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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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Well said Mad Dog! For those of you who don't already know, Mad Dog is another extremely successful NBJ player and has quickly become a notorious Vegas player. $10,000 wins are very common to Mad Dog and often, much, much higher. NBJ has been a life changing event for him. I call him an NBJ player because Mad Dog has only just recently graduated to WCB and has not yet had full opportunity to put this stronger version of NBJ into practice. His outstanding play record stands on NBJ alone. So far!

NBJ is basically two very distinct strategies, The FIRST BASE Strategy and the THIRD BASE Strategy. The FIRST BASE Strategy utilizes "Advantage Betting", simply a high bet and a low bet. The FIRST BASE Strategy utilizes a very obvious "TELL" in the game to signal when to bet low and when to bet high. This tell is available for exploitation on EVERY BJ hand played. Strangely no one else teaches you about this highly accurate tell. This tell is available ONLY to the first base player, hence, The FIRST BASE Strategy. Mad Dog is correct when he says that the practiced NBJ player attains a 52% hands won rate while top basic strategy players can only hope for 43% on a very good night. What he doesn't say is that the NBJ player at first base usually wins less than 52% of his low bet hands and greater than 52% of his high bet hands. You do the math!

For instance, when I performed the infamous Taj 1 and Taj 2 BJ exhibitions in Atlantic City, in the high stakes room at the Taj, I strictly played the NBJ FIRST BASE Strategy. I used a single black chip for my low bet and only 2 black chips for my high bet. That is more than enough torque to win but you are free to use more, or less. My goal in both exhibitions was $10,000 in winnings. In Taj 1, I never bet more than $200 to win $10,000 in less than a half hour. In Taj 2 also attended by Jerry Patterson's entire sales crew, I found mysef at $9,700 in winnings after 20 minutes of play. The tell screamed at me to bet the high bet so I bet $300 that one time to get it over with. It worked! Jerry and his wife Nancy were in complete shock because such a feat, theretofore, had been considered completely impossible by leading BJ experts. Such is the power of the NBJ FIRST BASE Strategy.

When Mad Dog refers to the 1,4,6 negative progression, he is referring to the NBJ THIRD BASE Strategy. We fully teach you when to use which strategy. I had conducted exhaustive research to determine what progression is the absolute best to use in the NBJ Third Base Strategy. The 146 was the decisive winner. Let me give you just one of many examples why this is true. It's all about recouping a lost progression the quickest. Let's say that you are playing the far more common 1,2,3 negative progression (up as you lose). A lot more consrvative, right? Maybe not! Suppose you lose 3 bets. OK you are 6 units down. You would have to lose the 1 and win the 2 six times just to work your way back to even. In fact, with a 43% hands won rate, you have pretty much lost the day. But suppose the NBJ player loses the entire 146. BTW my record is 17 hours in a game W/O ever losing the 146. But suppose I did. I would only have to lose the 1 and win the 4 four times to be ahead of where I was before the prog loss. That's a 50% hands won rate. Fine, I'm winning at 52%. See? The loss of a 123 is a day ending event for you but the loss of a 146 is a momentary inconvenience for me. Right Mad Dog? I'll bet that you have lost the 146 and still made it to $10,000 or more plenty of times, right?

Now I have been severely criticized on the ridiculosly jealous card counting sites for teaching negative progressions (a term I coined, BTW, back in the 80's, now used universally). But, you know what? I thoroughly agree with them. A Basic Strategy Card Counter should never use a 146 negative progression. He simply does not have the hands won rate to support it. We definitely do! But negative progressions in general? How ridiculous. What do they think betting up as the count increases is? Yep, a negative progression! What are they going to say to that? That they didn't do it on purpose? At least we know enough to limit our negative progs to 3 bets. Theirs is virtually unlimited. The count can keep going up play after play. They don't win when the count is going up. They don't have any advantage when the count is going up. They win when the count is going down. Maybe. But what if the cut off card comes first. See, that's why you have to know how to win up count hands. (predominately low cards). That's why we teach you how. You can't give up on your low card rounds and bet the dealer will break like basic strategy teaches you. The dealer CAN'T break on low cards! How dumb is that??? But, that's what they teach! It's no wonder that casinos love both Basic Strategy and Card Counting. You need to be playing something THE PLAYERS love! If you're going to play this game, you need to be playing a WINNING strategy. You need to be playing NBJ and WCB!

BTW, there's an NBJ seminar coming up Oct 16th in PA at the Holiday Inn right where they are building that new mega casino. It's at 7:30P I think. I'll post the address and time as soon as I know. Meanwhile you can Email keith@beatthecasino.com for the details. If you can, GO. It just might be the biggest favor you ever did for yourself. The seminar is free for NBJ members and $20 for non members. ROCK ON Mad Dog!

