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Thread: sam: check me on this: luck/variance

  1. #21
    sam
    Guest

    sam: Re: check me on this: luck/variance

    Thanks4thefish, Thanks for the good response.
    > Professional blackjack is a business. You
    > play thru neg counts because the long term
    > profit expectation of playing positive
    > counts exceeds the losses from playing
    > negative counts.

    > Many businesses do not make money in the
    > first few years as expenses outweigh profit.

    > In BJ, if you play a solid game, you will be
    > theoretically making money from day 1!

    > Remember too, that your losses in the short
    > term, especially the big ones will be
    > attributable to negative variance on the
    > positive expectation bets, (ie losing your
    > big bets when you have the edge), not the
    > small grind from your negative expectation
    > on your small bets. When you do get your ass
    > kicked on small bets at negative counts,
    > remember only a small part of this is
    > because of the casino's edge.

    > Just as you will experience negative
    > variance on your positive expectation big
    > bets, you will experience negative variance
    > on your negative expectation small bets. You
    > will experience positive variance also.

    > BJ is the roller coaster from hell. Your
    > fluctuations are going to be greater than
    > the donkey who flat bets.

    > Be thankful for this variance, as it's what
    > thins out the herds of would be AP's. The
    > variance is what allows the donkeys to often
    > win thus providing them the incentive to
    > return.

    > I have also witnessed over a number of
    > years, people who experience, 'short term
    > positive variance continually' as Don.

    > In relation to this, we must realize:

    > a) Don't trust your senses. This person is
    > quite likely close to expectation, but
    > having the majority of their winning
    > sessions whilst you are present.

    > b) Somebody has to inhabit the small
    > recesses at either side of the bell curve,
    > ie the extremes of positive & negative
    > variance.

    > c) As APs our only desire should be to be
    > within 1, or at worst 2 standard deviations
    > from our expectation after playing an
    > exhaustive amount. The long term is
    > well.......pretty long.

    > d) Whether our desire is more than this or
    > not will have no effect on the eventual
    > outcome.

  2. #22
    gambler
    Guest

    gambler: Re: take the money and run?

    I have many sessions, where I was ahead with 1000
    but finished the session with -2000 or minus 3000.
    So I wondered, If it makes sense, to leave always, when ahead with $1000.
    But a close look at my records and statistics shows me, that there are also sessions, finished at plus 2500 or +3500. And in summary, it is better to stay and play as long, as possible.
    If I would miss all the VERY good sessions, and left early, I would make less money.

  3. #23
    sam
    Guest

    sam: Re: check me on this: reddux

    After a few days of mulling over all the good responses to my previous question, I've concluded that my impulse for learning to count and learning to play count-indexed startegy was misdirected. I wanted to avoid the influences of variance/luck as much as possible. The consensus seems to be that the influence of variance/luck increases as advantage accrues and bets increase. Exactly the opposite of what I expected and hoped for.

    I'll call variance "luck" because variance sounds too orderly, too scientific for what I see regularly. Which brings me to the question of the relevancy of empiricism or observation in AP play. Playing at the same casino (the only one in a 100 mile radius) day after day as I do may lead one to see patterns where none exist. Familiar dealers, pit folks, and decor may be the first pattern. But what if a pattern of play or circumstance were observed that impacted success? For example, if one observed over a period of several hundred sessions that he was rarely successful when down after the first three shoes of a session, would it not be reasonable to recognize this and walk away a small loser on the "early down" days?

    I'm uncomfortable with the idea that one should continue to play shoe after negative shoe with the belief that a positive shoe is coming, all the while oblivious to anything but the math. I think I remember some folks saying they limit their sessions to a set period of time for reasons of stamina. These same folks may also have said that one shouldn't have a win goal or a loss limit. You play the cards until they aren't good anymore. It seems to me ending a winning session or a losing session after an hour as an endurance consideration is little different than ending a session because a win goal or a loss limit has been reached. All three may be based on observations that the player has made over a period of many sessions. I recognize that we seek "reasonable" explanations for what we may not understand. We might create a pattern as a convenience. For instance, am I creating this "early down, always down" pattern to explain my lack of patience and inadequate bankroll? I have kept good records for nearly six years of 3-4 sessions per week. Early session loss as a predictor of eventual session loss is 90+% accurate. Am I giving in to voodoo? Lately, I have been closely examining my chicken bones at the buffet.

    Thanks for your help.

