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Very interesting article.


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NBJwannabe

I was looking for some info before buying the system and I end finding something a bit scary.

From:

New Blackjack, Same Old Baloney: Review of E. Clifton Davis' NBJ and WCB Blackjack Systems

NEW BLACKJACK, SAME OLD BALONEY

REVIEW OF E. CLIFTON DAVIS' NBJ SYSTEM

By Arnold Snyder (with commentary by the Boardwalker)

(From Blackjack Forum XIII #3, September 1993)

© 1993 Blackjack Forum

Q: What is the oldest and most common type of casino gambling system ever devised?

A: The betting progression.

Q: Do betting progressions have any effect on either the player's or house's advantage?

A: Not in the long run. Casinos always have and always will welcome system players of this type.

1991: Enter E. Clifton Davis and NBJ ("New Blackjack"), a dressed-up betting progression system for casino blackjack. The system is published by Jerry Patterson Enterprises.

Davis has been an occasional contributor to Eddie Olson's Blackjack Confidential newsletter. Olsen is the inventor of the TARGET system, one of the first widely promoted "streak" or "trend" blackjack systems — also sold by Patterson.

I wasted a lot of ink trashing the trendies in the past. Ed Thorp, Ken Uston, Stanford Wong, Julian Braun, Peter Griffin, and Mason Malmuth have all gone on record stating their shared belief that the TARGET blackjack theories are worthless.

Every independent computer simulation of non-random casino-style shuffles that I've seen refutes the TARGET theories about the effects of poor shuffles. John Gwynn and Stanford Wong independently determined that the play of the hands at blackjack puts the cards into a player-favorable order. Players can confirm this themselves with John Imming's UBE software. Low cards and high cards do get clumped together, and this clumping is worth about .75% to the basic strategy player. (This is determined by running simulations with no shuffle, just picking up the discards, cutting, and resuming play.)

Extremely poor shuffles on new decks favor the first base side of the table by a few tenths of a percent, and similarly hurt the third base side of the table. But it does not appear possible to create a shuffle that has the huge advantages/disadvantages (+/- 5% to 20%) described by the non-random shuffle gurus.

It was ten years ago — September, 1983 — when my first TARGET article appeared in Blackjack Forum. Since then, Blackjack Forum has picked up a lot of new readers, many of whom did not follow the TARGET controversy as it developed.

So, here comes E. Clifton Davis with NBJ, as well as his new improved version of NBJ, which he calls WCB ("World Class Blackjack"). I'm regularly getting news clippings of ads for "New Blackjack" introductory seminars from all over the country. Players are sending me direct mail advertisements for NBJ they've received from Jerry Patterson. I've got a complete copy of the 119-page "New Blackjack" Home Study Manual, written by E. Clifton Davis, provided by one of Davis' students. I've got an audiotape of a 45-minute interview with Davis by Jerry Patterson, in which Davis expounds on his theories. This promotional tape is accompanied by a 9-page advertisement for Davis' "World Class Blackjack" system.

"New Blackjack" sells for $445 mail order. WCB is now selling for $500, though Patterson's letter states that this is an "introductory offer" to former NBJ students, and that the price of WCB will probably be going up to $1000 in the fall.

This is one letter I received from an NBJ player:

[Regarding] E. Clifton Davis' NBJ course... I asked for (and got) my money back because I didn't play it to the 5%-15% advantage that the system touts. I did, however, win with it. My records reveal that I played it to a 1.96% advantage during three weeks last spring — certainly not a large enough trial to compel anyone to change religions (so to speak), but I wasn't exactly disgusted with the outcome either, since seldom do I perform that well using a conventional counting system.

If I may be allowed to free-associate (don't a lot of Californians do that???), my thoughts on NBJ are as follows:

I went to the seminar as advertised, and the following assertions were really made: That currently, the typical house advantage against a basic-strategy player is about 20%. No, not a hold percentage of 20% (which is believable), but a house advantage of 20%. In addition, they claim that because of like-card clumping, the current dealer bust percentage is about 12%...

Furthermore, Davis pledges that to keep the casinos from making any wholesale changes in their procedures resulting from any of the material in this course, under no circumstances will he sell his course to more than two percent of the blackjack-playing public.

Let's do the math, shall we? 30 million blackjack players times 2% times $445 each (the cost of the course) equals $267 million. You gotta admire the man's character for placing those kinds of economic restrictions on himself.

Finally, Davis asserts that 92% of his students win, compared to 1% for card counters, and that one fellow in Minnesota won 41 straight sessions with this system...

As for the course itself: I think that Davis' advice on using betting progressions is ludicrous. To me, it's like tracking roulette results, determining a pattern, structuring a progressive betting system to match that pattern, and hoping that you're not too wrong if that pattern collapses. In his course, Davis has the student ascertain a "game type," which he says sustains itself from one shoe to the next, and then use a betting progression to exploit it. Maybe it was just me, but for me the game types just didn't remain the same from one shoe to the next.

I also think his strategy charts need a little refinement in places. The basis of NBJ, as Davis says, is non-random cards (due to insufficient shuffling, particularly in shoe games). As a result, sometimes you're instructed to violate basic strategy plays, depending on whether high or low cards "are running."

One such play is to split 6's when the dealer has an ace up and "tens are running." When I called Davis myself to ask him about this, his response was that the player's objective in this situation is to go for an overall push by winning one of the two hands. Whaaaat?

But I also believe that there are some viable concepts in his system, particularly with respect to the notion that cards are not sufficiently shuffled so as to be randomly distributed. Although there was one occasion where I didn't split a pair of aces that I was dealt (because "low cards were running"), then got two tens, there seemed to be quite a few occasions where his methods could be used to determine whether the dealer had a stiff hand with that ten up, and/or what my next hit card would be based on the values of the previous four or five cards. As is the case with first-basing or playing tells (in blackjack or poker), you don't have to be right 100% of the time to make your system work. And if I can consistently use this non-random-card business to change an average of two losing hands into two winning hands each hour (over and above the number of winning hands turned into losers by using this method), I'll be changing careers real soon.

Conclusion: I'm still on the fence. I'll be experimenting heavily later this year to see if non-random card analyses can be used in conjunction with conventional counting to eke out another percent or so advantage. I'll let you know the results, both in a simulation environment, and in the casinos.

I think that NBJ might warrant a comment from you and/or other blackjack authorities since, according to Davis, his graduates now number over 1,000. Since one could argue that there is some subjectivity involved when making NBJ playing decisions, do you think that it's conceivably possible for a computer jock somewhere to simulate this method?

Possible, yes. Probable, no. Many reputable programmers have lost interest in testing betting systems because it has been proven over and over again that such systems do nothing. I have personally tested Martingale systems, like those advised by Davis, vs. extremely sloppy shuffles using Imming's UBE software. There is simply no effect, regardless of how random, non-random, or "clumpy" the cards are. I don't know of any software on the market that will allow the player to alter playing strategy according to how the cards are "running." Perhaps, some day, some programmer with time on his hands will tackle such a strategy.

