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Why does 1-4-6 work?


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I use the NBJ 1-4-6 negative progression. I use it because it works (when combined with the other elements of NBJ.)

I have been reflecting on why it works. When we first learned NBJ we trained to excel at card play so that we could win 52 percent of our hands played. Those of us who trained by practicing with real cards succeeded. But I think we succeeded at something even better than winning at least 52 percent of our hands played.

The way things seem to work out in a "back and forth" game is that we have a very high chance of winning one bet in three. Even higher than the 52 percent win rate would account for.

In a "back and forth" game the tens are emulsified into the deck very well. Light clumping is introduced by the small number of players at the table. The shuffle "weaves" together these lightly clumped cards from several parts of the deck to produce the cards that are coming out of the shoe. If one round of cards has a low density of tens, we notice it and hit very hard. We win hands that would have been lost. Still, we do not win every one of these hands. This low round is generally synchronized with the low bet in the 1-4-6. progression.

Once this low round has occurred, some or all of the sections of the previous shoe that are being "woven" together become depleted of low cards, and the high cards start coming out. We go easy with the hits when this is happening. We win when the tens are there to break the dealer. We have an advantage of over 30% just playing basic strategy when there is a steady stream of tens to break the dealer. Of course sometimes the dealer can draw a pat hand. The point is that on this round we have a lot of money out, and we have a fantastic advantage because we can vary our card play, and we know that the tens are coming out. We do very well on double downs etc. during these rounds. We are betting 4 units on this round. The genius of 1-4-6 is that it counts cards way better than the card counters because it finds the tens and synchronizes the high bet to the round where the tens are. Of course it only works for people that have practiced their card play. Folks that haven't will lose the round they're supposed to win, and find themselves betting 6 when they should have been back down to the 1 unit bet.

The final bet in the progression is used when we lose the first two. Sometimes the low card run will be a little extra long. It is rare that we can not win one of two concecutive low rounds by hitting agressively, but it does happen. In any case, when it does happen, the tens are simply bursting to come out. We use our wily card play and win the round.

In a "back and forth" game, the tens are in there, and the shoe can't go for very long without them coming out. We're hunting tens. They are like little baby ducks crossing a clearing. We've got a big "shotgun" in the sense that we have three rounds to hit them. The mother duck (dealer) has to get them across the clearing, and can't wait very long to do it (due to the emulsification of tens throughout the shoe). Three rounds is just too long for them to stay hidden. Even while we don't see the baby ducks, we are taking blind shots during the low rounds and often hit something.

When they do appear we know how to handle them. We use the very card play variations that a card counter would use if he had a very high count.

We do well in games like this, while a card counter would do poorly because the count never really gets very high except on the local scale which we are monitoring.

1-4-6 gives us three rounds to get the cash. If we win any one of the three we are ahead. I believe that we have a devastatingly high probability of winning one of these three rounds. Way higher than you would get if you had a three tries to win a 52% shot. It may average out to something like 52% but the variance is very high because of the huge advantage we have during the high rounds.

I think that's why it works.

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