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High Stakes Blackjack


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You might well be thinking: Why should I be considering high stakes BJ or a high limit seminar when I'm a nickel player because I can't afford to play for more?

Answer: Because nickle games are next to impossible to beat, and usually, totally impossible.

The reason is simple: The lower the stakes the more the cards get played. Nickel tables are nearly always full. The more players in the game the faster the cards clump. The longer the game the more the cards clump. The more the cards clump the harder they are to play, to the point of impossible to beat.

When I played full time I quickly learned to avoid nickel games altogether. Next I learned to avoid dime games altogether. Then I learned to play $25 games only early in the morning agaist new cards. By night time the $100 tables were the most beatable games in the casino - often the only beatable games in the casino.

In the middle of an Atlantic City BJ demonstration a loud voice from the audience yelled: "Ellis, why do you always play black tables. We can't afford to play $100 tables." I yelled back: "Because I can't afford to play red tables!" Perhaps you are beginning to catch my drift.

But black tables on the floor are one thing. Black tables in the high limit room are a different kettle of fish. Eventually I learned to only play high limit rooms. This takes special talents. But one of the benefits is high limit rooms give the best comps in the casino.

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I would love to play black chips in high limit, but how much of a bankroll do I need or how many buyins? The idea of making a couple thousand a day or every other day is a life changer. I just don't know if it is feasable for me.

Not as much as you would think. While I normally buy in at 12 chips, when I play high stakes I only buy in for ten. Also you start a little more conservatively. You want to win a 1 unit bet before betting more than that. Half the time your highest bet need only be 2 units and you never need to go more than 3 units.

The whole idea is to play the right system at the right table at the right time to guarantee a win. That is what the seminar is about. If, in spite of everything, you end up selecting the wrong table, you'll know it within 3 units. We NEVER buy in twice at the same table. We are not just there to play. We are there to win.

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Basic Strategy by Ellis:

Yes, even though Basic Strategy (BS) is an overall losing proposition, you still need to know BS to learn NBJ. The best BS tables are those which include the hit % of each play. I'll see if I can find one or if you have one please post it.

See, in order to know when to deviate from BS you must first know what you are deviating from so you must know BS.

But I will add some common sense to your BS chart.

First, your hit percentage is exaggerated on all BS charts:

Remember that all BS plays are based on an avg dealer hand of 18.2. WRONG! Clumping renders the average dealer hand to a real world 19.2. WE know this for sure because we recorded thousands of actual casino games.

BS is also based on an avg dealer break rate of 28%. Wrong again! Clumping greatly reduces dealer breaks simply because the dealer can't break on all highs or all lows which you frequently see. The real world dealer break rate can actually go below 10% in highly clumped cards. BUT, when the dealer can't break, neither can you! So in highly clumped cards, dealer strategy will at least keep you even with the dealer except that when you both break, the dealer wins. BUT, your odds of breaking in highly clumped cards are FAR less than in random cards, so go for it, HIT.

I NEVER make the soft doubles called for by BS. Why? Simple arithmetic. Even your BS chart will tell you your odds of winning are only about 50%. But then when you adjust for BS exaggeration your odds of winning become 50% at best and usually less than 50%. WHY would you want to bet twice as much money on a hand you only have a 50% at best chance of winning. That is stupid. Double when your chance of winning is HIGH, not when it's even.

Let's do an example: You have A8 against a 6. BS says double. I stand. Why? Look, I can only improve my hand with 2 out of 13 possible cards, an Ace or a 2, And even if I improve my hand I STILL haven't won. The last 2 cards dealt are low. Chances are excellent that lows are running. While BS is betting the dealer will break with her 6, real world math says the dealer CAN'T break with lows running. So I stand with 19, hoping the dealer will break. She probably won't but at least I din't bet twice as much money on a poor hand. Why is 19 poor? Because the average dealer hand is 19.2! Think about it, how often do you win with 19. Ha, some nights - NEVER.

On the other hand, I also make doubles NOT called for by BS. Why? Because I'm going mostly by what is running, not just the dealer up card which is mostly meaningless.

Let's do another example:

I've got 11 against ten at third base with tens running right up to my turn. I double even though BS says hit. Why? chances are excellent both the dealer and I will get a ten. That gives her 20 and me 21. I win my double. NO, you don't do this all the time. You only do it when tens are running in a clumped game.

Another example: I have 8 or 9 against 7 at third base with tens running. I double. BS would never even come close to doubling but BS doesn't consider what is running or where you are sitting. BS totally ignores the most important information in the game. THAT is why BS loses. Chances are excellent that I will get my 18 or 19. Chances are also excellent the dealer has 17. But if she has to hit, chances are excellent she will draw a ten and break. Are you getting this stuff?

Let's do one more: I have 2,9 against an Ace up at 3rd with highs running: I Insure AND Double - both dead against and unheard of by BS. I call this the pansies. The dealer is going to lose almost no matter what happens. OK, in AC the hand plays out. The dealer got her hole card right after my 9. She likely has BJ in which case I win my insurance bet which pays 2 to 1. If she doesn't have the ten, I lose my half bet insurance but now the dealer is sucking hind tit against my 11 double down with highs running.

