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Horseshoe Casino, IN, Scorecards & Play


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I went to the Horseshoe tonight. I had written a review about this casino last year: Horseshoe Casino, Hammond (Whiting), IN

I asked the pit boss how often the shoes are replaced with new cards, and he said once every 3-4 days. So, new cards come in only about twice a week.

There were 18 tables in play, and I walked around, studying the toteboards. Some were very one-side dominant, others, quite neutral, others choppy. There did not seem to be much consistency overall, and the bias would change often. For example, I watched an extremely choppy start turn into a very streaky run of Player. Then at another table, long streaks would be followed by heavy chop.

I found what I thought was the choppiest table at the no-commission baccarat table 1. Upon the start of a new shoe, I sat down and recorded the following shoe (without playing it):

9k1r0p.png

It start out very choppy, and then become very streaky.

After the shoe ended, I walked over to the other no-commissions baccarat table and noticed it was super choppy - almost all 1s and 2s with little else. I returned to my table and decided to play a game, looking for signs of chop and use S40 accordingly.

Here is the shoe I played live:

maystw.png

Play by play:

First 4 hands was 211, which seemed to suggest chop, so I started with S40 on hand 5, initially in mode 3. After losing 3 in a row at hand 8, I go OTR at hand 9. Upon winning it, I go off the run at hand 9. Losing that, and noticing the strong P dominance, I decide to switch to F2 and bet P the next hand, but only using 1 unit instead of 2, because I was unsure.

F2 seems to have been the right choice, and I switch to B side at hand 18 successfully. But then, upon losing 2 in a row at hand 20, I switch sides to P and immediately lose the 3rd bet, after which I immediately go back to B per the new F2 rules, but unfortunately, I lose the 4th bet, too, bringing me to my -8u stop loss. The 212 had bit me.

I should have stopped there, since my stop loss was hit, but I start the progression over with a 1 bet. I noticed 1s, 2s, and 3s forming, so I switch to OTB4L, which works for a few bets, but ultimately, I'm back down to -8u, the second time I hit my stop. I lose confidence at this point and am afraid to bet again. Of course, a superb Players streak of 10 then arrives, just in time for me to completely miss it, LOL.

When the streak ends, I decide to test the waters with a 1 bet in F2 mode. I know losing this would take me beyond my stop loss, but I decide to continue playing regardless, albeit very carefully. I convince myself I'm just gaining more experience at this point, albeit a costly one.

F2 from that point on works very well and I'm quite elated (and exhausted) when I'm back to break even with my complete buy-in restored by hand 52. I have no nerve to continue onward, though. I'm just happy I'm simply back to zero. For the remainder of the shoe, I sat at the table watching and recording the shoe, which turns out to be fairly OTB4L friendly.

I know I should have walked away at my -8u stop loss, but I must admit, I didn't want to lose the shoe so quickly. I was very lucky to have won the 2 bet at hand 37; otherwise recovery would've been scarier. It was scary enough! I feel very, very lucky to have broken even, and this turned out to be a "free" lesson.

In hindsight, simply playing F2 all the way through would've done great. Plus, use a progression like U1D2 all the way up, not stopping at 4. But when things are not going well, the natural inclination seems to be to want to change up, try something else. Sometimes it will help, and other times, not.

The previous shoe at that table was also very streaky (in the above scorecard), and I had thought to just play F2 at the beginning of the next shoe. But because chop was strong in the shoe prior to last (same colored deck), as well as the next table, as well as showing up in the first 4 hands of the new shoe, I went with S40 to start, which turned out to be a bad mistake.

Any comments and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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Just one thing, just have been thinking, we have this great forum that can possibly give us an advantage in play. HOwever, these advantage players are banned at casinos. So if thats the case, is there

I just play online at Dublinbet because it is a brick and mortar casino. But unfortunately, I cannot find any any bias in the table. So I just select the system from the 8 to 20 first hands. I apply N

Hi, Davelevad, Yes, correct. My bad! In a hurry to post shoe for you - but great eye. Again, valuable to have multiple sets of eyes for study cases, reviews. I think the most important points are:

shuttlesmasher

I think if the trend stays through the whole shoe then there is no problem, however, there are always 'exceptions' where this doesn't happen. The challenge has always been to 'identify' the shoe. Luck will play a good part on this, however if it was possible to 'guess' what the shoe 'may' produce and pick a system that best fits it will be best....

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Right Shuttle! This is an OTB4L 3 shoe and you would be out before the 5 in a row. Mode 3 handles the runs up to that point but all of those OTR bets are telling you to get out ASAP. I didn't play it but I think you get to +10 with relative ease.

Very very few casinos have cards older than 24 hours but older cards make for very strange shoes. It is very strange that a Horseshoe casino would be using cards that old. Not Benion's thing. I would double check that information. Maybe this pit boss has never been on the morning shift???

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I went to the Horseshoe tonight. I had written a review about this casino last year: Horseshoe Casino, Hammond (Whiting), IN

I asked the pit boss how often the shoes are replaced with new cards, and he said once every 3-4 days. So, new cards come in only about twice a week.

There were 18 tables in play, and I walked around, studying the toteboards. Some were very one-side dominant, others, quite neutral, others choppy. There did not seem to be much consistency overall, and the bias would change often. For example, I watched an extremely choppy start turn into a very streaky run of Player. Then at another table, long streaks would be followed by heavy chop.

I found what I thought was the choppiest table at the no-commission baccarat table 1. Upon the start of a new shoe, I sat down and recorded the following shoe (without playing it):

[ATTACH]2172[/ATTACH]

It start out very choppy, and then become very streaky.

