wonging is socially awkward

  • Midwestern

    wonging is socially awkward

    so i read the “man this counting stuff is hard thread” this week. excellent thread Easyrhino, love all the detail you put into it.

    i went to my local store last night with the intention of wonging-in more. its just a tactic i haven’t widely used yet because i’ve been hesitant to get ‘called out’ for doing it.

    i tried backcounting one or two shoes and, whaddaya know, the dealer is looking right at me ” hey we have spots open right here! no need to wait”
    and i begrudingly sit down and start playing table min, continuing the count.

    i just can’t bring myself to be uber-socially awkward and wong at my small casino, even though the bad rules and average 75% pen basically FORCE me to wong to give the game a chance to be at all profitable.

    my casino has 4 pits, about 10 tables in each, about 20 bj tables total. last night 2 of those pits were closed and so there were maybe 8 BJ tables of varying minimum.

    advice on wonging or how to do it gracefully? i’m pretty sure my home casino, due to poor rules and average pen, will not be my local cash cow, but i really would like to use it as a place for me to hone my skills before i take my blackjack game to other faraway places.

  • Southpaw

     

    I am not a back-counter, nor do I claim to be, but when I was first learning the ropes (not too long ago), I used to go to a locale to practice backcouting, so as to get used to how the cards were played out in an actual game (I didn’t actually play; their game was ****).

    In terms of letting the social awkwardness get to you, don’t let it get to you. Try to put on the mindset that you’re better than everyone in the casino right now, so what ever they think about you is irrelevant. I never let the awkwardness of AP get to me under the pretext that I wouldn’t want to associate with any of the casino employees or degenerate scumbags playing there to begin with.

    In terms of how you actually want to go about doing it, the first thing to be mentioned is that you probably won’t be able to go unnoticed if you stand there backcounting the first 4 decks of the shoe, no matter how good your act is. After the first few rounds of the shoe you should probably decide if you either want to commit to this shoe or if want to hunt out a fresh shuffle. Try not to stand too close to the table. Good eyes is key here, and it can be really hard to differentiate between 8s, 9s and 10s (non-faces) if the casino has their lights turned up really high–Learn the pip patterns. Spend most of your time not looking at the table. If there is an adjacent table, what you can do is watch one of them 80% of the time, but actually be counting the one that you are only watching for 20% of the time; I.e., use the other table as cover for counting the one you are really interested in. It will be even better if the table you are spending most of your time pretending to watch is non-blackjack (i.e., craps, or a “carny-game”). Designing the casino layout in certain ways can do a lot to discourage backcounters.

    In terms of putting off the right demeanor, I really think hanging out in dance clubs / nightclubs a lot has helped me develop the audacity to put myself under the magnifying glass, with no forethought as to what others are going to think.

    Best of luck to you,

    Spaw

  • 21forme

     

    If you get invited to sit and aren’t ready, just say something like, “I just had a big loss and want to see how the shoe is.” Be creative! IMO, much more important than wonging in, which is usually somewhat conspicuous, is wonging out.

  • Automatic Monkey

     

    If you have the skills of an AP, you already are socially awkward, so don’t worry about it.

  • blackjackomaha

     

    Quote: 21forme said:
    If you get invited to sit and aren’t ready, just say something like, “I just had a big loss and want to see how the shoe is.” Be creative! IMO, much more important than wonging in, which is usually somewhat conspicuous, is wonging out.

    Agreed. In this case, ploppyisms are your friend.

    There are many lines you can use for both wonging in/out.

  • blackjackomaha

     

    Quote: automatic monkey said:
    if you have the skills of an ap, you already are socially awkward, so don’t worry about it.

    +1

  • Jack_Black

     

    Quote: Automatic Monkey said:
    If you have the skills of an AP, you already are socially awkward, so don’t worry about it.

    Oh yea, gambling degenerates, drunken idiots, aren’t socially awkward at all. I had a dealer tell me there was an old man who literally pooped his pants at the tables. I guess he was just too addicted to leave the table.

    I can’t remember how many degenerates have watched me from behind. I remember one degenerate specifically, I thought he was backcounting because he stood there for 5 shoes!!!!

    point is APs usually stand out in a casino because they look “all business” or nerdy or just don’t plain look like they belong there compared with the party crowd, the retired crowd or the degenerate crowd. almost all AP tactics have a built in ploppy cover ploy. how many ploppies split tens? how many plops hit 17 and get a 4? how many raise their bets wildly? how many stare at the table wondering if they should play or not? how many say “this shoe sucks!” or “this dealer sucks!” and leaves? how many say “i wanna see if this is a good shoe or not before jumping in?”

    think like a ploppy, look like a ploppy, act like a ploppy.

  • moo321

     

    If they ask if you want to play, just shake your head, mumble, and look away. Seriously, works every time.

