Odds Of Losing 9 In A Row ?
  • What are the odds of losing nine hands in a row, playing correct basic stratigy? 6 deck stand on soft 17 double on any two, double after splitting.
  • Years ago in some blackjack book I read that in a 24 hour period of playing blackjack, you should have one losing streak of 10 hands or more.
    I know I have had at least 4 streaks of over 20 hands and the last one came very recently. I played a whole shoe with 2 other players and did not win a single hand but had two pushes. Figuring about 240 hards dealt to 4 of us, including the dealer, at 2.7 cards per hand, I get about 11 cards per round, so approximately 22 rounds. So lost 20, pushed 2. Next shoe I lose the first 6 and finally win a hand. So give or take a hand or so, lost 26 without winning one. That first shoe was one that went just slightly positive and just stayed there, but I have had long losing streaks on highly positive shoes and those can be very expensive. The thing is the evening turned out positive when it was over and during the day of 3 of my 4 worst streaks I ended up instead of down.
    The thing is, in order to be a lifetime winner at counting, you must have the gut to go through these kind of streaks and not lose confidence, especially when the evil streak hits you with big bets out there.

    So if you are in a decent size casino with the tables busy, I would guess that there will be one or more people at any time going through what you just went through.

    ihate17
  • man that sucks big time , where I play there are only 15.00 min bets. Its hard to hang in there with losing 120.00 in one streak. I keep telling myself there is no such thing as good and bad flow, but thats a nasty streak of varience.
  • That's what I think. Some even had worse, like I did. I was dealt 2 consecutive shoes, playing heads up with the dealer and only won thrice and had 4 push hands, in an extremely positive count! I was thinking that time that I was having the worst time of my blackjack life. I always lost a point behind. I marked that day till now.
  • A couple of weeks ago, I had a session where I won 9 hands in a row. Unfortunately, they were all minimum bets as the count remained mildly negative the whole time.
  • After you have mastered basic strategy and then mastered a counting system, you hit the blackjack tables with the confidence that you are now in control of the game and to use the word master too often, have mastered the game and the casino.
    Then eventually a long streak of negative variance comes out of nowhere, either consecutive hands or much worse consecutive sessions. Quickly you will learn that even playing at an edge the casino is not your personal ATM machine, but will you survive it as a lifetime winning counter?

    When that streak hits you on continuous max or near max bets, often cold math is put aside and powerful human emotion takes over especially in the case of someone new to this. It is easy to just quit in a highly positive shoe or steam thinking you still have the edge, will get it back in one hand or two and overbet your already depleating bankroll.
    How you handle this may result in your playing not at your optimum in future sessions and result in one becoming what I call a wannabee counter. The guy who fears to spread enough. Or in many instances, people just quit, say counting does not work and use the period of negative variance as proof.

    ihate17
  • It happens (losing 9 in a row). Technically, you will lose about 50% of the hands you play, win about 42% and push the rest. The probability of losing one hand is therefore .5. The probability of losing 9 in a row is .5 ^ 9 = .0000076 or every 131,000 hands.

    If you rephrase to not winning once in 9 hands, it goes up since P(not winning) = .58 as it includes pushes. Both are pretty uncommon.
  • A couple of years back, I played at the Coast in Vegas, at a $25 table. And while the count never reached +1, I think I won something like 15 hands + had 2-3-4 pushes without a single loss. And was ejected from the casino even though my bet never varied from $25. Apparently they didn't understand statistics at all and assumed my winning streak was something other than luck, which it wasn't...
  • stainless steel rat said:
    A couple of years back, I played at the Coast in Vegas, at a $25 table. And while the count never reached +1, I think I won something like 15 hands + had 2-3-4 pushes without a single loss. And was ejected from the casino even though my bet never varied from $25. Apparently they didn't understand statistics at all and assumed my winning streak was something other than luck, which it wasn't...


    SSR
    You should have known that winning at a Coast casino is highly frowned upon, they attempted but failed to make it illegal.
    Actually, as you know, it is pathetically funny, that anyone in table game management would toss a flat better (what you must have appeared to be) who got lucky.
    Now lets say you were not a counter but a lucky gambler. A smart casino would be celebrating right along with you.

