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Blackjack in this day and age..


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To Ellis and all,

I joined this site a little over a year ago and at the same time got engaged. Sometimes relationships and casino gambling don't mix especially if the other person does not gamble even if we're advantage playing! One month before we were to wed the relationship has gone down the tubes so I find myself getting back to the more important things in life, BLACKJACK :).

Long story short and I'm being real honest here. I'm approaching mid life and was a card counter back in the 70's as a pip squeak. Made a couple of dollars but not much to speak about, just a grind. No team play experience. I never was the traditional card counter though. I was doing TARGET TYPE techniques way back then before target came out. Or NBJ, WCB for that matter. So I intermingled that type of style in with card counting. Worked for me! Table selection for me was key and if I got in and it turned sour I was off scouting a better opportunity. Hit and run..

I'll be frank and I hope you appropriate my honesty. I have NBJ and WBC. Got them from a CLOSE friend some years ago. His name won't be mentioned so don't ask. Back then I just looked them through, saw they were valid in my eyes, HECK I'd been utilizing some of that stuff myself.

Just recently I started to think about Blackjack especially after the separation and thought I'd refresh myself with the NBJ, WBC techniques. Have not done much card counting in years so I thought I'd try NBJ WBC the NBJ WBC way exactly as described in the manuals with no card counting.

I've been practicing on BJ software with an employed casino shuffle using 6 decks and about the same penetration as todays games here in Louisiana where I'm going to play.

My results with both first base and 3rd base strategies are very good in simulated computer games using a casino type shuffle in games anywhere from head to head to 5 players max with a penetration level of todays game. I'm excited that my results are good!

First let me say that I'm not a freeloader. If I start playing and do well, start making money as I don;t just play for fun, I'm going to send ELLIS whatever the cost of these manuals are. I think thats only fair and you have my word on that. Maybe you could even throw a few pointers my way to help me be the best NBJ, WBC player I can be, that would be appreciated.

I've had a few setbacks lately and I'm not one to start playing $25 tables. My motto is, is if I can't beat $5 tables with good conditions I certainly can't do it at the $25 tables. I like to use THERE MONEY to work my way up the ranks.

I scouted the tables today at 3 casinos during the morning and afternoon. Good $5 table conditions... couple of head to head situations at the 6 deck hand shuffled game and a few tables with 3 to 4 players, same 6 deck hand shuffled game.

I did see a computer BJ game with seats. Plays just like the real thing. It uses 6 decks and is a continuous shuffle. So I guess it shuffles 6 decks after each hand. My question is, is this game exploitable? I know card counting its not but is this computer continuous shuffle master machine beatable with NBJ, WBC?

Thanks Ellis or anyone ahead of time for any pointers.

Tom

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Hi

Well, the site is filled with interesting posts, so you should review as much as you can. Some interesting BJ stuff is even found in the Baccarat boards.

But the most interesting post is in the "Free Stuff". Some of Ellis' secrets (new cards are best) should be read and re-read until burned in your head.

I've been a fan of NBJ and WCB for a long time (early 90s) and I find that NBJ ages well with you. The more you use it, the better you understand it. Reading about it on this site, just improves my understanding. Re-reading pays. Real casino experience, followed by more reading is amazing.

Take your time to really let the info fill your mind, and become second nature. Good luck!!

Best Regards,

Rocky-42

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Tstar, back in the 90's $5 games were virtually unplayable by noon because the cards were over played already early in the day. But these days I'm finding good $5 games even late night at Tunica. Far less crowding.

At least at Tunica, their best games are single deck and 2 deck 3rd base. 6 deck is toughest, highly dealer biased and too clumped for 3rd but not clumped enough for 1st.

Single deck is interesting: One or 2 players they deal only 3 rounds. 3 or 4 players they only deal 2 rounds. 5 or more they only deal one round.

I always play head to head at least at the start. Then I play so fast that players seldom get in with me. They are also intimidated by the fact that the pit boss is always hovering over my game. They definitely are not used to losing. I'm trying to get them accustomed to it.

For pointers:

5 players is pushing your luck but can be good for a while. Your best games are right after two players quit and nobody gets in. Destroys the dealer bias for a while.

It's seldom clumped enough for accurate insurance betting but once in a while you can hit it just right.

Doubling is trecherous and I save it for only the very best situations.

I almost never split esp on Aces but I did get one good 8s split last time with a $50 bet up. Hit 18 and 11 and doubled for 21. Dealer broke.