In Vegas, the dealer must show her BJ and if she has it I get my DD money back and I win my 2/1 insurance bet. If she doesn't have BJ she is again sucking hind tit against my 11 DD with highs running. If she has to hit, the likely high will break her.

See that? This is heads up BJ! This is NBJ! NBJ is the thinking man's game vs BS which is playing by rote according to the way some book writer or some forum host says who has very likely never even seen the inside of a casino.

I will play against these guys any day of the week and soundly beat them every single time as I already have time after time after time.

Well, that was just a couple NBJ plays. What do you think so far? Are you beginning to see how I could win $10,000 in a half hour TWICE, W/O ever betting more than $200. CC/BS can't hold a candle to NBJ. Not even close. I don't care how many movies they make about CC. They need to make a REAL movie about NBJ.

Yeah sure, that kind of thinking things through may sound a little complex to you right now. BUT, this is just your first taste of NBJ. With a little study and practice all this stuff will soon be 2nd nature to you because it is all just plain common sense. There is no reason whatsoever that you can't learn to play this game even better than I do. You have a teacher. I didn't.

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Hello, MRV, and all BJ enthusiasts,

I wanted to post here to alert to you and other BTC members, visitors, that playing high stakes BJ is a challenging endeavor. Fortunately for us all, we have Ellis and his tremendous experience base of winning daily BJ playing - to really learn to play BJ well and try to win daily/weekly.

However, there are NO shortcuts to gambling (BJ, baccarat, poker). You must learn from the best players (Ellis), you must spend $$$ for educational instruction/manuals, and then more educational $$ thru losses and Lessons Learned in live BJ gaming.

Just as important - you must have discipline - to FOCUS on only favorable table/game selection, AND, you must have the discipline to exit bad games. I have seen Ellis STOP play and change tables after only a few hands of BJ - when he is losing units of his bankroll.

Are you capable of suffering a few losing hands - but then be comfortable and embrace exiting that shoe/table quickly? And then look for a high advantage player table/shoe again? Repeated endless # of times daily or weekly for as long as necessary?

Are you disciplined enough to follow Rule #1 - which is AVOID BAD GAMES/TABLES?

Just test yourself - have you read thru and studied and ABSORBED lessons from Zero Prox BJ, NBJ, WCB manuals? If I were to "test" you on fundamental skills tests from these manuals in private BJ "exams" - would you be able to PASS routinely?

If not - then you should avoid playing high stakes BJ at this time. Instead, focus on study, reading, learning, testing, and rehearsing all elements of ZPC, NBJ, WCB. Test all of the Skill Levels of each manual - get 95% correct on "exams" - then can test with real $$$ using black chips or higher!

Ellis is a pro - daily plays, daily ups/downs - we do not have his experience base, and we do not have even near 70% of his skills/decision-making biases and heuristics as a pro for BJ and Baccarat. We must develop and implant these learning pathways in our own cerebral cortex to allow us to make the best decisions on every play. This is what NBJ, WCB, helps to teach us to focus on every individual decision-making point of play in high level BJ.

Can it be done? Yes - and BTC has members playing high stakes BJ on a consistent winning basis. I play BJ at high stakes and high performance level in both 2 and 6 deck games. But, it has taken me YEARS of preparation/study, training, analysis, debriefings, and live table plays! I still have to manage losing shoes/tables on a daily and weekly basis. I must always stay focused, alert, vigilant - to avoid bad games, avoid playing during bad emotional days, to exit quickly if losing! And - I STILL need to improve my BJ game - and YES - I am and MUST spend more time, $, energy, learning as much as possible from Ellis directly!

How about other BTC members playing high stakes BJ consistently on a daily or weekly basis? Mad Dog? Big Vic? Keith? Aegis? What have been your playing challenges and lessons learned - to SHARE with the BJ wanna-be high stakes player?

For ALL recreational BJ players and wanna-be High Stakes BJ players, I recommend you to passionately pursue, study, apply, all the BJ manuals here, and attend the high stakes BJ seminar either in Vegas or AC. Either way - you will at least get to observe the very best high performance BJ player. You can "test" your own NBJ/WCB level of expertise, you can ask play-by-play decision-making questions! But - YOU MUST PREPARE ahead of attending the High Stakes BJ seminar(s). Otherwise, its real value is going to be wasted/lost on your time, $, energy, travel.

I repeat - and strongly recommend - be sure to read and learn and rehearse all of the various Skills Levels from the ZPC, NBJ, and WCB manuals. ORDER these if you don't already have it all! Give yourself the best opportunity to learn and attack BJ from these manuals - and then EXPLOIT the opportunity at the Seminar to have your weak areas CORRECTED and TESTED by Ellis directly. This is high productivity BJ learning at its best!

By the way - if you attend the High Stakes BJ seminar(s) in Vegas or AC (No, make it a MUST - "when you attend" and not "if") - you will learn the CORRECT way to play/attack BJ shoe games. But - it will NOT turn you to become winning high stakes BJ player. This you must do on your own time, your own $$, your own emotional and psychological "capital" as a high stakes player. Ellis and other BTC players CANNOT teach nor translate/pass this on to you directly. We all must experience this journey in becoming better high stakes BJ players.