The author of the above letter seems to be a thoughtful and intelligent person. His questions about NBJ reflect a genuine interest in whether or not some aspect of Davis' approach might be valid, even if there are many aspects of the system which he finds hard to swallow.

Blackjack Forum's "Atlantic City Update" columnist—who writes under the nom de plume The Boardwalker—was less kind in his remarks about NBJ. The Boardwalker never bought the system; he just attended one of the $10 NBJ introductory seminars that appeared in his area. This is his report:

NBJ = (FOH + BBS)CST

The newspaper ad read like a carnival pitchman's bark: E. Clifton Davis' New BlackJack is sweeping the country! Why counting no longer works! Triple your bankroll! Win more hands than the dealer! How casinos make you lose! Win 75% of your double downs! Why basic strategy makes you lose!

Being a doubting Thomas for the '90s, you couldn't have kept me out of this seminar for an RFB comp. So, I plunked down a sawbuck and grabbed a chair right up front.

Arriving early, I scanned the four page NBJ sales leaflet, which had 10 playing tips from Davis on the front. Tip #7 said to always insure a natural against a dealer's ace. Knowing this is a 4% basic strategy error, my antenna went into high gain. Tip #9 said to treat a dealer's deuce like a ten. Not even if you held a gun to my head. Well, maybe for that.

Inside were more gems such as: win 80 units per hour; learn a winning system in 20 minutes; win 54% of your 15's and 16's; win 67% of your insurance bets. And all this without having to count. Could I plan to retire on just that last one alone?

A few of the 100+ blackjack curious in attendance and I had a chance for a friendly chat before the main event. I played the part of blackjack moron and let them spill their guts. If their knowledge was any kind of a representative sample, then in my opinion, many couldn't recite proper basic strategy if asked and those who said they knew how to count cards wouldn't know a ruin formula if it jumped off the page and bit them on the nose! Cherries, ripe for picking, if you ask me.

Enter the pitchman, Michael Simpson, a full time investment banker and part-time NBJ player/salesman. He began with the words of a confidence man, saying, "You won't hear the truth anywhere else." Opening remarks included highly questionable statements like, "Basic strategy used to work and so did card counting."

Simpson claimed that basic strategy players win 40% of the hands and the dealer wins 60%, therefore, the casino enjoys a 20% advantage. When asked about the effect of doubles and naturals, he muttered some mumbo jumbo that made no relative sense and changed the subject.

Simpson said that NBJ has nothing to do with counting cards, yet in the same breath noted that while a 9 is of little value to card counters, it is a valuable card in the NBJ strategy. Go figure.

In a continuing ramble, he submitted that NBJ is based on card clumping and that after cards are recognized as being properly clumped, they can be predicted, giving the NBJ player a significant advantage over the house.

Simpson went so far as to say dealers intentionally perform high-low stacks while picking up completed hands, then shuffle in such a manner as to complete the stack. (Kudos to Steve Forte for educating me on these techniques in his Gamblers' Protection videos.) Besides the fact that I have never, ever, witnessed this in my 1000-plus hours of casino time over the years, there is absolutely no legal way the casino could use this to their advantage. Yet Simpson claims NBJ players can recognize this happening and can use it to predict hit and hole cards with 50-75% accuracy. Not likely, in my opinion.

I asked Simpson if NBJ has an insurance strategy and he replied, "Yes, we do insure and we do it very well."

I asked Simpson how NBJ players assess whether or not they are playing properly and he replied, "If we won, then we made the correct play."

Finally, I asked how many hours he had used NBJ in actual casino play and how much he was ahead. Simpson said he would rather not say in a public place, but added that he has played recreationally for 2 years and was ahead multiple thousands of dollars. Modest, but not too much so and also still very much in the short run, wouldn't you say?

On my way out the door, I was given an NBJ newsletter for prospective pigeons. It says 40 units per hour is often earned in a good "type 1" game, whatever the heck that is. NBJ recommends players start small and gradually build up a bankroll, and gives these players specific low risk procedures to follow for a while. I guess once you've started making your fortune, you can advance to higher risk play.

One comment that got my water boiling was that NBJ players don't stand out like card counters because they don't cheat. That's right. NBJ players stand out at the casino cash advance machines. Sorry, I added that. Couldn't resist.

Also included in the newsletter is a 2 1/2 page testimonial to E. Clifton Davis by Jerry Patterson, which attempts to put Davis on a higher pedestal than Thorp, Griffin, Wong, Uston, et al. But let's face it. While I've heard Patterson is a pretty nice guy, his credibility in the blackjack world has been questionable since the early eighties.

The remaining pages of the newsletter contain a table of contents from the NBJ manual, which includes such amusing topics as "Telltale Signs of Clumping," "Testing the Water," "Negative Betting Progressions," and "Insuring for Less." Tell me something, if you have a known positive insurance expectation, why would you do it for less? Better yet, would you spend $445 on the NBJ system to find out? I think not. The friendly folks at NBJ will also sell you a different "World Class" system for another $500.

The NBJ people did seem to be genuinely friendly because I called and talked to a couple of them. I spoke with Marv, who considers himself a professional blackjack player, and Suzanne, who is a part time NBJ player and has contracted with Davis to sell the NBJ systems in my area.

Marv sounded like a really nice chap over the phone and was more than willing to tell me about how important 1st and 3rd bases are to NBJ players and that he can control the table from 3rd base, presumably by taking the dealer's bust card or sticking him with one.

He felt positive that he could guess the dealer's hole card at the rate of about 80% the other night using NBJ techniques. But Marv was quick to add that you don't want a whole table full of NBJ players because they take all the good cards from each other! I'm sure the casinos would say the more the merrier.

Likewise, Suzanne raved about how well the system has worked for her. I asked her if Davis supplied mathematical proof for his theories and for some reason she began telling me about his credentials.

She did contradict Marv, however, by telling me the dealer will break more often with more NBJ players at the table and that with NBJ, one can predict hole cards up to 90% of the time.

Marv and Suzanne did agree on two things, though. One of the keys to playing NBJ is using the "tens ratio," which you derive by observing the number of tens on the table. But hey, that's not counting because NBJ players don't cheat.

Also, I just had to ask them both if NBJ included anything on ruin probabilities or anything like that. Both were quick to respond that NBJ uses a 12-unit stop-loss money management strategy. Marv even goes one better. If he loses 3 units, he walks.

I could go on for at least another few pages, but I'm sure the readers of Blackjack Forum have the general idea. However, in case you're curious and haven't tried to figure it out yet, the title of my report means New BlackJack is Full Of Holes and Basically BullSh*t to the Casinos Say Thanks power!

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

Okay, so the Boardwalker wasn't exactly enthralled by the NBJ seminar he attended. I have since spent a considerable amount of time reading and analyzing the NBJ Home Study Manual because NBJ is not a system which will only appeal to dummies (as one might assume from the Boardwalker's report).

NBJ is a complex system, which requires that the player first ascertain which one of six "game types" he is playing in. The patterns of wins and losses determine the game type. The player's betting strategy will then be one of many recomended Martingale, or sometimes reverse-Martingale, betting progressions, depending on the game type. The hands are played according to a variable strategy, depending on how the player reads the clumping effects of the high and low cards. I couldn't even begin to explain the details of the system in a short review, but that's not necessary. What is most intriguing about Davis' NBJ system are the theories behind it.

