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Table Games The Blackjack Life

Discussion in 'Table Games' started by jimboguy, Oct 10, 2012.

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  1. jimboguy

    jimboguy Blubbery Whale

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    I just checked out this book from the library. Has anyone read it yet? It was just published a couple months ago. I'd be interested to hear what folks thought about it.

    I thoroughly enjoy playing blackjack for entertainment and thrills, but I have no desire to do it professionally (i.e. become a card counter).

    [​IMG]
     
  2. saintpauljeff

    saintpauljeff VIP Whale

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    I've always wanted to try being a serious card counter. Like take a class from an expert. Just wonder what effort it takes.
     
  3. Eldon

    Eldon Low-Roller

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    Counting is relatively easy. Making a serious profit is very hard work. Video Poker might be easier.
     
  4. BnV226

    BnV226 Low-Roller

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    It seemed to do well on Amazon....I haven't read it, but am also curious to hear what others who might have read it think....
     
  5. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

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    Learning a simple plus/minus count is fairly easy. Applying that skill at a crowded table is hard. And, in my view, it is useless to use any count system when playing 5 or more decks.
    1 or 2 players at a two-deck game with a friendly dealer? Yes, it really can give you a noticable edge.
     
    Seems like forever from now, but the flights are booked, so it counts!
  6. jimboguy

    jimboguy Blubbery Whale

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    I just finished this book and enjoyed it.

    To be clear, this is not an instructional handbook or anything of that nature. This is a narrative told from Nathaniel's perspective about his journey through playing blackjack professionally. While the book does cover his forays into professional BJ, the book does not guide the reader toward becoming a pro. I was glad for that, as I was more interested in the story. I also liked that his story wasn't just about the good stuff, he talked about the grind too. One thing I wanted to hear more about was how he and his team cashed in their chips, but only an allusion of the process being "tedious" was presented.

    I was pretty sure trying to play BJ like a pro wasn't for me prior to reading this book. After reading, I know definitively that pro BJ isn't for me. I am fairly certain I would end up more like Kyung than Nathaniel or D.A.

    I also will refrain from saying "the book says ..." to anyone when sitting at the BJ table from now on. :evillaugh

    There's also a nice afterward written by his partner which provides a good argument for removing the stigma from BJ card counters.
     
  7. PopMegaphone

    PopMegaphone VIP Whale

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    Professional BJ counting sounds like one of the most boring and stressful jobs ever.
     
  8. MangoPort

    MangoPort Low-Roller

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    Could you explain this? It sounds like you're alluding to part of the book.

    I generally say "well, the book says" when someone asks what to do and I really don't care (I don't care if they hit on a 20 and take the 10 that would've busted the dealer, for example.
     
  9. shifter

    shifter Degenerate Gambler

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    definitely, same with a professional poker player. any kind of professional gambling requires immense concentration and constant grinding. it's really not the glamorous life that people make it out to be.
     
  10. jimboguy

    jimboguy Blubbery Whale

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    The author mentions that there are certain situations, depending on the count, that a pro should deviate from basic strategy. And when he would deviate at the table, he would often have other players at the table offer him advise on the "correct" play by saying "the book says..."
    All of it being unsolicited advice, of course. If someone asks, as you refer to in your post, it's probably fine. The author also points to "the book" as a metaphor rather than an actual tangible thing.
    Although there was one funny (or perhaps asshole-like, depending on how you look at it) where the author leaves the table to buy basic strategy cards at the casino gift shop for the players and dealer at his table when they all suggested the wrong basic strategy play to him.
     
  11. WrongWayWade

    WrongWayWade VIP Whale

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    Counting can be just as effective in a 6-deck shoe as the 2-deck game. And often you get far more opportunities to place a large bet. With a shoe when the count gets high it often stays that way for many hands. With 2 decks you obviously are starting over far more often.

    The edge is just as easily achieved with the shoe game. One note, though, if you can find 6-decks as opposed to 8, you'll be happier. The starting HA on 8-decks is hard to overcome and you pretty much need to skip any high bets for the first two decks. Also, having surrender is VERY valuable to counters, as they often need/want to do it with a large bet out, and you'll only find that with some shoe games.

    I use an unbalanced count and with some practice it is really quite simple. (Unbalanced systems don't require any true-deck conversion, so no division in your head is necessary, just add and subtract). The most common error is just forgetting the number when distracted between hands, but that almost never happens anymore. The second advantage you can go for when counting is making correct deviations from basic strategy, like when it's right to take insurance or to hit or stand on 16v10. I have about 44 deviations based on the count.
     
  12. Tree DA

    Tree DA High-Roller

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    Once when at third base I hit a soft 18 against a dealer 10. The dealer then went through the 'what if' scenarios with another player who didn't like my play explaining and they determined that my poor play didn't hurt him anyway. I was livid at their ignorance. I didn't actually carry a card with me so that I could prove them wrong (I do now) but it would have been a baller move if I had bought some in the gift shop and given them out.
     
  13. Tree DA

    Tree DA High-Roller

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    That seems like a lot. Can you share some of them?
     
  14. jimboguy

    jimboguy Blubbery Whale

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    I once yelled and swore rather loudly (I know I shouldn't have, but like you, I was livid) at a guy at a single-deck table because he criticized me for hitting my hard 12 against a dealer 2 (he claimed I took the dealer's bust card when I drew a 10 and therefore busted myself). A person from the pit came over and asked me to calm down, which irked me even more because the pit person didn't even look old enough to be in a casino. I had to get up and do a lap around the casino to calm down I was so upset.
     
  15. WrongWayWade

    WrongWayWade VIP Whale

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    To keep it simple I have 4 groups,
    -3: count is very negative (TC >= -3);
    -1: count is somewhat negative (TC <= -1);
    2: count is somewhat positive (TC >= 1),
    4: count is very positive (TC >= 3).
    Don't worry about what -3,-1,2,4 means; that's just an internal system for me.

    To understand this list you have to know the proper basic strategy play already and then do the logically 'opposite' play. This is based on 6-deck, H17. The negative plays aren't nearly worth as much as the positive plays as you have your minimum bet out at that time. But it's nice to get those right as well. It's the positive deviations that really matter when you have made the larger bet.

    -3)
    14v2
    14v3
    13v4
    13v5
    11vT
    10v8
    9v4
    9v5

    -1)
    13v2
    13v3
    12v4
    12v5
    12v6
    11vA
    10v9
    9v3
    A8v6
    A7v2
    A4v4
    A3v5
    A2v5
    A2v6
    99v2
    66v2
    66v3
    33v4

    2)
    12v3
    16vT
    9v2
    8v6
    A8v5
    A6v2
    A3v2
    88vT (sur)
    77v8

    4)
    16v9
    15vT
    12v2
    10vT
    10vA
    9v7
    8v5
    A8v4
    A2v4
    77vT (sur)
    Insurance
     
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