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So what is wrong with XDX?


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I feel I owe the forum an explanation for my negativity toward XDX.

How did all of this start?

BTC is not an open forum. Unlike BF, we have one teacher at BTC. At BF anybody can teach anything, proven or not, qualified or not, and thusly that forum has become one huge argument with a few scammers thrown in. The person who gets the floor there is the one who yells the loudest who is usually also the one who knows the least.

We have one prior experience with allowing someone else to teach at BTC and that was Maverick. We ended up losing some ten players to Maverick and those players ended up losing their shirts, most, more than their shirts. Some of the things Mark taught were downright suicidal, like "when you lose, double your unit." But that wasn't the only thing. Few students would realize that Maverick is purely mechanical and Mathematically, purely mechanical systems CAN'T win in the long run.

PJ, realizing that Maverick was a giant step in the wrong direction, (much to his credit) also left BTC with a small splinter group who worked on correcting SAP.

So about the first of Feb. PJ called me stating that he had learned to play W/O using a score card and betting only on 2nd liners. He said he had been playing this way for some time with good success and would like to teach my students. I replied that while I think playing W/O a scorecard and betting exclusively on 2nd liners W/O also betting first liners, is silly it might have some appeal to our most casual players who are primarily looking for the simplest way to play. And, I was going to be predisposed in Feb anyway.

Keith BTW was against the whole thing from the start. As it turned out, he was right.

But that isn't what PJ did. As soon as he got the floor he delved right into SAP. XDX is simply a name. It is SAP but waiting for a larger SAP disparity to bet. And instead of no score card he went with special scorecards. None of this had been agreed to and with good reason.

I'm not even going to get into the argument of what constitutes a trend, a disparity of 2 or a disparity of 3. All I know is the longer you wait the less likely the next play will follow that same trend. That is not mathematics, it is common sense. The idea is to get on a trend when it starts, not after it is over. That is what NOR tries to do.

Lets take 2nd liners first:

To bet 1st liners you simply bet that an opposite will follow an opposite.

To bet 2nd liners you bet that a repeat will follow an opposite.

But you can't bet either one until there is an opposite.

Neither has any advantage long run. It is 50/50.

Saying "they seem to come in" doesn't cut it. Math is math. The FACT is that second liners come in half the time and also don't come in half the time.

But nearly every shoe you play is either high in 1st liners or it's high in 2nd liners. The only other possibility is that the 2 are tied. But you can't have a shoe high in both. That is impossible. So if that is the way you want to play or if you want to augment your play with 1st vs 2nd liner bets you need a way to know which the shoe you are playing right now is favoring, 1st or 2nd liners.

Well fortunately there is a perfect count that gives you that precise information. That count is 1's vs 2 or mores or 1v2+. That is a precisely balanced count. Simply count a confirmed 1 as +1 and a 2 or more as -1. A + count shoe is favoring 1st liners and a - count shoe is favoring 2nd liners and the higher the count number the more the favorability. Now you are betting on something tangible, not on a whim.

But, you say, we get these clusters. No you don't, You get singles just as often as you get clusters. A cluster of 1st liners is a ZZ run. A cluster of 2nd liners is a series of straight runs of 2 or more in a row. Neither occur more than they mathematically should but a choppy shoe (half of all shoes) will favor ZZs somewhat while a streaky shoe (the other half) will favor runs following runs somewhat (RD1 shoes).

Those are the facts of the matter once you boil all of the BS out of it. I have no idea of why anyone would chose to bet one to the exclusion of the other. They both carry the exact same advantage. Sorry but that is not opinion. It is simple math.

So if you want to bet 1st and 2nd liners be my guest but use the above count so you know which is favored in the shoe at hand and what that favorability is. If the count is close, DON'T bet on it. But betting one W/O the other is mathematically silly and borders on superstition. Also, you can bet 1st v 2nd liners in conjunction with ANY system, not just SAP.

OK now lets look at the SAP end of XDX: But let's look at it logically and W/O the emotion that it seems to draw.

Look, I have nothing personal against SAP. I invented it for crying out loud. Yes of course there was collaboration and I had help testing it, especially from Andrea, but the initial concept is mine and mine alone. Likewise, the responsibility is mine and mine alone. We certainly didn't teach it to each other. PJ may have learned it from multiple sources but it came from one source.

The concept is highly valid but 3 drawbacks are also highly valid:

1. SAP has no advantage in Neutral shoes and casinos are dealing more and more Neutral shoes because that is their most profitable shoe type.

2. SAP loses much of its advantage in preshuffled cards. This is why our many Asian players have trouble with the consistancy of NOR Modes. They are based on SAP. They are playing mostly preshuffled cards. There is a logical way around that which I have hinted at before but we need an official NOR chapter that deals directly with that issue.

