TomG
TomG
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Mission146
August 8th, 2021 at 2:53:51 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.



Sounds like either a poorly written article or author has a weak understanding of blackjack and counting. There are lots of those online. But to answer your questions:

1) I would consider it on the extreme side for someone with a $200 max bet; I also understand extreme things happen all the time. It could be even more extreme for a black chip player to never see swings like that.

2) The best thing is for there to be a constant evaluation of as much as possible: conditions, edges, etc. Given a 4-to-1 spread, I would say there could very well be something wrong with whatever he is doing. Or there could just be some missing information.
kewlj
kewlj
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August 16th, 2021 at 9:43:59 AM 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?



I believe this thread started by Alan while I was on hiatus, was in reference to an experience that I shared only the day before he posted. Alan can prove me wrong by linking to the almost identical story he read. On August 2nd, I posted about a losing day of $6000 while playing positive expectation (+EV) of $170, playing a spread of $50 to $100, to $200, to MAXBET.

The only difference in my experience and the experience Alan started this thread with was the final jump in wager to MAXBET. I suspect when Alan read my account, that “to MAXBET” didn’t register as another and final jump in wager because I didn’t put a number to it. The number is $400. That was my max bet that day. So my spread was $50 to $400, not $50 to $200.

From previous discussions, I know Alan is not a blackjack player and understands very little about card counting, and that is OK. But, Alan’s conclusions are very wrong. The idea that a $6000 loss for a card counter represents (120) $50 or minimum wager losses is ridiculous. For a card counter, results for any session or day is going to be reflected by what happens when his largest bets are out, not his smallest. The smaller bets are almost insignificant.

So a card counter losing $6000 in one day is going to be about his max bets, in my case for that day, my $6000 loss is really 15 max bets ($400 bets), not (120) $50 bets. Now losing15 max bets or $400 bets doesn’t seem anywhere near as rare or unusual does it Alan? Especially when you consider that a player can lose 4, 5, 6 max bets in one hand with splits and double downs. 15 max bet loses or wins, is actually a fairly common occurrence, not the extreme (I think someone said 4000-1) event Alan seemed to think.

And in my case, my $6000 loss for that day was over 3 sessions, 2 small losses before my lunch break and one $4800 loss after. So my big loss for the day $4800 was actually only 12 max bets, even more common.

So that is the answer to your question #1 Alan. Not rare at all! Fairly common actually.
ChumpChange
ChumpChange
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August 16th, 2021 at 11:03:27 AM permalink
So if I was gonna spread $25 to $250, I'd buy-in with 10X $250 for one session, but be prepared to buy-in a couple more times for the day?
kewlj
kewlj
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ChumpChange
August 16th, 2021 at 11:18:06 AM permalink
Quote: ChumpChange

So if I was gonna spread $25 to $250, I'd buy-in with 10X $250 for one session, but be prepared to buy-in a couple more times for the day?



Every player has to figure out what they are comfortable with carrying around for themselves. I would just remind, that it is possible to have a couple splits and double downs on one hand and have 4,5,6 of your "max bets" on the felt. Dealer turns over a 4 card 21 and goodbye 6 max bets. :(

Everything about card counting is about getting to that max bet situation, a really strong count that lasts several, sometimes many rounds. The LAST thing a player wants to do is finally get to that situation and have to walk away due to lack of funds. But you want to balance that out with not carrying around too much money, especially anyone that has experienced a robbery at one time. So it is a balancing act to find, just the right amount.

For me, I won't start a 6 deck game without at least 15 max bets and a double deck game without 10. And even with that, there have been one of two times I have still been burned and tapped out during a high count.
BoSox
BoSox
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August 16th, 2021 at 11:31:23 AM permalink
Quote: ChumpChange

So if I was gonna spread $25 to $250, I'd buy-in with 10X $250 for one session, but be prepared to buy-in a couple more times for the day?



No, you should not buy-in for $2500 at a $25 minimum table. Ten times the minimum bet would be more suitable. Whereby you give the appearance of being a non-threat small player.
kewlj
kewlj
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OnceDear
August 16th, 2021 at 11:56:32 AM permalink
My above post was more about what a player needs to have on him/her to safely play a session. Buy-ins are a little bit of a different discussion. The 10 times minimum wager is a popular buy-in amount. I like to go even smaller.

Often I am entering a game with chips in hand (chip inventory). This is usually only a handful of chips, just to get in the game avoiding that first pit interaction. So at a $25 min table, maybe I have 4, 5, 6 green chips that I enter the game with. Maybe a couple black chips in my pocket to cover the first bigger (not max) bet. After that I go with cash. By that time, it looks like you are chasing losses anyway.

Now if I don't happen to have chips for the game entering, I will buy into the $25 game with only $100. 4 minimum bets. That sends a message. It says I don't have much money and won't be here long. First impressions are the big impression. While a cash buy-in does normally require that first pit interaction, buying in for such a small amount (4 minimum wagers), often results in pit approval from afar, like a wave of a hand, instead of coming over getting in my face asking for a players card. For effect a hundred in crumpled 20's and 10's really screams "I have no money" even more so. lol.

And again, when you do start buying in for more, it has the appearance of chasing losses.
tyler498
tyler498
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August 20th, 2021 at 11:30:34 PM permalink
Quote: kewlj

I believe this thread started by Alan while I was on hiatus, was in reference to an experience that I shared only the day before he posted. Alan can prove me wrong by linking to the almost identical story he read. On August 2nd, I posted about a losing day of $6000 while playing positive expectation (+EV) of $170, playing a spread of $50 to $100, to $200, to MAXBET.

The only difference in my experience and the experience Alan started this thread with was the final jump in wager to MAXBET. I suspect when Alan read my account, that “to MAXBET” didn’t register as another and final jump in wager because I didn’t put a number to it. The number is $400. That was my max bet that day. So my spread was $50 to $400, not $50 to $200.

From previous discussions, I know Alan is not a blackjack player and understands very little about card counting, and that is OK. But, Alan’s conclusions are very wrong. The idea that a $6000 loss for a card counter represents (120) $50 or minimum wager losses is ridiculous. For a card counter, results for any session or day is going to be reflected by what happens when his largest bets are out, not his smallest. The smaller bets are almost insignificant.

So a card counter losing $6000 in one day is going to be about his max bets, in my case for that day, my $6000 loss is really 15 max bets ($400 bets), not (120) $50 bets. Now losing15 max bets or $400 bets doesn’t seem anywhere near as rare or unusual does it Alan? Especially when you consider that a player can lose 4, 5, 6 max bets in one hand with splits and double downs. 15 max bet loses or wins, is actually a fairly common occurrence, not the extreme (I think someone said 4000-1) event Alan seemed to think.

And in my case, my $6000 loss for that day was over 3 sessions, 2 small losses before my lunch break and one $4800 loss after. So my big loss for the day $4800 was actually only 12 max bets, even more common.

So that is the answer to your question #1 Alan. Not rare at all! Fairly common actually.



Yeah, less experienced card counters don't realize how big the swings can be.
with a max bet of 300$, I have won >4000$ in a single shoe (20 mins, fast heads up) and I have also lost multiple times 3000$ in a shoe.
I actually once lost 5000$ in less than an hour playing Double Deck 50$ to 200$ max bet...

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