AlanMendelson
AlanMendelson
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Mission146
August 3rd, 2021 at 11:12:28 AM permalink
I just read an article about a card counter who admitted to losing $6,000 in one day when he said he figured he had a positive expectation. He also said he typically plays $50 per hand but will increase his bets to $100 or $200 if the count dictates.

Now... I am not a blackjack player. I know nothing about card counting. So bear with me as I ask a few questions.

1. Losing $6,000 in a day when playing $50/hand?? That's 120 losing hands. Isnt that extreme-- especially for say 4 hours of play? How many hands per hour is typical at blackjack?

2. If a card counter believes he has an advantage but he's not winning, when does he admit something is wrong with his count or betting system?

I admit I've had days when I lost money like that at craps and video poker... but at those games you dont have a mathematical edge when you play.
billryan
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August 3rd, 2021 at 11:54:47 AM permalink
A lot of counters have extreme spreads if they can get away with it. $50-$500 isn't out of the question.

If he is camping out and playing for length of time, I can see him being down max bet or two and the inevitable one punch knockout happens.
You have a max bet out, split nd get cards to either double down or split again. Suddenly you are a $50 bettor who has four or five $500 max bets out, and the dealer pulls five card 21 and you lose all.
In this case, the player did everything exactly right but just dropped fifty units in one hand. Why would he stop if he has money?
Almost every BJ regular will tell you they had losing streaks that defy logic. I once went an entire eight deck shoe with only one winning hand. I did have an unusual amount of ties but only one win. long losing streak that occurs with a monster count can be a killer.

BTW- A guy who "figures" he has an advantage and goes up to 4X his unit bet doesn't sound like that much of an AP. He might have been camped at the table much more than four hours.
OnceDear
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Mission146
August 3rd, 2021 at 12:02:36 PM permalink
Quote: AlanMendelson

I just read an article about a card counter who admitted to losing $6,000 in one day when he said he figured he had a positive expectation. He also said he typically plays $50 per hand but will increase his bets to $100 or $200 if the count dictates.

Now... I am not a blackjack player. I know nothing about card counting. So bear with me as I ask a few questions.

1. Losing $6,000 in a day when playing $50/hand?? That's 120 losing hands. Isnt that extreme-- especially for say 4 hours of play? How many hands per hour is typical at blackjack?

2. If a card counter believes he has an advantage but he's not winning, when does he admit something is wrong with his count or betting system?

I admit I've had days when I lost money like that at craps and video poker... but at those games you dont have a mathematical edge when you play.


1) It would be many more than 120 total hands because he'd have many ebbs and flows of winning/losing hands, then a fair few hands with 200 bet that split, resplit or double. Those are the 5h1t or bust hands that dominate the session. 30 to 60 hands per hour would not be unreasonable at a quiet table. Losing 6,000 would be fairly bad luck. More likely he understates his big wagers as he goes chasing losses with big bets.

2)With Blackjack, the player advantage is seldom more than a couple of percent. It's still a high variance prospect for a short session. There are some really poor card counters who expect instant profit with the tiniest edge. If they are not properly kelly betting, then he is a lost cause. many are. And any system betting that is not card counting is just bunkum, but many do kick into system mindset when they fall behind. Then they often overbet.
Beware. The earth is NOT flat. Hit and run is not a winning strategy: Pressing into trends IS not a winning strategy: Progressives are not a winning strategy: Don't Buy It! .Don't even take it for free.
MDawg
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Mission146
August 3rd, 2021 at 12:03:20 PM permalink
The Bank at Baccarat actually has a slight advantage, correct? When factoring out the tie the Bank will (should) win about 51% of the time. So, forgetting about commission, if you bet on the Bank always you should win most of the time as far as raw numbers?

However, I can't tell you about how many shoes I have experienced this trip alone where Player has won literally 2:1 and sometimes as much as almost 3:1 over the course of and by the end of the shoe with Bank never catching up. I can assure you I was NOT betting Bank much on such shoes.
How does this one, for example, grab you?

Look at the top line, all blue, with the exception of one tie.

