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Thread: Beating Blackjack

  1. #1 Beating Blackjack 
    Time Lord
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    Any clues or tips?

    It seems like you can beat the game if you just keep track of the odds, even without counting cards, but if you want to count cards too, that is where it seem to get difficult.

    Suits don't matter, and all face cards count as ten, so with 8 decks, there will be 32 of every value except ten, for which there will be 128. That's a heck of a lot to memorize. Any good shortcuts?


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  3. #2 Re: Beating Blackjack 
    Forum Professor Wild Cobra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Any clues or tips?

    It seems like you can beat the game if you just keep track of the odds, even without counting cards, but if you want to count cards too, that is where it seem to get difficult.

    Suits don't matter, and all face cards count as ten, so with 8 decks, there will be 32 of every value except ten, for which there will be 128. That's a heck of a lot to memorize. Any good shortcuts?
    My statistics is very weak, but I would be surprised if there is a method to give a true advantage. Casinos win because that have the statistical advantage.

    I'm sure there are odds out there somewhere. My understanding is the only way to have the statistical advantage is to keep track of all the cards played, so you know the remaining odds of busting or not.


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  4. #3 Re: Beating Blackjack 
    . DrRocket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Any clues or tips?

    It seems like you can beat the game if you just keep track of the odds, even without counting cards, but if you want to count cards too, that is where it seem to get difficult.

    Suits don't matter, and all face cards count as ten, so with 8 decks, there will be 32 of every value except ten, for which there will be 128. That's a heck of a lot to memorize. Any good shortcuts?
    Knowing the odds and counting cards are the same thing.

    But the house can always have the odds in its favor -- all they need to do is bring in a new shoe.

    If you wnat to make money gambling then play poker. There you are not playing agaiinst the house.

    The trick is that in poker you play against other poker players. Try to pick folks that are not good poker players. Dumb with money is what you want to look for. The casinos fly them in.
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  5. #4  
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    I agree with DrRocket: if you HAD to make a living gambling, go with poker and play the tourists in Vegas. (Better yet, write cheesy "How To Make A Living Gambling" guides instead.) As for actually counting cards I had a relevant story to share that I heard on NPR, but I couldn't find the link. I did find this, though: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...oryId=89186925 Apparently there's a movie called 21 in which MIT students used science to get rich, which is LOOSELY based on a true story. The story I linked to above is about a woman who is an expert at card counting.

    Vegas has always and will always find new ways to make it harder for the player. One deck became upwards of six decks and then they began putting a separator in the decks around a quarter of the way up from the bottom, meaning you never get to play that last bit of cards, where card counting would really come in handy. Counting cards would work quite well at the parties of friends', but it's not typically a party game because nobody wants to be the dealer and nobody wants to hire a dealer, either.

    Do you know basic strategy? It's the easiest and most likely way to improve your game, short of counting cards. Once you learn that and play a few thousand hands, you'll learn to guess what the next card is likely to be (often correctly), especially if you're playing with a single deck and no separators. Eventually you will be able to tweak your basic strategy the more comfortable you get playing. (Just don't print out a basic strategy card or buy one in a Vegas souvenir shop and then take it to the table with you... you'll never get comped like that.)

    Basic strategy works as well as anything a beginner can do... the problem is, beginners often get bored and switch back to relying on sheer luck. Other times they become frustrated when basic strategy fails them, which it will more often than it helps. Unlike poker, though, I imagine you can get pretty good at playing blackjack on online casinos and electronic pocket games... so learn your strategy that way.

    I had a blackjack simulator, on a floppy, as a kid. I think Bicycle Cards commissioned it. It was really cool... see if you can find it on eBay or a shareware site or something.

    EDIT:

    As it turns out there are a lot of blackjack simulators available for download, including some (like this one http://www.freedownloadscenter.com/G..._to_Count.html) just for counting cards, though I wouldn't pay for anything unless I'd read a lot of positive reviews about it.

    I also remembered watching a television program about a guy who shared his shortcuts for counting cards. It involved the way he placed his feet. He'd turn his foot certain ways and the angle of his foot would remind him which cards had been played. The idea, I think, was remembering ratios of face cards to low cards, and although he certainly simplified the process, I think you still have to have a VERY good memory.

    ONE MORE EDIT:

    Okay, I'm sure this guy has something to sell, but this gives me ideas:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrCOHrQz7no
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