Regarding Davis' Tip #9, from the hand-out which the Boardwalker received—"Treat a dealer two up like a ten"—I would assume Davis is advising less splitting and doubling when the dealer shows a two up, and more hitting on stiffs.

Most of Davis' deviations from basic strategy, which seem weird at first perusal, would fall into the category of bankroll conservative. The other two deviations on this tip sheet—not splitting 8s vs. 9 or 10, and always insuring blackjacks—would both tend to reduce fluctuations even if they are technically incorrect plays. The fact that Davis includes advice to never split tens (Tip #8) indicates that he may be assuming a low level of expertise in many of the players who take his course.

Tip #10—When in doubt — hit—would also strike most knowledgeable players as very strange advice. If we consider, however, that the most consistent error of poor players is failing to hit stiffs vs. dealer high cards, Tip #10 might not be such bad advice for a lot of neophytes. Nobody is going to lose his shirt by always insuring his blackjacks. Some pros do this religiously as a form of low cost camouflage. The Boardwalker is correct that this is an expensive error—but it does not come up frequently enough to hurt anyone significantly in the long run. It is also a fact that always insuring your blackjacks will reduce your bankroll fluctuations. Again, not significantly because of the infrequency of the hand, but combined with all of the other strategy deviations Davis recommends, an NBJ player would experience significantly less severe fluctuation than a basic strategy player.

The most effective technique Davis uses to reduce fluctuations is his conservative double down strategy. NBJ never advises doubling down on any player hand vs. any dealer upcard as basic strategy. Doubling down is only advised after the player predicts both the dealer's likely hole card and the likely hit card the player would receive, depending on the game type, whether or not high cards or low cards are running, etc.

Davis really attacks the double down basic strategy, and all of the so called "basic strategy experts,"—and he likes to put "experts" in quotes. He says basic strategy and card counting fail because the cards aren't random. NBJ players, au contraire, play on a "higher level." They exploit the win/loss trends by card predicting. According to Davis, this is why NBJ players win such a high percentage of their double downs.

Actually, NBJ players should win a greater percentage of their double downs—but not for the reasons Davis states.

Any blackjack "expert" knows that a player who never doubles down (assuming he follows the optimal hit/stand strategy) will win more hands than a player who follows correct double down basic strategy. This is elementary. Any time you double down vs. a dealer high card (7-A), you relinquish the right to take another hit should your double down card make you stiff. Doubling down is essentially agreeing to win a smaller number of hands in order to win more money in the long run due to more action on hands that are worth the risk.

Doubling down less often, as Davis advises, would not only result in NBJ players winning a greater proportion of their hands, as he says they do, but they would also experience less volatile fluctuations to their bankrolls than if they followed double down basic strategy. (Hey, if you're going to sell a Martingale betting progression to the general public as a wise investment, you've got to take what steps you can to reduce fluctuations!)

Basic strategy was not devised to reduce fluctuations, but to optimize the player's expectation in the long run. Doubling down less often is not really a wise long run strategy for a player who wants to beat the house. If you do not take every opportunity to risk more money on favorable hands, you will not beat this game. If your bankroll cannot afford the risks associated with doubling down, you probably shouldn't be playing blackjack. Watch out! Wake up!

WARNING! WARNING! YOU ARE CONSIDERING INVESTING MONEY IN A MARTINGALE BETTING SYSTEM! STOP! CONSULT WITH A MATHEMATICIAN (a real one) IMMEDIATELY! EMERGENCY MATHEMATICIANS ARE NOW ON DUTY TO TAKE YOUR CALL!

The NBJ variable strategy—as opposed to basic strategy—is really not that bad. True, there is some weird advice that I'll be damned if I can figure out. (There is a distinct possibility that E. Clifton Davis may actually be from another planet...)

But basic strategy is advised for most hands, with variable strategies allowed for the more borderline hands (depending on how the cards are "running"). The variable (and therefore less frequent) pair splits and double downs are the major differences from traditional basic strategy.

I tried playing the NBJ strategy against one of my computer practice programs (Blackjack—Your Key to Winning Play)—which, of course, must be a sacrilege of some sort. I'm not claiming I actually learned this system... I get the feeling nobody could ever quite "learn" it, since decisions are "intuition" based.

Attempting to employ the system, with the book in my lap, I discovered that—intuitively—I almost never doubled down vs. dealer high cards. Consider: if highs are "running," there is too much risk that the dealer's hole card will be high, giving him a pat hand. If lows are "running," there is too much risk that I'll make myself stiff. About the only time it ever seemed safe to double down was when the dealer showed a low card, and highs were "running."

Double downs vs. dealer low cards are, in fact, the most profitable double down plays. Double downs vs. dealer high cards (even when correct) are the riskiest plays. This is not a new revelation, but a simple fact. Davis somehow never mentions this. I'm sure NBJ players do, in fact, win more of their double downs than basic strategy players. But I do not believe NBJ players win more money on their double downs, as Davis' analysis—based on his private research—finds.

I consider it nonsense that an NBJ player could predict that highs or lows would continue "running," but if an NBJ player uses his estimation of such factors to make double and split decisions, he will play a more bankroll conservative strategy than a basic strategy player or a card counter, he will win more hands, and he will win more of his doubled bets. I can almost see the above words on the cover of Davis' next NBJ newsletter. "Arnold Snyder States That NBJ Players Win More Hands!"

Actually, Davis' theories and explanations are bunk, but he has developed a fairly intelligent style of play for the betting progression system he is selling.

If you are going to play a betting progression system, and especially a Martingale progression like the ones Davis touts, you would want a system designed to win the greatest number of hands. To win a Martingale progression, it only takes one win. A large bet on the table is not indicative of a large advantage, as with card counting, but of a previous series of losses. It would be foolish to double your bets in risky situations with a Martingale strategy. You want to win your series so you can quickly revert to a single unit bet again.

Davis acknowledges this quite blatantly on page 93 of his Home Study Manual, when he explains the "most important reason" for always insuring your blackjacks: "...we aren't just risking one hand. We are usually risking an entire progression..."

His logic is flawless. If you always take even money for your blackjack, instead of playing it out, you will win your series with certainty. Why play out the hand, risk pushing the dealer, and then risk losing the series on the next hand? A card counter can pull his bet back after pushing a dealer blackjack, but a Martingale man has to win as many series as possible, and abandon as few as possible. Davis' Martingale strategy is very conservative, since he advises abandoning a series, and reverting to a one-unit bet, after only three consecutive losses. On a coin flip, a player would win 87.5 series out of a 100 with this betting progression. On his 12.5 abandoned series, his average loss would be seven times greater than his average win, and in the long run, he would break even.

Unfortunately, unlike a coin flip experiment, multi-deck casino blackjack is less than a 50-50 proposition without a betting strategy that is based on an intelligent analysis of the mathematical advantage.

