Newbie, seeking advice
  • New to this great forum. I play BJ rarely, perhaps 1-2 a year, and went several years never playing. I am however looking forward to playing a bit more regularly in CT. I have been using the 9-A= +1, 2-7=-1, 8=0 count sys for many years with BS play only, and aggressive bet increasing with counts >10, further accelerated when deep in the shoe.

    BTW I had great success recently resulting in a 200 unit win when two successive shoes went to +20 while deep into the (75% penetration) shoes! I was betting 20-30 units with counts from +15-22!

    Anyways, 2 questions:
    1. What couple texts would you reccomend to broaden my understanding of the counts and introduce me to count enhanced BS.
    2. Bottom line, is there really any sustained hope in counting a 6-8 shore, 75-ish penetration, CT rules, game?

    Thanks in advance.
  • Was the TRUE COUNT 15-22 or just the gross count? Because that is extremely high and I have never heard of such a thing. Wouldn't you have reached the table max already?

    As far as counting books, Fred Renzey is an author and posts routinely here... be sure to catch him.
  • Bug,

    Not sure of the definition of True and Gross, but I suspect it was gross. When starting at zero with a new shoe, adding 1 for 2-7, substracting 1 for 9-A, the resulting count was 15-20. At some points intra-hand, (I was in the last seat to play), the count was as high as 25. However when betting the best count was +20, several times. When this level of count persisted until near the bottom of the shoe, I increased bets to 20-30 units.
  • re: table max. I'm not sure what the table limit was, but my unit is $10.
  • True Count (TC) is the actual count after determination of how many decks remain. For example, if you determined the gross count to be +10, you still have to find out what the TC is by seeing how many decks remain and dividing it. If you think there are 4 decks remaining, the TC is +2.5. You see, after you determine the TRUE count, the count gets much lower as you see and by the TC you determine how much your advantage is. The higher then #, the better for you. It produces much more accurate results then just taking the RUNNING count and not even messing with how many decks remain, you know what I'm saying?

    I've never heard of the count system you are using, but I believe if you use the Hi-Lo (2-6 = +1) & (10/A = -1) you are better off because 2-6 are the stiffs and 10-A are not, and are the cards that get you BJ. The Betting Efficiency is very good, ~95%!
  • Got it.

    I assume you estimate this by looking at the "used" card stack? Does the plexiglass "used stack holder" accomodate the full 8 decks?

    BTW the 15-20 gross count presisted until the yellow "penetration"card which I would estimate at not much more than 1.5 decks remaining.
  • No, you need to look at the cards REMAINING up until the yellow card, because those are the cards that will be the determining factor on your bet size and your overall advantage.

    BTW the 15-20 gross count presisted until the yellow "penetration"card which I would estimate at not much more than 1.5 decks remaining.

    Right, but dont forget you have to divide 15-20 to the amount of decks remaining, and if the yellow card was near, you basically have only 1 hand left before shuffling so you really BETTER bet big in that situation, know what I'm saying?
  • Somebuddy,

    1. Try Henry Tamburin's "Thake the Money and Run".

    The most commonly used indexes (variations from BS) are Don Schlessinger's "Illustrious 18" which are the 18 most valuable deviations. Add to that the "Fab Four" Surrender indexes and you'll be in very good shape. Go to or (hosted by Mssr. Schlessinger) to get them. But don't split 10's - that's like tapping the pit boss on the shoulder and saying, "Excuse me - I'm counting cards"

    With multiple decks, most of the money is made by varying your bet size, rather than deviating from BS.

    2. Most counters avoid CT casinos because a large spread and a lot of patience is required to make a decent profit with 8 decks. But a profit can certainly be made by the patient man (or woman).

    I would urge you to learn to determine the True Count (The Running Count divided by number of decks remaining). Learn this by purchasing 8 decks and practicing at home. Like Bug said, modify your count so that 2-6=+1, 7-9=0, 10-A=-1.

    Use this betting ramp:

    count <-1 : leave the table<br />-1Count >+1: bet 2xCount units (e.g. count =+4: bet 8 units)
    max bet =10 units.

    When you can, if the count>+1, spread to 2 hands, but reduce your unit to 75% of what it was. This will increase your EV, but leave your variance unchanged.

    e.g. if the count is +1, bet two hands of $15 rather than one hand of $20; your unit size goes from $10 to $7.50.

    Put it all together:

    with a $10 unit, your ramp is:
    0, $10, $20, $40, $60, $80, $100 or
    0, $10, two hands of: $15, $30, $45, $60, $75.

    This requires a $5000 bankroll (aggresive), $10,000 bankroll (average), $20,000 bankroll (conservative). With a bankroll smaller than $5000, chances are good that you will loose it all due to normal random fluctuations in your bankroll.

    Unfortunately, the smallest table you'll find in CT is a $10 table, so you'll just have to keep your fingers crossed if your bankroll is less than $5k.

    good luck.
  • Bug, when determining the true count, include the cards after the cut card. Normally, one looks at the cards in the discard tray to determine the number of decks remaining (whether in front or behind the cut card)
  • Ahhh... I see :)

    Also, a $5000 bankroll is quite big! Wow....
  • Mr Ed,

    $5,000 - $20,000 ?

    I thought the rule of thumb was 40-50x unit size. For a $10-$15 unit range that suggests $400-$750 bankroll, no?
  • I've give you a more detailed answer later, but my suggested bankrolls are based on a concept called Kelley betting, where the formula is:


    k=portion of Kelly (i.e. 1=agressive, .5=average, .25=conservative)
    B= bankroll

    At a count of of 4.5, these values are (these are from MY model, the actual numbers I'm sure are a little different)


    So if you are betting full Kelly and a bankroll of $5000, your bet at a true count of 4 (i.e. between 4 and 5)is:

    1(.0214/1.39)$5000=$77, call it $80

    This formula was derived to produce the bet that will increase your bankroll the quickest (on average). Reality is that you cannot recalculate this amount after every single bet, nor actually bet the precise amount each time, so counters use a portion of Kelly to reduce their chance of going bankrupt.

    So if you are familiar with a spreadsheet, create a random variable with a known mean and variance, use the Kelly formula and simulate 50,000 samples. You will see that Kelly betting will give you the largest answer after the 50,000 trials (oh, you have to add the condition that you cannot have a bankroll less than zero).
  • If you are willing to play at Mohegan Sun, there are 6 deck games there. Your chances are better, because of fewer decks, and you will play to 1.5 decks remaining.
    Stay in the "four seasons" area, and you will find them, and the dreaded Continuous Shuffle Machines. Weekday mornings $10-15 nites and weekends $25 min.

  • Nickels - I've been to Mohegan a few times in the past month and they are mixing in more and more 6 deck tables in both the old and new casino. I don't know why they're doing this, but its a welcome sight. There's very little consistency... they'll have CSM's, 6D & 8D right next to each other and with different limits. But I'm not complaining.

    Also the penetration can vary wildly from table to table. I had one dealer cutting off more than 2 decks and so I moved to one where she was cutting off no more than 1.5. I got some nice high counts and started betting it up, and then proceeded to lose almost every hand. :cry: :cry:

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