jpmurga
jpmurga
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January 8th, 2020 at 10:19:09 AM permalink
Hi, I wanted to share my experience playing Blackjack Locally, Im from Guatemala and play recreationally quite a lot ( 300+ hours a year)

And while I don't count, I have almost perfect strategy. And over the last 5-6 years have come up ahead ( Only 1 out of those 6 I have been down for the year)

I think it has to be the rules, and comps. There are different casinos but the one I play the most has very liberal rules

I am going to give the situation on the casino I currently play the most, other casinos have different rules (this has the best ones) however all are belo 0.6% house advantage

Stay at Soft 17, no hole card, surrended allowed (Except A), if you split our double and dealer has blackjack you only lose your original bet.

Overall house advantage is 0.2% or a little below.

Not a big spread, either $10-$100 or $20-$200 limits

I think I come out ahead because of comps, wanted to know if this is right

1st comp- 2 $10 match play
2nd comp for every blackjack you get a coupon for an hourly raffle for table players of between $60-$150, since its a small casino (5-6 tables) I normally win this more than once a month.
3rd comp ( Food and Drinks for free!)

I am recreational, but have huge control over playing time and daily loss ( I cap my daily loss to $300-$400 dollars) Normally have a $200 buy in. And play 1.5 hours a day

So if my average bet is $15, and I play 150 hands a session I should be losing $4.5
Just the 2 $10 match play put me slightly ahead, and the daily raffle is extra.
I should be at a push over the years

But I have been winning most years, in 2019 I was up $7000 and the down year was 2018 at around $3000. I've actually earned over $20,000 in those years

Is there a reason for this or just plain luck/variance
SOOPOO
SOOPOO 
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January 8th, 2020 at 10:45:15 AM permalink
Quote: jpmurga

Hi, I wanted to share my experience playing Blackjack Locally, Im from Guatemala and play recreationally quite a lot ( 300+ hours a year)

And while I don't count, I have almost perfect strategy. And over the last 5-6 years have come up ahead ( Only 1 out of those 6 I have been down for the year)

I think it has to be the rules, and comps. There are different casinos but the one I play the most has very liberal rules

I am going to give the situation on the casino I currently play the most, other casinos have different rules (this has the best ones) however all are belo 0.6% house advantage

Stay at Soft 17, no hole card, surrended allowed (Except A), if you split our double and dealer has blackjack you only lose your original bet.

Overall house advantage is 0.2% or a little below.

Not a big spread, either $10-$100 or $20-$200 limits

I think I come out ahead because of comps, wanted to know if this is right

1st comp- 2 $10 match play
2nd comp for every blackjack you get a coupon for an hourly raffle for table players of between $60-$150, since its a small casino (5-6 tables) I normally win this more than once a month.
3rd comp ( Food and Drinks for free!)

I am recreational, but have huge control over playing time and daily loss ( I cap my daily loss to $300-$400 dollars) Normally have a $200 buy in. And play 1.5 hours a day

So if my average bet is $15, and I play 150 hands a session I should be losing $4.5
Just the 2 $10 match play put me slightly ahead, and the daily raffle is extra.
I should be at a push over the years

But I have been winning most years, in 2019 I was up $7000 and the down year was 2018 at around $3000. I've actually earned over $20,000 in those years

Is there a reason for this or just plain luck/variance



Seems to me you should be ahead a few thousand a year if you include the raffle and match play, not a push. So 6 years up $20,000 instead of an expected $12,000 seems like just the good side of variance. No occasional extra perks like 'bonus free play'? Or 'free bet on your birthday'? Any dealer errors that help you?
jpmurga
jpmurga
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January 8th, 2020 at 11:11:07 AM permalink
So then it is like my title states a positive EV

Just "christmas" ; "valentines" raffles, with the same idea one coupon per blackjack, so far never won at those but prizes there are much bigger $1,000 to $10,000

At the place I play the most not so much dealer error but at others yes, other casinos have

Other Casinos

a ) 3 $10 match play but 0.4% edge
b) $20 extra for a $200 buy in (No strings attached other than you play) but 0.5% edge (Only one with American style and hole card) and only one with a continous shuffling machine
c) 2 $20 match play and 0.4% edge

Only thing is to mantain no mor than 90 minutes at a casino, which is hard to do if you like the game ( I do like it but am able to do it 90% of the time)

Note
If you are a counter and in Guatemala for vacation this is a good place to gamble, not a big spread but you see the conditions.
Last edited by: jpmurga on Jan 8, 2020
blackjacklad
blackjacklad
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January 8th, 2020 at 4:23:07 PM permalink
Thanks for the post, always interesting to get an insight into the playing conditions in different countries! It definitely sounds like you are ahead on EV because of the various promos you've mentioned. Why not learn to count and use that a little to boost your profits?
jpmurga
jpmurga
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January 8th, 2020 at 4:30:04 PM permalink
Actually i know all the details/theory on how to count, what are the deviations from basic strategy and when to increase bets. However the counting itself is what I cant seem to do.
PokerGrinder
PokerGrinder
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January 8th, 2020 at 4:50:46 PM permalink
Sorry to deviate from your original question but I was wanting to ask you one. Iím assuming youíre in Guatemala City? How many casinos have BJ in GC?
You can shear a sheep a hundred times, but you can skin it only once. ó Amarillo Slim Preston
jpmurga
jpmurga
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January 8th, 2020 at 5:12:19 PM permalink
Quote: PokerGrinder

Sorry to deviate from your original question but I was wanting to ask you one. Iím assuming youíre in Guatemala City? How many casinos have BJ in GC?



