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Keith Smith

I am going to revisit Blackjack again and want to get us started with the same enthusiasm that we approached Baccarat.

 

 

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kachatz1

Hey, Keith

good idea here...are there " top 5 " rules/methods you could summarize from your experience? Or even top 1?

     - ( for me, best thing I ever learned BTC was the seminar where " clumping " was discussed in detail... Especially first base strategy...Single deck/ Double deck, clumping concept seems to work well  most casinos here in town...)

I remember your keen interest in the game, and thinking Canada Carlos used to weigh in on Blackjack, but not sure he is still on forum? Is NBJ still relevant?

Not even sure Basic Strategy holds up well in today's environment, but maybe I am " jaded" by what I have experienced...

( That is why I play Baccarat !)

 

 

 

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Keith Smith

Well sure clumping is a great subject, although again I think we look for patterns in cards too often and what we identify as clumping is just random.  In Blackjack, it is evident when the cards are nonrandom, and there is no ambiguity.  Yes, I agree, and the first base ploy in Vegas works well.  I played it a few times and planned on playing it in March when I get there.  Hopefully, we can play some Blackjack together.  

My Top Rules:

Play first Base and anticipate a ten card, if you get it,  but don't get 19 or 20's leave the table.  Playing a random game thinking First Base Strategy will win is a mistake. 

I must agree with only double if you are playing a basic strategy card counting game.

If you are playing short term for wins, always take insurance with a  Blackjack against an ace. Look if you are playing professional counting and doing it full time ok don't, take insurance and base your decision on the count.  

If you see a clumped game and you can read the hole-card,  insure other players hands if you can/let you. I was able to do it one time but did it in a seven-player game in AC one time. I insured the whole table and won. Frequently the player next to you will let you if you ask and they did not exercise the option. 

If you are counting, make sure you cannot predict the cards, i.e., look for a random game with fewer decks.  Playing clump style look for a reasonable clumping frequency, if they are over-clumped you will be able to predict when you lose!!!

In clumped games, hit ace pairs and don't split 8's hit them or stand. 

 

 

 

 

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Hi Keith I would really love to get into Blackjack more but over here (Australia) we play by European No Hole Card rules

Also every game uses CSM's 'One 2 Six' brand shufflers - 6 deck games

BJRocks put a good post and analysis of this scenario where he says that CSM's deem card counting useless as the cards are fed straight back into the machines after every round

He also gave an analysis of ENHC rules where he said the players edge is reduced due to splits and doubles being ineffective with these rules.

Also Carlos said he has played against One 2 Six shufflers and finds they can be ok - he said they are simply used to save shuffle time and not as most people think that the casino  is 'rigging' the game by changing shuffle patterns etc with them.

He said generally they don't shuffle the cards much from his experience and tend to keep them fairly clumped

He also said that with ENHC rules the third base player CAN at times control the game a little by hitting when those cards would normally be the dealers.

Whats your thoughts on:

 

ENHC rules

CSM's - are they simply used to save time and do you think they are used to produce a random game or a clumped game?

6 deck games - apparently they are the most unstable - a good game doesn't stay good for long?

Would you play Blackjack under these rules if that's all there was?

 

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Keith Smith
On 2/26/2017 at 6:14 PM, brad01 said:

Hi Keith I would really love to get into Blackjack more but over here (Australia) we play by European No Hole Card rules

Also every game uses CSM's 'One 2 Six' brand shufflers - 6 deck games

BJRocks put a good post and analysis of this scenario where he says that CSM's deem card counting useless as the cards are fed straight back into the machines after every round

He also gave an analysis of ENHC rules where he said the players edge is reduced due to splits and doubles being ineffective with these rules.

Also Carlos said he has played against One 2 Six shufflers and finds they can be ok - he said they are simply used to save shuffle time and not as most people think that the casino  is 'rigging' the game by changing shuffle patterns etc with them.

He said generally they don't shuffle the cards much from his experience and tend to keep them fairly clumped

He also said that with ENHC rules the third base player CAN at times control the game a little by hitting when those cards would normally be the dealers.

Whats your thoughts on:

 

ENHC rules

CSM's - are they simply used to save time and do you think they are used to produce a random game or a clumped game?

6 deck games - apparently they are the most unstable - a good game doesn't stay good for long?

Would you play Blackjack under these rules if that's all there was?

 

Yes, Continuous Shuffle Machines are a pain.  I think that they are random.   Over all the years I have played,  I doubt that the casino's  program shuffle machines to affect the game.  You can simply watch the game and see if the game is random or clumped. If you observed it is clumped, then you must see this in the majority of the games.  If you do not, then you see what appears to be biased but only patterns from random chance not duplicated at other tables. The only exception if you see it time and time again at the same table. 

Yes, I agree six decks games have been in my estimation the hardest to play.

Yes since they are random and continuous,  I would try to use the use the Zero Proximity strategy.