Davis does not advise players to use NBJ in single-deck games, nor would I. My reason for not advising it is different from what he says. In single-deck games, a player who bases his strategy on "runs," with the assumption that the "run" will continue, will be playing at total odds with count logic. My count goes down when I see a run of tens on the table, and such an occurrence would lead me to play as if I were less likely to be dealt a ten.

With six or eight decks, however, a current "run" of high cards or low cards will have a relatively minor effect on the hand probabilities. Davis is still at odds with count logic, but the count is less volatile in shoe games.

For many casual players who do not have the dedication to learn a card counting system, and who do not seriously entertain fantasies about professional play, NBJ is not that bad of a strategy. It might save some players from making some of the more expensive hunch plays, and could also discourage overbetting in players who have a tendency to "steam." I feel sorry for players, however, who believe that NBJ will turn them into blackjack pros.

The system should appeal to those who prefer to embrace all of the "common sense" myths about blackjack which we know to be baseless. Insuring blackjacks. The third base player controlling the table. Bad players affecting other players' expectations. Dealer hot streaks and cold streaks. Davis does not really explain the real logic of his system, as he does not admit that NBJ is just a complex progression system. He acts as if he's discovered some magic blackjack secret based on the non-random shuffle.

Some of his explanations are a howl. On page 15 of his manual he insists that one of the reasons computers cannot be used to analyze casino blackjack is because you cannot program in "the humidity," and also, there are "...certain player types who can change the odds of the entire game." He has no shame about spouting such nonsense.

Many players who use NBJ might feel that they are winning more than they are losing. One reason is that they will win more hands. Another is that they will, in fact, win so many more of their betting series than they will lose, that it will feel as if they are winning much more. In fact, some will win, and some will lose. More will lose in the long run.In short runs of play, the positive and negative fluctuations will be pretty wild.

NBJ is not a cut and dried system. The NBJ player is encouraged to "educate" his "intuition," and to play according to it. If you predict a hole card or hit card incorrectly, it's not necessarily the system's fault, it could be your fault for not reading the cards correctly. There's a chapter on "enhanced card reading," which is to card counting what numerology is to arithmetic. In my opinion, the Manual leaves a lot of questions unanswered.

Regarding Jerry Patterson's TARGET system, Davis admits that TARGET and NBJ are "compatible" and "compliment each other." There's a chapter titled "Target and NBJ—The Perfect Marriage." Now there's a match made in heaven...

NBJ begins with the TARGET premise that the non-random shuffles make the game predictable and exploitable without card counting. On page 41 of his Manual, Davis provides "proof" that casino games are not random. Simple observation, he informs us, tells us that there are "good games and bad games." If the shuffles were random, he reasons, "...all games would be the same." Using this same reasoning, if I were to flip a coin one hundred times in succession, always betting on heads, and then if I were to do this series of one hundred flips again and again, always betting on heads, I should never experience "good games and bad games" with an honest (random) coin. In fact, multi-deck games are not always well-shuffled, and certainly aren't randomized. I have no argument with that. Professional players do exploit these games, but only with mathematically justifiable methods. Basic strategy and card counting have been computer tested extensively in poorly shuffled games. Numerous articles have been published in Blackjack Forum in the past decade reporting on these findings. Davis simply ignores all of the literature on this subject.

One amusing note: throughout his Home Study Manual, Davis concludes many of his analyses with the words: "It's a thinking man's game!"

On page 56, Davis teaches us that traditional basic strategy assumes that the dealer's hole card is a ten. However, he reasons, since only 30.8% of the cards in a deck are tens, he can improve on basic strategy simply by coming up with a hole card prediction that is correct more than 30.8% of the time! (Run that by me again...?)

Most serious players realize that basic strategy considers the distribution of all of the cards in the deck(s). No assumptions are made about the dealer's hole card, other than its proportionate likelihood of being any one of the available cards.

In any case, even if we accept the betting progressions as bunk, and the strategy deviations as simply designed to win more betting series, and all of Davis' theories about basic strategy and card counting as tongue-in-cheek humor, is there any possibility that Davis is suggesting anything of value to the player? Is it conceivable that a player might profit from playing his hands differently according to how the high cards and low cards are "running?"

To be honest, I've never seen a computer simulation of casino blackjack in which the player made strategy decisions by predicting that the short run pattern of the cards would continue. Personally, I tend to doubt that there would be any value to such a strategy. Disregarding the humidity factor, it seems to me that a computer-simulated casino-style non-random shuffle would suffice for the test. It would also be necessary to define much more specifically than Davis does exactly how to determine the type of game, and what quantities and proportions of high, low and middle cards determine when something is "running" or stops "running." Computers don't have a lot of intuition. Some of Davis' theories could be computer tested, but his NBJ system, as it is presented, could not. There is just too much guesswork.

If, despite my remarks, you believe Davis' theories are worth investigating, then I'd be interested in hearing about your personal experiences with his methods. If anyone has tested card "running" strategies via computer simulation, we would be interested in your findings. I did talk with one other Blackjack Forum subscriber about NBJ, and he liked the system, though he acknowledged very limited casino experience with it.

From what I've seen, Davis is simply selling a betting progression system, and calling it the road to riches. Same old baloney. ♠

source: New Blackjack, Same Old Baloney: Review of E. Clifton Davis' NBJ and WCB Blackjack Systems

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Hello NBJwannabe;

I worked in casino security for five years and I was able to watch many multiple deck games as I did the duties of my job. My estimate is that the average basic strategy player wins about one hand out of every three. In the casino I worked in, new cards were so poorly shuffled that players usually only won one hand out of every 4 with basic strategy. Dealers getting six and seven card 21s were common.

If you take the time to observe the blackjack games played in a real brick and mortar casino, I think you will see that the real results do not in any significant way reflect the computer simulations that counters use in their arguments.

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Well I'm not going to waste a lot of time on this very old Arnold Snyder article because I've rebutted it before point by point and never got an argument from any of them.

This whole group is forever quoting each other because they are a mutual admiration society of scam artists. I repeat, the casinos completely defeated card counting 20 years ago with the introduction of multiple decks and the cut off card. These guys all know this as well as I do. These guys finally admitted that it took luck to even get the 0.5% advantage they claimed. Smart play is not about luck.Today they seem to have all given up because I haven't heard from any of them in many years.

The last time I heard from Arnold Snyder he was replying to a student who complained he was counting perfectly, playing perfect B.S. (Basic Strategy) and following Arnold's advice flawlessly and making the appropriate play changes with the count but had yet to win a single shoe.

After a few questions, Arnold's reply was: Well that's why you are losing. You aren't playing a pair of 4's correctly.

Now anyone with an once of sense would recognize from that reply that Arnold is pure scam.

How could a pair of 4's cause you to lose every shoe??? You'll see a pair of 4's maybe twice a day and when you finally do it doesn't matter a hoot what you do because the odds are almost exactly the same no matter what you do.

