kewlj
kewlj
Joined: Apr 17, 2012
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March 31st, 2014 at 3:35:26 PM permalink
I couldn't agree more with 1BB and Axiom. I have been saying on other blackjack sites for several years that counting down a deck is the most overrated thing I have come across. Counting down a deck in no way simulates game conditions. Furthermore, it is just lame. Under 20 seconds? who cares? Speed isn't all that important. In a real blackjack game, it is the player (s) who control the speed of the game not the dealer! Sometimes, just for fun, I will purposely slow down a fast dealer. It can really throw them off THEIR game. lol

Practice: I play blackjack almost every day. But I still practice every day as well. Maybe as short as 15 minutes, but I still practice. My preferred method of practice is to just deal hands to myself or my partners. THAT simulates an actual game. I have a blackjack table in my home (from Sahara), but even before that I would deal on the kitchen or dining room table. By playing out multiple spots, just as you would in a casino setting, you can also work on index plays. If there is one you are not sure about you can stop and check. Make sure you got it right. My partners, both like to use computer simulated games for practice, but I prefer the actual dealing at a table.

Flashcards: It may be something from last decade, but I think flashcards are really the best way to learn index plays. You make yourself a good set of flashcards and then just flip through them a few times a week. Can be as informal as a commercial break while watching TV.
Sonuvabish
Sonuvabish
Joined: Feb 5, 2014
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March 31st, 2014 at 3:36:17 PM permalink
Quote: rob45

Is not the second highly dependent upon the first?



Ultimately, I don't think so. It becomes like a reflex. You look at the table you know the count. Speed is part of the process of developing that skill, so you could say yes it is dependent. Counting down a deck is not useful in and of itself, this practice needs to relate back to the game--I have no doubt people practice this, master it, then never do it again because they passed their training, and it served no function. In practical terms, you don't need to count a deck in 20 seconds to keep up with even the fastest dealers, and speed has nothing to do with the end result of essentially absorbing the information on the table.
But this is just my opinion. I can only offer you one fact. Your practice of counting down decks will not impede your skills. Continual practice may have a beneficial impact.
rhodyBob
rhodyBob
Joined: Nov 28, 2013
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March 31st, 2014 at 4:28:39 PM permalink
Quote: Sonuvabish

In practical terms, you don't need to count a deck in 20 seconds to keep up with even the fastest dealers, and speed has nothing to do with the end result of essentially absorbing the information on the table.



FWIW, I agree, sort of. Fairly new to counting, the difficulty for me is the other distractions that cause me to lose the count. I play with a stack of chips in front of me in order to try and use them as flags as to the count, but if the count gets high I focus more on the play of the hand. I know the basic strategy play, but there's nothing like a larger amount of money, or multiple splits * larger amount to distract you from the count. All of a sudden you have either gained or lost a large bet, and... oh shit... what was the count, or if not what it was, what is it now?

I can't play heads-up with a dealer yet, because I need time to register the count, so maybe speed does matter. Especially if the dealer is proficient, where they finish the play for you. They know I'm not going to hit that 20, or that 18 against their 6, so, heads up, before I know it that hand is over and the dealer is impatiently waiting for my next bet. I try to find tables with other players, so as get some extra time to keep the count. But as I get more practice I find that some situations are to slow. It's tough to find the Goldilocks table where the speed is just right.

Regardless, I don't practice with a deck of cards at home anymore. Seeing the count across the table is easy. It's what to od with this information that is the issue.
AxiomOfChoice
AxiomOfChoice
Joined: Sep 12, 2012
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March 31st, 2014 at 4:30:39 PM permalink
Quote: rhodyBob

FWIW, I agree, sort of. Fairly new to counting, the difficulty for me is the other distractions that cause me to lose the count. I play with a stack of chips in front of me in order to try and use them as flags as to the count, but if the count gets high I focus more on the play of the hand. I know the basic strategy play, but there's nothing like a larger amount of money, or multiple splits * larger amount to distract you from the count. All of a sudden you have either gained or lost a large bet, and... oh shit... what was the count, or if not what it was, what is it now?

I can't play heads-up with a dealer yet, because I need time to register the count, so maybe speed does matter. Especially if the dealer is proficient, where they finish the play for you. They know I'm not going to hit that 20, or that 18 against their 6, so, heads up, before I know it that hand is over and the dealer is impatiently waiting for my next bet. I try to find tables with other players, so as get some extra time to keep the count. But as I get more practice I find that some situations are to slow. It's tough to find the Goldilocks table where the speed is just right.

Regardless, I don't practice with a deck of cards at home anymore. Seeing the count across the table is easy. It's what to od with this information that is the issue.



Just tell the dealer to wait for your hand signals. If they don't, complain to the pit.
Sonuvabish
Sonuvabish
Joined: Feb 5, 2014
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March 31st, 2014 at 5:02:45 PM permalink
Quote: rhodyBob

FWIW, I agree, sort of. Fairly new to counting, the difficulty for me is the other distractions that cause me to lose the count. I play with a stack of chips in front of me in order to try and use them as flags as to the count, but if the count gets high I focus more on the play of the hand. I know the basic strategy play, but there's nothing like a larger amount of money, or multiple splits * larger amount to distract you from the count. All of a sudden you have either gained or lost a large bet, and... oh shit... what was the count, or if not what it was, what is it now?

I can't play heads-up with a dealer yet, because I need time to register the count, so maybe speed does matter. Especially if the dealer is proficient, where they finish the play for you. They know I'm not going to hit that 20, or that 18 against their 6, so, heads up, before I know it that hand is over and the dealer is impatiently waiting for my next bet. I try to find tables with other players, so as get some extra time to keep the count. But as I get more practice I find that some situations are to slow. It's tough to find the Goldilocks table where the speed is just right.

