1. Welcome to VegasMessageBoard
    It appears you are visiting our community as a guest.
    In order to view full-size images, participate in discussions, vote in polls, etc, you will need to Log in or Register.

Table Games To count or not to count that is the question

Discussion in 'Table Games' started by Happygirl21, Jan 14, 2014.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Happygirl21

    Happygirl21 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2013
    Messages:
    277
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    10
    So let's say someone has a strong basic strategy background and , hypothetically, they wanted to try to get a handle on gaining a "small" unit advantage while playing the game of bj. Which, if any, system would you recommend reviewing?
     
    In the planning phase.
  2. Tree DA

    Tree DA High-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2011
    Messages:
    790
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    20
    I'd go with the red 7 count. Make sure you use proper indexing (changes to BS when the count calls for it).

    Please realize that youre 'small' unit advantage is over the long run. Thousands and thousands of hands. If you are normally a flat bettor, in the short run you could easily experience much larger losses due to increasing your bet when the count is high. A high count is no guarantee of a win.
     
  3. Aftermath

    Aftermath Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    Messages:
    216
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    10
    The KO system is excellent for beginners.

    Some advance players actually prefer it over the Hi-Lo system.

    But counting consists of more than tracking cards.

    You need good cover and play a good act.
     
  4. UKFanatic

    UKFanatic The Arbiter of Taste Caviar Kid

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    6,839
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    50
    Other people on here know more about it than me, but having tried a few different counting systems through the years, I found more success with any system that included a true count, so look for that as a component of whatever system you choose. These days, I just use a basic hi/lo count
     
  5. jasonargo

    jasonargo High-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2006
    Messages:
    539
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    50
    I prefer KO also, as for some reason I have difficulty estimating decks left. Here's a link for a easy version called "OK", which should be good for a starter.

    My personal preferences are to convert the count to use 0 as the IRC, and I use only a few index plays that seem "ploppy normal", all at +2 or higher (unconverted). These are: staying on 15 & 16 vs 10, staying on 12 vs 2 & 3, and insurance.

    http://qfit.com/OKStrategy.htm

    I've only been backed off once, and never kicked out, but I normally only play red chips.

    Have fun, and good luck!

    -
     
  6. tt600

    tt600 Tourist

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2011
    Messages:
    9
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    15
    I get backed off every year at the El Cortez betting 5-25. Usually after about 3-5 hours of play. Sort of a little rite of passage on my annual trip.
     
  7. Happygirl21

    Happygirl21 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2013
    Messages:
    277
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    10

    Lol, that's too funny. I was check-played for a 25. bet I all but busted out laughing, till I realized I was the only one amused:confused2:

    Let me ask, when you get backed off how does it go down? Do they just ask you nicely to stop playing bj at their casino? Or do they ask you to up-right leave the place? etc

    Also can you go back without an issue, blah blah blah...:beer:
     
    In the planning phase.
  8. tt600

    tt600 Tourist

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2011
    Messages:
    9
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    15
    They simply ask me to flat bet and I cash out and leave. Once I came back on a different shift with no problem. The thing that annoys me is they wait until I am losing before they do this. When I am winning they don't say a word. Many different pit bosses. The general rule at the El Cortez is to play one hour and then leave. Which I ignore because they have the only good red chip game downtown.
     
  9. RorySF

    RorySF Tourist

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2009
    Messages:
    52
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    10
    Another vote for KO Rookie. It's what I use. I tried KO Preferred, but basic strategy is so ingrained in me that I had too hard a time veering from it. KO Preferred has indices. KO Rookie is a straight, simple count.

    You can get the book on Amazon. The authors are Olaf Vancura and Ken Fuchs.

    Good cards to you :)
     
  10. Happygirl21

    Happygirl21 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2013
    Messages:
    277
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    10

    Thanks for the info I think I may have to place an order on amazon tonight.

    Happy gaming to you as well:peace:
     
    In the planning phase.
  11. Llew

    Llew Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    Messages:
    363
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    9
    I'd go with REKO, myself. No book buying involved and decent strength (but not very many betting opportunities unless you are playing double deck).

    A-5 is the simplest of the simple and might be good for warmup as you get used to counting at casino speed. However, in most cases it's a break-even proposition.
     
  12. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    Messages:
    2,664
    Location:
    Fort Worth
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    82
    I think that anyone who understands how a simple +/- count works will periodically find themselves doing it without making a conscious decision to do so.