However, I do know from personal experience that playing and networking with BTC members in BJ and bacc - will help to improve your game and PERHAPS - hopefully - may even accelerate your learning curve for playing BJ well on a consistent basis.

In closing, I do look forward to the High Stakes BJ seminar(s) - to learn again directly from Ellis, to learn from other high stakes BJ players in BTC! And, hopefully to meet more BTC members in pursuit of learning and achieving high performance BJ skills. To this day, I still play almost daily - definitely at least weekly - both BJ and baccarat. And I have tons more to learn and improve upon! Always! :-)

Regards,

Daytrader77459

I would love to play black chips in high limit, but how much of a bankroll do I need or how many buyins? The idea of making a couple thousand a day or every other day is a life changer. I just don't know if it is feasable for me.
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Extremely well said Daytrader! Thank you!

Some learning pointers:

I learned Basic Strategy by keeping a 5" x 5" Basic Strategy chart in my bathroom.

There are about 500 plays on a BS chart but at least 475 of them are plain common sense when you think about it a little. Those you can learn real quick.

And there are some plays the odds are so close it really doesn't matter what you do, like a pair of 4s. Split, hit, the odds are about the same.

Then I learned to count by keeping a deck of cards in the bathroom. NBJ does not require that you count cards. In fact I frown on NBJ players that still count cards because they are simply using up too much brain power keeping the count. Brain power that is needed to note more important things like how many high clumps are in the game at hand. One? two? three? or many. The number of clumps nearly always survives the shuffle. So once you know, you know. Why is that important? Because it improves your anticipation.

For instance: Even in 8 deck there is often only ONE long high clump. It could start anywhere in the shoe but when it does, you know that is the only clump and you also know how many plays long it is. That is a huge help because it is telling you to bet high in the high clump and low every wher else. It is also telling you that there are only one or 2 low clumps but they are very long. You want to play Dealer Strategy in the low clumps because Basic Strategy will lose nearly every hand in the low clumps when the dealer is most likely to have a low up card. BUT remember, it is highly unlikely the dealer will break in a low clump so you MUST hit to a pat hand to stand any chance of beating her. If you hit to a pat hand in low clumps, your chances of winning are the same as the dealers because she is doing the same thing. BUT if you stand with less than 17 you are, in fact, betting the dealer will break right when she is least likely to break. How smart is that??? Give her a run for her money. THAT is NBJ in a nut shell. THAT is the difference. THAT is what makes winners. THAT is when you deviate from Basic Strategy. Perfect Basic Strategy loses perfectly. NBJ wins! Look everybody knows how to play a 9, 10, or 11. Those are automatic. What is important is how you play your low hands. That is the difference. Winners win by how they play their bad hands. Everybody knows how to play a good hand.

When lows are running, hit to a good hand.

When highs are running, play Basic.

So I took a break from the Bac game one night at Foxwood because I noted a hot 6 deck BJ game next table with only two players. The cards were clumped as always at night so I took the empty 1st base seat.

They were playing perfect Basic Strategy. I was playing NBJ First Base. When lows were running I hit to a good hand and when highs were running I played Basic. The other two players were playing every hand straight Basic and losing big time because they failed to note what was running.

No words were spoken until we were about 5 shoes in. Then, in total frustration one of the two said to me: "Buddy, you don't know how to play. Learn Basic Strategy. You are playing nearly every hand wrong!"

So I replied: "BUDDY, since I sat down you've both bought in 5 times and you are about to buy in yet again. I bought in ONCE and I have 5 times my buy in money on the table. It isn't ME who doesn't know how to play!" Their next buy in didn't work any better so they left W/O a word. Then I really cleaned up playing head to head. But the game started to turn random so I went back to my seat at the Bac table where my playing partner, Ann, had been keeping up my score card. She had only filled in ten plays since I left. I put several piles of ten blacks on the table from the BJ game and said to the dealer: "You've only dealt ten hands since I left?" The dealer said: Yep, we were all watching you play BJ - That was incredible - I never saw anything like it - Why in hell did you come back here?" I replied: "Just deal the cards!"

Anybody can learn to do what I do. It is not nearly as hard as Daytrader makes it sound. Eventually you will see that it is all plain good old common sense.

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Ellis,

Great anecdote - especially about being able to remain flexible enough to play both baccarat and BJ at the same time! :-)

What you say is very true about gambling and professional trading - easy to learn and grasp key guidelines and winning strategies.

However - putting it into real effective practice on a daily or weekly basis, and then being able to pull out profitable sessions frequently and consistently - this is what is really difficult for most individuals. I also know from my own experiences with traders and gamblers that most will simply avoid having to do the necessary "work" to get to a winning high performance consistent basis.

