stop400
stop400
Joined: Apr 14, 2015
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April 14th, 2015 at 3:45:18 PM permalink
Hi, I'm sending this message all the way from London. I'm about a year into playing blackjack, I started off with land based casinos and now I only play 'Live dealer' online casinos such as 888casino.

I use a basic strategy chart 100% of the time. My question is this: Is it possible to count cards and have an 'advantage' under these conditions:

1 - Dealer stands on soft 17
2 - 8 deck shoe
3 - cut card at 50% of shoe (so roughly 4 decks are dealt)
4 - blackjack pays 3:2

I thought I should add that I started with £2000 online and got to £13,000 in a matter of days using the martingale betting system, but instead of doubling I would triple my bet (crazy). I also lost it all in a matter of hours using the same system after a long losing streak. So it occurred to me if I want to continue playing blackjack for money I need to come up with a better system. So does an advantage exist under the conditions I mentioned above and is it worth counting cards under these conditions?

I await your reply.

Kind regards
Hubomba
Hubomba
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April 14th, 2015 at 4:08:56 PM permalink
50% deck penetration is pretty horrible that doesn't even include the other rules you did not mention ( DAS? RSA? etc ). I would say not really worth it unless you are willing to have a large RoR with less +EV. You will need a big bet spread since the count will rarely get favorable enough to get any significant advantage, so when it does happen you need to bet BIG. I would recommend finding a playable land based casino near you and play that if you want to play blackjack.
stop400
stop400
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April 14th, 2015 at 4:20:30 PM permalink
Hi 'Hubomba' and thanks for your contribution to my question. I'm unfamiliar with some of your abbriviations such as, DAS, RAS, RoR and +EV. Also what is considered to be the highest positive count on an 8 deck game? I'm assuming on a single deck count there is a maximum high count since there are only a fixed amount of high cards so would you just multiply that number by the amount of decks?
stop400
stop400
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April 14th, 2015 at 4:22:53 PM permalink
Quote: Hubomba

50% deck penetration is pretty horrible that doesn't even include the other rules you did not mention ( DAS? RAS? etc ). I would say not really worth it unless you are willing to have a large RoR with less +EV. You will need a big bet spread since the count will rarely get favorable enough to get any significant advantage, so when it does happen you need to bet BIG. I would recommend finding a playable land based casino near you and play that if you want to play blackjack.



Are you saying advantage play does not exist under those conditions?
Hubomba
Hubomba
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April 14th, 2015 at 4:33:21 PM permalink
Quote: stop400

Hi 'Hubomba' and thanks for your contribution to my question. I'm unfamiliar with some of your abbriviations such as, DAS, RAS, RoR and +EV. Also what is considered to be the highest positive count on an 8 deck game? I'm assuming on a single deck count there is a maximum high count since there are only a fixed amount of high cards so would you just multiply that number by the amount of decks?


DAS = Double After Split
RSA ( typo'd RAS ) = Resplitting Aces
both of the above rules matter when judging the quality of a blackjack game, other rules that should be evaluated is if they offer surrender, how many times you can resplit and if there are any restrictions on doubling down ( some casinos only allow doubling on any 10 or 11 for example ). It does not apply here, but once again, avoid 6:5 ( some single deck 6:5 is still beatable but you need a much larger bet spread than you could probably get away with and it is less profitable in the long run ). The Wizard has a great house edge calculator for any given sets of rules which can be found here:
RoR = Risk of Ruin which is the risk that your entire bankroll becomes unrecoverable/goes bellyup
+EV means positive expected value which translates to the amount of money you can expect to make in the long run.

The problem with such low deck penetration and card counting is that there will be less variation in the count since only 50% of the shoe is being played, so this means that there will be less times when the count is high, so to make up for this handicap you will need to bet much higher when this high count occurs than you normally would with a game with good deck penetration. This means that your bankroll will be exposed to a higher Risk of Ruin for less of an advantage than under better conditions. I would find a better game to play, which will most likely be found at a land based casino.
stop400
stop400
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April 14th, 2015 at 5:08:35 PM permalink
Quote: Hubomba

DAS = Double After Split
RSA ( typo'd RAS ) = Resplitting Aces
both of the above rules matter when judging the quality of a blackjack game, other rules that should be evaluated is if they offer surrender, how many times you can resplit and if there are any restrictions on doubling down ( some casinos only allow doubling on any 10 or 11 for example ). It does not apply here, but once again, avoid 6:5 ( some single deck 6:5 is still beatable but you need a much larger bet spread than you could probably get away with and it is less profitable in the long run ). The Wizard has a great house edge calculator for any given sets of rules which can be found here:
RoR = Risk of Ruin which is the risk that your entire bankroll becomes unrecoverable/goes bellyup
+EV means positive expected value which translates to the amount of money you can expect to make in the long run.

