# First and Second Liner Betting by Ellis

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Since this subject has already been broached, I feel I owe the members a correct way of doing this.

First liners are the circles on the first horizontal line of a horizontal tote board or score card.

Second liners are the circles on the second horizontal line.

Whenever an Opposite is dealt, the tote board automatically starts a new vertical row so that all straight runs form a vertical row the same length as the run.

A ZZ run will form a horizontal line on the first horizontal line of the tote board.

Think of first and second liner bets strictly as a side bet that can be added to any system.

A first or second liner bet can only be made after an opposite has been dealt. That opposite always puts an initial circle on the first horizontal line. At that point we can bet that the next circle will also be on the first line (a first liner) (an opposite)

or we can bet that the next circle will be on the second horizontal line (a 2nd liner) (a repeat).

Here is the straight dope:

Watch my lips: The overall long term odds are 50/50. Anything more than that is just a rumor.

Less than half of all shoes will produce more 1st liners than 2nd liners making 1st liners a good bet in that portion of total shoes.

Just as less than half of all shoes will produce more 2nd liners than first liners making 2nd liners a good bet in that portion of total shoes.

Why do I keep saying less than half? Because there is a middle third that goes back and forth making neither a good bet. (OTB4L shoes) (OvR shoes).

So PJ called me and asked if he could teach 2nd liner betting. Since I was going to be out most of that month anyway I reluctantly said yes but only if you also teach first liner betting because one is ridiculous W/O the other. He said OK.

He told me that he had been doing very well betting only 2nd liner bets and playing with no score card and had been doing so for some time now and would like to teach the members.

That was my first mistake: I should have asked exactly what he meant by "some time now".

To me that means at least several months. I strongly suspect that to him that meant one or two nights wherein he lucked into a few streaky shoes.

The fact is if you only bet second liners you would usually not be betting often enough to keep your seat at the table. Only about a third of shoes favor 2nd liners at all let alone strongly favor. What do you do the other two thirds of the time, sit there and smile at the dealer? No casino in the land is going to let you sit out entire shoes W/O betting. But that is exactly what you would have to do. And also betting first liners in first liner favorable shoes doesn't completely solve the no bet problem. You would still be sitting out a third of all shoes. They aren't going to let you do that unless you are betting \$1000 units.

So I asked PJ what do you do when 2nd liners are not coming in? I wait until they ARE coming in. They seem to win. But that could be several shoes??? Right, I wait until they are coming in.

So perhaps now you understand why I say that 1st and 2nd liner betting should ONLY be considered as a side bet to bolster the results of whatever main system you are playing. It goes well with NOR and it goes well with NB. You bet it in addition to your regular system bets.

Apparently PJ finally realized this too because he immediately started teaching 2nd liner betting along with SAP. He still left out 1st liner betting altogether which breeched our agreement that I never should have made in the first place. We dropped SAP years ago and with good reason. It loses to Neutral shoes and to preshuffled cards and BOTH of these were on the incline especially in Asia which includes about half of our recent students.

So OK how do you do this 1st and 2nd liner side bet thing profitably???

The whole key is: What are 1's doing? And What are 2 or mores doing?

On average there are 18 1's and 18 2 or moes in a shoe equaling 36 total events. That is why overall the bet is 50/50. They can't both be high or both be low fortunately.

High 1's (more than 1 every 4 plays) is a first liner shoe.

High 2 or mores (low 1's) is a second liner shoe.

Normal 1's or close to it is bad for BOTH 1st and 2nd liners. Don't bet either.

Here is an easy way to know for sure:

When 1's are considerably more than 1/4 of the play number, bet 1st liners.

When 1's are condiderably less than 1/4 of the play number, bet 2nd liners.

When 1's are about equal to 1/4 of the play number, don't bet either.

How do you bet 1st liners?

Wait for an opposite and bet on the opposite side. (bet an opposite)

How do you bet 2nd liners?

Wait for an opposite and bet on the same side (bet a repeat)

Recognize that once a straight run has gone to 2, there can be no more first or 2nd liner bets until the run ends.

Every confirmed 1 in a row creates a winning 1st liner bet.

Every 2 or more (2+) creates a single 2nd liner win.

3 or mores become meaningless until the run ends.

If you like to count, fine: Count every 1 in a row as +1. Count every 2 as -1 regardless if it then goes to 3 or more.

A significant + count is 1st liner territory.

A significant - count is 2nd liner territory.

A low or hovering 0 count means DON'T bet either one. Just stick to your main system.

OK, let's take a look at a good 1st liner col of 20.

