SumStranger
SumStranger
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June 9th, 2014 at 5:00:23 PM permalink
A couple friends and I have been counting cards for a couple years now, and for the most part it has gone pretty well. We have run into a rather long streak of bad luck lately however, which prompted this post. We are each down about $5k ($15k collectively) in the last 500 hours (1500 collective hours). We play at separate tables but pool our money together in an attempt to neutralize the volatility. We use the TKO system which we learned from the book The Color of Blackjack, which assigns 10-A as -1, and 2-7 as 1, and 8-9 as 0. We follow the warm line outline which assigns 9 as the key count at 1 deck, 12 at 2 decks, 15 at 3, 18 at 4, 21 at 5, and a max bet at 24 no matter how far into the shoe we are (at a 6 deck shoe). At a 4 deck shoe the warm line is 7 at 1 deck, 10 at 2, 13 at 3, and a max bet at 16.
We adhere to the typical KO deviation indices, but we have also added a few of our own, as the KO book only discusses a couple, and we wanted to expand. We created the following deviation indices chart by checking the true count deviations outlined for Hi-Lo and for Advanced Omega 2 and computing the appropriate running count to match them in TKO. I understand that they may not be perfect, but we figured they would be close, and that they would provide us with a good outline at the very least. If we are wrong, please let us know. Here they are.
2Dís 4Dís 6Dís TC
+5 +11 +16 0: s16 vs 10
+6 +12 +18 1: d9 vs 2
+6 +13 +20 2: s12 vs 3, dA8 vs 5, dA6 vs 2, dA3 vs 4, Sur15 vs 9
+7 +14 +22 3: s16 vs A, split 9,9 vs 7, split 9,9 vs A, dA8 vs 4, split 7,7 vs 8, split 4,4 vs 4, Sur14 vs 10
+7 +15 +24 4: s16 vs 9, s15 vs 10, d10 vs 10, split 10,10 vs 6, s12 vs 2, d10 vs A, d9 vs 7, d8 vs 5, dA2 vs 4, split 3,3 vs 8, dA9 vs 6, Sur16 vs 8
+8 +16 +24 5: s15 vs A, split 10,10 vs 5, dA8 vs 3, dA5 vs 3, split 2,2 vs 8, dA9 vs 5, Bet Over on Over/Under 13 Side Bet, donít split 8ís vs 10,
+8 +17 +26 6: split 10,10 vs 4, d8 vs 4, dA9 vs 4
+9 +18 +28 7: s16 vs 8, d9 vs 8
+9 +19 +28 8: s15 vs 9, dA4 vs 3, dA3 vs 3, dA2 vs 3, dA8 vs 2, dA9 vs 3, split 4,4 vs 3, split 10,10 vs 3
+10 +20 +30 9: s16 vs 7,
+10 +21 +32 10: s15 vs 8, d8 vs 3, d7 vs 5
+11 +22 +34 11: s15 vs 7, d7 vs 6

We are playing with very good conditions (1 deck penetration, 2-3 people at a table, DAS, etc.) and have spent probably 200 of the last 500 hours back counting and then calling each other in. Our bet spreads range from 1-6 at a 2 deck to as high as 1-15 at a 6 deck (I've been told this is unwise, I need no more words of caution in this regard). Given our outstanding playing conditions, and our large bet spreads, to go along with our hours of back counting, we are completely flummoxed as to why we are having such poor luck. We have been successful in the past, so we assumed we had been playing the system properly, but our recent misfortune has brought a cloud of doubt. We are looking for some answers, and any and all advice would be much appreciated. I would be happy to answer any questions you have which may allow you more insight into our system. Even if we have been messing up in one regard or another however, I would think that simply varying our bet should be enough to give us an advantage over the house. We are really in the dumps lately, and are unsure if we can continue under these circumstances. Thank you for your time and help.
AcesAndEights
AcesAndEights
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June 10th, 2014 at 9:52:36 AM permalink
Quote: SumStranger

