Which Direction to go after Basic Strategy?
  • I am looking for advice on the next step for my Blackjack game. I have mastered, use that term loosely, basic Blackjack strategy. I am looking for the next step. Should it be a basic card counting method or should I go to a progressive betting strategy? Not sure myself. I like basic, looking for something not overly complicated, but something that can be a lot of fun versus betting basic. Thanks.
  • well, you came to the right place. just recently, i was in the same place you are in now. im not too far ahead of you. you can get tons of advice and a lot of different view points here.

    i have been trying to count for about my past 5 gambling trips.
    i am getting better, but i have a looooooooooooong way to go.
    i practice a lot at home. almost every night.

    here are my thoughts on your ?

    you can gain an advantage by counting. depending on how much you want to work at it will depend on how much of an advantage you will gain.
    i prefer to keep it as simple as possible. to me, all of that work is not worth the little advantage that is gained. it might be for me someday, but not right now. im still too much of a rookie. there are plenty of simple count strategies out there. i am currently experimenting with Knock-out blackjack. but thats not the only one, and i havent made a decision on if i like it or not. i need a couple of more sessions with it.
    dont be intimidated by counting, its really not that hard. but you have to practice.

    progression are a hell of a lot easier and a lot more fun. but you do not gain a proven mathematical advantage. you will probably get a few arguements on that.
    most people who count, dont like progressions. but sometimes i will use a progression. it just depends. im not against progressions. they are fun and not so hard on the brain. :)

    im not much help. but i was in your shoes not to long ago. so maybe we can learn together.

    sometimes it takes a while for people to post on this board. but it is very helpful.
  • Jonesie, Bill's advice is excellent. I would advize you to master hi-lo. It is the most common method in use and it will help you talk to other counters. But I want to emphasize one thing: PRACTICE. Practice before you go to the casino. Buy yourself 8 or 6 decks and practice with distractions, at the very least, do it while you're watching TV. And you need to MASTER BS. Quick A4v3 double or hit? 9v2 double or hit? 77v7 hit or split? If you're not positive of your answer, you need a little more work.
  • Jonesie, No individual on this forum can give you the advice you seek.
    It's not that simple because in the end it depends on you; the way you think and not much else. For example: If you are the type of person
    that must have a logical reason for any change in play, be it bet or
    hand decisions, you will not accept progressions as a viable approach.
    Going further, counting, requires an obsession with the idea of winning
    at the expense of time and the convential idea of "fun".

    So, what will it be? A very private decission to be sure.
  • Ray makes a very good point.

    everyone develops their own philosophy. i try to listen and read as much as possible. and apply as much knowledge to my philosophy.

    there is a ton of information out there. i just try to absorb it all and use what makes sense for me.
  • I also have to agree with Ray, are you a guy that sees the card deck as 'pictures' in your head and they all have a mathamatical symmetry? Do you like to toss the dice and hope it will be your lucky day and want to give yourself the best chance? Do you like the money, or to just win against the casino. Are you a short term or long term player or thinker? You may want to consider exploring Blackjack as a 'card game', if so get Fred Renzeys book and look at the table plays, hand compositon plays etc that take the game a little past BS. If you like to gamble and believe the streaks are going to come your way, explore progressions, be they conservative, aggressive, negative or positive. Somedays I will throw caution to the win, take money that I can afford to lose, and play a superaggressive progression, a lot of fun when it hits; most days I play a very conservative one and just play as long as I can in a fun enviornment. Or you may want to explore BJ as a beatable mathmatical problem, most will tell you that to do this you have to #1 count, #2 plan on playing with very long term goals in mind. If you aren't the kind of person to do this why spend the effort? Because it is a huge effort, and only gives you rewards over the long term. And there is every shade of gray between these choices. My recommendation is to keep going until you get to a point where its the most fun for the best price, you'll know it when you are there.
  • Doc - What super aggressive progression do you play?......G.
  • Hey Grifter
    Well its superaggresive for me at least 8). I think I have posted it before a long time ago. You already know what my usual conservative progression is. The aggressive one is a '3 Streak' progression. Basicly the goal is to hope for lots of 'three win in a row streaks'. If you do win three hands in a row, you start over; if you lose before you win three in a row, you start over. X stands for one betting unit, whether its a red chip, a green chip, 2 red chips etc. The stages if you continue to win are: X, 2X +X, 4X, then back to X. Your big risk is the second hand, you are parlaying and adding a unit, so if you lose the second hand you are 2 units down, if you win the second hand and lose the third hand you start over again 'even' because you 'salvaged' your original bet and the added bet. If you make it through the third hand you start over 8 units ahead. You can just skim any BJ or double profits or you can make it even more aggressive by parlaying any BJ or double profits into the next hand. Playing this on CV it plays out in the long run just like progressions are supposed to, basicly at about the house edge. It gets killed by a 'choppy' game, so leave the table if its a choppy game; even if you know that the patterns of all previous hands have no effect on future hands, this ain't math class, its the casino, and some games stay choppy no matter what the rules of probability say. But when its a streaky game it can be a lot of fun. I go ahead and use a '4 loss in a row leave the table rule' since as long as we are playing a progression we might as well buy into the whole package.
  • Doc