Many I know in the trading and gaming community - they really do not want to win. They trade and gamble to fulfill their own inner needs and get internal benefit(s) from the mere act of trading and gambling. But - to win daily as you did - that is definitely not easy. It boils down to the discipline and focus you have on wanting to be able to select the best daily and table conditions, and then matching the optimal strategy to that specific condition(s) for both baccarat and BJ. You have the SKILL of patience (focus, wait for optimal daily, table, shoe conditions), the SKILL of execution (match ideal NBJ and NOR strategy to the shoe at hand), and the SKILL of bankroll mgmt to lock up profits quickly when "the worm turns" - and to exit quickly if the shoe is not responding as expected. You can leave after only several hands/bets if the table is not performing well. Very few I know can do this many times daily! These are true SKILLS that we BTC members pursue to develop and improve on a daily basis!

I hope that the High Stakes BJ seminar(s) will clearly be able to pass along/translate your BJ skills to the average BJ player - as long as that player has a good understanding of the principles in ZPC, NBJ, and WCB. I look forward to it. Thank you, Ellis.

Daytrader77459

...

Anybody can learn to do what I do. It is not nearly as hard as Daytrader makes it sound. Eventually you will see that it is all plain good old common sense.

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Ellis, I'll be able to make the AC seminar on Sat. and stay a day or so to do some serious playing. I have my home practice table set up and doing some practice shoes with several goals in mind. Quickly identifying high ratio rounds, their length and locations from shoe to shoe. First base second card ten and player sensitivity.

I haven't played serious blackjack for some time in AC, does anyone know the shuffles? or are they all shuffle machines now? If machines are the rule, are they continuous shuffle or two shoes?

Thanks in Advance

John

"If you don't think too good, don't think too much!!"

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

John

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Ok Great

I 've been ask about the seminars. The registration Link to the Atlantic City seminar is open and is a go.

Register http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07e6e4rde4b7481303

The Vegas seminar we will reschedule till after the holidays due to all the confusion on dates.

Regards

Keith

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

Need Information Messenger

https://m.me/beatthecasinodotcom

司奇士

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Ellis, I'll be able to make the AC seminar on Sat. and stay a day or so to do some serious playing. I have my home practice table set up and doing some practice shoes with several goals in mind. Quickly identifying high ratio rounds, their length and locations from shoe to shoe. First base second card ten and player sensitivity.

I haven't played serious blackjack for some time in AC, does anyone know the shuffles? or are they all shuffle machines now? If machines are the rule, are they continuous shuffle or two shoes?

Thanks in Advance

John

John, it looks like I'll be free to play Sat after 3 PM. Being Sat in A.C. I'll be looking for an unplayed high stakes parlor. AS you know, Saturday sucks on the floor.

I'm hoping to find a hand shuffled, new cards, 2 or 8 deck game. Single deck would be OK too but it goes so slow shuffling every 3 hands.

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Ellis,

Great anecdote - especially about being able to remain flexible enough to play both baccarat and BJ at the same time! :-)

What you say is very true about gambling and professional trading - easy to learn and grasp key guidelines and winning strategies.

However - putting it into real effective practice on a daily or weekly basis, and then being able to pull out profitable sessions frequently and consistently - this is what is really difficult for most individuals. I also know from my own experiences with traders and gamblers that most will simply avoid having to do the necessary "work" to get to a winning high performance consistent basis.

Many I know in the trading and gaming community - they really do not want to win. They trade and gamble to fulfill their own inner needs and get internal benefit(s) from the mere act of trading and gambling. But - to win daily as you did - that is definitely not easy. It boils down to the discipline and focus you have on wanting to be able to select the best daily and table conditions, and then matching the optimal strategy to that specific condition(s) for both baccarat and BJ. You have the SKILL of patience (focus, wait for optimal daily, table, shoe conditions), the SKILL of execution (match ideal NBJ and NOR strategy to the shoe at hand), and the SKILL of bankroll mgmt to lock up profits quickly when "the worm turns" - and to exit quickly if the shoe is not responding as expected. You can leave after only several hands/bets if the table is not performing well. Very few I know can do this many times daily! These are true SKILLS that we BTC members pursue to develop and improve on a daily basis!

I hope that the High Stakes BJ seminar(s) will clearly be able to pass along/translate your BJ skills to the average BJ player - as long as that player has a good understanding of the principles in ZPC, NBJ, and WCB. I look forward to it. Thank you, Ellis.

Daytrader77459

Right Daytrader! Unfortunately there is such a thing as the sick gambler and I'm sure you have your sick traders. Usually I don't like to work with these guys But I did work with one Vegas guy who called me out of sheer desperation. He was a top show booker in Vegas and made lots of money. Unfortunately he was $400,000 down when he called me. I got him to stop counting and start paying attention to the game. I taught him NBJ First and Third over the phone. We never actually met. He was very sharp and completely understood from actual experience what I was teaching him. I turned him around from $400,000 down to $400,000 up over only 3 months time. It was one of my proudest moments. I never thought to charge him a penny because I really thought there was no hope like most of these guys. Fortunately, I was wrong!

Right, it was a big asset knowing both games. I have great discipline but it's hard staying away from the tables Fri thru Monday when you are living in A.C. esp in the Winter when the boardwalk and the beaches also suck. Baccarat came in very handy.