    Other side of the possible story.
    Coast thought you were a counter from earlier on that session or previous trips. They were watching you and the eye was counting along with you. You win all those hands without ever ramping up your bet, but they know the count did not warrant it. A gambler would have increased his bets, trying to parlay his good fortune into a big win. A cardcounter would not have since the count did not warrant it. So obviously you are a cardcounter and we will ask you to leave.
    Now if they ask you to leave in front of a bunch of players and you have only been flat betting, I wonder if tossing you is worth the taste of what is left in the minds of the other players.
    Anyway, they may have made you before the streak.

    ihate17
  • They might have thought that you where some how cheating like you could see the dealers hole card or you where marking cards but might not have been able to prove it so they just asked you to leave. With your flat bets they could not suspect you as card counter because you didn't change the size of your bets and any comptent floor person knows this. Maybe the floor person is just stupid and does not understand the game very well.

    A note about losing 9 in a row it is close to 2^9 power or 256 to 1 shot! A long shot but not out of the question. The odds of losing 20 in row are much much rarer and I would start to question if i was cheated if I lost 20 in a row!
  • learningtocount said:
    They might have thought that you where some how cheating like you could see the dealers hole card or you where marking cards but might not have been able to prove it so they just asked you to leave. With your flat bets they could not suspect you as card counter because you didn't change the size of your bets and any comptent floor person knows this. Maybe the floor person is just stupid and does not understand the game very well.

    A note about losing 9 in a row it is close to 2^9 power or 256 to 1 shot! A long shot but not out of the question. The odds of losing 20 in row are much much rarer and I would start to question if i was cheated if I lost 20 in a row!


    LTC
    Since I land up winning in three of the four places where I have lost 20 or more in a row, I feel sure I was not cheated. Play enough years and hours and anything can happen.

    Now re-read your first sentence and understand that much more than someone who is trying to learn how to be a winning counter, you, LTC are first and mostly a casino employee. Stating that a form of cheating is seeing the dealers hole card! I take offense at this statement and so should any advantage player on this board.
    Just because you, the dealer is sloppy and your superiors have done a poor job in making sure you are properly trained, makes me a cheater? The law says no, but casinos believe just what you said.

    ihate17
  • Did you have big bets or small bets on most of the 20 hands in a row you lost. If you lost 20 small bets in a row and where playing decent stragedy than that loss is not so bad if you lost 20 bigger bets in a row that is much more devasting to your scae and bankroll for that matter and it could take you out for good. For me if I lose a few small bets in a row I start feeling lucky because I didn't bet more on those hands. Once I was at a video blackjack machine playing for 5 cents a hand lost 4 hands in a row started to feel lucky and I went to the tables to play for real money and won $200! I would feel much better about losing a $100 in 20 hands than losing a $100 in one hand! When I bet small I expect to lose on most hands and when I bet big I expect to win on the most hands when playing blackjack!
  • ihate17 said:
    SSR
    You should have known that winning at a Coast casino is highly frowned upon, they attempted but failed to make it illegal.
    Actually, as you know, it is pathetically funny, that anyone in table game management would toss a flat better (what you must have appeared to be) who got lucky.
    Now lets say you were not a counter but a lucky gambler. A smart casino would be celebrating right along with you.

    Other side of the possible story.
    Coast thought you were a counter from earlier on that session or previous trips. They were watching you and the eye was counting along with you. You win all those hands without ever ramping up your bet, but they know the count did not warrant it. A gambler would have increased his bets, trying to parlay his good fortune into a big win. A cardcounter would not have since the count did not warrant it. So obviously you are a cardcounter and we will ask you to leave.
    Now if they ask you to leave in front of a bunch of players and you have only been flat betting, I wonder if tossing you is worth the taste of what is left in the minds of the other players.
    Anyway, they may have made you before the streak.

    ihate17



    First, I had never played the coast previously, due to comments/warnings by a couple of counters I knew well. But while out there, my wife wanted to "play the slots in every casino in town" so we ended up at some places I would not normally have visited. This particular game was not that bad, and since I refuse to play slots, it was just something I did to pass the time. I sat down, and started winning. My total play was just the hands I mentioned above, which included no losses at all. I mentioned this to "Arnold Snyder" a couple of weeks later and he said "and you are surprised by this?" :) (we were arranging to meet to eat south of the strip). By then I had gotten used to the idea of "hot scrutiny". But not when pure flat-betting because big cards fell up front (dealer must have broken in at least 1/2 of the hands I won, just like you'd expect when get gets a stiff up-card, turns over a ten and then draws a 10.)

