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Card Counting?

Discussion in 'Table Games' started by ICallHimGamblor, May 26, 2016.

  1. ICallHimGamblor

    ICallHimGamblor
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    I've been half-contemplating card counting for awhile. I know a couple counting methods, but when I was in vegas a couple weeks ago, I didn't see any real opportunities.

    Most under-$50 games were all 6/5 which supposedly more than eliminates any possible advantage counting, and the rest were continuous shuffle. There was also the rare two-deck game, but those had penetration slightly better than half way.

    Has the opportunity for counting passed me by, or am I missing opportunities somewhere?

    Anyone here have any success at this?

    Thanks
     
  2. shifter

    shifter
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    good luck getting any successful counter to talk openly.

    the things that still work, still work because they are closely guarded secrets.
     
  3. Yankees4ever31

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    Try TI, they usually have decent rules at lower denoms. Practice low minimums to see if you can count without giving it away. Very difficult in today's environment. Good luck.
     
  4. JDVegas

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    Counting is hard work! It takes all the fun out of gambling, and the return is minimal as a lone counter at low stakes tables.

    Here is a better idea that is likely to have a higher return on your money than trying to count 6 or 8 deck games:

    Focus on playing PERFECT strategy. Take into account rules such as surrender, splitting limitations, doubling limitations, S17 vs H17, etc AND the number of decks you are playing with - could be 1 to 8 decks (do they still have that 1 deck game at Casino Royal?). If you make just a few mistakes (missed/incorrect doubles and splits especially) per playing session, you probably give up more in the way of an advantage than you would gain from counting.

    And the good news is that you can even use a basic strategy cheat card right at the table - they don't mind. But again, don't be lazy and use a generic basic strategy card regardless or rules and decks.

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    is by far the best site to study and learn the rules. The site is deep with information on proper play and odds in unending scenarios.
     
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  5. Neb

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    There's no magic secret to counting. It's still possible, but not at the lower limits. And at the higher ones, they're watching, or their computers are. So you'll not last long unless you play anonymously.

    Counting is much more viable almost everywhere except the LV strip these days.
     
  6. topcard

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    I count low-limit ($5 & $10) 2-deck games every trip. I use a simple plus/minus count and only spread 1-to-5...and more often, just 1-to-4.
    Of course, I can't do that on the strip... I play downtown, or when I am visiting the strip, I play at Gold Coast.
    It's a tiny edge...it doesn't represent a lot of money for me, but then, I don't put a lot of money at risk, so it's a fair trade-off.

    If you use large spreads, you'll draw heat from the pit... if you wong-out more than once or twice at a given casino, you'll draw heat. Although most places no longer allow mid-deck entry, I still bail on very-negative decks (minus 6 or more) and wait for the shuffle. Another advantage to 2-deck games is that it never takes very long to get a fresh deck.
    Good, actionable positive counts are not that frequent, but they do occur.
    My limited success has come only because I always act on them - even if my press is only 2x or 3x my $10 base bet.
    Just guessing here, but I'd say counting allows me to have roughly a one-to-two base-bet net win per hour... this over many, many hours.
    So - for me, that's about $14 an hour. But I typically play about 10 hours of blackjack each day when I'm in Vegas... and, barring some nice win or bad loss playing UTH along the way, I usually win about $100 to $200 a day.

    I know, I know...that's mere CW tip money for many here at VB... but I'm OK with it. Besides - it's all relative. I would, hypothetically, be having the same percentage outcomes with a higher base-bet... I don't bet more because of bankroll limitations and the inevitable bad-variance that rears it's head at least once every trip.

    FYI - DTG has a two-deck game with about 75% penetration...best I've seen in quite a while. No DAS there, however.
    Best low-limit blackjack is at El Cortez, Golden Gate "high limit" Salon, Plaza & at Gold Coast/Orleans.
    These are all 3:2 DD games, H17, DAS permitted. El-Co & Gold Coast/Orleans are $5 min. Golden Gate is $15-to-$25 min. and Plaza is a $25 min.
    All of the Boyd properties downtown, as well as the DTG, offer 3:2 double-deck pitch, H17 & no DAS. Boyd is $5 min & DTG is $10.
    Nugget and 4-Queens have the same game as Boyd/DTG, but at $15 & $10 min., respectively.
    (Quick note about the Plaza $25 game - I've successfully talked them into lowering that to $15 mid-week, during the day when the table was empty).
     
    #6 May 27, 2016
    Last edited: May 27, 2016
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  7. Malibugolfer

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    If you are really serious then have your counting skills totally down, with distractions and not appearing obvious.
    Have a large bankroll to absorb the losses when a good plus count ends up with the dealer getting the paint.
    If you bet a large enough spread, say 6X or more, with blacks or higher expect scrutiny. You will have to keep moving, not staying in one casino too long.
    As JD said, after all that work your return may well not justify the effort. It is a grind if you are single.
    Now teams are a whole differnt story.
     
  8. ICallHimGamblor

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    Yeah, the responses in this thread are what I was expecting. I am not interested in doing this as a profession or anything... I was more interested in it from a mental challenge. But it sounds like doing this on the strip really isn't an option and it would be a gigantic pain in the ass other places.

    I want to gamble for fun, and this doesn't sound like fun.

    Thanks for the responses.
     
  9. topcard

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    It's not much of a PITA... it's really just noticing the cards as they're revealed to you.
    I said this before, but it bears repeating - there are many circumstances when I frankly cannot understand how people DON'T notice - best example? First hand dealt out of two-deck game - 14 cards are revealed, and out of all of them, there's only two 10-value cards (or aces).
    When you're looking at a table and see so many small cards & barely any tens, I don't understand how anyone cannot notice that!
    Easy enough in your mind to remember the ratio - even ignoring the 7s, 8s & 9s (as I do with my count).
    Let's say I see 4-6-7-2-2-9-7-8-J-J-3-7-3-6-8-9, easy enough to see a "plus-5" net out of that. I will immediately increase my next bet for the next hand.
    I don't get why anyone wouldn't.
    Sure - there's no guarantee that the dealer won't beat you anyway with such a count, but your chances of winning or pushing have seriously jumped up.

    What many people forget (or don't realize) about a positive count is the dramatic reduction in the chances that you will need to take a hit.
    You hitting your 12 - 16 is the single greatest house advantage. That's because for 100% of the times when both you & the dealer bust, you lose. I know - that's basic and just understood by everyone... but what folks forget is the increased probability that you'll get a two-card hand (17+) with a very-positive count.
    If you're not hitting, you're chances of beating the dealer are now 50-50 (excluding pushes)...except that you get paid 3:2 on blackjacks, & the dealer doesn't... add in the added benefits of being to allowed to periodically double-down & split on those positive counts, and the advantage is clearly with the player. Long-term, this will always play out as the math indicates it should.
    You'll still lose more hands than you win...you'll just win more money on your wins than you lose on your losses...not a lot, but some.

    But even if you'd rather just play as a 'basic strategy' player, you can still choose a two-deck game and only increase your bet when see a bunch of little cards come out on the hand just finished. Flat-bet the rest of the time.
    Even that will give you better results than just flat-betting 100% of the time.
    You can even reverse it, so long as your flat-bet amount is higher than the minimum... just reduce your bet every time you see a bunch of tens or aces come out in the hand just finished.
    (This often what I fall back on when I get tired or have had a bit too much to drink.)
     
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  10. remey79

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    Solid advice.
     

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