After the shoe ended, I walked over to the other no-commissions baccarat table and noticed it was super choppy - almost all 1s and 2s with little else. I returned to my table and decided to play a game, looking for signs of chop and use S40 accordingly.

Here is the shoe I played live:

[ATTACH]2173[/ATTACH]

Play by play:

First 4 hands was 211, which seemed to suggest chop, so I started with S40 on hand 5, initially in mode 3. After losing 3 in a row at hand 8, I go OTR at hand 9. Upon winning it, I go off the run at hand 9. Losing that, and noticing the strong P dominance, I decide to switch to F2 and bet P the next hand, but only using 1 unit instead of 2, because I was unsure.

F2 seems to have been the right choice, and I switch to B side at hand 18 successfully. But then, upon losing 2 in a row at hand 20, I switch sides to P and immediately lose the 3rd bet, after which I immediately go back to B per the new F2 rules, but unfortunately, I lose the 4th bet, too, bringing me to my -8u stop loss. The 212 had bit me.

I should have stopped there, since my stop loss was hit, but I start the progression over with a 1 bet. I noticed 1s, 2s, and 3s forming, so I switch to OTB4L, which works for a few bets, but ultimately, I'm back down to -8u, the second time I hit my stop. I lose confidence at this point and am afraid to bet again. Of course, a superb Players streak of 10 then arrives, just in time for me to completely miss it, LOL.

When the streak ends, I decide to test the waters with a 1 bet in F2 mode. I know losing this would take me beyond my stop loss, but I decide to continue playing regardless, albeit very carefully. I convince myself I'm just gaining more experience at this point, albeit a costly one.

F2 from that point on works very well and I'm quite elated (and exhausted) when I'm back to break even with my complete buy-in restored by hand 52. I have no nerve to continue onward, though. I'm just happy I'm simply back to zero. For the remainder of the shoe, I sat at the table watching and recording the shoe, which turns out to be fairly OTB4L friendly.

I know I should have walked away at my -8u stop loss, but I must admit, I didn't want to lose the shoe so quickly. I was very lucky to have won the 2 bet at hand 37; otherwise recovery would've been scarier. It was scary enough! I feel very, very lucky to have broken even, and this turned out to be a "free" lesson.

In hindsight, simply playing F2 all the way through would've done great. Plus, use a progression like U1D2 all the way up, not stopping at 4. But when things are not going well, the natural inclination seems to be to want to change up, try something else. Sometimes it will help, and other times, not.

The previous shoe at that table was also very streaky (in the above scorecard), and I had thought to just play F2 at the beginning of the next shoe. But because chop was strong in the shoe prior to last (same colored deck), as well as the next table, as well as showing up in the first 4 hands of the new shoe, I went with S40 to start, which turned out to be a bad mistake.

Any comments and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Good come back! The losing 3 bet at play 21 should have put you in F3 which would have done a little better. But this is a tough shoe and that is common with very old cards.

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I spent the day at Horseshoe in Hammond, IN. I much prefer Horseshoe over Rivers, because Horseshoe has an abundance of tables, relatively low density of players, and the games go very fast (1 hour vs. 4 hours at Rivers). However, I've noticed playing bacc games there is much tougher. This is the same place I was happy to break even last week. It is also the place where I had lost my 20u when I played Maverick Ultimate live for the first time. So, I really need help finding the key to consistently beating Horseshoe. If Ellis or anyone else has suggestions, please offer them.

Today, I played 3 shoes, and won a few units at the end of the day, which was nice, considering I had hit my -8u stop loss in my first shoe.

As is my routine, I spent the first few hours there just watching all of the tote boards, trying to notice whether I could see any bias consistency. It was very difficult to tell. I watched a table go from an extremely streaky (ideal F2) shoe to neutral (good OTB4L) to random. Some tables were just spitting out all sorts of garbage - random upon random. Most would start out with one bias (mostly neutral) and then can go choppy or streaky abruptly, and then back again.

Shoe 1:

Around 12 PM, in the high-limit room.

The tote board was loaded with 2s in the first 23 hands of the shoe. I entered the game at hand 26 playing OTB4L. By hand 35, my score had increased to +6u. I feel I had chosen the right system for this shoe.

After losing 2 in a row at hand 37, I notice the 1s are mostly sporadic, so I am in mode 2. Thus I go OTR on hand 38, but unfortunately lose that critical 3u bet.

Confident that the shoe is still strongly OTB4L, I begin betting OTB4L again, but immediately lose the next 3 bets. I used a 112 progression here just to be safe. After losing the 2 bet at hand 41, I try to catch what I think might be a B run, but it chops to P. I have lost 7 in a row by hand 42. For the sake of money management, I am only flat betting 1u and an occasional 2u at this point.

I try OTB4L a few more hands, but lose 2/3 of them. At hand 46 after a P run of 4, I see the shoe is becoming streaky since the last 2 events have been 4+s, so I switch to F2 starting on P side. This works fine until the 211 defeats the new F2 switching rules and I suffer a 4-in-a-row loss, hitting my -8u stop loss. I'm tempted to continue to try to recover from this point, but I let it go, swallow the loss, and go to lunch.

I think what hurt me in this shoe was relying too heavily on OTB4L and not switching to F2 at the first sign the shoe seemed like it would become streaky. Also, in hindsight, I should have been in mode 3. Not sure how I would've known that going forward, though, unless the reasoning is that it had such a strong OTB4L beginning that mode 3 is thus warranted.

u25wn.png

Shoe 2:

Around 3:30 PM, in the main annex:

Tote board was screaming "chop," so I start with System 40 and quickly hit +10u. When I drop to +9u, I quit, happy to have recovered my earlier losses in the first shoe.

