whatever limit table you want right in the Beau. I found a DD game there with good pen a few weeks back...
  • Thanks for the heads up!
    We were in Vegas the last of Sept. My wife and played some video bj at the Excalibur but that was about it. It was enough to hook me. I'm not up to counting yet, just BS. Hopefullly we will find some $5 tables next week.
  • Watch out for H17 vs S17 tables. If you are playing BS (or even if you are counting of course) S17 is better for you. You still have a negative EV, but it is about .2 better than the H17 tables... I noticed at the Beau that they have a mix. You have to look at the felt to see "Dealer must hit soft-17" or "Dealer must stand on 17 or more" (last wording is not exact, I don't pay attention to specific wording. : ) )

    You can find plenty of S17 tables, but you can also run into H17 if you are not careful... This subtle change to increase house hold seems to be on the increase...

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