IMPORTANT! Feedback Requested ASAP. Blackjack Tracking Site
  • Hey everyone. I am seriously considering starting a site that tracks local blackjack rules and playing conditions. I have already reserved the domain name, and have spent hours coming up with the general idea and graphic you will see below.

    What I need to know first of all is:


    If I do it, here are my main objectives:

    1. It will be 100% FREE.
    2. It will be easier to use (& look better) than Wong's publication &
    3. It will provide more information on local rules than any other site.
    4. It will be user supported with admin approval to prevent abuse.

    The basic idea is, if one person tries to keep track of local conditions all by himself, the site will be very limited. I want to create a site where registered users (free) can add, edit, delete, and verify local BJ rules for any casino anywhere. I would like to have an automatically updating database, but to prevent abuse, I think admin approval will be required before changes take effect.

    Once the information is in the database, anyone (user or not) will be able to search, sort, or list the database by ANY information they want. For example: Search for single deck games in Vegas with DOA and BJ that pays 3:2 (haha).

    There will also be a comments section for each casino where users can discuss the games there. And, one of my favorites, a field that will say when the local rules were last verified.

    Now, I am NOT a BJ expert! I do perfect BS with the KO system only. I just love the game. That is why I need your feedback. Members here such as Grifter have much more experience than me, and I need everyones help to make sure this site is useful.

    Here is an image of how I thought the info should be displayed. This is probably the most important aspect of the site. I WANTED ALL IMPORTANT INFORMATION OF EACH GAME TO BE DISPLAYED ON A SINGLE LINE FOR ONE CASINO. The main reason for this is to reduce clutter and to to make seach results as short as possible. At first, I tried to make the image fit for the 800x600 resolution, but it was impossible. I decided to make it compatible for 1024x768 WITHOUT scrolling sideways. 800x600 will be able to view, but will have to scroll left and right.

    THIS IMAGE IS ONLY AN EXAMPLE DRAFT. Some rules are crazy, I just did some copy and pasting.


    For example, should Early Surrender be included (is it even available anywhere anymore)? Sorry for some weird Abbrivations, BC = Burn cards. Whatever is NOT included will probably just have to get thrown into the comments section or casino information page, which will make it very disorganized.


    That's the basic idea. Colors, format, content are all drafts. This pic was made a little smaller so it would fit better on this website. Real one would be almost full length of a 1024x768 web browser window. Text will bea little bigger when viewing the real version also. Note that although this is a JPG, the real site will grab every value from a database. Please tell me what needs to stay and what needs to go.

    On a final note, I am pretty good at design, but I am NOT a programmer! Once we get all the details worked out, I will be hiring a programmer to do this job. As the site will be free, I will be paying for this myself. I'm hoping to keep it as cheap as possible. Content is the most important, followed by looks. If is ugly but it works, that is my first goal. If some features are expensive to implement, they will not be included. So again, you might also what to add what absolutely needs to be included, and what features would be "nice".

    I have no idea how many people subscribe to Wong's newsletter or to receive this kind of information. My guess would be not many. If you would use this free resource, please tell me. The whole reason I am making it and making it free is so many people will contribute!

    All opinions, feature requests, and comments welcome. Thank you guys! And sorry for Caps and stuff but I think a project like this warrants it.
  • I don't think you really need to ask if it would be useful. The fact that there are other services such as Wong's publication and show that there is a need for the information. It is probably more important to find out what information would be most beneficial to those using the information and what format should the information be provided in.

    I mostly play in Atlantic City so I am very familiar with most of the casinos and playing conditions there. I have been thinking of taking a trip elsewhere in the near future and don't know the conditions at this time. It has been suggested that I try visiting Tunica. However, I have no idea what is in Tunica and what the playing conditions are like. I had considered going to Mohegan Sun or Foxwoods and had gotten some mixed reports on the playing conditions there. I have also thought about Las Vegas. I haven't been to CT or LV in a fair amount of time, so I don't know how things are currently.

