Why does progression work?
  • I've been playing progression BJ and keeping records for the year. so far I'm 14 wins to 8 losses. I'm up $1900. I ussually bet $10,10,15,20,30 back to 10 after a loss, then go to a $15 progression when up $100 and go to a $20 progression when up $200. Biggest loss $345, biggest win $710. Avearage session 4-5 hours. Playing at indian cassinos in MI. Ussually 6 deck shoes. By now I'm convinced progression works. And I suspect it works for many of the same reason counting works, that is you have larger bets out there when conditions are favorable, and limit yopur losses on a bad shoe by showing fewer chips. I think you get to larger bets mostly on good (count) shoes, just as a counter would do. I've read most of the books discussed here and enjoyed them all, and I'm a practicing counter, just not yet ready. I don't think Renzey gives a fair shake to progression players (I did however really enjoy his book) His methods seem to be valid however, but if everything he said about progression was right on, all us pro. guys should be behind after playing long enough. Have I just not played long enough or are we on to a valid cours of play? Do others feel this way also? Shredder
  • There are quite a few progression players that read this site and yes, we believe in the validity of progressions. I agree that progressions work because your bet is higher when the count is high but if you want to read a good book on progressions check out Twenty-First Century Blackjack by Walter Thomason (available via link on blackjack books above). He shows how his progression which is 2x, 3x, 4, 5x works in practice. He also compares his win rate to that of a counter and basic strategy player. If you want a book that will prove there is something to progression blackjack, this is your resource.
    I also prefer progressions because your bankroll and betting spread are not as great. I've read that counters need insane bankrolls and the ability to deal with large session losses (as well as the ability to focus all their attention on the cards so they don't miss a red 7 or black Ace). I'm just not that gutsy (or single-minded). I prefer to play blackjack as a social thing, not for the profits. If I ever decide to play for the Benji's, perhaps I'll learn to count but for now I'm quite happy being a progression player :wink: :wink: :wink:
  • Nice to see some others posting. Flat betting, progressions or counting, it is up to you. What ever "floats your boat". There can be several reasons, why one would choose a particular method of play. The reasons can be as varied as the players themselfs.
  • SHREDDER: I say this in the most cautious and friendly way: Your 22 sessions at 4 to 5 hours each total roughly 100 hours and is not a telling sample size! Over that time period, there's a 35% chance that you'd be ahead just flat betting with basic strategy. At 500 hours, your chance to have been winning lucky drops to 18%. At 1000 hours it drops to 10%.
    Mathematically, progressions do not work. If you've experienced the contrary, my advice is to proceed with caution - but I honestly don't like your chances from here on out. Keep us posted though - and keep meticulous records. Walter's done well over a fairly long term - which puzzles me.
    By the way, progressionists usually increase their bets at a time unrelated to the current count. This has been found to be true.
  • Here's an idea I'd like to throw into the progressions vs counting discussion. I've been working on counting for a couple of months now, with software, backcounting, and actual play. One thing that's obvious is the first part of a shoe is always going to have a low true count that requires you to stay at the one unit level of bet. If your theory that progressions work because a win may signal that the shoe is getting rich, then I suggest wait until you're at least a deck or a deck and a half in before increasing your bet after a win. Because during the first 50-75 cards, it's nearly impossible for that shoe to have become high-card heavy.

    The largest sampling (and best record-keeping) I have is the software simulations. Using Fred's KISS II counting system, after 2,238 hands, 52% losses and 48% wins, I'm up $835 over a buy-in of $1,000. At one point I was up by $1,200. My low point was down at $70, on the original buy-in of $500, meaning I had lost $430, and had to buy another $500 in chips to keep playing. There can be some nasty stretches during high counts (meaning high bets) where it's the dealer who gets the 20's and the player who gets the High Card-Low Card-Bust Card. There are also stretches during low counts where the player wins repeatedly. But my results overall make it clear that I've been winning more of the big bets than losing them.