  • Automatic Monkey

     

    Quote: Jack_Black said:
    Oh yea, gambling degenerates, drunken idiots, aren’t socially awkward at all. I had a dealer tell me there was an old man who literally pooped his pants at the tables. I guess he was just too addicted to leave the table.

    I can’t remember how many degenerates have watched me from behind. I remember one degenerate specifically, I thought he was backcounting because he stood there for 5 shoes!!!!

    point is APs usually stand out in a casino because they look “all business” or nerdy or just don’t plain look like they belong there compared with the party crowd, the retired crowd or the degenerate crowd. almost all AP tactics have a built in ploppy cover ploy. how many ploppies split tens? how many plops hit 17 and get a 4? how many raise their bets wildly? how many stare at the table wondering if they should play or not? how many say “this shoe sucks!” or “this dealer sucks!” and leaves? how many say “i wanna see if this is a good shoe or not before jumping in?”

    think like a ploppy, look like a ploppy, act like a ploppy.

    Oh I stand out. The degenerate gamblers think I’m sick and depraved, and tell me to please go get some help.

  • blackjack avenger

    Toughen Up

    Quote: Midwestern said:
    I just can’t bring myself to be uber-socially awkward and wong

    If you are saying you feel heat, that is one thing. However, civilians watch tables before playing. If you feel awkward you may not have what it takes, nothing personal. Being an AP is not for the timid, at least with large stakes. It’s only awkward because you think it is.

    If you are playing the same casino for multiple hours you need different strategies:
    wong in
    quick wong in
    wong out
    play all
    and combos of the above at different counts when a civilian would exit or enter.

    Quote:
    my casino has 4 pits, about 10 tables in each, about 20 bj tables total. last night 2 of those pits were closed and so there were maybe 8 BJ tables of varying minimum.

    20 tables is a lot!
    10 tables is a lot!

  • Midwestern

     

    Quote: blackjack avenger said:
    20 tables is a lot!
    10 tables is a lot!

    i always felt like this casino was smallish!

    fyi not all the tables are BJ.

    3 card poker, 4 card poker, ultimate texas Holdem, spanish 21, casino war

  • Dyepaintball12

     

    A lot of the time I just pretend I’m texting on my phone while I’m back-counting and nobody says anything.

  • kewljason

     

    If ya think wonging in can be awkward, how about wonging out? I play off the top of a shuffle but leave quickly on negative counts. You play two hands get pat 20’s on each beating the dealers pat 18, 19, while another player or two draws some good hands including BJ, and I am off and running because the count now sucks. What can I say? “I don’t like the way this shoe is going? I won the first two hands.

  • Midwestern

     

    KJ you wong out at a true count of -1 after 8 cards?

    wow! thats a quick wong. i usually try to give the shoe a chance before wonging out– at least 1deck or 2. especially if the table/dealer is fast

  • tedsuxs

     

    Thats funny , i do the same…when you win a hand and leave is the most akward for sure, but when dealer hits blackjack off top of shoe its perfect! execpt you lost i guess lol

  • kewljason

     

    Quote: Midwestern said:
    KJ you wong out at a true count of -1 after 8 cards?

    wow! thats a quick wong. i usually try to give the shoe a chance before wonging out– at least 1deck or 2. especially if the table/dealer is fast

    Absolutely. If the running count is -8 or -9 after 2 hands I am gone. For a 6 deck game that’s tc -1.5. If the initial house advantage for that game is say .5 %, it would mean playing the next hand at TC -1.5 is roughly a 1.25 to 1.3 house advantage. Why do I want to play extra hands at an additional house advantage of almost 1%, when I can move a few feet or to the next pit and start over playing a hand at the initial house advantage of .5 %?

    If I play just 3 or 4 of these hands each session waiting for the count to reverse, I could be playing 30-40 hands a day at an almost extra 1% house advantage. Thats 200 a week, 10,000 a year. I am going to play 10,000 hands a year at a house advantage of 1.25 or more? why? That would cost me $2500 bucks a year right there. Not to mention wasted time. I would much rather jump to a different table and start the process again. That is why I relocated to a place that has many games.

  • forwhat77

     

    Damn KJ,
    Your not my idol or anything, but this is why I love you!!
    Let me buy you a drink a pick your brain, pretty please???

  • Bojack1

     

    Quote: kewljason said:
    Absolutely. If the running count is -8 or -9 after 2 hands I am gone. For a 6 deck game that’s tc -1.5. If the initial house advantage for that game is say .5 %, it would mean playing the next hand at TC -1.5 is roughly a 1.25 to 1.3 house advantage. Why do I want to play extra hands at an additional house advantage of almost 1%, when I can move a few feet or to the next pit and start over playing a hand at the initial house advantage of .5 %?