    In the end, wherever I wind up, I would like to have information on several aspects of the area and playing conditions before I go there. Information on the playing conditions would include:

    number of tables available
    number of decks used
    table limits and when they are changed
    rules and rule variations
    mid shoe vs no mid shoe
    player rewards/comps
    shift hours (I like to play graveyard: less people and lower limits)
    heat/card counter counter measures, policies and state laws

    I would also like to know:

    how many casinos are in the area
    what are the hotels like
    how is the food in the casinos
    areas that are safe or unsafe

    I am sure there are several other things I would like to know, but this gives you a start as to what people may look for.
  • " I had considered going to Mohegan Sun or Foxwoods and had gotten some mixed reports on the playing conditions there. "

    Just curious what some of the negatives are with the CT casinos.
  • 1. They only offer 8D games unless you are willing to go into the high limit pit where they offer 6D games. If in the the high limit pit, you most likely have to black chip - green chipping is generally not an available (you may be able to get a $50 min table). You can get some 6D games at $10, $15, $25, and $50 minimums in AC.

    2. It is extremely crowded. Even during the week. Now I know that AC is crowded too, but I usually wait until early morning hours when the crowds have dissipated and table limits have been lowered. Also, there are a number of casinos one can hit. When card counting, it is a good idea to hit a particular store for only a short amount of time. Some stay for only 45 minutes. Others may extend the visit for up to a little over an hour. In any case, the AP can run to a number of other stores to shop for shoes.
  • Mohegan Sun offers 6 Decks all the time except in the pit near the bus terminal. Granted, the $10 don't stay that way long, but during the week, better. The high roller areas are 50+ usually 100 weekends and nights.

    If you get a chance, on next visit to Sun go to the Sky Casino, and peek into the high roller area. 4 decks hand shuffled S17 DOA DAS LS 67% though.
  • Also, I hear the penetration is really bad at Mohegan Sun altogether. Won't matter too much to the ploppy, but to anyone counting...
  • GREAT IDEA!!! I always thought that would be a great idea.

    I think jp has some good ideas also.

    It seems like the one thing that is super annoying to me, are the websites that have tons have advertisments and very little information (that is why I like this site so much, because it doesn't have that nonsense).

    I have done websites in the past (including my company's website). I could offer some help or advice for free (a little bit here and there). Just let me know if you want or need any help!

    P.S. what is the domain name of your site
  • penetration reports do vary, as they vary everywhere. During the week, one expects 70% or better. I've played many times at 75%, and a few at 67%. I rate it as fair. Bad would be 60% or less, Good would be anything over 75%.

    The weekends expect 67% all the time.
  • During off days, if where you play has off days, the dealers are
    usually fast and the pen is better. The casino milks the cow for
    all the milk they can get.
  • C'mon guys, you can do better than that! I got only two replies directly related to the site. I know if this gets built there will be a lot more than 2 of you using it. If you have an opinion or you think something should be included, you better tell me now, BEFORE all the programming gets done. Its a lot easier to add something now than to change the site later.

    So, here is what I did. I took the information that jp said, and I added a couple of things. I decided on a little change. Both Wong's publication and trackjack store all the factual info and varying information together. This was my original plan also, until I decided it was not a good way to keep track of the game.

    Here is how the new page will work in my vision. The first page will be divided by casinos, as it was before, and will list each game under each casino. Eveything can still be sorted and searched. But, the first page ONLY has FACTUAL information that does not vary at all. For example, things like Penetration, heat, etc, would not be included on that page.

    For you to see this information, a user would have to click on the "ratings" stars for a particular game, which would take them to the page specific to that game. On that page, every user would have the option of leaving their own info for that game. What they would rate it, the pen they got, the system they used, the comps, etc.

    Everyone's opinion is different, and this would give people a much better understanding of what a particular casino is like. Also, fields will be able to be left blank or marked N/A. If you don't want to put what system you used and such, you don't have to.

    Here is the updated pic (EXAMPLE ONLY):
    Notice in this pic that the single deck 5-star game was selected.



    Once I get the programmer working on this, it will be hard to change things!!

    Finally, the domain is Not as "cool" as trackjack I guess, but to the point...
  • OK, I'll respond......YES, YES, YES!!!!

