Can Strategy players ever make money?
  • I read the "Bringing down the House" about the MIT card counting team. But I remember them say that the actually card counters (who made minimum bets) actually would help pull $5k a weekend. I know that even with strategy we will lose our money, but with all those double downs and splits is it possible to be actually ahead?
  • Yes, in the short run, it is possible to win & make money, whether we count cards or not...
    The bottom line is that the Casinos always have the EDGE in the long run, no matter what Strategy we use...
    Even if we accurately count cards & play "perfect" basic strategy, we will LOSE most of the time, as many card counters will readily admit...
    Question : how can there ever actually be a "True Count", when at least 25% of the cards are "cut" out of play???...
    In my "experience", counting Hands has proven to be far more profitable, especially in the Double Deck games...
    In an Adequately shuffled DD game, I expect to Win 2 out of every 5 Hands, no matter what the Count is, and most of my Winning Hands occur WHEN the the Count is near ZERO, especially AFTER a high + Count has occurred...
    Another "Key" DD Factor for me is the Dealer "Bust" rate, which is usually near 25% = 1 Dealer Bust in every 4 Hands...
    I Flat Bet the Table Minimum until I lose 3 Hands, then I raise my bets for next 2 Hands (which usually Win), and then lower them back to the Table Minimum again, and watch for the "pattern" to repeat again...
    This is the most COMMON "pattern" I see when I play DD games, that is, LOSE 2 or 3 Hands, then WIN 2 Hands...
    6 Deck SHOE games are often way different than DD, and can often have long Winning and Losing "streaks"...
    The MAIN "thing" is to Effectictively APPLY the Strategies that Best Minimize your LOSES and Maximize your GAINS...
    If you are really interested in an in-depth understanding of Card Counting, an excellent book imo, is Blackjack Attack by Don S., 3rd Edition...
  • What is all this stuf about "true count"? Sounds like something from the patrick/patterson school of thought.

    Counting correctly will allow you to beat _any_ decent BJ game, from 1 deck to 8 deck shoes. not counting will lose your entire bankroll if you play long enough.
  • You are not understanding me. Can you win money if you play strategy, but do they count wheather you win the hand or the amount of money. I know that the casino will win the most hands, but will they win the most money. (Double down, and splits)
  • Stainless - even worse.....I think he's quoting from Dunki-Jacobs.

    Nate King1 - In a typical six deck game, if you flat bet and use basic strategy you will expect to lose about fifty cents for every one hundred dollars you bet. This includes doubles, splits, and blackjacks. Is this what you were asking?

    Grifter
  • OK, after Grifter's comment I think I better understand your question.

    His answer is spot on. If you flat-bet, you are going to lose 1/2 percent of each bet you make. No matter what you do you are going to lose more hands than you win, because the basic BJ rule that says "if you bust you lose, even if the dealer busts" is a huge edge for the house. To offset that edge, they give us rules like snappers pay 3:2, we get to double and split, and so forth. And all we get for that is back to within 1/2 percentage point of being "even".

    The way a counter beats the game is that he varies his bet, so that when the house has the edge, he bets small, when the player has the edge, he bets big. Counting doesn't make you win more hands, it just lets you recognize the situations where you will probably have a better hand than the dealer, so that you can increase your bet in those situations to win more money when you have an edge. If you don't vary your bet, excepting for a very few single-deck games where you have a very small edge right off the top, then any negative-EV game will drain your bankroll... over the long run.

    Basic strategy played perfectly gets you to that -.5% EV point. But -.5 is still a losing game. Counting will take you over the hump and to a +EV point.
  • So in the Book "Bringing down the house" He isn't telling the truth?
  • The MIT team was counting cards using hi-lo. So I am not sure what you mean. They played "basic strategy" (didn't use a lot of BS departure indices because the big players were apparently making too many playing errors). But they _were_ counting, and calling in a big player when the count went positive, so that the big bettor didn't bet on small counts, and bet big on high counts...
  • If you flat bet and play basic strategy and play all hands, you can expect to lose about 0.5%.

    If you COUNT CARDS, but you still flat bet, still use basic strategy and play all hands, you can expect to lose about 0.5%.

    If you have a buddy who makes a big bet every time you tell him the count is high, he will make a lot of money. At the end of the day when you add together your small loss and his big win, you will end up with a big win. But it's a team effort. If you don't tell your buddy when to bet, he'll lose 0.5%, just like you. He'll lose a LOT because he's making big bets. So because of YOU, the TEAM makes a lot of money. So there is no lying going on.

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