Don's Domain Chat: Lance Humble
Don's Domain Chat
Lance Humble
Lance Humble, co-author of The World's Greatest Blackjack Book

March 30, 2003

Humble Login:

Humble Hello blackjack players. Lance Humble here, logging in a few minutes early just in case there are glitches.

Humble Disconnect:

JMorgan Login:

NightTrain Login:

DonS Login:

NightTrain Hey Guy! Long time!

JAuston Login:

DonS Hi, guys. Waiting for Lance, I suppose

NightTrain Good evening Gentlemen!

Viktor Login:

Viktor Wow! A real powerhouse panel tonight.

JAuston nobody here but us chickens

NightTrain Tough mob !

Hotboy69 Login:

DonS We had better get a big turnout for Lance. Of course, we'd better get Lance first! :-)

Humble Login:

DonS Hi, Lance. Welcome aboard!

Karel Login:

Karel hi guys

NightTrain Good evening

DonS Hi, Karel. It's been quite a while. Nice to see you here.

Humble Lance Humble here. Hello blackjack players. This is my second attempt to join the chat.

DonS Second time is the charm!

Olympia Login:

DonS Lance, let's wait a couple of minutes, and then I'd like to make a quick introductory statement.

Humble Fine, Don. Thanks. LH

As_Zehn Login:

JAuston Viktor, will be all have to hit our keyboard once in awhile, to keep from getting logged out?

JAuston opps, "we", not "be"

DonS I don't think we need to do that here, John.

DonS Works better than the old software.

JAuston oops, "oops" not "opps"

As_Zehn Logout:

Viktor JAuston: I haven't seen that requirement with this software.

JAuston you were saying . . .

DonS I think he got bounced for some other reason.

JAuston I know. Just kidding

DonS Anyway, ...

DonS I think we should begin, and I'm sure more will be joinig us as the evening goes on.

Jailbird Login:

JAuston Also, many will read the archive, regardless who joins tonight

Viktor Disconnect:

DonS I'd just like to say what an honor it is for all of us at Don's Domain to have one of the legends of the game here to host our chat this evening.

Hotboy69 I wonder if you still live in Canada, Mr Humble?

DonS As you know, Lance Humble is the creator of the world-famous Hi-Opt systems, and the author of The World's Greatest BJ Book.

Viktor Login:

DonS He did pioneering work in BJ research with Julian Braun and continues to study the game, as well as pursue many other passions, such as harness racing and professional ice hockey.

DonS A professor at York University in Canada, he is one of the school's most respected and highly rated faculty members.

Humble Don, yes I still live just outside Toronto and teach at York University which is in Toronto and has about 40,000 students.

DonS Lance, can you tell us how you got involved with Julian Braun and how the hi-Opt systems can to be developed?

DonS came to be

DonS Perhaps Lance didn't catch the question or is still getting accustomed to the software.

Slippery Login:

Karel I would like to ask more about the ice hockey , when Lance is available.

DonS Lance, are you there?

DonS Lance was quite a handicapper and aficionado for quite a number of years. I don't know if he's still active.

DonS Many don't know he also wrote "Harness Racing Gold" and owned standard-bred horses, as well.

Humble Don, about 1970 the serious blackjack community was very small with only a handful of people involved. If anyone published anything or went to a gaming conference, everyone else automatically knew about them. I had read Beat the Dealer in 1970.

Humble I met Julian though Ed Thorp and asked Julian to develop a simpole winning BJ system for my students. He produced the HI-OPT I and I simplified it further.

DonS When did you get the idea to create the more advanced Hi-Opt II?

NightTrain Lance: At the time of that development, other than Thorp's Count, how many other systems were available?

Humble Hi Slippery. I had apartner and we beat hockey in the early 1980s by simply very thoroughly analyzing all the factors we could think of.

Karel so, more of fundamental analysis of the teams, rather then speculating on biases of people behavior (long-shot bias, and similar)?

Humble Don, my students did not believe the HI-OPT I was as powerful as it was and kept asking for a more advanced system. So I again approached Julian Braun and he came up with the HI-OPT II and I again simplified that system.