I recorded the rest of the shoe for reference: it became streaky shortly after I left the table, but System 40 in mode 3 would've fared okay all the way to the end.

29eohs8.png

Shoe 3:

Around 4:30 PM, at the same table as Shoe 2:

First 10 hands point strongly to F2. Works great and I catch the long Banker dominated strong side. When the 1212s start appearing, I think the shoe might be going to chop (since the last shoe went from chop to streak), and to verify, I pause at hand 23, which chops, so I start playing System 40 at hand 24. My score hits a high of +9u at hand 28, before eventually dropping due to the two 3s. I didn't bet 3u at hand 31 which would have won, because it would've dropped my score below +5u had it lost, so I just flat bet from there on. I decide to leave the shoe, since I eventually dropped back to +5u.

In hindsight, I could have just stayed on B, but even if I did, I would've exited with the same +9u high score and +5u final score, so it worked out both ways just the same.

I didn't stay for the rest of the shoe, because it was time to go home.

Session total: +6u (+4.65u net after commissions).

2zjcp45.png

Following are a couple of the shoes I was recording why watching all the tables. If anyone notices something about these shoes which would help me figure out how to do better when playing at Horseshoe, please share. Thanks!

dnbvyu.png

35iu4gp.png

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I would like to start with a general note here about Horseshoe. While I have often reported about the high frequency of casino cheating I have witnessed first hand, I have never seen even a hint of cheating at any Horseshoe casino. Rough shoes, yes. Cheating, never. The same is true of Gold Strike, and Gold Coast.

Another general remark I'd like to make since these shoes point straight to this fact is that if you took table selection totally away from me I would have been just an average BJ and Bac player over the past 30 years.

You guys have been asking for more play by plays and Dave gives us an excellent oppotunity for that. Now lets go to his play, not just his play but also his overall casino comportment.

Well first, I think your play and your reasoning was very good especially considering your experience level. Devotion is good but it can't totally replace experience. It's probably a hell of a time to tell you this but I consider ALL players beginners for AT LEAST their first two years.

I would be willing to make a sizable bet that no street player would have finished your day ahead.

The recorded shoes were, in fact, horrible and you did well staying out of those games. But you also did well selecting the games you DID select. Your table selection was excellent. I see room for improvement in system selection and aggression. No street player would have walked away from this with 6 units in their pocket BUT you could have walked away with substantially more and I suspect that soon you will.

Your shoe#1 is an S40-3 shoe. How do we know? The early 5 ZZ puts you on 40-3 at play 5. We always start 40 in Mode 3, unless prior shoes at that table indicate otherwise. Nothing in the shoe happens to put you off of 40-3. Yes, you are winning more 2 bets than 1 bets but so what? You are winning steadily and that 5ZZ is back there warning you not to go OTB4L. Yes, the TTs are tempting but you are beating them anyway. And that 5 ZZ is like a flashing red warning sign. No, you are not going to advance to the 234 or 345 because you are not winning enough first bets to support aggression.

Starting at play 5 you are already at +9 at play 24 with only one 3 bet. You hit +9 again at play 27. That is a definite Quit signal. But if you decide to go on because you are doing so well you find yourself at + 15 at play 42 having just survived your first OTR 4 bet. Another good half decade quit point. If you are a glutton for punishment you go on and immediately survive your second OTR 4 bet puting you at +14 at play 49. You quit because the shoe has just produced a 5 followed by a 6 and you are playing a chop system. If you insist on staying in your only option would be to switch to F but you are already well past the half way point. Watch my lips. QUIT! Hey, I would have quit way back at the 2nd +9. This game isn't about heroes.

I gotta go feed Girl, my cat. Be right back

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OK, yes, table selection is even more important in BJ than in Bac, if that's possible. BJ is where I learned the tremendous importance of table selection. It is not as obvious in Bac and this is why the avg Bac player never figures it out. But the fact is table selection is the source of most of your advantage in Bac.

Let's get to Dave's 2nd shoe. You've heard of shoes from hell. Well there are just as many shoes from heaven. This is such a shoe. Here is where the pro must step up his aggression. Yes, the casual player can get away with always being conservative but the pro MUST know when to step on the gas. For the pro, one great shoe can make up for a lot of -8s and -6s and -7s.

Before we get started on shoe 2, this shoe brings up a VERY important point. I've got it covered in the manual and I meant to cover it in the seminar but somebody made off with my notes and I forgot.

In Mode 3 and Mode 3 only, when you find yourself in a hot shoe (they happen more than you think) do Not go to the 234 or 345. Why? Because Mode 3 needs a 4th bet and those progs have no 4th bet. Instead go to U1D2 B2 M3. That is up 1 down 2 but base at 2 instead of 1 and then use a mandatory 3 rather than 2.

For you old timers, this is the prog I was mostly using back when Gold Strike was producing all OTB4L shoes with new cards. Hey, casinos aren't perfect. They just seem that way. But casinos are human and they make mistakes you can exploit. Hey Dave, like that double shuffle. Gold Strike made a 3 year mistake and nobody saw it because no casino big wigs are there at 7 am. So it went on for 3 years before the casino detected and corrected. And the 3 years before that, new cards were ALWAYS S40 at Horseshoe next door. This happens a LOT. ALWAYS know what new cards produce at YOUR favorite casinos. Sometimes it is VERY consistent due to a consistent morning card prep. The morning "card prep" as opposed to an ordinary shuffle, is how casinos prep new standard cards out of the boxes. Hey, we'll take ANY advantage they mistakenly give us.

OK shoe#2:

Shoe 2 is a super hot shoe. How do we know. Well if you haven't already figured it out, the first col. has only 4 repeats in 20 plays. But you SHOULD know way before that. S40 loses only 1 bet in the first 9 plays!

