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Table Games Blackjack. Feeling the heat or just nervous paranoia?

Discussion in 'Table Games' started by lvmb, Feb 1, 2013.

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  1. lvmb

    lvmb Low-Roller

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    Is it usual for the pit boss to make the dealer change the cards mid shoe when a player is on a winning streak?

    I was playing Blackjack at Monte Carlo at the end of December and got on an amazing winning streak. What I'd like to check with you all is whether I was being gamed by the pit boss or just being paranoid.

    A little background first. It was a $15 min table, I'm a $15-$25 player of fairly solid basic strategy and I press when I'm up and playing with house money.

    I'd been at the table for a couple of hours, been up a couple of times but lost out on my "big" ($50-$75 don't laugh!) split and double hands. This wiped out the modest gains and I was back to my normal bets. You all know how that goes, right? Those epic 4 split, 2 double hands which can make or break you session.

    So, I was down to my last couple of bets from a $500 buy in when lightning struck.

    I just stopped losing. I don't mean I only lost a couple of hands, I mean I simply didn't lose a bet for the rest of the shoe.
    Clawed my way back to even, and felt mighty pleased with life. Started pressing my bets, and the shoe came to an end.

    New shoe. Still winning. Still pressing. Pit boss takes a walk over and watches for a little longer than usual on a "drive by".
    Kept on winning. Kept on pressing.
    By now I'd got a few hundred profit set aside in Green. I was playing about $200 per hand in Green so I said to the dealer "It's OK if you want to start paying in Black". (oooohh! Get me!!!). He must have been more superstitious than me, because he said "No, I don't want to jinx this".
    I don't care, but since I betting his tips I don't argue.
    Pit boss is now on the phone and looking at the eye in the sky.

    Kept on not losing. Pressed some more.
    New dealer comes in, and has to start paying out in Black because I've got about a mountain of Green from the tray and the Boss has told him to.
    I'm not comfortable playing black so I start converting my "banked" buy in /profit from Green to Black and play on with the Green.

    Still not losing. Pressed some more.
    Pit Boss sidles over and makes the dealer change out the shoe even though it wasn't at the cut-card. Thought to myself, "You never do that when I've lost this many hands in a row"

    Kept on winning. Started "banking" Black chips. Pretty soon I've got $3K in black piled up to one side and I'm now betting $500 per hand (don't forget this is my entire buy in, and 20 times my normal bet!)
    By now I'm getting really paranoid because I've never even seen a run like this, never mind been the one making it. Noticed a security guy lurking in the aisle and felt sure I was going to be bounced.

    It kept going. Now I'm getting paid in Purple, and just about ready to have a coronary. It was at this point that I knocked over my drink (diet coke and I'm as sober as a judge btw). Pit boss very kindly mopped up my drink.

    So it finally came to an end, when I lost a $600 split and double. To be honest I was quite relieved in the end because the adrenaline was making my hand shake. I played on for a few more hands, stepping down the bets until I got to a nice round number to colour up.

    Final score was $6.5K profit for the session. The biggest win of my life.

    In retrospect, I feel certain I was just being paranoid as the figures aren't anywhere near large enough to bother the Casino, but is it usual for them to change a shoe on you when you have a winning streak?
     
  2. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

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    No...I think your first instinct was correct.
    I have never seen a pit change cards in the middle of a shoe.

    Pretty sure the pit was trying to throw you off... perhaps concerned that you may be scratching/marking the card-backs somehow...or that you became aware of stray marks on the card-backs.

    ...or, just to jack with you (more likely!)

    Great story, though...and a great win!
     
    Seems like forever from now, but the flights are booked, so it counts!
  3. Llew

    Llew Low-Roller

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    It sounds like a measure that the pit boss was using to cover his ass just in case you were cheating in some way that he couldn't figure out. He actually probably did you a favor - if you were doing well, it was probably because lots of 10s and As had come out, and the remainder of the shoe would likely have put you at a disadvantage.

    Congrats on the big win (and on having the balls to press the wins). That sounds like a once-in-a-very-long-while kind of run.
     
  4. lvmb

    lvmb Low-Roller

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    Thanks for the congrats, and the confirmation that I was'nt completely imagining it.

    You're definitely right about throwing me off, and I'm convinced switching the cards did more for me than the house!

    Llew, if they hadn't shrunk to pea size after the drink spill I'd have been betting table max!
     
  5. Sklem211

    Sklem211 High-Roller

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    Would the gaming commission even allow that to happen? If they changed out the cards wouldn't they have had to keep the odds the same and put the new cards back into the shoe in the same order as they were when they took the old cards out?
     
  6. lvmb

    lvmb Low-Roller

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    Sorry if I wasn't too clear- They didn't actually change the cards, just stopped the shoe midway through instead of playing until the cut card was dealt. Switched to the other set of cards from the shuffle machine as if it was a normal shuffle situation.
     
  7. Llew

    Llew Low-Roller

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    Early shuffles like that are basically to get counters to take their business elsewhere without banning them from blackjack or the casino altogether. No counter in his right mind will stay and play with low deck penetration. Since you stayed, they probably figured at that point you were not a counter.

    Also, it sounds like they either didn't have the ability to actually determine the deck counts, or your betting patterns just happened to coincide with what a counter would do.
     
