# New at ace sequencing – question about a very simple scenario….

• FrankieT

New at ace sequencing – question about a very simple scenario….

I’m just wondering, what is the profitability of memorizing key cards right before an ace, in a 2 deck game, considering…

1) this person can memorize 4 key cards with perfect accuracy
2) your gathering your key card information every other shoe, and doing the big bets in the shoes between (that is you big bet when you’ve spotted your key card as the last card of a given hand)
3) flat betting \$5 on normal hands, 2x\$100 when you’ve spotted your key card as the last card dealt out of the hand
4) playing nothing but perfect basic strategy
5) the rules are 2D H17 DAS DOA 50% pen, a heads up game with about 150 hands per hour, no resplitting aces
6) can only go from one hand to two hands once per shoe (pretty gay). To compensate, if a situation arose where the person had bet 2x\$100 and had to go back to \$5, he would just bet 1x\$100 if another key card came up in the same shoe.
7) The dealer is the world’s most average shuffler (not good, not bad, just an average of all the dealers in the world)

If the profitability is anything decent, wondering if a person might know the volatility of this? Lets put it this way, what would be the Risk of Ruin with a \$10k bankroll?

I know the Zen man is experienced with this, maybe he can help me out đ (wink wink)

• zengrifter

Whoaa, now THAT’s a good question(s), since I do it (2D Ace Tracking) and I don’t know the answers.

Anyone?

Can this be simmed? zg

• Automatic Monkey
Quote: FrankieT said:
I’m just wondering, what is the profitability of memorizing key cards right before an ace, in a 2 deck game, considering…

1) this person can memorize 4 key cards with perfect accuracy
2) your gathering your key card information every other shoe, and doing the big bets in the shoes between (that is you big bet when you’ve spotted your key card as the last card of a given hand)
3) flat betting \$5 on normal hands, 2x\$100 when you’ve spotted your key card as the last card dealt out of the hand
4) playing nothing but perfect basic strategy
5) the rules are 2D H17 DAS DOA 50% pen, a heads up game with about 150 hands per hour, no resplitting aces
6) can only go from one hand to two hands once per shoe (pretty gay). To compensate, if a situation arose where the person had bet 2x\$100 and had to go back to \$5, he would just bet 1x\$100 if another key card came up in the same shoe.
7) The dealer is the world’s most average shuffler (not good, not bad, just an average of all the dealers in the world)

If the profitability is anything decent, wondering if a person might know the volatility of this? Lets put it this way, what would be the Risk of Ruin with a \$10k bankroll?

I know the Zen man is experienced with this, maybe he can help me out đ (wink wink)

Here’s my input:

The risk of ruin is going to be reasonable. The risk of ruin for straight counting with a 2X\$100 max bet and a \$10K BR is reasonable (but not low.)

1) Come on don’t be a wimp, you can memorize more than 4 key cards. Although with 50% pen that will be the average number. Bad pen hurts you in sequencing just like it does in counting.

2) Oh you’ve got to be kidding me, you can’t play back and record in the same shoe in a DD game? Practice, practice, practice!

3) That spread’s a little steep, might draw too much attention in the places where you play. Also might look like cheating. Maybe tone it down just a little.

4) You can probably get away withe some cover plays. Maybe research what the riskiest soft DD plays are and don’t use them when you have large bets out. That will decrease your volatility.

5) Decent rules I guess.

6) That is gay. It wouldn’t hurt much to play 2 hands on ordinary hands. You can work some rudimentary steering into your repertoire when aces are coming out in the middle of a round too.

7) Average is good. I assume you’ve studied the mechanics of shuffles as they pertain to ace location, but that is something best not to discuss publicly.

Here’s a DD ace location trick for you! Once you have recorded a key card, you can manipulate your discards such that if you see the twin key card later in the round, the card following it is also a beneficial one. An ace gives you a 50% advantage, a ten card a 15% advantage, a 9 gives you a 1% advantage, and the other cards all give you large disadvantages (but some worse than others.) Example: you have keyed the Eight of Spades to an ace. On the next round, the other Eight of Spades comes out, and you have a choice of putting it on top of a King or a Six when you hand it back to the dealer. You’d choose the King, for on the next round when you put a big bet out after seeing the Eight of Spades you’ll be happy to get either an Ace or a King.