    If I play just 3 or 4 of these hands each session waiting for the count to reverse, I could be playing 30-40 hands a day at an almost extra 1% house advantage. Thats 200 a week, 10,000 a year. I am going to play 10,000 hands a year at a house advantage of 1.25 or more? why? That would cost me $2500 bucks a year right there. Not to mention wasted time. I would much rather jump to a different table and start the process again. That is why I relocated to a place that has many games.

    Or, you could manage your games much more wisely and effeciently and learn how to maximize those negative counts. Afterall negative counts mean high cards, high cards are good, I would never run away from all those wonderful negative counts. Cmon KJ its been over 7 years now, start making those juicy counts instead of waiting for them. And especially if I relocated to a place that has many games.

  • kewljason

     

    Quote: forwhat77 said:
    Damn KJ,
    Your not my idol or anything, but this is why I love you!!
    Let me buy you a drink a pick your brain, pretty please???

    That’s funny, forwhat. It seems simple to me. Shoe games you have to get out of at least some of the negative counts. You can do this by wonging in and only playing with an advantage or by playing off the top but aggressively wonging out. To play all or many of the negative hands required a larger spread and results in extra variance and a smaller win rate.

    Single and double deck play is a little different. The count can swing so dramatically in a single hand, that you have to be a little more patient.

    Of course this is all dependent on your location. If you are playing a place that doesn’t have many tables and/or casinos near by, obviously you can’t wong as aggressively. But if you have many games available, get out of negative counts. It’s called advantage play for a reason. I want to play with an advantage as much as possible and a disadvantage as little as possible.

  • kewljason

     

    Quote: Bojack1 said:
    Or, you could manage your games much more wisely and effeciently and learn how to maximize those negative counts. Afterall negative counts mean high cards, high cards are good, I would never run away from all those wonderful negative counts. Cmon KJ its been over 7 years now, start making those juicy counts instead of waiting for them. And especially if I relocated to a place that has many games.

    Two things with that Mr Bo. I tried some elementary shuffle tracking, if ya remember, and what I got from you, was a “you’re doing yourself more harm than good”, which was probably correct, so I gave it up. I don’t remember any offer to help.

    Another concern with I have with learning something like that is it requires longer sessions at each table which I am trying to avoid for longevity sake. Sure ST is a little harder for the casino’s to pick up on because you aren’t raising with the count, but, if you are constantly winning, by whatever method, you will wear out your welcome before long. I want to play in this town for at least a few more years.

  • The Chaperone

     

    When I started out I was often back counting in card rooms (i.e. no machines) where there was only 1 BJ table open (usually one other table with 3cp or something). Try that for awkward.

  • Severity8

    lol

    Would only work once in a while but when they ask why you keep getting up from the table and leaving tell “horrible IBS man”! lol

  • forwhat77

     

    Kewl,
    Bojack brings up a good point. Shuffle tracking is a good weapon to have. Sometimes the oppurtunities bumb right into you. Especially in our neck of the woods!! Just have to be diligent about keeping an eye out for them.

    As for wonging, OP just have to develop tough skin.. So what the dealers are eyeing you!! If they say something, just tell them you are waiting for that feeling!! Be imaginative. “Not the right time”, “Let’s see if I can change this flow up”, somethings of the sort. Just wait until you start spreading from one hand to two, and back!! Your gonna love those comments…And if you find yourself backcounting a negative shoe, just move on until you see one going positive. This will usually keep you moving a bit.

  • RJT

     

    Quote: kewljason said:
    Two things with that Mr Bo. I tried some elementary shuffle tracking, if ya remember, and what I got from you, was a “you’re doing yourself more harm than good”, which was probably correct, so I gave it up. I don’t remember any offer to help.

    He was probably right, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue trying to develop your skills off table to a level where you can improve your game. Also there are certain ‘easier’ opportunities like the one you describe above where the count nose dives right at the start of the shoe that don’t require as much skill to take advantage of. They’re not strong enough replace counting by themselves as they don’t occur often enough, but they do augment your advantage.

    Quote: kewljason said:
    Another concern with I have with learning something like that is it requires longer sessions at each table which I am trying to avoid for longevity sake. Sure ST is a little harder for the casino’s to pick up on because you aren’t raising with the count, but, if you are constantly winning, by whatever method, you will wear out your welcome before long. I want to play in this town for at least a few more years.

    In my mind longevity would be increased substantially by tracking. The very act of placing large bets that don’t corrolate with the count is going to throw the hound off the sent rather than shorten your lifespan and the variances is still high enough that you’ll have many losing sessions. Yes if the casino has some fixed win ceiling (if you’re playing rated) you’re going to reach that faster unless you’re very good at masking your wins, but would you rather win the hypothetical amount in fewers sessions or invest more time winning the same amount?

    RJT.

  • Coyote

     

    I always get the feeling that the dealers are eyeballing everyone who walks around the tables out of boredom. Like they are looking for some more interresting than the ploppies at their table. Plus, they make more money if people are playing and tipping right? I’m going to try real hard not to get parinoid as develope my skills.

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