    I must have missed your usual conservative progression. Would you post it again? Thanks.

  • Doc

    Thanks for your reply with PM. Sent you one back but not sure it went out. Writing here to let you know I got it .

  • Your Welcome Charles, hoped that helped. didn't get a PM though.
  • Next step IMHO is the A5 count. You can use the basic strategy decisions coupled with varying your bets according to the net score of 5's and Aces.

    It is very easy, and you will have a small advantage for Dealer STANDS on Soft 17 games. You can wager as little as 1-4, and have an even game, or increase the spread to 1-6, 1-8, or even 1-10. The caveat is,"This is NOT a professional system".

    I'm still working on an advanced system for late shoe play, but what I have so far works well. www.ace-five.com

    Good Cards,
  • Nickels, Could you give a little fuller definition of your A-5 method. I tried your link but did not get much more information. Thanks.

  • if you click on one of the two blackjack boxes (Dealer STANDS or Dealer HITS soft 17) you will be taken to a page that explains the method.
  • i used the link and got tons of info.

    it seems complicated. trying to remember that chart.

    ???? just wondering. i didnt spend a great deal of time looking at the method.
  • that chart is Basic strategy!

    there are only a few +'s on the chart that are slight, but favorable differences to basic.

    If you use pure basic strategy, and use the standard A5 method to alter your wager, you will have a 0.1% PA for the wager spread of 1-8 as shown... if you use the chart provided, its 0.19% player advantage.

  • like i said, i really didnt look through it. i just kind of went through it real fast.

    i look at it later on. but if its bs, it should be simple.

    will the casino let you have that at the table? :)
  • no, memorize the +'s as if they are exceptions, and play perfect bs. This worked for me. Dont ignore the +3, its a very good play.

    Good Cards

  • Doc said:
    The aggressive one is a '3 Streak' progression. Basicly the goal is to hope for lots of 'three win in a row streaks'. If you do win three hands in a row, you start over; if you lose before you win three in a row, you start over. X stands for one betting unit, whether its a red chip, a green chip, 2 red chips etc. The stages if you continue to win are: X, 2X +X, 4X, then back to X.

    Just came across this while doing a search on KO. I like this, Doc! Tried it out for a while tonight (sim) and it works pretty damn well, while minimizing a lot of risk. I've tried with X as 10, and X as 20. Prefer the twenty. Get there a little faster! Anyway in a couple of hours of play, I'm liking this a lot. Seems to be working better than the cancellation method I've been using.

    One question tho. The 2X + X part, is the same as 3X, right? I mean, you didn't intend 2X plus your profit on previous hand, right?

    Thanks for the new method!
  • GUYS: Where "entry level" counting systems are concerned, I've seen the A/5 Count and the A/10 count thrown around as introductory steps just beyond basic strategy. As a considerable improvement over the A/5 plus/minus count, one could use the 4/5-A/10-spot Count. There you count the 4's and 5's as +1 with the Aces and 10-spots (no J's, Q's or K's) as -1. You're tracking 30% of the cards with a betting correlation of 70% as opposed to 54% for the Ace/5 count.
  • It is better... Ace/Five really boils down to a method of varying ones bet while using Basic Strategy. Having said that, its nearly invisible, and yet DOES tip the scales in favor of the Player. That IMHO IS the next step past Basic which still has a HOUSE edge. And thats why its free...


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