    In live backcounting, my sampling isn't large enough to mean anything, but I have noticed more losses by the players when the count is low, and the players who had increased their bets for whatever reason were left wondering what happened to them. I also saw more players win when the count is high. For the hands that I have played after jumping in when the count got high, the outcome has been slightly more wins than losses. I have not yet had a good outcome counting while playing from the beginnning of a shoe, partly because the count never got high. In two cases, I hit an early walk-away point so I may have been saved from further losses.
  • B J fan, I've read Walter's book. I think the most important thing I took from it is to quit after 4 losses, that alone has saved me a bundle. I also ramped up my progression after reading his book, I was doing the Dahl progression then. I already believed in progression betting before I read it, so it was more of reinforcement of what I was doing anyway. I also agree with Renzey's book and took from that, more table awarness, such as looking at the past several hands and the cards on the table and letting it help me on border line calls to break BS in certain situations. I was untill recently playing BS like a zombie. Along with that I'm trying to practice counting (kiss 1). BTW I played today and won a few bucks and on a few shoes with slower dealers I kept a semi good count for most of the shoe. But I need a ton of practice for fast dealers and loud tables. Without rambling on and on I believe both methods work and you can use some of each training in becoming a better player. Shredder
  • In the pre-home-computer days of the mid to late 70's, all my blackjack practicing was done with real cards on a real table. Over a period of a few years I logged 93,000 physical practice hands and recorded hands won/lost as well as units won/lost. Those results clearly showed net hands lost, but net units won. Since the larger bets were made on positive counts, that's where the net profit had to be made.
    You can greatly compress this effect simply by playing 100 hands with a pinochle deck, where the lowest card is a 9. Realize that Insurance will always be a good bet, so you should always take it. The same goes for even money, splitting 10's against a 9 and doubling with A/9 against a 9.
    A hundred hands will show you what high cards do for the player.
  • Interesting posts by all of you... I also feel that both card counting and progressive betting can produce positive outcomes for "serious" recreational players, and that both systems can be employed by the same player at the same time. But most die-hard counters totally discount the potential merits of progressive betting.
    There's one argument that I've always questioned: When a progressive bettor claims to be a winner, the counters claim that he hasn't played long enough to verify the value of the system, and has just been "lucky". At the same time, counters will tell other counters that they should be experiencing positive results after about 80,000 hands of play, and that if they are losing at this point it's only because they've been "unlucky." The same is true of studies comparing the results of different betting systems when small samples (5,000 to 50,000 hands) are used. Counters throw out the findings because millions of hands weren't played, yet no counter has ever played enough hands to verify that computer simulations of millions of hands are providing accurate information. Strange....
  • Oh please.... a card counter is only skeptical because he cannot use probability and statistics to prove that progressions work, and he CAN use probability and statistics to prove that counting DOES work.

    Perhaps progressions work - but they will only work if the counter's model is incorrect - perhaps there are non-random shuffles, or dealers make mistakes in progressionist's favor more often, or...who knows what. But a card counter cannot show WHY a progression should work, and the best models show why a progression should NOT work.

    Look at the worst days in the stock market - you will find stocks that were huge percentage GAINERS. Was that a good day to invest in the stock market? If you invested in those gainers, then YES!!! Perhaps progressionists have figured (or rather discovered) a way to pick those gainers!?! Well good for them! But counters will shake their heads and say, "it was just luck".

    Note: when I say "counter" I am referring to the body of knowlege that supports card counting. I am sure there are counters who take their instructions on "faith" and have never challenged any of its rules.
  • Remember to view the analysis in the long run on a personal experience level. You make one mistake in counting or you get hammered when the spread goes to 4 or 6 units and you're back to even; whereas, with a progression, it is more forgiving and allows you longer play with a smalletr bankroll. Progressive bettors acknowledge the benifits of counting, whereas counters won't EVER do the same. Maybe because they couldn't sell their books then, huh?
  • SLD007: I want it to be known that my own personal unacceptance of progressions has nothing to do with selling books or taking sides. I am as much in search of the truth as anybody.
    It's just that all I have on the credibility side of progressions is a few people who have had some success with them. On the other side I have the fact that complete mathematical analysis clearly shows that they're not supposed to work, the fact that maybe half of all blackjack players use some form of progression, and the fact that casinos by and large love progression players.
    On the other hand, I am in constant contact with a number of card counters who beat the game pretty much year in and year out, there are well known teams of card counters who reputedly make millions, and casinos are constantly "backing off" or barring card counters.
    What am I to think??
  • BUGHOUSEMASTER'S BACK..........JACK!!! :twisted: :evil: :twisted:

