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ushope777
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26 December 2012 - 6:18am

Playing Blackjack as a Business

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Hi Friends!

I came across mention of this book, so I looked it up. Seems it is a good book in many respects, but it also sounds as if it may be outdated.

Has anyone heard of this book before? You blackjack players among us? And if this book is outdated, is there a better blackjack book you can recommend?

Right now I am just curious, as this book kind of piqued my interest in learning more.

Thanks! Smile

Hope777

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usbarbadosslim93
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26 December 2012 - 6:17pm
#1

I have heard stories about the MIT guys who played casinos and brought home big bank, but outside of a small community of people capable of counting cards, I would this to be incredibly difficult.

ushope777
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26 December 2012 - 7:44pm
#2
barbadosslim93 wrote:

I have heard stories about the MIT guys who played casinos and brought home big bank, but outside of a small community of people capable of counting cards, I would this to be incredibly difficult.

Not necessarily looking to learn how to "count cards," although I get the general idea. Just asking for a basic good book on blackjack tips/strategies? Do you know of any like that?

Hope777

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usIjustwantaspin
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26 December 2012 - 10:56pm
#3

Hi Hope!

There's a pretty good strategy chart right here in CL's list of best blackjack casinos.

I've read several books on BJ, roulette, craps and baccarat. Once you get the basic strategy down, like on this chart, about all they can tell you is about money management, which I guess would be one of the most important aspects of gambling if you want to make a business of it.

As far as being out of date, sound monney management is pretty basic, and I don't really see how that could get old. I haven't seen much about money management on CL's site, but I must admit I haven't really looked either.

As far as counting cards, it's almost impossible to do these days with 6 and 8 deck shoes they're using now, and if they catch you at it, it's not pretty.

Let us know if you get the book and what you thnk of it.

Good Luck!

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auCL-Ed
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27 December 2012 - 1:14pm
#4

I haven't read the book but I do know how to count. If you're going to try to play blackjack profitably over the long term you have to be able to count in order to get an edge over the casino. Basic strategy will make the house edge tiny, so you should learn that first, but its still not enough to swing things into your favour. You can always take a basic strategy card in with you to look at while you are playing so that you always make the right decision.

Counting cards is neither complicated nor difficult with a bit of practice. For example the high-low system is very simple - start at 0, then subtract 1 every time you see a 10,J,Q,K,A dealt and add 1 when you see a 2,3,4,5,6. When you get good at it you learn to count in pairs - eg a player is dealt a J and a 3 and you know straight away that they cancel each other out to make 0 difference to the count. The more positive the count, the more the game is in your favour because the deck is comparatively richer in ten cards. There are more complicated systems than that but more complicated can mean more mistakes.

However counting cards while being watched by a dealer and security, trying to appear like a regular chump, chat with others at the table, and get away with varying your bet size at the right time to maximise your edge is the hard part. You can try to "Wong in" which means you stand behind others watching them play and keeping count, then sit down and play when the count is high, but this can arouse suspicion. That is why the MIT guys used team play - for example one member goes in and flat bets while establishing the count then calls in the heavy bettor when the count is favourable.

As far as books go, Stanford Wong wrote some of the most highly regarded ones - eg Professional Blackjack or Basic Blackjack. But they are fairly dry and mathematical.

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ushope777
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27 December 2012 - 6:54pm
#5

OMGosh! I will be back later to reply to you both, because I just wrote out a fairly long message and my computer hiccuped and I lost the entire message. ARgh! Sad

For now I will say THANK YOU for the helpful information, tips, and recommendations. Smile

Hope777

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usIjustwantaspin
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29 December 2012 - 1:17am
#6

Well, Hope, guess I'll have to have to have crow for supper tonite. I couldn't quit thinking about this book, and since I've been snowed in since Christmas Morn, haven't been anywhere to spend any money, and I found the book on line for about $5, I got it! Hope I didn't buy it out from under you. lol (I hope you're lol-ing also)

If I did, or even if I didn't, I'll share it with you in a week or so if you haven't gotten it yet if you can wait a couple of weeks. Don't know how long it'll take to get here, if it comes media mail, no telling.

Keep me "posted!"

I love this place/space!

Fairy Tales ... can come True! ... It can happen to You! ... If You're Young at Heart! ..... and practice Good Money Management !!!

ushope777
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29 December 2012 - 3:18am
#7
Ijustwantaspin wrote:

Well, Hope, guess I'll have to have to have crow for supper tonite. I couldn't quit thinking about this book, and since I've been snowed in since Christmas Morn, haven't been anywhere to spend any money, and I found the book on line for about $5, I got it! Hope I didn't buy it out from under you. lol (I hope you're lol-ing also)

If I did, or even if I didn't, I'll share it with you in a week or so if you haven't gotten it yet if you can wait a couple of weeks. Don't know how long it'll take to get here, if it comes media mail, no telling.

Keep me "posted!"

I love this place/space!