I challenged these guys to come up with ONE winning card counter who was ahead after expenses at the end of the year. They couldn't do it and pointed to their infamous player Kenny Uston. Little did they know that I played with Uston his final year of play. I watched him lose his shirt daily to the Atlantic City game while I beat that game daily for 3 years of full time play. I was still beating that game two years after Uston quit BJ for good because he could not win. Uston's big complaint was that the cards were clumped and therefore Basic Strategy could not work. He even wrote a letter of complaint to the A.C. Casino Control Board.

But if the cards are clumped what are they? I'll tell you. They are PREDICTABLE! NBJ beats clumped games. It also beats random games a whole lot better than card counting. They TRY to get a 1/2% advantage. That's waitress change. I play NBJ to a 3 year recorded avg. of 15% Player Advantage. A card counter couldn't do that on the single best day of his life.

They finally answered my challenge and sent 5 of their "experts" to play me. We played in the high stakes room at the Taj. I won $10,000 in a half hour W/O betting over $200. They ALL lost their shirts.

Who are these guys to be critiquing ME. I never saw any of them ever play. Nobody has! None of my 3400 students ever saw any of these guys play. I asked all the pit bosses and dealers in AC and Vegas. They ALL knew who I was but they never saw any of these guys play. Most never even heard of them. If you wanted to learn golf, would you go to a guy who never played and just wrote books about how he THINKS the game should be played. Well, that's exactly what you did. It didn't work did it?

I played dozens of casino exhibitions in front of thousands of spectaters. I won every time. I played AC full time for three years W/O a losing day. What the hell did ANY of these guys do??? While they were writing their stupid books about BJ, I was actually playing BJ. I earned my stripes the hard way. They TALK a good game but nobody ever saw them play. I proved NBJ with real money, real play, in real casinos. I'll challenge each and every one of them again right now. But, you know what? I won't get any takers. Not after the last time.

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Keith Smith

Uston specifically wrote in his newsletters (which of course the card counting party never quote even though he is the greatest card counter of all time) and actually won, I see remnants of the box card order in the cards in the morning, if you play into these conditions it beats basic strategy. I don't know why the casino control comission allows this to continue. I PARAPHARSED BUT YOU CAN READ IT WORD FOR WORD IN HIS OLD NEWSLETTER. Here is the King of card counting saying clumping exists and it beats him. You can alway tell real players they tell the truth.

When Suzanne was playing in MS and by the way we will be there in JUly again, they changed the decks of cards everytime she satrted to win. If the cards are random whats the difference?

A real player answer you above the cards aren't beat by basic strategy. They lose too many hands. NBJ is just that how to win more hands by altering your card play. When to bet the most money. Card counters don't realize that we are doing the same thing only our way is better. Bet the most money when the dealer has the greatest chance to break. PLay your hands the optimal way. We just realize and ADMIT that when the cards are in a non random condition we play better cards or better said we will win more hands in those situations.

You can tell the winners and honest players by how many times they admit they lost 
not by how many times they say they won.

Need Information Messenger

https://m.me/beatthecasinodotcom

司奇士

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Hello NBJwannabe;

I worked in casino security for five years and I was able to watch many multiple deck games as I did the duties of my job. My estimate is that the average basic strategy player wins about one hand out of every three. In the casino I worked in, new cards were so poorly shuffled that players usually only won one hand out of every 4 with basic strategy. Dealers getting six and seven card 21s were common.

If you take the time to observe the blackjack games played in a real brick and mortar casino, I think you will see that the real results do not in any significant way reflect the computer simulations that counters use in their arguments.

This is about right. Before writing NBJ I had a team of Engineers record vital statistics in A.C for two years. We found that:

Perfect Basic Strategy wins 43% of hands on new cards down to 25% on Saturday night cards.

Splits actually lost overall.

Doubles broke even.

Perfect Basic Strategy loses perfectly! Nobody can win that way, not overall. The first thing you have to do is get your hands won rate up over 50%.

Snyder complains about the 3 bet negative progression that NBJ 3rd base uses in random cards. He seems oblivious to the fact that card counters increase their bet with the count. That's a negative progression pure and simple. So what's he saying? It's OK when he's teaching but not when I'm teaching? That's pure bull shit. The mark of a true scammer. He was still teaching it long after he had to know it didn't work.

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Oh and BTW, I don't mean to throw Jerry Patterson or Eddy Olson into the hat with the above counters. I've seen them play.

Snyder will probably tell us he plays in disguise. That's what they all say. That's hilarious! If you believe that, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn I'll sell ya. Come on down to Tunica Arnold. I'll even play you your own game. Single deck BJ.

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NBJwannabe

Okay, ill just go at the montreal casino this saturday to check it out. Can you guys tell me some ''tips'' to see if card are clumbed, I have no clue what is happening when those card are clubed. Plus if I go other days, at witch hours/day card are going to be clumbed.

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Sure: But don't get the idea that NBJ can only play clumped cards. NBJ's strongest situation is the NBJ 3rd base strategy in RANDOM cards. This puts us in a virtual can't lose situation.

The longer cards are played the more players in the game, the more cards clump. The casinos see to it that the cards are clumped because the more the cards are clumped, the less the dealer can break. Look at it this way: The dealer CANNOT break with all lows or all highs. She can only break on a mixture of highs ands lows. Therefore the more the cards are clumped the less the dealer breaks. Basic Strategy is destroyed because every play in Basic Strategy is computed on the random card dealer break rate of 28%. The dealer CANNOT and will not break 28% in clumped cards.

The casinos see to clumping by always picking up the break cards first. Break cards are mostly lows. Non break cards are mostly high. By separating the two groups the casino very effectively clumps the cards. Thats why they WANT you to play Basic Strategy. That's why they are trained to always give you the basic strategy play when asked. That's why most casinos give out basic strategy cards to novice players. They KNOW it can't win.

You are a counter. Recognize that when you get very high plus or minus counts, you are actually counting clumping. The further your count ranges the more the cards are clumped.

Normally I would tell a player to simply watch lows following lows and/or highs following highs out of the dealer shoe. If the cards are random lows and highs will follow highs equally (not counting sevens). For this purpose you can look at 8 or mores as highs and six or less as lo. Call an Ace high if it follows a high and lo if it follows a lo. That gives you a balanced count.

However you can use your normal count if you want. Here is what you will find. The more the cards have been played and the more players in the game the more the cards will clump and the further your count will range. Therefore you will get your highest ranging counts late on Saturday nights. You will get your lowest ranging counts on new cards that have seen no play UNLESS the casino has not even bothered to shuffle out the boxed card order of the cards, which they often do for obvious reasons. Try it and you will soon see.

I have often said that counters play backwards. You are taught that the higher the count the better your chances. WRONG! The higher the count the worse your chances because the higher the count the more the cards are clumped the less Basic Strategy works. Do you get it now?

So you sit down to a shoe and your count immediately goes negative as half of all shoes will. What do you do? You do what you are taught. You make minimum bets. WRONG!. That's precisely when you should be betting high. WHY? BECAUSE THE TENS ARE FALLING RIGHT NOW! THAT is when your chances are best. DON'T bet with the count! Bet with the direction of the count. Now you are betting high when the tens are falling. JUST AS YOU SHOULD BE.