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Hi Ellis

Could you post the Basic Strategy we should learn?

Thank You

LittleJim

Well I can post a standard Basic Strategy chart. I can't make it pretty with all the lines because my scanners aren't working but one of you clever guys can probably redo it a whole lot better. Also, my chart doesn't include the odds of each play but hopefully someone has a BS chart that includes the hit % of each play. BTW, I had said before that there were about 500 plays in a BS chart but this chart already reduces it down to 277 by assuming you won't stand with less than 8 but that you will stand with 17 or better. Also other charts will vary slightly as the number of decks vary. But this chart is good enough for discussion.

The top row is the dealer's up card. "Y" stands for Your hand which is the first column.

h = Hit; s = Stand; d = Double down; p = split. 0 = 10, J, Q, K; A = Ace

Y- 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 A

8- h h h h h h h h h h

9- h d d d d h h h h h

0- d d d d d d d d h h

11 d d d d d d d d d h

12 h h S s S h h h h h

13 S S s S S h h h h h

14 S S s S S h h h h h

15 S S s S S h h h h h

16 S S s S S h h h h h

17 S S s S S S S s S S

A2 h h h d d h h h h h

A3 h h h d d h h h h h

A4 h h d d d h h h h h

A5 h h d d d h h h h h

A6 h d d d d h h h h h

A7 S d d d d S S h h h

A8 S S s S S s S S S S

A9 S S s S S s S S S S

AA p p p p p p p p p p

22 p p p p p p h h h h

33 p p p p p p h h h h

44 h h h p p h h h h h

66 p p p p p h h h h h

77 p p p p p p h h h h

88 p p p p p p p p p p

99 p p p p p S p p S S

00 S S s S S s S S S S

Now, before you get overwhelmed, recognize that 80% of it is redundant!

The small and big S's both mean "stand". I just did that in an attempt to keep the columns straighter.

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BTW, I apologize for all the spam we are getting in our in boxes. Keith is working on the problem. You might volunteer to be a moderator to help screen posts. If you would like to help, let Keith know.

OK, now that, thanks to LittleJim, we have a Basic Strategy chart to refer to, we can get into some serious NBJ discussion. I think I can explain to you in a way easy to understand exactly why BS does not work, except in random cards, while NBJ does work regardless whether the cards are clumped or random.

You know, as soon as I hinted that BS was not always the best way to play your hands, that was considered Blasphemy by the entire BJ world and I was called every name in the book by everyone associated with BJ instruction as well as their students. I'm famous for this blasphemy all over the internet. The problem is that these guys are so set in their ways - so uniform in their instruction - truly a mutual admiration society, that I can't get them to even look at my way of playing even though they freely admit that I win and they don't. They say that the entire object of the game is to play every hand perfectly. They say "It doesn't matter whether you win or lose as long as you play every hand perfectly according to Basic Strategy."

I say the only thing that matters is winning regardless of how you must play your hands to do so.

Now, given the freedom of play my premise bestows on you, I'll show you exactly why BS loses and NBJ wins.

First, what exactly is Basic Strategy?

A Basic Strategy chart, like the one posted, calculates your best play option for every possible combination of your initial 2 cards vs the dealer up card considering the BJ house rule that says the dealer MUST hit every hand to 17 or better (Dealer Strategy) while you are free to play your hand any way you want.

The Basic Strategy calculations ASSUME 3 things:

1.) That all shoes contain RANDOM cards - that the chances of the next card being high or low are exactly equal.

2.) That the average dealer hand is 18.2

3.) That the dealer break rate is 28% - more than one hand out of 4.

Basic Strategy does not consider what is running whatsoever and therein lies its downfall.

Now, all of these assumptions are true IF the cards are random. That is why NBJ 3rd base plays Basic Strategy in random cards. But in BJ, random cards are extremely rare. The ONLY time you might see random cards is MAYBE with new cards in the morning or whenever new cards are presented and maybe when a table was played head to head long enough. But particularly if you are a 9 to 5er and you play when most people play, Friday night, Saturday and Sunday, you may never see random cards. Casinos make most of their profits then. Your only chance of seeing random cards are early Sat and Sun mornings and 9 to 5ers don't usually like to get up that early on Sat and Sun. So your only chance of winning is to believe in clumping and to play NBJ First Base accordingly. But step 1 is to believe in clumping so I'm going to give you a little demonstration of exactly how clumping occurs:

Let's look at a round of cards with 7 players plus the dealer. The number of decks is not important but lets say we are playing 8 decks since the casinos are going back to 8 decks. Now lets say 5 players and the dealer get 2 tens. They all stand with 20 and push. Lets say the other 2 players get hands of 4345, hit against the dealer ten per Basic Strategy and break with a 6. O.K., we have a perfectly normal round here. It would not so much as raise an eyebrow. But now watch what happens: The dealer picks up the break hands first per the rules in every casino and puts 10 lows in the discard shoe in one solid ten card low clump. Then she picks up the remaining cards and puts 12 tens in the discard shoe in one solid high card clump. Yes, the cards are going to be shuffled but nowhere near sufficiently enough to break up those clumps. It is far more likely the low clumps will get shuffled with other low clumps and the high clump will get shuffled with other high clumps forming even longer clumps, sometimes forming high and low clumps as long as 40 cards or more.