    > There was a recent long thread on BJ21 about
    > luck/variance with the usual lack of
    > agreement. Am I correct in thinking that any
    > gain in excess of the math is a positive
    > variance and any loss in excess of the math
    > is a negative variance? If this is so, then
    > it seems to me there's no sense for an AP to
    > play in a negative count(even flat betting)
    > because he's hoping for a positive variance
    > just as the BS-progression bettor is hoping
    > for a lucky run. The suspicion of that
    > similarity of play-all AP and luck-dependent
    > BS-prog was a distressing thought for me.
    > Could be the losing streak I'm presently on
    > is shaking my confidence in the math. Seeing
    > non-AP's winning while I'm losing....Well
    > you know the story. All those postings
    > attempting to distinguish AP variance from
    > non-AP luck didn't help either.

    > Thanks as always for explanations and help.

  4. #24
    Don Schlesinger
    Guest

    Don Schlesinger: Re: check me on this: reddux

    "Early session loss as a predictor of eventual session loss is 90+% accurate. Am I giving in to voodoo? Lately, I have been closely examining my chicken bones at the buffet."

    Suppose a basketball team trails by 20 points at halftime. Don't you think that's a pretty good indicator that it will eventually lose the game?!

    Of course, if you get behind early, you're more like to stay behind. The cards don't owe you your loss back! They only owe you the EV for the rest of the time you count on playing. If your early loss is substantially greater than that future EV, then, by jove, you're going to lose for that session.

    The rest is voodoo.

    Don

  5. #25
    Parker
    Guest

    Parker: Re: check me on this: reddux

    > good responses to my previous question, I've
    > concluded that my impulse for learning to
    > count and learning to play count-indexed
    > startegy was misdirected. I wanted to avoid
    > the influences of variance/luck as much as
    > possible. The consensus seems to be that the
    > influence of variance/luck increases as
    > advantage accrues and bets increase. Exactly
    > the opposite of what I expected and hoped
    > for.

    So far, so good. It is correct that the larger your bet spread, the larger your swings will be. In addition, the better the game, the bigger the swings because you will see more high positive counts and thus be putting more money on the table.

    Your swings will be much smaller if you simply flat-bet the table minimum.

    And here's a shocker: You can eliminate the swings entirely by simply not playing at all.

    > I'll call variance "luck" because
    > variance sounds too orderly, too scientific
    > for what I see regularly. Which brings me to
    > the question of the relevancy of empiricism
    > or observation in AP play. Playing at the
    > same casino (the only one in a 100 mile
    > radius) day after day as I do may lead one
    > to see patterns where none exist. Familiar
    > dealers, pit folks, and decor may be the
    > first pattern. But what if a pattern of play
    > or circumstance were observed that impacted
    > success? For example, if one observed over a
    > period of several hundred sessions that he
    > was rarely successful when down after the
    > first three shoes of a session, would it not
    > be reasonable to recognize this and walk
    > away a small loser on the "early
    > down" days?

    It would not. One of the hardest things to accept about this game is that you cannot really draw any conclusions from personal experience, at least not until you have been playing full time for 20 years or so.

    In addition, as I have said repeatedly, session results are meaningless. It is all one long session, interrupted by breaks. Every shuffle is a new beginning. The cards do not know how long you have been at the table, or away from the table.

    > I'm uncomfortable with the idea that one
    > should continue to play shoe after negative
    > shoe with the belief that a positive shoe is
    > coming, all the while oblivious to anything
    > but the math. I think I remember some folks
    > saying they limit their sessions to a set
    > period of time for reasons of stamina. These
    > same folks may also have said that one
    > shouldn't have a win goal or a loss limit.
    > You play the cards until they aren't good
    > anymore. It seems to me ending a winning
    > session or a losing session after an hour as
    > an endurance consideration is little
    > different than ending a session because a
    > win goal or a loss limit has been reached.

    It is completely different. You may reach your win or loss goal five minutes after you sit down. Suppose you find that rare dealer who is dealing down to the last few cards. You lose a couple of those resplit/double hands with max bets out and are suddenly at your stop-loss. Are you going to just get up and walk away from this outstanding game?

    > All three may be based on observations that
    > the player has made over a period of many
    > sessions. I recognize that we seek
    > "reasonable" explanations for what
    > we may not understand. We might create a
    > pattern as a convenience. For instance, am I
    > creating this "early down, always
    > down" pattern to explain my lack of
    > patience and inadequate bankroll? I have
    > kept good records for nearly six years of
    > 3-4 sessions per week. Early session loss as
    > a predictor of eventual session loss is 90+%
    > accurate. Am I giving in to voodoo?

    Yes.

    Did it ever occur to you that these patterns become self-fulfulling? If you leave the table when you are down, how are you going to come back?

    Here is an example of how silly this whole session win/loss thing is: Want to have a winning session record? Just use a 2 unit stop-win and a 100 unit stop-loss. You may still lose a bunch of money, but you can truthfully tell people that you walk away from most of your sessions a winner.

