CSM game with player edge off the top


Well-Known Member
I have come across this particular promotion at a local joint:
6D (CSM) - OTT 0.51%
but there are two rule variations that are favorable to the player that give the player an overall advantage of 0.37%.

Should I play this game? If so how should I play it?

Since it's CSM I will not be able to increase the edge by counting. Given that the edge is in the player's favor, would it be good to use a progressive betting system that is utilised on winning hands/streaks? E.g. increase bets by 50% on a win until the table max is hit. then start a new progression.

it seems that grinding it out i would be able to make 1 unit per hour if playing heads-up. So if betting $100/hand then i would make about $100/hour - assuming heads-up play, though my hourly standard deviation would be close to $2,000/hour - so this the ratio of EV to standard deviation is in fact similar to the counting situations i encountered. Even after a week, say 40 hours of play I would only have a 65% chance of actually being ahead.

would be great to hear some of your comments - since i am not sure whether i should bother to look at this or not.


Well-Known Member
It's a pretty small advantage but if you can afford to get enough money on the table then it could be profitable. Most likely there are better opportunities out there, but none as simple as this one. As far as using a progression, that wouldn't help. Your advantage and variance is exactly the same on every hand. If you make the proper bet on the first hand then there is no reason to change that bet unless your bankroll changes significantly. Using a progression would have you under-betting (and under-earning) a lot of the time and over-betting (and over-risking) the rest of the time. Lower profit and higher risk? No good.

Find out if the casino offers a good comp program.


Brock Windsor

Well-Known Member
If the two rules are Early Surrender and Double any number of cards I would grind away all week. You can play some VERY long sessions of basic strategy when there is no shuffling breaks. you could add a couple adjustments for the -1,0,and 1 index plays (you don't need to but that may exercise your mind.) Just make sure you are playing perfectly for the adjusted rules. I would rather play this game over counting shoes, especially if there is a comp program. Now if the rules that turned this game positive are more obscure like a progressive jackpot I would not bother.


Well-Known Member

Can be beaten if, from BJT

Full ES
* Rebates
* No putting cards into machine immediately

1. Good rules such as full ES.
I played such CSMs before.
2. Dealers leaving some cards our not put into machines immediately.
3. If the casinos give high rebates.
Macau uses CSMs since 1997 but casinos gave high rebates many years. A friend won 5.2 Millions HK$ in 6 weeks there in 2007, I won 1.04 M in a month from a crusie there when both gave 1.5% chips rolling rebate then.

No hole card and player may surrender even against dealer's Ace. Casinos offer full ES allow players having positive off-the-top games. There WERE many casinos at Moscow offered full ES games.
*Rebate not comps. Some casinos offer cash rebate through chips rolling. If rebate is high enough, player have positive off-the-top advantages and can win from CSMs in the long run. Many Macau casino offerED cash rebate on BJ CSMs before. My friend won 5.2 M HK$ in 2007 from one in 6 weeks when it offered 1.5% rebate on chips roller. Rolling chips is players buying junket chips with cash, bet junket chips receiving cash chips whne win. Casinos pay cash rebate based on chips rolled.
*Some casinos don't put dealt cards immediately into CSM allow players count those cards playing. For example, if the dealer keeps puts back cards until there are about one deck on a 4D CSM, it is like playing a bad penetration(25%) shoe.

hope this helps :cool2:


Well-Known Member
thanks so much for your comments everyone!

very much appreciated! it turned out that the casino had also made two unfavorable rule adjustments - which it had failed to advertise alongside the favorable rule changes - thus bringing the overall HE to about even.

BrockWindsor, the rule changes were such that their implications would occur frequently rather than being long-shot progressive bonuses or the like.

That said, it was interesting to consider how to approach a +EV CSM game - who knows when or where it might turn up one day? :cool:


Well-Known Member
In answer to your question of how to approach a +EV game: You would probably want to study the Kelly Criteria. The Kelly Criteria was formulated by a mathematician named J. Kelly and published in the Bell Labs tech journal, way back in 1956. It was originally devised as a formula for the phone company to determine how much to charge for overseas phone calls, using the newly laid Atlantic Cable; but gamblers worldwide immediately recognized its' value in figuring out how much to bet in given situations.

The Kelly Criteria basically states: The fastest way to increase your bankroll with the least chance of ruin, is to bet the proportion of your BR which is equal to your advantage. In other words, if you have a 1% advantage, you should bet 1% of your bankroll.

This method works PERFECTLY when you have an even-money game such as craps or baccarat, but if you use it on BJ you have to tweak it somewhat. The reason for this is because in BJ when you make a bet you're not risking just one bet at a time, but; because of double-downs and splits, you may be risking several bets at a time.

The betting strategy which has come to be pretty much agreed upon by most professional BJ players is what's known as "Half Kelly". It works exactly as the name implies; for a 1% advantage your bet size should be 1/2 of one percent of your BR, rather than 1%.

If you use 1/2 Kelly anytime you come across a favorable situation in BJ; you will never go wrong. -Hope this helps....


Well-Known Member
If you find a +EV CSM game, your edge is going to change very little from one hand to the next. You should determine the optimum for your bankroll and risk tolerance based on your off-the-top edge. If the win rate is acceptable to you, flat bet. If the win rate is unacceptable to you, email your closest AP friends about the promo if you think they might be interested (don't spew the details on a public forum, causing the promo to get burned earlier than necessary for those who happened to come across it).

The one time I found a worthwhile promo, I had about a 2% edge on a CSM game. I set the bet size such that when I was dealt the prerequisite promo hand, I won the max aggregate per-hand payout for the promo. This bet size was well within my risk tolerance, and the win rate was about 5x what I could get playing most of my regular BJ games at the time. The game lasted only one day before the promo was reduced to the point of being worthless.