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Old August 3rd, 2011, 05:48 AM
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Exclamation Just starting out :S

I took my friends to a local Casino a few weeks ago (needless to say they enjoyed themselves) I won 30 on the Blackjack table (bearing in mind I am a student and only took 50 out with me)
Whilst I accept that playing 2 minimim with a bankroll (albeit a laughable bankroll :P ) of 50 was poor mathematically I was pretty happy (and got let off pretty lightly).

Anyway having spent the last few weeks memorising basic strategy, counting through decks, reading blackjack books, getting my girlfriend to deal out cards, doing mock casino tables complete with chips in the kitchen etc I am more lost than I was to begin with for a couple of reasons.

Firstly I started with KO as it was the easiest to learn and have also learnt HI-LO since. (Blackwood mentions in Play Blackjack Like The Pro's that KO is more efficient than HI-LO aswell?) with the intention of learning HI-OPT I / II soon however having made no further trips to the casino's is it worth doing the extra work at the moment?

Secondly I would like to know how playing against multiple decks affects play. If i have grasped this concept the only difference is that a True count and Running count are needed when playing against more than one deck? How many decks is too many?

And finally how can I tell if a game is worth playing. I know that deck penetration is important, as are the offers for re-splitting, doubling after splits and so on but are there any particular rules that are an instant deterrent or should simply be avoided at my level of play?

Last edited by Show_Me_The_Money_:); August 3rd, 2011 at 05:50 AM.
  #2  
Old August 3rd, 2011, 06:15 AM
tthree tthree is offline
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Tc advantage is greater as fewer decks remain with the same TC. More decks mean playing longer before the same opportunities arise. You also must be able to maintain accuracy for a longer time before said opportunity. The authors use of more efficient is the same as the HILO players argument for HILO. It involves less work and skill not more profit. Play up to your present skill level and do as much work as time allows at the table. If you are sitting around doing nothing waiting for the game to catch up with your brain, you could be doing more to gain a bigger edge. If not stick to your current skill/effort level. HIOPT I and II generally use ace side counts to attain the BC necessary for shoe game profitability. This is not hard but many can't or simply won't put in the effort.

Penetration and late surrender are important. You see higher frequencies of high TCs at deeper pen as well as a slightly higher advantage at the same TC. To take full advantage of the increased advantage high PE is important. S17, DOA, DAS, RSA, surrender and especially getting paid 3:2 on a blackjack are all important rules. Avoid 6:5 at all costs. With an extra 1/2 deck penetration over S17 makes up for H17. Surrender is more valuable to H17 but is very valuable to both games.

Last edited by tthree; August 3rd, 2011 at 06:25 AM.
  #3  
Old August 3rd, 2011, 06:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tthree View Post
Play up to your present skill level and do as much work as time allows at the table. If you are sitting around doing nothing waiting for the game to catch up with your brain, you could be doing more to gain a bigger edge.
Thats an easy rule to follow I'll probably make us of that so thanks a lot.
Equally taking notes on penetration at certain casino's is important do you happen to know anywhere on this forum where I can get information on the different casino's around the UK with the different rules. From most of the posts the Gala seems to get good reviews? The less time I spend finding the right casino's the more time I can spend actually playing.
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Old August 3rd, 2011, 07:02 AM
London Colin London Colin is offline
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The rules are fairly consistent throughout the UK.

So far as I know, nowhere offers surrender, and almost everywhere offers only even-money on your BJ versus the dealer ace, rather than insurance anytime the dealer shows an ace.

(LCI casinos in London, and maybe elsewhere, recently switched to offering full insurance, at the same time as going from six to eight decks.)

There are a few 4-deck games to be found in London, I don't know about elsewhere. 6 decks is the norm.

Penetration is really the only major variable. And I don't think it varies all that much.

I confess I have never gone into great detail, running sims etc., but my feeling is that few, if any UK games are truly worthwhile from a simple card-counting perspective.

On a small bankroll, I think the best way to profitably visit UK casinos is to frequent as many of your local casinos as you can, while gambling as little as possible, but enough to get on their mailing lists for promotional offers.