No problem its very related

There are 7 casinos with Blackjack and about 13 tables

If you want more details message me ill be happy to answer
Romes
Romes
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January 8th, 2020 at 10:30:58 PM permalink
Let's play...

~300 hours per year, let's say you're getting ~80 hands per hour (pretty average), comes out to be 24,000 hands per year, x6 years = 144,000 hands of blackjack.

Next, you said your spread is $10-$100 or $20-$200 based on table limits. So this confuses me a bit. If you're not counting, but just blasting somewhere in between these, then it'll be a bit difficult to calculate your average bet... A card counter using a $10-$100 spread would have an average bet of ~$25, and ~$50 on the double spread. I would think it a fair assumption that you spread "around" the same, but maybe a bit less because counters will continue their high bets in positive counts regardless of losses, whereas recreational players tend to drop back down after losses. Then again they also spread high on wins even in negative counts, so perhaps you're about the same. Let's call your average bet about $35.

OriginalSD = 1.15*AvgBet
EV(x hands) = (x * AvgBet)*(HouseEdge)
SD(x hands) = Sqrt(x) * OriginalSD

OriginalSD = 1.15*35 = 40.25
EV(144,000 hands) = (144,000 * 35)*(-.002) = -$10,080
SD(144,000 hands) = Sqrt(144,000) * 40.25 = $15,273.80... 1SD is 68% confidence, 2SD (most pros use) is 95% confidence = $30,547.60

So this really tells us what's going on (probably). I'm not saying with the mailers/drawings you don't have some kind of edge, but what I am saying is it's ENTIRELY too soon to know. Since you're playing with small house edges and a "decent" spread, your EV +/- SD is a massive hole. Let me break it down a bit further.

What the above means is that over your 6 years, you're expected to LOSE $10,080... but the variance of the game, with 95% confidence you'll be either PLUS or MINUS $30,548.... So the BEST you could mathematically be right now (with 95% confidence) is -$10,080 + $30,548 = +$20,468. The WORST you could be right now is -$10,080 - $30,548 = -$40,628... ANYTHING in between these results could be considered "normal" variance, not an edge.

Best Case Scenario (due to variance/luck) = +$20,468
.
***YOU ARE HERE IN THE MIDDLE OF THESE. ANYTHING BETWEEN THESE IS NORMAL EXPECTATION AND VARIANCE/LUCK.
.
Worst Case Scenario (due to variance/luck) = -$40,628

In fact I would go one further. You're probably getting "around" $1260 yearly +EV from the drawings (assuming your range/numbers are accurate), and probably around ~$500 EV yearly from the match plays (assuming 2x$10 per WEEK)... so you're probably getting around $1760 per year in hard EV, and expecting to lose ~$1680 per year from the game itself. If you hadn't noticed though there have been A LOT of assumptions in these calculations. IF these are correct, you basically have what I would consider a break even hobby (not too bad for a recreational player), but unfortunately I wouldn't consider it an edge... especially since so many assumptions in these numbers. In the end if you love the hobby and it's not taking money from you, have fun... but if you find yourself sliding back towards negative expectation, don't be afraid to come back with more data (another year or two) and get an updated picture from the equations above. Happy Hunting!
Playing it correctly means you've already won.
jpmurga
jpmurga
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January 9th, 2020 at 7:10:00 PM permalink
THanks Romes.
I actually Im pretty sure I have been lucky (Good Side of variance) but not certain

What is stated is not my spread but the table's min and max
My average bet is actually around $15, Since I don't count my bet variance is just for excitement, I begin with min bet and I increase 50% (aprox) when I win and play min bet when I lose

I will tweak numbers a little with actual data (I like numbers) Thanks for such simple and direct calculation!

OriginalSD = 1.15*AvgBet
EV(x hands) = (x * AvgBet)*(HouseEdge)
SD(x hands) = Sqrt(x) * OriginalSD

OriginalSD = 1.15*15 = 17.25
EV(144,000 hands) = (144,000 * 15)*(-.002) = -$4,320
SD(144,000 hands) = Sqrt(144,000) * 17.25 = $6545,... 1SD is 68% confidence, 2SD (most pros use) is 95% confidence = $13,090

However this is my estimate on perks
Match play for 6 years - 900 sessions (Aprox) and 2 $10 per session = $18,000 match play * 45% chance of winning = . $8100 (Match play plays 3:2 on blackjack and you are allowed to double and forced to bet it on a split)
Raffles = 150 wins (Rough estimate) average price = $100 another . $15,000

So perks = $23,100

Total "Win" $18,720
With a variance all in the win column of $5,630 and $31,810

So I am within range actually less than 1 SD above average

I would appreciate if I did any incorrect calculation (Besides assumptions)

I am using here the 0.2% he which is the best casino however I play they maybe 70% of the time only

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