DonS Were you aware that recent studies done by John Auston and me (SCORE) showed it to be perhaps the most powerful of all modern-day counts?

Humble Lawrence Revere had his systems out in the book Playing Blackjack as a Business before the HI-OPTs

Jailbird how did you simplify them?

DonS You had some tough times with Revere, who wasn't very nice to you, didn't you, Lance?

Humble Revere also got help from Julian and other computer analysts for his systems.

Humble As an educator I had to embellish the systems and give as simple instructions as I could so that people with even grade nine education could follow, understand, learn, and apply the systems in casinos.

DonS Did you ever meet Braun face to face? What kind of man was he? I heard he was very shy and self-effacing.

NormW Login:

JAuston Well, I found WGBJB very readable, and it is the book that got me interested in 21 - so thanks for that!

Humble I really did not have a very hard time with Revere. I took many private lessons from him in Las Vegas and he even took me arould to diffrerent casions and watched me play. I learned later that he was plaing both sides in that he also pointed me out to the

Karel Same for me. WGBJB was the first book I read

NightTrain After you completed the work on Hi Opt II, did you consider any further developments, as far as count systems?

NightTrain Good evening Norm

NormW Hi all

Humble casino people as a potentially dangerous player. He charged $200 per lesson.

DonS And made sure people got the count wrong by removing cards and then telling them they needed more lessons!! :-)

Humble Revere criticized anyone who was a competitor. As did several other system developers.

NightTrain $200 per lesson, and that was 1970-ish?

NormW icreate: I took one lesson from Revere. I thought it of value he worked both sides. But true he couldn't be trusted

DonS I was laways disppointed that his daughte, rwho carried on the business, didn't do more to uphold his memory and refine his techniques.

DonS Lance, did you ever meet Braun in person? What kind of a man was he?

Humble Julian and I sold hundreds of HI-OPT Is the later hundreds of HI-OPT IIs at $200 each. Julian and I knew that level three systems were beyond most minds and that they added little if any more advantage, so we never bothered with them.

Humble Don, I had Julian as my guest for a few days in Toronto in the 1970s.

DonS Turned out to be a wise decision. In fact, modern studies prove they don't add much at all.

Humble Julian's visit was stricly social. We conrgatulated ourselves on helping hundreds of players, went to Woodbine racetrack and also to a burlesque theater for a matinee.

JAuston What did the casino do, after Revere identified you as a dangerous player?

DonS What, if anything, would you like to tell our group about future plans, especially, another literary undertaking?

Jailbird do you play at all anymore?

Humble Julian was a world class scientist, completely honest and honorable, and a perfectionist.

DonS Well, Lance, you have three different questions pending, so we'll pause a minute and give you a chance to respond.

As_Zehn Login:

Humble Jailbird, I play a few times a year. All I do is wear a large hat and walk around the tables, wait for a new shuffle and a positive count then start betting while still standing.

NormW The perfectionism is clear from the orignial Hi-Opt II report.

Humble When the count turns negative I walk andlook for another fresh deck and start all over. They have left me alone so far.

DonS Lance, do you want to discuss an upcoming literary project?

Humble JAuston, I caught on quickly to what Revere was doing so I tried not to play in the casinos he took me too more than once a year.

JAuston Good. I just was wondering if they were more strong-armed, then

Humble Don, thank you for asking about my future literary plans. A BOOK II of the World's Greatest Blackjack Book is being planeed as a tribute to Julian Braun. I hope to have John Marchel as a co-author and include the HI-OPT II truncated version.

Jailbird Logout:

Humble JAusten, no they did not seem to ne very strong-armed, at least with me, they simply cheated me every chance they got. Almost all casinos were run by the mob in the 1970s. So cheating suckers was always legitimate to them. Just get the money, baby!

NightTrain How far along are you on this project?

Humble Don, a little information about John Marchel. He is in California and has published the DK Guide to Gambling for a British company.

DonS I saw it the other day. One of the most physically attractive gaming books I've ever seen. they did some job with the illustrations.

NightTrain I believe I know the book. Is it titled "K.I.S.S. Guide to Gambling?"

Humble Marchel's Guide is selling like hotcakes with over 50, 000 copies sold so far. BOOK II is in the planning stages. I would like to invite the current authors and experts to each contibute.