I've played Blackjack double decks heads up where I barely lost 4 hands in the entire shoe. And I've played Blackjack double deck shoes where I lost something like 11 hands in a row.

So, yes, in the short term - anything may happen.
I tell you itís wonderful to be here, man. I donít give a damn who wins or loses. Itís just wonderful to be here with you people. https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/gambling/betting-systems/33908-the-adventures-of-mdawg/
Mission146
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MDawg
August 3rd, 2021 at 12:05:42 PM permalink
MDawg,

Nice post. Excellent visual demonstration to go along with the point you are making.
https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/off-topic/gripes/11182-pet-peeves/120/#post815219
Ace2
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August 3rd, 2021 at 4:06:47 PM permalink
Assuming a 1% advantage, 60 bets per hour and $100 average bet, losing $6,000 in four hours is about 3.5 SDs to the left of expectations. About a 1 in 4000 chance. Bad luck for sure but not extraordinary
Last edited by: Ace2 on Aug 3, 2021
Itís all about making that GTA
Mission146
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August 3rd, 2021 at 4:13:27 PM permalink
Quote: Ace2

Assuming a 1% advantage, 60 bets per hour and $100 average bet, losing $6,000 in four hours is about 3.5 SDs to the left of expectations. About a 1 in 4000 chance. Bad luck for sure



Or, average, ĎLuck,í depending on how many such sessions he has played.
https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/off-topic/gripes/11182-pet-peeves/120/#post815219
EvenBob
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August 3rd, 2021 at 5:03:46 PM permalink
Quote: MDawg



So, yes, in the short term - anything may happen.



You are always in the short term, you will
never play enough to be in the long term.
The game is in the long term every
minute, you never are,
"It's not enough to succeed, your friends must fail." Gore Vidal
DRich
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Mission146FinsRule
August 3rd, 2021 at 6:53:04 PM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

You are always in the short term, you will
never play enough to be in the long term.
The game is in the long term every
minute, you never are,



I would disagree with this. Many people play enough that they should approach long term as opposed to short term. In Las Vegas there are many locals that play a couple hours a day five days a week. After five years they should be approaching the long term results. Of course, most of those people are idiots and playing terribly.
Order from chaos
BoSox
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Mission146
August 3rd, 2021 at 8:32:31 PM permalink
Quote: AlanMendelson

I just read an article about a card counter who admitted to losing $6,000 in one day when he said he figured he had a positive expectation. He also said he typically plays $50 per hand but will increase his bets to $100 or $200 if the count dictates.



1. Losing $6,000 in a day when playing $50/hand?? That's 120 losing hands. Isnt that extreme-- especially for say 4 hours of play? How many hands per hour is typical at blackjack?

2. If a card counter believes he has an advantage but he's not winning, when does he admit something is wrong with his count or betting system?




Alan, the first two questions in # 1 contradict what you wrote above #1, where you stated the 1 to 4 spread that he is using. Speaking of which I believe the spread is actually 1 to 8 and yes he typically plays $50 per hand but has the option of spreading in both directions up or down. I believe the table was $25 minimum and the player was trying to disguise his spread. The reason that I believe this is because a 1 to 4 spread is not sufficient for even a double-deck game never mind a shoe game that requires an even bigger spread to obtain an edge over the house. Either way, the player did not end up losing 120 hands at $50 a hand, most of the loss happened while the player was making his max bets. Now the last question in # 1 is the key point. Hands per hour are very important for a card counter. If a player sits down at the only open seat, making a full table he/she will be lucky if they can get 50 hands per hour "considering side bets" the game tends to creep along. Max bet opportunities diminish significantly because everyone seated is receiving cards.

Now the other extreme is when the counter is the only player seated at the table. The player can very easily receive four times the amount of hands per hour that the full table player receives. Understandably, this situation allows the player much longer max betting opportunities. All of this is good for the player. However, many more
opportunities also create more risk better known as volatility and I suspect that the majority of the player's $ 6K loss happened in that type of scenario.

Regarding # 2 the last question that you asked you to have it all wrong there is nothing wrong with his count or betting system. The player's edge is very small, subsequently, sometimes he gets hammered.
Last edited by: BoSox on Aug 3, 2021

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