One more thing: you mention 150 hands per hour so this sounds like a heads-up game. You want to be very careful when ace sequencing about the dealer getting the ace instead of you, and when it’s just you and the dealer, it’s easy to split the aces 50-50. Even with a 50-50 split you still have an advantage, but not the kind of advantage you want. This is a game where it’s helpful to have a bunch of hands (preferably those of a partner) between you and the dealer to maximize your advantage. I remember a sequencing trip where I was confounded all night by the dealer getting the ace I predicted for me.

• FrankieT
Quote: Automatic Monkey said:
Here’s my input:

The risk of ruin is going to be reasonable. The risk of ruin for straight counting with a 2X\$100 max bet and a \$10K BR is reasonable (but not low.)

1) Come on don’t be a wimp, you can memorize more than 4 key cards. Although with 50% pen that will be the average number. Bad pen hurts you in sequencing just like it does in counting.

2) Oh you’ve got to be kidding me, you can’t play back and record in the same shoe in a DD game? Practice, practice, practice!

3) That spread’s a little steep, might draw too much attention in the places where you play. Also might look like cheating. Maybe tone it down just a little.

4) You can probably get away withe some cover plays. Maybe research what the riskiest soft DD plays are and don’t use them when you have large bets out. That will decrease your volatility.

5) Decent rules I guess.

6) That is gay. It wouldn’t hurt much to play 2 hands on ordinary hands. You can work some rudimentary steering into your repertoire when aces are coming out in the middle of a round too.

7) Average is good. I assume you’ve studied the mechanics of shuffles as they pertain to ace location, but that is something best not to discuss publicly.

Here’s a DD ace location trick for you! Once you have recorded a key card, you can manipulate your discards such that if you see the twin key card later in the round, the card following it is also a beneficial one. An ace gives you a 50% advantage, a ten card a 15% advantage, a 9 gives you a 1% advantage, and the other cards all give you large disadvantages (but some worse than others.) Example: you have keyed the Eight of Spades to an ace. On the next round, the other Eight of Spades comes out, and you have a choice of putting it on top of a King or a Six when you hand it back to the dealer. You’d choose the King, for on the next round when you put a big bet out after seeing the Eight of Spades you’ll be happy to get either an Ace or a King.

One more thing: you mention 150 hands per hour so this sounds like a heads-up game. You want to be very careful when ace sequencing about the dealer getting the ace instead of you, and when it’s just you and the dealer, it’s easy to split the aces 50-50. Even with a 50-50 split you still have an advantage, but not the kind of advantage you want. This is a game where it’s helpful to have a bunch of hands (preferably those of a partner) between you and the dealer to maximize your advantage. I remember a sequencing trip where I was confounded all night by the dealer getting the ace I predicted for me.

Good stuff monkey.

It totally didn’t occur to me that you can manipulate the card order in a pitch game, lol.

Good idea on how to make both your key card and his twin brother viable.

I can see myself being able to memorize key cards and utilize key cards in the same shoe (not alternating). Going beyond 4 memorized key cards would be tough though :D.

I know very little about the “mechanics of shuffling”. I’ve seen terms like “riffle” used in these threads. Hence why I said “the worlds most average dealer”.

Any good literature on ace sequencing in general, (internet or paper) you can recommend. Preferably literature that deals a lot with 1-2d and has lots of pictures đ

P.S. oh yeah, one more thing I forgot to mention…at this particular joint, any play on two hands has to be played at \$10 minimum. yowzers

• FrankieT

Nevermind, I see the somebody already recommended “Blackjack Ace Prediction: The Art Of Advanced Location Strategies For The Casino “

• Sonny

You donât mention the casinoâs shuffle procedure (which is smart ), but that is something you need to look at. Many DD shuffles are simply not sequenceable while others are very profitable. Hereâs Sonnyâs patented Six-Step program:

1) Analyze the shuffle and see what sort of accuracy you can expect. You might find that the shuffle is not predictable enough to play.

2) Scout the dealers and find the ones that you can afford to play against. By this time you should know what kind of shuffle to look for. Find the dealers that shuffle the way you need them to. This might include dealers that donât follow the house procedures or dealers that follow them perfectly.

