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Blackjack -- a tale outside basic strategy

Discussion in 'Table Games' started by DannyOcean, Feb 23, 2016.

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  1. DannyOcean

    DannyOcean
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    This is here for entertainment purposes only, and isn't meant to be a cautionary tale or a contrarian tale. Merely an amusing account of a run on a blackjack table I had on my last trip out to Vegas. Staying at Aria, playing at a $15 table. I'm an avowed adherent to basic strategy at blackjack. I will always take one for the team, hitting on a 16 against a 7. No matter how drunk I am, I can make the right basic strategy call.

    So here I am, at third base, playing green chips and trying out, for the first time, really pressing my bets. If I win a hand, I press to 50, then to 75 if I win again, and then to a black chip if I win a third in a row. Then, no matter what, back down to a green chip bet. Things worked out pretty well for the first hour, and I'm up a couple hundred bucks from a good shoe.

    Then a younger guy sits down besides me. He's reckless. The opposite of me at the table: playing purely by instinct, going against convention when his gut tells him to. Changing up his bet constantly. We get to chatting, and it turns out he's a fighter pilot based out of Nellis. Active duty, regularly flying missions to Afghanistan still. Comes down to the Strip to blow off steam on his days off. He played like it.

    Anyway, we play together for about an hour. He's a genuinely nice guy, and I become the beneficiary of his playing style. He'd hit on 17 with the dealer showing a 10, pulls a 7, taking the card that would have busted my 15. Turns out, the dealer has a 4 underneath, draws a 10, and busts instead of pulling a three-card 21. I end up winning the hand. This happened a half dozen or more times over the course of the shoe, I keep pressing, and I keep winning. My new best friend busted out, but I floated him a couple hundred to keep playing. How can you let a hot streak like that go?

    At the end of the hour, even with staking the pilot, I'm up about $1,500 on a $300 buy-in. He's ready to walk, so I walk. Best blackjack run of my life, and it made me laugh because it was the product of purely reckless play by the my table mate.

    The flip side of the story is that, the next day, instead of going to Tiffany and going home with something that would really make my wife happy, I give it all back over the course of eight hours. The thing was, the positive vibes I rode from playing with the fighter pilot the day before just continued on. Losing never felt so good. It was a fun table all day long. I've never had more fun playing blackjack than over those two days, even though it ended up with a zero net result.

    To me, it was just a good demonstration how winning and losing at gambling can come from unexpected places, and how both of them can be fun. I still wish I had stepped away from that cold table, though. Haha. There is nothing quite like Vegas. I love it.
     
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  2. Malibugolfer

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    I went through several emotions reading your story Danny.
    My first was my initial thought of color up and leave after his first off the wall play.
    That is my 99% default.
    The interaction and positive results you got may be worthy of some thought next time and I'm glad you had a great visit either way.
    BTW, we sold my wife's C4S to a young pilot who flies F-22's and F-35's. He had a great story of a "confrontation" with 3 Iranian F-4's while he was in his Raptor. As one sided as one may imagine. They never knew he was there until he lit them up and they bailed on afterburners.
    I love those jet jockeys.
     
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  3. 44inarow

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    This actually reminds me of a somewhat similar situation I had at a blackjack table a few months ago at Aria. We were playing at a $25 CSM table (this was before they went all 6:5) with a married couple, a Mexican guy who spoke zero English, and an incredibly attractive girl. He was playing some of the worst blackjack I've ever seen -- he split tens, he doubled on 16s, he stayed on soft hands... you name it, he was doing it. But he was winning, as were the rest of us, miraculously. The second-most entertaining part was that he was talking non-stop to the wife of the married couple, and she was talking back to him, except he didn't speak a word of English, and she didn't speak a word of Spanish, yet they still seemed to get along great. The magic of Vegas.

    Of course, the most entertaining part was about 45 minutes in, when another woman walks up to the guy and his attractive companion, pulls out her purse, hits him in the face with it as hard as she can, and drags him away. The incredibly attractive girl, as it turned out, was not his wife or girlfriend, but rather a hooker that he had been hanging out with at the table while the wife was finishing up some shopping. I know this because, when he took a bathroom break, we chatted briefly in my broken Spanish, during which conversation she asked me if I "wanted to party". Once again, the magic of Vegas.
     
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  4. RockyBalboa

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    Great story.

    It is funny because sometimes the unconventional things work out for the best. I am pretty much like you and stick to basic strategy. When I am playing alone or with just one other person sometimes I will deviate and go on gut and it works out. We've all taken beatings when sticking to how the book says to play it and also benefited from the wild style.

    Last Friday night we had a lady sitting 3rd base playing however she felt and it killed us for awhile. I couldn't wait for her to go busto, which she eventually did. She'd hit a 15 on a 6 and the dealer would make a hand etc.

    But...the fact that you had fun is the best part. Of course we'd all like to win. Especially hyper competitive people. But when it comes to Vegas and being on vacation having fun is a huge part of it. Playing within our limits and budgets and having the belief that we'll never see that $$ again once we buy in is how to look at it. A great craps or any other table coupled with some drinks and good company can help take the sting of a loss off.
     
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  5. undathesea

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    Sounds like he paid for one way or another. Let's hope he at least got a little.
     
  6. 44inarow

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    Ha, I'm pretty sure he got none at all. She came up to the table shortly after he did, and we all assumed they knew each other by how friendly she was acting towards him (I was the only other person at the table who could understand at least a little bit of Spanish, which was why nobody else figured out what was going on), the fact that he was giving her chips, etc. So at the end of the session he had (1) given a way a bunch of chips to a hooker he didn't get to leave with, and (2) pissed off his wife enough for her to clock him with her purse in full view of the casino.
     
  7. pphold

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    Great story Danny Ocean

    I was the opposite that I went downtown Vegas since i was getting crushed on the strip. Bad rules as they hit soft 17. Even at the HL table. I'm playing with a group and I'm betting Blacks everyone is betting red or green. I get Blackjack a few hands and I'm upset. The whole table is cheering and I'm mad because I'm betting 1 to 3 black chips. I knew it was time to leave. How do I not have fun getting blackjack. I won $1700 I think it. It was fun to people watch.

    I played with Firstkill at the Cosmo and the HL room min was $500 so we go out on the floor. The dealer said I had a horseshoe up my ass and I think I did I won $7k in a few hands and colored up since I could only win betting blacks and purple chips and lost betting Yellow and Flags.

    I think you are right that we should just have fun win or lose. Winning is always fun and losing sucks but if you come Vegas to win you not at the right place and if you come to have fun then you are.


    I think I've lost track of that the last few trips and need to step back as Vegas is just too fun and losing too much.

    Thanks Danny for your post.
     
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  8. RTG10

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    The challenge with that is when you have a trip like my last one, dumped a shed load of cash (for me, not for most folk) for very little in the way of highs to compensate for the lows of losing. I don't mind having a thrill ride but when it feels more like jumping off a cliff it's harder to take. Going back in May with the wife so hopefully this time my luck wont sink me like a stone!
     
  9. Ketelmaster

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    When was this? I think I was at this table with my wife!
     
  10. 44inarow

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    Fourth of July weekend. I want to say that Monday night but I'd have to go back and check my emails.
     

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