# Another light bulb!

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This just dawned on me this morning. After many years of playing, at home, watching, that there are 2 kinds of third base games. One is when the game is random, the other is clumped. That I have always known. But, I have noticed that we can have games where the sign wave is choppy. We see 1 or 2 high rounds in a row and mostly 1 and occasionaly 2 low rounds in a row if at all but, we are not seeing any or very few rounds that are neutral tens ratio (30% tens) or neutral rounds ( there are as many highs as there are lows, 50/50 in a round). So, that game is great for third base because of the sign wave but, it is not random because the game contains all or mostly high and low rounds and no or few neutral, random rounds.

The second type of third base game has many neutral Tens/high to low cards rounds and also the sign wave is choppy as in above third base game type.

We know that a first base/advantage betting game type will have several low and high rounds in a row and the shoe will have all or mostly these rounds and no or few neutral Tens/high card rounds because if we see several low and high rounds in a row, that will take up most or all of the shoe so, there will be no or little room left in that shoe for neutral Tens/high card rounds. I love this game!

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This is a correct observation and quite common. Life would be simple if it was a simple choice between random and clumped. But there are degrees of both. This is why we watch the sine wave. How many high rounds and low rounds are we getting in a row? And we then adjust our progression accordingly.

For instance, when we get that "perfect" game and nearly every round is neutral, our 3 bet progression is ideal. We are least likely to lose 3 bets in a row in such a game because it is ideal conditions for basic strategy.

Another near perfect condition is when every other round is high and every other round is low; high, low, high, low. In such a game we would want to play a 2 bet prog from third. We are literally playing first base from the third base chair. First base is probably good too but not necessarily. The wrong player number can cause us to keep getting a low second card on our high bets. Not good!

But usually its not that simple. Usually in a random game, there is a high section and a low section. Picture in your mind the kind of sine wave that would produce. Very short waves above and below the axis and then suddenly a long high wave and somewhere a long low wave. We react by hitting more in the low wave and betting more in the high wave. The trick is to KNOW when you are in either of these odd sections. Of course, the sooner you know the better. We could say that good third base play is about accurate anticipation.

As each card is dealt, I say HIGH or LOW to myself making it easy to declare the round high or low at the end. This helps me "see" the sine wave.

Another trick players have used successfully, I know Mad Dog does this, is to memorize three consecutive cards at the beginning of these oddities and watch for them in the next shoe. This is good if it doesn't steal too much of your concentration. You might try this with only 2 high cards and 2 low cards when you first start and work your way up to 3. You might also start this with the high section only, at first.

I find that the faster the dealer, the better I can see the sign wave. I find this particularly true in head to head play. This is ironic in that break up dealers often use speed dealing as one of their techniques. I love it when they pull this. The actual cards and the sine wave have less time to fade from your mind's camera.

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• 2 months later...

Yes the best game is the one where the tens are nearly evenly distributed in the deck, and there is a gentle high-low back and forth swing in the tens ratio. This is when we use 1-4-6. I think really it is the only time to use 1-4-6. Why? Because there really is a greater chance of winning the second bet. The purpose of 1-4-6 is to locate the tens and exploit them.

In other types of games we sometimes use advantage betting, and also sometimes combine it with a progression that is used only on the high bets. In this situation, 1-4-6 would not be appropriate because it places an inordinately high bet on the second bet when there really is not a higher chance for that bet to win, relative to our other high bets. It would be better to use a gentler progression in this situation. In fact, in this situation, the progression is strictly money management, and in no way does it help us find the tens. Money management in this situation is strictly a personal choice. One could discard the progression altogether and just have a high and a low bet. The progression simply helps to even out our return over time.

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