3) Crunch the numbers, get your EV and SD and set up a betting strategy. Sequencing can be very dangerous, especially with a difficult shuffle and/or lots of steering. You need to verify that you are playing with an advantage but also within your tolerance for risk. Just like with card counting, both overbetting and underbetting can ruin you. You need to know when to bet, how much to bet, when to spread to multiple hands (if at all), and what misplays you can afford to make in order to steer the cards.

4) Practice at home until your accuracy is acceptable. Have several other people shuffle the cards for you. Teach your friend(s), neighbor(s), significant other(s) how to shuffle like the dealers do. Try to find a way to beat each of their styles, or at least determine why you canât beat certain people’s technique.

5) Go to the casino, find one of your dealers and âback-sequenceâ the table for 5-10 shuffles. If your accuracy is acceptable, sit down and play. If not, back to step 2.

McDowell’s book will definitely open up your eyes to many possibilities. Also read Snyder’s cookbook for some sequencing tips.

-Sonny-

• FrankieT
Quote: Sonny said:
You donât mention the casinoâs shuffle procedure (which is smart ), but that is something you need to look at. Many DD shuffles are simply not sequenceable while others are very profitable. Hereâs Sonnyâs patented Six-Step program:

1) Analyze the shuffle and see what sort of accuracy you can expect. You might find that the shuffle is not predictable enough to play.

2) Scout the dealers and find the ones that you can afford to play against. By this time you should know what kind of shuffle to look for. Find the dealers that shuffle the way you need them to. This might include dealers that donât follow the house procedures or dealers that follow them perfectly.

3) Crunch the numbers, get your EV and SD and set up a betting strategy. Sequencing can be very dangerous, especially with a difficult shuffle and/or lots of steering. You need to verify that you are playing with an advantage but also within your tolerance for risk. Just like with card counting, both overbetting and underbetting can ruin you. You need to know when to bet, how much to bet, when to spread to multiple hands (if at all), and what misplays you can afford to make in order to steer the cards.

4) Practice at home until your accuracy is acceptable. Have several other people shuffle the cards for you. Teach your friend(s), neighbor(s), significant other(s) how to shuffle like the dealers do. Try to find a way to beat each of their styles, or at least determine why you canât beat certain people’s technique.

5) Go to the casino, find one of your dealers and âback-sequenceâ the table for 5-10 shuffles. If your accuracy is acceptable, sit down and play. If not, back to step 2.

McDowell’s book will definitely open up your eyes to many possibilities. Also read Snyder’s cookbook for some sequencing tips.

-Sonny-

Thanks for the info.

Making misplays to steer cards? Fascinating

• zengrifter
Quote: FrankieT said:
It totally didn’t occur to me that you can manipulate the card order in a pitch game, lol.

In a pitch game you can set your keycard where you want it, sometimes. In a shoe game – no touch – you can HIT your paired Aces instead of split and create a super keycard to follow. Both are manipulations of card order. zg

• Elhombre
Quote: FrankieT said:
I’m just wondering, what is the profitability of memorizing key cards right before an ace, in a 2 deck game, considering…

1) this person can memorize 4 key cards with perfect accuracy
2) your gathering your key card information every other shoe, and doing the big bets in the shoes between (that is you big bet when you’ve spotted your key card as the last card of a given hand)
3) flat betting \$5 on normal hands, 2x\$100 when you’ve spotted your key card as the last card dealt out of the hand
4) playing nothing but perfect basic strategy
5) the rules are 2D H17 DAS DOA 50% pen, a heads up game with about 150 hands per hour, no resplitting aces
6) can only go from one hand to two hands once per shoe (pretty gay). To compensate, if a situation arose where the person had bet 2x\$100 and had to go back to \$5, he would just bet 1x\$100 if another key card came up in the same shoe.
7) The dealer is the world’s most average shuffler (not good, not bad, just an average of all the dealers in the world)

If the profitability is anything decent, wondering if a person might know the volatility of this? Lets put it this way, what would be the Risk of Ruin with a \$10k bankroll?