    Let me quote Rocky Balboa..."go for it"!!!
  • SabinVI,

    Thanks for adding in some of the things I mentioned.

    One suggestion before you solidify this, don't make it hard to change the format. If things are hardcoded, then if you run into problems later on, you may find it hard to fix them. Granted, you may not be a programmer or web developer yourself, but I am sure there are plenty of people on this forum or elsewhere that have the skills to help you. If I were to do this and wanted to get the information up asap, I would first start off with a way to make the information available in separate text files or otherwise for each casino. The data in the files could be displayed on webpages. If you have it in a database, you could always generate the text file(s) from a simple query. Once I figured out what the final format for display was, I would then start working on creating the pages that would show the information, keeping in mind to create it so that it would be easy to modify in the future.

    This is only one of many possible solutions. I just wouldn't want to see you paint yourself into a corner.
  • I'll respond also, Yes!
  • Here is what I track:

    1. number of tables open by shift, although this might be standardized to morning, afternoon, night and late night. This would include table min/max for each time frame as well.

    2. games. Number of decks, rules used, penetration, particularly flagging CSM games which I won't play. Ditto for odd things like "crapjack" that pays 6:5 for naturals.

    3. "Heat". How well does the pit tolerate bet spreads, etc. For example, $5-$50 is ok, $25-$250 will attract attention, $100-$1000 will bring out a flamethrower, and so forth.

    4. crowdedness. When is it busy, when is it quiet, when is it almost empty, or when can you play heads-up vs when do you have to play at a full table if you play at all?

    If I know those things, I can make a decision on where to go and play based on time of day and the kind of game I want to play... I'm not worried about hand-held or face-up, or shoe vs hand-dealt, and so forth. I'm also not much on carnival stuff for side-bets, although including that doesn't detract for me, it just doesn't help.
  • You do realize that this is exactly what TrackJack already does?
  • Not for free they don't. Let us know when they do....
  • TrackJack is a good tool, but it is not free, and it doesn't come close to presenting all of this relevant data in an easy to see format. It has a comments system, but it has no database for varied information like I suggested. Of course, I've only looked at the screenshots. I could be wrong since I will not pay to use it.

    QFIT, I'm guessing you support trackjack because its your site, or your friends? Casino Verite is a GREAT program, and no one can compare to your software. But as for this website, I think I can do better. Besides, even if its not better, its free.

    In response to some other people, a couple of you have mentioned you would like to know about "shift changes". I don't see any small and organized way of tracking this. Most casinos have 3 or 4 shifts, and some have new games opening by the hour, etc. I think the best way would be to read the user comments, see what time they played the game you are looking for, and see what they list for #Tables and Availability. This will give people who are interested multiple confirmations of when that game is available. If you see no "late night" players, maybe it isnt there. If it is, submit it to the site!
  • SabinVI said:
    Of course, I've only looked at the screenshots. I could be wrong since I will not pay to use it.

    Ahh, that would explain it.

    SabinVI said:
    QFIT, I'm guessing you support trackjack because its your site, or your friends?

    No, I support it because it's worth supporting. But, that has nothing to do with my comment here. You seemed to think features do not exist that do. I was merely saying otherwise before you waste time creating something that you didn't think already existed. If you wish to offer a free service, go right ahead. Although I doubt you know what you're getting into.

  • Sounds to me like a never ending chase of a moving target. I don't
    think I would reference any site, established or not. The casinos are
    driven by competition and traffic. If you play enough blackjack for it
    to matter, then you know what you need to know. QFIT gives good
    advice...just my opinion...
  • Here's my thinking. I've been wanting a free service like this for over a year now. (Some people may recall my Christmas post, when I was pulling my hair out to find a good SD game in Vegas). I've found myself thinking over and over how much more convenient it would be. I love the game of blackjack, and want to run this site as more of a hobby than a business. I don't want to make money off of it. The most I would do is set up a small optional only donation page where people could donate to help me pay for bandwidth costs etc. And this would only happen if the site grew really big and was being used a lot.

