gallantr
gallantr
Joined: Feb 28, 2016
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February 28th, 2016 at 4:16:32 PM permalink
Hello all,

I'm a long time basic strategy player and am beginning to enter the counting world. I'm still a novice, so keep that in mind. I understand that a counting system can beat the house edge through increased betting when the shoe (I generally play 6 deck games) is favorable. As a generally quite paranoid person, I'm worried about heat. I play in mostly Indian casinos in California. I've noticed that just when I'm on lucky streaks (using basic strategy, no counting) and have won a reasonable amount of money (a few hundred) that the pit bosses seem to focus on me more. Now, this makes me uncomfortable even though I know I'm not counting. Big bet spreads, I would imagine, would increase this kind of attention, no? I'm not a big fish, my unit is usually no more than $20, and often the table min. at $10.

The counting strategy that I've learned and have been practicing is Stage 1 KISS count. From what I've been reading, a spread of 1-8 is recommended. That seems too much for nervous me. How much of my advantage am I giving up by lowering the spread to 1-6 or even 1-5?

Thanks all!
RS
RS
Joined: Feb 11, 2014
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February 29th, 2016 at 4:09:20 AM permalink
Hi there -- good to see you're making the step from basic strategy player to a card counter!

Unfortunately, can't tell how much you're giving up, how much you're making in EV, etc. without knowing the rules of the game you're playing. If you're playing a really good game, rules have S17, LS, RSA, 5.5/6 pen, then you're going to be doing a lot better than if you're playing an H17, noLS, noRSA, 4.5/6 pen game. Also, are you wonging in or wonging out? If you're only wonging in at good counts and wonging out at bad counts, you can get away with a smaller spread. If you're only wonging out at bad counts (and starting the shoe off the top), that's not so bad. If you're going to play-all, where you don't wong in and you don't wong out, you're going to need a larger spread [to make the same amount you would if you were wonging in and/or out].

One trick, you can bet $20 off the top. If the count goes up, spread up to $100 or $125. If the count goes negative, decrease your bet to $10. Betting the $20 off the top with a max bet of $100 or $125, looks much more like a 1-5 or 1-6 spread, while you're really doing something more like a 1-10 or 1-12 spread.


The other thing you gotta realize, is, chances are the boss isn't looking at you specifically because you're winning, especially at the red-chip level. Of course, it depends on the property (some are more sweaty than others) as well as the boss or floor-person (some floors are more sweaty, some are less sweaty). But, I'd say a good chance, going from $10 to $100, any heat you feel is not real heat -- it's just paranoia. Sometimes you gotta ignore your paranoia and push those bets out there. If you push the limits, you may get backed off, but it doesn't make sense to back yourself off and not play....better to make money and get backed off, than not play at all and not get backed off. But -- it ultimately comes down to what your goals are for the game. If you want to have fun, play a break-even or slightly-winning game, that's going to be different than if you want to win money [something that's worth your effort].
gallantr
gallantr
Joined: Feb 28, 2016
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February 29th, 2016 at 7:10:21 AM permalink
Hello and thank you for your response!

The games I'm playing at H17, no surrender, no RSA, but the pen is pretty good (I'd say about 5/6). Unfortunately, I can't wong in due to no mid-shoe entry but I would wong out on a very bad shoe.

Thanks for the tip on starting at $20 on the top, a few books have mentioned this too! Right now my main goals are to play intelligently enough to break-even or come out slightly ahead. I enjoy the casino atmosphere and the comps I get, I'm not looking to make this a part-time job.
Romes
Romes
Joined: Jul 22, 2014
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February 29th, 2016 at 7:29:59 AM permalink
The reason these were created is to answer the questions you have now, and will have shortly =P. Read, re-read, and enjoy. Feel free to ask any questions on the articles, in the threads, or PM me:

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/
Playing it correctly means you've already won.

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