    Renzey, it just seems like you wont give it a chance when so many people have had wonderful results with it.
  • Since the expert counters here are so polite, I'll lay it out bluntly: Anyone with a vague grasp of statistics, probability, and blackjack knows that progression betting is inane, not even worthy of debate except for amusement purposes, and that counting (plus correct play) is the only way to turn the odds in the player's favor. Period end of story, ducking.

    Dex
  • Dex: What's a "ducking."? Did you mean duckling? Anyone with a vague grasp of english knows how to spell "duckling."
    But, thank you for your enlightening post. I'll be sure to give it all the consideration it deserves.
  • Walter, it's your choice if you wish to bask in ignorance.

    Dex
  • Since the expert counters here are so polite, I'll lay it out bluntly: Anyone with a vague grasp of statistics, probability, and blackjack knows that progression betting is inane, not even worthy of debate except for amusement purposes, and that counting (plus correct play) is the only way to turn the odds in the player's favor. Period end of story, ducking.

    Dex

    OK, Dex. I give up and admit my ignorance. :cry: What do you mean by your sentence with use of word, "ducking"???? Are you assuming that many of the progressionists are going to fly at you for above statement, therefore you are "running" & "ducking" (in advance) as a result?
  • Nah, he means that he's gonna be DUCKING from everyone throwing punches and needles in his face when everyone reads the horse§hit that he wrote.
  • Crackers, instead of bashing, perhaps you could contribute in a positive way to the question at hand. I understand now that ,at least on computer models, it should not work, but here and with my friends it does seem to work. It also seems to work much like sld007 and Walter say their progresions work as well. So I think we are on to something despite what the computer says. I really don't know if after many, many hours of play if I'll be up or down but now after several hundred hours of play I would have to lose a bundle multiple times to be out money. My post was meant to explore why it seems to work, maybe come up with some theories as to why or if it works, not bash another's style of play. I'll continue to play progression, study counting, and laugh my way to the bank to make my deposit...........Shredder
  • PROGRESSIONS AND POSSIBILITIES

    When more decks are added to the game such as in six and eight
    deck shoe games, then new and sometimes unknow possibilities arise.
    In other complex systems we refer to the possibility of "hidden variables"
    and their impact can be minor or very major. Are there such variables
    in the shoe games that can explain why so many good folks seem to
    do well using progressions of varing composition?

    A BRIEF EXAMPLE OF HIDDEN VARIABLES

    The 16 vs 10 hand may be a winner for you the player for an extended
    period; like one complete session. Now, that rare occurance is possible
    because the "standard deviation" for any hand can vary for or against
    the player at any time; remain for long periods or short which ever the
    luck factor will allow. Progressions, by design, should capitalize on the
    player favorable deviations. Never mind that the player nor his progression has any knowledge of this occurance, the weight of the
    deck or any other factor.

    ANOTHER EXAMPLE

    The remaining queue is fat with 10's and we can not say with any
    assurance that this fat 10's situation will not occur three of the next
    four shoes. Once again, "standard deviation", (luck) plays an important
    role. Progressions, again, may take advantage of this situation.

    So we have two variables that are unseen and unknown to the player
    and our questions, to be fair, must be:

    1. Are there other hidden variables that are as yet unknown?

    2. Is it possible that the dealer play method and his expectations
    are somehow altered by a more complex environment; another
    variable?