It is HIGHLY likely that the prior shoe was also very choppy. In that case I would have started at play 2. But I will always jump in when a shoe starts with a 111. So, OK, I make 4 flat bets at plays 4567. My first 2 bet is play 8. My winning 3 bet at play 11 already sees me at +6. I'm going to a base bet of 2 right NOW! I win my first base 2 bet at play 12 and bet the mandatory 3. I'm at +20 already at play 20! So do I quit? Hell no! I'm in a hot shoe and I'm not going to quit until the worm turns which it never does because there are no 4s in this shoe. I'm still in Mode 3 for the same reason and I stay in Mode 3 for the rest of the shoe. I'm ONLY going OTR after 3 losses and I'm only staying OTR for 1 bet. It takes a 9 in a row to do me any real damage and even if I get one I'm still going to win big time! My first 5 bet comes at play 34. I win the 5323 putting me at +32 at play 37 already. That is the first time I break 30 so I think about quitting but I don't because I'm in the middle of a ZZ run! As a consequence I skip +40 and hit +41 already at play 48. Me, I quit right there because I KNOW from experience that particular prog is really pushing its luck past 40. But if you ignore me, ha, as usual, you are rewarded with a +44 at the 2nd to the last play. Me, I NEVER make the last play. If you lose it you can't recover.

Shoe 2 is what we play Baccarat for. Yeah, yeah, I know, you haven't got the guts for it just yet. But win a few of those and you WILL have the guts.

So would I have made a 6 bet in that shoe if it had come up? It would depend on my cash position at the time but probably not. Remember Dave was down going into this shoe. Had I lost the 5 bet at play 53 I would have quit for sure at +30. +30 is super good W/O a bet higher than 5.

I'll take a coffee break and then we'll do the 3rd shoe. So what are we up at this point? I'm up +50 in 2 shoes. Some of you guys would likely be even higher, THIS TIME.

Dave, would you please do me the favor of posting these 3 shoes as I would have played them. You can play them all the way through but mark where I would have quit (the 2nd +9 in the first shoe and the first 41 in the 2nd shoe. In the first shoe stop at +14 at play 48. No one would be foolish enough to make another bet. And in the second shoe stop at the 2nd to last play at +44.

The third? well, we'll see in a minute.

Oh BTW, I realize that on other forums I would be accused of Monday morning quarterbacking but I figure enough of you guys have seen me play to know that I don't need monday morning quarterbacking. I'm just following our rules. I made no strange plays.

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I would like to start with a general note here about Horseshoe. While I have often reported about the high frequency of casino cheating I have witnessed first hand, I have never seen even a hint of cheating at any Horseshoe casino. Rough shoes, yes. Cheating, never. The same is true of Gold Strike, and Gold Coast.

Another general remark I'd like to make since these shoes point straight to this fact is that if you took table selection totally away from me I would have been just an average BJ and Bac player over the past 30 years.

Thanks, Ellis, for the invaluable insights and feedback. I'm confident I'll be able to win consistently at Horseshoe once we figure out the optimal approach. I like your approach of studying each casino for its own characteristics and weaknesses, not just looking at baccarat the game itself, but who is providing the game, assuming they are not all providing it on the same level playing field. This kind of consideration transcends the mathematics of the game, and can give the player a true advantage. I suppose it's analogous to studying roulette wheels for exploitable physical defects.

With regards to casinos cheating, what are some signs of that?

Also, with regards to the new cards at the regular mini-bacc tables at this Horseshoe, last time, a pit-boss told me the new cards came in every few days, which you found difficult to believe, so yesterday, I re-checked with another pit-boss, who admitted she didn't know when exactly the new cards came, but she had the impression it wasn't every day. I then asked one of the dealers, who said the new cards came in everyday very early in the morning. So, there's some mixed information I'm hearing. Nevertheless, at all of the high-limit tables which allow players to handle the cards, every shoe uses new cards. My first live shoe from yesterday was from such a table (the one I hit my stop loss), as well as the "Demo 2" blank, recorded shoe.

You guys have been asking for more play by plays and Dave gives us an excellent oppotunity for that. Now lets go to his play, not just his play but also his overall casino comportment.

Well first, I think your play and your reasoning was very good especially considering your experience level. Devotion is good but it can't totally replace experience. It's probably a hell of a time to tell you this but I consider ALL players beginners for AT LEAST their first two years.

I would be willing to make a sizable bet that no street player would have finished your day ahead.

The recorded shoes were, in fact, horrible and you did well staying out of those games. But you also did well selecting the games you DID select. Your table selection was excellent. I see room for improvement in system selection and aggression. No street player would have walked away from this with 6 units in their pocket BUT you could have walked away with substantially more and I suspect that soon you will.

Thanks - yeah, I am definitely a beginner, and I'm pleased even at this basic level, I'm starting to also experience where your true edge comes from.

I've been keeping careful and detailed stats of my playing results, and here's a quick summary of my overall net PAs (after commish) so far:

- 2010 (on my own, including playing Maverick Ultimate): net PA = -7.66%

- 2011 (shadowing Ellis at PA/AC): net PA = +26.44%

- 2011 (on my own, after PA/AC): net PA = +8.53%

(Had I taken that +20u at Rivers last week, my net PA would be +15.24%. Would'a, could'a, should'a.)

So, there's no question you're making a night-to-day difference in my playing performance so far, and as I'm barely starting to crawl now, I know my performance will improve.