I know the Zen man is experienced with this, maybe he can help me out đ (wink wink)

Hello, I do the job at 6 deck games.
First, the person must remember 2 key cards and not one.
Then he must find out the gaps between the 2 keys usually.
To avoid that the dealer doesn’t get the ace, it’s the best to play
5 spots when he expects an ace.
To reduce the flux, I would only play 1 spot.
The volatility is very low if you play one spot.
I would split and double only against dealers 5 and 6 when I don’t hit an ace.
It sounds unbeleaveble but the highest flux I had in the last 1/2 year,
playing 20 hours the week against 6 decks handshuffled and CSM’s were
6 units playing one spot, only about every 6th time I played 2 spots when I
expected the ace at the 2nd spot.
With that bank I see no Risk of ruin, specially when you use the Kelly Criterion.
In DD games that you mention is a problem if the dealer gets the ace,
as I know he has then an advantage of 36%, while you have an advantage
of 52% when you hit the ace.
What I said, find out the gaps between the keys.
You cannot play every seen keys, but you can register them in your memory
and the gaps.
Very importand, write down the results of your game very careful.
And the cards between the keys.
How often you hit the ace, in every case more than every 13th time —loll.
The more often the better.
In handshuffled games I hit the ace every 4.5th time.
In CSM’s not so often.

For example 1.1. no gaps, or 2.3. the second key card came as 2nd card and the target card (ace ) came as 3rd card.
write it down, when you make a break, or go to the wc.

To memorize 4 keys in every 2nd shoe I think are enough.
150 hands an hour is a very fast game.
Better would be 3 keys in every shoe, I think it’s possible.

Think of Brian Pridmore, he is the world Champion, remembering
a deck of 52 cards in 26 seconds.
My dream is to beat that.
regards elhombre

• zengrifter
Quote: Elhombre said:
It sounds unbeleaveble but the highest flux I had in the last 1/2 year,
playing 20 hours the week against 6 decks handshuffled and CSM’s were
6 units playing one spot, only about every 6th time I played 2 spots when I
expected the ace at the 2nd spot.

So you tried keying Aces at CSM? zg

• Elhombre
Quote: zengrifter said:
So you tried keying Aces at CSM? zg

Grifter,it’s so.
I think it would be better, to don’t tell it publik.
On the other side I like it to talk with experts like in this board and I can’t
be so quiet.
Try it, try to remember always the latest or youngest 16-20 keys
and you will find unbroken or sequenzes with playable gaps between the 2
keyes.
I have made my stats and make them 4-5 times the week.
It’s remarkeble.
the best elhombre.

• jimmtech

Predicting Aces

Quote: Sonny said:
You donât mention the casinoâs shuffle procedure (which is smart ), but that is something you need to look at. Many DD shuffles are simply not sequenceable while others are very profitable. Hereâs Sonnyâs patented Six-Step program:

1) Analyze the shuffle and see what sort of accuracy you can expect. You might find that the shuffle is not predictable enough to play.

2) Scout the dealers and find the ones that you can afford to play against. By this time you should know what kind of shuffle to look for. Find the dealers that shuffle the way you need them to. This might include dealers that donât follow the house procedures or dealers that follow them perfectly.

3) Crunch the numbers, get your EV and SD and set up a betting strategy. Sequencing can be very dangerous, especially with a difficult shuffle and/or lots of steering. You need to verify that you are playing with an advantage but also within your tolerance for risk. Just like with card counting, both overbetting and underbetting can ruin you. You need to know when to bet, how much to bet, when to spread to multiple hands (if at all), and what misplays you can afford to make in order to steer the cards.

4) Practice at home until your accuracy is acceptable. Have several other people shuffle the cards for you. Teach your friend(s), neighbor(s), significant other(s) how to shuffle like the dealers do. Try to find a way to beat each of their styles, or at least determine why you canât beat certain people’s technique.

5) Go to the casino, find one of your dealers and âback-sequenceâ the table for 5-10 shuffles. If your accuracy is acceptable, sit down and play. If not, back to step 2.

McDowell’s book will definitely open up your eyes to many possibilities. Also read Snyder’s cookbook for some sequencing tips.

-Sonny-

I got so excited earlier in the year watching a couple shuffles – I was able to predict some aces; I was also able to predict some aces on a csm…

So I went spent several months getting card tags down cold with recall from 27 memory locations.