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Firstbase tell? This isn't the old double look by the dealer is it? You know, he has a 4 in the hole but just peeking at the corner it looks like an Ace? So hedoes kind of a dble take? This the tell or have you come up with something more sophistcated?

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Firstbase tell? This isn't the old double look by the dealer is it? You know, he has a 4 in the hole but just peeking at the corner it looks like an Ace? So hedoes kind of a dble take? This the tell or have you come up with something more sophistcated?

God no Chuck, nothing so amateurish or unstable. It is a purely mathematical tell that tells the first base player, who gets the first card in the next round, the precise odds in that game of whether that first card will be a ten or not and, therefore, whether to bet high or low. If the tell says 10 and he gets that 10 his odds of winning at that point go to 74%. It is the most telling tell and the most important tell in the casino and it is available every single hand he bets. It is taught only in NBJ FIRST BASE, a copyrighted system. It has been completely proven by 100s of players in 100s of casinos over 20 years. Even Jerry Patterson is quick to admit that it works extremely well. But, you must also know how to identify FIRST BASE games and THIRD BASE games as well as how to get your hands won rate up to 52%. But NBJ conditions are at an all time high right now due to the popularity of Poker. It is impossible for casinos to crowd up the BJ tables these days. We are seeing better NBJ conditions than we've ever seen before. That is why we've decided to do a seminar.

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Keith, any plans to have one of those free and $20 NBJ seminars in Vegas?

In fact yes Chuck. We are thinking about Nov. and Mad Dog will be there to help us and relate his story. In fact I just got off the phone with Bernadette. She is suggesting a Bac seminar during the day to teach this new Twister method and A BJ seminar at night. Might be a good idea. I'll see if there is enough interest with the Bac members. There is ALWAYS enough interest with the BJ players. We have done many seminars in Vegas and it was always most successful when we did both seminars.

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Hi, Ellis & Mad Dog,

Yes - definitely an interest here for a Vegas seminar on Twister, NBJ/WCBJ.

FYI - sometimes I use the 1-1-3-6 for 50/50 games to go against 4 losses in a row. However, 50/50 gamblers should note that Monte carlo sims on 1000 trades (on 50/50 outcomes) x 20000 such groupings --> every 1000 trade groups had 5 or more consec losses. Max loss in at (-19) consec losses, and > 70% of the 1000 trade groups had consec losses < (-9).

These stats have also been studied ad nauseum by BJ counters and math/stat depts. Seems consistent for 50/50 events to have 5 consec losses occurring with regular (at least more than desired) frequency. So bettors beware.

The idea of using tiered-betting levels is also attractive for 50/50 outcomes.

Hope you will provide more info on upcoming seminars.



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There is no 50/50 in blackjack.

The thing about a six-deck shoe that is different from a sequence of pure 50/50 events is that there are TRENDS within a shoe and measurable PERSISTENCE even after the cards are shuffled.

Jerry Patterson's Target 21 system and Xtreme Blackjack (level 1 I believe) teach us to spot these trends by observing evidence of winning (Target 21), and taking measurements of specific phenomena related to clumping (XTreme BJ).

The basic thing about a six deck shoe is that if it is bad, you will lose your buy in quickly. This happens to me A LOT because I play very aggressively. I call this "drilling dry holes". It costs me a fixed amount of money to play at the table, and I enter it with the assumption that I'm going to "strike oil" and bet and play as though I am in a good game.

IF I AM NOT IN A GOOD GAME, I will lose quickly doing such aggressive things. I do not mind these losses. I LIKE TO LOSE QUICKLY because it gets me out of a bad situation so that I can find a good one. Drilling dry holes causes me to lose money LINEARLY OVER TIME.

Once I find a good situation, and I'm winning money, I raise the stakes aggressively according to the fibonacci sequence: 1 1 2 3 5 8 13 21 34 55... Because there is PERSISTENCE, a good game will stay good for a while. Thus, I am raising my betting level according to a GEOMETRIC PROGRESSION, and locking up winnings the rate of which is also GEOMETRIC. Note that my aggressive style of play assumes that the table is good. This means that in a good situation, I am exploiting it from the moment I enter. I do this because games don't stay good forever. Each level in fibonacci is worth a lot more money than the previous one so I maximize my winnings by assuming the table is a winning table.


I have winnings which follow a GEOMETRIC curve and losses which follow a LINEAR curve. Do the math (if it pleases you to do so.) You will find that one good game pays for lots of bad ones and then some.