P111115111115

OK, every 1 produces a 1st liner win. Every 2+ produces a 2nd liner win.

This col produces 10 1st liner wins and 2 loses for a +8 if we are betting 1st liners @ 1 unit.

If we were betting a 1,2 prog on first liners, we win at +9.

OK. let's look at a good 2nd liner col of 20.

P23231234

Each 2+ produces a single 2nd liner win regardless of the length of straight runs and each 1 produces a 2nd liner loss. Betting 2nd liners at 1 unit we win +6. Betting a 1,2 prog we win +7.

Now lets look at a col bad for both:

P1313131313

Neither first nor 2nd liners come out ahead. Don't bet either.

What you DON'T do is bet what seems to be winning. Go by math, NOT superstition. Bet what IS winning in the shoe you are playing right now.

How much should you bet? Well certainly not 5 units. NONE of these bets have any more advantage than your regular system bet. Why bet more than 1 unit or maybe a 1,2 or 123 prog. Certainly no more than that. Sudden 5 bets make no sense whatsoever.

OK, those are the FACTS of the matter. Have you got the picture now? The RIGHT picture?

What about when your 1v2 count reverses and a 1st liner shoe turns into a 2nd or vice versa?

Like we say in BJ, the direction of the count is more important than the count itself. Let's say a count of +8 early in the first col falls to +2 by the top half of the 2nd col. Well the new direction is - and the recent shoe is ripe for 2nd liners even though the count is still +. It's good to not put as much confidence in such a count but a couple of nervous bets are not uncalled for. It is true that in BJ the count must return to 0 counting the cut off cards while in Bac, the final count can end up anywhere. But the direction of the count tells us what the shoe is favoring lately.

So do I think that 1st and 2nd liner betting is a good betting practice?

Yes, under favorable conditions. I have said before that we tend to bet backwards: We bet least on the bets we win the most and most on the bets we win the least. 1st and 2nd liner betting gets us more money on the table on the very bets we win the most. Seems to me to be a step in the right direction. BUT, only do it when the math tells you to. That is key!

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Hi Ellis, Thanks for the explanation of first and second liners. It seems to me that the ideal situation for first liners is the same as for S40. With S40 you will win most every first liner (not all as you may bet repeat OTR at times). The ideal situation for second liners is the same situation for OTB4L. With OTB4L you win most second liners (except when on a ZZ OTR). So why bother with first and second liners at all, just play NOR? I will say that I have started to increase my bet (only slightly, not to 5 units) when a "clump" of second liners occurs AND IT MATCHES MY NOR bet. For example, i'm in OTB4L and there is a 2321, my next bet with OTB4L is a repeat and I will often at this point bet two units instead of one. I have found this supplement to NOR to be profitable, but don't see the value of actually playing first or second liners otherwise.

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Hi Ellis, Thanks for the explanation of first and second liners. It seems to me that the ideal situation for first liners is the same as for S40. With S40 you will win most every first liner (not all as you may bet repeat OTR at times). The ideal situation for second liners is the same situation for OTB4L. With OTB4L you win most second liners (except when on a ZZ OTR). So why bother with first and second liners at all, just play NOR? I will say that I have started to increase my bet (only slightly, not to 5 units) when a "clump" of second liners occurs AND IT MATCHES MY NOR bet. For example, i'm in OTB4L and there is a 2321, my next bet with OTB4L is a repeat and I will often at this point bet two units instead of one. I have found this supplement to NOR to be profitable, but don't see the value of actually playing first or second liners otherwise.

Excellent thinking way2fast! I would have said the same thing myself except it may have sounded like sour grapes coming from me after the plunge of my relationship with PJ. So, I'm glad you said it and you couldn't have said it better.

Also our 234 and 345 progs accomplish the task of getting more money on our first bets when they are coming in. And it seems that with the NOR systems that when we have a good hit rate on our first bets, we also have a good hit rate on our 2nd bets.

You know, PJ was very good at SAP and instrumental in improving it. But SAP is very casino sensitive and also very time of day sensitive. It does not like old or preshuffled cards or Neutral shoes or tied SAP counts. It did well in the casinos where PJ played so he was somewhat despondent when we dropped the SAP system. Who could blame him? He was winning. But he wasn't getting the phone calls I was getting from members who could not win a shoe with it. Our Asian, A.C., and Vegas members were not doing well in spite of PJ's successes and NuSap did not solve their problems. I recall that when Andrea, our best SAP player, came to join us in Vegas from Italy, he had a rough time with SAP in Vegas while the NOR players excelled in Vegas that trip.