  8. KingBBInLV

    KingBBInLV High-Roller

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    Yeah they were trying to throw you off in case you were counting.

    I took Venetian one night for $12,000 off of a $100 buy in (story is posted somewhere on here) and towards the end there was a line of dealers that the were switching in every other hand, everytime a new dealer came in they were burning a card.

    I finally told the pit boss to go fuck himself and I picked up my chips and left.
     
  9. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    Pit was just playing it safe. You were winning way more than you should. So, he took an easy step to hopefully slow you down.
     
  10. merlin

    merlin VIP Whale

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    They were trying to change your luck, and theirs too, that's why they early shuffled you, I sure hope your story is true, I have dreams about stuff like that, LOL, the only problem with big wins like yours, is that from now on that could become the new standard of success. Dont let it happen, be happy with that future $200 win.
     
  11. AbFab

    AbFab Low-Roller

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    It happens as he didn't play with scared money. This is why it's important to up your bet when your winning. My biggest hit was 2500 in AC at the Borgata. Took a seat with three $20's and sat at a $10 table and had the best run in my life. Would have more if I didn't cap my bets at $200. I think I scared myself playing with the black chips. I always think back and should not have let them buy back my green chips. As everytime I'd win I'd go up or two a unit, but with black I didn't.
     
  12. stackinchips

    stackinchips High-Roller

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    Got a link to that story? Sounds like a play by play I'd be interested in.
     
  13. Terry Benedict

    Terry Benedict VIP Whale

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  14. lvmb

    lvmb Low-Roller

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    I don't blame you for your scepticism Merlin. The web is full of miraculous hits.
    It's absolutely true though, so keep dreaming. This was my 10th trip and the first time I've caught a run at the right time. The earlier post that said it's a once in a long long time shot is true.

    As far as being happy with a $200 win, my playing style is geared entirely towards this sort of run. I go with a set gambling budget which I am prepared to lose, and if I get up at any point I raise the stakes. Of course, on all of my previous trips the runs have occurred when I was on my money and got me back to even or modest wins. Modest wins got to the next days budget (and usually get lost!)
     
  15. lvmb

    lvmb Low-Roller

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    A bit of both I reckon but mostly the Count these days. If the count for the shoe I was playing was massively in my favour, changing it not only stops me playing any more hands with a favourable count but the new shoe will be a neutral count.
     
  16. lvmb

    lvmb Low-Roller

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    Me too! I tried to find it, but haven't been able to yet.
     
  17. lvmb

    lvmb Low-Roller

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    That is so true! I've been feeling the exact same way. Somehow playing with a tower of green is far easier than 2 or 3 black. As I said earlier, I should have been playing at table max ($1000) if I hadn't got spooked by the black chips.

    I'm sure they're more than aware of the psychology involved and that it's not just about the number of chips in the tray.
     
  18. Old Salty

    Old Salty Tourist

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    I utilize a simple method that includes basic strategy (I even lay the card on the table because I can't remember some of the splits and doubles) along with a betting progression when I hit a streak. It has served me well because occasionally I have won 17-18 hands in a row. Sometimes a $10 start unit with $120 buy in or a $25 start unit with a $300 buy in. 12 units either way. 3 wins in a row and the progression begins. I have had several wins in the 4-5K range. This is on multideck shoe game and I look long and hard for the hand shuffle as opposed to machine. I will not risk a table with 6/5 blackjack payout. I caught a monster at MGM Grand last time out and won $4600 with a final wager of $1500 that lost. One of the suits in the pit asked me how long I had been a counter. I laughed and said "I wish I was that smart". They gave me no hassle but I realize that casinos frown on that mega swing from basic unit play and probably make notes in their computer systems. I don't know any other way to beat the house edge other than pressing when a streak comes. One self professed expert told me that I should alert the pit of my method before starting to play just to be safe. Can't bring myself to do that even though I think I could get in trouble some where down the line. This method has in no way made a lot of money but the occasional big wins have more than made up for the numerous small losses and it get's really really exciting when the colors go from green to black to purple!
     
  19. stackinchips

    stackinchips High-Roller

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    Pressing your bets at BJ is the only way you're ever really going to win much money. Flat betting gets you no where, and eventually you'll just bust out. With progressive betting, you can actually lose more hands than you win, but if you catch a good run of winning hands you can make some good coin. Additionally when you press your bets, and catch that good run of 10-15 hands in a row, you win enough money that when the cards start to turn, you're happy coloring up a nice win (you're going to be up maybe 40-100 units depending on how hard you press). Flat betting with the same run and you'll only be up 10-15 units, probably not enough to make you get up and leave when the cards turn. This is of course just my personal tendencies, as I usually only leave a table when I've either busted out, or won a good amount of money. Therefore, flat betting would most likely result in me just sitting there until I've busted out 99% of the time.

    Obviously the house edge remains the same regardless of your bet, but in my experience, progressive betting is the only way to make any good coin in BJ. Of course, progressive betting can also work against you and bust you out quicker if you get stuck in a choppy shoe, but that's gambling.
     
  20. seviay

    seviay High-Roller

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    Considering it was an 8-deck game, I'm sure it was just headgames, but as others mention, sometimes they would rather be safe than sorry. Those pit critters are more superstitious than the players, I think.
     
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