Your shoe#1 is an S40-3 shoe. How do we know? The early 5 ZZ puts you on 40-3 at play 5. We always start 40 in Mode 3, unless prior shoes at that table indicate otherwise. Nothing in the shoe happens to put you off of 40-3. Yes, you are winning more 2 bets than 1 bets but so what? You are winning steadily and that 5ZZ is back there warning you not to go OTB4L. Yes, the TTs are tempting but you are beating them anyway. And that 5 ZZ is like a flashing red warning sign. No, you are not going to advance to the 234 or 345 because you are not winning enough first bets to support aggression.

Starting at play 5 you are already at +9 at play 24 with only one 3 bet. You hit +9 again at play 27. That is a definite Quit signal. But if you decide to go on because you are doing so well you find yourself at + 15 at play 42 having just survived your first OTR 4 bet. Another good half decade quit point. If you are a glutton for punishment you go on and immediately survive your second OTR 4 bet puting you at +14 at play 49. You quit because the shoe has just produced a 5 followed by a 6 and you are playing a chop system. If you insist on staying in your only option would be to switch to F but you are already well past the half way point. Watch my lips. QUIT! Hey, I would have quit way back at the 2nd +9. This game isn't about heroes.

I gotta go feed Girl, my cat. Be right back

Thanks - I'm starting to see it better. Yes, one of the best lessons I've learned from you so far is that winning the game is not about playing through the whole shoe with the goal of getting sky-high scores. That there is a complete "shoe" of 70+ decisions with a definite beginning and ending is a powerful illusion which creates this kind of trap for many players. Even if they're doing well at some point in the game, they feel compelled to keep playing, because psychologically, the shoe is "still in progress."

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Dave, would you please do me the favor of posting these 3 shoes as I would have played them. You can play them all the way through but mark where I would have quit (the 2nd +9 in the first shoe and the first 41 in the 2nd shoe. In the first shoe stop at +14 at play 48. No one would be foolish enough to make another bet. And in the second shoe stop at the 2nd to last play at +44.

Definitely - will do ... thanks again for your invaluable insights. This kind of feedback is priceless.

Yes, come to think of it, there are actually a lot of shoes at Horseshoe that I saw start out 111 ... and remain high chop for quite awhile. Yesterday after I played Shoe #2, I walked around and noticed another shoe at the next table starting out ultra choppy, too - lots of 1s and 2s, hardly any 3s, and no runs past 4. I kept my eye on it, and it pretty much stayed choppy all the way through.

I was tempted to jump in on that one, but there were no seats at the table and a big crowd was surrounding it. Everyone was betting for ZZs but wouldn't quite know what to do next when the 2s came - many just like to take pot-mark shots, and thus, they hunt down the high chop and streak tables. In those situations, it's hard to bet over-the-shoulder, keep track on the scorecard, and avoid getting pushed around. At Horseshoe, baccarat can be a full-contact sport at "hot" tables! lol

Also, at this stage, I'm still wary that the bias will not stick long enough to capitalize on it, since I've seen it change so much & quickly. Like you said, I'm sure that confidence will come with time and experience.

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OK, shoe 3:

This one is pretty cut and dry and Dave did almost everything right. Certainly acceptable play.

I would have started sooner but at this point I probably have a lot more confidence in my system selection than you guys do. But I would have quit on the same play Dave did. 2 3s are like a bad omen. They usually don't hurt us but they don't do us a lot of good either.

Anyway I would have gone with F2 also but I would have started right under the first 3 at play 6 and I would have gone right into my 123 prog. We already have everything F likes: We have a sporadic 1, a strong side and a straight run. F2 decided at play 6 because we already have a 3.

I would have advanced to the 234 at play18. (I'm already at +7) But had you not done this it only makes a 2 unit difference at the end.

You would never switch from F because it is winning very nicely but you need to KNOW that F LOVES the 212s. You certainly would not switch out of F in the middle of a 212 run. If you play F2 starting at play 6 W/O advancing you end up at +14. If you advance at play 18 to the 234 you end up at +16. This shoe is a very easy win and pretty much a yawn. So, +66 for 3 shoes. Not bad!

Daves biggest asset was rejecting the shoes he rejected and selecting the shoes he selected. Good job Dave!

I've got to do a phone lesson now but later, let's take a look at what is Wrong with the shoes Dave rejected.

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Here are the replays of my 3 Horseshoe shoes of 08/26/11 according to how Ellis would have played them:

Shoe 1: S40-3, 1234

t5sil5.png

Shoe 2: S40-3, press U1D2M2 B2 at hand 12

205p4jc.png

Shoe 3: F2, press 234 at hand 18

16gbui9.png

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Ha, often the dealers know more than the pit bosses. I can pretty much guarantee you that all Benion Casinos change the cards daily. It is Corporate policy.

But they are smart in other ways: When you play an early morning table head to head as I often do at Horseshoe, Tunica They ask you how many hands you would like to see before you bet. They will also end the shoe wherever you ask. Why is that smart? Otherwise nobody would open the table. Players don't like to play head to head. They always wait for somebody else to open.

Right, when you start looking for these table selection things yourself rather than reading other opinions from guys who have never tried it, you start seeing this stuff again and again with your own eyes. But don't tell them. They will call you names.

There are many many ways for casinos to cheat in both Bac and BJ and some of the biggest name casinos do it on a regular basis as general policy.

There is one in BJ the dealers call slipping the 5. You have 16 (or 15) and you call for a hit but on the way to your hand the dealer sees it's a 5 (or 6) and slips it to the next hand on the table. So you complain and everyone at the table agrees you called for a hit (the way I signal it is very obvious). So the pit boss comes and says "We can't back the cards up. Do you still want a hit?" The ONLY purpose of such a no backup rule is to allow the dealer to cheat. There is no other plausible reason. In the break room Dealers brag about their competency in pulling this trick off and the pit bosses brag about backing them up.