It is virtually impossible for the dealer to break in either a high or low card clump so the dealer break rate is no longer anywhere near 28% and her average hand is no longer 18.2. It averages 19.2 in the real BJ world. The Basic Strategy calculations lose their basis and BS is destroyed. But NBJ isn't!

Here is yet another sad fact this round demonstrates: Recognize that tens are the most Player favorable cards. Casinos used to remove tens from the shoe to make the shoe casino favorable. We used to catch dealers throwing tens on the floor. This is called "short decking", an old casino trick. Well look at that perfectly normal round again. 12 tens just got removed from the game with no benefit to any player. Legal short decking. A BS player now has no chance of winning that shoe whatsoever. Yet he has no idea that his chances of winning just went to ZERO. He never even raised an eyebrow.

Hey, it wasn't a good round for NBJ First Base either but at least the NBJ Player can still beat the shoe. Clumping is a powerful casino tool. They know how to optimize it. They even teach clumping in dealer schools. Anyone who doesn't believe in clumping or know how to use it to their advantage is not living in the real world and has no chance whatsoever. Perfect Basic Strategy loses perfectly.

Now, lets take an example of NBJ. Lets say you know the cards are clumped because you have already seen some lenthy clumps go by. Let's say you are dealt a 2 card total of 9 against a dealer up card of 6. Look at your BS chart. It says double! Look, lows are running. You have 2 lows in your hand and the dealer has a low up card. She got her hole card right after you got your second low. Chances are excellent she is low in the hole. A low dealer down card together with a low up card is VERY dangerous. You have 9 and if you double you only get ONE card. Chances are excellent it will be low, so you are very likely to get a stiff hand (12 thru 16) and the dealer CAN'T break with lows running. Why in hell would you double??? Yeah, because your BS chart said double. Ha, that's why we call them BS charts. NBJ says hit, which is exactly what you should do. See that? BS does not consider what is running and that is the most important information in today's game. NBJ DOES! That is why BS loses and NBJ wins. This isn't rocket science. NBJ uses 4th grade math together with common sense. There is a perfect example of how NBJ takes advantage of clumping instead of losing to it like BS does. Are you beginning to understand? See, I'm not as crazy as they say am I? But when the counting guys say "it doesn't matter whether you win or lose". now that IS CRAZY. What the hell do they think we are there for? To practice BS?

So, OK how did I know you had two lows in your hand??? Because that is the only way you could have a total of 9 with 2 cards. An Ace and an 8 is 19 - you stand. The only other 9 totals are 7,2; 6,3; 5,4. See that? All lows. Rocket Science!

But, you say, 7s are neutral??? Get that amature card counting crap out of your head. 7s are low, not neutral. Just as 9s are high, not neutral.

Sure, BS says 2-6 is low, 7-9 is neutral, 10 and ACES are high. But that is NOT real world. Cards simply don't run in that order. 7s run with lows, 8s and 9s run with highs. Aces run with both because they are played both ways - high and low.

HERE is the real world way to do it, the NBJ way.

2-7 is low, 8-10 is high. aces swing. They are low when they follow a low and high when they follow a high. Now you have a balanced count in tune with the way cards actually clump.

9s are NOT neutral. They are high. If you doubled your 11 and got a 9, would you give it back? To beat this game you've got to live in the real world. BS and card counting are make believe. You sorta make believe you are winning. But you're not!

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So you might be thinking: Well in that case I'll just play new cards head to head on Sat and Sun mornings so I can play NBJ 3rd base and straight Basic Strategy.

Yes that is a very good plan if, because of your job, you can't very well play weekdays. Just be sure you have the discipline to ONLY play during those hours and know exactly what time your target casino brings out new cards.

Here are some tricks of the trade that can help you:

You usually get more than one shot at new cards. Casinos seldom bring out new cards at every table at the same time in a pit. They like to leave some tables in play while they are doing the new card prep at other tables. Depending on the number of decks, the new card switch can take 20 minutes to a half hour.

While you are playing new cards at one table, be alert to where they are prepping cards at the other tables. When the table you are playing starts to clump, you already know which table you will go to. This trick can get you about 2 hours of new card play in that one pit.

Likewise casinos don't change cards in all their BJ pits at the same time. It might be 8 am in one pit and 9 am in another and 10 am in yet another pit. If you time it right, you can end up playing new cards all morning long. Often they don't get to the green pits until late morning or early afternoon.

The high stakes pit(s) is always last. It is usually closed early in the morning unless they still have straglers from the night before. Casinos like to cater to the straglers because they are always losers. (Don't become one yourself). High stakes pits each have their own schedule. Some don't open until 5PM and some 8 pm.

So if you know the schedule of your target casino and any neighboring casinos you can get many opportunities at new cards.