The moral of this story is that because of PERSISTENCE in both good and bad games, YOU MUST RAISE THE STAKES QUICKLY in a good game. If you don't you will have trouble covering your losses.

Mad Dog

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Excellent posts guys and you are both right!

Daytrader, You will probably not be overly surprised to learn that over the years I have had hundreds of calls from traders who had just read NBJ asking if I was a trader because I so frequently use Stock trader math in NBJ. The answer is no, I have no training in trading but A lot of training in math. It is more than coincidence that the math often parallels. Trading has had a lot of opportunity for a long time to work out the most effective gambling math. So have I. It is little wonder that we often came to the same conclusions when you allow for a moment that trading is really another form of educated gambling.

Mad Dog is also right. 50/50 seldom occurs in BJ. On any hand, the odds either favor you or they favor the dealer. The trick is to know which is which. In a player facorable section of the shoe you seldom need your alloted 3 bets but in a dealer favorable section of the shoe, you are glad that you only have 3 bets. The trick here is to find games where dealer favorable sections are shorter than three hands long. We teach how to do that. Ideally, you find a game where you strongly tend to win every other hand. When we are very successful at that feat, we often drop the 6 from the 1-4-6. Why make a big bet out of sinc? That situation makes for a really great day as Mad Dog knows.

Mad Dog, you could probably reduce your total of lost buy ins, even though they are somewhat superfluous for you, by studying the In Search Of manual. It is a short but lucrative manual designed to do just that, reduce your lost buy ins. When it saves you your first lost buy in, it has already more than paid for itself! Keith has it on here somewhere. It's cheap.

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Yes Ellis I'm sure my game could use lots of refinement. I also note that my casual attitude toward losing a table buy in is an attitude that some people would not find it easy or desirable to achieve. The basic idea is "the best defense is a good offense." The most important thing in blackjack is how we bet. It is way more important than card play. I think that to play professionally one must embrace the idea that some tables are going to be lost, and to have the confidence that these losses will be recovered.

And then there's Carlos. He just NEVER loses. That guy just DEMORALIZES the rest of us mere mortals. JUST KIDDING. Carlos has his profile so refined that sometimes, if the conditions are not right, he won't sit down at all. I play more like... well... a Mad Dog. Very different strategies, but both work.

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When you're playing at better than $10,000 a day and not switching casinos, THE most important thing for you Mad Dog is don't get barred. Losing a buy in, for you, is a good thing! You need to be making the most of it. I always say: Gee I can't beat you today, you're too good for me. I'm gonna try my luck somewhere else." Make sure the pit boss hear's you. Make a big thing out of how often you lose like "I don't know why I do this. I lose most of the tables I play." Or, like I told the casino owner in Colorado when I was ready to leave, "The only reason I won was I could see the hole card reflection in the dealer's fingernail polish." Then watch them go bonkers! I thought they were gonna cut her fingers off!

On the other hand, to Carlos, losing a buy in is a mortal sin. I think he goes to confession when he loses a buy in. Carlos actually doesn't play more often than he plays. That guy wants to win every hand, let alone every table he plays. That's funny, he doesn't look Jewish.

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My whole thing with proper table selection is not that I worry about losing a buy in or buy ins. It's I hate wasted time in a bad or not so good game when my PRECIOUS time could have better used. Like in a winning game that I knew would be a winning game or atleast I am pretty darn sure.

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NBJ is definitely the starting point as far as I'm concerned. As for bank roll, it depends on your skill level. You MUST practice at home with REAL CARDS and simulate your game, table entry, exit etc. Once you do that, you will be able to determine how much of a buffer you need between you and zero dollars.

Also, I don't see a lot of $5 games anymore, and when I do they are usually overcrowded. I really recommend snagging a copy of that NBJ manual. You can have loads of fun just at home tearing up your kitchen-table-casino.

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This is a most interesting discussion. 2 q's. If one buying the BJ materials should NBJ BJ be first? And, if starting with $5 min betswhat size bankroll does a player need?


These are excellent questions Chuck and an indication of how derelict in my duties I've been on this channel. I should have covered money required up front because that is the first concern of any new player.

The answers the guys gave are good but let me get into it a little deeper. First, Mad Dog is correct, NBJ MUST be first. WCB is pretty much a sequal to NBJ and should be considered after mastering NBJ by those who have that passion to become the best that they can be. Even if you were to buy both books at the same time to take advantage of some discount we might be offering, I would still recommend that you thoroughly read NBJ 5 or 6 times before you crack WCB.