Love this place, too, and cool that you got the book. I am sure it will be worth five bucks. And, BTW, have you heard of paperback swap? If you like to read, and like me, you still read actual books, it is a cool site where people share books with others. Simple concept: one point for sending a book, one point to request a book for a member and sender pays media mail shipping. If the book is not available you can put it on your 'wishlist" and they will notify you when it comes in. I haven't gotten a few good books that way AND gotten rid of some I no long wanted, too.

www.paperbackswap.com

Keep me posted on how you like the book! Smile

Hope777

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auCL-Ed
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3 January 2013 - 3:32am
#8

While you're waiting for the book how about I teach you to count cards? As I was saying before its not hard.

Assuming you have learned basic strategy...
Get yourself a standard deck of 52 cards, no jokers.
Now start going through them face up from top to bottom of the deck.
Start the count at 0. Every time you see a 10,J,Q,K,A subtract 1 rom the count. When you see a 2,3,4,5,6 add 1 to the count. Ignore 7,8,9.
For example if you dealt out 3, 8, A, 9, Q, J, 2, 10, K, 6, 8, 4 you would count them as follows: +1, 0, -1, 0, -1, -1, +1, -1, -1, +1, 0, +1 and end up with a running count of -1.
Every time you get to the end of the deck the count should return to 0 because there are the same number of +1 cards as there are -1 cards.

That system is known as the High-Low. Do it over and over a few times every night until you can count the cards in a deck really quickly. Then you can do stuff like pretend to deal out 5 hands at a time like at a casino table and play the hands using basic strategy and keep count at the same time.

When you are playing at a real casino you will almost certainly be playing a game with multiple decks. 6 or 8 is the most common. In those cases there are many more cards so you need to mentally divide the current or "running count" by the number of decks remaining in the shoe (you have to estimate this) to get what is called the "true count".

As for what to do with the true count, you can use it to tell when to increase your bets when the deck is in your favour. Lets say you are playing at $1 per hand, you can do something like this:

- If the true count is +1 or lower, stick to $1 bets.
- If the true count is +2 or +3, bet $2 (or 2x your initial bet).
- If the true count is +4 or +5, bet $3 (or 3x your initial bet).
and so on and so on.

More advanced players will even alter their basic strategy depending on the true count. For example you should take insurance against the dealer's Ace if the true count is +3 or higher, and if the true count is negative a player should hit with a 12 against a dealer's 6 instead of standing. But you are best advised to perfect your basic strategy and counting before worrying about the changes to strategy.

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ushope777
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3 January 2013 - 4:34am
#9

I have known about the basic system of counting cards, and you explain it very well, CL-Ed. I suppose the trick is to be able to count cards without LOOKING like you are counting cards. lol

Sometimes I will watch a blackjack table for a bit to see how they are doing before I sit down, and I always wondered why those workers would give me "the look." I was honestly just trying to see how the players were doing against the dealer, but they clearly don't like me standing around "observing," although technically they can't do anything about that, can they? I mean I have even sat next to my brother while he played and did not play. So maybe he could play while I practice what I learn from CL-Ed? haha! Wink

Thanks for the help and the fun, CL-Ed! Smile

Hope777

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ushope777
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3 January 2013 - 4:35am
#10

So you would even take insurance under some situations? That does go against the rule of never take insurance. This is starting to sound like fun. lol

Hope777

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ushope777
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3 January 2013 - 4:36am
#11

So, as for my question: How much of an impact does playing with so many decks of cards have on card counting?

Hope777

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usbarbadosslim93
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4 January 2013 - 4:06am
#12

Very insightful Ed. I thought card counting was reserved for a few people who could accurately keep tabs on all of those cards.

Thanks for that.

usbobafett0820
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9 January 2013 - 7:05pm
#13

i never was any good at counting cards i just used the bust card rule once i hit 11 or over i stop. roulette is my main game Smile

auCL-Ed
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16 January 2013 - 6:20am
#14
hope777 wrote:

So, as for my question: How much of an impact does playing with so many decks of cards have on card counting?

The more decks of cards the less variation there is in the true count until you get closer to the end of the shoe. This is because the more decks used, the more cards there are in total, so the effect of dealing out a single card is less. That is why you do the "true count" calculation. For example, dealing the first card out and seeing a 3 is worth +1 to the count in a single deck game but in an 8 deck shoe it is only worth +1/8 to the count.

When counters talk about how deep the dealer is going into the shoe, it is called penetration. The deeper the penetration the more effective card counting is, because if you have a true count of say +10 and there is only a single deck left in the shoe there is only a small chance that the count will return to 0 or go negative. Thats when it is time to stack your bets on the table. And that is why the casinos don't deal all the way to the end of the shoe, instead placing a cut card marker somewhere in the deck that tells them that it is time to shuffle when that card is dealt out.

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usbarbadosslim93
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22 January 2013 - 3:14pm
#15

Is the penetration point random? I seem to remember being able to place the cut point at the casinos, but don't remember how the penetration point was set.

That goes to figure that I have played so much online that I can't remember land casino rules!

auCL-Ed
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27 January 2013 - 5:54am
#16

It depends on the casino. Round here the dealer places the cut card marker in the decks somewhere vaguely in the middle and when it is dealt that signals that its time for a shuffle. So you can't control it as a player. Other places may let the player place the marker. If you get that opportunity you put it as close to the end of the shoe as they will let you!

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