Donuts
Donuts
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December 20th, 2021 at 5:21:05 AM permalink
My friend and I took a ~5 year break from AP stuff but are planning to start playing again in the near future. Our biggest problem that we weren't able to solve for was having high fidelity in our EV estimates for our sessions/careers. At first we tried tracking every shoe and the relevant variables (pen, players, etc.) but it felt impractical having to whip out your phone every few shoes to write this stuff down. Especially since casino cameras can read phone screens now.

Curious how the more seasoned counters/APs here track their expected results over time. Do you stop periodicaly to to write down how many shoes you've played, pen, number of other players at the table, etc.? Or do you take a more relaxed approach and just estimate the average conditions and hours played at the end of each session?
ChumpChange
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December 20th, 2021 at 5:28:56 AM permalink
If you've got a $25 to $200 spread, how much would your EV be per 100 hands? Or does your EV vary depending on the count?
Donuts
Donuts
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December 20th, 2021 at 6:08:43 AM permalink
Your EV changes depending on the penetration and rules of the game.

Also 100 hands can happen in 30 minutes or 2 hours depending on the speed of the dealer and how many other people are at the table.

E.g.

For a $25-$200 1-8 spread on a 6D game with good rules and 1.5 deck pen, EV is $16/100 hands.
For the same scenario but with 1 deck pen EV is $27/1000
ChumpChange
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December 20th, 2021 at 6:51:08 AM permalink
I just saw a video of security intercepting someone as he left the bathroom and they proceeded to throw him out of the casino when he left the bathroom for not showing ID. He had to pick up his chips at the table and cash out. These casinos are absolutely hostile to supposed card counters.
As for taking notes, just take a walk outside every few hours, but then you have to walk past security to get back in, but there might be a smoking section that isn't too obvious.
Dieter
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Dieter
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December 20th, 2021 at 7:25:47 AM permalink
Quote: ChumpChange

I just saw a video of security intercepting someone as he left the bathroom and they proceeded to throw him out of the casino when he left the bathroom for not showing ID. He had to pick up his chips at the table and cash out. These casinos are absolutely hostile to supposed card counters.
As for taking notes, just take a walk outside every few hours, but then you have to walk past security to get back in, but there might be a smoking section that isn't too obvious.
link to original post



Toilet cubicles are generally surveillance free, if you need a chance to take notes, or just don't like standing at the urinals by the shores of Yellow Lake.
As you noted, sometimes security wants a chat as you exit. That probably means they wanted to chat when you were on your way in, and graciously decided to give you a minute to yourself first.
May the cards fall in your favor.
heatmap
heatmap
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December 20th, 2021 at 9:09:58 AM permalink
I have to interject here … if it’s okay for the wizard himself to stand and watch Mdawg and record the stats that he did, shouldn’t I be able to have a friend or any random person be able to record my play?

Some of the fears people have about card counting are overstated IMO
Donuts
Donuts
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December 20th, 2021 at 9:21:37 AM permalink
Quote: heatmap

I have to interject here … if it’s okay for the wizard himself to stand and watch Mdawg and record the stats that he did, shouldn’t I be able to have a friend or any random person be able to record my play?

Some of the fears people have about card counting are overstated IMO
link to original post



I got put into OSN because surveillance saw me text something to my partner on my phone vaguely counting related while outside of the bathroom. No reason to be recording shoe conditions at the table IMO if you care about longevity in any capacity.
Keyser
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December 20th, 2021 at 9:23:13 AM permalink
There's not really any money in card counting. The people actually making the money are using it as the cover play for hole carding in places like Florida, Indiana, and Louisiana.
Dieter
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December 20th, 2021 at 9:34:48 AM permalink
Quote: heatmap

I have to interject here … if it’s okay for the wizard himself to stand and watch Mdawg and record the stats that he did, shouldn’t I be able to have a friend or any random person be able to record my play?

Some of the fears people have about card counting are overstated IMO
link to original post



A lot of casinos out in the sticks currently express a strong preference for only active players near the table, and encourage gallery onlookers to keep moving out of social distancing concerns. Your mileage may vary.

Anybody can keep notes at a baccarat table; that's not considered unusual behaviour.

