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Thread: The ADD Kid: The Good the Bad and the Ugly of my first time out

  1. #1
    The ADD Kid

    The ADD Kid: The Good the Bad and the Ugly of my first time out

    I just got back from a cruise and this was my first trip under the gun so to speak. Last year I decided to take my BJ playing to another level. I broke out my old copy of Beat the Dealer I and went over the counting system Thorp used. I then bought TWGBJB and starting practicing Hi Opt I. When TCing came up I decided to switch to KO as it seams to compare favorably to the rest yet is pretty simple.

    Now back to present day. Being a complete newbie and not made of money I started with a $100 bankroll. I back counted the first couple nights to see if I could count under playing conditions and to see if the count correlated with winning hands. I finally got the nerve to sit down about the fourth night. My shortcomings came to the front very early as the only seat open was first base and I was having trouble keeping a RC when I had to deal with BS right off the crack. I?ve strived to get the BS down to subconscious but being under the gun at first base was unnerving. I kept trying to keep the RC but I lost track and flat bet with just the BS. The house rules were really atrocious. Dealer hits on soft 17. Only one card per ace when splitting and this coming out of an 8-deck shoe! I soon went down to $50 and got up to get my wits about me. I looked for another table and started BCing and then sat down when it got to the KC and put $25 out. I won but was so enamored with my performance that I lost track of the count and had to flat bet with BS for the rest of the shoe. This didn?t seem to hurt as I started winning money. I actually went up $160 before settling back to + $100. I got up at this point and decided to give it a rest and Wong my way into another game the next day.

    The next day was pure crap. I BCd about 3-4 shoes and the count never got above the mid teens at like mid shoe. (IRC of 0 and a KC of 22). This really bugged me and got my mind wandering about stuff. Finally the count went to 22 or 23 and I plopped down at third base and put out $25. Down I went along with the count. I played BS flat betting for a while until I had had enough. I Wonged in again and the same thing happened.

    I gave up Wonging as it takes so long to go through an 8-deck shoe it really ate the time up. I guess I had about 5-6 hours invested in Wonging only to have three times when it ever reached the KC. I ended up giving up the initial $100 but it was worth it for the real world experience. The prior year they had a single deck game with a $10 min but this year they jacked it to $25. I had originally planned to dive into that with my fresh skills but I didn?t have sufficient enough bank.

    One thing that really bugs me is that I probably BCd eight or more shoes at various times over the trip and only three times did the count even get to the KC, let alone the pivot point, and when it did two of the three times I Wonged in I lost. I have had suspicions for years that the ships thin out the high cards to give them a little edge but after learning to count I just brushed off my prior thoughts as just fluctuations in play. Now that I can count and only three of the 8-9 shoes I counted ever got to the KC, in what would be considered reasonable time i.e. before 2/3 or more of the shoe had been gone through, I?m reconsidering my prior opinion. I?m not upset I lost my money but it doesn?t seem quite right. Tell me if I?m wrong here.

    Anyway I appreciate all the folks here who have posted. I don?t post much mostly lurk and dig for tidbits of info. Sorry for the long winded story


  2. #2
    Sun Runner

    Sun Runner: Thanks for the story

    Sounds like a lot of peoples first time out; join the club. Kinda wild huh? But at least your over the first time hump. Was it worth a $100.

    BTW .. lesson one .. nobody made you set down at first base. If you can't find conditions that are good for you, don't play.

    Some thoughts ..

    No matter what, you can't get started doing anything right on a $100, but you know that right?

    A cruise ship is generally not a good place to start playing -or play at all -generally.

    The cruise ship may have been making matters worse by spiking the decks but your experience is no indicator of it either way. And really, H17 8D, who needs to cheat you?

    BK'ing 8Ds and jumping in at the key count with $100 is a problem. Flux is a problem always but around the KC, it's little better than a crap shoot.

    I'd spend my next $100 buying's CVBJ and practice, practice, practice.

    If your intent on risking $100 BRs, I'd take my next one to some semi-close brick and mortar place with decent rules and wait for monster counts -even then -???

    Otherwise, try practicing while putting together a decent stake.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
    The ADD Kid

    The ADD Kid: Re: Thanks for the story

    Yeah I think Im past the butterflys now. I was breezing along with the BS after a couple hours. After those few hours of play Im pretty confident I can concentrate on counting now. I knew going in that the conditions would be bad. None of the ports had casinos so this was my only option. Next time may be different. Yeah I know first base was the worst but they had few tables open which kind of pissed me off. I guess in 20/20 hind site I should have grabbed up my money when I got up a bunch and sat down at the single deck game. The odds would have been astronomically better there. This was more of a training wheels mission then one to make money. Practice is great but there is not much substitute for sitting at the table. I still have decks of cards everywhere and I kind of enjoy picking them up during breaks at work or during commercials at home. Im in Md so a trip to AC may be in the works when I can roll enough pennies.


  4. #4

    Victoria: Re: Thanks for the story

    Practice, practice, practice.
    I think you figured that out, loosing the count whenever pressure distracted you. The fear with a $100 bankroll in a $25 game. What do you do if you get a split to 4 hands and then a double or two, it can happen.
    While you are practicing you should be saving a bankroll. One thing a begginner should realize about bankroll is that it does not have to be the same as a triproll. If your job pays more than enough to cover your expenses, you can start with a bankroll smaller than the books say because you have the ability to constantly replenish it.

    Wonging an 8 decker with a limited roll is a good idea but as you saw playing time will be extremely limited. Seeing a positive shoe 3 times out of 8 is actually pretty good, there will be times where you might see 8 straight bad shoes. You might go to a casino and practice counting down two different tables at once at some point in your learning curve.

    I doubt they would short the shoe. Have never been on a cruise but if they did short them the counts on these shoes would not have evened out most often near the end. They also probably cut at least two decks off and with H-17, the rules are bad enough that they have no need to also cheat.

    Look for a $5 game with less decks. Wonging lets you play a higher stake game but I think there is much to learn by playing all sometimes. Counting down a shoe while standing behind the table without distractions and then jumping in for a few hands is much easier for many than sitting there, making bets, playing decisions, talking to players and dealers, while maintaining the count and making decisions based upon that count.

    First base. Unless it is a personal thing, I do not understand what is wrong with first base. When I first mastered our hobby, I liked first base for one specific reason compared to third base. At third base often the dealers arm would block my view of a hit card to first base. If it busted the player I might never be sure what it was, so knowing if a 9 or a 10 busted the guy at first who had say 13 was a problem. The other thing for a new player at first base is the lack of pressure put on you by other players. Sitting at or near third, other players may blame you for taking a dealers bust card or some other superstitious stuff. Probably you should sit in the middle somewhere, but in the reality of things it makes no difference. You have no idea where the good cards will go.

    Single deck: You mentioned you should have gone to a single deck game. Yes, if there was one there. Absolutely NO, if it only paid 6/5 for blackjack. That would make the game about 3 times worse than the 8D shoe you were playing. Never play 6/5 blackjack.



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