I would take anything Carlos says with a grain of salt as he has lost credibility with me. 

 

KS

 

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Hi Keith did a walk around the main floor of my casino and ALL card games apart from bacc use one2six csm's 

casino war

caribbean stud poker

3 card Texas hold em

bj

 

i dare say this is purely a time saving exersize than orchestration although the truth might lie halfway

maybe people assume a random game out of these shufflers when in fact it may be a clumped game (for bj I mean)

nothing to say these machines do shuffle them enough to randomise the cards 

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Keith Smith

Well, what were your observations on BJ if it is clumped did you see too many high cards or low cards in a row and many tables or was the game random?

I suspect random with the CSM's

KS

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.

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That's the next step now I understand that CSM's are most likely a time saving measure than paranoid casino orchestration - although the do appear to have stopped card counters.

I will look to see if the games overall appear to be random or clumped out of these machines

Will let you know what I come up with

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kachatz1

So, last night @ a small local casino was having difficulty getting ahead of the preshuffled BAC game..1-1/2 shoes, and 5D was not working for me as it normally does.

Switched to BJack Double Deck, and employed what I call Common Sense Strategy...which I learned several years ago from a BTC event right here in Las Vegas.

Many things I learned that day from BTC....and while I have no empirical data or statistical analysis of these, I have to say they work for me  as well as any BJ strategies I have ever read about

(1) I only play Double Deck, with an occasional Single Deck game thrown in if I am winning for the session

.    - The multi-deck games (6,8...continuous shuffler or not)  are, to me, very difficult to beat.

(2) Clumping concept is very real.

.    - Suggest you do NOT try to " see it" , meaning do not believe it until it is actually happening. Wait for it to COME TO YOU ! ( if it is there, it will...if it is not, it won't)

     - Bet table minimum until you see the clumping, then increase your bets accordingly. Same thing, decrease when not in evidence...

     - A first card 10 is most definitely one critical aspect to success, so look for them where they are most likely to occur..that is, when " clumping" is in evidence.

(3) First base, or only head-to-head with the dealer is best, as near as I can see.

     - I employ a strategy I am sure has a name, I do not know what it is...I call it Card Confusion.

     - Play 1 or 2 hands, changing how many hands played and bet amounts in proportion to bankroll changes. Again, I cannot quantify " why" this seems to work, but I admit that I have to "relax" , and let the game come to me

          - DO THIS whenever seems like  the Dealer is hardly ever busting...thinking you  will be amazed at the results 2,3,4 hands later

(4) Do you think they would sell you a card in the GiftShop entitled BasicStrategy, if it really, really worked ?

     - Just like a BAC ToteBoard...if you do not know how to read far deeper into the game than just the tote board, you will generally just be a sitting duck, ripe for the plucking.

     - YES, I understand WHY it may help you in the short term, or how to just survive to play out your 20 red or green chips ( flat betting) and just "hope for the best"...many, many books you can read, or google it...make your own decision

     - DO NOT kill yourself with things like splitting 8's, Doubling Down ( in the absence of goor reason to....NOT JUST what the little card says to do), taking Insurance, etc

(5) If you can do it, get another person to play with you at the table...At that Vegas seminar, the concept of Team Play was discussed...It was taken to an extreme ( might get your team thrown out the door) , but seriously, if you can enlist one other player to " help out " with (6) and (7) below, you have a much better chance to win...

 

                                                               Spoiler Alert! Spoiler Alert! Spoiler Alert!

 

(6) THE BEST THING I EVER LEARNED ABOUT BLACKJACK was all about how many times the Dealer will bust ( far less than you,the player) ... Even you play basic strategy, the Dealer is going to " outlast you" 

.    - WHY? Simply put, because when you do " bust", even other players at the table, often-times, the Dealer will not have to take a card ( which could potentially " bust" them...)

.    - YOU Busted, THEY did not even have to go that far.

     - Simply put, YOU MUST FEED THE DEALER  " BUST CARDS"

(7) And the best? ( again, check it out)

.    - The average dealer winning hand is 19.3

.    - how often do you think that you, as a Player, will average 19.3????

     - More importantly, what can you do about  it ? 

               - (Well, a lot...reread this post)

 

OK, OK, I know this may seem like KA spouting off about yet another topic not well vetted on this Forum

But, last piece of advice, before you go dipping-your-toes in the casino Blackjack cesspool...DO READ  up on it...lots of BJ material out there ...way, way more than BAC

( and yes, KNOW YOUR LIMITS!!!)

I WishUAllTheBest

 

NOW, Keith, whose favorite game just might be BJ, hoping he chimes in

( yeah, he started this party...)

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Keith Smith

Yes, Blackjack is my all time favorite game.  Wow, some excellent points you make. One issue that the card clumping players seem to have is that they did assume that there was exploitable card clumping in every game that was more than one deck, and of course this was a major mistake.