I think you may be making a peaches to bananas comparison.
May the cards fall in your favor.
kewlj
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December 20th, 2021 at 10:36:19 AM permalink
Quote: Donuts

My friend and I took a ~5 year break from AP stuff but are planning to start playing again in the near future. Our biggest problem that we weren't able to solve for was having high fidelity in our EV estimates for our sessions/careers. At first we tried tracking every shoe and the relevant variables (pen, players, etc.) but it felt impractical having to whip out your phone every few shoes to write this stuff down. Especially since casino cameras can read phone screens now.

Curious how the more seasoned counters/APs here track their expected results over time. Do you stop periodicaly to to write down how many shoes you've played, pen, number of other players at the table, etc.? Or do you take a more relaxed approach and just estimate the average conditions and hours played at the end of each session?
link to original post



I went through the same questions earlier in my career. I play mostly shoe games, mostly 6 deck now, 8 decks earlier and exit aggressively on negative counts, at the shuffle after showing my spread, or just 45 minutes of time. Usually one of the first 2 exit triggers occurs first, making for short sessions, sometimes very short. So the old standard approach of hours played didn't seem to fit. I ended up with many small segments of an hour like 22 minutes,here, 33 and 16.

Next I went to just counting shoes played. and figuring EV from there. You have already hit on the problem with that. A shoe heads up can be 50 rounds, while a shoe, same pen with several other players can be 20. So that didn't work. But therein lies the answer. What really matters is rounds played. 50 rounds played is 50 rounds played whether it occurs in one shoe heads up, or 2 and a half shoe, or 3 partial shoes at different tables. 50 rounds basically the same EV (for same penetration). So my answer is estimate rounds played.

I estimate by the number of cards in play (6 deck 75% is 234 for example) divided by 2.8 cards per player and dealer, estimate per round (taken from Don Schlesinger). Whatever number that comes out, I just adjust slightly if a player joins or leaves mid shoe or if I end my session part way through a shoe. I have been thinking I don't need to be as exact as I am, I could just flat out estimate rounds played and it would be just as good, but old habits and all.

So rather that record that info in the memo section of phone, which I did for a while, I have a little voice recorder which can be bought for under $40 on Amazon. I guess you could also use dictating app on phone. I like this voice recorder because I like to record more than just session results, but also the time of day, dealer and pit folks involved with that session and of course anything unusual heat ect.

So that is how I do it, but whatever works for you.
kewlj
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December 20th, 2021 at 10:43:26 AM permalink
Quote: Keyser

There's not really any money in card counting. The people actually making the money are using it as the cover play for hole carding in places like Florida, Indiana, and Louisiana.



Almost every forum I have ever been on, has some hole-carder, saying there is no money in card counting. It is like you guys take the next step up the ladder and then poo poo those of us that still CHOOSE to count cards. LOL. I have supported myself for 18 years now from card counting.
ChallengedMilly
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December 20th, 2021 at 2:53:22 PM permalink
Quote: kewlj

Quote: Keyser

There's not really any money in card counting. The people actually making the money are using it as the cover play for hole carding in places like Florida, Indiana, and Louisiana.



Almost every forum I have ever been on, has some hole-carder, saying there is no money in card counting. It is like you guys take the next step up the ladder and then poo poo those of us that still CHOOSE to count cards. LOL. I have supported myself for 18 years now from card counting.
link to original post

Yeah what the hell is up with people denying the power of counting even today. There's bloggers and youtubers proving it till this day the power in it.
TomG
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December 20th, 2021 at 3:22:10 PM permalink
Great question. I am interested in hearing how others do it. Even people who play with a disadvantage and track their play. I know most don't disadvantage players don't keep records, but there can be definite benefits to it.

I am of the opinion that tracking results is more important than EV. A straight hi / lo count with no other betting might make it easy to calculate ev. But a lot of bets and a lot of value is not easy to calculate. In that case, I would much rather focus on getting money down on a good bet, instead of trying to determine the exact value. Then just track amount bet and amount won or lost with the understanding that given enough bets, expected value and actual value will get closer and closer.

I try to only do the basics and keep it as easy simple as possible. When I leave the casino, sit in the parking lot and open an app on my phone, hit the + or the - button, then the number for how much I won or lost. Then whatever anecdotal notes I want. Then at the beginning of every month, put it into both a google doc and a google spreadsheet on my computer and do a little more in-depth accounting.
Dieter
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Dieter
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December 20th, 2021 at 4:07:02 PM permalink
Quote: TomG

Great question. I am interested in hearing how others do it. Even people who play with a disadvantage and track their play. I know most don't disadvantage players don't keep records, but there can be definite benefits to it.
link to original post



I used paper and pen in the casino (faster for me; not a "device"), and transferred to a spreadsheet once I got back a few days later.

