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Table Games Should I be worried? Card counting?

Discussion in 'Table Games' started by azn2050, Oct 12, 2012.

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  1. azn2050

    azn2050 Tourist

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    I had some pretty good trips of late due to some decent strategy with playing BJ. I have had multiple people mentioned or ask if I was counting cards, sometimes by a BJ dealer, sometimes by a pit boss or floor manager, and by other players. Quick answer to this: sort of (explained in a little bit).

    Logically, if a pit boss mentions a comment if I was counting cards then he/she would at the very least have it in their mind that I am.

    My play and strategy: I typically play table minimums and then move up in bets when I feel comfortable with table. I take other players, the shoe, and the card count (again sort of) into consideration. This is how I see things when I am mentioning "sort of card counting"

    If there are a ton of high cards used, then there should be a bunch of low cards. Likewise with low cards and therefore lots of high cards left. Simple strategy (doesnt take a wise guy to figure that out). My play however drifts from the basic strategy.

    For example, my thought is that a dealer showing a ten is not always going to have 20! So you take my semi-card count into consideration, and if there are a lot of low cards left with a dealer showing a 10, then it is likely that they do NOT have 20! This leads to me staying on some funky cards like 13 against a dealer 10. People are always like why.... and of course I just state I dont believe the dealer has it. I would say a good percentage that I would be correct in my assumption and then the dealer would bust. There were times where the dealer and I (or other player) would draw maybe 6 or 7 cards to 17 (so about +8 for you card counters factoring other cards being played). I would then play maybe 5x or 10x my typical bet lol and usually win or push.

    Again, its not like im taking the casino for millions, but maybe 1-2K after each trip. I win at BJ tables maybe 4 out of 5 sessions (sit for maybe 3 hrs per). This is with me starting at 10 dollar mins and moving up to 25 or 50. My highest bet was 1k and I won.

    Cliff notes:

    Been doing well with my new strategy.

    People think im counting cards

    Should I be worried
     
  2. gongoman

    gongoman MIA

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  3. merlin

    merlin VIP Whale

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    You should be worried that your luck runs out.
     
  4. Reston

    Reston VIP Whale

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    What game(s) are you playing? I think it's incredibly hard to count cards at the low stakes you are playing at a regular BJ game (one where the rules haven't been adjusted in the house's favor).

    Pit critters are naturally going to be curious when someone varies their bet and their playing pattern. There is an easy answer to the question "are you card counting?": "No, I'm just going with the feel of the table." Which, in fact, sounds like the truth.
     
  5. Turtleman

    Turtleman VIP Whale

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    Sorry, but I have to agree. And I sure don't think you have to worry about being tossed if you stand on a 13 against the dealer's 10. While the best of counters adjust their playing strategy in addition to betting strategy, they'd never make the above play. With a 13 against a 10, they'd always hit to at least a hand totaling 16 regardless of the count

    Let's look at the numbers, all of which are open to debate, of course. The generally accepted advantage for really good counters is 0.5%, but let's be generous and say 1%. Now, let's assume your minimum bet is $10 and you employ a betting spread of 5:1, which is generally considered a decent amount commensurate with sane betting and avoiding detection. Now, let's also assume your average bet is $30, which is probably on the high side, and you're dealt about 50 hands per hour, a realistic amount. We'll also assume you don't get tired, distracted, or make any mistakes. That's $1,500 wagered per hour, which will yield a profit of $15. So if you win 4 out of the 5 sessions you mentioned, and each session last 3 hours, and assuming you broke even on the remaining session, you'd have a total gain of $180 for the 15 hours of playing. That's not so bad, but a far cry from thousands.

    If you believe all the hype and myth associated with counting, you generally have to bet a lot bigger to consistently pull in the kind of money you mentioned. That means BJ teams where the "big player" is signaled to enter at the "right time," and the amounts are … well, big. You have to risk a lot of bucks to make a decent profit by counting. Oh sure, you can bet $1000 and win a $1000, maybe many times, but the key word is "consistently." I'd be a rich man if I had the proverbial $1 for every hour I spent studying, practicing, and trying to make money in the casinos by card counting.

    Maybe you have "the gift", and I wish you the best. And if you really can continue winning as you described, then read some good books on the subject that go into camouflage. For me, I'm afraid I seldom win enough to worry about it! :)
     
  6. C0usineddie

    C0usineddie VIP Whale

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    Its the bet jumping from 10$ to 1k that gets their attention.

    Its simple, if they dont want your play, they will tell you.
     
  7. azn2050

    azn2050 Tourist

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    Thanks, just wanted a quick response to see if it was obvious or even if its just luck that Im winning on.


    Again, I won on all of my trips to casinos (in different cities too) this year (maybe 7 trips for 1-2k each playing 25 dollar average), so I thought I was onto something lol. Nevermind I guess.


    Thanks for the bringing me back to reality.
     
  8. shifter

    shifter Degenerate Gambler

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    it's great you've been lucky, but your strategy has a logic flaw. if you have 13 and dealer 10 and there's lots of low cards left, you would want to hit since there's a better chance you don't bust. also with a dealer 10, even if he doesn't have pat 20, if there's lots of low cards left, there's a good chance he makes a hand anyway. you need a combination of low card and then high card for him to bust. if that happens, you just got lucky, it wasn't because of your counting.

    but ride the lucky streak while you've got it! once it goes, it can be hard to find again.
     
  9. Turtleman

    Turtleman VIP Whale

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    azn2050: Nothing succeeds like success (or exceeds like excess), so I don't think anyone here would want to discourage you. Like I wrote, maybe you have the gift. It would probably be a first, but nonetheless, why not continue whatever's been working until that sad day when it doesn't. Just don't get burned too badly; and again, be careful if jumping bets to an extreme. That by itself, winning or losing, will get a lot of attention and could get you tossed. Good luck, and please report back if you continue to do well. Maybe you could teach all of us!
     