DonS Well, you might get a half-dozen or so takers right on this page alone!

Humble Night Train. You are right, it's the K.I.S.S Guide to Gambling.

DonS Very, very well-done book.

JMorgan Yes, very well done book, except for all the inaccurate information.

JMorgan I have a copy on my lap right now.

DonS I said it lookedk pretty; I didn't say I read it! :0

NormW You can't have everything

JMorgan I read most of it. Tons of slick graphics, illustrations, photos, charts, but sketchy info.

Humble Don, that would be great! I would ask each contibutor to write from the heart, to write anything they truly felt was importnat, or interesting, or even humorous for blackjack players.

DonS Well, it is a K.I.S.S. book, after all.

NightTrain It looks like a very unique book, with lots of color photos and illustrations. My guess is that is cost quite a bit to produce.

DonS 50K copies! We're in the wrong business, guys!

DonS We obviously write for the wrong crowd.

Humble Guys, the KISS book is for the naive gambler, not for pros. It was written for the mass market.

DonS James, is there erroneous BJ info?

Humble Our BOOK II would be for serious students and would also have all the basics for beginners.

JMorgan For the most part, the info was accurate in the Scoblete sense.

DonS Well, Lnace, after Nighttrain puts together his next edition and JM does likewise, and I try to get out BJA3, maybe we'll all try our hand at a chapter for you!

DonS And, if you'd like some input from three of the best programmers on the planet, maybe you can do a chapter on that, with input from Karel, John, and Norm.

DonS JM: doesn't inspire too much confidence.

JMorgan The KISS guide even talks about counting, with generally OK info.

DonS Glad to hear that. Again, keep in my mind the audience and level.

DonS By the way, why did you buy it in the first place?

JMorgan Research.

JMorgan Example of the "soft" info:

JMorgan The Three Card Poker section recommends that you play any Queen-high hand or better (mimic the dealer), when in fact the best strategy is to play Q64 or better.

NormW By 'in the Scoblete sense' I assume you mean it will not damage and will probably help players somewhat not wising to invest too much effort

NormW wishing

JMorgan Yeah.

JMorgan Things like: press your bets only when you're winning.

JMorgan That's not such horrible advice for a gambler whose goal is to "have a good time," or some such nonsense.

DonS In books like these, the authors tell the public what they want to hear.

NormW Lance, apololgies if this was asked before I came in. Who is Carl Cooper?

DonS At a free BJ clinic, back in the Jp days, I once told the audience not to insure their naturals. Guy got up and said, "If you don't take even money on blackjacks, you shoulkdn't be up there speaking. You can't know anything about the game!"

NormW Don, Scoblete is not Patrick. There is a difference

DonS Yeah, Patrick doesn't write about "rhythmic rolling"!

walkingdood Login:

NormW OK sometimes he is

DonS Lance, tell us a bit about your WGBJB co-author, Carl Cooper.

NightTrain Rhythmic rolling? Is that a new form of aerobics? :-)

DonS Uh-oh. Technical problems for Lance. Hope he gets back in.

NormW Maybe we declared war on Canada

JAuston Maybe Carl Cooper is D.B. Cooper

bfbagain Login:

NormW Actually I was wondering f he was Braun

DonS No. Real name is Cooper, but different first name.

DonS While we wait for Lance, any questions on anybody else's mind?

JAuston while we're waiting, triva time: anyone know who D.B. Cooper was?

DonS Karel, how is school coming along?

Viktor 1970's Hijacker

JAuston bingo

Karel doing good

DonS How much longer till the doctorate?

NormW Radio talk show host

Viktor Snatched a ton of money, and then parachuted out of the plane. Probably died.

Karel I probably finish in one year

JAuston perhaps!

Karel I will have a publication in a few months

DonS On the utulity theory question you had asked people to respond to?

DonS utility

NormW Was that futility

Karel Nope. A theoretical (mathematical) one about transaction costs. You can check it out on

DonS May very well have been for Karel!

DonS OK, thanks. will do.

Karel I will talk about the economics one (with risk aversion utility) on a conference in Frankfurt in June

NormW Too much info on transaction costs could destroy Don and my old businesses


Humble Login:

DonS Yay! Lance made in back in!