3. But the biggest problem is that 95% of our members simply can't perform SAP. We can't ignore 95% of our members for the sake of 5%. For a forum, that is suicidal. And XDX is even harder. PJ couldn't even get it right and if the teacher is having problems what chance do the students have???

Sure, we had 8 or 9 members trying to follow it with varying degrees of success but that is only 1% of the membership. We had 3 times that number contacting Keith and I saying it simply wasn't working for them where they play. Some threatening to quit because the forum had abandoned them. We had been down that road before with SAP. We lost membership with SAP because no matter how good a system is it is worthless to a member who can't do it at all, let alone at casino speed and with all the distractions and pressures of casino play.

It reminds me of when the State Police tried going to the Mustang. Sure, they were really fast but nobody could keep them on the damn road and that needs to be a FIRST priority.

Which brings us back to NOR. NOR is my way of correcting SAP's short comings. So OK, it corrects 2 out of 3 but that is a whole lot better than 0 out of 3. So OK, I've got more work to do under the heading of Mode selection with preshuffled cards. But we can fix that by always staying in the lower betting Mode 2 and playing a prog on our OTR bets. We already have excellent data and results on that way of playing.

In spite of recent statements made to the contrary NOR has the highest hit rate and shoe win rate of any way I have ever played. With NORA we can add a few advantage bets to NOR. We can also add 1st vs 2nd liner bets but lets do that right. Sure, it is a little complex but not out of reach of the vast majority of our members with a little study and practice and far simpler than SAP and W/O the short comings of SAP.

I apologize for this whole fiasco but if the original agreement had been stuck to.....

I do appreciate the tremendous amount of work PJ put into this and I know you do to. I think that was part of the problem. You simply can't work that hard on someting that complex for that long W/O it taking its toll whether you realize it or not. I know. Been there, done that.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Ellis,

i have 2 questions here after reading your clarification above.

1) given that SAP is a rather complex concept to grasp and has its short comings, do you think it is suffice for Asian players to just focus on NOR and NORA?

2) dont quite understand your statement below. Are you saying the NOR approach will have consistency issue with the preshuffled cards in Asia? If yes, what sort of solutions are there for Asian players?

"SAP loses much of its advantage in preshuffled cards. This is why our many Asian players have trouble with the consistancy of NOR Modes. They are based on SAP. They are playing mostly preshuffled cards. There is a logical way around that which I have hinted at before but we need an official NOR chapter that deals directly with that issue."

As always, your advice is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Raymond

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Hi Ellis,

i have 2 questions here after reading your clarification above.

1) given that SAP is a rather complex concept to grasp and has its short comings, do you think it is suffice for Asian players to just focus on NOR and NORA?

2) dont quite understand your statement below. Are you saying the NOR approach will have consistency issue with the preshuffled cards in Asia? If yes, what sort of solutions are there for Asian players?

"SAP loses much of its advantage in preshuffled cards. This is why our many Asian players have trouble with the consistancy of NOR Modes. They are based on SAP. They are playing mostly preshuffled cards. There is a logical way around that which I have hinted at before but we need an official NOR chapter that deals directly with that issue."

As always, your advice is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Raymond

Yes Raymond, I agree, especially if you add NB to NOR, that Asians are best off to stick to NOR and NORA with NB included but not for the reasons you mention. I find that Asians, in spite of varying degrees of language barrier, are very quick to fully grasp, even embrace, the mathematics of Baccarat and the various mathematical schemes to beat it.

Case in point: look how quickly Witchy grasped NB and could play a shoe W/O error in minutes. It was the Asians who first alerted me to the problem SAP had with preshuffled cards. They learned how to do it very quickly but also saw the local problems with it in Asia very quickly - Neutral and Random Cards. One Canadian Asian was giving me shoe results on a daily basis but many others participated in alerting me.

That is why I reduced the stature of SAP from a system to a design tool. On the other hand many Asians were congratulating me on the success of NOR in Asia. But I could see that it was still lacking. That is why I'm in the process of adding NB to NOR.

We have the same problem sneaking up on us here. You guys just got the first taste of it. Sorta like an early warning system. Preshuffled cards need an additional NOR option. And the need for it is increasing on a daily basis.

Quite frankly the last thing I needed was somebody steering the group back to SAP when those same players were unfamiliar with the problems associated with SAP the first time around years ago. Sorta like stepping right back into the fire once we had already gotten safely out. Especially teaching SAP in a way that did not address its inherent problems in the slightest.

I think that adding the NB option to NOR is a giant step in the right direction. I think we will all be playing preshuffled cards in short order. ALL of us need to be prepared.

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Hi Ellis,

It's a great idea at this point in time to add NB to NOR.

Thanks.

Thanks finas! Maybe now you understand why you were having such a hard time finding winning XDX games.

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