    SUMMARY

    My position on progressions has not changed: "Every bet of a progression
    is just another bet and is exposed to the same win /lose probabilities as
    any other bet style". After reading all these post that say otherwise, I can
    at least say I'm open to other possibilities.

    Ray
  • Sorry Crackers, I was answering dex2003's post........Shredder
  • "Sorry Crackers, I was answering dex2003's post........Shredder"

    That's ok, Shredder. I should have put his statement in quotes. I still would like Dex to tell us all what he meant by his sentence using the word, "Ducking". I was not being facetious; just wanted to understand his sentence :roll: !!
  • To Ray, Shredder and all concerning Progressions: Here's the thing to realize about progressions. If you assume that the distribution of streaks in the physical game conform to mathematical probability, then there's no way for progressions to improve one's overall performance in the game. This part can be easily proven in black and white with plain arithmetic.

    Now comes the more hazy question -- do the frequencies of streaks really conform to the math, what with hand shuffled cards, clumped hands in the discard tray and all. For if streaks occur considerably more often, then the same math that shows progressions must fail will show that they must work! This too can be demonstrated in black and white.

    To answer that frequency question for sure, you need to know just how often certain size streaks are supposed to occur and measure that against the actual appearance streaks over a large sample size - a tedious chore.

    Now, 10,000 hands are not a particularly large sample size, but for my book I counted up all the streaks of 3 consecutive wins that occured in Bob Hubby's tabulation book "Blackjack Tracker", over the course of his first 10,000 hands. Mathematically, you should win exactly 3 hands in a row 263 times over the course of 10,000 hands. Bob Hubby won 3 in a row 267 times in the first 10,000 hands of his tabulation book.
    Statistically speaking, if you conducted the same 10,000 hand experiment over again, there would be a mere 2% chance that the second test would produce as many as 300 streaks of 3 in a row.

    For those blackjack players who insist that shoe games run streakier than they're supposed to, how many of them can say whether they've had either 260 or 300 streaks of 3 wins win a row over their last 10,000 hands? On what is their contention that shoes run streaky based. And if streaks really do occur more often than the straight mathematical odds predict, why don't the casinos know this, and why do they welcome that vast pool of blackjack players who religiously follow some betting progression, while barring known card counters? Have there been any TV specials reporting how skilled progression players took down Vegas for millions?

    I know my presentation sounds biased, but not without reason. It's true that of all the progression players out there, some have had success. Now the question is, "Is there still something the analysts are missing concerning progressions -- or are we merely focusing on a few aberrational results?"

    Really, I suppose only time will tell for certain.
  • "A BRIEF EXAMPLE OF HIDDEN VARIABLES

    The 16 vs 10 hand may be a winner for you the player for an extended
    period; like one complete session. Now, that rare occurance is possible
    because the "standard deviation" for any hand can vary for or against
    the player at any time; remain for long periods or short which ever the
    luck factor will allow. Progressions, by design, should capitalize on the
    player favorable deviations. Never mind that the player nor his progression has any knowledge of this occurance, the weight of the
    deck or any other factor. " (from Ray)
    Ray, Your entire post excellent and fascinating to read. Last night I spent a 3 hour session at an Indian Casino. 6 Deck, Digital BJ with a live dealer. I am at first, guy next to me NEVER hits 16 against dealer 10. I ask why & he states he NEVER hits 16! But, say I, the "book" says to HIT. "Well, you know what you can do with your book", says he. He continues to kid me & make reference to the "Basic Strategy" player. Before the 1st shoe is over, he makes a believer of me and I am no longer hitting 15 or 16's and the Dealer is Busting about 80% of the time! My 12 units turned to 60. Not sure how much he won. I flat bet until I lose because that is my comfort zone. Play a negative progression & simply increase my bet with each loss, but for the session had a need to triple my bet only about 6 times before I won & never had to go to my "quad" bet. It was easy to see when this 'favorable deviation' ended as the dealer ABRUPTLY stopped busting and started beating the entire table which convinced me to happily cash out with my 60 units.
  • Fred, Your analysis is based on what we currently know and I for one
    can not disagree with that approach. However, it's been my experience over the years that complex systems seldom agree completely with our technical models and the purpose of my post was to demonstrate that
    other possibilities can exist. I can't imagine a discovery process that
    would nail this question completely and I'm not at all sure if time alone
    will resolve anything. Ray
  • Never hitting 16 vs 10 is contrary to "basic" Basic Strategy; normally you should hit. But it's one of the most borderline hands there is. You'll frequently be in situations where not hitting 16 vs 10 IS correct Basic Strategy. If just from the cards out on the table you see more lows than tens have been consumed in that round, you stand rather than hit. And if you're counting, it's not a very high positive number at which you stand rather than hit. (See Fred Renzey's Blackjack Bluebook II, pages 94 and 155.) Crackers, maybe some of your winning stands on 16's were in these situations.
  • "Never hitting 16 vs 10 is contrary to "basic" Basic Strategy; normally you should hit. But it's one of the most borderline hands there is. You'll frequently be in situations where not hitting 16 vs 10 IS correct Basic Strategy. If just from the cards out on the table you see more lows than tens have been consumed in that round, you stand rather than hit. And if you're counting, it's not a very high positive number at which you stand rather than hit. (See Fred Renzey's Blackjack Bluebook II, pages 94 and 155.) Crackers, maybe some of your winning stands on 16's were in these situations."