The more you have studied BJ prior to NBJ the rougher your first reading will be. This is because NBJ, must Unteach you before it can begin to teach you. Actually BJ beginners with no prior "knowledge" usually learn quicker. But either way, the more you read it, the more light bulbs turn on in your head. Eventually you realize that NBJ is not difficult at all. It's pure common sense. But any prior teachings you might have undergone, you will soon recognize, defy common sense. NBJ is the thinking man's approach to BJ. Basic Strategy/ Card Counting is playing by rote W/O thought, following mindless tables with a mindless betting strategy that is more wishful thinking than thoughtful strategy.

Any trained Card Counter reading Mad Dog's tales or Carlos's or mine will surely say to himself, "that's impossible". And, he's right! Such feats are totally out of the realm of feasibility with card counting training. And the better the card counter is trained the more impossible these feats are... for HIM. Card counters attempt to achieve a 0.5% player advantage and almost never actually achieve even that small goal in the long run.

We would consider a +0.5% day a really bad day. Yet that is exactly what they are striving for. And, they get a headache doing it. They are so involved keeping an exact count that they totally miss the truly significant happenings in the game that are screaming at them how to best play their hands and how to best bet their hands. It all goes right over their heads.

And, I say this being a top card counter myself! I can still count down a deck of cards in 13 seconds flat and tell you whether the card you removed was hi lo or neutral. There isn't one card counter in a thousand that can do that. I am far better at their strategy than they are but I don't do it in a casino. I use it as a neat parlor thick and I use it to check my own alacrity BEFORE playing. But I wouldn't ever play that way. I want a 15% advantage not a 0.5% advantage. To me, a 0.5% player is a failure! Yet, they're making a movie about them. I think that's mostly because they don't know about US.

O.K., enough about that. Let's talk money! In the NBJ THIRD BASE Strategy, which, BTW, Mad Dog Plays exclusively (at least for now) our buy in is ALWAYS 12 units. We call that a pile. Our first goal is to make 3 piles not counting our buy in pile. BTW, we've already, at that point, left the best card counter completely in the dust. He can't even do that. We do it routinely just for starters. Then we raise our unit and go for 3 piles at the increased unit value. Then we raise the stakes again, and again every 3 piles.

Mad Dog uses the Fibonachi progression to raise his stakes. After his first 3 piles, he multiplies his unit by 3, then 5, then 8, then 13. Recognize that we are in a can't lose situation after making the first 3 piles because we ALWAYS "capture" the buy in pile. Optionally, we also capture a pile at every bet level.

Now, we don't use a true Fibonaci which would be a 1 1 2 3 5 8 13.(each number the total of the last two). We use our own truncated version of 1 3 5 8 13 because the whole idea is to get the money before the game goes sour. BTW, good 8 deck games stay good longer than good 6 deck games. Mad Dog plays the tougher 6 deck, I think, because I don't think they have 8 deck where he plays. He can correct or confirm.

So your real question becomes: "How many buy ins can you lose before you win". Personally, my worst night was 5 buy ins at Caesars in A.C. on a Friday night. BTW, I walked out that night with $7000 in winnings, $6,000 from BJ plus $1000 from a side bet with the casino Mgr. who had suggested I go home after losing the 5th buy in. But I learned never to play on Fri or Sat night. Too tough because the more the cards are played at full tables, the worse they become and the more they favor the dealer. All of that is in NBJ but that unforgettable Fri night was before I wrote NBJ. It was back in my wise guy days.

NBJ teaches you when to play and how to select the table where you are least likely to lose your buy in. At least when you first start, I strongly suggest you strictly adhere to those reccomendations. Back then, I used to bring six buy ins because of what happened that night. Much later, I wrote "In Search Of" which turns table selection into an art form. Today I bring 3 buy ins for a safty net but I NEVER get passed the second buy in. Now, I assume that Mad Dog brings more than that since he is far less concerned about losing buy ins than YOU need to be. Let that be one of your first goals - to lose your concern about buy ins. BUT DON'T START THAT WAY!

Just one other point to help get you started; I noted back there that Mad Dog said that betting is more important than card play. I can see why he would say that. For him that is likely true but only because he first learned how to get his hands won rate up to 52%. Once you are at 52% hands won rate, card play then becomes less important than betting strategy. BUT, when you first start out, getting your hands won rate up to 52% is your first priority. That takes study and practice but it is attainable with our methods. You can't BET our way until you learn to play your cards our way. A 43% basic strategy hands won rate will NOT support our aggressive betting strategies. There are no short cuts, study and practice practice practice.

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