Outed Myself As A Counter
Recent session playing £5 per hand blackjack. 4 players at the table. CSM game with discard tray going up to about 2 decks.
A round came out with NO HIGH CARDS! No Tens or aces.
We all looked at each-other amazed and amused and I mumbled "Wow! after that hand . . . " as I pushed a massive £10 into the circle! Dealer says "Ah. A card counter eh?". I reply, "Yeah. As if that works :o)"
We both grinned.
Fact is, I'm known as a steady BS player, but at the stakes I play, I'm convinced they don't care one jot.
Still, I've taken the sum total of £870 from them over 15 sessions and 6 months.
Just luck and occasional recklessness: Not by counting.
Three Hours Of Fun
That's what I just had. Three hours of really amusing Blackjack, and it didn't break the bank.
I don't get to the casino so often nowadays, but today I was in the mood. Local Grosvenor £3 min table. got there at 5pm only one other player at first.
I'd got £400 in my pocket and had decided that £200 was expendable.
Bought in for £50 in £5s. Started playing £5 a hand. OnceDear <> High Roller !
After very few minutes and a few good doubles and splits, I was at £100, never actually having gone below £40. Too soon to go home. Target set at £150 :o)
So, I started to play silly beggars, doing a 5, 10, 15, 15 progressive. After a total of about 20 mins, I was at £150, so I excused myself while I had a bar snack.
Because I left my chips at the table, and maybe because there were few staff on, they left me 'on the screen' as though I was still playing, this clocking up points. Yayyy.
After my food, I was almost tempted to buy some more chips to ensure that I really was still getting points, but it would have looked a bit odd.
So, back to it: £5, £10, £15, £20, £20 progressive, I ebbed and flowed my way through 3 dealers and still sat at about £160 in chips.
Then a nice newbie dealer came on and I soon found myself with £187.50 in chips. What to do? Should I Marty for the £200?
Nooooo. Been there done that. I wanted a bit of time in play, so no Marty tonight.
I was having fun, so I stuck with a mix of £5, £10 and occasionally £15 bets in no particular pattern.
Could I reach the magical £200? Could I hell! I could not get that extra £12.50 to save my life. But I was ticking over OK.
Then. Another dealer. As it happened, the last one for me tonight.
He was just having golden luck. I just kept getting hands to split and resplit and double and at £10 to £20 a hand, he was slaughtering me with his 21s and Blackjacks.
I stumbled down back to my original £50. Dammit. ( OK. £52.50 if we are going to be pedantic)
Kept playing at £10 a hand.
And there I was. With just £22.50 in chips where once was £187.50 What a darned fool. But I had enjoyed the ebb and flow and had way over two hours of fun behind me.
So I went all in with that last $20 ( held back the £2.50 if you must have all the details :o)
Blackjack. Yayyyy. I had my £50 starting roll back.
In with £25. Win.
Hells teeth, I'd turned that sniveling £22.50 into £102.50 and was 100% up on the session. Shall I go home?
Then, I can only describe the rest of the play as nuts. Fueled by Adrenalin and free caffeine, I was like a man possessed. Even the dealer seemed to be having a sugar rush.
£25 a hand straight betting. This is me in high-roller mode!
Bankroll=£127.50 (that pesky £2.50)
Phone rang. It was the wife wondering where I was. Rejected the call.
Rejected the call again. Not like me :o)
FFS. Surely not.
Went back to £5, £10, £15 progressive.
and there I was. . . £202.50
Handed the £2.50 over as a tip ( Last of the big spenders :o)
Cashed out my £200 for a net profit of £150 on the session. All that on just a single £50 buy-in.
I never expected that. Well, at least not when I was down to that last £22.50.
Dealer errors? Only caught two that affected me, one where he tried to pick up my £20 on a hand that I'd won. And one where the newbie dealer asked me if I wanted to take more cards after splitting aces. She had to confirm with the supervisor when I pointed out that I was not allowed to do that.
Card counting. . . I practiced a bit it was a 6 deck CSM with a discard tray that got emptied at about 75 cards, so not worth the effort. True count never reached 2 in any case, but it was OK to practice.
