counting a 6 deck shoe???
  • i attempted to count a 6 deck shoe with knock-out blackjack.

    after playing about 3 shoes, i think the count favored me 1 time.

    is that normal? is it fair to say that counting a 6 deck shoe is a waste of time and effort?

    i know counting a single and double deck game is much better.
    but the only tables that i can find that offer single or double deck are too expensive for me.

    i also thought maybe my circumstances were unusual.
  • I don't use the Knock Out method, so I'm not sure exactly what you're asking. But I use hi-lo and it wouldn't surprise me that you saw 3 shoes in a row and never had an advantage. It's bad luck, but not uncommon.

    A waste of time? That depends on how you like to spend your time. You can definitely get an expected advantage at a 6 deck shoe. But remember that advantage might be 1% or less and there is a real (but small) chance of using your entire 500 unit bankroll. Expect to make one unit an hour, but you might end up loosing 100 units in a night.

    I don't have exact figures for you, but if you have the ambition, read Blackjack Attack II by Don Schlessinger or just post at

    Remember that a deeply dealt 6 deck shoe will have a higher EV than a pitch game with poor penetration.
  • bill,

    I do use the KO method, and I can tell you that having only one shoe out of 3 or 4 go favorable is a common occurrence.

    Things to look forward to:

    Shoes that finally get favorable, you raise your bet, and the next thing you see is the cut card.

    Shoes that are wildly favorable, but you still lose. (Luck is still a huge factor in this game.)

    And, of course, the shoes that go favorable just as you run out of money!

    However, none of this is any reason to give up.

    A couple of weekends ago, first shoe of the day (6 decks)... Started with two hands of $5 each. The shoe became favorable fairly quickly, and I added one or two chips with each win. After that first shoe I colored up 40 red chips and still had plenty left to play with. Never would have had the nerve to bet that much for that long without counting.
  • Bill, I play nothing but six deck shoes because that is all we have. If
    you sit down and count thru three shoes without an advantage, it's going
    to bleed you dry over time. Backcounting is the only practical answer
    because you would have avoided all three of those shoes you described.

    In effect, your trying to reduce the game to something like the pitch
    games, but with an advantage going in. Much of your time is stalking
    your prey, like a deer hunter or mountain lion. If you think of it in that
    vain, it can get to be a game you will enjoy.

  • Bill, perhaps you do this already, but don't sit through a negative shoe. Backcounting all the time is ideal, but I feel uncomfortable doing it, and it's tiring and boring as well. Leaving negative shoes is the next best thing. Set yourself a leave point and stick to it. Schlessinger has done some theoretical (Blackjack Attack II) work with the hi-lo count and I know to leave the table when the TC is -1. (I don't know about KO) Sometimes I "sit out" a hand or two or the rest of the shoe, sometimes I "go to the bathroom", sometimes I leave the table. If you play through all counts, you give up a considerable portion of your advantage.

    Often, before I sit down, I'll backcount until I find a table with a good count (say +1). If it goes less than -1, I backcount another table. When I use this stragegy, I might see half a dozen tables before sit down. But once I sit down I keep betting until the count gets down to -1.
  • Mr Ed, I notice you use high/low and was wondering if you got any
    answers to your backcounting question that you had earlier? Have
    you re-invented anything, etc?
  • The best advice was:

    Chat with a friend (but I usually go alone)

    Stand far away (I could try this)

    Stand behind someone and say, "You're a good player - do you mind if I watch you" (this is something I could get away with)

    Here's another one: talk on a cell phone.
  • thanks guys....

    i will be going soon, probably this weekend.

    my strategy will be to backcount as best as possible. to get the best possible shoes. i can see how it can be time consuming and a lot of waiting. but i can be patient.
    and i will avoid negative shoes.

    sit out a few hands, maybe sit out the rest of the shoe, go to the bathroom (thats a good one).

    i will try all of these ideas. hopefully i will do better.

    where I play, they do not allow mid-shoe entry on the double deck games. i guess that takes away the backcounting.

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