(For the most part, that's what I do. )
  #5  
Old August 3rd, 2011, 08:54 AM
ycming ycming is offline
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UK game 6 decks only have an House edge of 0.54 .... It just means the 2% advantges comes at a later point in terms of TC (Hi-lo approx just above TC +5). Might be worth while to learn indicies from -2 to 6.

And true to the insurance rules. I would say it is definitly playable but not with a 50 bankroll.

But as I have said in the past, if you are gonig to gamble anyway then might as well do the best you can !

tthree is correct in someway, if you are still at a learning stage, might be worth while to learn a level 2 count! I found it really hard to move from Hi-lo to Zen

Ming
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Old August 3rd, 2011, 10:03 AM
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So what would you say is the absolute bare minimum I should be taking with me to play a 4-6 deck game with a 2 minumum bet? I'm probably going to take the advice of Ming and learn a level 2 or 3 count before playing. So I may have to go through a long learning process before actually getting stuck in. I'm willing to put in as much time, money and effort as is needed so long as it pays off. Are there any other big things that I need to know?
  #7  
Old August 3rd, 2011, 11:25 AM
London Colin London Colin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ycming View Post
UK game 6 decks only have an House edge of 0.54 .... It just means the 2% advantges comes at a later point in terms of TC
I think there may be a danger of going over old ground from previous threads here, but the adverse impact of poor rules doesn't vanish when the TC gets into player-advantage territory. On the contrary, it gets amplified by the increasing bet size.

Have you used something like CVData to analyse the games you play and establish a bet spread? (A comparison of SCORE between US and UK rules would be interesting.)

Typical penetration seems to be 67% to 75% wherever I have looked. As I said, I haven't run any sims (don't have CVData) but from the general reading I have done, it seems to me that the spread this would require with UK rules would be very large indeed. One good point about the UK is that you can probably get away with such a spread, with no heat. But I would think it also requires a very, very large bankroll.

Last edited by London Colin; August 3rd, 2011 at 01:00 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old August 3rd, 2011, 12:14 PM
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That poor level of penetration combined with a House Edge that daunting equates to NO viable options for finding exploitable games.
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Old August 4th, 2011, 01:58 AM
ycming ycming is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by London Colin View Post
I think there may be a danger of going over old ground from previous threads here, but the adverse impact of poor rules doesn't vanish when the TC gets into player-advantage territory. On the contrary, it gets amplified by the increasing bet size.

Have you used something like CVData to analyse the games you play and establish a bet spread? (A comparison of SCORE between US and UK rules would be interesting.)

Typical penetration seems to be 67% to 75% wherever I have looked. As I said, I haven't run any sims (don't have CVData) but from the general reading I have done, it seems to me that the spread this would require with UK rules would be very large indeed. One good point about the UK is that you can probably get away with such a spread, with no heat. But I would think it also requires a very, very large bankroll.
I will run some sims tonight, but I have done in the past and is definitly playable. Pen wise,it is common to have 1 deck pen where i play (6 decks), that is 17% ?

Apart from the lack of insurance (it is possible to get insurance play in London now) and no hole card, what rules do you think is damaging the UK game? As for the lack of hole card, our basic stratgey is different to the US, we don't ever double 11 v 10 and as for index play we don't double 10v10, 10vA , 9vA. I know the HE increases with the no hole card rule, but I don't think it damgaes our EV as much as people make out.

Another from my experience for starting out players that can find a 2 minmum game and there just wouldn't be any heat if you spread 1-20. Makes it worth while to sit down and learn the game.

As to the OP question, if you can have 1000unit for a 2 unit, that is pretty much the rule of thrumb! I can get you the ROR when am home.

Ming
  #10  
Old August 4th, 2011, 06:36 AM
London Colin London Colin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ycming View Post
I will run some sims tonight, but I have done in the past and is definitly playable. Pen wise,it is common to have 1 deck pen where i play (6 decks), that is 17% ?
Thanks. Yes, one deck cut off is 17% (i.e. 83% penetration). It would be very instructive to compare results for those three levels of pen - 67%, 75%, and 83% - and for differing rules.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ycming View Post
Apart from the lack of insurance (it is possible to get insurance play in London now) and no hole card, what rules do you think is damaging the UK game?
Yes, I did mention the insurance change in one casino chain, but it came along with a change to 8 decks, which potentially puts a slight dent in the benefit. (I'm not sure of the penetration in the 8-deck games.)