You'll have to try Tunica some time. I recommend Gold Strike. Comps are loose. Stay away from 6 deck. The drive up 61 isn't so bad. Food is great! Use the Gold Strike parking garage, its never full.

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Oh yeah, continuous shufflers: I've never played those computer games but plenty of live continuous shufflers. They are a little tougher but susceptible to NBJ. THe cards are definitely not random. But it produces its own form of non randomness that takes a little getting used to. But they produce good and bad games just like any other shuffle. No, counting is useless against them. I never count at Tunica. I go by is it mostly highs, mostly lows or neutral right now. How oftem am I losing 3 in a row? Some tables way too often. Others, almost never.

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Thanks Ellis and Rocky for your feedback. Had a couple of tough 6 deck simulated practice games playing from 3rd base. Dealer keep getting 10 up cards and blackjacks. Ugg!

Quote from Ellis:

At least at Tunica, their best games are single deck and 2 deck 3rd base. 6 deck is toughest, highly dealer biased and too clumped for 3rd but not clumped enough for 1st."

"

Sounds to me Ellis with this quote that you personally don't play many 6 deck games? Sure 1 and 2 deck games are easier and that too corresponds

with the mathematics of the game as well.

I have 2 questions:

1). If you personally were reduced TO HAVING to play hand shuffled 6 deck games anywhere from head to head to a max of say 4 players. Reading between the lines in your quote gets me to thinking that you WOULD NOT play 3rd position? You'd play 1st base only or not play. Is this correct?

2). Same game conditions as above but your up against a continuous shuffler? Again what position would you play?

I'm trying to get my head around playing the best possible situations under my circumstances. To me if I can't find the right conditions at one casino I'm off to the next casino and if the the conditions aren't right there maybe it time to go home..

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Sounds to me Ellis with this quote that you personally don't play many 6 deck games? Sure 1 and 2 deck games are easier and that too corresponds

with the mathematics of the game as well.

I have 2 questions:

1). If you personally were reduced TO HAVING to play hand shuffled 6 deck games anywhere from head to head to a max of say 4 players. Reading between the lines in your quote gets me to thinking that you WOULD NOT play 3rd position? You'd play 1st base only or not play. Is this correct?..

Not necessarily:, I'd check the cards. If random I'd want 3rd. If clumped, I'd want First.

2). Same game conditions as above but your up against a continuous shuffler? Again what position would you play??..

Exact same answer!

I'm trying to get my head around playing the best possible situations under my circumstances. To me if I can't find the right conditions at one casino I'm off to the next casino and if the the conditions aren't right there maybe it time to go home..

Exactly right!

Here's the thing, and I was weak in getting this point across in both NBJ and WCB.

The more the cards are random the more you want 3rd.

The more the cards are clumped, the more you want 1st.

Ignoring neutral, if highs are following highs equal to lows following highs the cards are random (third base)

If highs are following highs more often than lows, the cards are clumped. (first base)

Heres a simple way. If you can usually correctly predict your first card 10s at first from the final cards of the prior round, First is where you want to be. If you can't, third is best.

Also consider this! You have more control over breaking a dealer bias from third than you do from first because YOUR play effects the dealer bias the most. A couple of extra hits in a low card run kills a dealer bias and sometimes moves it to YOU.

Basic Strategy itself eventually gives control to the dealer causing her to get more than 4/13 first card tens. Sometimes as high as 8 out of 13. That is why I say that perfect Basic Strategy is always eventually self defeating. The casinos KNOW this! Thats why they hand out free Basic Stategy cards.

THEREFORE to break the dealer bias, defy Basic Strategy right in front of the dealer. Wrench control away from her! The best way to do this is to keep hitting against her low up card in a low card run. Look! You CAN'T break in a low card run. Neither can she! Use up her low cards right in front of her. Now, She CAN break. Tricks of the trade!

Edited by ECD
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Quick trip summary:

Played Encore this wknd --> $25 min tables, 6d hand shuffled. Played 2 spots ($50 each as required 2x min bets for two spots playing). Played 1st, 2nd spots - usually total of 4 played spots plus dealer.

Tracking filters:

1. Dealer bust rate 3+ every 10 hds.

2. Dealer 10s/As --> 4 or less every 10 hds.

3. Tens ratio --> every 5 hds --> if > 40%

a. If end of round --> and won --> would increase bet 1 unit per spot.

b. If high tens ratio --> allowed doubles/splits vs weak dealer up cards.

