Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Posted: 1/24/2002 9:45:21 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/24/2002 9:46:50 PM EDT by The_Macallan]
You've been breaking even all night. You've had seven "complimentary cocktails" in the past two hours. $50 bet. Dealer showing 7. You have 16. Hit, stand, (or double down!)? Are you the type who plays on autopilot [u]all the time[/u]? Or do you hesitate (even for just a moment) at a hand like this?
Link Posted: 1/24/2002 10:35:59 PM EDT
What's the count??
Link Posted: 1/24/2002 10:39:20 PM EDT
Let me answer your question in a roundabout way... Reno, NV. Drinking steadily for about 36 hours - $50 bet on the table. Up $400 for weekend, after paying gas, room, and expected dinner costs. 5 @ table, 6-deck shoe. Just shuffled. Dealer showing 3. Dealt K-7. Hit, stand, or double? Double - drew 4. Dealer stood @ 20. You don't know what the bottom card for the dealer is, but you DO know where they have to hit or stand. Assume the worst, and you're supposed to be having a good time anyhow. I like playing for money instead of lives... FFZ
Link Posted: 1/25/2002 12:14:53 AM EDT
The_Macallan, Hit. 16 is the worst, so you've got nothing to lose since the dealer is VERY likely to beat you with that hand. So hit. And there ain't no counting a shoe, no matter what anyone says. If the players are winning, the house will short the cut on the next shuffle. Freefire, Man, you got lucky. Only way you gonna win is putting in the time and stick with the percentages, and wait for your opportunities to double down. If you're a serious gambler, that's what you have to do. I hit Vegas 3-4 times a year and I haven't lost in blackjack for about 5 years. No lie. Craps, on the other hand, like a f**king rollercoaster! Here's a quick one for the "pros": You get a nine-ace, and dealer shows 6. What do you do? Answer: | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | Double! Do it! 9 times out of 10 you'll win. The dealer will call the boss over 'cause he thinks you're trying to count, but it's a play that'll impress everybody, including the hooker that's been staring at your chips.
Link Posted: 1/25/2002 8:42:38 AM EDT
95% of the time I play it safe and go with the odds and either win or lose by the grace of the blackjack gods. The other 5% of the time I judge how lucky or un-lucky I've been on that particular day and guess. More likely than not I'd hit the 16 with dealer showing a 7. Its not likely I'd double. Funny thing is that I've been showing my mom how to play casino blackjack all week so the next time she goes to the casinos she can sit in a few hands.
Link Posted: 1/25/2002 8:32:57 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Buddha: Hit. 16 is the worst, so you've got nothing to lose since the dealer is VERY likely to beat you with that hand. So hit.
View Quote
Ok so far, but another option is to use what is technically known as "idiot camouflage" to hide the fact that you're counting cards -- if you are, that is. I don't think I'm giving anything away by revealing this tactic: say "double for less" and throw some miniscule amount like a one-dollar chip down.
And there ain't no counting a shoe, no matter what anyone says.
View Quote
Nonsense. Any halfway decent text will explain how to backcount and "wong" shoes. And a large-enough spread will let you play all the hands without backcounting/wonging, but it's hard to get away with that in today's casino environment.
If the players are winning, the house will short the cut on the next shuffle.
View Quote
Also nonsense, unless they suspect someone is counting. Even so, there is no point in hanging around while they shuffle, unless you are doing shuffle-tracking as well (a real pain in the ass), so you just get up and wander around until you've backcounted another shoe that is positive enough to wong in on.
Only way you gonna win is putting in the time and stick with the percentages, and wait for your opportunities to double down. If you're a serious gambler, that's what you have to do. I hit Vegas 3-4 times a year and I haven't lost in blackjack for about 5 years. No lie. Craps, on the other hand, like a f**king rollercoaster!
View Quote
Yeah, sure, given your comprehensive knowledge demonstrated below, I believe you.[rolleyes]
Here's a quick one for the "pros": You get a nine-ace, and dealer shows 6. What do you do? Answer: | | | Double! Do it! 9 times out of 10 you'll win. The dealer will call the boss over 'cause he thinks you're trying to count, but it's a play that'll impress everybody, including the hooker that's been staring at your chips.