Random cards are the easiest to beat and new cards are the most likely to be random - but new cards aren't always random. Therefore you must qualify each table you sit to, even with brand new cards, and verify that the cards are, in fact, random. This is easy to do. Are lows and highs following highs equally? If highs are following highs significantly more than lows are following highs the table is clumped and you must abandon it quickly or play NBJ First Base.

This brings up yet another casino trick. Most casinos like to start out with random cards so players can win a little while they are playing low stakes in the morning. But then about the time players develop the courage to increase their unit, the cards are clumped so their Basic Strategy loses. Clever, yes, but some greedy casinos like to start right out with clumped cards. This is cvery easy for the casino to do when you consider the fact that the boxed card order of new cards already has them clumped to the maximum. So a skimpy card prep produces extreme clumping with new cards. When I played AC full time I developed the ability to know what a casino was going for by simply watching their card prep. Then I chose between NBJ First and Third base accordingly.

I'm trying to point out here that you don't really need to know much to win. But at the same time, the more you know the more you can guarantee your win. But the first fact you need to know starting out is that NBJ 3rd base with a 3 bet progression against random cards is as close to a can't lose situation as you can get in a casino. Just confirm the fact that the cards are indeed random.

Now, if you know Basic Strategy, I've just shown you an almost guaranteed way to beat a casino. That already puts you a major step ahead of everyone else in the casino. Most haven't the foggiest notion of how to win.

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Way2Fast,

Well Daytrader, looks like the forum doesn't know how to answer your question -- or maybe they are all too busy trying BJ. Haha.

You may be right! BJ is more challenging but more "fun" also - as it really tests the player's focus, decision-making skills. We were up at Tahoe - they have single deck BJ paying out 3:2 BJs. Doubles allowed for 10s and 11s only. Also had double decks, and 6 decks with no surrender.

Played 3 sessions of single deck - blacks and purples. Played < 1 hr per session. Played 3rd base 1 hand. Solo, no other players. They changed new cards every hour at single deck!

2nd session - had one player playing 1st base. Cards did NOT exhibit clumping - and 1st base 10s predictability was < 50%.

Overall results:

Session 1: buy-in 30 chips. Max profit +18 units. Exited at +13 units after losing 4 consec hds betting 1-1-1-2. Duration 35 mins.

Session 2: buy-in 20 chips. Max profit +13 units. Exited +8 after losing 1-1-1-2. Duration 55 mins. Note - very random cards, minimal clumps < 4-5 cards clumping. Also difficult to predict W-L-W-L structure, patterns of W vs L random. Also did not have many consec winning hands, but often had 2-3 consec losing hds which ALERTED me to find an exit point. Probably should have exited sooner. The profit curve went from +13 to +1 to +5 to +2 to +13 (pressed and won a couple of good doubles with 3u) to +8. Played solo.

Session 3: buy-in 30 chips. Max profit +11. Exited at +6 units after losing to 1-1-1-2. Duration was 25 mins. Also had dinner soon so already mind-set was to play quick hit-and-run. Played solo. Again, new deck, very random.

Observations - mostly played BS with random cards, very few clumps > 4-5 cards. Difficult to read Dealer hole card, also difficult to predict 1st Base 10s first cards. So stayed with BS throughout. Also, mostly played Dealer Strategy with lows running, and I did observe that dealer hands were often also a high-low hand - and Dealer hand busted at a reasonable rate > 1/6 times. One other thing, Dealer 1st card 10 up - scary - but often had a low card underneath - many BS players would have prematurely BUSTED ahead of a Dealer weak hand as Ellis frequently highlighted for us! I also saw Dealer hands lose to my hands or pushes - b/c dealer hands were 17s or 18s even if dealer had pat hands.

Summary - it was fun to play single deck with 3:2 BJ finally! And to play solo heads up and win and run quickly. Thanks, Ellis.

Daytrader77459

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Way2Fast,

You may be right! BJ is more challenging but more "fun" also - as it really tests the player's focus, decision-making skills. We were up at Tahoe - they have single deck BJ paying out 3:2 BJs. Doubles allowed for 10s and 11s only. Also had double decks, and 6 decks with no surrender.

Played 3 sessions of single deck - blacks and purples. Played < 1 hr per session. Played 3rd base 1 hand. Solo, no other players. They changed new cards every hour at single deck!

2nd session - had one player playing 1st base. Cards did NOT exhibit clumping - and 1st base 10s predictability was < 50%.

Overall results:

Session 1: buy-in 30 chips. Max profit +18 units. Exited at +13 units after losing 4 consec hds betting 1-1-1-2. Duration 35 mins.

Session 2: buy-in 20 chips. Max profit +13 units. Exited +8 after losing 1-1-1-2. Duration 55 mins. Note - very random cards, minimal clumps < 4-5 cards clumping. Also difficult to predict W-L-W-L structure, patterns of W vs L random. Also did not have many consec winning hands, but often had 2-3 consec losing hds which ALERTED me to find an exit point. Probably should have exited sooner. The profit curve went from +13 to +1 to +5 to +2 to +13 (pressed and won a couple of good doubles with 3u) to +8. Played solo.