Bankroll management (I am very risk-averse and try to minimize bankroll volatility):

4. Maintained $50 bets --> only increased after a win 1 unit at a time per win.

5. Max loss per shoe (2 $25 units per spot) --> (-12 units or -$300).

6. Target = $300 per shoe --> exit first loss after hitting target (if hit!).

NBJ/WCB principles:

7. If clumped & guessing 1st card of new round --> focused on dealer strategy on low TR rds (else variable strategy on high TR rds).

8. If unable to guess 1st card of new round --> after 3 consec rds, looked to wait new shoe or find new table.

9. Insurance if high TR rd.

10. Splits, doubles --> only on high TR rds AND dealer bust rate > 30% every 10 hds (else better to play flat bets and protect bankroll).

Results (monitored & played about 3 hrs over 2 consecutive nts):

11. Session 1: 1.5 hrs, played only filtered shoes --> buy-in $500. Exited $300 profit.

12. Session 2: 1 hr, had to scout favorable conditions 45 mins prior! Exited $500 profit.

13. Session 3: 45 mins, scouted 30 mins. Great run. Exited $870 profit.

14. Session 4: Full Sat nite --> tables full. Joined weak table, full 4 players. Played 5th and 6th spot. Unable to find favorable conditions. Then 3 consec shoes where dealer bust rate 10% per 10 hds!!! Loss = (-$300). Many lost thousands of $$$ at that table!

Summary --> Ellis, you are RIGHT!!! Can't beat poor table/shoe conditions. Also better to not put in more capital for doubles/splits in weak table conditions and low TR rds. Insur plays for the 4 sessions above was 90% accurate!!! Insured against 9 dealer As, all turned out BJs! 1 insur bet was not correct.

Very tempting and too easy to overstay at weak tables/shoes. I've found that learning to enjoy the hit & run approach is best for bankroll survival and advantage.

Thanks, Ellis, for your ongoing ideas, lessons learned!

Daytrader77459

Edited by daytrader77459
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Excellent post Daytrader77459!

It's very nice to hear from someone out there actually implementing NBJ, WCB principles successfully. It's obvious by your post that your a very experienced NBJ player.

I'd like to comment, ask questions with some of what you posted in bold

below. Maybe you, Ellis or someone else can critique with my observations.

Observation1: You said-

Tracking filters:

1. Dealer bust rate 3+ every 10 hds.

2. Dealer 10s/As --> 4 or less every 10 hds.

3. Tens ratio --> every 5 hds --> if > 40%

a. If end of round --> and won --> would increase bet 1 unit per spot.

b. If high tens ratio --> allowed doubles/splits vs weak dealer up cards.

These tracking filters are excellent. I think these coupled with some basic Target type filters are key to entering games. One just has to have patience. My question is on average, do you watch 10 hands BEFORE you entered the games you played? Obviously I realize after 5 or 6 hands favorable conditions

could present themselves in which case you would enter right?

Obervation2: you said-

Bankroll management (I am very risk-averse and try to minimize bankroll volatility):

4. Maintained $50 bets --> only increased after a win 1 unit at a time per win.

5. Max loss per shoe (2 $25 units per spot) --> (-12 units or -$300).

6. Target = $300 per shoe --> exit first loss after hitting target (if hit!).

In my past BJ experience I agree with minimizing bankroll volatility. I remember when I was heavy into card counting and the deck was extremely 10's rich and the deck was extremely dealer biased the dealer would seem get the 20's and BJ's to beat me. It was during those times where I would be shoving the big bets out and losing big time. It didn't take me long to realize that tHIS is where BJ card counting bankroll volatility comes into play and necessary adjustments needed to be addressed. NBJ, WCB addresses these beautifully IMHO.

My question- Seems like you were playing the first base strategy with you beeing seated at the first two seats of the table. Playing first base strategy in the first seat. You certainly can't play first base strategy in the second seat right? Or am I wrong? ELLIS? If playing these seats are we playing 3rd base strategy in the 2nd seat? My only observation is that it seemed that you had a high confidence level in 1st base with some of what you posted and your success and units won, that just maybe you were just slightly over conservative with your betting increasing only one unit and only after a win? Ellis whats your thoughts? BTW this is NOT a criticism, just an observation. Personally I like to look back on sessions and analyze the play.

