jrock
Joined: Jan 10, 2011
• Posts: 6
January 10th, 2011 at 9:56:12 AM permalink
Hello everyone. I've never played blackjack before, but have played a little craps. I never played blackjack because I didn't know basic strategy and did not want to lose a lot of money without having the odds to its best amount. I am planning a trip to vegas and found the wizards sites. Now, I have basic strategy down to a tee and I am going to play some. (thanks wizard!) I am planning to play a variant of Oscar's grind. I know betting systems are not fool proof and tend to make you a fool in the long run, but I like the variance the system provides.

Questions: (I hope there is no such thing as a stupid question, but I'm going to try my best)

1) How do you keep track of bankroll? When you have 500 in chips on the table, how do you organize them? Do you keep 300 dollars in your pocket and work with 200? If so, if you want to double down but do not have enough chips, can you buy more mid play? I doubt the casinos would allow it due to card counting, but would they let you take a calculator to the table? How about a piece of paper and a pencil?

2) If you are at a 15\$ minimum table can you bet up increments of 5\$ or does the betting increment need to be 15\$? Same question for a craps table, at a 10\$ craps table can I take 15\$ pass line odds, say on the 10? Or does it have to be 20\$?? I understand that this wouldn't work on the 5/9 due to a 2/3 payout. How does the casino pay out 50 cents? Is there a 50 cent coin or chip? (Say at a 3:2 blackjack table with a 15 \$ bid)

3) If I have a 500\$ bankroll, betting 15\$ hands how long could I expect to play jackjack. Is it 15 \$ x 60 hands per hour = 900 \$ x 0.005 = lose 4.50\$ per hour? (on average)
minnesotajoe
Joined: Dec 18, 2010
• Posts: 168
January 10th, 2011 at 10:07:33 AM permalink
1) I never put cheques in my pocket. Normally, I would buy in for 200\$ and receieve 100 in red, 100 in green. I'd keep the green aside. And the red I'll have stacked. As soon as I saw that I had ~375\$ I would make two stacks of 100\$ red.

2a) You may bet any amount from table minimum to the table maximum. If the casino has 2.50\$ cheques (most do) ... you may in theory wager 15.50\$; more common though, you may place bets of 17\$, 23\$, etc.

2b) Again, most casinos have a cheque worth 2.50\$ so If you bet 15\$.. it will pay four red (5\$) and one pink (2.50\$) for a total of 22.50\$
If you bet 17.50\$ and got a blackjack.. it would pay you 26\$, though.

Some casinos have 50 cent pieces
Ayecarumba
Joined: Nov 17, 2009
• Posts: 6763
January 10th, 2011 at 10:39:31 AM permalink
You are wise to ask questions before hitting the tables. Never be afraid to ask.

Quote: jrock

if you want to double down but do not have enough chips, can you buy more mid play? I doubt the casinos would allow it due to card counting, but would they let you take a calculator to the table? How about a piece of paper and a pencil?

You can buy more chips mid play. Of course you cannot adjust the size of your original contract bet, but you can always put more cash down for splits or doubles.

You cannot take a calculator to the table. Even paper and a pencil are prohibited at most bj tables. You can take a basic strategy card to refer to, but anything that allows you to keep track, or calculate is frowned upon.

Good luck to you, and have fun!
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication - Leonardo da Vinci
Ibeatyouraces
Joined: Jan 12, 2010
• Posts: 11933
January 10th, 2011 at 10:46:08 AM permalink
deleted
DUHHIIIIIIIII HEARD THAT!
DJTeddyBear
Joined: Nov 2, 2009
• Posts: 10092
January 10th, 2011 at 10:49:51 AM permalink
For craps, you have to make bets that can be paid properly - or risk being shortchanged.

For example, if you put \$15 odds behind 5 or 9, they will pay you \$22: \$14 at 3:2 for \$21, and \$1 at even money.

You'll often hear the craps dealers chant "Odds are even on odds". That's their way to remind you to make it an even bet. You do NOT need to bump it up to \$20. \$16 is fine. Note that if you have a lot of small chips, they may pay that \$16 by taking the white and dropping a green.

You very rarely see anything smaller than \$1 chips at a craps table. And rarely see the pink \$2.50 chips. If you DO see it, ASK! I saw several stacks of pinks at a craps table and asked if that meant I can bet in half units, they said no. I wanted to ask why the pinks were there at all...

FYI: "Units" are \$6 for place bets on the 6/8, and \$5 for 5/9, etc.
Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁 Note that the same could be said for Religion. I.E. Religion is nothing more than organized superstition. 🤗
rdw4potus
Joined: Mar 11, 2010
• Posts: 6964
January 10th, 2011 at 10:50:32 AM permalink
1. I agree with Joe, I'd keep \$300 in cash if I could. If it's a situation where that isn't an option (like if you were down to your last \$150 in chips and rallied back to \$500), then I'd personally color up a couple blacks, pocket them, and treat them like cash/emergency funds.

2a. I've never seen \$2.50 chips anywhere but here (MN). And here, I've only seen them at Mystic Lake/Little Six.

2b. If the casino has pinks but no \$.25 equivalent chips, they likely round up payments on blackjacks and surrenders (that's what Mystic does). If that is the case, it's in your best interest to always bet one \$2.50 pink chip in addition to your normal wager.

