Zen and the Art of Card Counting

  • Coyote

    Zen and the Art of Card Counting

    Well, I guess this will serve as my Chautauqua!

    I am learning the Zen count with full deck resolution. For the moment it is not too little of a challenge! I am using CV Blackjack; the drills. It is tough going! I find the full table drills to be the hardest at the moment! The one to three card flashcard drills are a little easier and I am really trying to build my speed on those drills.

    It is difficult to devote the time needed to learn this count at the moment as many are demanding my time. I am however trying to set aside 45 minutes to an hour per day to train.

    I am quite humbled at the moment. Hats off to those of you using this count or any level 2 effectively! I can see it is going to take me some time to get there.

    Till next time,
    Best of flux to you all!

    Coyote

  • shark

     

    Good luck Coyote, you’ll notice a worthwhile boost upgrading your count (I believe in the range of 10-15% depending on game type). Just make sure you get good enough with it so its second nature, and you can expend a lot of focus on heat awareness/management during your play.

  • AR Nick

     

    But a worthy sacrifice it is. For what it’s worth, the migration between level 1 and level 2 is the only difficult part. Once you get the hang of it, it’ll feel no different to what you were used to. These days, I have a harder time counting with Hilo than I do with Zen.

  • Friendo

    Table Action Plus Counting – You’re Closer than You Think

    The hard part is not the counting, but counting, TC conversion, & index plays while adding up hands and making conversation.

    If you have counted before, you already know how to run all these processes at once. Changing the count is a matter of swapping out one of these things for a different set of weights for the card values.

    I doubt it will take long. I practiced with Mentor until it was automatic before I ever hit the tables, and I had a rough first few hours, and then a semi-rough next couple dozen hours, and finally a slightly rough few dozen hours after that.

    Now it’s easy. The hard part was not learning the count.

  • zengrifter

     

    Quote: Coyote said:
    I am learning the Zen count with full deck resolution. For the moment it is not too little of a challenge! I am using CV Blackjack; the drills.

    I think you mean to say that you are learniong ZEN ’83 count-per-deck? Your resolution, though would be a function of deck pene location, yes? I use 1DTC but I resolve as low as 1/2D or even lower depending on where I am at in the pack.

    If you are not fully committed to your TC modifier and new indices yet, I strongly recommend that you customize your new ZEN to a 2DTC… or go with Renzey’s Mentor. Anternately, if you have any doubt about your TC ability and/or pretty much play the same #decks, I recommend you strongly consider UBZ. zg

  • Coyote

     

    Quote: zengrifter said:
    I think you mean to say that you are learniong ZEN ’83 count-per-deck? Your resolution, though would be a function of deck pene location, yes? I use 1DTC but I resolve as low as 1/2D or even lower depending on where I am at in the pack.

    If you are not fully committed to your TC modifier and new indices yet, I strongly recommend that you customize your new ZEN to a 2DTC… or go with Renzey’s Mentor. Anternately, if you have any doubt about your TC ability and/or pretty much play the same #decks, I recommend you strongly consider UBZ. zg

    Yep ZG you’re right. Zen count-per-deck. I am making the time to practice so I do not want to go from on qusi-unbalanced system to another unbalanced system. I want to be able to walk up to any table and use a great method and not have to adjust my runing count and indices.

  • zengrifter

     

    Quote: Coyote said:
    Yep ZG you’re right. Zen count-per-deck. I am making the time to practice so I do not want to go from on qusi-unbalanced system to another unbalanced system. I want to be able to walk up to any table and use a great method and not have to adjust my runing count and indices.

    Renzey’s 2DTC (ala Mentor) applied to ZEN is ideal for you.
    — Or Open Source UBZ w/ composite indices, only requires adjustment of IRC and KC (or mentally doubling indices)

  • NAP

     

    Quote: zengrifter said:
    If you are not fully committed to your TC modifier and new indices yet, I strongly recommend that you customize your new ZEN to a 2DTC.

    zg, is the point of this to help reduce errors when calculating the TC?

  • zengrifter

     

    Quote: NAP said:
    zg, is the point of this to help reduce errors when calculating the TC?

    No. The error rate would be no different, but the 2DTC is more accurate for betting than the more common 1/2DTC and 1DTC.

  • zengrifter

     

    Quote: zengrifter said:
    No. The error rate would be no different, but the 2DTC is more accurate for betting than the more common 1/2DTC and 1DTC.