    > Lately,
    > I have been closely examining my chicken
    > bones at the buffet.

    Which will prove equally as effective as stop wins/stop losses over the long run.

    > Thanks for your help.

    You're welcome, even if it isn't want you wanted to hear. :-)

  6. #26
    sam
    Guest

    sam: Re: check me on this: reddux

    Don,

    Thanks for your response. I think I understand this: If one's early loss is greater than the EV for the rest of his session it is a certainty he'll lose unless he enjoys a bout of positive variance. Then,is it possible to minimize losses for a session by stopping play after early losses exceed EV for the rest of the session? Am I correct in assuming that continued play in this circumstance would simply be fulfilling the math and without hope of success unless positive variance intervenes? Thanks.

    Sam

    > "Early session loss as a predictor of
    > eventual session loss is 90+% accurate. Am I
    > giving in to voodoo? Lately, I have been
    > closely examining my chicken bones at the
    > buffet."

    > Suppose a basketball team trails by 20
    > points at halftime. Don't you think that's a
    > pretty good indicator that it will
    > eventually lose the game?!

    > Of course, if you get behind early, you're
    > more like to stay behind. The cards don't
    > owe you your loss back! They only owe you
    > the EV for the rest of the time you count on
    > playing. If your early loss is substantially
    > greater than that future EV, then, by jove,
    > you're going to lose for that session.

    > The rest is voodoo.

    > Don

  7. #27
    Dancer
    Guest

    Dancer: Re: check me on this: reddux

    > Then, is it possible to minimize losses for a
    > session by stopping play after early losses
    > exceed EV for the rest of the session?

    There are lots of variables here, but let's assume your hourly EV is approximately 1.5 units and you plan to play a 1 hour session.

    If you double down on your first hand and lose, you've already exceeded your EV for the remainder of the session. It must be time to stop, right?

    From your previous posts, you've obviously given this a considerable of thought. Unfortunately, you're wasting brain power. If you're that concerned about variance, forget BJ and open a savings account.

  8. #28
    sam
    Guest

    sam: Re: check me on this: reddux

    Dancer,

    I may not be able to get my mind around the ultimate uncertainties of the game and will likely stop play in the near future. I'm also hampered by a bankroll that doesn't usually meet the 100X max bet number. I watch lots of hands in addition to playing a good many--well, there I go again about what I observe. Another of my problems with the game. I've been a writer too long to stash my reliance on observation. Thanks for your kind attempt to steer me straight.

    Sam

    > There are lots of variables here, but let's
    > assume your hourly EV is approximately 1.5
    > units and you plan to play a 1 hour session.

    > If you double down on your first hand and
    > lose, you've already exceeded your EV for
    > the remainder of the session. It must be
    > time to stop, right?

    > From your previous posts, you've obviously
    > given this a considerable of thought.
    > Unfortunately, you're wasting brain power.
    > If you're that concerned about variance,
    > forget BJ and open a savings account.

  9. #29
    sam
    Guest

    sam: Don, what if the opposite happens?

    Don,

    What is the expectation if one gets up early in the session? What does winning in excess of the expectation signal for the rest of the session? I know this must seem very elementary but I don't know these things. Thanks for your help.

    Sam

    > "Early session loss as a predictor of
    > eventual session loss is 90+% accurate. Am I
    > giving in to voodoo? Lately, I have been
    > closely examining my chicken bones at the
    > buffet."

    > Suppose a basketball team trails by 20
    > points at halftime. Don't you think that's a
    > pretty good indicator that it will
    > eventually lose the game?!

    > Of course, if you get behind early, you're
    > more like to stay behind. The cards don't
    > owe you your loss back! They only owe you
    > the EV for the rest of the time you count on
    > playing. If your early loss is substantially
    > greater than that future EV, then, by jove,
    > you're going to lose for that session.

    > The rest is voodoo.

    > Don

  10. #30
    Don Schlesinger
    Guest

    Don Schlesinger: Re: Don, what if the opposite happens?

    > What is the expectation if one gets up early
    > in the session? What does winning in excess
    > of the expectation signal for the rest of
    > the session? I know this must seem very
    > elementary but I don't know these things.
    > Thanks for your help.

    You need to get this entire notion completely out of your head for good. What happens in the past signals NOTHING WHATSOEVER as to what is going to happen in the future. If it did, we'd all be able to predict the future, no???

    If you flip a coin and it lands heads 10 times in a row, what does that tell you about the next 10 flips? If you answered anything other than "nothing at all," you seriously need to read a few books on probablility theory and independent events.

    Don

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