A couple friends and I have been counting cards for a couple years now, and for the most part it has gone pretty well. We have run into a rather long streak of bad luck lately however, which prompted this post. We are each down about $5k ($15k collectively) in the last 500 hours (1500 collective hours). We play at separate tables but pool our money together in an attempt to neutralize the volatility. We use the TKO system which we learned from the book The Color of Blackjack, which assigns 10-A as -1, and 2-7 as 1, and 8-9 as 0. We follow the warm line outline which assigns 9 as the key count at 1 deck, 12 at 2 decks, 15 at 3, 18 at 4, 21 at 5, and a max bet at 24 no matter how far into the shoe we are (at a 6 deck shoe). At a 4 deck shoe the warm line is 7 at 1 deck, 10 at 2, 13 at 3, and a max bet at 16.
We adhere to the typical KO deviation indices, but we have also added a few of our own, as the KO book only discusses a couple, and we wanted to expand. We created the following deviation indices chart by checking the true count deviations outlined for Hi-Lo and for Advanced Omega 2 and computing the appropriate running count to match them in TKO. I understand that they may not be perfect, but we figured they would be close, and that they would provide us with a good outline at the very least. If we are wrong, please let us know. Here they are.
2Dís 4Dís 6Dís TC
+5 +11 +16 0: s16 vs 10
+6 +12 +18 1: d9 vs 2
+6 +13 +20 2: s12 vs 3, dA8 vs 5, dA6 vs 2, dA3 vs 4, Sur15 vs 9
+7 +14 +22 3: s16 vs A, split 9,9 vs 7, split 9,9 vs A, dA8 vs 4, split 7,7 vs 8, split 4,4 vs 4, Sur14 vs 10
+7 +15 +24 4: s16 vs 9, s15 vs 10, d10 vs 10, split 10,10 vs 6, s12 vs 2, d10 vs A, d9 vs 7, d8 vs 5, dA2 vs 4, split 3,3 vs 8, dA9 vs 6, Sur16 vs 8
+8 +16 +24 5: s15 vs A, split 10,10 vs 5, dA8 vs 3, dA5 vs 3, split 2,2 vs 8, dA9 vs 5, Bet Over on Over/Under 13 Side Bet, donít split 8ís vs 10,
+8 +17 +26 6: split 10,10 vs 4, d8 vs 4, dA9 vs 4
+9 +18 +28 7: s16 vs 8, d9 vs 8
+9 +19 +28 8: s15 vs 9, dA4 vs 3, dA3 vs 3, dA2 vs 3, dA8 vs 2, dA9 vs 3, split 4,4 vs 3, split 10,10 vs 3
+10 +20 +30 9: s16 vs 7,
+10 +21 +32 10: s15 vs 8, d8 vs 3, d7 vs 5
+11 +22 +34 11: s15 vs 7, d7 vs 6

We are playing with very good conditions (1 deck penetration, 2-3 people at a table, DAS, etc.) and have spent probably 200 of the last 500 hours back counting and then calling each other in. Our bet spreads range from 1-6 at a 2 deck to as high as 1-15 at a 6 deck (I've been told this is unwise, I need no more words of caution in this regard). Given our outstanding playing conditions, and our large bet spreads, to go along with our hours of back counting, we are completely flummoxed as to why we are having such poor luck. We have been successful in the past, so we assumed we had been playing the system properly, but our recent misfortune has brought a cloud of doubt. We are looking for some answers, and any and all advice would be much appreciated. I would be happy to answer any questions you have which may allow you more insight into our system. Even if we have been messing up in one regard or another however, I would think that simply varying our bet should be enough to give us an advantage over the house. We are really in the dumps lately, and are unsure if we can continue under these circumstances. Thank you for your time and help.


I can't double check your indices as I don't have the time or the resources. However, your methodology looks sound.

1-15 on 6 deck isn't unwise, it's practically required with the crappy rules out there these days. Depending on the penetration and rules, that's a totally appropriate spread. On the aggressive end, but I wouldn't say "unwise" without knowing the heat conditions at the specific tables/casinos.

It sounds like you've just hit some negative variance. It's a pretty bad streak, you're right, and you should definitely evaluate all of your assumptions and make sure you are playing a winning game. But counting cards gives you a razor thin edge, and sometimes you just fall off the wrong side of it.
"So drink gamble eat f***, because one day you will be dust." -ontariodealer
dumbledore
dumbledore
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June 10th, 2014 at 2:12:16 PM permalink
Go to Blackjacktheforum.com and ask this question.
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