theoriemeister
theoriemeister
Joined: Jul 4, 2015
  • Threads: 14
  • Posts: 73
July 14th, 2017 at 7:58:59 PM permalink
Hi all,

Last week I was in Vegas and took a very small bankroll ($300) with me. I sought out a $5 (3:2) BJ table and lost it in about 3 hours. (I am a very solid basic strategy player.) 2 days later I was at a different casino, bought in for $100, but lost that fairly quickly. I bought in for another hundred, got down to my last $25 but eventually clawed my way back to end up +$25 for the session--and that got me thinking. Perhaps the first night if I had had a larger bankroll I could have stuck around and made it back--or would I have been putting at risk that extra money as well?

At what point does one say to oneself, "I'm gettin' my ass kicked and I should quit before I lose my entire session bankroll"? I know that BJ is all about the long-term grind, and I see folks on here talk about going through losings spells. Does one actually take one's entire bankroll withe him/herself when you go out to play, or do you take a session bankroll and say to yourself, "I'm going to leave when 1) I lose my bankroll, or 2) when I increase my bankroll by x units, or 3) after I've played x number of hours?

Tonight I played at my local casino, and it was one of those nights where I couldn't win anything. I only play with a new shoe, but I won only 2 bets the entire first shoe. I only played about 45-50 minutes, but only won one 1 double (out of 5-6) and only had 1 blackjack. Pretty much flat betting $5 a hand, and even with my weak card counting skills, all of the shoes tonight NEVER got much more worse than TC -1 (so I didn't Wong out), or more than +2. Of course, on days like today it seemed that the dealer rarely busted and I busted all my stiff 13-16 hands. I lost my $100 session bankroll and even put in another $25, managed to tread water for another 10 minutes or so, but lost that as well. The tide never turned in my favor at all.

Should I have taken a lot more money with me and "weathered the storm" and continued to play? Or, should I have just stopped when I did, because I ran through my session bankroll? For some reason, having at least 20x the betting unit seems reasonable to me.

Theorie

p.s. after I lost my final bet [a double!], I sat sipping my beer and watched the only other player at the table go through $700. Now, when things go bad, I might shake my head and joke to the dealer about getting killed or catching a break, but this guy was almost slamming down his chips after each hand he lost. I thought to myself, at least I'm not losing $700 in a single evening!
billryan
billryan
Joined: Nov 2, 2009
  • Threads: 50
  • Posts: 1870
Thanks for this post from:
monet0412
July 14th, 2017 at 8:02:09 PM permalink
When you are mentally defeated, it's always better to walk away. Casinos will be there tomorrow. A shower and a good nights sleep can work wonders.
It's what you do and not what you say If you're not part of the future then get out of the way
Mission146
Administrator
Mission146
Joined: May 15, 2012
  • Threads: 99
  • Posts: 9084
July 14th, 2017 at 11:20:31 PM permalink
Quote: billryan

When you are mentally defeated, it's always better to walk away. Casinos will be there tomorrow. A shower and a good nights sleep can work wonders.



I agree with this, of course.

I also wonder, as it seems that you are keeping up with the count, do you increase your bets when the count is positive (to any substantial degree) or do you just keep the count to wong-out at a worse TC than -1?

It just doesn't seem like losing $100 in 40-45 minutes at Blackjack with a $5 bet comes as any great surprise to me. Two people at the table. Probably saw nearly 100 hands in that time, down twenty base bets. That's certainly not a good run, but nothing that seems shocking to me, especially if you lost 4/5 or 5/6 doubles. 5/6 doubles would be down $40 just on those six hands, so now you're losing something like twelve additional base bets in over ninety hands.

Granted, we're comparing 800 hands per hour to 100, but I've certainly gone down $100 in 40 minutes on Video Poker at $1.25/hand. I'm not even talking TDB, or anything, 98.91% 800-200-25-15-9-4-4-3-2-1 DW. Forty minutes is going to be, like, 530ish hands, so even if we call it 550, that's $687.5 coin-in. About the same in dollars and cents that you would get down on Blackjack hands in that amount of time once you factor in splits and doubles, maybe a little more on VP than BJ.

Granted, there's some more variance on VP than Blackjack, obviously, but I don't know. Dropping $100 in forty minutes just doesn't seem terribly surprising. I've certainly done worse, and I almost never play Blackjack.
Vultures can't be choosers.
MaxPen
MaxPen
Joined: Feb 4, 2015
  • Threads: 10
  • Posts: 1017
Thanks for this post from:
ZenKinGDeMango
July 14th, 2017 at 11:39:34 PM permalink
Were you playing with those pre shuffled Chinese cards?
If so, that's your problem.
ZenKinG
ZenKinG
Joined: May 3, 2016
  • Threads: 22
  • Posts: 436
July 15th, 2017 at 12:30:13 AM permalink
Quote: MaxPen

Were you playing with those pre shuffled Chinese cards?
If so, that's your problem.



One day people will wake up.
Wong Halves Full Indices ------------ LoneWoLF >
billryan
billryan
Joined: Nov 2, 2009
  • Threads: 50
  • Posts: 1870
Thanks for this post from:
DeMangomonet0412RogerKintbeachbumbabsRomes
July 15th, 2017 at 12:32:09 AM permalink
Personally, I'm more concerned with not waking up.
It's what you do and not what you say If you're not part of the future then get out of the way
OnceDear
OnceDear
Joined: Jun 1, 2014
  • Threads: 26
  • Posts: 1773
July 15th, 2017 at 1:00:22 AM permalink
Quote: theoriemeister

(I am a very solid basic strategy player.)