I guess it's everything in combination that may yield a poor game, with penetration being the key factor than can overcome any worries about the rules.

All the UK-specific rules -
  • ENHC.
  • No Insurance apart form even money (in most places).
  • No surrender.
- must have an impact. (Though at least it is no longer D9.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ycming View Post
As for the lack of hole card, our basic stratgey is different to the US, we don't ever double 11 v 10 and as for index play we don't double 10v10, 10vA , 9vA. I know the HE increases with the no hole card rule, but I don't think it damgaes our EV as much as people make out.
Yes, I know BS is different for ENHC. The point is that the difference in HE for a counter is not the fixed 0.11% that it is for a flat bettor. Earlier, you seemed to be implying that once this 0.11% has been overcome by removing a few extra small cards from the deck, and we reach, say, a 2% advantage, ENHC has no more drawbacks than the US game.

But the advantage of a high TC comes from the ability split and double (as well as receive more BJs). The fact that we can't do these things quite as often under the modified BS of ENHC rules means that for every increment in the TC and corresponding rise in our bet size, we do not get quite as much benefit as under US rules.

There was a thread some time ago in which it was suggested that the impact on a counter was about 0.4% http://www.blackjackinfo.com/bb/showthread.php?t=11431 (presumably that relates to the average bet).


Obviously the lack of insurance and surrender aren't uniquely British, so I imagine there is more existing information quantifying the impact of these.

As with ENHC, I think no surrender hits the counter harder than it does the BS player. In high counts, with big bets out, more hands will be candidates for surrender (due to reaching the indices for additional surrenders, and perhaps also due to a higher frequency of BS surrender hands like 16v10 appearing at those counts).

And surrender has an impact on variance as well as EV, so will have a double impact on SCORE.


Insurance speaks for itself in terms of EV - BS players never take it, but it's top of the list of the I18. (I'm not sure if it has any significant impact on variance if we just use the normal insurance index.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ycming View Post
Another from my experience for starting out players that can find a 2 minmum game and there just wouldn't be any heat if you spread 1-20. Makes it worth while to sit down and learn the game.
The 2 minimum must certainly be a help. In London it is mostly either 10 or 5 (with 3 available at some places during slow times of the day).

1-20 is about what I guesstimated the absolute minimum spread would have to be, with as suspicion that it might have to be rather higher to get any significant return. A lot comes down to the definitions of words like 'playable' and 'worthwhile'.

And if the unit size is also the table minimum, that would seem to indicate that a replinishable bankroll is very important, since you can't resize your bets downwards after a significant run of losses. (Backcounting and only playing at higher TCs might be an alternative, but that doesn't really work well with the limited number of tables and casinos available.)


Quote:
Originally Posted by ycming View Post
As to the OP question, if you can have 1000unit for a 2 unit, that is pretty much the rule of thrumb! I can get you the ROR when am home.

Ming
To elaborate on the bankroll question - The OP was asking how much to take to the casino (i.e. the session bankroll). The thing you want to avoid is the possibility of running out of money while at the table. If your top bet is 40, you could conceivably find that BS calls upon you to make multiple splits and doubles, risking 80, 120, ... maybe even 320 on a single round. Or a sustained high count might mean several rounds with your top bet out, all of which you can quite easily lose; again, you do not want to be forced to leave the table because you have run out of cash while the high count persists.

But the much more important question, which Ming alluded to, is not the session bankroll but the overall bankroll. Or to put it another way, how much can you afford to lose? (It should be measured in thousands.)

If you are a student, with limited funds, then I really think you should stay clear of the casinos for now, apart perhaps from the occasional bit of low-stakes fun. The very big, very real risks are just not worth the meagre potential rewards.
 

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