    I've designed a few sites before, but as a said, I'm not a programmer, so this will be a difficult project. I don't deny that. Originally when I decided to do the site, I was only going to include very basic rule information. This alone would be more than any other free sites offer. Then I started thinking if I was going to put time into this, I might as well make the site include as much relevant info as possible.

    So, in the end, even if I cannot get all the features and track all of the data I have listed above, it will still be the best free service there is. And I said it before, my primary concern in that basic rule tracking works. The design will come second.

    P.S. This has nothing to do with how good the information on the site is, but I can't stand the color scheme or design of trackjack. If I can achieve this, maybe you will support me!
  • yes, but the price is a bit different. :)
  • I just recently got access to trackjack. I looked at what they had for Atlantic City since that is where I play most of the time. It seemed to me that some of the information was not all that accurate. If that is the case, it would make me question the accuracy of all the other data for AC. If I question the data for a subset of data, it would stand to reason that I should question the accuracy of the data on the whole. It appears that users may update the data, but I don't know what the policy is for assimilation of the new data. Is the new data thoroughly verified before it is accepted?

    On the whole, however, the data provided appeared to be reasonably accurate and in a decent format. Although, they could stand to lose the pea green background. ;)

    If the new site is reasonably accurate, I would definitely use it, especially given that it is a free service.
  • The problem I see as major is verification. What do you do if a casino shill provides details of games that don't exist? Maybe not even for their casinos, with the idea of discrediting the list, completely.

    That could turn out to be the hard issue. How to get reliable info into the database, quickly, from a large body of contributors (so that it is complete) without having it turn into crap and disinformation?
  • I understand your concern about the validity of the data. I will try to include several security measuers to prevent false inputs as much as possible.

    First of all, I can limit registrations to one per IP address. Of course, some people can get around this, but its a start.

    Second, I will assign some kind of point system to the members. When a user first signs up, they will start from 0. After they submit a game at a casino, they will gradually increase there points as people confirm the game is there. At a certain point, they can earn enough points to become a "trusted user" which will have more options available.

    Third, after the site has been established for a while, I can assign moderators or trusted users that volunteer to verify info in cities that they live.

    Basically, if a user submits bad info, they will get negative points. After a certain number of negative, they will be banned or sanctioned, and they will not be able to contribute based on the IP address limit. Also, I can set it up so new users can only submit like 5 or so new games a week. Really, with the vast number of casinos at there, it is going to be a pain in the ass for a couple people to falsify the site. While it might be off some info here and there, the number of real entires will greatly outweigh the fake ones.

    Anyway, I was kinda just brainstorming here. Putting all the ideas together before I submit the final project to a programmer.
  • I've waited for those familiar with TrackJack to comment. I hope you realise WHAT ELSE Qfit is saying. Its TrackJack's idea FIRST. People pay to get accurate info, not some random stuff brought to attention. How would you verify the integrity of user-supplied data? Cluster f___ is rather pervasive in cyberspace. And your "friends" do it to you the best.

    I'm not against the idea, but there IS reason for caution.

    If this is your own data driven by your travels in the gaming world, I see your project as a simple journal.

    my 2c worth.
  • From what I've read on the trackjack site, it also users user-submitted information to track the games. There is no way one person or even a whole team could cover the large number of casino is almost every state (including indian casinos).

    I don't understand why a person would want to waste there time by putting fake info in the site anyway. As soon as a couple people veryify the info is fake, it will get deleted, and his IP banned. If enough people use the site, there will be hundreds of confirmations and deletions of correct and incorrect info. When going to the reviews page, if you see that a game has 50 good reviews, you can think with 99.9% accuracy that this game is real. I can't see a guy saying "Hey, I want to mess up this service, I'm gonna get 50 friends to all leave fake reviews." or "I'm gonna change my IP address 50 times, and leave 50 fake reviews".