    Desert, last night was, for me, a very unusual session. I cannot remember ever seeing the dealer bust so many times in a Digital Blackjack session and I have been playing these "machines" for about 4 years now on a regular basis. The dealer "bust" trend lasted for shoe after shoe and I was frankly amazed. And, even though the casino touts it as "live" dealer play, it is nothing like what I call REAL BJ where the "live" dealer actually handles and shuffles the cards. To some, my experience might not be a very good sampling- ie only 4 years of play. But as Ray said, this thing we call "standard deviation" may have something to do with it? And, as you point out, "basic" BASIC STRATEGY (that which Neil has successfully taught me on this site :P ) is not the whole story.
    Maybe there is need for one more BJ book called "BEYOND BASIC STRATEGY" (has someone already written it?) where the only thing discussed would be the deviations from the norm? And a reminder to all, that BS or Progression or Counting or whatever is only a PART of the complexity of the game?
  • 'Beyond Basic Strategy' starts on chapter 6 of Fred's book
  • Renzey's "Beyond Basic Strategy" has been an eye opener for me. I KNEW that sometimes plays like hitting 16 v 10 would never work, but never knew the reasons why. He explains that the mathematical computations for the basic strategy for this hand (and 6 others ) are so close that there will be times that standing will be mathematically correct. Can't wait to try these new strategies.
  • Hey, Thanks guys! Looks like I am going to be buying a BJ book by Mr. Renzey and reading Chapter 6! A few years ago I probably would not have been ready to read it, but think I am now. And thanks to all you great, knowledgeable people on this site. I appreciate all of you! :lol:
  • Fred: We both agree that progressions won't work unless manually-dealt play produces longer and/or more frequent "strings" of consecutive wins than is predicted by simulation. We also agree that this is has not been proven to be true, which is why casinos welcome progressive bettors.
    But, it's also true that blackjack was a beatable game before card counting was proven to be effective, and that card counters weren't banned from play until published research proved that their system could beat the casinos in the long run.... which answers your question as to why progressive bettors aren't banned from play. Until someone plays 10 million hands of manually-dealt blackjack -- and proves that progressive betting is superior to flat betting -- it's unlikely that a progressive bettor will have to worry about being banned from play.
    The fact that casinos don't ban progressive bettors is not necessarily based upon whether they win or not.
  • My thoughts of progression and counting-

