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Hello, dear all BJ experts,

I am a new member and have just purchased the NBJ manual. I have only read it half but can't wait to finish it. I know it is going to take time to understand it fully. But its really worthwhile.

I know its not the time to start my home practice yet since I haven't finished this manual. However, I am going to tell you about our casino BJ playing conditions here. Perhaps by the time I finish my reading, some of you experts will answer and guide me to set up a 'correct simulation' for my next step, home practice.

We have about 30 BJ tables (not counting the high stake area). Half of them are in constant play. The lowest table min. is $15, and these table are full most of the time. In crowded evenings and weekends, they'll gradually open the rest of the tables. That is, making sure each of them will be full first.

We play only machine (Shuffle Master MD 1.1) shuffled, alternate the red and blue cards, 8 deck games here.

It seems they prepare their 2 card decks differently to open each table: I never have the chance to see if the procedure in the beginning is the same with their first 8 deck, as each time I pass by she is already into the process of re-laying cards out, which is putting each 10 cards in 5 rows (north to south direction), face down, and the remainder 2 in the 6th row. Once she finishes with one deck, she'll put it away and does the same with others. Gradually she stacks 7 decks on top of the first, in a zig zag manner. She'll proceed to straighten them out and put them into the shuffle machine, to be shuffled and waiting to be played first.

Meanwhile, she displays the next 8 deck, (in their box order). She'll roll them over, wash them face down, pick them back up, (no shuffling is applied). But for this 8 deck, she'll not re-lay them as the first 8 deck. Instead she'll fan them out, flat on the table, collect and put them in the machine, (right after she has drawn the first 8 deck cards out.)

Could you tell me from these 2 ways of preparation, would they possibly produce different kind of games ? Random or clumped ?

And when time comes for me to prepare my 8 deck of cards to practice, do I wash and apply some hand shuffles ? (What kind of shuffle is close to machine shuffle ?) Or it doesn't matter how so long they'll show up clumps eventually, after about 12 shoes of play ?

Should I start up with 6 or 7 players ? Or 5 ? (Since it should not be more than 5 players in real casino play.) And how should I shuffle at each shoe end to duplicate the simulation of "authentic machine shuffle" ?

I've also read the last chapter- skill level 7, about TRB and the different game types. (I know , I know, I shouldn't jump like this but I'm too curious.) Would any of you who plays these alternate shoe games please tell me how you'd go about determining the game types you are playing ? I notice that each red / blue shoe has its own profile. Is it necessary to play out these entire 2 shoes to know ? (Then how large a bank roll we will need in such a case ?) Will the characteristic of an identified game type be recognizable in the next shoe after machine shuffled ? Or will it change and its characteristic lose during machine shuffling ?

(I know I have a lot of questions.)

I thank you in advance for taking time to read this letter and reply me.

Sincerely,

Zenwin

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Hello, dear all BJ experts,

I am a new member and have just purchased the NBJ manual. I have only read it half but can't wait to finish it. I know it is going to take time to understand it fully. But its really worthwhile.

I know its not the time to start my home practice yet since I haven't finished this manual. However, I am going to tell you about our casino BJ playing conditions here. Perhaps by the time I finish my reading, some of you experts will answer and guide me to set up a 'correct simulation' for my next step, home practice.

We have about 30 BJ tables (not counting the high stake area). Half of them are in constant play. The lowest table min. is $15, and these table are full most of the time. In crowded evenings and weekends, they'll gradually open the rest of the tables. That is, making sure each of them will be full first.

We play only machine (Shuffle Master MD 1.1) shuffled, alternate the red and blue cards, 8 deck games here.

It seems they prepare their 2 card decks differently to open each table: I never have the chance to see if the procedure in the beginning is the same with their first 8 deck, as each time I pass by she is already into the process of re-laying cards out, which is putting each 10 cards in 5 rows (north to south direction), face down, and the remainder 2 in the 6th row. Once she finishes with one deck, she'll put it away and does the same with others. Gradually she stacks 7 decks on top of the first, in a zig zag manner. She'll proceed to straighten them out and put them into the shuffle machine, to be shuffled and waiting to be played first.

Meanwhile, she displays the next 8 deck, (in their box order). She'll roll them over, wash them face down, pick them back up, (no shuffling is applied). But for this 8 deck, she'll not re-lay them as the first 8 deck. Instead she'll fan them out, flat on the table, collect and put them in the machine, (right after she has drawn the first 8 deck cards out.)

Could you tell me from these 2 ways of preparation, would they possibly produce different kind of games ? Random or clumped ?