  10. azn2050

    azn2050 Tourist

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    I get the flaws in the logic. I guess my thinking wasnt more or less that the dealer would get a made hand based on low cards left, but that the dealer would get a combination of low and high cards to bust. Of course, Im playing in last position while looking at other cards on the table. I remember a bunch of low cards come out with 1st card, then you see bunch of mid and high cards on 2nd card dealt. Of course dealer shows a ten against everyone's crappy 14s and 15s.

    And like I said, its not everytime that I win, but a good percentage given that Ive been winning playing for many many hours. Of course this isnt the main reason for winning.

    But your're probably right, just won by luck.
     
  11. mike_m235

    mike_m235 Tourist

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    If you're playing as bad as you talk about here, you don't have to worry about them not taking your action. A bad card counter is good for the casino.
     
  12. Pinny Long

    Pinny Long High-Roller

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    The crew will always take notice when players make "wrong" or very questionable moves. If those moves result in a winning hand a comment is likely. Not always a card counting question, sometimes just "Whoa! I can't believe that worked out for you." If you are calm and collected and actually increasing your chip count people will want to know if you know more than they do . . . what's your system? Are you card counting?

    I mean, you're not really "card counting". It's just the old "something's gotta change" or "surely it can't be another ____ coming" fallacy that is just as likely to burn us as it is to benefit.

    We all do it (aside from strict strategy or system players) sometimes, just maybe not to the degree you do. If I see a table full of nothing but 2's, 3's, 4's and 5's showing on the table and I am at the last hand position and have a 15 against the Dealer's 10, I might think, "There's a face card coming out. I don't want it."

    There's no need to say you're card counting. And it's not being deceitful, in my opinion. Because you're not really doing card counting.

    And ultimately, if a casino doesn't want your action, they'll tell you. But chances are, they DO want your action. While you've had a good run (and I too, will never criticize anyone's personal style or "system") the "odds" do not really favor you and casinos know this.

    Best of luck! I hope your "system" keeps working for you!
     
  13. Terry Benedict

    Terry Benedict VIP Whale

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    From the little I know about counting, the house doesn't really get tipped off by card strategy, but by betting strategy. Going from $25 for the early part of the shoe to $200 for the end will get you noticed, especially if you don't do it consistently.
     
  14. WrongWayWade

    WrongWayWade VIP Whale

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    This is absolutely correct. Deviations from BS aren't what they look for, but they might use some of that to confirm their suspicions after they analyze your betting pattern. They are looking for bet spreads that match the count.

    When the count is low (lots of small cards), you want to hit your stiff numbers even more so. Actually when the count is somewhat low, you'll hit your 12 against all dealer cards 2 to 6. Remember, basic strategy is based on the standard distributions of cards in the deck before anything it dealt. When it shifts from the standard, there are many strategy plays that are different. With high counts (lots of 10s left) you'll stand on 16 or 15 and vs. 9 or 10, you'll double down 10v10 and 10vA, double down 8v5 and 8v6. There are many more.
     
  15. wroberson

    wroberson Tourist

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    I wouldn't worry about luck. Luck doesn't run. It's like karma. No one has every presented to the scientific world any measurable amount of either luck or karma. If a person believes in luck, then they most likely believe in supreme beings, and higher powers.

    There's a logical reason for everything and luck has nothing to do with it. Just because you did everything wrong and the outcome wasn't what you were expecting doesn't mean it was luck.

    All these games have physics. Tumbling die. Shuffled cards, spinning wheels. Random Number Generators. And parts that fail. All these games have flaws.

    If everything depended on luck, Vegas would be in a world of hurts. Vegas depends on people not knowing what they are up against. That's why they all complain when people show up who know what they are doing.

    Another point is that all the games are rigged. Not rigged using luck, but skill of the craftsmen.
     
  16. Vladimir

    Vladimir Low-Roller

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    Other than the variance in a player's bet, it is the purchase of insurance and the (lack of) doubling down that attracts attention. Small deviations from BS are not as likely to give the casino cause for concern.
     
  17. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

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    On those very-few occasions when I thought my play was being watched a bit too closely, I've made a pressed bet or two on a negative count when the pit was watching for awhile... not huge or anything, but higher than my usual base-bet with a negative count. I usually accomany the raise with a comment to my buddy along the lines of "I feel really lucky on this one - PRESS!!"
    That has always seemed to back 'em off.
     
    Seems like forever from now, but the flights are booked, so it counts!
  18. blackjacknut

    blackjacknut VIP Whale

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    So I have read through this thread and it is funny to me that some people think that card counting is all hype. Mathematically it is not hype but in order to properly use it you have to practice and educate yourself. If you want to make thousands of dollars then you have to make bets at higher levels and do it over a long period of time. This being said if you are going to count cards well you don't want to do it downtown especially at the El Cortez where if your playing $5 a hand and you raise your bet to $25 they will kick you out. :rolleyes2:

    Take your play to the strip, Caesar's, MGM, Monte Carlo, Bellagio, Aria etc....as long as you don't get crazy you will go unnoticed. But remember if you play at a $15 a hand table and you raise your bet to $150 your going to get looks no matter where your playing at. Just be smart......
     
  19. DonD

    DonD Super Moderator

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    I've seen that happen many times there.
     
  20. WrongWayWade

    WrongWayWade VIP Whale

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    The El Cortez isn't known as 'The Sweaty Spaniard' for nothing :wink2:
     
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