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Greetings and quick question

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First, thanks so much for the NOR system. I've read and re-read the manual. The system is quite impressive and in my testing I've been using Zumma shoes to simulate until I get all of the rules deeply ingrained. Seems the reasonable thing before actively putting money out in the casino. I'm getting much better and having to review the rules less, so cash play will start soon.

I notice that the Zumma shoes, though, are from the 1990s and many of them have long sections of repeats or ZZs. In looking at the recent posts about shoes in Las Vegas, it would appear that the content of shoes has changed! It looks like now the neutral shoe has become more common by far. So, my question is whether using the Zumma type material is helpful in practice if it is often pointing to SB40 or F rather than OTB4L? Any thoughts on this?

Thank you, in advance, for your time and consideration.


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A very observant question!

And correct: Baccarat shoe types have gone through very significant evolution over the years. In the late '80s and early '90s we were seeing long runs on a daily basis: 20 - 26 iars both ST and ZZ but not TT. These were caused by the standard Bac shuffle used world-wide in every casino in those days. And they all got very similar results.

At first casinos used the same cards all day. The cut off card was about where it still is today. When a shoe finished a dealer would start the new card prep by fanning the cut off cards through the deck - then a wash, and then a double shuffle. Watching the card prep, as I often did, you would swear the new shoe had to be random after this 30 minute card prep.

Ha, but the shoe quickly changed your mind. We would sometimes see 2 20+iars in the same shoe. We did not know the exact frequencies of occurrence like we do today but common sense told us that what we were seeing was WAY outside the random envelope. It didn't take long for players to start betting up as you win Fibonacis on runs and get up to the table max in only 11 or 12 hands, whereupon we would be winning $10,000 a hand until the run ended - often somewhere in the low 20's. Fortunes were made. And remember, a $100 chip then was about equivalent to a $1000 chip today in current dollars. Most Bac tables back then were $100 tables to cover the high cost of the large pit crews it took to deal Baccarat.

Then an incident in Vegas caused casinos collectively to start the Bac shuffle evolution. A casino lost 16 million to a 20 iar in one shoe to a small group of Asians betting up as you win Fibs on a no limit Bac table. That got their attention. Don't forget about current dollar values back then.

Meanwhile the casinos had learned shuffle technology in BJ and already knew how to control a BJ game through shuffle technology. Back then BJ was by far the most popular game and casinos had many pure BJ pits totaling 50 - 100 tables. I was playing professional BJ full time back then. The casinos HAD to learn how to beat card counters and basic strategy players - and they did!

So it was inevitable for casinos to start applying BJ shuffle technology to Bac to get rid of the long runs - or go broke trying. But, as usual, the casinos were highly successful.

What you are witnessing today with the Zumma testers is casino shuffle technology in action. By the mid 90s the long runs had been improved from 20iars to 10 iars. That is what you are seeing in the Zumma testers. But today, even the 10iars have mostly disappeared.

BUT, in creating "runless" shoes the casinos have left themselves wide open to OTB4L. We sorta like to keep that our little secret - let the other players feed the casinos money so that they can afford to deal to US. Many of the other players are still playing TB4L because that is what we all USED to win with. But today TB4L is a ticket to disaster. Today OTB4L is the main way to go - but don't tell anybody.

Today a player can do quite well JUST playing OTB4L once he has learned all the tricks of it. BUT if he can also learn WHEN to apply S40 and F, as well as how to bet his new found hit rate, that is his ticket to professional play.

So, as you can imagine, when some beginner idiot today starts bending my ear about random cards - I just go and find a better bar stool. Mathematicians make horrible Bac players. It is not about math. It is about shuffle technology - both BJ and Bac. I watched and concentrated my efforts on it from its very beginning. What I'm trying to teach you is how I learned to take advantage of shuffle technology rather than lose to it like the other misguided clueless players do - Both games.

But to answer your question: Yes you can use the Zumma testers for practice. Just fully recognize that you are NOT playing TODAYs Baccarat shoe types. You are playing the last decade's shoe types. You might find a better source of shoes on the internet - just be sure to only look at live game sites and don't expect them to be up to date on casino shuffle technology. The best thing to use is your own casino shoes and the collections of others.

Oh, and BTW, welcome to BTC!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks so much. One other quick question. The additional handout on the site from the bootcamp describes an OT method called OTR Mode 2-1 where one only goes OTR for one result only. Some of these discussions have mentioned that in Mode 2, if you win the first bet to do one more OTR bet. In this latter a long run will produce a +1 rather than a +0 with a 1,2 loss/3 win series. How do we decide whether to play standard Mode 2 [the latter] or Mode 2-1 [the former]? Is there a particular rule to delineate this? Thanks, gb

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Right, I would start with standard Mode 2. Then go by whether your 2nd OTR bet won or lost. Btw, you do this separately for both your straight and ZZ games. A neat trick is to also note what a 3rd OTR bet would have done when you win or would have won a 2rd OTR bet. Winning 3rd OTR bets are telling you to stay OTR until you lose.

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