So PJ formed his own SAP group with several of our members. But I was getting persistent reports from his group that they were running into the same SAP problems the rest of us were seeing. NOR was our best effort to reverse the SAP problems and does that job very well. But unfortunately PJs group wasn't around to learn the fundamentals of NOR. What PJ is doing now seems to me to be a back door approach to NOR. He is trying to accomplish what the main BTC group has already accomplished.

I tried to point this out on the XDX thread, that PJ was losing to simple everyday OTB4L shoes that he should be winning easily. Well, we all know how that went.

This is all very unfortunate because PJ could be helping us with NOR just as he did with SAP. But I think the relationship is well passed recoverable at this point. And that is a shame. It is too bad that Baccarat must also deal with the human element of pride. The game is hard enough already. Baccarat is no place for human emotion.

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• 3 months later...

Hello, Ellis, Keith, BTC colleagues, and also, Way2Fast,

I just wanted to briefly update you on my never-ending journey of learning to exploit with SAP, NOR. I had the very nice fortune of having met and played and discussed and debriefed on our plays this past weekend with Way2Fast in Vegas.

Note: sorry, a bit long post trying to highlight my thoughts, observations, details, stats.

Here is my trip summary. Background review:

1. I am not an aggressive gambler - perhaps my weakness is too tight. I use SAP, NOR - but do not play every hand with NOR. I use the SAP and O/R count heavily on all plays.

2. Bet/risk mgmt - I always start with a 111 progression. If unlucky, protective stop loss of (-8) forces me off table/shoe. If I get lucky to +2, I switch to a 112 progression. If lucky to +4 or +5, I switch to 123. Unfortunately, I have not gotten to 234 or 345 - because of the nature of my playing SAP/NOR, I sit out many hds (more below). Thus, rarely get so lucky to be up +6 to +8 quickly to transition to 234. Most bad shoes I am out at (-5) or (-6) and try to get back to even in 1-2 shoes quickly.

3. Table observations - everywhere we played, the shoes are preshuffled and wrapped in 8-deck packets. Very hard to qualify precise filters. However, I observe all tables in the room, and often see that most are OBL shoe types. Hence my preference is for OBL starts when I see this type of room-based biases.

4. Shoe starts - I rarely start without seeing at least 4 events go by (usually at least 12-15 hds played out). I prefer to enter mid shoe late into the 1st column or start of 2nd column where I can determine which NOR system is best.

5. Alternative table selection filter - NOT a part of NOR system - but fun based, non-science based filter. If the shoe type is not able to be determined by my SAP, O/R counts quickly in 8-10 seconds - I automatically assume either OBL or unplayable shoe. In addition, if players are quiet, upset, sad, losing --> there is a good likelihood I have found a strong OBL shoe game.

So what happened this wknd? My strategies included:

6. I do not like to play OBL "jumps" if O/R count is negative. So I play lots of OBL 2nd liners.

7. I also like to stick with a Mode count - from the start instead of flipping between M2, M3. Many times the switching proved worse. I have found that M3 with 111 or 112 or 123 is very strong!

8. I also attack ZZZ and ZZZZ off a good OBL shoe type by betting on a repeat to occur - especially if O/R is negative.

Results:

9. Played 3 consec days and nights - looooonnnnngggg hrs with a strong group of bettors. At least played 10-12 hrs each time - but mostly standing and avoiding most hds except above strategies. Way2Fast can confirm our tables were playing for very long hrs! :>)

10. Worst shoe (-5). Every losing shoe - next shoe able to recoup lost units. Then restart fresh.

11. From 3 days/nights - only saw 1 strong F type shoe! 85% of all shoes were OBL biased. Even S40 ZZZZ runs were short - and if O/R count was positive - still had 2s and 3s developing so OBL would equal or outperform S40.

12. Most shoe wins were in the +4 to +5 level. Shoe duration often less than 35 hds exposure before hitting +4 or (-4).

13. Win rate 95% of all shoes played.

Learning points:

14. Ellis has repeated many times, and correctly highlighted, about the torque and power of the 112, 123, 234, 345, progressions. I am not to the 234, 345, level - because I do not play many hds/shoe. But, these progressions coupled with SAP, O/R, NOR selection filters - definitely have a high survivability rate. And, also give a strong chance of profitability!

15. Having the ability to wait, apply selection filters, explore for table bias - all much "softer" skills - but still applicable. Way2Fast and I were able to identify and exploit OBL shoes consistently.

16. Not pressing my bets - staying at 111 - if not having good luck - is critical for having the bankroll and mental/emotional capital to attack good areas of good shoes! Allowed us to get back to even quickly!