Session 3: buy-in 30 chips. Max profit +11. Exited at +6 units after losing to 1-1-1-2. Duration was 25 mins. Also had dinner soon so already mind-set was to play quick hit-and-run. Played solo. Again, new deck, very random.

Observations - mostly played BS with random cards, very few clumps > 4-5 cards. Difficult to read Dealer hole card, also difficult to predict 1st Base 10s first cards. So stayed with BS throughout. Also, mostly played Dealer Strategy with lows running, and I did observe that dealer hands were often also a high-low hand - and Dealer hand busted at a reasonable rate > 1/6 times. One other thing, Dealer 1st card 10 up - scary - but often had a low card underneath - many BS players would have prematurely BUSTED ahead of a Dealer weak hand as Ellis frequently highlighted for us! I also saw Dealer hands lose to my hands or pushes - b/c dealer hands were 17s or 18s even if dealer had pat hands.

Summary - it was fun to play single deck with 3:2 BJ finally! And to play solo heads up and win and run quickly. Thanks, Ellis.

Daytrader77459

I like to play single deck also for the shear fun of it. I always play 3rd base and try to keep it head to head. Even if the cards are clumped hd to hd will randomize a single deck very quickly - usually just a couple shoes.

Here at Tunica they only deal 3 hands when you are playing head to head single deck so no matter how fast you play the game is slow. You can't get much advantage from clumping because the clumps are so short in single deck so I don't bother with First Base at all.

But we KNOW that single deck does clump with multiple players from the Thorp / Uston days. Thorp computed a 6% PA with card counting and BS. But Uston proved conclusively that his PA was only 1%. Thorp simply doesn't make mathematical mistakes but Uston didn't make playing mistakes either. So we know for a fact that the performance disparity was strictly due to clumping. Those guys paid no attention to the number of players because clumping was an unknown in those early days. Had Uston stuck to head to head, he probably would have been much closer to Thorp's 6% PA computation. Although it was much harder to get head to head games in those days because all BJ was single deck.

Today it is much easier to get head to head single deck games because most players today are afraid of single deck. So it is much easier to get a 6% PA today. The only reason I consider single deck a for fun game is I can usually get a better PA in multi shoe games.

I usually play a 123 in single deck around the horn - meaning that I play my progression right through the end of the shoe into the next shoe once I've got the cards randomized. As long as the cards are completely random I see no reason not to play around the horn. If you don't, since they only deal 3 hands, You'll be forever getting your progression cut short by the shoe end. And if a second player gets in the game, they only deal 2 hands!

You've got to watch which bet you are winning the most. If it is the first bet, you are better off with a 234 or even a 223. if it is the 2nd bet, you are best off with a 134 or a 146 and if it is the third bet, either get out or play a 112 or 113. I usually get out. No big future in such a game. I don't have to worry about losing 4 in a row because my 4th bet is ALWAYS a 1 bet no matter what. I always depart if I lose 5 in a row but that is extremely rare with random cards.

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I like 8 deck and 2 deck most. I don't care much for 6 deck. You just get too many in between games with 6 deck - too clumped for 3rd base but not clumped enough for 1st base. 2 deck often has more clumping than 6 deck. I guess because they tend to shuffle 2 deck so little.

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I love 8 deck

Hi Carlos! I think the word is stability. There is something about 8 deck that makes a good table far more stable than 6 deck. A good 6 deck game always deteriorates after just a few shoes. A good 8 deck table can stay good all day long. I've played 8 deck tables for as long as 17 hours, then put a marker up and go eat, come back to my same seat and the game is still going strong.

True, a bad 8 deck game never turns good but this is true regardless of the number of decks. But in 8 deck, a good game never seems to turn bad like it does in all other BJ games. I can only guess why this is. Maybe changes in the number of players simply effects 6 or less decks more than it effects 8 deck???

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Guest CarlosM

I find 6 deck more of a hit and run and that's if you decide to play. Most times not. I don't don't know why 6 decks has these traits you mentioned. 4 deck is fine. 8 deck is great! Shuffle machines are also good. But 6 deck? Hmmmmm???

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Guest CarlosM

The funny thing is 6 deck game here in Niagara produces great first base games with the right player number. Years ago they used to do a v 6 shuffle. Now they don't. Great first base games now in 6 deck. 6 deck is only used in the high limits vip room. Everywhere else its 8 deck hand shuffled, shuffle master MD Elevator one blue 8 deck and one red 8 deck. Shuffle master one2six continuos shuffler they use 4 decks and another machine they use 5 decks. So we have it all here. All tables but the 6 deck high limit room I find mostly third base or game type 3 clumped third base.

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Guest CarlosM

I have not been to casino rama in a long time but will be going there next week. It used to be a first base casino even in the high limit room but now??? Also, Niagara have changed their limits to be tighter. They are now as follows, $5-$100, $10-$200, $15-$300, $25-$500, $50-$1000. High stakes rooms are $100-$2,500, $200-$2,500 and one or sometimes 2 tables at $500-$5,000. High stakes Bacarrat is $100-$10,000 and $200-$15,000.

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