Regardless, I don't practice with a deck of cards at home anymore. Seeing the count across the table is easy. It's what to od with this information that is the issue.



Large counts are the biggest distraction for me. I get nervous, less calm. If I lose the count, this is where it would happen. It's not difficult to ballpark if you don't cap your bets.
Dealer's sometimes try to set the pace. I usually let them. My last session, I've got two large bets out in an S17 against an Ace. Dealer hits to 17, hits again for a 5, declares 21, and swipes away my bets. Furious about losing, I didn't notice. But the pit was hawking my game and they noticed. 5 is burned and I crush them. Might be a bad example since it almost cost me, but if the dealer is blazing, I'm happier to let them screw up and swipe away the evidence than irritate them with my complaints. I have seen a very fast dealer who is also very proficient, but they aren't very common and easily avoidable if you are not comfortable. Soon, tho, you may prefer a speedy dealer to get more hands.
1BB
1BB
Joined: Oct 10, 2011
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March 31st, 2014 at 5:12:36 PM permalink
A word about heat to no one in particular.

There is no shortage of players on the various blackjack forums who regale us with story after story about heat. The pit boss looked at me. He picked up the phone. He whispered to the dealer. With today's surveillance that happens much less. The scowling pit boss with his arm crossed is going the way of the dinosaur. There is always going to be heat but if you are modestly spreading red chips I wouldn't worry too much and for goodness sake don't throw away money on cover play.

Heat can be very fickle. I have gotten away ridiculous things many times and I've also suffered from "El Cortez Syndrome". Just as you must practice counting, you must learn to distinguish heat from paranoia. The best way to beat the heat is to keep your sessions short and leave after exposing your spread.
Many people, especially ignorant people, want to punish you for speaking the truth. - Mahatma Ghandi
rhodyBob
rhodyBob
Joined: Nov 28, 2013
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March 31st, 2014 at 5:15:38 PM permalink
I know.

Before I started trying to count, this kind of a situation was really a buzz. With a really good dealer, the rhythm gets going, 99% of the plays are quick and obvious to both of you, and you just go with the flow and revel in the certain satisfaction that you know how to play basic strategy. But counting adds a whole new level of attention that you have to bring to the table. You could still flat bet and basically break even, but that's not the point anymore. Like when you lose the count in the middle of a shoe and have to flat bet till the end, or wong out. The ego boost, regardless of the net win or loss, is NOW that you can play basic strategy AND COUNT!

Telling the dealer to slow down is like telling your dad to put the training wheels back on the bike, or taking off your skis and walking down the last half of the triple black diamond slope. It's the wise thing to do, but it sure as hell is a kick in the ego.

Plus, if I do that, I can't stop thinking that "they" know why I want to slow the pace. It's clear I play good Basic Strategy. Why in the world would I want to slow it down? Hmm... could he be counting?
Sonuvabish
Sonuvabish
Joined: Feb 5, 2014
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March 31st, 2014 at 5:20:12 PM permalink
Quote: 1BB

A word about heat to no one in particular.

There is no shortage of players on the various blackjack forums who regale us with story after story about heat. The pit boss looked at me. He picked up the phone. He whispered to the dealer. With today's surveillance that happens much less. The scowling pit boss with his arm crossed is going the way of the dinosaur. There is always going to be heat but if you are modestly spreading red chips I wouldn't worry too much and for goodness sake don't throw away money on cover play.

Heat can be very fickle. I have gotten away ridiculous things many times and I've also suffered from "El Cortez Syndrome". Just as you must practice counting, you must learn to distinguish heat from paranoia. The best way to beat the heat is to keep your sessions short and leave after exposing your spread.



Do you always split 10s when the index calls for it?
Sonuvabish
Sonuvabish
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March 31st, 2014 at 5:34:13 PM permalink
Quote: rhodyBob

I know.

Before I started trying to count, this kind of a situation was really a buzz. With a really good dealer, the rhythm gets going, 99% of the plays are quick and obvious to both of you, and you just go with the flow and revel in the certain satisfaction that you know how to play basic strategy. But counting adds a whole new level of attention that you have to bring to the table. You could still flat bet and basically break even, but that's not the point anymore. Like when you lose the count in the middle of a shoe and have to flat bet till the end, or wong out. The ego boost, regardless of the net win or loss, is NOW that you can play basic strategy AND COUNT!

Telling the dealer to slow down is like telling your dad to put the training wheels back on the bike, or taking off your skis and walking down the last half of the triple black diamond slope. It's the wise thing to do, but it sure as hell is a kick in the ego.

Plus, if I do that, I can't stop thinking that "they" know why I want to slow the pace. It's clear I play good Basic Strategy. Why in the world would I want to slow it down? Hmm... could he be counting?



I have no idea what his problem was, but I remember quite a while ago I played heads up against a dealer who was dealing about 1 hand per minute, purposefully. I was very patient, and I am sure my body language let him know I was not pleased. I don't remember how it was resolved, but I wish I had gotten confrontational, because it still bugs me. Point is, the slowest person decides the pace. There's no need to ask the dealer to slow down when you can just stop trying to keep up.
1BB
1BB
Joined: Oct 10, 2011
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March 31st, 2014 at 5:51:21 PM permalink
Quote: Sonuvabish

Do you always split 10s when the index calls for it?



Not always but it is rare when I don't. The Newport room at Foxwoods is one place where I would think twice about it.
Many people, especially ignorant people, want to punish you for speaking the truth. - Mahatma Ghandi

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