Since last week I have visited the 5 casinos closest to me and #@\$! !!! I could not predict even 1 ace watching csms, asms, 2 deck, 6 deck and 8 deck hand shuffles. (I watched for the 2 cards on top of AND underneath Aces)

Are there still shuffles that are predictable out there? I have seen posts where others seem to consider this as merely extra tool in your AP tool kit only to be used if you happen to come across a weak or simple shuffle – similar to knowing hole card stategy if you happen across a flashing dealer..

It seems a shame to shelf my newly acquired skill! I really hoped to do only this but finding predictable shuffles is proving to be a lot more difficult than I expected..

Any PMs for more sensitive detail are greatly appreciated!

Thanks!

• Sonny
Quote: jimmtech said:
I have seen posts where others seem to consider this as merely extra tool in your AP tool kit only to be used if you happen to come across a weak or simple shuffle – similar to knowing hole card stategy if you happen across a flashing dealer..

Unfortunately that’s the case. You probably wonât find many opportunities to sequence unless you look very hard, but when you find them they are money in the bank. Itâs just something to keep your eye out for. Sometimes a great game will suddenly spring up out of nowhere at a casino that you gave up on long ago. You never know when youâll stumble upon a great game and now youâre ready to play it when you do. You probably have a good idea of what to look for too so that will make scouting much easier. Also, skipping the CSMs and ASMs will save you a lot of time. The machines donât riffle the way humans do.

-Sonny-

• zengrifter

I found that I could keycard Aces effectively on an auto-shuffle 2D game.
But I never proved that it wasn’t a fluke. zg

• blackchipjim

devil in the details

I have to agree the opps for sequencing the aces comes infrequently. Hand shuffles that are sloppy and quick from a tired dealer can be sequenced easier. I have done some seqs on 6d and 8d but more on an experimently basis with practice in mind. I have noticed a few dealers started a different shuffle procedure that dilutes the order more now than ever before.

• Bojack1
Quote: blackchipjim said:
I have to agree the opps for sequencing the aces comes infrequently. Hand shuffles that are sloppy and quick from a tired dealer can be sequenced easier. I have done some seqs on 6d and 8d but more on an experimently basis with practice in mind. I have noticed a few dealers started a different shuffle procedure that dilutes the order more now than ever before.

I would rather sequence a meticulous dealer, where the riffles are uniform and consistent. Tracking slugs I find is better with sloppy dealers that aren’t as thorough and keep large packets together and less diluted.

• Automatic Monkey
Quote: Bojack1 said:
I would rather sequence a meticulous dealer, where the riffles are uniform and consistent. Tracking slugs I find is better with sloppy dealers that aren’t as thorough and keep large packets together and less diluted.

I’d go with exactly the opposite, especially sequencing dealers that have uneven grabs, because every card difference in grab size represents a sequence with zero cards in the interstice. Uneven grabs and clumpy riffles allow relatively complex shuffles to be sequenced, that wouldn’t be worthwhile otherwise.

At the same time a perfect shuffle allows shuffle mapping to work, and ensures that a slug is spread out over the play zone.

• Sonny
Quote: Automatic Monkey said:
Uneven grabs and clumpy riffles allow relatively complex shuffles to be sequenced, that wouldn’t be worthwhile otherwise.

But clumpy riffles will make the output much less predictable, which kills the edge from sequencing. A clumpy riffle will give you a very wide, uncertain range instead of the small, accurate target that a consistent dealer will give.

For example, think about a dealer who makes uneven grabs tends to riffle in 3-card clumps to make up for the difference. After one riffle your target card could either be directly after its neighboring key card or four cards away. After two riffles the target card could be almost anywhere in the next sixteen cards. With that much of a distance it is very likely to get broken up by the stripping. After three riffles it gets completely lost even if it didn’t get striped away.

I agree with you and Bojack that sloppy dealers can be great for shuffle tracking, especially if they are sloppy at stacking and/or rolling, but sequencing is a very different animal.

-Sonny-

• Automatic Monkey
Quote: Sonny said:
But clumpy riffles will make the output much less predictable, which kills the edge from sequencing. A clumpy riffle will give you a very wide, uncertain range instead of the small, accurate target that a consistent dealer will give.