Of course - always need a good degree of good luck - but I think Ellis' NOR, SAP, O/R systems and betting progressions, clearly helped me to create my own "good luck" more frequently than other players.

I don't think I will evolve to be able to play every hand that NOR systems can be performed. So I will accept less winning units per shoe, but also know that my drawdown and negative equity exposures will also be lessened.

In closing, SAP, NOR, O/R, continues to perform well this wknd despite preshuffled boxed 8-deck shoes. I enjoyed having the time to play, review, debrief, with Way2Fast! Also, thank you Ellis for your ongoing efforts and tireless energy to make us better players!

Regards,

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I also observed that because of the strong OBL biases this past wknd, even on shoes that started off strongly S40 or having 4s or 5s, quickly "settled" into 2s and 3s and into the OBL biases. Hence I could afford to wait for these 2s, 3s, and then begin looking for my tactical exploits.

On my winning shoes, most were in the +1 to +3 per shoe (over less than 35 hds usually). My best shoes averaged in the +5 but this only happened in about 5% of shoes played.

BTW - if I hit +4 or more, I will exit the shoe on the 1st loss. I know this probably reduces my win rate and profitability. However, it fits well with my very tight risk mgmt style of playing.

Final tally - won +65 units playing short shoe segments, putting in long hrs of waiting/watching for entry setups, over 3 days. Is +65 units worth the time and energy and stress? Who really knows. But, our unit size is strong enough to make it worth our time. And, we did not consider it as "stress" - but as fun as a "random" game can be played! :>)

Nobody said gambling was "easy" - but it was fun to "stalk and hunt" for the big game!

Wouldn't you agree, Way2Fast?

Regards,

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Excellent and well thought out posts Daytrader. We ALL have our own comfort zones and it is best to stick to them.

Look, even if your style of play only guarantees you ONE unit per shoe, success just becomes a question of unit size. The cards don't know the color of your chips. Nor do they care! That's a little pun I threw in.

I can guarantee you that nobody else in the entire world but us can ever even come close to a 95% win rate.

I totally agree with your observations on OTB4L. And since this is the most profitable shoe type for the casinos (except when WE are there) we can expect to see more and more of this shoe type. Casinos are smart. Our job is to use their smarts against them. Good job guys!

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Hello, Ellis, Keith, BTC colleagues, and also, Way2Fast,

I just wanted to briefly update you on my never-ending journey of learning to exploit with SAP, NOR. I had the very nice fortune of having met and played and discussed and debriefed on our plays this past weekend with Way2Fast in Vegas.

Note: sorry, a bit long post trying to highlight my thoughts, observations, details, stats.

Here is my trip summary. Background review:

1. I am not an aggressive gambler - perhaps my weakness is too tight. I use SAP, NOR - but do not play every hand with NOR. I use the SAP and O/R count heavily on all plays.

2. Bet/risk mgmt - I always start with a 111 progression. If unlucky, protective stop loss of (-8) forces me off table/shoe. If I get lucky to +2, I switch to a 112 progression. If lucky to +4 or +5, I switch to 123. Unfortunately, I have not gotten to 234 or 345 - because of the nature of my playing SAP/NOR, I sit out many hds (more below). Thus, rarely get so lucky to be up +6 to +8 quickly to transition to 234. Most bad shoes I am out at (-5) or (-6) and try to get back to even in 1-2 shoes quickly.

3. Table observations - everywhere we played, the shoes are preshuffled and wrapped in 8-deck packets. Very hard to qualify precise filters. However, I observe all tables in the room, and often see that most are OBL shoe types. Hence my preference is for OBL starts when I see this type of room-based biases.

4. Shoe starts - I rarely start without seeing at least 4 events go by (usually at least 12-15 hds played out). I prefer to enter mid shoe late into the 1st column or start of 2nd column where I can determine which NOR system is best.

5. Alternative table selection filter - NOT a part of NOR system - but fun based, non-science based filter. If the shoe type is not able to be determined by my SAP, O/R counts quickly in 8-10 seconds - I automatically assume either OBL or unplayable shoe. In addition, if players are quiet, upset, sad, losing --> there is a good likelihood I have found a strong OBL shoe game.

So what happened this wknd? My strategies included:

6. I do not like to play OBL "jumps" if O/R count is negative. So I play lots of OBL 2nd liners.

7. I also like to stick with a Mode count - from the start instead of flipping between M2, M3. Many times the switching proved worse. I have found that M3 with 111 or 112 or 123 is very strong!