And when time comes for me to prepare my 8 deck of cards to practice, do I wash and apply some hand shuffles ? (What kind of shuffle is close to machine shuffle ?) Or it doesn't matter how so long they'll show up clumps eventually, after about 12 shoes of play ?

Should I start up with 6 or 7 players ? Or 5 ? (Since it should not be more than 5 players in real casino play.) And how should I shuffle at each shoe end to duplicate the simulation of "authentic machine shuffle" ?

I've also read the last chapter- skill level 7, about TRB and the different game types. (I know , I know, I shouldn't jump like this but I'm too curious.) Would any of you who plays these alternate shoe games please tell me how you'd go about determining the game types you are playing ? I notice that each red / blue shoe has its own profile. Is it necessary to play out these entire 2 shoes to know ? (Then how large a bank roll we will need in such a case ?) Will the characteristic of an identified game type be recognizable in the next shoe after machine shuffled ? Or will it change and its characteristic lose during machine shuffling ?

(I know I have a lot of questions.)

I thank you in advance for taking time to read this letter and reply me.

Sincerely,

Zenwin

Hi Zenwin, Uncle Ellis here:

First please feel free to use the Private BJ forum for your questions. There, I can be far more open with my replies. However, being so new, you really didn't get into proprietory areas much and here, the public can get an idea of how we respond to questions.

OK, all of your questions can be boiled down to two. Should I play NBJ First Base or NBJ Third Base against these conditions? And, how do I set up to duplicate these conditions for home practice? I'll let Carlos continue to work on your second question while I work on your first question. 8 deck is my favorit game so I think I can get you off to a good start.

I like 8 deck because the games are much more stable than 6 deck. Bad games tend to stay bad saving you the trouble of going back and looking them over again and again. But good 8 deck games tend to stay good for long periods saving you from having to repeatedly change tables. I have won every shoe in 8 deck games for as long as 17 hours straight. Even then, the game didn't give out, I did.

When I wrote NBJ I had just discovered the NBJ First Base System. Therefore I really didn't do it justice. I tended to treat it like a parlor trick, a ploy. I didn't realize then that it was going to prove to be the stongest play method in the history of BJ with the possible exception of NBJ Third Base System. Today most experts rate them about equal. But the most important decision in BJ is which to play in the game at hand. Or, more precisely, the question you need to answer for every game is First Base, Third Base or No play. It is just as important to avoid bad games as to find good games.

We aren't heroes in the casino. We don't sit there and battle the dealer in tough games. Those games are for the crowds. We like games where we win easily W/O fanfare. The fewer the decisions the better. That's what we look for. While NBJ covers finding such games, your In Search of Manual is devoted to that one most important endeavor - finding the right game. So as soon as you get a chance.....

Recognize that the crowd loses. Don't let the crowd influence you. When you go with the crowd, you're lining up to lose. Go against the crowd. If the crowd is swarming a pit, stay away. You won't find any good games there. The GOOD games will be at that quiet pit over there that few are paying any attention to. The fewer the players at a pit, the better. Its players that ruin games not dealers. The very best games are head to head games that have seen little or no play since new cards were introduced. Next best is 2 player games, then 3 players. More than 4, you are asking for problems. If the crowd is there Sat nights, play Thursdays or whenever the casino is LEAST crowded.

I like to find a high spot in the casino where I can see ALL the pits. I'll pick the pit with the least play every time. The newer the cards the better the game will be. Even if its the high stakes pits.

Players often say to me: "But Ellis, I can't afford green or black chips" to which I reply: "That's funny, I can't afford red chips!" Understand?

If you feel you MUST play red play new cards. I've said a million times that new cards are the best cards you will see all day. New cards don't know what color the chips are - old cards do. There are no dealer biases in new cards. Dealer biases are caused by play. The dealer WILL break 28% in new cards. She WILL only get 4 out of 13 first card tens. But, as the cards are played more and more the dealer will break less and less and she will get more and more first card tens, all the way up to 8 out of 13 in 8 deck cards. Why buck those odds?

What causes that? Basic Strategy. Basic Strategy is always eventually self defeating. That is exactly why the crowd loses. Everybody plays Basic Strategy. Everybody eventually loses. Not YOU! You know better. YES, ALL the books are wrong when they say don't play new cards. The casinos might as well have written those books. New cards are GOOD!

OK, back to your basic question - which to play, First, Third or Neither.

The more the cards are random, the more we favor Third. No NBJ player ever lost a random game. It's virtually impossible. The more the cards are clumped the more we favor First. First takes advantage of clumping. Third exploits random.