You were taught not in insure. WRONG AGAIN! In random cards fine, don't insure. BUT in clumped cards insure whenever the third base players second card is a ten. WHY? Because in clumped cards tens follow tens more often than they randomly should. The dealers whole card was dealt right after that third base players second card. If that key card was a ten the dealer has about a 50% chance of having BJ and the bet pays 2 to 1. Do the math. I was once ejected from the high stakes room of the Claridge for calling every single insurance bet right for 4 and a half hours straight. But I wasn't just insurring my hand. I was insurring the whole table! Got it right every single time.

Look, I could go on for another 500 pages about what you were taught to to that is plain WRONG and what you should be doing instead. But I've got other players to attend to. It seems to me that if you don't realize that you were taught wrong by now, you never will.

Yep, those same guys scammed me too. I revered everyone of them until the cards proved beyond all doubt that even collectively they haven't got the foggiest notion of what they are talking about. It made me MAD! So mad that I wrote a book about how the game SHOULD be played. NBJ put those guys out of business. Its no wonder they are pissed at me. So are the casinos.

Its up to you but I don't need to prove it to you. I've already proved it at the tables. Where were those guys? Home writing more stupid books.

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Casinopro

Its up to you but I don't need to prove it to you. I've already proved it at the tables. Where were those guys? Home writing more stupid books.

Hey, Ellis.. don't forget all your students who've "proved it at the tables" as well. Like me. :)

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Good point. Thousands of counters have switched to NBJ but no NBJ player has ever switched to card counting. And look at Mad Dog who has been consistently tearing up Vegas. There are thousands more.

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Hello NBJ Wannabe

Let me know what you see in Montreal. I'm planning to get there once a week this summer. I'm located in Quebec City and it would be nice to share information. I'm a new WCB player since January and I did not play a whole lot (one week in Vegas and three times in Montreal) but so far the results have been positive. The two times I've played on late Friday nights in Montreal I took a downswing between midnight and 2 AM and made all my money back and more afer 2 AM. However I recognize that I should have played WCB a bit more often but it takes a little getting used to. Standing on 14 vs 10 is not natural but when you keep busting on every stiff hand with tens you realize it's smarter to stand and throw the BS book away. The 3rd time I played was an early afternoon on Saturday. This time there was no downswing and the cards were more random. That was a good afternoon.

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Hello NBJ Wannabe

Let me know what you see in Montreal. I'm planning to get there once a week this summer. I'm located in Quebec City and it would be nice to share information. I'm a new WCB player since January and I did not play a whole lot (one week in Vegas and three times in Montreal) but so far the results have been positive. The two times I've played on late Friday nights in Montreal I took a downswing between midnight and 2 AM and made all my money back and more afer 2 AM. However I recognize that I should have played WCB a bit more often but it takes a little getting used to. Standing on 14 vs 10 is not natural but when you keep busting on every stiff hand with tens you realize it's smarter to stand and throw the BS book away. The 3rd time I played was an early afternoon on Saturday. This time there was no downswing and the cards were more random. That was a good afternoon.

A couple of pointers here:

Some tables are unplayable in any fashion. The quicker you recognize this and the quicker you get out of there the better off you are. That's why rule #1 is Never play a losing shoe. At some times during the day the whole casino is unplayable. The more players in the casino the worse your odds. The fewer the better. That's exactly why casinos close tables. Crowded tables work best FOR THE CASINO.

All players give the dealer up card too much credibility. Remember that the odds of the dealer having a low in the hole are exactly the same as the odds of her having a high. Two lows makes the dealer STRONG too, usually.

In clumped cards play first base. You are far better off to "read" the dealers whole card. What were the cards that fell just before her hole card? If mostly lows led up to the dealer hole card, read her low in the hole and vice versa. That's far more accurate in clumped cards than Basic Strategy.

On the other hand, in random cards play NBJ 3rd base. Use a 3 bet progression. Start at 112 or 123 and earn your way up to 146. A dealer cannot beat a 146 in random cards with 3 or less players. Your BEST odds are head to head. It's very close to can't lose. Plus, playing head to head random cards will stay random.

At third, your cards are MOST like the dealer's. Its very hard for her to beat you 3 hands in a row at third in random cards. At 146 you can withstand the most 3 losses in a row. But in random cards at third 3 losses in a row will occur least. I once went 9 hours W/O.....

Good luck guys but the trick is to NOT leave it up to luck.

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Hi Ellis

The ongoing fight between counters and streak players keeps surprising me.

Actually Snyder was pretty nice to you if I compare his ugly fights with Jerry Patterson on Blackjack Forum. At least he's saying that your system wins more often but I don't think it's fair of him to say that you'r selling a progression system. After all you are giving options (I don't know if it was the case in 1993) and you're now saying that knowing when to stop a progression is a lucrative talent.

What I don't understand is why you're saying that betting up with the count is a negative progression. I don't want to defend Snyder and the counters but to me betting up with the count is clearly a form of advantage betting. I don't understand your argument here.

GIL

This is about right. Before writing NBJ I had a team of Engineers record vital statistics in A.C for two years. We found that:

Perfect Basic Strategy wins 43% of hands on new cards down to 25% on Saturday night cards.

Splits actually lost overall.

Doubles broke even.

Perfect Basic Strategy loses perfectly! Nobody can win that way, not overall. The first thing you have to do is get your hands won rate up over 50%.

Snyder complains about the 3 bet negative progression that NBJ 3rd base uses in random cards. He seems oblivious to the fact that card counters increase their bet with the count. That's a negative progression pure and simple. So what's he saying? It's OK when he's teaching but not when I'm teaching? That's pure bull shit. The mark of a true scammer. He was still teaching it long after he had to know it didn't work.

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OK. The count starts negative in half of all shoes. The card counter is taught to sit there making minimum bets until the count goes positive. He sits there and watches the tens go by W/O reacting. The fact that the count went negative tells you that's where the tens were.

To your point. Let's use 8 deck where everything is more obvious. The count goes to plus 8. The counter increases his bet from 1 to 2. The count goes to +13. The counter increases his bet to 3. That's a 3 bet negative progression already. He loses. Now he's going to make a 4 bet negative progression. WHY he did it is beside the point. He's already bet a longer progression than we EVER bet. And he did it in conditions not at all favorable to a negative progression. Negative progressions should only be bet from third base where your cards are most like the dealer's and they should only be used in random cards. In random cards the count hovers 0. An NBJ player at third is very unlikely to lose 3 in a row in those conditions. That is his best game. The counter just sits there because he never gets a count high enough to bet. He watches the best games go by completely oblivious to them. Get it?

I read all the counting books with great enthusiasm too. I taught myself to count a deak in 13 seconds flat and tell you whether the card you removed was hi, lo or nu. I learned to exactly change the right BS plays with the count. I went to the casino with max preparedness. I lost $40,000 in a month right after winning every day for 3 years with NBJ. I take that personal. Then I started checking on Arnold and company and found that they never even play. I watched their best counter go to ruin.