You MUST know the Bac hit rules to play some casinos. They'll even hit 8s if you don't know any better.

A major East Coast casino has what I call the breakdown trick. It makes them thousands.

14 player $100 table, a long Bank run and the bets get very high. At a signal from the Pit Boss he calls for a chip pile breakdown while the players are waiting for their huge bet piles to be paid off. All the Asians are jibberjabbing and paying the table no mind waiting for all the insurance chips to be computed which takes a whole lot longer this time. So a pit crew member, on signal, breaks down all the bet piles into two piles. Eventually the players look up and think they have been paid because they see two piles. They withdraw their chips W/O being paid. If an argument ensues the party line is: Hey, you withdrew your bet. That's your fault, not ours. The beauty of it is it's all perfectly legal. You don't have a leg to stand on.

And, I can prove it if John Laita (Aegis) remembers. Ann and I were playing that table with John and his wife. The 3 of them were precisely following my bets. We killed the shoe but as we prepared to color up John says wait a minute, we bought in exactly the same and we bet exactly the same so how can we each have $400 less than you two. Oh shit John, I know exactly how it happened and I should have warned you guys. I'll bet John remembers even after all these years. It's a pretty hard thing to forget.

There are those who think casinos would never cheat. I've got news for you. Elvis is dead and there are no leprechauns.

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Thanks Dave except you cheated on the 4 bet at hand 52 in the first shoe. But that is fine since anyone in their right mind would have quit before then. But hey, if you can convince the dealer that was where your 4 bet was, all the more power to you. To me they would just say "Get real Buddy!"

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Thanks Dave except you cheated on the 4 bet at hand 52 in the first shoe. But that is fine since anyone in their right mind would have quit before then. But hey, if you can convince the dealer that was where your 4 bet was, all the more power to you. To me they would just say "Get real Buddy!"

LOL - oops - thanks for catching that. Fixed now. :cool:

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The other two look fine. I might not have started shoe 2 that early but it makes no real difference. Good job and thanks! I'm sure all the guys really appreciate all your efforts as well as this type of conversation. It's sota like seeing real world stuff.

Yep, see guys, these conditions that I have been playing for 30 years really exist. I didn't come from Pluto. If Dave can walk into a casino and find these conditions so can you. I suspect he was a bit of a doubting Thomas at first but there it all is laid completely bare. And this will keep happening again and again and again. It always has and always will. I know this is hard for some to believe but the more you do it, the more you see and the better you get at it. Hey, I STILL learn stuff every time I play. You keep getting better forever. Hey, at least in some ways this exercise was even better than the seminar. I'm proud to be part of both.

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So, is there any way for players to cheat? Yep! Of course I would never do this, but Keith.....

So there you are in a 7 player mini bac game at first base. (The extreme left hand of the dealer) (sort of ominous). You lose your 1 unit bet on Player. The dealer immediately takes your chip and you immediately put up 2 units on Bank. But the dealer is busy with the insrance rack starting at 3rd base (the seat opposite you at the other end of the table.) He finally gets to you, sees your 2 bet and pays you off. You immediately look at the ceiling, the chandeliers or the waitress's tits or anything except the dealer. Go to the John, whatever. What you DON'T do is say. "Oh, that bet was for the next hand."

So, would I ever do that? Keith? John? No, of course not! Ha. But watch out for Dave. After all, I just caught him cheating.

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So, is there any way for players to cheat? Yep! Of course I would never do this, but Keith.....

So there you are in a 7 player mini bac game at first base. (The extreme left hand of the dealer) (sort of ominous). You lose your 1 unit bet on Player. The dealer immediately takes your chip and you immediately put up 2 units on Bank. But the dealer is busy with the insrance rack starting at 3rd base (the seat opposite you at the other end of the table.) He finally gets to you, sees your 2 bet and pays you off. You immediately look at the ceiling, the chandeliers or the waitress's tits or anything except the dealer. Go to the John, whatever. What you DON'T do is say. "Oh, that bet was for the next hand."

So, would I ever do that? Keith? John? No, of course not! Ha. But watch out for Dave. After all, I just caught him cheating.

LOL - caught red handed!

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The other two look fine. I might not have started shoe 2 that early but it makes no real difference. Good job and thanks! I'm sure all the guys really appreciate all your efforts as well as this type of conversation. It's sota like seeing real world stuff.

Yep, see guys, these conditions that I have been playing for 30 years really exist. I didn't come from Pluto. If Dave can walk into a casino and find these conditions so can you. I suspect he was a bit of a doubting Thomas at first but there it all is laid completely bare. And this will keep happening again and again and again. It always has and always will. I know this is hard for some to believe but the more you do it, the more you see and the better you get at it. Hey, I STILL learn stuff every time I play. You keep getting better forever. Hey, at least in some ways this exercise was even better than the seminar. I'm proud to be part of both.

Thanks, Ellis - this kind of team spirit, moral support, & mentoring is invaluable. While I'm playing, I obviously don't have much personal experience to rely on to make a decision, so being able to tap into your vast playing knowledge and perspective helps me immediately see much farther than I would have on my own.

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I've mentioned before, I love to play with the Asians. No disrespect to other nationalities but they have adopted this game as their own. They have, in general, a keen sense of how to play to win. AND they respect a white guy as soon as they see he knows how to play. And if they see he plays even better than them they don't get competitive over it. Indeed, they follow him and tell their friends to do the same. They appreciate good play. The reverse is also true. Asians are sticklers for the rules and they don't let casinos make mistakes.

My eyesight is not what it used to be and often I can't see the cards. But I always know the call was right when the Asians don't object to the call. You can take it to the bank.