BUT, cards can be over clumped, esp 8 deck cards. In over clumped cards the dealer will keep pushing the players frequent 2 card twenties with 2 card twenties of her own. This effectively wastes the player favorable tens just as if the dealer took them out of the shoe and threw then on the floor. Such games are unbeatable. That is exactly the kind of game the casino is striving for. Stay away! You can't beat them no matter what you do. Leave those games for the crowd.

What you want is either random or clumping within what we call the First Base Window. Fine, How do you KNOW?

First, forget the way card counters count. Throw out anything you have ever read or heard about this. It is highly flawed.

Here is what WORKS. Look the game over from the isle. Eventually you will learn to do this without even breaking a slow stride down the isle but starting out, stop and watch. Here's how you qualify a game as random or clumped:

Call 2's thru 7's low. Call 8's thru K's High. Aces swing. They are low when they follow a low and high when they follow a high out of the shoe. All you need to look for is highs following highs. Whatever highs are doing lows MUST be doing the same thing so we don't even need to watch them but as you gain experience, you automatically will watch both.

If highs are following highs more often than not, the cards are clumped. If highs are following highs half the time, they are random.

When we see random cards and an empty chair at third it's an automatic sit down. It's our BEST situation. Once we sit down, (captured the chair) we wait for the next shoe. Simply say to the dealer: "I'll wait for the next shoe." That is taken by players and dealer alike as a sign of politness. Politeness has nothing to do with it. You've got work to do. Watch the cards that would have come to you if you were playing. What you are looking for is ONE thing only. At any point, the way YOU would have played the cards, would you have lost 3 hands in a row. If yes, you leave. If no, you buy in.

Recognize that at third, your hands are MOST like the dealer's of any seat at the table because the dealer gets each of her cards immediately after you get each of your cards. Generally, when you get good cards so will she but when you get bad cards so will she. This makes it hard to lose 3 in a row but you check anyway. You also watch dealer break rate and first card tens. You CAN get strong dealer biases in even random cards if the cards have seen enough play. If so, you leave. We aren't looking for a tough but beatable game. We are looking for the easiest game to beat in the whole casino. We are NOT heros, we are simply, winners. Quiet winners! We like to fly under the radar! The less they know about what we are doing, the better.

Now what if the cards are clumped? OK, I have to be careful here not to over supply proprietary information. But you have studied the First Base System. You know what to look for. Is the first player getting tens when you predict she will. If no, leave. If yes, is the player number such that she is usually getting a good card with those tens. If not, leave. If yes, buy in and continue to monitor those two things. First Base games often last for hours, esp. 8 deck First base but watch for over clumping. Is the dealer starting to match your good hands. If so leave. Look for "windows of opportuity".

Now, you might be wondering why I would talk so much about our secrets on a public channel? Well, I'm not really helping them. Finding a first or third base game will not help them at all if they don't know the NBJ First or Third Base Systems. Normal Basic Strategy play won't cut it. That is exactly why we so often find ourselves the only winner at the table. We match our play to the game at hand.

But it will notify the public that there is far, far more to this game than they have ever read or heard. This game CAN and WILL be beat by anyone who knows and understands its many intricacies and how to exploit them. Many on the private channel DO this regularly. It's simply a question of knowing how.

I'll let Carlos help you on home practice. He is very very expert at it. Just let me say this. The object is to set your practice cards up to what you generally see in the casino. BJ cards have a certain complexion to them. You want to see that same familiar complextion in your home practice. Carlos?

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Oh, also you will find that only a few light bulbs will turn on during your first reading. This is because everything is so new to you and so vastly different from everything you've ever heard or read. But during your second reading more light bulbs will turn on and you will begin to realize that everything is related to everything else. It will take many readings before you begin to complete the picture. Our best players still read their manuals, still listen to the tapes en route to the casino. For instance, I think Carlos is up $175,000 for the year. I didn't add that last trip in yet so I think its closer to $190,000. He can correct me if I'm wrong. But my point is that Carlos still reads his manuals today and frequently still finds some great nuggets that had not fully registered before or have increased meaning today. He still asks even more questions than you do. Yes, you can learn to win quickly but the fact is you keep right on learning forever. There is ALWAYS room for improvement, forever. You can never quite get to being as good as you can be but nevertheless that is your goal. Happy hunting!

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Dear Ellis, Carlos,

Thank you for your prompt replies.

I'll use the Private BJ forum to post more questions from now on. I'm happy that I'm included there.

I understand that the publics can be benefit from these questions and answers. For example, I had read this forum for almost 4 weeks solid before I purchased the NBJ manual.

Yes, I was a little concern about who is reading, out there in the open... I believe you don't hide any secret in BJ, but at the same time, not wanting to broadcast it.

