Newbie Question
  • I finally became a registered member of this site after countless hours of reading posts, most of which are very informative and even amusing in some cases. So, thanks to all who contribute.

    I am new to BJ and still working on my BS. I intend to get CVBJ and probably Blue Book 11 once I am ready to start counting and deviating from BS.

    I am a long way from hitting the Casino floors but I am curious about something that I haven’t seen mentioned yet: what method do you guys use to determine which tables to start at to be able to sustain a house streak until your strategies begin to payoff?

    Example: $200.00 BR = $5.00 min tables

    $1000.00 BR = $25.00 min tables

    40 x table minimum = Bank Roll

    Thanks in advance…
  • just1fixxx - Welcome to the Forum.....Those numbers are just fine for just starting to learn, and not using a count. Later on you will want to bump them up to forty times your average bet or thereabouts; but don't worry about that yet......"Learn the ropes" first......Grifter
  • Also, when you get CVBJ, there is a "calculator" built into the thing. You can plug in various numbers such as bankroll, and so forth, to see how that will pan out. For example, you can check your risk of ruin (ROR) for a given bankroll and game characteristics/betting level, to see if the risk is acceptable.

    You might also look up internet references to "Kelly Betting" which is a tried-and-true betting approach that helps you precisely figure out your betting ramp for a given game and true count value, to minimize your risk while maximizing your expected bankroll growth.

    "blackjackschoolonline.com" is one place to look at. Mike discusses some money management basics.

    The point is, you need to know the game, the house edge given the rules of the game, and then you can supply two of three pieces of data (bankroll, acceptable risk of ruin, betting unit) and then compute the third value based on the other two. Betting is not a SWAG-type (scientific wild-ass guess) activity, to be a successful AP, it has to be done correctly, just as counting, BS departures, choosing the right games to play, etc, all have to be done correctly.
  • Another newbie question...I just started lurking on this site about 2 months ago. Lotsa great advice. Playing the game is fun too.

    I'm a Blackjack nub...never been in a casino except once playing a few slots. Here's where I'm at...BS is 2nd nature. Also, know the Ill. 18. I don't know BJ etiquette. I practice daily counting a deck of cards mostly whilst watching TV and my daughter, dog, cat etc. running around me. I usually get through a deck in 15-25 seconds. For me, the trick for a speedy counting is matching pairs of 1's and -1's. I plan to buy a few more decks and count several decks rather than one. 6 decks in 100 seconds is my goal per the SSRat post.

    I occasionally play BJ with real cards with my 8 year old and whatever stuffed animals she picks. But, It's tough to be serious with Greg the Wiggle Bobblehead, SpongBob, Good Luck Bear (care bear), etc. playing BS.

    I would like to read a book or two on Blackjack. Seems like there are a zillion of them. My question is which one is the best for a nub like me? Wong and Blackwood caught my eye, but interested on what you think? Understanding statistics and mathematics is no problem as I've had several college level stats classes.

    No timetable for actually going to a casino, with a large mortgage, bills, family to feed, etc. it's tough to even scrape up a small bankroll. As such, it'll be while before I get the CVBJ. I live in the Chicago area, most likely 1st BJ experience will be at Joliet.

    Thanks
  • First, there are at least three kinds of blackjack books.

    1. The "system" books. These teach a counting system (Wong's Pro BJ for example covers hi-lo and halves) and cover a range of topics that will help you in a casino. Others include blackjack attack, blackbelt in BJ, and there are others I am not mentioning, not because they are no good, but I just don't want to type forever. :)

    2. The "nut-cases". Patrick. Patterson. There are others, Grifter often mentions another that I just haven't read for myself so I don't know anything about his books. But if Grifter says "voodoo" then it is voodoo. If a book talks about learning to beat the house without counting cards, it is voodoo. Leave it on the shelf.

    3. "tales from the pits" type books are written to be less informative about systems, and more fun to read. For example, the classic "The Big Player" by Ken Uston. Or "Bringing down the house" about the MIT team. I have not yet gotten Eliot J's "The Blackjack Zone" (I will hunt it down while in Vegas in July) but I suspect it is more in this category along with Barfarkel's "You've got heat". These fill you in on real-life inside-the-casino information, rather than giving you lots of pages of charts, numbers, things to remember, things to remember to forget, etc.

    If you are using hi-lo, then Wong's book is "the bible". Beyond that, Snyder's stuff is good, and then category 3 above will get you "into the mood" by seeing how others deal with life inside the casino...

    Your counting speed seems fine. Shackelford says he can count down a deck in 10.5 seconds. I know others that are at the 30 second level. And yet they do just fine. The advantage of more speed is that you can handle distractions better, because you can "catch up" really quickly.
  • According to the Kelly Criterion, your maximal bet should be no more than 2% of your entire bankroll. So if you plan on counting, you need more than 40 minimums.

    Also, I believe in counting hands ,not individual cards. Sometimes it's easier than counting individual cards.
  • It depends. The proper bet is .0076 times your bankroll times your advantage expressed as a decimal number.

    With a TC of +9, your advantage is 4% in the typical shoe game (9 * .5 added to base -.5 shoe edge.) There your proper Kelly bet would be 3% of your total bankroll (.0076 * bankroll * .04)

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