tyler498
tyler498
Joined: Jun 24, 2017
  • Threads: 17
  • Posts: 156
June 21st, 2021 at 8:44:40 PM permalink
Hi guys! So the only AP play I've done so far has been card counting. But current conditions make it hard for me (closest good game 100 miles away..)

There's a small cardroom literally 3 mins away from my house I always drive through without ever stopping, because the rules are too horrendous to start with, and I've read that it's hard to last banking games.

But I recently went there for the first time. It's a tiny place with 1 three card poker table, 1 BJ table (8 seats), 1 poker and few bacc tables.
They have 21.5 Pure blackjack, which seems to just be 6:5 BJ, H17, LS, DA, DAS, NRSA, and buster bet with a pretty bad paytable that make the HE 8%.
They do not take any collection on the players, only the HE. And the player-banker pays a flat 3$ for 200$ to 400$ action (which is the most common). So the company pays around 1%, and gets the HE which is 1.91% for perfect BS, but people there play such horrible basic strategy that it's probably a lot higher. (literally staying on soft 4/14, soft 5/15 to not take the dealer's bust card kind of stuff)

I've played a bit, betting the 5$ min, then tried banking a few times. People were surprised but fine with it. No one else had tried to bank other than the "company"
I initially tried only exposing a small amount. So it was the maximum amount I could win. The dealer busted, but some of the players just kept their bets because I didn't cover. I then realized, if I had lost, they wouldn't have gotten paid. And I can easily see how that can go badly...
I'm tempted to go and bank on a semi-regular basis, but few things I'm worried about:
- Getting 86ed because the company doesn't want the competition. They have a deal with the casino but I don't..
- Theft, mispays: It might be hard to watch, and one thing they might do is over/underpay against me to discourage from banking.
- Conflict: if a player hits a big buster payout or so, and he doesn't get paid, it might go badly...
Pros:
Pretty big advantage!
Banking the buster bet, they don't ask you to cover for the maximum payout (200:1) or even the (100:1) from what I've seen. So effectively, other players are playing at an even higher disadvantage, but again this can go very badly, and morally feels like not something the wizard would approve.

Any advice on how to get some EV here, and last a decent amount of time?
Romes
Romes
Joined: Jul 22, 2014
  • Threads: 28
  • Posts: 5535
June 30th, 2021 at 2:11:44 PM permalink
Apologies I don't recall the thread names/links, but I know for certain there have been several other threads about this discussed in more mathematical detail on the forums. I'd research through the old blackjack threads looking for them or try to utilize the search functionality if you can get some good key words like player banking or something (might also pull up other baccarat threads, but the idea is similar).

If you can only bank 1/8 hands, I'd definitely lean towards this isn't worth your time/effort/exposure. Surely there are other more +EV plays in that casino and to me it wouldn't be worth exposing myself to probably make a few $/hr when all the smoke is cleared. That's one of the things I recall from the other threads was it wasn't quite worth what you think it might be worth.
Playing it correctly means you've already won.
darkoz
darkoz
Joined: Dec 22, 2009
  • Threads: 266
  • Posts: 9077
June 30th, 2021 at 3:11:14 PM permalink
It's been a decade since I frequented the Cali rooms but getting paid was never a problem. That is precisely what the player/banker is there for.

If you bank and can't cover everyone's bets, you just ask the player/banker to cover. The amount he covers over your bankroll is the percentage he wins along with you.

This was more than a decade ago so maybe they changed the rules but circa 2004 that's how it worked.

Card counting heat should be nil. You are NOT playing against the house. You are playing against the player banker. It is more like Poker. The casino doesn't care.

No way the player/banker will try to cheat you imo. I suppose any corruption is possible but the player banker actually sitting there is just an employee of an individual with a contract to supply the financial adversary to keep the game running. The casino is monitoring him too. And they have licenses to protect as well. I just don't see it. The actual player/banker sitting there makes the same money regardless who wins or loses as he is just on salary
For Whom the bus tolls; The bus tolls for thee
tyler498
tyler498
Joined: Jun 24, 2017
  • Threads: 17
  • Posts: 156
July 2nd, 2021 at 12:21:34 AM permalink
Thanks for the replies guys. I did some research on the subject but I believe this place is slightly different:

1 - All players get the chance to bank, but I have never seen anyone other than the company do it. Theoretically, I could bank 50% of the time and the company the other 50%. But people get surprised when I tried that, some usual players never saw it and it slowed the game while the dealer was explaining (felt quite awkward)

2 - This one, unlike most card rooms, does not allow for the main player/banker to cover the remaining sum. The dealer pays/takes wins in clockwise starting from a position defined by his upcard.

3 - The dealer gives a disclaimer to all players like:
"This guy is banking, here's how much he can cover" then some players realize they might not be able to get the max payout on the side bet and pull their side bets out. Some just say they don't like to play against other players and pull their bets, they're here to "take money from the casino, not players"(on a 6:5 BJ....^_^")

It's unfortunate that doing this sticks out so much and surprises people. The advantage play is quite easy and the edge quite good. (6:5 H17 with players playing horribly and collection capped at 1%)
SOOPOO
SOOPOO
Joined: Aug 8, 2010
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  • Posts: 8450
July 2nd, 2021 at 5:20:18 AM permalink
Super interesting opportunity! I can’t have any idea if you’ll be 86’d. So I won’t figure that in to my thoughts.

Sounds like this is a ‘Kelly’ analysis. Plug in the edge you think you have (sounds like around 1.5% after figuring in bad play and the 1% take from the card room owner). Figure out the variance including the side bets. You have an idea of how much is bet on the main game and how much on the side bets. Then figure out what bankroll you are willing to expose. If you have say $250,000 that you will be using I surmise you will make a good deal of money there…. Just like the ‘company’ must be making now!

Only you can figure out if the ‘company’ will break your legs…
darkoz
darkoz
Joined: Dec 22, 2009
  • Threads: 266
  • Posts: 9077
July 2nd, 2021 at 5:56:57 AM permalink
I'm wondering if you enjoy playing so much and having an edge it doesn't hurt to see what requirements are necessary to contract to be the banker yourself?
For Whom the bus tolls; The bus tolls for thee

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