DonS Modern-day software can be tricky, huh, Lance?

DonS made it

Humble I lost my connection earlier.

DonS Happens to the best of us.

DonS Used to be quite routine with the older chat-room software.

NormW We're curious about Carl Cooper

DonS Tell us about your co-author, Lance.

Humble Repeat all your questions as they are not visible to me -no, I am not going blind!

DonS We wnated to know about who Carl Cooper was, how you teamed up with him, and what he contributed to the book.

Humble Carl Cooper is really Ken Cooper. He read my original Blackjack Gold and contected me about a bigger book, found us a New York agent who got us the $20,000 advance in 1978 and we produced BOOK I in 1980.

DonS What was his background and what was his role in the writing of the text?

Humble Ken is a private consultant and coach to businesses, and an amateur BJ player. He also has won track and field events at the state level. He lives near St. Louis with his family.

DonS A track and field man, huh? Can't be all that bad.

DonS Says on the book jacket that he used a deck of cards for his dissertation at MIT. what do you know about that?

Humble Ken's content contribution to the book was about 10% and the rest was mine. I gave him a lot of material and he organized it in the form it was published. He was a professional author then and I only an amateur. He holds a Ph.D. in psychology.

Double21 Login:

NightTrain Lance, how much involvement did you have in team play?

Humble Don, I do not know about the MIT connection. That may not ne accurate. I have never heard of that and must have missed it on the jacket.

As_Zehn Logout:

Humble Night Train. I have never played on a team. But Ken Uston's players were using the HI_OPT I for a long time. I supplied Ken with about 20 copies at the Jockey Club in Vegas in the 1970s.

DonS Yeah, it's on the back, inside cover.

DonS Interestinghow the biggest teams ever -- Uston Hyl;and, the Czechs, the Greeks, use the simplest, most fundamental counts.

DonS There must be a lesson there, somewhere.

Humble Don, I will ask Ken about the MIT deck but I only talk with him about once a year now.

NormW Hard to believe anyone used Uston APC. Including Uston

DonS No big deal. Just curious, as it was on the dust jacket of the original, hardcover version.

JAuston Logout:

JAuston Login:

DonS Kenny never used his own count. he just had it created to market it at $97 a pop. Sold thousands of them.

DonS But, Sludikoff, crook that he was, kept most of the profits.

NormW Maybe UstonSS was created to pay for Hi-opt I

NormW Sludikoff gave me a free copy of UstonSS

DonS No, that one was created to use in the school that he lent his name to, to rival JP Clinics, when we were doing them.

NormW Can't complain too much

Humble NormW. The Uston APC was published only to make money for Ken and his partner Stanley Roberts at that time. I do not believe Ken used it very often if at all, but he was extremely bright and may have used it himself in single - deck play.

DonS He also had his +/- count that counted the 7 instead of the 2 but was otherweise identical to hi-lo.

DonS Uston used the ARPC -- the one that counted the ace as zero.

bfbagain Lance, as is often the case with people who are true innovators, you made some really prescient remarks at the end your book. Do you have any thoughts about the current and future state of bj, including the "short pay" 21 that is somehow infesting LV ?

NormW Understood. I knew Stanley/Sludikoff fairly well (I'm embarresed to say in front of Don.)

Humble Since you brought up Uston I will tell you that some oldtimers do not believe his drug overdose death in France was accidental.

DonS Well, he was doing some reasearch for a mid-eastern country, and there was talk of some possible hanky-panky.

Humble Don, I am extremely busy with academic projects and have not kept up with BJ. I do not know what short pay 21 is but it souds like chiseling by the casinos.

DonS They now pay 6 to 5 on naturals at many single-deck games.

DonS people see the 6, instead of the 3, in 3 to 2, and think the 6 is a better deal!!

DonS We're on the wrong side of the tables, guys!

Humble I guessed right! Chiseling! Things are getting tough all over. I recently subscribed to a Sort Selling newsletter because I feel we may be in for bad economic times.

Humble I meant SHORT not sort Selling. Sorry.

DonS You mean it gets worse than the last three years? Scary thought, Lance.