    Think about this kind of situation:
    First hand dealt and you can't help but notice that everyone's finished hand, including yours and the dealer's, contains no tens.
    I don't see how anyone could NOT notice such a thing, or how anyone could NOT increase their bet going into the next hand.
    Conversely, imagine the first hand shows 8 tens/aces and only 3 small cards. Does anyone actually NOT notice that a bunch of tens just came out?
    In it's simplest form, that is all counting is. Noticing what's come out. Assign a 'plus 1' value to the 2-6 cards and a 'minus 1' value for the tens & aces. On a two deck game, anytime you're at +3 or better, increase your bet.
    How much to increase? That's entirely up to the individual, but I use a 1-5 spread, with $10 as my my base bet. I try to play $5 tables when I can, so that when the count is negative, I can just drop down to $5. MY increased bets go like this: +2 = $15; +3 = $20; +4 = $30; +5 = $40 & the very-rare +6 = $50.
    But when a +5 or +6 happen after the first hand, I do not go immediately to $40 or $50. I will press it up from $10 to, say, $25. If things stay that positive, then for subsequent hands, I ratchet things up.
    When I notice the pit closely watching my play, I throw in a borderline "bad" play, or press my bet on an even count. I can usually avoid too much scrutiny this way.
    And the phrase, "I've just got a lucky feeling about this next hand" or "OK...we need an apology hand", while you press your bet, can easily kill or cool off most of the heat you might otherwise draw.

    Anyway - start simple. Just start paying attention to the cards as you see them for just one hand at a time. Don't worry about the "running count" or the "true count". Just see if a lot of little or big cards come out on any given hand. When you see it happen, perhaps go up or down 1 base-bet unit... just for practice.

    I think you'll find that remembering the current count from the hand before is much easier than one might think.
    Good luck.
     
    Seems like forever from now, but the flights are booked, so it counts!
  13. MikeOPensacola

    MikeOPensacola VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2012
    Messages:
    2,958
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    55
    After three decades of playing BJ and using several different counting methods I would advise anyone who is new to counting to play with a larger bankroll than when flat betting. Even if you have an edge over the house and play every hand perfectly there will be those inevitable swings when you have larger bets out, in a positive count, and lose many, many of those big bets.

    I'm not trying to dissuade you from counting, but have a bigger bankroll or if need be cut down on your actual playing time a little to accommodate your bankroll.

    Good luck and go get 'em!!! :peace: :beer:
     
    Annual Summer Bliss in the Land of Milk and Honey!!!
  14. dankyone

    dankyone VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2011
    Messages:
    1,449
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    105
    Very correct. If you are going to be playing 6, 8, or 12 times your starting bet during the course of a shoe, your swings are going to be large, and not necessarily on the upside. Remember a player advantage of only 1 or 2 percent calls for a large bet, which you can very easily lose--after splitting, doubling, or both.

    I would also not worry at all about "cover" or an "act" as a beginning counter at low stakes. These concerns are appropriate for experienced, high stakes professionals, but if you are a beginner you will exhibit a million "tells" that you are in fact a beginner and you will be dismissed as not a threat.

    My current strategy, after dabbling in counting--bet one unit at zero or negative counts, 2 units on positive counts. My unit is $100 with this strategy but it would be $25--or less--if I were "really" counting. Let the bet trickle up to 3 or even 4 units after repeated wins in positive counts. This brings me very close to a breakeven game while I pull substantial comps. A 1-2 spread results in much lower variance and there is no need for cover. The pit loves my play, and my "winnings" are the comps. While I certainly risk an occasional major loss, I am convinced that the value of my comps easily exceeds my negligible expected loss. I drink wildly, play in high limit rooms, and have a great time without worrying about trying to play at a real advantage.

    Furthermore, there is no need to be focused on every hand. Super negative, irretrievable count early in the shoe? Lose a couple hands? Time to go to the bathroom. No need to rejoin until after the shuffle, since in the view of the other players I might "screw up the flow of the cards." Meanwhile, I am "on the clock", rated at $200 a hand, while I do the other players the courtesy of waiting for the shoe to finish.
     
  15. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    Messages:
    2,664
    Location:
    Fort Worth
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    82
    Danky... I think the cover moves are important to know.
    I play very-low stakes, but I've been barred (from BJ only) twice, many years ago. I've also drawn very-close pit scrutiny as well, several times over the years.
    I am by no means a high-stakes professional. I do know that when you routinely increase your bet by 2 or 3 units on a positive count, if the pit notices, they will start to watch your play and try to determine if you're counting. But in my experience, this kind of scrutiny is very noticeable. When it happens, it's easy enough to make a few low-risk cover moves. Doing that - especially at lower base bets - is quite effective.

    I don't typically play shoes, and when I do, I don't count.
    But when I play a DD game, I do the same thing as you on those early, very-negative counts. I will sit out the rest of a deck. Restroom breaks, make a phone call or reply to a text...whatever. I jump out and wait for the shuffle.
    I actually had another player at 4-Queens get upset with me for doing that after the first hand produced a -6 count & I sat out afterwords.
    I (foolishly) replied to him that he should get used to it, because I'd be doing the same thing every time a bunch of tens come out on the first hand.
    Very next shuffle? I had the pit standing right next to me (I was at 1st) for the entire next deck. So I flat-bet the entire deck. Scrutiny over.
    I don't really play the comp-game as you do, but I still generally do ok for most blackjack sessions. My average is probably about $18/hand, and my table-session wins are usually $100-$200...as are my less-frequent losing sessions. So, even with my narrow spread of 1-5, and my small base-bet of $10, I almost always have a net blackjack "win" on every trip...not a lot, mind you, but still ahead - and I drink 'free' and get the periodic meal-comp along the way.
    More importantly, I have more fun and feel more empowered when I count - even when I'm just "casually" counting (tracking only 5s, 10s & aces).