    On this board, we have a nice debate between the two. -Which is better-, and -are all progressionists doomed in the long run-, are the two main debated questions. The mathmeticians say progression bettors are doomed for a loss in the long run. And rightfully so, for mathmatics and physics are the rules by which matter exists. I'm a college grad who completed up to Calc II and believe strongly in mathematics' role in the universe. Although, I also have an open mind. There are other forces at work than JUST mathmatics. Here is why I say this: Simple mathmatics says a person has a 1 and 600,000 chance of getting struck by lightning. Billions of people have gone through life without being struck, a man named Roy Sullivan was struck 7 times, and others have been struck multiple times. Raymond Emrich of Pennsylvania won a lotto twice, and there have been others. Millions go without ever winning a lotto. (search for "two time lotto winner" if you're double checking me) Would all mathmaticians say I'm lying, and that it is mathematically impossible? Well, these cases are documented.
    I could sit at a six deck shoe and hit 10 blackjacks in a row. It's not probable, but it is possible (since there are enough Aces and 10's to cover it.) It's not probable that someone will get hit 7 times by lightning, but it's possible as long as lightning strikes on this planet. Not probable for a multiple lotto winner, but possible if he keeps buying tickets.
    Now, mathmatics says it's not probable for progression bettors to come out ahead, but it is possible. Are you one of the people in which good things just seems to happen to at the tables or anywhere else? Ever notice you or one of your buddies are just "luckier" than others? I've witnessed this and it's hard to attribute an accurate explanation. Is it the attitude these players utilize? Personality? Luck? Unseen energies? Who knows, but the fact remains that it happens, and because there are deviations, it is possible for progression bettors to win over a lifetime.

    Just my thoughts.
  • Walter, progression players do get barred. This just happened to a guy I work with. He plays a pure progression (no counting) and he was barred from Harrah's (in Kansas)
  • Jedi, other factors must be taken into account before taking a leap of faith...

    Consider the 1/600k lightning strike. Those odds will vary (hugely!) depending on location, season, storm at hand, etc. For instance, if someone goes onto a golf course in Tampa Bay in the middle of a lightning storm, those odds will come WAY down. (Indeed, people struck more than once maybe aren't the brightest bulbs on the hardware shelf!)

    Also take into account the bullshit factor (false reports).

    It's useful to reverse the equation. Suppose there are 600,000 who've been struck by lightning. Fair chance one or more will be struck again.

    Statistical anomolies are to be expected, based on probabilities.

    As to the progression testimonials posted here: When it comes to blackjack, where correct play takes the player close to 50/50, anecdotal evidence is not particularly enlightening.

    Dex
    (not a statistician)
  • In the early years of air travel, my father always took a gun with him on the airplane. He figured that the odds would be astronomical against TWO passengers independently smuggling a gun on board, and this made him feel safe from hi-jackers.
  • Testimonials mean next to nothing, be they from counters or progressers. That's because you're not going to find many losers boasting of their accomplishments in a public forum.

    Dex
    101 Reality Street

    [quote="Walter Thomason"]
    ... There's one argument that I've always questioned: When a progressive bettor claims to be a winner, the counters claim that he hasn't played long enough to verify the value of the system, and has just been "lucky"
  • dex: I believe that testimonials can be meaningful if they are based on results over a long period of time.
    Before becoming a positive progressive player, I played "inspirational" and "basic strategy -- flat bet" blackjack for over 25 years, and never had a winning year. I've been a progressive bettor for the last 5 years, and have yet to have a losing year.
  • Walter, I say this purely in the abstract; I don't know you; I don't know your book...

    One or more of the following is true: 1) you are a statistical anomaly, 2) you are an innaccurate record-keeper, 3) you are a bullshitter, 4) there are supernatural influences outside the realm of scientific knowledge.

    Dex
    101 Reality Street

    Walter Thomason said:
    dex: I believe that testimonials can be meaningful if they are based on results over a long period of time.
    Before becoming a positive progressive player, I played "inspirational" and "basic strategy -- flat bet" blackjack for over 25 years, and never had a winning year. I've been a progressive bettor for the last 5 years, and have yet to have a losing year.
  • DEX 2003: As much as I doubt the validity of betting progressions, I know Walter Thomason personally and I'm 99% confident that he is a consciensious and honest man. That leaves us with options 1, 2 and 4, for what it's worth.
  • Gee whiz bug, is that any way to talk when someone is trying to lift you from the trough of ignorance?