Hotboy69 Don, I LOL when you said the 6 is a better deal....

bfbagain Actually, simple arrogance might be the best explanation

DonS It was up on the Bally's marquee: 6 to 5 SD Blackjack. Trumpeted as if the greatest thing in the world!

NormW 6 is a better deal. Never even thought of that. But it's clear now

DonS Coming soon: 11 to 10 BJ. Even better still!!!

DonS No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.

DonS Or, as my old Economics teacher was fond of saying: The masses are asses!

Humble Revere told me once that if the BJ pay out was even money - not 3 to 2 or 6 to 5, then the game was not worth his time.

Karel On the other hand, if this was not the case (masses are asses), there would not be any good games around. Simple equilibrium consideration :-)

DonS I should hope so. No way to overcome those odds.

NormW Who did the math for Revere?

DonS Yup. Thank God for the masses.

DonS Julian Braun.

Humble I had Revere up in Toronto several times and he refused to play in a game that paid even money for a BJ. He flew back to Vegas without playing a single hand. He was a little angry at them at at me.

NormW Figures. The indexes are quite good

Double21 Lance; do you still recommend a stop loss (the "pro" losing $34,000 by not adhering to his) and that peopel ask other players before entering a game if the dealer is hot?

DonS Obviously, Lance, in those days, you took him to a charity game, where they not only paid even money but sometimes won ties, as well!

Humble Yes, a stop-loss is always good for many reasons, some of which may not be apparent to the player.

Double21 Like what?

DonS Remember, Lance is a professor of human behavior and psychology!

Double21 I can understand cheating and emotional loss being good reasons.

DonS His answer isn't likely to be mathematical in nature, I'll bet.

Karel I had a major reason for stop loss:

Karel When I lost all my money :-)

NormW Although I don't like to post such, I actually believe in stop loss for psychological reasons. Humans are not machines

Humble Don, no the games I took him to were Vegas rule games mostly with high limits - $500. He broke several of them and I was barred in every one of themover about an 18 minth period. The games were run by mobsters but they were honest games.

DonS You were lucky to get out alive!

NormW Karel, was that triple Kelly?

DonS But if Vegas rule games, why did naturals pay even money?

Karel nope, that was a small fraction, but I had liquidity constraints

DonS Pity the poor student!

Karel A small Kelly fraction based on proper wealth (bankroll) reference

DonS Oh yeah, that "all the money you have in the world theory" of some guy!

DonS Plus all the money you might ever earn! Right?

Karel Not all, just properly discounted present value (certainty equivalent of)

DonS At today's interest rates? Same thing!!!!!

NightTrain Logout:

Humble Don, that one even-money BJ payout game was the only one with that bad variation. By the way, the guy running that game was found a few years later dead in the trunk of his car at the airport.

NormW Karel, take it as a tax deduction on investment for future earnings

DonS Guess osme of the patrons were pissed off about the even money!

Karel Nope, certainty equivalent is only indirectly related to interest rates :-)

JAuston I would like to hear Lance's further comments on the stop loss, if he is so inclined

Double21 So would I.

DonS Oh, thought you meant present value of future earings.

DonS earnings.

Karel very roughly, but not exactly

Karel mainly because markets are incomplete and the earnings are stochastic

DonS Lance, in case you missed it, tell us about the psychological importance of the stop loss and why you advocated it so strongly.

Humble Re: Stop Loss. Fasten your seat belts. Each of us is affected by thousands of stimuli per second. They inluence us, mostly, we influence only a fraction of them. For example, how many frequencies of radio waves are going through your place right now?

NormW Lance, when you catch up should people of differing psychological make-ups have different stop-losses. And/or should people attempt to change their psychological reactions.

Double21 Great question Norm.

Humble To continue, there are forces coming from your actions, thoughts and feelings and similar, opposition forces, from the dealer, for example.

Humble We are into the metaphysical here. I am just beginning to read that literature more seriously. It is related to quantum physics. R. Buckminster Fuller believed in it ver strongly and as a result made great contributions to humanity.