8. I also attack ZZZ and ZZZZ off a good OBL shoe type by betting on a repeat to occur - especially if O/R is negative.

Results:

9. Played 3 consec days and nights - looooonnnnngggg hrs with a strong group of bettors. At least played 10-12 hrs each time - but mostly standing and avoiding most hds except above strategies. Way2Fast can confirm our tables were playing for very long hrs! :>)

10. Worst shoe (-5). Every losing shoe - next shoe able to recoup lost units. Then restart fresh.

11. From 3 days/nights - only saw 1 strong F type shoe! 85% of all shoes were OBL biased. Even S40 ZZZZ runs were short - and if O/R count was positive - still had 2s and 3s developing so OBL would equal or outperform S40.

12. Most shoe wins were in the +4 to +5 level. Shoe duration often less than 35 hds exposure before hitting +4 or (-4).

13. Win rate 95% of all shoes played.

Learning points:

14. Ellis has repeated many times, and correctly highlighted, about the torque and power of the 112, 123, 234, 345, progressions. I am not to the 234, 345, level - because I do not play many hds/shoe. But, these progressions coupled with SAP, O/R, NOR selection filters - definitely have a high survivability rate. And, also give a strong chance of profitability!

15. Having the ability to wait, apply selection filters, explore for table bias - all much "softer" skills - but still applicable. Way2Fast and I were able to identify and exploit OBL shoes consistently.

16. Not pressing my bets - staying at 111 - if not having good luck - is critical for having the bankroll and mental/emotional capital to attack good areas of good shoes! Allowed us to get back to even quickly!

Of course - always need a good degree of good luck - but I think Ellis' NOR, SAP, O/R systems and betting progressions, clearly helped me to create my own "good luck" more frequently than other players.

I don't think I will evolve to be able to play every hand that NOR systems can be performed. So I will accept less winning units per shoe, but also know that my drawdown and negative equity exposures will also be lessened.

In closing, SAP, NOR, O/R, continues to perform well this wknd despite preshuffled boxed 8-deck shoes. I enjoyed having the time to play, review, debrief, with Way2Fast! Also, thank you Ellis for your ongoing efforts and tireless energy to make us better players!

Regards,

Another thoughtful and great post with many learnings for anyone who takes the time to think through the gems you have presented. In my last 4 trips, have only seen one "real" F shoe. We are getting almost nothing but OTB4L biased shoes -- but with enough variability that you can't just blinding play OTB4L throughout the enire shoe. Daytrader spends a tremendous amount of time analyzing the game and has significant experience everyweek with real casino shoes -- his methods work well for someone who plays alot at large units -- conservative but opportunistic in attacking the strong parts of each shoe. I had success in applying some of these principles into my NOR play as well this past weekend.

Had a great time with you and your "friends" this weekend and glad to hear the success continued after I had to leave.

Way2fast

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I also observed that because of the strong OBL biases this past wknd, even on shoes that started off strongly S40 or having 4s or 5s, quickly "settled" into 2s and 3s and into the OBL biases. Hence I could afford to wait for these 2s, 3s, and then begin looking for my tactical exploits.

On my winning shoes, most were in the +1 to +3 per shoe (over less than 35 hds usually). My best shoes averaged in the +5 but this only happened in about 5% of shoes played.

BTW - if I hit +4 or more, I will exit the shoe on the 1st loss. I know this probably reduces my win rate and profitability. However, it fits well with my very tight risk mgmt style of playing.

Final tally - won +65 units playing short shoe segments, putting in long hrs of waiting/watching for entry setups, over 3 days. Is +65 units worth the time and energy and stress? Who really knows. But, our unit size is strong enough to make it worth our time. And, we did not consider it as "stress" - but as fun as a "random" game can be played! :>)

Nobody said gambling was "easy" - but it was fun to "stalk and hunt" for the big game!

Wouldn't you agree, Way2Fast?

Regards,

I DO agree this is a great way to play NOR, especially at big units. Daytrader's +65 units at his typical unit size -- hell yeah it's worth it!! Good luck in the tourney this week.

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I DO agree this is a great way to play NOR, especially at big units. Daytrader's +65 units at his typical unit size -- hell yeah it's worth it!! Good luck in the tourney this week.

Yep, I've been trying to tell you guys: We will be seeing more and more of this OTB4L shoe type, something that we NEVER saw in the old days. Take advantage of it.

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Also, you Singapore guys and girl, note that these guys were playing preshuffled cards.

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That was an excellent write up and report of the how's and why's of your local play.

Well done and thanks for posting it up. An excellent read for sure.

MVS

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