Few know this but the Asians interceded for all of us when they stood up against the must play every hand rule the casinos tried to shove down our throats. With their cumulative power they boycotted casinos trying to do this and we stopped this onslaught dead in its tracks.

Up and down the East Coast the Asians nicknamed me The Professor. I am extremely proud of this and honored to be considered their friend and proud to call them friends.

Ha, nevertheless, they are frightfully slow players, aren't they. But I never complain. I just politely ask them:

"Is this still Tuesday?"

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I've mentioned before, I love to play with the Asians. No disrespect to other nationalities but they have adopted this game as their own. They have, in general, a keen sense of how to play to win. AND they respect a white guy as soon as they see he knows how to play. And if they see he plays even better than them they don't get competitive over it. Indeed, they follow him and tell their friends to do the same. They appreciate good play. The reverse is also true. Asians are sticklers for the rules and they don't let casinos make mistakes.

My eyesight is not what it used to be and often I can't see the cards. But I always know the call was right when the Asians don't object to the call. You can take it to the bank.

Few know this but the Asians interceded for all of us when they stood up against the must play every hand rule the casinos tried to shove down our throats. With their cumulative power they boycotted casinos trying to do this and we stopped this onslaught dead in its tracks.

Up and down the East Coast the Asians nicknamed me The Professor. I am extremely proud of this and honored to be considered their friend and proud to call them friends.

Ha, nevertheless, they are frightfully slow players, aren't they. But I never complain. I just politely ask them:

"Is this still Tuesday?"

Yeah, the Asian players are faster knowing the results of each hand than the dealers. At one table, they kept chastising the dealer, "Stop! No! No third card!!"

During my first shoe yesterday, one Chinese player sitting to my right was apparently following a system involving “little and big roads.” He was winning. He was keeping track of the hand totals on each side and also watching patterns. He was a gambler, though, and he went all in a couple of times, luckily winning each. His system seemed to be working well, and he was one of the winners yesterday, coloring in more than $1500 winnings at the table I was at. I’ve seen other Asian players there playing the same way.

Horseshoe is just 20 minutes from Chicago's Chinatown, and all the Asians who go to the casino can be found in the bacc annex, which is decked out like a Chinese pavilion. I feel right at home there, lol.

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Yeah, the Asian players are faster knowing the results of each hand than the dealers. At one table, they kept chastising the dealer, "Stop! No! No third card!!"

During my first shoe yesterday, one Chinese player sitting to my right was apparently following a system involving “little and big roads.” He was winning. He was keeping track of the hand totals on each side and also watching patterns. He was a gambler, though, and he went all in a couple of times, luckily winning each. His system seemed to be working well, and he was one of the winners yesterday, coloring in more than $1500 winnings at the table I was at. I’ve seen other Asian players there playing the same way.

Horseshoe is just 20 minutes from Chicago's Chinatown, and all the Asians who go to the casino can be found in the bacc annex, which is decked out like a Chinese pavilion. I feel right at home there, lol.

Right, the Asians, and a lot of other people, BF included, are big into hand totals, naturals and such. I have looked at this very very thoroughly over the years but have never been able to draw any correlation whatsoever - In spite of the fact that it simply makes no sense. They seem to be trying to bestow some form of intelligence on inanimate paper cards. Did you see my PM? I don't think the guys are getting notifications of this thread. I'll talk to Keith as soon as the hour is decent.

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Session 5: Horseshoe, IN, 08/29/11, Mon

Played 2 shoes:

1. +1u

2. +10u

Shoe 1: Net +0.40u (+0.98% PA)

Around 2:00 PM.

The moment I stepped into the bacc annex, I noticed a choppy tote board. It was the same table I had watched a consistently choppy game the last time I was there. So, I jumped in with System 40-3, since there had been no 4s. I had to bet over-the shoulder, because there were no open seats at the table.

Unfortunately, my first 4 bets (hands 19-22) lost. That 4 in-a-row decided to show up right when I start betting! I had decided to go with the 1234 progression right off the bat because the tote was mostly 1s, plus the fact that this table had impressed me as being choppy last time. So, I was pretty confident. (In hindsight, I should've noticed the B strong side, possibly suggesting F2/3.)

Now down -10u, I knew in my mind I was past my normal stop-loss of -8u. However, I'm remembering everything Ellis had said about choppy shoes, that a 4 wouldn't phase him, that everything up to this point still pointed to a choppy shoe in progress: mostly 1s and 2s.

So, I proceed in System 40, now mode 2 (since I had just lost the OTR bet in mode 3), and I go back to a 1u bet, realizing I need to be extra conservative going forward. Almost immediately, another 3 shows up, and so I lose the OTR bet in hand 27, dropping my score to the low of -12u.

Still it seems there's no real reason to change systems, so I continue with S40, now in mode 3 again, but I never have to make a bet larger than 2u after this point. Once I break-even plus 1u, I quit. Besides, the shoe is about to end, and I didn't want to risk digging myself into negative territory with no chance of getting out.

Looking back, I think one of my mistakes was I jumped into the middle of this shoe a little late. I saw the nice choppy pattern on the tote-board, and I thought it would be a quick win with S40, but it turned out the 4 and 3 showed up right after I entered the game, so it was a deep hole I fell into immediately, and a grind back toward break-even, basically flat-betting.

The score-card records until the very end of the shoe #1, which means I entered the shoe around hand 20, so, I don't know the bias of those first 20 hands.