    And possibly more comfortable to use.

  • NAP

     

    Quote: zengrifter said:
    No. The error rate would be no different, but the 2DTC is more accurate for betting than the more common 1/2DTC and 1DTC.

    While I don’t doubt the truthfulness of your statement, this seems counter-intuitive to me. Can you explain what makes it more accurate?

  • BJinNJ

    It’s ‘splained in…

    Fred’s book on pg. 200

    You can use 1 deck and cut the indices in half.

    This was OK’d to me by Fred.

    BJinNJ

  • zengrifter

     

    Quote: NAP said:
    While I don’t doubt the truthfulness of your statement, this seems counter-intuitive to me. Can you explain what makes it more accurate?

    Yes Bluebook explains the improvement, but also sims done by QFIT, as well, I think. It is counter-intuitive that Snyder’s 1/4DTC would be LESS accurate than Renzey’s 2DTC, but once you grasp it you will see that the increase in per-decks-increment normalization also increases the adjustment GRANULARITY*. zg

    *More is more. Bigger is better.

  • Friendo

     

    Quote: zengrifter said:
    It is counter-intuitive that Snyder’s 1/4DTC would be LESS accurate than Renzey’s 2DTC, but once you grasp it you will see that the increase in per-decks-increment normalization also increases the adjustment GRANULARITY*. zg

    Yep.

    On good stretches, the Mentor TC will spend a great deal of time between +5 and +30, and I adjust my bet ramp according to the rules: the same bet which I would make at +9 with S17 NSR will wait until +11 with H17 NSR. Playing indices are similarly precise.

    You have larger numbers to work with, because the number of half-decks remaining scales to half the number of decks remaining, so the denominator is smaller during TC conversion.

    One of the things which prevents me from moving to Halves, which I can also count, is the crudeness of the bet ramps and indices: you have basically -1 through +6 to work with, instead of -5 through +30 I work with using Mentor.

    It makes little difference in the long run, since “all decisions are approximations,” per Wong, but if you run bet ramps on CVCX for Halves (or High-Low) and Mentor, you’ll see what I mean about the relative crudeness of 1DTC conversion.

  • NAP

     

    Thanks for the response guys. That actually makes sense now.

    Congratulations, you’ve convinced me to look into switching to a 2DTC conversion.

  • Coyote

     

    So, would you guys say there is a difference in the ease of use between Zen and Mentor? Seems to me that if I’m going to go with 2DTC I might as well go with Mentor.

    Another question, how acceptable is Mentor for team play?

  • zengrifter

     

    Quote: Coyote said:
    So, would you guys say there is a difference in the ease of use between Zen and Mentor? Seems to me that if I’m going to go with 2DTC I might as well go with Mentor.

    Another question, how acceptable is Mentor for team play?

    Mentor is FINE but if you already got the ZEN count down, ZEN w/ 2DTC would be a solid hybrid. zg

  • Friendo

     

    Quote: Coyote said:
    So, would you guys say there is a difference in the ease of use between Zen and Mentor? Seems to me that if I’m going to go with 2DTC I might as well go with Mentor.

    They’re nearly identical in difficulty, from my experience.

    In favor of Zen: you can ignore all 9s.

    In favor of Mentor: 3 has weight 2 and 9 has weight -1, which means that more 2-card hands cancel – or at least they do in my head – because you have the same number of +2 cards as -2 cards in the deck, as well as an equal weight of -1 and + 1 cards.

    Whenever I play with another count and come back to Mentor, I see cancellations all over the place.

    Halves or Zen tags with a 2DTC conversion would be an awesome system.

  • Coyote

     

    I have the Zen tags down and I’ve been running through drills in CVBJ. The two and three card running count drills. My speed was great! Then…I went to the table simulation and I was amazed at how great things started out. For the first few hands I was doing well, then some hands were delt with a bunch of low cards and I lost the count and the game seemed to speed up on me!

    It shook my confidence in my ability a bit. Much more practice is needed. As I write this and think about it, I am hopeful I will be able to use this method.

    Regards,
    Coyote

  • Coyote

     

    For the last two months there has been a huge demand on my time! My practice of the Zen count has been placed on hold and I had to fall back to TKO.

    The good news is I’m still making money!

    When time permits, I will pick up the challenge of Zen once more.

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