# I am due for luck

• Dopple

I am due for luck

I knew that would get some attention.

Although it is unprediictable is you have been in a negative variance it is true you should expect at some time to have a positive variance so this title does have an element of truth I would think.

The main idea I have causing me thought is that is all periods to which a standard deviation can defined are independent of each other so if I play 100 hours and come out at 1sd below my EV why would I not then again have the same likelyhood of once again being 1sd below my EV. The cards dont remember that I had a bad variance so why am I due a good variance.

I know this is somewhat childish thinking but it is just bugging me.

Flame if you must, I suppose I deserve it.

• Jack_Black

warming up the flame thrower. LOL.

anyway, 100 hours is not enough. there is a probability that you will be ahead, but you might still be down after 100 hours. Remember, if you’re only counting, you have at best 2% edge over the house. think like the house, they never stress when someone wins big at a slot machine with a 98% payout. they know that over time, they will be keeping 2% of what comes in.

• FLASH1296

Apparently you do not have a working definition off “long run”

• ExhibitCAA

“The main idea I have causing me thought is that is all periods to which a standard deviation can defined are independent of each other so if I play 100 hours and come out at 1sd below my EV why would I not then again have the same likelyhood of once again being 1sd below my EV.”

You DO have exactly the same likelihood of once again being 1sd below your EV.

“The cards dont remember that I had a bad variance so why am I due a good variance.”

You are NOT “due” a good variance.

Let’s say you’re betting on Heads in a coin-flip game. Say you flip 100 times and get 45 Heads. With H=45 and N=100, we have H/N=0.45. In the next 100 flips, your chance of bad luck (i.e., being 5 Heads short of the expected number) is the same as it was before. You are not “supposed” to get 55 Heads in the next 100. It does NOT balance out in that way. But look what happens if you get the expected number of Heads (50) out of the next 100 flips. Your totals now become 95/200 = 0.475. You have gotten closer to the expected fraction, with only “normal” luck, NOT with “good variance.”

Notice that the fraction is “correcting itself” through the DENOMINATOR, not the numerator. As N grows, any surplus or deficit of Heads gets diluted, so that your fraction H/N will get closer to 0.5 even if you never have any “good variance.” You just have to not have CONSISTENT “bad variance,” and you won’t, provided you aren’t cursed.

• Jack_Black

Wow, my head kinda swam around a sec on that explanation, thanks CAA. But yes, do you expect getting exactly 50 heads and 50 tails when you flip a coin 100 times? Let’s say you flip it 1,000,000 times. The theory of “law of large numbers” shows that your expectation of heads showing up 50% of the time will manifest itself the more trials you have. So if your EV is 2% in your favor, and you have a 100 sided dice(I’ve seen one, RPG dorks use them) and you get paid even money if you hit 1-52, but lose on 53-100, do you expect to be ahead after 100 rolls? 200? 400?

I think you also are looking at SD as something that is “due” for you. You’re EV is due for you, variance is just what comes along with the territory. So after a billion hands, your EV will be given to you. During your time playing a billion hands, you will see negative variance and positive variance.

variance is a mathematical term for luck.

• Canceler

So as not to let you down…

Take this, Dopple:

Actually, you pretty much got everything right. You need to post something a lot dumber than that to draw serious flaming.

• Martin Gayle
Quote: Dopple said:
I knew that would get some attention.

Although it is unprediictable is you have been in a negative variance it is true you should expect at some time to have a positive variance so this title does have an element of truth I would think.

The main idea I have causing me thought is that is all periods to which a standard deviation can defined are independent of each other so if I play 100 hours and come out at 1sd below my EV why would I not then again have the same likelyhood of once again being 1sd below my EV. The cards dont remember that I had a bad variance so why am I due a good variance.

I know this is somewhat childish thinking but it is just bugging me.

Flame if you must, I suppose I deserve it.