    Never thought paranoia would run that high. It did take a bit of an ugly turn as they wanted me to "follow them" somewhere which I refused to do. They implied they could force me to do so, I replied "they could try, their success was open to debate..." The suits and goons were simply snotty...


    LTC: note that I said that I had flat-bet the minimum because the count never went +. So I never bet more or less than $25.

    BTW, if a dealer is sloppy enough to expose his hole card, how is it cheating for me to use that information? Your being sloppy in handling the cards does not make _me_ a cheater. It makes you a lousy dealer for the house (good dealer for me, though). Game protection is the dealer's responsibility. This is what has burned out many 3cp games, the dealers are sloppy extracting the 3-card hands from the shuffler exposing the bottom card. And the casinos shut down the games rather than addressing the real problem of the dealer being sloppy. If I owned a casino, I'd fire everyone that made those kinds of decisions. 3cp is a great game for the casinos, it will drain your bankroll as quickly as any game around, because you play at a $10 min table, but since everyone plays the pairs plus bet also, they end up playin 30 bucks per hand and wonder "where did all my money go, when I play 21 at a $10 table I can play for hours with that much starting money?

    "cheating" means doing something to affect the outcome of the game to your advantage by actually taking some action such as marking the cards, using a flasher/camera/etc to see cards as they are dealt, using a computer to predict cards or count for you, etc. If I just sit at the table and use whatever information I can obtain (including just using my brain when counting, and using my eyes for sloppy dealers) how can one call that "cheating"? If the dealers are trained properly, and they use their training, hole-carding is impossible. So don't make sloppy card handling by a dealer into cheating by me...
  • learningtocount said:
    Did you have big bets or small bets on most of the 20 hands in a row you lost. If you lost 20 small bets in a row and where playing decent stragedy than that loss is not so bad if you lost 20 bigger bets in a row that is much more devasting to your scae and bankroll for that matter and it could take you out for good. For me if I lose a few small bets in a row I start feeling lucky because I didn't bet more on those hands. Once I was at a video blackjack machine playing for 5 cents a hand lost 4 hands in a row started to feel lucky and I went to the tables to play for real money and won $200! I would feel much better about losing a $100 in 20 hands than losing a $100 in one hand! When I bet small I expect to lose on most hands and when I bet big I expect to win on the most hands when playing blackjack!


    LTC
    First off, you ignored my outrage at your calling me a cheater!

    In two cases (I have lost 20 or more 4 times) there was a period where the count was very high for 6 or 7 hands (shoe game) and I took big hits. Understand that not everytime the consecutive streak was on the same table. Once the count would tank, I would leave, go to another table and just continue to lose.
    That feeling that you mentioned that you get after losing several in a row. The feeling that you are now due to win a few, is a seriously bad trap if you then use that feeling and overbet your bankroll. The cards do not remember if you lost 4,10 or 100 in a row! You still should be betting the proper amount based on your count and bankroll. The temptation to get it all back in one hand is just pure steaming and you will be lucky sometimes and other times you will be busted.

    Play enough and these streaks unfortunately will happen and they will damage your bankroll, at least temporarily. How you handle these, especially the losing streaks that come in high counts, will determine much about your future in this game.

    Now: I have answered your questions, answer mine. Why is my seeing your sloppily exposed hole card, cheating?

    ihate17
  • SSR

    I agree, paranoia like that is amazing. Inept game management, not understanding what they supervise, so some flat bettor gets lucky and they toss him. Pure panic on the part of the decision maker.

    The complete opposite approach:
    Years ago I was sitting at a green chip table at the Trop with one other player. This guy played big money, was known to them and had no idea of basic strategy at all. Suddenly this guy can do not wrong, splits his 3,3 vs dealer Ace, gets a third 3, two doubles and wins all five $1,000 bets and gets a high five from the pit. Now I am not naive enough to believe the pit really wants this guy to win five grand a hand, and I was sure that the guy had a losing history with that store, but hand after hand he seemed to be winning while doing everything against the book, gets up around 30 thousand and quits while being congratulated by the pit.
    Two days later I happen to run into this guy at Mirage and he tells me he gave that 30 and another 30 back to the Trop.
    Now that is smart (casinos point of view) table game management from a place that is not known for big action.

    ihate17
  • ihate17 said:
    SSR

    I agree, paranoia like that is amazing. Inept game management, not understanding what they supervise, so some flat bettor gets lucky and they toss him. Pure panic on the part of the decision maker.