Counting books are absolutely filled with mathematical flaws that anyone with any head for math can plainly see. But you don't because you want it to work. Its a scam pure and simple. But the part that pisses me off it they KNOW its a scam. Every player they have is on the wrong side of the standard deviation. If you know ANYTHING about standard deviation you know that all counters cannot be on the wrong side if counting worked at all. It doesn't! We all got scammed, including me. Once I realized that I could beat this game daily and they couldn't beat it at all, I wrote my own book to save others from the fate that befell me at their hands. I don't call that "nice". OK, so I'll be nice. He's a gentleman scammer. The casinos love him. And with very good reason.

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Thanks Ellis for the reply

I truly appreciate your time and knowledge. I understand your point but since the counter doesn't necessarily loses his 2X bet or 3X bet before going to another level, that's why I have a hard time considering that a negative progression. From a practical stand point it doesn't matter though. I've tried card counting too but for one short trip. Going to Vegas once a year, I learned with that method only to experiment what you've said and luckily it was not losing $40 000. I found out it was a lot of work to never get a count above +8 (and it was perhaps a good thing). However it helped me notice the hi-round lo-round alternance which you take advantage of.

QUESTION. Any chance to see you play in Vegas or AC in the next few months?

OK. The count starts negative in half of all shoes. The card counter is taught to sit there making minimum bets until the count goes positive. He sits there and watches the tens go by W/O reacting. The fact that the count went negative tells you that's where the tens were.

To your point. Let's use 8 deck where everything is more obvious. The count goes to plus 8. The counter increases his bet from 1 to 2. The count goes to +13. The counter increases his bet to 3. That's a 3 bet negative progression already. He loses. Now he's going to make a 4 bet negative progression. WHY he did it is beside the point. He's already bet a longer progression than we EVER bet. And he did it in conditions not at all favorable to a negative progression. Negative progressions should only be bet from third base where your cards are most like the dealer's and they should only be used in random cards. In random cards the count hovers 0. An NBJ player at third is very unlikely to lose 3 in a row in those conditions. That is his best game. The counter just sits there because he never gets a count high enough to bet. He watches the best games go by completely oblivious to them. Get it?

I read all the counting books with great enthusiasm too. I taught myself to count a deak in 13 seconds flat and tell you whether the card you removed was hi, lo or nu. I learned to exactly change the right BS plays with the count. I went to the casino with max preparedness. I lost $40,000 in a month right after winning every day for 3 years with NBJ. I take that personal. Then I started checking on Arnold and company and found that they never even play. I watched their best counter go to ruin.

Counting books are absolutely filled with mathematical flaws that anyone with any head for math can plainly see. But you don't because you want it to work. Its a scam pure and simple. But the part that pisses me off it they KNOW its a scam. Every player they have is on the wrong side of the standard deviation. If you know ANYTHING about standard deviation you know that all counters cannot be on the wrong side if counting worked at all. It doesn't! We all got scammed, including me. Once I realized that I could beat this game daily and they couldn't beat it at all, I wrote my own book to save others from the fate that befell me at their hands. I don't call that "nice". OK, so I'll be nice. He's a gentleman scammer. The casinos love him. And with very good reason.

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Thanks Ellis for the reply

I truly appreciate your time and knowledge. I understand your point but since the counter doesn't necessarily loses his 2X bet or 3X bet before going to another level, that's why I have a hard time considering that a negative progression. From a practical stand point it doesn't matter though. I've tried card counting too but for one short trip. Going to Vegas once a year, I learned with that method only to experiment what you've said and luckily it was not losing $40 000. I found out it was a lot of work to never get a count above +8 (and it was perhaps a good thing). However it helped me notice the hi-round lo-round alternance which you take advantage of.

QUESTION. Any chance to see you play in Vegas or AC in the next few months?

That's understandable and is true of many counters and is true because of the semantics used to teach them. But a spade is a spade. True the counter only bets a negative progression when he loses in an up trending count. But the exact same thing is true of the 3rd base NBJ player. He is only betting a neg.prog. when he loses. The difference is that the counter has no cap on his prog. (extremely dangerous). The NBJ player caps his prog at 3 bets. NEVER more.

Particularly in 8 deck the counter can and will end up with 7 bet progs and often more. It is common in 8 deck for counts to go clear into the 30's. The counter can very easily lose 6 bets in a row as the count climbs. Recognize that the count is climbing BECAUSE lows are falling. He is usually losing when lows are falling because BS does not challenge low cards. BS says stand and let the dealer break precisely when the dealer CAN'T break. How can a dealer break in low cards? Think about it. The only way a dealer can break in lows is to be unlucky enough to arrive at 16 and draw a 6. How many unlucky dealers do you know? Likewise the dealer can't break with all highs. So precisely when the counter is making his highest bets because the tens are finally falling the dealer can't break with all highs. How could she? At +30 the counter thinks he's in the best game of his life. The FACT is he's likely in the WORST game of his life. He can't win while the count is going up because he was taught to stand precisely when the dealer can't break. Then when the count finally reverses all the tens fall at once putting the dealer in can't break mode again. Perhaps now you see why I say counters play backwards.

But there is a way counters can win! I published this in NBJ:

Take a 4 or 6 deck game where the count is staying between + or - 7. We call this ZERO Proximity Betting. You bet your high bets when the count is going TOWARD 0 from either direction. NOW you are coinciding your high bets to the tens fall. NOW you are doing precisely what counters are trying to do.

Try THAT! I closed down the 4 deck game at the Claridge doing precisely that. It's as close to can't lose as you can get EXCEPT for an NBJ player playing random cards from third base. That IS can't lose.

OK, I just gave you a winning way of playing BJ that is far far better than standard card counting. Take that as a gift from Ellis. THAT WORKS!

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That +-7 sounds like WBC to me Ellis (without counting) at least for one part.

Bet up after one or two low rounds when the high cards started to fall at the end of the previous round.

However how can that work reverse? High cards have been falling and the count is now -7. Now low cards begin to fall and the count moves up toward zero. How can you bet up and exploit that?

The EITHER DIRECTION confuses me.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Nightshifter
That's understandable and is true of many counters and is true because of the semantics used to teach them. But a spade is a spade. True the counter only bets a negative progression when he loses in an up trending count. But the exact same thing is true of the 3rd base NBJ player. He is only betting a neg.prog. when he loses. The difference is that the counter has no cap on his prog. (extremely dangerous). The NBJ player caps his prog at 3 bets. NEVER more.

Particularly in 8 deck the counter can and will end up with 7 bet progs and often more. It is common in 8 deck for counts to go clear into the 30's. The counter can very easily lose 6 bets in a row as the count climbs. Recognize that the count is climbing BECAUSE lows are falling. He is usually losing when lows are falling because BS does not challenge low cards. BS says stand and let the dealer break precisely when the dealer CAN'T break. How can a dealer break in low cards? Think about it. The only way a dealer can break in lows is to be unlucky enough to arrive at 16 and draw a 6. How many unlucky dealers do you know? Likewise the dealer can't break with all highs. So precisely when the counter is making his highest bets because the tens are finally falling the dealer can't break with all highs. How could she? At +30 the counter thinks he's in the best game of his life. The FACT is he's likely in the WORST game of his life. He can't win while the count is going up because he was taught to stand precisely when the dealer can't break. Then when the count finally reverses all the tens fall at once putting the dealer in can't break mode again. Perhaps now you see why I say counters play backwards.