But tonight was the very essence of what I think it should be like. Playtime was value for money. Food was value for money. Banter with dealers and players was ongoing and friendly. And I came out far enough ahead to afford another session next time the mood takes me.
Oncedear = A lucky Tit once more.
100% Risk Of Ruin !
Tonight's visit to the casino, I had the pleasure to be entertained by a LUZER of the highest order. I'll call him Mr Pink after his tie. Mr Pink seemed to have the sole objective of going home broke. He was a spectacular success.
But I'm still trying to fathom out what goes on inside the head of guys like Mr Pink. I doubt he's a member here.
Scenario: Provincial UK casino with one £3min blackjack table open. Mr Pink at seat 3, some young fella at seat 5 playing minimum and I buy in for £50 in 5s and sit at seat 1. A high roller here is usually the guy that bets £25 a hand. Sometimes me. :o)
As I join, Mr Pink has just gone all in with about £100 and is being paid a Blackjack. I say Hi and congratulate him on his timely win. He mumbles something about being 4 grand down tonight.
But then I see how it probably happened. He continued to play like a complete and utter knob!
For each hand played he was, without fail, wagering all of the chips in front of him, split roughly 50:40 between the main bet and the 21+3 side bet with the odd £5 on the PP side bet.
At no time did he hold back chips in case of a need to double or split.
At no time did he in fact double or split!!!!! Never!!! He'd ignore BS and stand a 13 against a 10. He'd hit 19 ( and get a 2: jammy sod ) He was a complete ploppy, but a ploppy with money. And there was I playing £5 a hand in the seat before him, just hoping that one of my borderline plays like hit 16 v 10 would annoy him. Praying also that he'd get the odd pair of aces against 6, just to see how he played it.
Inevitably, every couple of hands he'd reach into his pocket to re-buy in for £200 to £300, which he would immediately slide into the circle and promptly lose..
And he wasn't even getting mediocre luck. LOL. never a winning side-bet and his 19s were getting trounced by dealer 20 or 21. I just kept ticking over my modest pile of ten £5 chips, ebbing and flowing.
Mr Pink was hemorrhaging Cash. He couldn't win a free coffee. Every time he had, say a 14 or 15 hand, he would gesture as though walking early from the table, but sometimes he would win and stay.
This went on maybe 15 minutes as I watched him throw away at least another £4K. until he finally bought in and instantly lost with what was clearly his last four hundred pounds. He just threw that down with a grumble of 'You might as well take it all"
I can only imagine that if he had a streak of good fortune or a few winning side-bets, he would have thrown those chips back onto the table as though insulted by the opportunity to win.
After he eventually stormed out, broke, A chat ensued at the table and it was confided that he'd just lost significantly more than he'd stated. Possibly about £10K
I played on for an hour or so and cashed out £10.50 up. Yayyyyy.
So, what madness is this. The guy did not seem to be having much fun. Winning ( what little he did ) did not seem to please him: Losing seemed to quite reasonably annoy him. But he just seemed to play to lose. Is the narcissism of being a high roller of so much value to such a guy. Was it maybe an expression of conspicuous wealth, in which case why grumble when he lost?
He didn't even seem drunk.
Debunking d'Alembert With Excel
It's been suggested that playing a Roulette wheel using a d'Alembert progression is a road to riches. Apparently it's child's play to beat the house edge.
So, as a little exercise, I've created an Excel workbook which illustrates dramatically how a playing d'Alembert progression will strongly trend towards bankruptcy, with a probable initial negligible profit.
Here's the way I played it.
The game was European Roulette with single 0. If you are a masochist modify it for American Roulette.
The first bet is on red, purely arbitrary. I wagered only on Red or Black. Modify for odd/even if you wish or other 1:1 propositions outside bets.
Whenever the result was Red, the next bet was Black. Modify if you can be bothered. It makes no difference.
Whenever the result was Black, the next bet was Red.
Whenever the result was Green 0, the next bet was the same as the most recent bet.