Interestingly, I had a 57% (16/28) win rate in this shoe, but because I lost that critical 4u OTR bet, and I was flat betting 1u upon each win, everything evened out in the end.

vzycy1.png

Shoe 2: Net +9.40u (+40.87% PA)

Around 2:30 PM

When the first shoe ended, I notice the next table had just started a new game. That was the same table I had played the nicely chopping shoe last time (Shoe 2, 08/26/11). This time, a 4 appeared right off the bat, and then a few 2s, but by the time I saw it, it was ZZing. So, I jump in with S40-3 again. It had worked well at the same table last time (though with much better chop on the tote), so I hoped it would be consistent again.

Fortunately, it was very smooth sailing up to +10u. About half-way through, I noticed the Player strong side, and I was tempted to play F2 on P. In hindsight, F3 on P was the path of least resistance. But during the play, I stuck to S40, because there really had been no runs past 4, and it occurred only at the start of the shoe.

Even though S40 had been doing so well in this shoe, I decide to quit at +10u, because I was still a bit phased by the deep drawdown in the first shoe. Besides, I had reached my daily goal of +10u anyway, so it was time to hit the buffet.

2nsyoh4.png

Afterwards, I returned to the tables to observe the biases of the shoes at those two tables. Now, both of them were showing streaky bias, pointing to F2/3 usage. I watched the beginning of another new shoe at the table which I had played Shoe 2, and it started out very choppy again, mostly 1s and 2s, and one 3, but I did not stay long enough to watch how it progressed. Had I arrived at the casino at that time, I would've started with S40 again at that table.

I also took a tour of the rest of the tables, but nothing really stood out. At the time, some tables seemed good for OTB4L, and some for F2/F3, but not particularly so. More than anything, they seemed rather random, as had been my overall impression of the shoes at Horseshoe. One of the no-commish tables was showing chop with a long ZZ and no long runs, and I considered jumping in with S40, but I decided against it. Later I walked back and noticed a 4 had appeared shortly afterward, but the rest were still mostly 1s and 2s.

Even though there were several open tables at the time, players seemed to prefer standing around games in progress, even if it means crowding and betting over-the-shoulder. I must admit feeling that it would be nice to be able to just sit down at an open table to play, but of course, that would be playing in the blind, and right now, it seems what's giving me the edge is table selection more than anything else.

I'm steadily gaining ground on Horseshoe, which had been thus far so difficult to beat. Every session here so far in the past couple of weeks, I had dug myself into holes in the first shoe, though eventually I'm able to recover, and gradually pocketing more each time: 1) break-even, 2) +6u, 3) +11u.

I would appreciate any comments for guidance on how to keep improving my play there.

By the way, at the end of this session, I had matched the total number of gross units won when I had shadowed Ellis in PA/AC, so it took me 9 games to match what he made in 5. (I witnessed him playing a total of 6 games, but I didn't play the first game with him, so I only shadowed him for 5.) His net P.A. was +26.44% for the 5 games we played during the trip, while mine is +9.62% for the 9 games afterward. Nevertheless, I have essentially "reproduced" his trip results on my own, though it took me several more games to do it. Since meeting Ellis, I have not had a losing session (worst was break even), and I am up +79.45u net (+87u gross) in 14 games over 2 weeks, with an overall P.A. of +14.37%.

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Very good show both for your last session and your YTD. Before I forget, one trick of the trade I almost always use with S40 jump ins is to come in after a 2 in a row. True, it would make absolutely no difference if the cards were, in fact, totally random. But jumping in with a 123 on opposites in a shoe with a choppy history thus far almost always works because the choppy history indicates THIS shoe is not random. This way it takes a 5 to beat you and even random math says 1 5 per shoe or 1 5 every 64 plays. A choppy shoe diminishes even those odds to the point I can't even remember the last time this didn't work. So, I start after a 2 and go straight into my 123 prog all on opposites.

Of course if the shoe happens to toss a 3 at you right at the point you want to jump in, all the better. Your only other option is to jump in in the midst of a zz run, but then, if you lose that first bet, I think you are best off to flat bet your way into the game.

Yes,yes, I know better than most that random math says this approach can't work but the fact is my records show that it not only works, it works to a huge % of game starts. And even that fact should be telling you something.

This begs the question, what % of casino shoes are in fact random? I'm defining random here as shoes our 3 basic NOR systems will make no headway. The OR count averages out to near 0 yet the shoe contains significant straight and ZZ runs.

I have no way to know the answer because I'm always selecting the most biased shoes in the casino. So my records are swayed by table selection. But I'm guessing its about 40 - 50% overall including all times of day. New cards would be a lot less; old cards something more.

Anyway, whatever it is, my 90% overall win rate clearly shows the overall effect of table/system selection.

I'm sure that other Bac forums would declare a 90% shoe win rate - or even 80%, impossible while playing 5Hi. I'm also sure Dave, here, would also have thought it impossible. But now, he's not so sure.

While a +9.62% P.A. may not sound much to some veterans here, I'll remind you that tens of thousands of card counters with their organized gurus, huge forums and multiple movies (there's yet another one coming out) are all striving to attain a 0.5% PA, oblivious to the fact that for $25 players, perfect play would not even cover tips and expenses if they COULD obtain their goal - which they can't.

Most corporations would be very happy to have a +9.62% ROI, which is the same thing.

So what do I call a +9.62% P.A.?

A good start!

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P.S.; Dave, try posting your +9.62% P.A. at ImSpirit. I'm sure you'll get a flood of PMs and emails from well meaning but totally misguided souls who think they know what they are talking about. But you will also get actual posts from guys who DO know what they are talking about.

On second thought, maybe you better not unless you are fairly thick skinned.

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Dave, go back to your first shoe and note what would have happened had you jumped in after ANY 2 except the one starting at play 16. Even then, had your first OTR bet been a 1, you would have come out just fine. Food for thought.

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