kewlj
kewlj
Joined: Apr 17, 2012
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July 30th, 2021 at 12:50:48 PM permalink
As anyone that plays or has played blackjack regularly at an advantage via card counting learns there is great variance associated with the game despite having a slim advantage (or maybe because the advantage is so slim).

For someone playing for a living, this variance, these sometimes massive swings, and negative runs that can last weeks and months, and learning to accept and deal with this variance is one of the hardest lessons to learn. All the books and other players on forums and in person telling you about it can't prepare you for when it occurs. It is something you have to go through several times and come out the other side, to be able to process.

So, I don't like too talk to much about my younger brother and his journey, but he is going throught that right now for the first time. In the 5 years (I think it is 5 years, maybe 4) that he has been making a living playing blackjack, he has finished at or above expectation every year. Any kind of negative variance or swing has been very short and mild. It is easy to play, and win and think you are doing great, when the cards just keep falling right and you keep winning.

So this year, he is underperforming expectation for the first time, currently just about half of expectation for his amount of play. And for the first time, I see frustration setting in. He is staring to wonder if he is being cheated or if the casinos have somehow done something different post-covid effecting his results. I try to assure him, no, it is just variance...keep fighting and it will all smooth out at some point.

I don't want to say I have been waiting for this, because that sounds cruel and I want nothing but the best for him, but, I sort of have been waiting for this. :/ It is something every card counter has to go through a couple times to progress.
Dieter
Administrator
Dieter 
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July 30th, 2021 at 7:25:50 PM permalink
Even with a big bet, you still tend to lose about half the hands.

Here's hoping the cards land his way.
May the cards fall in your favor.
moses
moses
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August 16th, 2021 at 8:49:05 AM permalink
With todays technology and products available shouldnt one have a solid understanding of Variance?
kewlj
kewlj
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August 16th, 2021 at 10:20:34 AM permalink
Quote: moses

With todays technology and products available shouldnt one have a solid understanding of Variance?



Software DOES provide a solid understanding of variance. Run some simulations for a 1-16 spread and see the wide range of results within 3 standard deviations that are "normal".

Any large spread is going to result in big variance and swings. That is exactly why a large bankroll is needed, plus the ability to mentally handle such swings.

AND the above is about a set spread. Many of us mix and match spreads and max bets. I play games with a max bet of $300, $400, $800. This increases and invited even larger variance and swings. Can't even be measured by the software you are referencing.

The reason for these different spreads and max bets is about tolerance levels and playing as high of stakes that is tolerated at each location, to maximize win rate. BUT, the downside is that increased variance from an already volitale, high variance situation.
jjjoooggg
jjjoooggg
Joined: Jul 13, 2012
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August 16th, 2021 at 10:34:30 AM permalink
Quote: kewlj

Software DOES provide a solid understanding of variance. Run some simulations for a 1-16 spread and see the wide range of results within 3 standard deviations that are "normal".

Any large spread is going to result in big variance and swings. That is exactly why a large bankroll is needed, plus the ability to mentally handle such swings.

AND the above is about a set spread. Many of us mix and match spreads and max bets. I play games with a max bet of $300, $400, $800. This increases and invited even larger variance and swings. Can't even be measured by the software you are referencing.

The reason for these different spreads and max bets is about tolerance levels and playing as high of stakes that is tolerated at each location, to maximize win rate. BUT, the downside is that increased variance from an already volitale, high variance situation.



I think most card counters underestimate the variance and werent prepared financially or psychologically. Even though I had a bankroll. I wasnt prepared mentally. I had only gambled a few times at min bet 25 before i started counting.
Born in Texas and lived in Texas my whole life.
kewlj
kewlj
Joined: Apr 17, 2012
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August 16th, 2021 at 10:46:05 AM permalink
Quote: jjjoooggg

I think most card counters underestimate the variance and werent prepared financially or psychologically. Even though I had a bankroll. I wasnt prepared mentally. I had only gambled a few times at min bet before i started counting.



I would agree. Playing underfunded is one if not the single bigget mistakes. Related to that is the mental aspect you mentioned. Newer players that get into a high count (strong advantage) and throw out their big bets only to lose several hands, quickly lose the will to keep throwing out that big wager.
jjjoooggg
jjjoooggg
Joined: Jul 13, 2012
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August 16th, 2021 at 10:46:09 AM permalink
Quote: moses

With todays technology and products available shouldnt one have a solid understanding of Variance?



I met one of the best card counters doing it for a long time. His wife couldnt handle the swings. So they found another job. And he had to stay home with the kids. If his wife wanted to count. They would have made it work.
Last edited by: jjjoooggg on Aug 16, 2021
Born in Texas and lived in Texas my whole life.
moses
moses
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Thanks for this post from:
IndyJeffrey
August 16th, 2021 at 12:56:54 PM permalink
Quote: jjjoooggg

I met one of the best card counters doing it for a long time. His wife couldnt handle the swings. So they found another job. And he had to stay home with the kids. If his wife wanted count. They would have made it work.


You touched on the phsycology. I have some millionaire friends that flip out over a $10 parlay. It's right or wrong and they have to face the fact they were wrong.

Verite helps a person come to the realization of variance. You can see it with sims. But you have to feel it. The one person one cant lie to is themself.
moses
moses
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August 17th, 2021 at 6:43:52 AM permalink
Try this KJ little bro. Drop the 2. add a point to the 5. A very simple Level 2 count. Run your sim comparisons with CV Data as it is closer to your style of short session play. You can also determine the Advantage point to bet two hands instrad of one.

Variance isnt so much in the cards as it is in you. If it were easy, you would have to wait in line to play.

Play out 10k hands on Verite with HiLO. Then 10k the new way.
EXACTLY the way you play in the casino. Only you can determine your personal level of tolerance.

Point is you will learn more about yourself in 20 days than 20 weeks of casino play.
jjjoooggg
jjjoooggg
Joined: Jul 13, 2012
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August 17th, 2021 at 10:52:09 AM permalink
Quote: moses

Try this KJ little bro. Drop the 2. add a point to the 5. A very simple Level 2 count. Run your sim comparisons with CV Data as it is closer to your style of short session play. You can also determine the Advantage point to bet two hands instrad of one.

Variance isnt so much in the cards as it is in you. If it were easy, you would have to wait in line to play.

Play out 10k hands on Verite with HiLO. Then 10k the new way.
EXACTLY the way you play in the casino. Only you can determine your personal level of tolerance.

Point is you will learn more about yourself in 20 days than 20 weeks of casino play.



We both have that software. I didnít get around to using it
Born in Texas and lived in Texas my whole life.

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