Keeping Records
  • I am interested to know what records people keep (if any) of their BJ play. I assume it would be a good idea to keep track of hours played on what dates and how much money was won and lost etc but I'm just trying to think of the best way to do this!

    If records of play for say a six month period are not kept it may be difficult to tell whether you were making or losing money in the long term. After all, this may be the only effective method of ensuring that your counting methods are delivering the expected return and also that you are playing as well as you had assumed!?? :roll:
  • I keep the following data, although not always perfectly:

    rules, with my computed "edge off the top" (house edge)
    starting BR, ending BR, time played.

    The "time played" can either be fractions of an hour (I don't play more than an hour at one table, unless there is some sort of "family team play" going on, which is rare) or it can be hands played if I am surrounded by shoes and that's all I can play, as then I wong in and out and end up not playing a lot of hands per hour...
  • I use a simple excel spreadsheet for that.
    I have location, time (I estimate), cash-in, cash-out, an auto-calculated delta, Conditions (minimum, spread), notes to myself (whether I counted or not) and extras (such as matchplay coupons etc.).
    So far it's been pretty depressing.

    My last three sessions had been losers, I never even broke even. St. Louis brings me bad luck. I know that counting works in the long run, but it's sure depressing in the short run.

    I played in 5$ min tables (and usually bet the minimum or a little more),and so far I am down 160 from overall 640 invested. Considering that I play with a .5 HA and don't overplay the same money too much, that's pretty far from what the math says it should be.

    The depressing part is that I can't even think that I'll be up in the future; things don't even out. Now that I am down, my chances of recovering it are just as they were of making money when I started out.

    Oh well.

    Would have wanted to leave St. Louis less behind.
  • Pretty much the same... Date, NAME, LOCATION, $in, $out, delta$, #Dks, H/S17, NOTES.
  • Nickels_n_Bullets said:
    Pretty much the same... Date, NAME, LOCATION, $in, $out, delta$, #Dks, H/S17, NOTES.

    Some people add their spread and the heat they were getting from the pit
    I also write down the penetration, just to see if it changes over time or shifts.

    Another important thing is to see if these are "A" list staff or "B" list... Over weak days / nights, you'll see lots of dealers in training or that are relatively new, part-timers, over the hill, etc. etc. A lot of them handle the cards very very slowly, which is good for your counting, some are also very readable when they are peeking under their ten (in casinos that allow it).

    One note though: be careful to watch every dealer activity. When I was playing at the Ameristar I did some splits and doubles and was with a lot out, and the dealer got confused adding up her stuff (she had like an 8 card bust) and accidently took my money. I noticed because it was so much and that was good. I don't think she tried to cheat, it was an honest mistake, but still, a dealer mistake can cost you.
  • Ronin - You asked about the "best way"......I don't know if there is one, but I have always used the smallest Day-Timer notebooks in a leather wallet, carried in my hip pocket.

    I keep one page per casino per day per 4-6 hour session.....With a title something like this.....GN2.2470, which would be Golden Nugget, 2 decks, 0.24 HA, 70% pen. (try to find that game today :wink: )

    I generally just keep my net win/loss and playing time, and the bottom third of the page for "Notes".

    Hope this helps....Grifter
  • I keep records/notes by session. In the early days, playing in LV, it was
    mostly notes on mistakes and money in vs money out. Later I added
    notes on why this or that session was good or bad. You can identify all
    kinds of different variances/streaks that come with game. One interesting
    thing I did was try to determine if I could look at BJ as a second job
    and/or my only job. I took my average time X 10 and X20 and extroplated
    results. Me and the church mouse would live the same lifestyle...Poor.
  • I was hoping that someone was going to say that their records we're showing a profit of a couple of percent??!!!
  • You can show a profit year after year, but don't count on getting rich.
    It is still a very close play and iffy most of the time. You don't need
    70 or 80K hands to show a profit(flat SD) but your approach must
    consider that possibility. Reality and theory come together in the long
  • I would guess then that the best way to maximise profits is with team play would you agree? Making your largest bests on the high-counts to bring home the largest profit.
  • Ronin... mine do. About 3.3% over 25 years (silver anniversary this year). But I would have to say, that I'm picky about conditions and losses, I DO WALK AWAY if I lose a certain % of the bankroll and/or a certain amount of $$$. And I'm Willing to stay at a reduced spread if I make the target, and "am hot". I might reduce a 1-8 spread to 1-4. I'm not about to tip all my cards, but lets say that "peak bankroll" is a consideration, and a reference point.
  • A friend of mine who used to play a lot around the world when he was in college and supposedly won fortunes told me that it is no longer possible to make serious money with BJ in the US. How true is it ?

    He's doing his PhD now, but back in college he was playing at levels of risk I personally would not take.
  • I think the US problems center around a couple of issues:

    1. Every pit knows about counters, and about bet spreads, and they watch the big bettors like hawks.

    2. Every casino knows they can be ripped by a team, and so they watch for that pretty carefully, but it is still possible to get away with it, as Hyland and others can verify. :)

    BJ is beatable at the smaller end of the bet spectrum. When you graduate to betting black as your unit (or multiple black) then things get very difficult. I've been ripping away with red to green betting for a few years without major problems, but I don't win hundreds or thousands per hour doing what I do either.
  • I'm wondering what is it that makes Europeans casinos more susceptible ?
    Surely, everyone in the casino business knows about the risks of counting?
  • Making your largest bests on the high-counts to bring home the largest profit.

    Ronin- That is the best way to play, team or no-team. Doing it is
    the big problem. If I could, I'd never play at a disadvantage, eliminate
    bet spreads,etc, but doing that is next to impossible. The best you can
    do is combine all the avidance methods and eliminate errors.
  • I would be interested in hearing some team-play stories!!! 8) Although...admittedly perhaps posting them on this open site is not the best idea. :(

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