View Quote
You're obviously not a professional, nor even close. The odds are considerably worse than "9 times out of 10". Doubling a soft 20 vs. dealer 6 is a +8(S17) or +7(H17) true count variation in the [i]Zen[/i] system. (Arnold Snyder, [u]Blackbelt in Blackjack[/u], RGE Press, ISBN 0-910575-02-9, available at finer bookstores near you.) To give you some idea of how often you get a count that high, you'll be fantastically rich if you get it more than once an hour (and if you have a clue of how to play the game properly). "Impress". Yeah, I'll be just as impressed as I was with the Thai bimbo at Binion's who was falling out of her chair, drunk, with her skirt riding up around her stomach, offering to trade the dealer "sex for six". Hi there! Nice tits! [:p]
Link Posted: 1/25/2002 8:39:14 PM EDT
I get the feeling you've played this game once before. [;)]
Link Posted: 1/25/2002 9:12:44 PM EDT
I played semiprofessionally for a few years on two (unrelated) large teams, as well as playing on my own for a few years. It's a living, or at least it used to be before the casinos started using biometric identification software to watch out for people who had been caught counting before. Nowadays when I go look at the blackjack boards (hey, every few months I get nostalgic), the only people playing are nickel-and-dime types doing it for fun. And everyone I know who used to make a living at it has been driven out.
Link Posted: 1/25/2002 9:55:35 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/25/2002 9:57:52 PM EDT by Wadman]
71-Hour-Achmed, What do you think of the contiuous shuffle machine that Bally's has employed? It was mentioned on a recent show on The Travel Channel. A writer said he felt such a machine could ruin BlackJack as a game. Continuous shuffle? What are they going to do next? Take away the odds bet on Craps? P.S. It seemed like a decent program. The BlackJack segment covered various strategies including Wonging so I actually understood what you were talking about.
Link Posted: 1/25/2002 11:43:51 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Wadman: What do you think of the continuous shuffle machine that Bally's has employed? It was mentioned on a recent show on The Travel Channel. A writer said he felt such a machine could ruin BlackJack as a game. Continuous shuffle? What are they going to do next? Take away the odds bet on Craps?
View Quote
Short answer: CSMs are evil.[}:(] I hadn't even thought about them when I posted above -- yes, these machines (CSMs, for short) are also part of the decline of blackjack. They're all over the place now, not just at Bally's. The problem is, because they shuffle the just-dealt cards back into the deck, there is never any removal of cards between rounds -- the player never gets to play when the deck has an abundance of tens and aces (which is when the deck is profitable) and never gets to walk away when the deck is worthless. Every hand is dealt from the same negative-expectation complete deck of cards, so all you can do is lose money (typically about -0.5% per hand). Unfortunately, most people don't know and don't care that they don't know. The ones who do care are "fungible" in a sense -- if they refuse to sit at a table with a CSM, clueless tourists will fill those seats anyway. The casinos know it, and watch the tables without CSMs more closely, giving them a better chance at detecting (and throwing out) skilled winners. IMHO, even ten years ago the casinos would have paid a price for using these machines, but nowadays so many truly dumb tourists are hooked on gambling that it just doesn't matter. (My favorite example: I once saw a guy split a pair of fives against a dealer eight, take a three on his first hand, stand on eight against dealer eight, and try to refuse a second card on his second hand -- he wanted to stand on a one-card five. And he wasn't even drunk; he just believed his hunch would let him win. He lost both, of course.) I haven't timed it or anything, since I've never bothered to watch a table with them, but I would guess that these allow dealers to deal more hands per hour, since the dealers don't have to stop to shuffle. So those tourists would lose their money faster, leave, and get replaced by more willing sheeple with more money. The net result is that the casinos don't see much of a drop in revenue, if any. And yes, the game of blackjack -- as a potentially profitable game where the player actually has a chance against the house -- is being destroyed by these. Blackjack as a craps/roulette/keno/chuckaluck game of random chance will still exist, though. Which is a damn shame, because the main reason it became so popular was that people actually had a chance against the house.