Think of it in terms of a baseball player. If a player is a career .300 hitter and he gets off to a terrible start in the season. After a month in he is hitting say .150. For the other 5 months of the season do you expect him to hit better than .300 to make up for the bad start? No. Do you expect him to continue to hit .150? No. You expect him to hit .300 from then on.

Similarly if he gets off to a blazing start and is hitting .410 a month in you cannot expect him to maintain that.

It would be rare to measure any block of the season and find him hitting .300 but in the long run he will maintain a .300 average.

I think alot of would-be AP’s get hurt by getting out of the gates in a slump. I know when I went beyond being a hobbyplayer I was “lucky” enough not to get crushed by neg variance and infact had a great bout of pos variance.

• ExhibitCAA

Jack_Black: “But yes, do you expect getting exactly 50 heads and 50 tails when you flip a coin 100 times?”

No, I expect the number of heads to follow a binomial distribution as explained on p. 598 of CAA. I used the exact number 50 out of 100 as an illustration to show that the H/N fraction can converge to 0.5 even without getting a surplus of Heads following a deficit of Heads in the first 100 flips. Even with an even number of Heads in the next 100 flips, the fraction goes from 0.45 to 0.475.

Jack_Black: “I think you also are looking at SD as something that is “due” for you.”

I have no idea what you mean here.

Jack_Black: “[in a] billion hands, you will see negative variance and positive variance.”

Yes, but given that you have just witnessed negative variance, you are not more likely to now have positive variance. You don’t need the system to “compensate” you for the bad variance. Henceforth you could get “balanced variance,” but you will still see the H/N fraction approach 0.5, because the negative variance you observed is basically just a one-time shock that gets drowned out as N goes to infinity.

The baseball analogy is a good one. If a typically 0.300 hitter goes 0 for 4 in his first game, it doesn’t mean he will now go 4 for 8 in his next eight at-bats. If he bats 0.300 from now on, then by the end of the season, he will be close to 0.300 overall, because the one bad game has been diluted.

If you experience repeated “bad variance,” then it means you are not playing with the edge you think you have.

• Jack_Black
Quote: ExhibitCAA said:
Jack_Black: “But yes, do you expect getting exactly 50 heads and 50 tails when you flip a coin 100 times?”

No, I expect the number of heads to follow a binomial distribution as explained on p. 598 of CAA. I used the exact number 50 out of 100 as an illustration to show that the H/N fraction can converge to 0.5 even without getting a surplus of Heads following a deficit of Heads in the first 100 flips. Even with an even number of Heads in the next 100 flips, the fraction goes from 0.45 to 0.475.

I was actually talking to Dopple, reiterating what you said in more of layman’s terms for me and Dopple, using the most elementary example found in any intro to prob. and stats textbook.

Quote: ExhibitCAA said:
Jack_Black: “I think you also are looking at SD as something that is “due” for you.”

I have no idea what you mean here.

Early on for me, and I would think most beginners, we assume that counting cards will give us positive variance. We confuse EV and +SD as the same thing. It sounded as though Dopple was having the same problem, and I wanted to clarify that AP guarantees +EV, not +SD.

Quote: ExhibitCAA said:
Yes, but given that you have just witnessed negative variance, you are not more likely to now have positive variance. You don’t need the system to “compensate” you for the bad variance. Henceforth you could get “balanced variance,” but you will still see the H/N fraction approach 0.5, because the negative variance you observed is basically just a one-time shock that gets drowned out as N goes to infinity.

Thanks for another headspin, but I already knew that, albeit in more lame man’s terms.

• Dopple

Thanks again for all the great feedback. I have alot of fun here and learn from even the most simple questions.

I think it is hard to not have that mindset after a losing streak that your good days will be coming soon.

I think I read something about the government coming out with some new bailout package for AP players suffering prolonged negative variances.

• sagefr0g
Quote: Dopple said:

I think it is hard to not have that mindset after a losing streak that your good days will be coming soon.
..

yeah, i have that tendency of thinking ( i think it’s called the gambler fallacy) and i’m even worse after a winning streak, fearing a losing streak to follow, lol.

what ever i guess there isn’t anything to say good days won’t come after a crap losing streak.