Viktor Logout:

NormW The concept of measuring the attitude of the dealer as a part of stop loss may be interesting

Humble NormW Great question. The answer is YES. Each individual is unique. But he or she must know exactly how eccentric they are. If they know themselves completely - or close to it - then the stop loss will be automatic for each of them and different for each.

JAuston "There are more things under heaven and earth, than are dreampt of in your philosophies, Horatio" -WS

DonS Lance, feel free to continue if you still have the energy. Unfortunately, I have to bow out. On behalf of all those who attended tonight's landmark chat, let me thank you for giving generously of your time. It was truly a memorable evening.

DonS Best of luck with the upcoming book project, and please feel that you may join us again for any of our future chats.

Olympia Logout:

Humble Don, thank you for inviting me. I am sorry I did not get to answer some of the questions and Viktor's private query. I will email Viktor. Perhaps we can chat again when BOOK II is further along.

Karel thanks for the interesting information. I am still puzzled by the stop-loss (other than, avoiding making errors from psychological reasons), but so be it

DonS That would be wonderful. And, you did great with the questions. I know this is a strange medium for you. thanks for putting up with it.

NormW Stop loss based on the psychological limitations (obviosly phrased more politely) of the player would be a good addition to a new bok

DonS Good night everyone.

DonS Logout:

Double21 I agree Norm--it is a fascinating subject.

Karel so the logic is: If anybody loses too much, he/she is prone to more errors?

Double21 The emotional side of this game is still a great subject in my opinion.

bfbagain More than fascinating, its absolutely essential

bfbagain Often overlooked, I might add

NormW Can anyone claim that with max bet out and three failed double downs your performance is not affected?

Humble Karel, you give up too easily. Keep asking for what you want and chances are you will get it. Perhaps all the answers on stoploss will come in BOOKII.

Double21 Not me Norm.

Humble Goodnight all from Toronto.. Lance.

NormW Night

Karel good night

bfbagain Night

Double21 Goodnight and thank you Lance.

Slippery Logout:

JAuston night

Karel Logout:

JMorgan Not a problem, Norm.

Humble Logout:

JAuston to answer Norm's question, my play has been affected

Double21 James--nice piece in the current issue of BJ Forum.

Hotboy69 Logout:

JMorgan Thank you. It was some of the messiest work I've done.

JAuston see ya'll

Double21 My favorite part was your discussion of a "vagrant" entering your game!

JAuston Logout:

Double21 Night John.

JMorgan That was true.

Double21 LOL

JMorgan The guy kept coming back to our table.

Double21 I like the term better than "civilians"!

NormW Where's my copy?? Living on the East Coast can be a pain

JMorgan He tried to get my BP to play some of his match-plays, but my BP gave him a tough deal, so the vagrant came to me next.

JMorgan I'm pretty generous on the chop.

JMorgan The guy's coupon won $10, and I gave him $9.

Double21 By the way James--I am printing coupons for my favorite casino off the internet and playing them like crazy. My printer now has an positive ev!

JMorgan My BP gave him nothing after winning $10 with the vagrant's match-play coupon.

Double21 I loved the story.

JMorgan I wonder if the article will have any impact on the casinos' use of coupons.

bfbagain Logout:

Double21 Maybe.

JMorgan I tried to drown the readers in numbers, a tactic that seems to have worked in the past to prevent bosses from wising up.

Double21 You may have well succeded this time.

Double21 Gurgle.

JMorgan Surrender and Pair Splits are the worst things ever invented.

Double21 Now now.

JMorgan Personally, I don't know if I've ever played a coupon in my life, other than the vagrant's coupons.

Double21 I'm printing them by the wallet full out here!

Double21 $25 match play.

JMorgan Norm: What do you think the edge would be for a player who will know his first hit card?

JMorgan He plays heads-up.

NormW I doubt the article will affect coupons. Casinos aren't quite stupid enough to lose the cheap advertising

NormW JM, I saw the message and was about to suggest that it be guided to you before I saw the author

NormW Coupons are controllable and poorly used by 99%. Casinos will continue to use them no matter what.

NormW Big problem is LV is overbuilt again and losing money on rooms. They have to make it up somehow.

Double21 How about offering better penetration on their blackjack games?

JMorgan Why would they do that?!

Double21 And late surrender.