    Lesson 1: Repeat after me, slowly... M-A-T-H-E-M-A-T-I-C-S (they teach it in most schools)
    Lesson 2: Also known as the "this is bad" lesson: S-U-P-E-R-S-T-I-T-I-O-N

    Dex
    101 Reality Street


    BuGhOu§eMASTER said:
    Nah, he means that he's gonna be DUCKING from everyone throwing punches and needles in his face when everyone reads the horse§hit that he wrote.
  • Dex: There's another possibility that you've failed to list. There's a natural (not supernatural) anomoly which occurs in manually-dealt blackjack games which produces different results than are predicted by mathametical theory and computer simulation. A slight difference in the frequency and duration of clusters of winning hands could produce results more favorable than traditional theory would predict.
    It's your right to reject this possibility if you choose to, but it's not your right to exclude it from consideration.
  • Walter, One quick question. Do you have any data regarding your
    progression and single deck play vs the shoe games and if there is a
    difference what do you attribute the difference to??

    Thanks, Ray
  • Walter Thompson, one thing that always struck me as ironic about card counting, is that a series of bad cards is coming out, driving the count up, so you make larger and larger bets as you get all these bad cards. To get up to a count of +5, you need a whole lot of bad cards to come out. This would imply to me that a negative progression should offer an advantage, i.e. increase your bet after a loss, decrease after a win. I've never bothered to model this theory, but my suspicion is that one cannot take advantage of this trend, because the probabilities change so little: an advantage swing from say -1.5% at a TC of -1 to an advantage of +1.5% at a TC of +5, would hardly have an effect on any progression, and is probably the biggest swing you'll see in a 4 hour session. (I'm talking a shoe game here) One idea is to play two hands (or more if you can get away with it), so the variance of results would be reduced. Make your progression based on the sum of the multiple hands. I guess the ideal situation would be heads up play, where you take up all six spots, although I suppose a smaller number of spots could be ideal - my intuition does not serve me here. Anyway, let me know your thoughts. (Actually, anyone is welcome to chime in here.)
  • Ray: My system can't work well in single deck play because they're aren't enough hands dealt to allow for long winning streaks (because I stop the progression at the end of the deck or shoe.)
    Mr. Ed: Even though it seems logical that high counts will produce more consecutive wins, my research and hands-on experience shows that this is not the case. Most of my longer winning streaks don't occur during high counts, as confirmed by a good friend who often plays at my table and counts cards. And the comparisons between card counting and progressive betting illustrated in "21st Century Blackjack" verify that winning streaks seldom occur as a result of a positive count. In effect, the streaks occur as a result of winning hands that you wouldn't expect to win, coupled with "no brainer" winners and successful double-downs and splits.
  • Thanks again Walter. I think I can now say what I think in better terms.
    In a static sense, logically and mathematically, we can say that progressions don't work. Fred's four step example is a perfect proof.
    If we extend our logic to a single deck game, then as Walter described,
    there are not enough hands for progressions to be verified, good or bad.
    So, we can extend the static position to a ristricted position(single deck)
    and say that progressions are lacking in this domain as well.

    Going from single deck to the six deck shoe is a new ball game for reasons that don't jump out and grab us like maybe they should. Its true
    that the level of complexity is just six times more likely in the shoe
    game; 4 kings vs 24,etc,etc. A simple linear translation for sure and
    I think all will agree with this simple logic. Right off the top, things are
    not quite as streight forward and the reason for this is a law more
    commonly called the "Principal of Entropy". The dealer is an active
    participant in this law by her actions of picking and placing the cards.
    ( A MORE COMPLETE EXAMPLE OF A "PIC AND PLACE ROBOT" I HAVE
    NOT SEEN)
    Over a short period of time the shoe becomes a cess-pool of changing
    probabilities, uncertainties abound and our ability to model such an
    envionment becomes next to impossible. No two decks are alike; no
    two shoes are alike; we lose hands that we should win and win hands we
    should lose. The strandard deviation can jump around in all manner
    and direction. These variations are the reason it takes so many hands
    of simulation to prove the card counting model and why it is so hard to
    beat these games. So, "WALTER" rest easy because if you say your
    progressions work in the shoe games, then no person on this planet
    can prove otherwise.(period)