3. Yes, that's the expected loss on average. But, in reality, you'll probably have a big downswing that will result in negative money before you reach the 111 hour mark (111*4.50=\$499.50). \$500 is 33 bets at \$15/hand. The odds of being down by more than 33 bets at some point in 6000 hands of play (100 hours@60 hands per hour) is higher than you'd think.
"So as the clock ticked and the day passed, opportunity met preparation, and luck happened." - Maurice Clarett
PapaChubby
Joined: Mar 29, 2010
• Posts: 486
January 10th, 2011 at 10:52:18 AM permalink
1) I also keep all my chips for a gambling session on the table. I'm pretty organized, I keep 'em in stacks of \$100 each, for instance. If you buy in for \$500 at a \$10 table, you'll probably receive \$100-200 in reds (\$5 chips) and the rest in greens (\$25 chips). Play with the reds unless/until they run out, then cash in a couple hundred in greens for more reds. If you pause every once in a while to check your stacks (like during the shuffle) you should be able to keep track of your bankroll pretty easily. If you're out of chips and want to double down, you absolutely can buy more chips with cash. This seems to happen to me every time I run low and go "all in". I would think any use of paper/pencil at a BJ table would be frowned upon.

2) Generally speaking, you can place any wager above the minimum. \$20 and \$25 bets at a \$15 table are certainly allowed. I think most casinos that have the \$2.50 chip to pay off 3/2 blackjacks do not allow a single \$2.50 chip in a wager. i.e., you cannot wager \$17.50 or \$22.50. Wait 'til you've got two of 'em, then bet 'em together as a \$5 increment.

3) Yes, in your example the average session would lose \$4.50 per hour. I'd actually use 80 hand/hour for an average \$6 per hour loss. However, average almost never happens due to the variance. To plan for a typical session, I'd plan on a -1 sigma condition. At 80 hands/hour and \$15 per hand, the standard deviation is about \$135/ root hour. With a \$500 bankroll, you could EXPECT to play for about 12 hours. (Based on my recent luck, I'd only expect to play for about 45 minutes!)

Of course, if you're playing a grind, your average bet will be larger, your variance will be larger, and your expected duration of play will be shorter. I think a grind is an acceptable way to massage the win/loss distribution to increase your chances of a smallish win over the short term. Playing it for 1000 hands or so really pushes your luck with regard to risk of ruin.
jrock
Joined: Jan 10, 2011
• Posts: 6
January 10th, 2011 at 10:53:00 AM permalink
Quote: Ibeatyouraces

I would suggest before you sit down to watch a bunch of tables and get acclaimated with what goes on at one. You will learn alot just by watching how the dealer handles things. Just dont follow playing advice from other playesr or the dealer for that matter. Just follow basic strategy for the particular game you are playing.

Plan on it, I just want to get my betting strategy down before going. I plan on playing 15 dollar hands and upping my bet by 5 \$ on every win when down until I am ahead again (sort of a Oscar's grind variant). The only thing though is how do I know when I am ahead again? Trying to figure out how to keep track of bankroll. If I should keep counting chips or keep a running total in my head?

I don't do anything without researching it thoroughly and did the same before playing craps the first time. Thanks for your help so far.
mkl654321
Joined: Aug 8, 2010
• Posts: 3412
January 10th, 2011 at 10:59:38 AM permalink
Quote: jrock

1) How do you keep track of bankroll? When you have 500 in chips on the table, how do you organize them? Do you keep 300 dollars in your pocket and work with 200? If so, if you want to double down but do not have enough chips, can you buy more mid play? I doubt the casinos would allow it due to card counting, but would they let you take a calculator to the table? How about a piece of paper and a pencil?

2) If you are at a 15\$ minimum table can you bet up increments of 5\$ or does the betting increment need to be 15\$? Same question for a craps table, at a 10\$ craps table can I take 15\$ pass line odds, say on the 10? Or does it have to be 20\$?? I understand that this wouldn't work on the 5/9 due to a 2/3 payout. How does the casino pay out 50 cents? Is there a 50 cent coin or chip? (Say at a 3:2 blackjack table with a 15 \$ bid)

3) If I have a 500\$ bankroll, betting 15\$ hands how long could I expect to play jackjack. Is it 15 \$ x 60 hands per hour = 900 \$ x 0.005 = lose 4.50\$ per hour? (on average)

1) There are as many methods of doing this as there are players, but I've found that 20 chips makes a manageable stack. So if I have, say, \$150 on the table, I make one stack of reds (\$100) and then make my bets from the remainder as needed. At the crap table, I separate the stacks (which are on their sides) with \$1 chips.

If you want to double down or split, you can take money out of your pocket. I don't even bother to do that--I just ask the dealer to "mark \$X". She gets the florrman's approval, and they lend me enough money to play out the hand, which of course, I have to pay back immediately at the hand's conclusion, which could mean I have to go into my pocket after all.

You can take a basic strategy card to the table, but anything that you can use to calculate or make notes would be a no-no.

2) If the table minimum is, say, \$15, you can bet \$15, \$17, \$109, or anything else you want, up to the table maximum. You may not get paid properly on the last \$5 of your bet if you get a blackjack (they wouldn't give you \$7.50, just \$7). Generally, a table with \$5 minimums or lower will have some kind of 50-cent chip, or actual half-dollars. At craps, you can take odds for less than the maximum, and your odds bet doesn't have to be an exact multiple of your line bet--for instance, if you have a \$10 line bet, and the point is 4, you can take \$14 odds if you want.

3) Don't use the expected value to calculate how long you're going to last--that isn't a very useful measuring stick. I would say that 30 bets would be enough to play a couple of hours of blackjack, MOST of the time, but I've been nuked for more than that in less than an hour on occasion. At the crap table, that \$500 could vanish like a snowball on a hot stove. \$10 line bet+double odds could wipe you out in fifteen minutes if the table goes cold.
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.---George Bernard Shaw
FleaStiff
Joined: Oct 19, 2009