I assigned a starting Bankroll of $1,000,000 ( You can vary that in the model. )
I decided an initial wager of $10 ( You can vary that in the model. )
I decided a progression increment of $1. ( You guessed it )
Whenever a bet won, the next bet was $1 less than the previous bet, or $1, whichever was the greater.
Whenever a bet lost, the next bet was $1 more than the previous bet, or total remaining bankroll, whichever was the smaller.
The model simulated potentially 50,000 spins.
Child's play indeed.
So, download the workbook and open it in Excel. You may need to enable editing. It has NO MACROS.HERE IS THE WORKBOOK
To run the simulation, simply put the cursor into any empty cell and hit the Delete Key. After a fraction of second, the simulation will complete and the chart and results table will repopulate.
Generally the bankroll starts out with a modest increase of value of a few times the initial wager. Pretty soon it heads downhill with an accelerating downtrend as the wager size increases.
I've yet to see the simulation succeed in doubling the bankroll with the parameters as set. You can change those parameters and I assert that whatever you set them as, you will lose your bankroll more often than you double it.HERE IS THE WORKBOOK
It's nothing sophisticated and does not use macros, so is safe to run in excel 2010 or later.
I'll leave it online a few months. If the owners of admins here wish to, they can host it themselves, subject to leaving it unchanged and attributing to me by name.
Here's an example result.
Chasing losses again
So darned stupid. Chasing losses is effectively not much different to Martingaling, and I just did it. Sucker !!!
After my bankroll took a good beating earlier in the year, I've restricted myself to just a few £hundred per weekly session, in bricks and mortar casino, min betting at £5 for recreation. I've been doing ok.
Buy-ins have been typically $50 - £100 with maybe a second and very rarely a third buy-in per session. until Monday, my last 8 sessions had all been winners, leaving me up by £695. So far so good.
But this Monday I went armed with 5x£50 notes set aside for bankroll plus a few hundred regular pocket money.
Bought in for £50. Got ahead to maybe £90 then Whack! Gone before my free coffee arrived.
Bought in for another £50. Whack! Never went above buy-in.
Bought in for another £50. Whack! Never went above £75. Managed to squeeze 30 minutes of play.
Dealer change, new faster, prettier dealer. ( me = sexist pig )
Requested another coffee.
Bought in for £100. Whack! Never went above buy-in. My nice crisp £50 notes were gone.
All this playing between £5 and £15 per hand.
It wasn't much fun. None of my £50 buy-ins managed to get to £100 and here I was £250 down, and then my coffee arrived.
Skulked off to watch a few fools throw money at roulette while I finished my drink. Felt and looked pretty pathetic. Went home.
Consoled myself that this was the first losing session of 9 sessions and that I was still £445 up overall.
But notice how I'd got greedy. Previously I'd been turning £50 into £100 or maybe £100 into £150 or so. But here I was throwing £250 into one session and getting my arse kicked.
So today arrives. I felt pissed with the universe for playing fair and beating me. I needed to chase that £250 loss. This would need more fire-power.
This time online BJ. Popped in £100 of credit.
Flat betting £10 or £15 as the mood took me.
Lost it in short order. DAMMIT
Goddam it. £350 in the hole for the week
Credited another £100 to flat bet at £15. Needed a lot of luck. What will I do if I ( inevitably ) lose this?
Stumbled my way up to £300. If I withdrew, I could at least say it was only a £150 loss on the week. Played on.
Bobbled between £350 and about £150
Clambered up to £450. Phew, I was now at break even for the week. That £250 loss was recovered.
Played on at £10 per hand.
Bobbled between £480 and about £410
Clambered to £490 !!!
Dropped bet to £2 per hand and Martingaled.
Hit £500 balance. Cashed out at £300 profit for the session and up £50 for the week..
OnceDear once again a lucky tit!
But make no bones about it, by effectively buying in for double what I usually do, I'm treating each losing session like a single losing bet and effectively Martingaling in sessions. Doomed to fail.
I really don't know what I would have done if the last £100 had gone down the pan. Being £450 down on the week would have really upset me, but throwing several more £hundred to try to claw it back would have been stupid upon stupid.