Double21 They would make more money I think.

JMorgan They would, as long as the individual casino does not have penetration too much better than its neighbors.

NormW That's a method to attract knowledegable players. How do you get the hoi poloi to come during a war and a multi-colored alert?

Double21 More hands played means more profit and late surrender only helps.

NormW Remember, Vegas makes its money on slots.

Double21 Boot the players who can hurt you financially.

Double21 I'm talking marginal additional income Norm.

Double21 For the players who do play now.

Double21 From the players who do play now.

NormW Too little. They need quantity

NormW LV has many more rooms than New York City. They thrive on huge turnover.

Double21 I agree Norm--but this would help from the ones they are getting now and in the future--not to attract more players.

Double21 I'm a big believer in the Zender model.

NormW Some casinos are now downplaying whales. Volume is more important in their minds.

NormW We all like the Zender model. But, that only works for one or two casinos

Double21 I think you are right--PPE just announced that. They don't like the variance--or I should say their investors don't like it.

NormW And that is a big change for PPE casinos.

Double21 I gather.

NormW But, they are lost anyway

Double21 For sure.

Double21 Just once, I would like to see the data these places are using to make their game decisions.

NormW I don't have a solution. Vegas has a big problem. They need to concentrate on LA crowd by car and maybe a high-security plane-trips for whales.

Double21 Their biggest mistake in my lifetime was abandoning the sex and gamble theme and "transforming into a "family vacatioon destination.

Double21 vacation

NormW People (incorrectly) are no longer afraid to lose, they are afraid their plane will be shot down. The odds are atronomical.

Double21 Plus the hassle at the airport.

NormW Yeh. LV airport is handling it well. Many other airports are not.

Double21 I wish Lance could have expanded on the stop loss issue.

NormW I'll ask him for some additional comments for posting.

Double21 Good.

Double21 From a math point of view, as you know, there is no reason to quit if the game is still good and you are not emotionally immpacted by a loss.

Double21 impacted

NormW I do think it is a legitimate question. I know the difference I feel walking down the strip between games and I know how difficult it is to pull out several more hundreds when it just ain't woring

Double21 The emotional aspect of this game deserves more attention than it gets.

NormW I once had a girlfriend with me that disliked and didn't understand gambling. I lost $3,500 at the B as she stood by watching me throw money away in about five minutes. the count was astronmical. I had to leave because I knew it was killing hert.

Double21 I can believe that.

NormW The count was still astronomical when I left. It killed me to leave. But, I was thinnking of the impact on her if I continued to lose.

Double21 Really.

Double21 Quantum physics and all!

NormW So the lesson is not to bring someone with you without proper training - I guess.


Double21 I have a friend who took his wife with him to AC recently and played a $200 minimum game with only a 10 to one spread because she wouldn't go for more.

Double21 Six deck shoe.

Double21 Plus she couldn't go for some max bet doubles and splits.

NormW I played once at M*rage with a dancer from Paradise. I figured she would be a good distraction. Problem was she got upset at the losses. I tried to whisper it's natural. Not proper training again.

Double21 At least she was a distraction!

Double21 I've actually had dealers who couldn't take my losses--they kept comparing them to their weekly wages!

NormW I was out of practice at the time anyhow Probably istracted me

JMorgan I, too, start to consider the impact on civilians if I am losing.

NormW Or winning

Double21 How's that James?

JMorgan However, the people I am with usually understand that the games we are playing are very strong, and that continued play will bring us out of the hole.

JMorgan I mean that if I'm with a girl, I'll factor in the current win/loss into the quitting decision.

Double21 Let me guess--through use of quantum physics.


JMorgan I'm unlikely to quit while in a big hole, because digging out is a good outcome. However, I would consider stopping while ahead a good amount.

JMorgan Unless I'm on a trip in Vegas where we're going to continue playing all weekend. Then what's the point of stopping in a good game on Friday night?

Double21 Makes sense to me.

JMorgan I'm just going to walk around Saturday looking for a good game.

NormW Well, it depends on your plans with your partner. Do you want to look like James Bond?

JMorgan I never look like James Bond, and my plans with the partner are never anything other than playing cards.