    The complete opposite approach:
    Years ago I was sitting at a green chip table at the Trop with one other player. This guy played big money, was known to them and had no idea of basic strategy at all. Suddenly this guy can do not wrong, splits his 3,3 vs dealer Ace, gets a third 3, two doubles and wins all five $1,000 bets and gets a high five from the pit. Now I am not naive enough to believe the pit really wants this guy to win five grand a hand, and I was sure that the guy had a losing history with that store, but hand after hand he seemed to be winning while doing everything against the book, gets up around 30 thousand and quits while being congratulated by the pit.
    Two days later I happen to run into this guy at Mirage and he tells me he gave that 30 and another 30 back to the Trop.
    Now that is smart (casinos point of view) table game management from a place that is not known for big action.

    ihate17


    Personally speaking, my perspective is that most of the "unnecessary" crap that goes on comes from dealers that are either insecure or just plain asses, or floor personnel that are inept or out to impress someone higher-up the food chain. I haven't played enough to be chased out of every casino known. I've suffered through a very small number (3) of being told to leave and never come back. I've suffered through a few more back-offs that more or less "faded away" (no more blackjack, but 3 months later not a glance when I walked back in). My backoffs came mostly from prior acts, executed when I sat down to buy in, rather than from something going on in the live game. I don't believe there are many dealers or floor personnel that actually know anything about card counting. They all claim to be experts, but that is a stretch at least. At the coast, I first sat down at table "a" to play (in a shoe game) and at about 3 decks into the deal, the dealer stopped and shuffled. I asked "what's up with the shuffling when there are still plenty of cards left to play?" This female dealer just said "ask him, nodding to the player at first base that suddenly looked nervous, he knows why we are using a short shoe." I colored up and moved on to a higher-limit ($25 vs $5) game to get away from that nonsense, and got tossed myself. The guy at 1st might have been counting, but he wasn't very good. Not good enough to warrant slowing the game down that much. But that's the point the floor/dealers miss. Slow the game down and their hold drops and somehow they can't grasp that idea. They will slow it to a crawl to stop those damned card counters from walking off with a couple of grand, even though a full-speed game would have earned the casino $100,000 during that period of time. Just can't seem to see the forest for all those damned trees. And they are prime examples of "the peter principle" IMHO... incompetent to the extreme although there are plenty of good floor folks around.

    BTW my favorite story (almost non-BJ related) happened at the MGM Grand a few years ago. Was playing one of their decent (at the time) shoe games, on a Friday night when things were loud, the craps tables were going wild, although blackjack was a little less crowded than expected, when right in the middle of dealing a round (I had one card, was waiting on the second) the dealer just stopped. Just before I said something I noticed that the area around us had dropped to a quiet hush. I asked "what's the hold-up?" He (still holding a card) just used his index finger to point to my left (his right). I looked and there I saw this knock-out blond wearing what appeared to be an outfit made completely of gauze, 100% see-through. And the effect was stunning. Suddenly I noticed this incredibly sharp stabbing pain in my right arm. I turned back around that way and found my wife looking over my shoulder, none-too-amused at the direction of my stare (or the drool on my chin or whatever else she noticed. :) )

    I also liked this particular dealer as he had an excellent card memory. And he gave perfect B/S advice when asked, and even at times when he wasn't asked. And when a Ploppy would do something stupid, after the round was played out he would go back over it with perfect recall pointing out that "had you hit your 13 against my 10, you would have gotten the 8 your neighbor got and you would have won. The 8 your neighbor got (which busted him) would have been yours and the 5 his neighbor drew would have ... and he finally pointed out that had this person played perfect B/S the entire table would have won as the dealer would have busted. Pretty painful for the ploppy, but the dealer pulled it off pretty well and did it over and over. Of course, not every ploppy error is bad for the rest of us, so it is a wash, but it was entertaining.
  • I lost 8 in a row tonight, 10 out of 11, right off the hop. This was at a nickel table, and the other guy at the table dropped $400 in 20 min. It doesnt faze me anymore, I know its part of the game. Like a previous post said, make sure your playing at your best, dont get steamed. It will come.
  • I'm sure you've all encountered a session where you doubled your bankroll (or more) with a crazy streak of wins. They way I swallow a streak in the other direction is just to accept that sometimes things even out. :)

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