For example, think about a dealer who makes uneven grabs tends to riffle in 3-card clumps to make up for the difference. After one riffle your target card could either be directly after its neighboring key card or four cards away. After two riffles the target card could be almost anywhere in the next sixteen cards. With that much of a distance it is very likely to get broken up by the stripping. After three riffles it gets completely lost even if it didnât get striped away.

I agree with you and Bojack that sloppy dealers can be great for shuffle tracking, especially if they are sloppy at stacking and/or rolling, but sequencing is a very different animal.

-Sonny-

Which is best is going to depend a lot on the characteristics of the shuffle. An East Coast shoe shuffle (all we have is shoe) never uses a strip and usually has something like a stepladder which creates uncertainty in the number of times any card has been riffled. (Think LV MGM.) Even with a shuffle like that, a sloppy shuffle will produce a surprising number of sequences with zero interstice, which have no uncertainty. It also decreases the risk of a sequence being interrupted by a grab.

Maybe the best choices are either a perfect shuffle or a very sloppy one, with the ones that are good but not reliably good being the most dangerous for sequencing. Being “very sloppy” is far more common than “perfect” I concentrate on the former.

• stophon

Even with unrealistically fine shuffles, the ace is never going to come out within one card of where it should consistently, unless your playing with something absurd like a single riffle.

• KimLee
Quote: FrankieT said:
Nevermind, I see the somebody already recommended “Blackjack Ace Prediction: The Art Of Advanced Location Strategies For The Casino “

Warning – McDowell’s book is wrong! We savaged him on BlackjackForumOnline, and he was too much of a pussy to face us. However, he released “corrections” that basically made up numbers.

I heard McDowell profited from playing. But he did not profit with play-all under the conditions described in his book. The play-all method of his book makes too many costly waiting bets and gets too few opportunities to make profitable bets.

• zengrifter
Quote: KimLee said:
Warning – McDowell’s book is wrong! We savaged him on BlackjackForumOnline, and he was too much of a pussy to face us. However, he released “corrections” that basically made up numbers.

I heard McDowell profited from playing. But he did not profit with play-all under the conditions described in his book. The play-all method of his book makes too many costly waiting bets and gets too few opportunities to make profitable bets.

Welcome Kim Lee.
If only you would have told us two years ago when the thread was initiated.
(which was three years after McDowell was debunked)
We all lost BRs following McDowell! zg

• zengrifter
Quote: stophon said:
Even with unrealistically fine shuffles, the ace is never going to come out within one card of where it should consistently, unless your playing with something absurd like a single riffle.

Actually, its more often than you’d think. zg

• Sucker
Quote: stophon said:
Even with unrealistically fine shuffles, the ace is never going to come out within one card of where it should consistently, unless your playing with something absurd like a single riffle.

MUCH more often than you’d think. With the right situation and using the right techniques, it’s rather common to predict an ace with an accuracy of BETTER than 99%, and it doesn’t matter HOW many times they riffle.

But to answer the OPs’ original question regarding the profitability of ace-tracking; the answer is pretty much all across the spectrum of possibilities. It depends completely upon the skill level of the ace-tracker. By skill; I mean not only the ability to execute, but also the ability to recognize the trackability of the different shuffles. The best way to determine this is going to be by keeping perfect records of your hits, misses; and reverse hits (dealer getting the ace). Eventually you’ll be able to look at a particular shuffle and/or a particular dealers’ shuffling style, and by looking at your own past accuracy in certain situations; you’ll be able to determine your expectation with a great degree of certainty.

• Elhombre

The best way to determine this is going to be by keeping perfect records of your hits, misses; and reverse hits (dealer getting the ace). Eventually you’ll be able to look at a particular shuffle and/or a particular dealers’ shuffling style, and by looking at your own past accuracy in certain situations; you’ll be able to determine your expectation with a great degree of certainty.

IMHO the best way keeping records is to write down all the key cards and
aces you see during the game and the one you bet.

Because mosttimes they are coming out at the running table.
You could write them down when the dealer shuffles near the table, I do as if I write down the numbers of a nearby roulette table.

For example 2 /4 , 3 /1 , 4 /2

2 = the second keycard was the second card after the first key, and 4 = the ace was the 4th card after the second key.
With theese records I make my statistics.

EH.

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