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NPR Program Looks at beating the "house"

Discussion in 'Misc. Vegas Chat' started by BlueSkadoo, Jul 9, 2013.

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  1. BlueSkadoo

    BlueSkadoo VMB Sweetheart

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    So tonight while I was in the gym, I listened to the podcast of "This American Life" which is a weekly program on National Public Radio. This show focused on people who try to "beat" casinos, either by counting cards or the woman who sued CET for her huge losses. I thought it was pretty interesting. If you've seen the documentary "Holy Rollers" the first half might be redundant.

    There is NO way I could count cards. I don't know how people can do it...but I'm not exactly a math wiz as is.

    Link to podcast:
    http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/466/blackjack
     
  2. UKFanatic

    UKFanatic The Arbiter of Taste Caviar Kid

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    Thanks for the link
     
  3. Dean Martin

    Dean Martin VIP Whale

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  4. bardolator

    bardolator Lifelong Low Roller

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    Counting does involve some talent but is more a matter of practice. I find the task to be stressful, and cannot do it for extended periods of time. I would need to practice a lot to get good at it again.
     
  5. WrongWayWade

    WrongWayWade VIP Whale

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    It really has nothing to do with math skills, just some ability to concentrate. You only have to keep a single number in your mind at a time, and add/subtract the value of each hand. As you go along, seeing the 2/3/4 cards that make up a hand (busted or stood on) and what that's worth in the +/- count is almost second nature. Some people count every card as it comes out of the deck. I find it far easier to count each hand as it is completed. There are also systems that allow you to do it without almost never having to deal with negative numbers.
     
  6. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

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    When I'm playing a pitch game, I do it the same way as Wade - as each hand is completely exposed by the dealer at the end, you glance at all of the cards at once and determine its impact as a hand...for example, a player's hand that was Q-2-4-3 would be a +2... and you learn to do that at a glance. Might seem hard, but it's not really.
    On a shoe game, since all player cards are exposed as they're dealt, I track it by each card that comes out, as it comes out.

    ...and Dean is correct - the problems usually start shortly after that 3rd gin & tonic!
     
    Finally have the room booked! Look for me Feb 21-23
  7. Kickin

    Kickin Flea

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    I just listened to this program yesterday during a long ride and I thought the second half was really really interesting. The first half bored me, it suffered from the same shortcomings and erroneous statements a lot of card counting programs suffer from and reliance on stories that have become popular but are still completely unverified.

    However the second half about the lady who tried to sue CET was great. I don't think CET should have any legal liability there but after hearing the story it's clear it's not as black and white as it initially sounds. It also does a good job showing how the hosts and comp system can really manipulate people who have certain weaknesses. The part where she talked about how she'd feel guilty for low-playing her hosts when she was going broke was striking. The psychological discussion of how compulsive gamblers brains perceive "near wins" as wins instead of as losses the way other people's brains do was fascinating as well.
     
  8. Leesh

    Leesh Low-Roller

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    Thanks for the link I love that show. The host Ira Glass is a poker player and was in the documentary "All In" about poker's boom and bust. I bet he enjoyed making that podcast!
     
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