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Thread: The Horror of Card Counting

  1. #1
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    Default The Horror of Card Counting

    The horror of card counting

    21 July 2015

    By Frank Scoblete


    FROM FRED: I read your short article on blackjack today. I wanted to ask you if you are taking into consideration the multi-decks that casinos use today.

    I was not sure when you wrote this article, so if everybody at the table has pat 19s, 20s and blackjacks this round, the next few rounds are not likely to be very good for the players. Bet small or not at all, but with so many decks being used, how can we be so sure?

    It is amazing how often the dealer gets a 10 when he needs a 10, or how often I see dealers get a five- or six-card 20 and 21.

    FRANK RESPONDS: If you are counting cards, you will know whether the remaining cards in the show favor the players or favors the casinos. You can’t just tell from round to round if the house has the edge or if the player has the edge. Only accurate counting cards can tell you that.

    As for seeing those awful hands that dealers sometimes get, that is selective memory. But here is an example excerpted from my book “I Am a Card Counter: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Blackjack.” This took place on my second trip to Atlantic City after a great first trip.

    “I was truly a strutting cock of the Boardwalk after that first visit and then we went back to Atlantic City a few weeks later and I was the cock that got squashed by a car while trying to cross the road. I had put aside five thousand dollars as a bankroll, and during that first trip we doubled it. This second trip saw me lose every penny of that money – every penny of our win and every penny of my initial bankroll.

    “My final destruction occurred at the Claridge in the high roller room when I had a bet of $2,500 on the table on various hands that I had split, resplit and doubled on. I was so convinced that my bad luck had to (had to!) change that I was betting way too much for my almost non-existent bankroll.

    “Succinctly, I was a complete idiot, trying to recover all my money in just a few hands. I was on tilt; I wasn’t thinking straight – hell, I wasn’t thinking at all. I was the very ‘ploppy’ player I have made fun of over the years.

    “At this moment of the ‘Frank Scoblete is the Titanic about to hit the iceberg,’ the count was sky high; my hands went from 18 to 20. The dealer was showing a six. He had to have a 10 in the hole because so many small cards had already been played and I was sure he would bust with his piddling 16 and I would come roaring back and recapture my original 5K stake.

    “From there on, casino ownership had only been delayed by a small losing streak. Move over Steve Wynn and Donald Trump, the new boy, Frank Scoblete, card counter, was in town.

    “The dealer flipped over his hole card. Oh, yeah, a 10! He had 16, just as I thought.

    “My heart was racing with joy; it was racing with excitement. Then something hit me; a small thought in the back of my mind that now came roaring to the front of my mind, I haven’t seen many fives during this shoe. I started to sweat. I started to really, really sweat and everything went in slow motion from this point – at least that is how my memory sees it.

    “Slow motion: He pulls out a card from the shoe and slowly flips it over. Slow motion as the card flips: A five! Slow motion first on my forehead, then on my nose, then on the layout: A bead of sweat goes down my nose and drops onto the table. A five, oh, my God, a f**king five!

    “I was busted. I had lost every penny I had reserved to play blackjack and start my casino-playing career in order to get myself out of debt. On one flip of the cards I had lost $2,500. In one trip, I had lost $10,000. My gambling stake was gone. My confidence was gone. The casino I was going to buy was gone. I was, at that moment, the ultimate loser.

    “On the way back to Long Island, the Beautiful A.P. and I stopped at the Captain’s house. [The late, great Captain of Craps was my gambling mentor.] As soon as he saw us, he smiled and said, ‘There they are with empty pockets.’”

    Yes, blackjack can be a heartbreaking game even if you have the edge.

    For your letter I am sending you a copy of my book “The Virgin Kiss.”

  2. #2
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    Default Cc

    Sting is truly where it is at, today straight CC is nothing but a waste of time and money, unless you find a DD with S-17, great pen and fine rules.

    Look at Snyder, he has turned into a freakish looking Porn addict and Mormon is a psychological waste land.


    CP
    "Midwest Masters Of Advantage", "Strength and Honor."

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    Quote Originally Posted by creeping panther View Post
    Sting is truly where it is at, today straight CC is nothing but a waste of time and money, unless you find a DD with S-17, great pen and fine rules.

    Look at Snyder, he has turned into a freakish looking Porn addict and Mormon is a psychological waste land.