    A word about "statistical Anomalies": This is a catch-all phrase that is
    over used by dumb ass statisticians that have an effect and can't
    figure out the cause. Most of these, if important, are rung out(fixed)
    and take their place as a set or sub-set along with other stats and
    fade into the woodwork we call knowledge.

    Ray
  • Statistical anomolies are entirely normal, depending on how anomolous of course. It would be very unusual to flip a coin and alternate heads/tails with each flip.

    Ray said:

    A word about "statistical Anomalies": This is a catch-all phrase that is
    over used by dumb ass statisticians that have an effect and can't
    figure out the cause. Most of these, if important, are rung out(fixed)
    and take their place as a set or sub-set along with other stats and
    fade into the woodwork we call knowledge.

    Ray
  • I think that we have said all we can say about progressions and we have
    split a few hairs along the way. Why don't we use our collective abilities
    to develop a new approach toward Blackjack. Why not? If you look at
    some of the things the casinos are doing, we need to do something for
    the future. I think that we have a good mix of math, science, experience,
    and just good common sense. What say you people?

    Ray
  • Ray: Thanks for your observations, but I'm afraid that it will be a long time before I can "rest easy" regarding my theories. Maybe after I've personally played another million or so hands... Anyway, doing the research is great fun!!
  • Still pluggging away with the progression and still winning at a 58% after roughly 150 to 175 hours of play. Average $71 per trip with high win 710 and high loss -500. I'm using Renzey's front count with the progression, sometimes to up my progression at good count times. (although the best count I've ever seen was a big loser for me, the table won I lost) Also leaving the table after 4 losses. I would not have lost as big as I did on a couple occassions if I drove to the cassino alone. I ussually go with a friend or my wife and sometimes that can cost you if your ride/rider is not ready to leave. I know that I can go get a drink or something, but it;s hard not to play when I'm there. Best of luck for the holidays.........Shredder



    Renzey said:
    SHREDDER: I say this in the most cautious and friendly way: Your 22 sessions at 4 to 5 hours each total roughly 100 hours and is not a telling sample size! Over that time period, there's a 35% chance that you'd be ahead just flat betting with basic strategy. At 500 hours, your chance to have been winning lucky drops to 18%. At 1000 hours it drops to 10%.
    Mathematically, progressions do not work. If you've experienced the contrary, my advice is to proceed with caution - but I honestly don't like your chances from here on out. Keep us posted though - and keep meticulous records. Walter's done well over a fairly long term - which puzzles me.
    By the way, progressionists usually increase their bets at a time unrelated to the current count. This has been found to be true.
  • SHREDDER: The thing about playing both the Front Count and a Progression at the same time is - you don't know if you're winning because of the front count or the progression - or both - or neither.
  • Geee... maybe the house doesn't know either!

    N&B
  • Fred: Your last post raises an interesting point. As an engineer and "math guy" I'm sure that it's important for you to know why you're winning... you've drawn upon your education and professional background to employ a betting system that you believe in. I, on the other hand, used a process of "trial and error" to develop a system that works for me, and wasn't predisposed to reject a plan which seems to be mathematically flawed. I guess that what I'm saying is that it's not real important for me to know WHY I win more often than I lose; As long as I continue to win more than I lose, it doesn't really matter WHY my current betting system is more successful than ones I've tried in the past. In your case you employed long-term statistical analysis to justify and explain your success; In my case through a process of trial and error I stumbled upon a plan which seems to be showing long-term success. Seems like both "theory" and "practice" can lead to successful blackjack play, even though my practice isn't proven by your theory.
    Happy Holidays :D

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