Link Posted: 1/26/2002 8:35:26 AM EDT
So much of what you say makes sense to me. I have enjoyed playing blackjack less and less the last couple of years that I hardly go to the casinos twice a year now. Even then I rarely play blackjack anymore when there. Obviously, winning was tied to my enjoyment factor but, even when I lost I at least felt it was just bad luck and had a good time. It got so aggravating when people would sit down for a few hands and hit when they shouldn't and either steal my cards or take a card from the dealer that would have busted him. Now when people talk about casino blackjack I say its a good way to kill 6 hours and hopefully break even. I'm not saying you can't win money, but the money you win is hard earned!
Link Posted: 1/26/2002 9:59:30 AM EDT
I've been hooked on video poker for the past 5 or so years. There is something addictive about watching those cards come up. Not to mention the absence of smirking dealers. Trying to count cards made it seem too much like work. On the right machines VP probably has the best odds. Just learn the rules, enjoy a cocktail and watch the scenery. On our last trip to Vegas in early December my wife hit two royals and I hit one at Belagio. All on dollar machines. The really good payoff though, to me, is hitting 4A plus a kicker on a dble-dble bonus game. As long as you don't hit a jackpot that triggers an IRS form (depends on the multiple of your bet) you can walk away tax free and as a bonus you still get comps.
Link Posted: 1/26/2002 11:26:39 AM EDT
Originally Posted By 10mmFan: I've been hooked on video poker for the past 5 or so years. [...] On the right machines VP probably has the best odds. Just learn the rules, enjoy a cocktail and watch the scenery.
View Quote
VP is actually a beatable game . . . sort of. Or at least it used to be; the boardroom bandits in LV may have ruined it, too. This guy was on one of the teams I was on: http://[url]http://www.jazbo.com/[/url] Back then, at least, it was possible -- by perfect strategy while playing, by playing ONLY those machines with progressive jackpots above a certain limit AND with "full payout", AND by using a cash-back comp card -- to make something like 1.5% on your money. The only problem was that the bankroll required was large, because that one royal-flush payout was the only thing that saved you. The rest of the time on the machine was a slow but steady loss.
As long as you don't hit a jackpot that triggers an IRS form (depends on the multiple of your bet) you can walk away tax free and as a bonus you still get comps.
View Quote
Have to factor the IRS into the above, because if you don't put in a maximum bet when you hit the royal, the amounts won are too small to make the game worthwhile overall. Last time I was in LV (last June), I saw signs up in casinos saying that the casino prohibited organized teams of people from playing VP machines; so, they recognize the threat and are taking action against winning slot players now. . . . All the casinos want are the little old blue-hairs throwing away their social security checks, and maybe a few high-rolling drunks thrown in.
Link Posted: 1/26/2002 11:44:03 AM EDT
71 I'll have to admit that I play the game with a negative expectation. However, I have learned the hard way not to play hunches and just stick to the rules. Those group players of little old ladies were ruining it for the fun players. Anytime the quarter machines reached a certain point they would wheel them in en masse until one of them hit a royal. Again, I play for fun. I have met many people like my wife and I who can play 6-10 hours a day and look forward to the next day. Playing at the Fontana bar in Bellagio, especially at night with the live entertainment, is a blast. It used to annoy the crap out of my wife that I would get on a good run and refuse to leave. Now, thankfully, she understands. VP is about playing and not so much walking away with a few bucks. If that's all I wanted I wouldn't have to go from Atlanta to Vegas to find a little action. And, yes, the royals are a big part of the 99-101% payout. BUT. BUT, BUT so are the bad players who sit there and pour money in totally unaware of the odds on a given hand. God bless them!!
Link Posted: 1/26/2002 3:23:00 PM EDT
The CSMs haven't made it to the riverboat/barges in Illinois but I'm sure they're on their way. The greed of the casino execs is hard to match. In spite of the economic downturn (or recession), I still see plenty of folks dropping C-notes like Kleenex. I'm a Craps player but most people I know fancy themselves Blackjack players. Maybe I'll try some mini-Baccarat in Vegas next month.
Top Top