Pocket notebooks are helpful.

Note of property, date, and then a brief description of each game (name/denom), buy-in, cash-out, freeplay used, points earned. APs will probably want to note hands played (estimate) and spread.

The spreadsheet is where the magic really happens.
There is probably an option for which fields are input-allowed, and what happens when you press enter on each cell (possibly with different actions for enter with vs without data). Setting this up correctly easily triples the speed of data entry; almost all keypad, minimal mouse clicking.
I believe I used separate sheets for each month, and then columns for date, property, freeplay in, cash in, cash out, coin in, and notes.
From there, you probably want a net game result, a gross session buy-in, a net cash out.
You can probably get creative from there and make another page with each property's summary for the year, all automagically updated from the other sheets as it extracts the property codes you use, and each game session and trip, if you're programmatically inclined.

And yes, non-advantage players should do this, if only to be faced with an objective report of how much gambling costs, instead of "I'm about even."
May the cards fall in your favor.
Donuts
Donuts
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December 20th, 2021 at 4:10:57 PM permalink
Quote: Dieter

Quote: TomG

Great question. I am interested in hearing how others do it. Even people who play with a disadvantage and track their play. I know most don't disadvantage players don't keep records, but there can be definite benefits to it.
link to original post



I used paper and pen in the casino (faster for me; not a "device"), and transferred to a spreadsheet once I got back a few days later.

Pocket notebooks are helpful.

Note of property, date, and then a brief description of each game (name/denom), buy-in, cash-out, freeplay used, points earned. APs will probably want to note hands played (estimate) and spread.

The spreadsheet is where the magic really happens.
There is probably an option for which fields are input-allowed, and what happens when you press enter on each cell (possibly with different actions for enter with vs without data). Setting this up correctly easily triples the speed of data entry; almost all keypad, minimal mouse clicking.
I believe I used separate sheets for each month, and then columns for date, property, freeplay in, cash in, cash out, coin in, and notes.
From there, you probably want a net game result, a gross session buy-in, a net cash out.
You can probably get creative from there and make another page with each property's summary for the year, all automagically updated from the other sheets as it extracts the property codes you use, and each game session and trip, if you're programmatically inclined.

And yes, non-advantage players should do this, if only to be faced with an objective report of how much gambling costs, instead of "I'm about even."
link to original post



Do you track everything at the table or do you go to the bathroom every ~5 shoes or so to record conditions?
Dieter
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December 20th, 2021 at 5:53:21 PM permalink
Quote: Donuts

Do you track everything at the table or do you go to the bathroom every ~5 shoes or so to record conditions?
link to original post



I'm not currently active.

When I was, I mostly played machines. I'm fine making notes at machines.
I did do some table play. I wouldn't suggest writing notes at the table without a convincing cover, like "my therapist thinks I have a problem, and wants me to write down every buy in."
It's probably a good idea to stand up every hour and take a walk. Fight blood clots.
May the cards fall in your favor.
kewlj
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December 20th, 2021 at 11:24:10 PM permalink
Quote: TomG


I am of the opinion that tracking results is more important than EV. A straight hi / lo count with no other betting might make it easy to calculate ev. But a lot of bets and a lot of value is not easy to calculate. In that case, I would much rather focus on getting money down on a good bet, instead of trying to determine the exact value. Then just track amount bet and amount won or lost with the understanding that given enough bets, expected value and actual value will get closer and closer.



This is a VERY good point TomG. Earlier in my career, I started tracking EV along with results because I wanted some sort of confirmation that I was playing a sound game. If my EV for the year was 75k and my results were anywhere close to that, which they were many years, I could feel good that I was playing a sound game. Well after 18 years, 12 in Vegas in which I have tracked EV right along with my results, I KNOW I am playing a sound game. There really is no reason for me to continue tracking EV. I think I will stop doing so,going into the new year. It will make record keeping much easier.

The way I handle things is to reset my BR to 100k every Jan and then at the end of the year, I take whatever I have won (above the initial 100k mark) and move that from BR to personal money, putting it in the bank. So at this point it really makes no difference if I am significantly below EV like I was in 2020, or significantly above EV like 2021, or close to EV like I am most years. I no longer need that confirmation and it is just extra work.

Thanks for your post TomG that got me thinking about it again.
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