    Anyway, my point is only that a counter - even a new one - should be wary of pit scrutiny and understand some easy methods to deflect it. Wonging-out is something any player should understand, but they should also understand that such moves can be easily spotted by the pit. They should do so with a reasonably effective cover, and be prepared for pit-scrutiny after they get back in.
    :beer:
     
    Seems like forever from now, but the flights are booked, so it counts!
  16. macfisto

    macfisto Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2010
    Messages:
    170
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    17
    Topcard--

    I'm curious as to the table rules you're getting at a DD game with a $10 minimum. My experience has always been that at least a $50 minimum is required before decent rules (such as S17, DAS, double any 2 cards, etc.) can be found at a DD game.
     
    Annual March Trip!
  17. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    Messages:
    2,664
    Location:
    Fort Worth
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    82
    On my last trip, I played 100% of my blackjack at Gold Coast: 3:2 DD, H17, DAS, double-any-two. $5 & $10 minimums.

    When I'm downtown, I favor the El Co (same as Gold Coast, only $3 min), Plaza & LVC (same as Gold Coast - $10 min).

    I will also play the Boyd properties downtown, even though they offer no DAS.
    If I'm going to play a shoe or CSM, I prefer Golden Gate - mostly for environmental reasons... :wink2:

    It's been years since I've played DD with S17. I've grown accustomed to H17 being "normal". But I look at the bright-side: at least when the dealer has a 6 showing and I sandbag with my 14 or 15, I still have a chance for him to bust when if he has to hit his A-6 twice!
    :beer:
     
    Seems like forever from now, but the flights are booked, so it counts!
  18. gradytripp

    gradytripp Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    Messages:
    414
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    14
    You might consider the Wizard's Ace/Five count:

    http://wizardofodds.com/games/blackjack/appendix/17/

    I used this on my last trip, as my first foray into card counting. It's very, very easy. I didn't press my bets as much as the strategy called for (I'm a $5/$10 player and can't imagine laying $160 or $320 on the table) but it still made the game just a bit more interesting. I thought it was a good "next step" to engage my brain after mastering basic strategy.
     
  19. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    Messages:
    2,664
    Location:
    Fort Worth
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    82
    Grady - good advice! For anyone new to counting, start with small progressions, not large ones. Get comfortable with the process, and stay comfortable with your 'highest-bet' amount of your spread.
    A 1-5 is very modest for a $10 player, and at that level, is usually ignored by the camera guys monitoring play.
    So, the only "worry" is the pit...and, as I posted above, that's fairly easy to deflect.

    I think the simple plus/minus count (Hi/Lo) is the easiest for a newcomer, but whatever someone is most comfortable with is the right thing for them to use.

    I think the easiest method (overall) is to count up just the 10s & Aces as they come out.
    In DD, you can reasonably assume that there are a total of 20 of them in play for any deck. When ten of them are gone, drop your bet to the minimum or wong-out. Anybody can count to 10.
    Of course, playing this way requires that you 'base-bet' higher than the minimum, and reduce on bad counts...sort of like reverse counting.
    But it is certainly 'safer' for a low-roller to play this way than to bet 8x or more of their base bet on a good count.
     
    Seems like forever from now, but the flights are booked, so it counts!
  20. Happygirl21

    Happygirl21 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2013
    Messages:
    277
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    10
    Ok so my next question, low-risk cover moves?? Such as???

    Here is a brief history of my play. I live within driving distance to AC and have I have been playing bj- bs for a LONG time ( 22 yrs) typically a 10-15 per hand casual player. But I have become much more "serious" about playing over the last 3 to 4 years, usually playing in the 25-50 range.( of course if the bankroll is not-so-much then the base bet is not-so-much,lol) Sadly my spread has been all over the place. Seriously I have been at a 5. betting the max of 500.( For the record this is usually a drink induced bet:ssst:)

    DD is my preferred game but the only DD game I know of, near me, is in PA. and it's a 50. So....

    Even with my inconsistent spread I have never had an issue or felt like I was being hawked over. Of course my spread was/is made on my "vibe" not so much on a +/- count. ( now please guys, no lectures about this, I know I know...) And of course, if I happen to have a few in me, well then anything goes... This is going to sound "bad" but the only being "backed-off" has been in Caesars AC by the CW, twice. Oops.nono:

    So anyway I am just wondering what "ploppy" ( I love this word,lol) moves I should get used to using. I get the wonging thing.

    Thanks for all the input. This has been very informative. :peace:
     
    In the planning phase.
Tags:
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.