• StandardDeviant
Quote: Jack_Black said:
I think you also are looking at SD as something that is “due” for you. You’re EV is due for you, variance is just what comes along with the territory. So after a billion hands, your EV will be given to you. During your time playing a billion hands, you will see negative variance and positive variance.

This is not how it works. We’ve been through this before. Expected value does not mean guaranteed value. If you want that, buy life insurance.

• Cardcounter

If you are the favorite you are do for luck if you are the unerdog you are not do for luck.

• Jack_Black
Quote: StandardDeviant said:
This is not how it works. We’ve been through this before. Expected value does not mean guaranteed value. If you want that, buy life insurance.

You must have me confused with another handsome, rugged, brilliant AP. we have not been through this before. Would you care to elaborate on how EV is not guaranteed? and if you’re referring to not playing optimally, incorrectly, etc, or playing with a high ROR, then I already knew that. Or if you mean that if EV is a specific dollar value, you will not literally see that dollar value.

Quote: ExhibitCAA said:
If you experience repeated “bad variance,” then it means you are not playing with the edge you think you have.

I agree to a point, but what about for those on this forum that constantly post about their 6 month losing streak, and that it is natural in this game? Those posters being highly regarded players?

• ExhibitCAA

Anyone who has a 6-month losing streak would not be a “highly regarded” player in my book. A 6-month losing streak indicates a very weak overall game, possibly negative.

I would never do what I do if 6-month losing streaks were possible. It is rare to have a “hole” last more than a week. It is rare to have a losing trip (where a trip typically lasts 3-7 days). I should probably say, “extremely rare.” Whenever I do have an irritating loss (basically any loss), I usually run more numbers to try to boost my edge for next time, but we’re getting pretty far off topic now.

• johndoe

CAA, you’re right, but you also aren’t “just counting” (or sometimes counting at all). For pure counters, these kinds of losses are inevitable from time to time (though six months is pushing it!)

I think it’s important to distinguish this, otherwise people will have unrealistic expectations about card counting.

• Jack_Black
Quote: ExhibitCAA said:
Anyone who has a 6-month losing streak would not be a “highly regarded” player in my book.

John Doe, just what I was going to say. I would think that it would still be typical of someone playing with a regular card counter’s edge, not a CAA edge.

• iCountNTrack
Quote: Jack_Black said:
John Doe, just what I was going to say. I would think that it would still be typical of someone playing with a regular card counter’s edge, not a CAA edge.

You have to look at the strength of your counting game. If card counting is your sole AP technique, any game (house rules, penetration, playing strategy, betting strategy) with an N0 (accumulated expectations is equal to accumulated 1 standard deviation) that is greater than 12000 hands is really a waste of time.

But back to the 6 months losing streak, if you are racking up 2000 hands a week , 6 months is 26 weeks, 26 * 2000 = 52000 hands, which is greater than the number of hands needed to accumulate enough expectation to overcome 2 standard deviations (48000 hands or N1)

• Kasi
Quote: Dopple said:
.. is that is all periods to which a standard deviation can defined are independent of each other so if I play 100 hours and come out at 1sd below my EV why would I not then again have the same likelyhood of once again being 1sd below my EV. …

Exactly. You got it. Every 100 hr period of play will have the same liklihood that range of results will fall within 1sd above or below EV. Such lilihood being 68%ish.

Like CAA says lol.

It’s like take Jack Blacks 1BB hands. That’s 100,000 separate 100 hr periods. (If it’s not say that it is lol.) 68% (68000 of the 100000 100 hr sessions) of the time results will be within 1sd of SD. Maybe not exactly,of course. But probably pretty close.

• Kasi
Quote: Cardcounter said:
If you are the favorite you are do for luck if you are the unerdog you are not do for luck.

Whether you are the favorite or not, a +EV guy or a -EV guy, each guy will have his results be within 1 sd of expected after the same period of time

It’s just that the +EV guy, over time, when experiencing 1sd of bad luck might still be ahead of where he started. And the -EV guy might not even be ahead from where he started with 1 sd of good luck.

But their luck has been equal – both are within 1 sd of expected.

• Kasi
Quote: Jack_Black said:
..but what about for those on this forum that constantly post about their 6 month losing streak, and that it is natural in this game?

Ever notice how absolutely none of them ever say “I’m 3sd’s down over the last 6 months” (even better a specific number of (guessed) hands played) or somesuch? That would be a player I highly regard.

Seemingly treating almost any amount of losses over almost any period of time as “natural”. Often, in apparent disbelief of how “bad” their “luck” has been.

A player who would actually know, had a good guess,of how likely his 6 month losing streak was wouldn’t likely even bother mentioning it in the first place if was less than 3 sd’s.

• Jack_Black

ok well, 6 months was a random number I threw out there. After re reading some of the posts on here about people’s losing streaks, it has run the gamut, but I could have sworn I read somewhere that you must be mentally prepared to live through a losing session, and still play accurately because as long as you are playing accurately, your losing sessions will only be temporary. But ypou must know that losing sessions can last days weeks and even months. Months is where I should have stopped at. But then there was was the post about black swans, and being that you could do your best to reduce your risk, even down to 1%. 1% is still not 0% and thus there have been those occasional unlucky good players that have hit that 1% losing chance.

http://bj21.com/bj_reference/pages/playingwithborrowedmoney.shtml

Here was one of those horror stories. Icountntrack, I will keep that in mind that shitty games can contribute to long losing streaks. But good thing I analyzed my games to note an extremely low N0, so I SHOULD be safe.

• StandardDeviant
Quote: Jack_Black said:
Would you care to elaborate on how EV is not guaranteed?

You can demonstrate this quite easily. Take a quarter. Label 1 side “1” and the other side “-1”. What is the expected value of any number of coin tosses? Zero , right? So, if expected value was “guaranteed,” then we would always realize the expected value after any number of coin tosses.

Now, toss the coin 1 time. Did it come up zero? Why not? I thought this was a guarantee!

Oh the law of large numbers comes into play? Toss the coin 999,999 times, or 999,999,999 times. I’ll wait. Did you get zero? I thought this was a guarantee!!

Now assume you toss that coin another 999,999,999 times and have a running count of -1. You have one more toss to go and you have a 50% chance of getting 1 which would give you an actual value of 0. I thought EV was a guarantee in the long run, not a 50:50 proposition?

EV is the value of the mean of a probability distribution. It is not a guarantee. All else held equal, in the long run, half of all players will do better than EV and half will do worse.

• StandardDeviant
Quote: ExhibitCAA said:
Anyone who has a 6-month losing streak would not be a “highly regarded” player in my book. A 6-month losing streak indicates a very weak overall game, possibly negative.

The player could just be unlucky. Given enough players, someone has to occupy the far left side of the standard distribution of returns from playing BJ.

But I agree with you that the unlucky player shouldn’t be highly regarded. After all, if she’s constantly losing, she won’t have extra money to go shopping. And if she can’t go shopping … well, what fun is that?

• iCountNTrack
Quote: StandardDeviant said:
The player could just be unlucky. Given enough players, someone has to occupy the far left side of the standard distribution of returns from playing BJ.

I am sorry StandardDeviant but i cannot agree with your explanation, you are talking about the ev for one hand, that is not what players aspire for, they aspire for accumulated expectation and to the point where no matter how unlucky they are they will still be in a positive regime. I have attached a table with 4 columns for a strong counting game (N0=~5000 hands). The titles of each column are pretty indicative. You can see that for instance after 100000 hands (which could be achieved in 6 months) 4 times the accumulated SD is ±3863 which not enough to overcome the accumulated expectation (4537), meaning that there is a 99.994% chance you will be up after six months.

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