But there is a way counters can win! I published this in NBJ:

Take a 4 or 6 deck game where the count is staying between + or - 7. We call this ZERO Proximity Betting. You bet your high bets when the count is going TOWARD 0 from either direction. NOW you are coinciding your high bets to the tens fall. NOW you are doing precisely what counters are trying to do.

Try THAT! I closed down the 4 deck game at the Claridge doing precisely that. It's as close to can't lose as you can get EXCEPT for an NBJ player playing random cards from third base. That IS can't lose.

OK, I just gave you a winning way of playing BJ that is far far better than standard card counting. Take that as a gift from Ellis. THAT WORKS!

Cliff, you are so right! I use High Opt II (when it works anyway, i usually don't bet with count, i employ card clumping methods, but the counting helps me profile the deck) and sometimes the count has been over +60 in an 8 deck shoe. That's usually the peaking period of the clumping, then after that the deck goes all neutral. It's a typical trend I encounter time & time again. And the count goes negative when all the HIGH cards are coming out ! :) By the way, it's an honor to chat with a true professional like you! :)

Heh, i love how they pick up all the blackjacks first and put them in the discard tray, and then during the future, the blackjacks fall all at once, and most likely the dealer pushed your blackjack also! Again, ace ten clumps that give the dealer a blackjack also (but not all the time), just like the solid ten clumps where everyone has a 20 and you push!

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Nightshifter

Counting books are absolutely filled with mathematical flaws that anyone with any head for math can plainly see. But you don't because you want it to work. Its a scam pure and simple. But the part that pisses me off it they KNOW its a scam. Every player they have is on the wrong side of the standard deviation. If you know ANYTHING about standard deviation you know that all counters cannot be on the wrong side if counting worked at all. It doesn't! We all got scammed, including me. Once I realized that I could beat this game daily and they couldn't beat it at all, I wrote my own book to save others from the fate that befell me at their hands. I don't call that "nice". OK, so I'll be nice. He's a gentleman scammer. The casinos love him. And with very good reason.

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I've often said that card counting has no bigger promoters than the casinos. GeeZ, they sell card counting books AT CASINOS. They give you a Basic Strategy chart just for the asking. That ought to tell you something. Back in the old days casinos used to let the card counters do their seminars right in the casino. I was lucky if they let me play let alone conduct seminars. They all took out ads in Casino Player Magazine. I tried and got turned down. C.P. complained that I was too anti casino. So I asked: "Does this mean that card counting instructors are PRO casino?" The answer I got was a resounding YES!

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Nightshifter
That +-7 sounds like WBC to me Ellis (without counting) at least for one part.

Bet up after one or two low rounds when the high cards started to fall at the end of the previous round.

However how can that work reverse? High cards have been falling and the count is now -7. Now low cards begin to fall and the count moves up toward zero. How can you bet up and exploit that?

The EITHER DIRECTION confuses me.

That's what i was thinking also after i read that. I understand the 7 to 0, but -7 to 0 would mean low cards are falling. Also, sitting at 3rd base playing random cards makes sense, i find this to be true also in these type of games. No more than 3 players at the table. I just use BS here when doing the 1-2-3 or 1-4-6 (if i get there) NP. But my question is, would you alter BS if you see a low run or high run before your hand. Let us say the deck is random, you hold 15 vs. a 4, and seen that the last 3 cards delt on the table were all low ? Assume the 4th will be low also and hit, or is this normal if the game is random ? I don't know if 3 cards is enough info for a low run ... or a high run. at least 5 lows or 4 highs would give a better indication but then again, if it's mostly random, those might be small clumps ... 3 or 4 cards long.. and change on you for the worst not the better... Ellis what is your view on this ?

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That +-7 sounds like WBC to me Ellis (without counting) at least for one part.

Bet up after one or two low rounds when the high cards started to fall at the end of the previous round.

However how can that work reverse? High cards have been falling and the count is now -7. Now low cards begin to fall and the count moves up toward zero. How can you bet up and exploit that?

The EITHER DIRECTION confuses me.

True but cards that stay between +- 7 are pretty much random. Unlike the card counter, the NBJ player is taught to hit more in an up moving count because the dealer breaks least in an upmoving count. That way the NBJ player wins his fair share of hands in an up moving count. The counter is taught to lose in an up moving count. Geez, the count is moving up HALF the time. You can't afford to give up on half the hands. Fight for low card wins and you'll be surprised how many hands you win that you used to simply give up on by standing with less than 17 in low cards right when the dealer is least likely to break. Get it?

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That's what i was thinking also after i read that. I understand the 7 to 0, but -7 to 0 would mean low cards are falling. Also, sitting at 3rd base playing random cards makes sense, i find this to be true also in these type of games. No more than 3 players at the table. I just use BS here when doing the 1-2-3 or 1-4-6 (if i get there) NP. But my question is, would you alter BS if you see a low run or high run before your hand. Let us say the deck is random, you hold 15 vs. a 4, and seen that the last 3 cards delt on the table were all low ? Assume the 4th will be low also and hit, or is this normal if the game is random ? I don't know if 3 cards is enough info for a low run ... or a high run. at least 5 lows or 4 highs would give a better indication but then again, if it's mostly random, those might be small clumps ... 3 or 4 cards long.. and change on you for the worst not the better... Ellis what is your view on this ?

Yes, even in relatively random cards there are usually one or two high or low clumps that reappear shoe after shoe. Watch for them and react accordingly. This is particularly important playing head to head as I usually do.

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All cardcounting books and BS books too tell you it doesn't matter what the other players do so don't get mad. This just proves once again that these idiots don't play. If you get a chicken hitter at third nobody can possibly win because he will consistently make the dealer's hand for them. If these guys played they would know that.

What I do in that case is I politely ask such a third base player if he works for the casino. He usually either leaves or starts hitting.

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Nightshifter

I've known a few Blackjack shills who work for drinks... sit in to mess things up! If it doesn't mess it up, it makes a few of us upset... I feel for you Ellis!

Problem is, the casinos don't want seminars that educate people how they can REALLY beat the casinos... I always play stupid and lose a little on purpose once in a while so they don't get wise to me. The casino by me thinks i'm a total moron and just lets me play and comps me all the time! What better life than that! ;) I usually end up playing by myself at the table and gradually switching to a 1 - 2 - 3 progression or better and just play BS more or less (unless something gives me the signal). everyone else leaves because they're disgusted with my blackjack playing!

Now you think they would sell books on how to really make money in the stock market and how to overcome all the corruption ? ;) Again... stockmarket books are like BS books ... you know what they do ? Make us all PREDICTABLE ! If 90% of us are predictable because we're brainwashed by these idiots (well they're not idiots), then they know are next move and can devise a system to defeat us.. hence ... create non-random shoes because most people play BS ... so the casino knows what most people will do... so they devised a system to make the most of it! profits wise...

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