NormW Kidding

Double21 Don't go to the Paradise.

JMorgan If I anticipate playing with a girl with a weak stomach, I try to get a game or session in first, possibly while she's sleeping, so that we'll already be ahead when she starts playing with me.

JMorgan It gives me a cushion.

JMorgan Also, I might lie about our losses. (WARNING SIGN of a problem gambler.)

Double21 Funny.

JMorgan I've pulled that one. Just told her: Why don't you go to sleep, and I'll keep playing and try to win the money back."


JMorgan Then the next morning, I just tell her that I won the money back (whether or not I won)

JMorgan Stop losses are good for one reason: AVOIDING HEAT.

Double21 I agree.

JMorgan If you start to lose too much, you start to draw attention. Things start to look strange.

JMorgan Why would a gambler just sit at the same table where he's being punished beyond belief?

JMorgan If you lose too much, now the shift boss gets notified.

JMorgan Now they're watching.

JMorgan Many, many, many players have told me that some of their worst heat was during a crushing loss.

Double21 I think I can handle the emotional side now--I agree with you James.

JMorgan Small losses are great, but big losses create a heat risk.

Double21 Interesting.

NormW I was once barred after a large loss. But never thought of it that way.

NormW I guess I didn't think PBs were that intelligent

NormW Never underestimate...

Double21 I think most of the major casinos have smart pits and surveillance crews now.

JMorgan I was barred at a Midwest casino after four straight losing sessions, where I was getting crushed.

Double21 Thanks in large part to web sites like this one and good books.

JMorgan I was flat-bet in Tunica after getting crushed.

JMorgan I was backed off on the Strip after getting in a big hole with a BP.

NormW So, how do they know?? Is it counting surveillance?

JMorgan In most of these instances, I was not counting.

Double21 If you bet more at high counts they know Norm---it is simple.

JMorgan I have not had many backoffs or barrings, but over half of them have been when I got in a big hole.

NormW I wonder how many false positives they get

JMorgan If you do get in a big hole, it's usually best to leave without digging all the way out. Get most of it back if you can do so safely, but leaving on the negative side will buy you something.

NormW If you are talking about advantage games without bet variation, I'm sure simply heavy betting with skillfule play will get you nailed

NormW And yes, leave without a win after digging a hole

Double21 Have either of you ever played a place which knew you were a counter but let you play anyway until hitting a certain amount of winnigs?

JMorgan No.

Double21 winnings

NormW JM is a pro, I'm not. But, I have played with dealers that let me win. I tend to leave fairly quickly

JMorgan Well, I lasted a while at one joint when I was betting red, and some of the bosses made comments about counting. They might have known, and allowed it at those levels.

JMorgan At heavier levels, no. The instant they make the play, they have made efforts to thwart it. Now, in some of these cases, the bosses figured out I was hole-carding, but did not bar me.

NormW I get nervous when the dealer is clearly going against club policy.

JMorgan They fixed the games, and let me be.

JMorgan I agree, Norm.

Double21 How much hole carding do you do now James?

JMorgan Tons.

JMorgan And I have lots more charts on hole-carding now!

Double21 By the way, how is your trial coming along in Vegas?

JMorgan No word in a long time, but we have gotten copies--finally--of some documents from Caesars.

Double21 Do you think this thing will go to trial?

JMorgan I plan to push hard on my partners to go to trial.

Double21 It will be an interesting trial!

JMorgan I want to see the bosses on the stand.

Double21 Good.

JMorgan I want to see the Gaming agents on the stand.

JMorgan I want Griffin up there.

Double21 Better yet.

NormW Good. I've been in CCDC.

JMorgan I want to expose them as malicious idiots.

Double21 Great.

JMorgan I want to show how much "expertise" these Gaming agents have about the games.

NormW Not easy

JMorgan Unfortunately, my partners may not see things my way when the time comes.

NormW Understandable

Double21 Have you looked at the new federal privacy law in connection with Griffin and casinos sharing info about you without your permission?

JMorgan I also want to see how much the law enforcement agents will lie in court.

JMorgan I ABSOLUTELY expect the agents to lie in court.

NormW It's called testilying

Double21 Why would your partners want to settle before a trial ?