    Do you know how long that would take? AND, if this did happen, it would be for ONE game out of thousands. Many online communites work with users helping users, and that is what I vision this service will be. People who live in the cities and start using the service will be able to update it quickly if something goes wrong.
  • If you think you are going to get 50 reviews of a casino, you are in for a rude awakening. You will have difficulty getting one without a great deal of effort on a free board. People that want and expect information to be free are notoriously poor contributors. But I do expect you'll get some great comments like "use a negative progression at this casino":)
  • 50 was just an example. Are you determined to see this site fail? I'm starting to wish I never bought your software, seeing the kind of person you are. How about just wishing me luck...
  • What kind of person I am????? I'm just giving you the benefit of experience and posting like anyone else. If you're going to read malicious intent into my posts, then I won't bother any more.
  • Alright... if you mean well, I apologize. It just seems like everything you are posing is negative. Let me just work on the site. When it all comes down to it, free is free. If people don't like it, they don't have to use it. If worst comes to worst, I wasted my time and money I suppose. I'm just going to be optomistic.
  • Sabin - IMHO Norm (QFIT) is just sharing his experience with you as he says......I would take advantage of it.......Grifter
  • Here is a voice of experience. There are people out there that like to do nothing more that cause problems. Someone finds this site, he will post bogus data from dozens of _different_ IP addresses all over the world. There are anonymous remailer programs that make email updates completely unusable. Depending on an IP block with all the bogus IP addresses floating around is not really going to work.

    I am involved with a large computer chess message board. We had one idiot in Canada sign up over 200 times, with the initial intent of voting for one of his alter-egos as a moderator (we have 3 and we elect new ones every 6 months, we have thousands of members). This one guy starts arguments, chimes in with other accounts and makes it appear he has a large group in agreement with him.

    This is not uncommon, and it is a problem that will need some thought.

    The internet is _full_ of troublemakers, mixed in with the good participants... Figuring out who is who is the problem...
  • Alright guys, thanks for all the info. It's just a little disappointing when I think I have a good idea, and everyone keeps bringing up all the bad points about it. There have been some good supporters too though. I understand that everyone is trying to help.

    I think the best thing to do at this point is just wait and judge the site after it actually goes online. At that point, everyone will be able to make a better judgement on whether or not the site is useful. Thanks again.
  • SAVINVI- Perhaps a slightly different approach would have a better
    chance of success. I think we all admire your willingness to add value
    to the game and to the forum. Here are some thoughts that avoids much
    of the logistics nightmare of tracking all casinos:

    - Identify playable games for regional locations. Such as: LV, Tunica,
    AC, Reno, Midwest, etc.

    - Limit scope to those casinos that offer the best/playable games. This
    approach is more managable and could be supported or debunked by
    forum members only (restrict the input)

    - Set standards for playable games (rules,pen,heat,comps,etc) so as to
    avoid misc updates.

  • Right on Rat... take a look at ANY popular Yahoo stock msg. board. Loaded with perps, aliases, straights, pumpndumpers, paid bashers, Level 2 and 3 traders, hedge-fund cronies to name a few! Each one can have 6 different names, and its easy to change them. Talk about your basic Cluster f_____....
  • Rat was commenting on a Chess message board and says.
    "We had one idiot in Canada sign up over 200 times, with the initial intent of voting for one of his alter-egos as a moderator"

    Was it Canada or H-Town

  • It was a kid in Canada. Posting through

    the ISP was _not_ very helpful, so we just blocked the entire domain, knocking out some good users as well. They raised hell with the ISP, who then decided they _could_ help, and we got it straightened out eventually. :)
  • Mike said:
    Was it Canada or H-Town Baybee.......lolmh

    Great one, Mike :wink:
  • SabinVI said:
    Alright guys, thanks for all the info. It's just a little disappointing when I think I have a good idea, and everyone keeps bringing up all the bad points about it. There have been some good supporters too though. I understand that everyone is trying to help.

    I think the best thing to do at this point is just wait and judge the site after it actually goes online. At that point, everyone will be able to make a better judgement on whether or not the site is useful. Thanks again.

    I wish you the best of luck, I would only say if Norm is against it... go for it because Norm only looks out for #1 he always tries to discourage competition. If you do develop your site, Norm will resort to calling you a fraud on every message board on the Net.

    As for TrackJack, it's not worth the price because the data is months old while being presented as "NEW and UPDATED."

    Best of luck!

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