Thats why I didn't mention where I play. It isn't a secret. But as I believe our casino has always taken great measure to handicap us. I don't want them to suspect that someone is out there getting ready to play them. Our games are pretty readable, its just that I don't know how to beat them. I know by learning with the manual(s) and home practicing, I'll able to do that one day.

Zenwin.

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Guest CarlosM

Ellis is right! Not only do more light bulbs turn on from the cassettes or manual or the questions I still ask him today but, a lot of the NEW light bulbs that turn on come from casino play and home pracrice. You notice a refinement or a sloution to something you weren't sure about. It's amazing! Do what I do at home. Use the same number of decks that your casino uses. Perform the excact wash they do. Count in seconds. When they wash, is it for about 10 seconds, 30 seconds? Watch they EXCACT way they pick up and pile those washed cards. Perform the excact shuffle. 2 blocks, 4, V-6? Use the excact same pick size to shuffle. 1/4 deck picks, 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, 3/4, 1 deck in each hand? Perform the excact intertwine. Tight, super tight, regular, loose, super loose. I bow my head down like I want to tie my shoe, and look at the pile of cards that have been shuffled so far, look to see the intertwine. Do I see it tight like 1 to 1 lace. Or 3-5 cards per side between lace? When they are going super tight, you can obviously tell. They will do it perfectly, slowly, methodically. You can literally see the left hand and right hand pick lacing perfectly one to one. If it is a super sloppy shuffle, you will see the dealer purposely trying not to mix the cards well. You will see 10 or more cards between left hand and right hand pick. Do they strip the cards after the first riffle of each pick? If yes, how? Count! Does she strip off the top 5 times, 4, 6? If yes, doing that, does it only do the top half of the cards or all? Lets say she does a 1/2 deck pick per hand to riffle. Then she strips. Say she does 4 strips. Well, a half a deck in each hand is combined 1 deck. 4 strips is 1 deck divided by 4. So she aproximately takes 1/4 deck at a time from the top to strip! Or maybee she does a very fine strip. Onlt stripping the top 1/3 of the cards and not the remaining 2/3 of those cards. She would then do 1 card or a few together at a time per strip pick. After strip, does she riffle again. Almost always after a riffle, strip, they riffle again. Does she riffle again after that? After this shuffling, does she perform a straight thru? How much penetration is used. 75% of the cards are dealt and 25% are behind the cut card to be plugged? How does she plug. Before taking those cut off cards to plug, does she do any plugging with the already cards in the discard tray? With the cut off cards, does she take the whole cut offs in one chunk to plug? Where in the discards? Middle, top third, bottom third? Or does she take those cut off and take 2, 3 picks? Or 4 or 5? Where EXCACTLY does she plug those in the discards? After dealing a round, any and all rounds, after she picks up blackjacks and break cards first to place in the discard tray, how does she pick up and place the remaining pat hands? Does first base cards go in first, then last to go into discard tray is third base? Almost always yes! Does the dealer then place her cards in the discard ontop of the third base cards? Or does she put her cards in the tray first, then the remaining players pat cards next? EXCACTLY how and what order does she deal her cards to herself? In my casino it would be like this: 2, 4, 5, K.

So, the 2 and 4 are her hit cards, the 5 is her up card and the K is her hole card. Where as most casinos would be like this: 2, 3, 4, J. So, here the 2 and 3 are her hit cards and J is her up card and the 4 is the hole card. SEE!

Use their excact rules. Now, at the times and days of the week you are most likely to play at your casino, what is USUALLY the average player number, before you enter? At those days and times, how often to people jump in and out? Do all or most of the players play PERFECT basic strategy? If not, not what they usually do on certain plays? Do they split 4's a lot, double on 12, etc... You want to duplicate everything EXCXACTLY! Also, go to your casino and spend many visits just watching. Practice table selection. Practice to see how many times you are correct in saying to yourself, I would have played third base here? Or here I would have played First base. Or this table, I would not play at all!. Stand back and play the cards of the position you are watching. Play the way you would have played those hands. He might stand where you might be hitting. You might be hitting that hand 2 times. Or once, or if very clumped, maybee hitting the hand 4 or 5 times! So, when he stands, you have to watch the dealers hit cards. Those would have been your hit cards, add them to that players hand. You might need to continue to the next round to finish your hitting! This would be more so in very clumped games, long runs! Practice for free. Then do same at home! Also you are there for many free visits to watch card preps, the results they produce. You also want to know what the cards are like there after a number of hours after new cards! I can go on forever. I could actually write a 100 page book just on this! Hmmm!!! Let me know if you want me to explain the names and the different shuffle types. Welcome to the best!

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