    CP
    I still fight the good fight. But this story puts it in perspective. If the dealer had drawn a 6 instead of a 5, it would have been a great hand for the player. Most card counting (or ST) systems don't even differentiate between a 5 and a 6. That is how subtle our advantage is.

    A porn addict? Really?

  4. #4

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    I played a similar hand to Scobletes just a few days ago. The dealer had a 6 up card, I had 10,10. I was about to tuck my cards and then I flipped them over to split the hand because I needed to recover some chips since I was down in the session. Similarly I had not seen a lot of fives played either that composed this favorable count and I didn't want the dealer catching a possible 5. My first card was an 8 for an 18, then I got dealt a 5 for a 15 on the second hand. The dealer had a 10 in the hole for a 16 and then pulled an Ace. I broke even on the hand and walked away from the table bruised, but not completely beaten as I could not bare to give the house everything.
    Last edited by Blitzkrieg; July 21st, 2015 at 05:27 PM.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Automatic Monkey View Post
    [Snyder] A porn addict? Really?
    Well... you decide, see -
    Arnold Snyder's Strip Club Lap Dance Advantage Play

    "The dogs bark but the caravan moves on."
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blitzkrieg View Post
    I had not seen a lot of fives played either that composed this favorable count and I didn't want the dealer catching a possible 5.
    THAT is a wee bit of VOODOO logic, your Earlship


    "The dogs bark but the caravan moves on."
    .....................The Zengrifter Interview (PDF) |
    The Zengrifter / James Grosjean Reputation Debate
    -----------------------------------------
    “Truth, like gold, is obtained not by growth, but by washing away all that is not gold.” — Leo Tolstoy........
    "Is everything a conspiracy? No, just the important stuff." ZG

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by zengrifter View Post
    THAT is a wee bit of VOODOO logic, your Earlship


    It may sound like it but I was precisely right by splitting the hand. Now that I've had more time to think about that hand I got the 5 first, then the 8. Had I not split my hand the dealer would have waxed the whole table with a 3 card 21 and that is what I was worried about on this particular hand, by splitting the hand I was able to break even instead of losing. No 5's constituted this particular positive count and we were deep enough within 2 decks to where I knew that the amount of 5's to be normally seen was way out of whack. I just applied the same thought process that Uston teaches for side tracking Aces and applied it to accounting for a 5 since I had not seen a single one. I had a strong feeling that a 5 was coming and I was right, it wasn't voodoo logic, not when you know. I'll tell you some voodoo logic from last night, a super donk who pronounces to the table that he is ready to go home, ready to end his night of poker playing. I have pocket KK, I raise the pot 5 times the big blind and get 3-4 callers. A rainbow flop comes 9,Q,4, action is on me in early position but left of the big blind, I bet $1400, super donk re-raises all-in, everyone else folds, I snap call and show him my hand KK, he turns over his hand A,10 offsuit. Turn and river get dealt in slow motion and the dealer turns a 9 I'm feeling good and like my chances going to the river, the river comes A of diamonds. Super donk got lucky and I owe him an ass kicking on the table that I promise I will deliver come next week. I was one hand away from making the final table again even though we were only 8 hands into a new game so that I could further embarrass the people that frequent this club. Had I won that hand I would have embarrassed the club no doubt perhaps by winning it outright again. I am saddened that I hit a speed bump on my way to their embarrassment. It really sucks losing that hand especially because I shuffle tracked the dealers shuffle and knew 100% that the Ace of spades would not come into play and it did not, so this super donk hit a two outer on me! Maybe a one-outer because someone may have folded an ace....??? Knowing that gives me an edge, but even with an edge there is no guarantee. The person who got lucky to beat me didn't have this knowledge, but I did.
    Last edited by Blitzkrieg; July 24th, 2015 at 08:52 AM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by zengrifter View Post
    Oh come on, I knew about that play 30 years ago! I had a nice pair of silk pants for the hobby.

    Just be careful- one time I got a really good LD, but the girl's period started some time between the beginning and the end of it. She was crying she was so embarrassed, and I was wearing white. Had to go home early.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Automatic Monkey View Post
    Oh come on, I knew about that play 30 years ago! I had a nice pair of silk pants for the hobby.

    Just be careful- one time I got a really good LD, but the girl's period started some time between the beginning and the end of it. She was crying she was so embarrassed, and I was wearing white. Had to go home early.


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