The problem with such low deck penetration and card counting is that there will be less variation in the count since only 50% of the shoe is being played, so this means that there will be less times when the count is high, so to make up for this handicap you will need to bet much higher when this high count occurs than you normally would with a game with good deck penetration. This means that your bankroll will be exposed to a higher Risk of Ruin for less of an advantage than under better conditions. I would find a better game to play, which will most likely be found at a land based casino.



Thank you so much for your input, it is gladly noted. So to summarise, the situation I noted in my first post is not favourable but it is still worth counting cards to get a slight edge correct?
Hubomba
Hubomba
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April 14th, 2015 at 5:41:12 PM permalink
Quote: stop400

Thank you so much for your input, it is gladly noted. So to summarise, the situation I noted in my first post is not favourable but it is still worth counting cards to get a slight edge correct?


I would say find a better joint and that it would be not worth it. If it is your only option, I guess give it a shot but don't expect great results.
Romes
Romes
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April 15th, 2015 at 7:16:35 AM permalink
Quote: stop400

Thank you so much for your input, it is gladly noted. So to summarise, the situation I noted in my first post is not favourable but it is still worth counting cards to get a slight edge correct?


Pending your spread, you'd probably need a $100,000 bankroll if it's a $10 game... and you're probably be looking to make something like $20/hour (which is terrible considering the large spread), because you'd need to spread 20 or 30 to 1. The main problem with the game is the penetration. Not a lot of people understand that's one of the most important factors in a game. The more penetration you get, the more opportunities you have to see a better count. Long answer to your first post would involve the words "technically beatable," but that's with the understanding that if you make 1 penny an hour, that's technically winning. The short answer is no, it's not worth it (and/or you won't have the proper bankroll to even attempt to beat it).

At least you're on the right path. You've correctly identified that betting systems won't win you money in the long run. I'd highly recommend you check out my A-Z Counting Cards in Blackjack thread I released for this purpose. After reading that thread you should have a MUCH better understanding of not only card counting, but why the game you listed in this thread is not a good game to play at all.
Playing it correctly means you've already won.
stop400
stop400
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April 15th, 2015 at 6:12:54 PM permalink
Quote: Romes

Pending your spread, you'd probably need a $100,000 bankroll if it's a $10 game... and you're probably be looking to make something like $20/hour (which is terrible considering the large spread), because you'd need to spread 20 or 30 to 1. The main problem with the game is the penetration. Not a lot of people understand that's one of the most important factors in a game. The more penetration you get, the more opportunities you have to see a better count. Long answer to your first post would involve the words "technically beatable," but that's with the understanding that if you make 1 penny an hour, that's technically winning. The short answer is no, it's not worth it (and/or you won't have the proper bankroll to even attempt to beat it).

At least you're on the right path. You've correctly identified that betting systems won't win you money in the long run. I'd highly recommend you check out my A-Z Counting Cards in Blackjack thread I released for this purpose. After reading that thread you should have a MUCH better understanding of not only card counting, but why the game you listed in this thread is not a good game to play at all.



Thank you 'Romes', I'll read your thread with great interest. Just out of curiosity, have you or anyone you know played 'Live dealer Blackjack'? If so, is there any websites you can recommend that offer favourable counting opportunities?
Dieter
Dieter
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April 16th, 2015 at 3:11:04 AM permalink
Quote: stop400

Just out of curiosity, have you or anyone you know played 'Live dealer Blackjack'? If so, is there any websites you can recommend that offer favourable counting opportunities?



I play against live dealers all the time, but in person, not online.

In order to evaluate this game and compare it to others, you need to understand how and why card counting works. There's probably a primer around here somewhere.

So, technically, yes, you can count it and vary your bet to harvest a mild advantage as long as you know when they shuffle and see all the cards as they're played.

However, the game you've described doesn't sound like it's profitable to count.
May the cards fall in your favor.

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