Do you count/ramp/wong such that you have an actual advantage? I don't, so I'm playing for recreation. I guess you are too at those levels.
Quote:

. . . that got me thinking. Perhaps the first night if I had had a larger bankroll I could have stuck around and made it back--or would I have been putting at risk that extra money as well?

Certainly the more you play, the more you put at risk
Quote:

At what point does one say to oneself, "I'm gettin' my ass kicked and I should quit before I lose my entire session bankroll"?

Session bankroll should be fully expendible, with joy and resignation. When the fun stops, stop
Quote:

. . . or do you take a session bankroll and say to yourself, "I'm going to leave when 1) I lose my bankroll, or 2) when I increase my bankroll by x units, or 3) after I've played x number of hours?

As a recreational player, that's my way. I have the objective of maybe an hour's amusement in which to lose, break even, or maybe double or treble session br. Spotting the odd beneficial dealer error or getting a hand that keeps redoubling or splitting adds to the fun.
Quote:

. . . it was one of those nights where I couldn't win anything.

LOL @ those nights when the money's gone before the first free drink has arrived.
Quote:

I only play with a new shoe,

!!!! So, you always start playing when at a disadvantage. Makes me again think you are doing it for recreation.
Quote:

. . . Pretty much flat betting $5 a hand, and even with my weak card counting skills. . .

Assess your game. Use Rome's workbooks to see if you are overbetting your lifetime BR.
Quote:

Should I have taken a lot more money with me and "weathered the storm" and continued to play? Or, should I have just stopped when I did, because I ran through my session bankroll? For some reason, having at least 20x the betting unit seems reasonable to me.

No. Have a few hundred set aside in case there is a massively exploitable dealer error, but unless you are playing for profit, don't chase losses at all. If you are playing for profit, you already worked out your hourly EV and know damned well that some sessions or weeks or months would see you down thousands if not tens of thousands, and you would be chilled with that. Just like ZenKing isn't.
Quote:

. . after I lost my final bet [a double!]

ALWAYS have enough in reserve to accomodate a hand that keeps doubling or splitting. You'd kick yourself if not enough to cover splitting and resplitting a pair of aces against a 5
Quote:

but this guy was almost slamming down his chips after each hand he lost. I thought to myself, at least I'm not losing $700 in a single evening!

Don't want to be that guy, do you?

ps. Gotta laugh at the comments about chinese cards, at which ZK took the bait.
Embrace the Variance
ahiromu
ahiromu
Joined: Jan 15, 2010
  • Threads: 109
  • Posts: 1900
July 15th, 2017 at 1:10:57 AM permalink
I play until my session length is over (60-120 minutes) or I lose my entire buy-in. So basically, I decide how long I want to play and buy in for about that much. The amount I buy in for comes from experience. I know how much I have to buy in for my sessions to last over an hour most of the time.

Stay within your gambling limits, everything else is psychological. Do you want to have a daily limit? A session limit? You're not counting, this is entertainment. It's all the same. Everything is one big session. Buying in for $300 at one time is the same as three separate $100 buy ins. Do what brings you the most joy.

Blackjack is high variance, it's hard to guarantee long sessions. Hope you find a comfortable level of play. If you're flat betting, https://wizardofodds.com/games/blackjack/appendix/4/
Its - Possessive; It's - "It is" / "It has"; There - Location; Their - Possessive; They're - "They are"
TigerWu
TigerWu 
Joined: May 23, 2016
  • Threads: 6
  • Posts: 516
July 15th, 2017 at 8:08:40 AM permalink
I quit when either:

1) I've lost my bankroll for the trip. That's what it's there for; before I leave the house I mentally prepare myself to lose all of it, so I don't get upset if it happens. Sometimes I break it down by day or session, sometimes I don't.

2) The trip is over and I go home.
LostWages
LostWages
Joined: May 6, 2013
  • Threads: 36
  • Posts: 353
July 15th, 2017 at 10:44:05 AM permalink
Quote: theoriemeister

At what point does one say to oneself, "I'm gettin' my ass kicked and I should quit before I lose my entire session bankroll"?

I would consider OnceDear's multi-comments about playing for recreation vs other reasons. I don't have the experience to match yours, or any of the other posters to your OP, so just take my comments as food for thought. I play with a TRIP bankroll of under $1,000 - my session BR is $100, and I always keep an emergency $50 for that last double down. I understand that APs dislike the idea of
$60 and $40, respectively
, but my play is quite conservative, and I like my TRIP BR to last at least 4-5 days of play. If you've not read Romes's 3 articles, now's a good time!

http://wizardofvegas.com/articles/A-to-Z-Counting-Cards-in-Blackjack/

http://wizardofvegas.com/articles/A-to-Z-Counting-Cards-In-Blackjack-2/

http://wizardofvegas.com/articles/A-to-Z-Counting-Cards-In-Blackjack-3/

Romes asks 5 questions you need to answer before you play. What is . . .

1. . . . the house edge? (< 0.60 or lower)
2. . . . your bet spread?
3. . . . your session bankroll?
4. . . . your hourly EV (expected value) of the game you’re going to play? and
5. . . . the PEN? Don't play if < 60%, because you'll rarely get a TC high enough (>=2) to merit raising your bet.

There are so many conditions that will affect your choice and style of play. The more experienced posters will surely share more comments.
Eat real food . . . and you won't need medicine (or a lot less!)

  • Jump to: