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Card counters home practice


Guest CarlosM

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Guest CarlosM

I am very curious to know how non NBJ/WCB players, Basic Strategy and card counters, you guys practice at home. How do you guys shuffle? Do you shuffle? I know how we practice at home. But, I have always been very curious to know if we are the only ones who practice at home the way we do. How I /we practice at home is the same as being in the casino and playing the real game/conditions. I wonder if any other non NBJ players watched a casino wash, shuffle, plugging and said, "Hey! When I get home, I will do excactly what they just did. Ellis, do you know if the casinos ever say to themselves or have maybee thought to them selves, people, anyone, can watch how we shuffle, riffle, plug, wash and copy that at home and produce the same cards we do and practice and find how to beat it?

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If home practice doesn't precisely duplicate the casino conditions you will face, it actually may well do you more harm than good. Because of the card pick up procedures used in all casinos and several other factors, the condition of the cards continuously changes with play. They present a moving target - an ever changing complexion. This change factor it carefully designed in the casino card presentation methods.

Have you ever noticed that whatever your brand of basic strategy, it may work very well at a given table in the morning, then become less effective at the same table in the afternoon, and then stop working altogether at the same table at night. You are seeing the effectiveness of the casinos strategy.

Have you ever noticed that the game is much tougher on Saturday night than it was on weekdays. It is not your imagination! The cards got more play on Saturday. The more play they get the more they clump. The more they clump, the less the dealer breaks. The less the dealer breaks the less basic strategy works.

If you count dealer breaks on a weekday morning, you are very likely to find the dealer breaking at her random card norm of 28%. A little more than one dealer break every 4 hands. You usually see this from table to table. That is what Basic Strategy is designed for, a 28% dealer break rate. Every one of the 500 Basic Strategy plays relies on this 28% dealer break rate.

But, if you count dealer breaks on Sat night you will soon see that the dealer is breaking far less. Instead of one out of four, she may well be breaking only one out of ten. If you watch long enough, you'll see a shoe where the dealer never breaks. Yet all the players are still playing Basic Strategy. They are betting the dealer will break 28%. He won't. Not even close. They lose.

Let's look at another critical factor. Dealer first card tens. There are 13 different cards. 4 of them are tens. Therefore the dealer SHOULD average 4 first card tens every 13 hands. And she will on a weekday morning. But count dealer first card tens on Sat. night. In 6 deck he will average about 6. And in 8 deck he will average about 8 every 13 hands. We've all had that horible experience where it seems every time we look up we are battling yet another dealer ten. That's not you imagination either. The more the cards are played, the more first card tens the dealer gets. The more first card tens the dealer gets the more you hit. The more you hit the more you break.

Are they cheating? Absolutely not. The dealers don't cause this phenomenon. Basic Strategy, itself, causes it. YOU cause it. This is why I continuously tell players that basic strategy is eventually self defeating. PERFECT basic strategy is PERFECTLY self defeating. Eventually you lose perfectly.

Please do not take my word for this. Both are very simple things to go out and see for yourself. Once you do, you will never play your cards the same again. Or you will but now you will know exactly why you lose.

But all the books say..... Forget the books! Those guys don't play! I do! And so do you! We must play actual real world conditions. We aren't playing book conditions or what book writers wish was happening. We are playing what IS happening. That is what NBJ is all about.

We teach you how to duplicate real world conditions at your kitchen table. This conditions your play to REAL Black Jack. When you practice against real conditions your practice teaches you how to beat real conditions. When you practice against ideal book conditions, your practice will teach you how to lose. DO NOT take my word for this. Go out and see for yourself. Only then can I begin teaching you how to beat what you just saw for yourself. There are REAL winners and there is wishful thinking. Which do you want for yourself?

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Carlos,

There is really not way to practice actually play at home, but there are whats called practice drills.

The first one is you need to take a single deck of cards, and learn how to count it down in less than 15 seconds. Start your count at zero, then flip the cards over one at a time until you get to the last card, then predict what card group it is. (I can actually predict almost the exact card, and I can do what's called a 4 level advanced point count. I can tell you if it's an ace, a five, a nine, an eight, a two or a seven, a ten, or a three four or six).

This drill will teach you speed so you can count to the fastest dealer around. Most basic counts are either +1 for low cards, zero for 7, 8 & 9, and -1 for tens. I use the Revere APC 17, where my aces are -4, 8's are zero, 9's are -1, 10's are -3, 5's are +4, 3's 4's & 6's are +3, and 2's & 7's are +2. As you can see it is harder to learn, but if you ask me I wouldn't suggest anyone learn this advanced count, because it really doens't give you a higher advantage than a simple plus minus.

Another drill is to actualy memorize your hit/stand chart. For instance, with my count, if I have 12 and the dealer has a 2, I would stand on a count of +6 or more, and hit anything below it. 12 vs 3, it's +3. Some hands are always hit or always stand, but you need to memorize the complete hit/stand chard. Now of course this is the True count, which is another drill.

The true count eye test is when you go and buy around 25 decks of cards, then you stack them up in piles starting with a half deck, then one deck, then one and a half decks, then two decks, all the way up to 6 decks. Like them all up from left to right, and then on a piece of paper under it, write down how many half decks are in that pile, along with the divider to give you the true count. When you convert your running count to the true count, it is based on the number of half decks remaining in the shoe. You need to be able to eyeball the discard rack and estimate to the half deck how many decks are dealt out. This of course is only for shoe games.

Another drill is you can actually deal a shoe out to several players, and play each hand like you would play them in the casino. But I don't recommend using chips or keeping track of winnings. Of course your going to win at home but in the casino it is never as good. There's really no need to simulate shuffles, because you don't need to learn how to shuffle only how to play the hands the right way.

Obviously counting works better in single or double decks, but it is still viable in the 8deck shoe game. What you can even do is back count. That means you find a dealer who cuts off a smaller amt. of cards, and stand up behind the table and count until you get almost to the end of the shoe. If the count is high, you sit down and play. If you get to about two thirds a shoe and it's minus, walk to another new shuffle or come back. But again, you can still lose even if the count it high. I like to bet high when the count is coming down. I noticed in the shoe games, the count goes up, but after a few rounds it still goes up, even though your betting your high bets more lows are coming out and you lose. When the count is high and on it's way down, that's when the ten's and aces are coming out.

If your in vegas, and playing a single or double deck game, be prepared to be followed and watched, especially if your winning. When you go to another pit and a supervisor suddenly comes along to that pit, he's probably counting along with you getting ready to confirm your counting then give you the boot. This is the difference between BJ and Bac, counting is considered steeling in Las Vegas so be careful!!!!!

Playbig2000

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Hi playbig, Ellis here. You know me. I admire your ability to count down a deck in 15 seconds and I know first hand the practice that it takes. I, myself can do 13 seconds and I've never met anyone faster. I also admire your tip about backcounting.

Personally I still use the 13 second count as a personal condition check before play and also as a neat parlor trick but I no longer use it in the shoe game. Both Kenny Uston and I gave it more than a fair chance in AC 8 deck. We both lost our shirt. Kenny quit playing altogether and I went back to NBJ.

Yes, back counting does work. But NBJ first base no rent works a whole lot better when playing over someone's shoulder as many counters have found out.

Counting teaches you some good things but it also teaches you a host of bad things like:

It doesn't matter where you play

It doesn't matter when you play

It doesn't matter where you sit

The stakes don't matter

How the other players play doesn't matter.

It doesn't matter whether you win or lose as long as you make the "correct" play.

Also, counters tend to lose the half of all shoes where the highs come right out at the top of the shoe. NBJ players love those shoes.

I could go on for pages.

All of these things matter a great deal to great players

I would like to invite you, in your case, free of charge, to come join us at NBJ. You can learn a whole lot but you can also teach a whole lot.

For instance, the player you are replying to above happens to be up $175,000 for the year. How many counters can do that?

This tiny sampling of questions and answers exerpted from our private NBJ forum might give you a tiny clue as to what we teach:

----------------------------------------------------------------------

> is there anything you have learned or noticed that

> only you learned or noticed from real play or home

> practice that you never mentioned because maybee you

> only noticed it one time?

Well one thing I've mentioned before but not for a long time is dealer body language. This works best in casinos that don't rotate their dealers frequently and the more experience the dealer has the better this works. I picked up on it when I was playing full time.

I always attempt and usually succeed in getting the dealer on my side. The experienced dealer gets very used to the cards at her table. She gets a great feel for what's happening with her cards. When she agrees with your play you know it, but when she doesn't, you also know it. On close calls, I have often changed my play based on dealer body language. She was right a lot more often than she was wrong.

For whatever reason this seems to occur more frequently with female dealers but there is the occasional male... I also remember many occasions where this worked in reverse. Some dealers make better dealers than players. And some dealers make better players than dealers. Hey, we are there to win! Every little bit helps!

> tell me if this is good or

> is there a better way. When I have no read on the hole

> card and the last 5 cards before my decision has 3

> tens in those last 5 and I am stiff, I'll stand.

So would I based on the general rule that when tens are running, favor standing and when lows are running favor hitting.

> If

> the dealer has a low up and I read a low in the hole,

> so she is strong or potentially, and I am stiff and

> the last 5 cards before my decision has 3 tens, then I

> will stand. I would only hit a stiff when the last 5

> cards has 3 tens when I read the dealer strong with 2

> highs and not 2 lows. So, 3 tens in last 5, I stand if

> she is strong with 2 lows. I hit if she is strong with

> 2 highs. I stand in last 5 cards with 3 tens when hole

> is unknown wether a low or a high up. What do you

> think?

Hmmm that's a tough call even for me. You are talking about conflicting evidence. Here, you're best off to go by the game you are in. You always get a feel for the cards in the game you are in. That educates your gut. Then go by your gut feel in that game. The reason its tough for me is because you have taken your question out of context when you isolate it from a specific game. The great player thinks with his gut in conflicting evidence situations. The lessons from the game you are in takes presidence over everything.

> Another one is when I am stiff and the dealer has a

> high up card and I read a low in the hole, I read her

> weak, and lows ran in and out of the hole card, then

> before my hit decision one high or a ten falls, I

> should stand but, I still hit. in this situation, I

> only stand when after all those lows 2 high cards or 2

> tens fall, then I will stand and anticipate a dealer

> break.

Right, that is why we monitor lone tens in a shoe or at a table. If lone tens are common at the table then a single ten would not prompt us to hit. However, particularly in 8 deck we can get games with "clean" clumps when lone tens are rare or non existent. Then we react to a single ten as the beginning of a high clump.

See, this is why I tell NBJ players not to count. Counting distracts you from gleaning the really important information out of a table. What's happening at your table is far more important and far more useful than the count.

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Ellis,

I hate to tell you but I think I can count down a deck faster than you, and also predict more exact cards on the last card. I assume you used a one level count, my count is a four level, so it is equivalent to a single level at about 12 seconds. And talk about a parlor trick, I can predict the last card, not just say it's high, a 7 8 or 9, or a low card. I love it when my count ends at -4, so I can say "it's a five". I hate it sometimes when they look at the card and say "a five of what?" But other people are usually amazed. Kenny went on 60minutes and couldn't do what I can do. He admited to me my count had a higher advantage than his. When they went to 8 decks, everyone lost. 6 decks was tough enough, but those two extra decks did something to the game.

I agree with you about what you say regarding counters can play whenever and wherever. I can remember when I was in a drawdown Kenny telling me I need to play more. I did hang in there and it eventually came back, even straight back counting playing only plus shoes I would still have a drawdown, but what separated me from other counters at the time (and in those days sometimes there would be tables full of them, especially up on the balcony at the Claridge) I would play to stop wins for the day, and go home rather than trying to "get more hours in".

I do have NBJ, I got it from Jerry a while back. I was one of the players who ended the over/under bet at Trump Plaza. I played first base and bet the over when it was clumped and it ended in a ten. For some reason, counters who didn't play NBJ also caught on, and they would wait for a high count and bet the over, but I did it at first base and only did it on full games. I did so good I was there almost every day. One day I walked up there to that pit near the boardwalk and almost cried. It was gone!

I did also try No Rent, but I always ran into people who would pull their bets back. I'm sure you remember JT? I used to run into him in the casino, he always wanted to take over a table. What ever happend to him? I hope for his sake he is filling teeth!

I think counting still works if you prefer to play in downtown Vegas or any single or double deck game. Counting is proven mathematically. NBJ is not, it is only based on theory, but a very good theory I must admit.

Playbig2000

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Ellis,

I hate to tell you but I think I can count down a deck faster than you, and also predict more exact cards on the last card. I assume you used a one level count, my count is a four level, so it is equivalent to a single level at about 12 seconds. And talk about a parlor trick, I can predict the last card, not just say it's high, a 7 8 or 9, or a low card. I love it when my count ends at -4, so I can say "it's a five". I hate it sometimes when they look at the card and say "a five of what?" But other people are usually amazed. Kenny went on 60minutes and couldn't do what I can do. He admited to me my count had a higher advantage than his. When they went to 8 decks, everyone lost. 6 decks was tough enough, but those two extra decks did something to the game.

I agree with you about what you say regarding counters can play whenever and wherever. I can remember when I was in a drawdown Kenny telling me I need to play more. I did hang in there and it eventually came back, even straight back counting playing only plus shoes I would still have a drawdown, but what separated me from other counters at the time (and in those days sometimes there would be tables full of them, especially up on the balcony at the Claridge) I would play to stop wins for the day, and go home rather than trying to "get more hours in".

I do have NBJ, I got it from Jerry a while back. I was one of the players who ended the over/under bet at Trump Plaza. I played first base and bet the over when it was clumped and it ended in a ten. For some reason, counters who didn't play NBJ also caught on, and they would wait for a high count and bet the over, but I did it at first base and only did it on full games. I did so good I was there almost every day. One day I walked up there to that pit near the boardwalk and almost cried. It was gone!

I did also try No Rent, but I always ran into people who would pull their bets back. I'm sure you remember JT? I used to run into him in the casino, he always wanted to take over a table. What ever happend to him? I hope for his sake he is filling teeth!

I think counting still works if you prefer to play in downtown Vegas or any single or double deck game. Counting is proven mathematically. NBJ is not, it is only based on theory, but a very good theory I must admit.

Playbig2000

Hi Playbig, I don't doubt a bit that you can count faster than me. I'll take your word for it. I'm happy with second place. And I don't doubt that you can call the last card closer than me. It makes a great parlor trick either way but yours will drop chins better than mine. But in the real world they don't deal to the last card. Most of us have to play real would shoe games either 6 or 8 deck. In those we can call the next card out of the shoe as well as the dealer's hole card hi or low more accurately than any card counter. That's whats important in todays real world BJ. And we can insure with incredible accuracy and double with better accuracy. And we can do it today better than ever and we don't have to be in downtown Vegas. I play 8 deck best but I got semi barred in Tunica in a single deck game. They won't count my comp time in Tunica. They've also stopped comping my room for Bac play.

With the advent of Poker, NBJ is playing now better than ever because there are far more unfull tables than since the mid 80's. I know you have NBJ. That's why I offered free entry to our group. I'd like to see you start using it. I know card counting was proven but that was the single deck game of yesteryear. Today they shuffle up single deck mid shoe or often quicker. I've had them shuffle up on me every hand.

I'd just like to see you start winning again just to see you remember how it was. I don't know of any card counters beating the shoe game today. Jerry and Stanford quit teaching it. I don't know of anybody teaching it today but I'm sure there's a few die hards from yesteryear.

I'm sure that Kenny would still be alive today if he had simply learned WHEN to play in AC. Hell, he'd probably still be playing. But, when the cards were at their absolute worst late Saturday night, there was kenny beating his head against a brick wall.

I don't know either what happened to John Terramino. He was an NBJ no rent guru and then suddenly vanished from the face of the Earth when he got married. Yeah the Claridge Balcony was special. Even the dealer's liked playing there. I had my first big win there before I went full time. I beat their four deck game for nine straight days. Then they shut it down. The 4 deck game I mean. It stayed one of my favorite places throughout my 3 years of full time play. Then, sadly, they closed the whole thing down. But Ed Winn went on to bigger and better things in Vegas.

Well playbig its great to talk about the old days but I'm telling you, you can do it all over again. I don't care if NBJ is proven or not. We win big with it and we win consistently. We don't even talk in terms of drawdowns. Most important, we win TODAY with it better than ever. That's proof enough to me. Why don't you jump on the band wagon.

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Ellis,

I would love to play BJ again and would like to take you up on your offer and jump on the bandwagon. I will give it an honest shot. Once difference from playing Bac or poker is they don't look at you like your trying to steal the money. Although counting wasn't stealing, there was something about that which I liked. I liked it when they sent spies following me around from pit to pit, whispering things about me to the dealer. I will never forget when he told her that I can only play one hand. She thought he was joking, I played two hand, and the next thing I knew she got tapped out (by another floor person). I never saw her again.

Playbig2000

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You're absolutely right playbig. Some heavy stuff went down in AC that todays players wouldn't even believe. Keith is out right at the moment but I'll Email you and get you set up myself. Hey, we are very happy to have you aboard. You still got your old manual? If not, I'll get you one.

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Guest CarlosM

Hi Playbig 2000! I can't send you an email or a private message because you are not registered? Keith or Ellis? It would be fantastic to have you registered and in on our private BJ forum. I wanted to PM or email you here so we could exchange emails.

C

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I too bet the over/under during the 90s. Back then I was using a no rent technique where I would memorize a clump of tens and the cards on top of it (including suit) in the discard tray. I generally did this at $100 tables where there was a single player. I required four tens in a row. After the shuffle I would watch for my key-cards and then jump in to catch my tens.

I also bet an equal amount on over 13. The advantage was devastating. I did great. I showed this trick to Ed Goldstein. He enjoyed the fact that once the clump was memorized you could walk away for a while, and go outside until the shoe was finished, and the cards were shuffled.

He taught it to one of his students who just couldn't play consistently. He said that guy ended up using my trick with $500 chips, and was very successful.

This technique still works in hand shuffled games, but sadly, the over 13 bet is history.

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Yeah, over under was a cinch. I closed it down at Foxwood back in my greedy days. Not too bright! Been out of town 4 days. Playing catch up. Looks like we got a bunch of new NBJ players while I was gone. Guess I should go more often. Planning to play Tunica soon as I can get a chance.

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