To your point on First Base, I think your observations are correct, it is either there or not there. Card clumpers did not like to admit for some strange reason that table selection was critical. I think this was due to it being associated with Jerry Patterson's Target Strategy.  While the initial target game factors were valid, it got a bit silly when they noted other things that had no relationship. I have found that I believe that the clumping that is beneficial to first base play occurs in about 20% of the games which means that most of the tables are not playable. Anecdotally it does seem to play best with a 2 or 3 more players, and those players must play straight basic strategy. 

I think the one rule that is most significant is if you both break on the same hand the dealers wins.  You alluded to it and,  also all the rules favor the player except that one; if you can overcome that one disadvantage with card play, betting, doubling, splitting, blackjacks, insurance, surrendering,  and a higher hand total you will win.

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.

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Keith Smith

When you try to determine if a game is random you must consider how we group cards. If we arrange the cards as Ace, 2,3,4,5,6 as low,  9,10,10,10,10 Ace as high and 7s and 8s are neutral, then realize that 6 out of 13 cards that can make a sequence of lows.  A low sequence of like cards can occur quite frequently by random chance.  I think a better predictor of randomness is to look at the entire table if it is a dealt up game and simply count the number of high cards in the round relevant to the number of low cards.  If you consistently see rounds that are rich in low cards or rich in high cards, you may have a shoe or casino that has cards that are non-random.

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.

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kachatz1

Played again today, and " discovered" for the xx'th time that generally speaking, a standard blackjack player acts like the same    "Animal" as all the others from the same herd ( or, if you prefer, the same 'hood)

- plays basic strategy religiously , even if the downward spiral is looming/ staring them in the face

- curses the House/ the Dealer like a drunken sailor...for Dealer  5 card 21's, ties  by TheDealer against their 10-10 " pat hands" , or " how come I never get a 21? , when all the other players do" , etc.

- has no escape route, except to " run out of money" , or back to the ATM

 

The Point Is This:

(A) There are 10 - 50 times more BJ players than BAC, in your casino ...few of them have gone " beyond the GiftShop", nowhere near what they might " learn" if they studied a bit...

(B) Don't be one of those players

 

 

 

 

 

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Keith Smith

This also has a lot to do with the movies around Blackjack Card Counting and all the promotion of it from Ken  Uston adventures to MIT.  

Even if they lose they do oddly seem proud of themselves that they made the right play.  I once tried to have a conversation with a dealer about the three types of hands, those you win if you do nothing, those that win if a different decision is made and those that lose no matter what you do. My point was that if you hit instead of standing contrary to Basic Strategy, you sometimes can affect the outcome of the game and win more hands in certain games.  Of course, I was alluding to a non-random game. He insisted that there is only one correct play for every hand and oddly said it has nothing to do if you win or lose.  This indoctrinated mentality is what has built casinos.  Over the years I have people who have insisted they are winning with counting and honestly I think it is human nature and I believe that they claim success for their ego gratification and to be a part of the winners club. 

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So Keith as we renew our bj interest ( like Kevin I loved bi till it drove me to play baccarat) are we looking at exploring counting or more safe no bust blackjack?

I yell "winner winner chicken dinner on all naturals"

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Some people think that if they just mimic the exact play of the dealer, i.e. Stand on 17, hit on 16 etc. and add a progression, that they can beat the dealer. What they fail to realize is that the entire game of blackjack is based on the fact that the player must play his hand first, if he busts, then the dealer doesn't even have to play. PERIOD! This is the reason they lose. 

Why play BJ, when you can play baccarat?

CT

 

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Keith Smith
On 3/15/2017 at 7:01 PM, trbfla said:

So Keith as we renew our bj interest ( like Kevin I loved bi till it drove me to play baccarat) are we looking at exploring counting or more safe no bust blackjack?

In Las Vegas as I mentioned I did well with the First Base Play at PH last time.   The game at the Flamingo two deck wasn't as good as the PH game which I can't remember if it was 6 or 8. I believe we should revisit everything counting and basic strategy, first base play, third base play and teams as clump players, Zero Proximity and also Count.  The issue that we always run into when we try to analyze Blackjack is inevitably we get a card counter who endlessly argue that he is correct and get side tracked.  As I just tried to answer someone on my YouTube video about how card clumps beat Basic Strategy, they continue to miss the point that if the cards are random, I agree with the math.  In his post, his contention is he wins more in high counts. No matter what I say ( of course the advantage does revert to the dealer in extremely high count per deck), he does not want to or does not understand.  If the cards are sorted, it favors dealer strategy, and if they get the cards to always be in that condition ( occur more than randomly chance allows), that is how they beat you.  

 

Here is the video and again they post with such certitude that no on can teach them anything.  It is slightly condescending as the commentator addresses me as "friend" which implies my stupid poor soul, in my mind, you are not well informed. 

 

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.

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