Obervation3: you said-

NBJ/WCB principles:

7. If clumped & guessing 1st card of new round --> focused on dealer strategy on low TR rds (else variable strategy on high TR rds).

8. If unable to guess 1st card of new round --> after 3 consec rds, looked to wait new shoe or find new table.

9. Insurance if high TR rd.

10. Splits, doubles --> only on high TR rds AND dealer bust rate > 30% every 10 hds (else better to play flat bets and protect bankroll).

Really good stuff as discussed in further details in the manuals. Especially liked your table observations for entry and exits into and out of games and varying the playing strategies. Really good stuff!

Heres what I've been doing in practice getting ready for serious play-

Simulating tough playing conditions. Four other players at the table not including myself. 6 decks with a penetration level of 66%, so cutting off the cards and reshuffling the cards after 4 decks have been played. Placed 2 card counters at the table, one playing a 1 level card counting strategy and the second counter playing a two level card counting strategy. Its amazing how NBJ, WBC outperforms the card counters.

Heres my own observations with my personal simulated practice sessions.

I struggled a little bit with the 3rd base betting strategy and the 3 step progression until I re-read NBJ chapter 15 TENS RATIO and at the end under preferred strategy notes there are 15 rules. The first one being an override rule and to never increase your 3 step progression bet into a suspected low card round. Just end the progression.

I also read somewhere, not in NBJ that in blackjack 80% of the time a win is followed by a loss and a loss is followed by a win. 80% now think about that! NBJ and its 3rd base 3 step progression lends itself perfectly to this. I also read somewhere that winning 3 hands in a row has a decent percentage but that winning that 4th hand in a row percentage fall off drastically.

Heres what I've been experimenting with using the 3rd base NBJ complete strategy.

1. Using the complete NBJ playing strategy.

2. TR ratio betting using a 1-3-7 progression.

Its amazing how freeing yourself up from the chore of card card counting frees up other senses at the blackjack table. BUT by keeping a casual round by round TR you are still able to feel the composition of the complete deck. I'm able to not only keep a round by round TR - or + for the shoe but also what I feel is important not mentioned in NBJ in your wins to losses ratio in conjunction with the TR.

My betting strategy is as follows- It seems like that generally speaking the game types fall between game type 1,2 or 3 a majority of the time. Under these game types I'm using a 1-3-7 ONLY IF--

1. The last round is a (-) low tens round OR by way of observation the deck seems neutral with the overall count with tracking the (- or +) in each round. You seem to get a sense of overall deck composition tracking cards this way but the great thing is that by not counting card by card as traditional card counters do, it frees up your other senses and helps you to follow more important things as in the flow of the cards among other things. So again as long as I'm coming of a neutral and or (-) low tens prior round or feel the deck composition by way of NBJ TR tracking the deck is neutral I'll place the 3-7 bets BUT...ONLY AFTER A LOSS. Remember 80% of the time a win is followed by a loss and a loss is followed by a win. If the TR round is good after a win and also the deck composition is good then I'll make just a 2 unit bet. let say though that the last hand was a loss, the TR and deck composition was good I'll then go to the 3 unit bet and If I lose that bet would be two losses in a row so we go to the 7 unit bet. If we loss that., thats it start over. If however we loses that 3 unit bet and that round was a HEAVY tens round and the deck composition seems to have gone negative, I'll abandon the 7 unit bet and go back to the table minimum. So in order to continue on with the 7 unit bet I'll need a (-) round or close to a neutral type of round and overall neutral or better deck composition.

I hope I've explained on what I've been practicing so its understandable? What I'd like is for ELLIS and other experienced players to analyze my thought process. Is what I've been practicing valid or do you see any holes or other weaknesses that I need to give thought to? As you can see I'm serious about making money from the BJ tables on a consistent basis. I feel that the game conditions I've set up are tough. 6 decks cut off after 4 decks have been played with 4 other players at the table not including myself is a tough game. If we can beat that we can certainly beat a table with fewer players and or fewer decks.

Thanks,

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Played my first live session last night. I know Saturday night right, but i found a good table with only 2 players around the dinner hour. Made 12 units in about 45 minutes playing 3rd base, and defied basic strategy a few times with some very weird looks including the dealer. First time didn't work out, i busted and the dealer made a 21, lol. All and all NBJ worked great and it's fun to play compared to card counting and that mental taxation.

I have a question about baccarat but i guess i'll ask over there.

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