1. J.L.: soft hands, argh!

i know that basic strategy advises you to make risky plays with these pat soft hands. after all, totals of 17, 18 and 19 are good places to be. but of all the times i have doubled down soft hands, especially these three, i have lost more money than won, in fact i have lost a ton of money in crazy double downs such as those suggested for Ace,7 or Ace,6. would i be better off not using this double down option for soft hands and hit or stand accordingly. is the risk greater than the gain. i'm writing this because i just got back from a 45 minute session where i was up \$250 and ended up losing my gain at once when i doubled down A,7 versus a 5 up putting a total of \$280 on that one bet with a count of +7 with the K-O.

Justin

2. Don Schlesinger: Re: soft hands, argh!

Piece of advice: never, ever attempt to conclude anything whatsoever about the mathematics of the game by using your personal experience as a guideline. It is utterly meaningless.

EV for hitting A,7 v. 5 once (you aren't going to hit it again, are you??) is +15.2%. So, double instead, and take the same one card for a +30.4% return. Which should you prefer?

Your personal result on the hand couldn't possibly be more unimportant.

Don

3. J.L.: Don:

you are completely right, i was just upset that i blew two and a half bills on one play. plus i get the girlfriend giving me hell, and people really don't seem to believe you know the game unless you never lose. you know how it is...

anyhoe, thanks again. you're the man!

4. ET Fan: Might depend on ...

> plus i get the girlfriend giving me
> hell, and people really don't seem to
> believe you know the game unless you never
> lose. you know how it is...

... How hot the girl is!

Lesee... are you willing to give up about \$28.50 in EV for a slightly better chance to be a genius in her eyes? ;-) Tough decision ...

ETF

5. J Morgan: How I would handle this

If I had to deal with a civilian girlfriend in that situation, here's what I would do:

1. Give my partner the signal that my girlfriend needs to be turned.
2. With the girlfriend distracted, make the double down.
3. If I win, let her see the resulting payout. If I lose, continue the turn until the cards are scooped away. Then, lie about the outcome and give her the money. Everybody's satisfied.

A7 v. 5 in a high count? There's nothing to discuss. You know what to do.

6. Pro Player: That's some mad skilz

if you have signals to turn the female.
Us less advanced players just resort to the verbal "don't frickin worry about it cause it ain't your money". Well, at least those of us who wear the pants, and she better be frickin HOT if you ain't wearing the pants Mr. Morgan.
Were you kidding about giving her the money? You get it back later, right? If not, that's some costly cover. How's that saying go? something like "women, can't live with'em ... pass the beernuts"

"A7 v. 5 in a high count? There's nothing to discuss. You know what to do."
Please let's not give J.L the wrong idea in his time of struggle. Even in a neutral or negative count there is nothing to discuss unless risk aversion comes into play, or unless count super negativ, or unless you got a free ace, or unless you know next card.... well i guess there might be a little to discuss. Never mind all that J.L., just make the damn double.

How bout this: A7 vs 2 high count 6D h17. What's there to discuss? You know what to do

7. Pro Player: He'll look more like a genuis

when he wins double AND saves the table by strategically taking the dealers bust card!!
gotta gamble!

8. George C.: Re: soft hands, argh!

Ah the swings. I had a similar situation that ended with a loss of 10 Large. Just for the heck of it, I kept track of my larger soft double wagers. I lost seven in a row before I finally won.

Moral, keep doing what you're supposed to do. One hand or several hands of losses is meaningless.

George

9. J.L.: Re: soft hands, argh!

well, well. thanks for all your opinions, especially the ones concerning how to handle a foxy and feisty girl who looks like her jeans where spray-painted one her long tanned legs. mmm yes... i mean, the cards will turn!

10. J Morgan: Re: That's some mad skilz

PP: That's some mad skilz if you have signals to turn the female.

It's actually a compound signal. First, I give the signal for "minor heat." Then, I look at the girlfriend to indicate that that's where the heat is coming from. Then, my partner knows right away that he needs to turn her. Of course, this is all hypothetical (for educational purposes only) because: (1) there is no girlfriend, (2) I'm just a theorist, not a player, and (3) the bj21 folks tell me there are no hole-card games.

This is one of the biggest differences that I have noticed between playing with a professional crew, and playing with civilians: The professional understands the need to turn the boss at the proper time.

Here's an example: I'm trying to spot the hole card, and a boss walks up and stands next to me. A professional BP will immediately talk to the boss, ask the boss for a comp, hand the boss an empty glass to put away, ask for a tissue, tell the boss to check out a cute girl at another table, ask for an ashtray, etc. Or, the pro BP will do what it takes to shut down the dealer for a hand or two, so that there is nothing for the boss to see.

Often, we have a floater/sleeper--a third person who is in the casino but not immediately involved in the play at the table. The floater's job is: (1) to scout the other games, (2) to occupy a seat at another table that a "lucky" dealer might go to, (3) to watch for heat. If the floater sees the boss walk up to the game, the floater could easily turn the boss by walking up and saying, "Excuse me, where is the nearest restroom?"

Remember that in a hole-card game, the boss needs to be turned only for an instant--the moment the hole card is dealt. A loud noise would even do the trick. The boss will still feel on top of the game--watching the bet, the play of the hand, the payoff. (Of course, if the play of the hand would require a suspicious move, like hitting AA, then the boss should be turned for longer.)

11. Pro Player: Re: That's some mad skilz

Yes indeed, excelente points which reminds what a royal pain it is to turn a civilian into a professional bp.

Lesson learned recently: bad idea -> sleeper was the bp last time and won alot. don't hope to roam around unnoticed without RADICAL appearance change.

"(Of course, if the play of the hand would require a suspicious move, like hitting AA, then the boss should be turned for longer.)"
Call me crazy but I learned the indices for cover. hilo indices against 17,18,19,20 are approx 1,2,4,5. So if you happen to have hilo +4 you don't have to feel bad splitting your aces into a 19 or 20.

Lastly, as you have mentioned, this discussion is hypothethical since knowing the dealer has a 20 might come up once or twice in a lifetime

12. David Matthews: Re: That's some mad skilz

(3) the bj21
> folks tell me there are no hole-card games.

I strongly believe there are hole-card games, both blackjack and 3-card poker, along with others probably, as do most people on BJ21 I am certain. I also believe they can be more lucrative and have less heat than straight card counting.

I have believed that for a long time. Even since I played at Suquamish casino in Washington State where the dealers used to manually peek under tens and aces, and since I picked up my first blackjack book, Blackjack for Blood (which is now published by Pi Yee Press which owns BJ21), which describes Carlson's ability to read a front loader and make a profit off of it.

David

13. Don Schlesinger: Re: That's some mad skilz

(3) the bj21 folks tell me there are no hole-card games.

> I strongly believe there are hole-card
> games, both blackjack and 3-card poker,
> along with others probably, as do most
> people on BJ21 I am certain. I also believe
> they can be more lucrative and have less
> heat than straight card counting.

> I have believed that for a long time.

What do you suppose made JM feel otherwise? Obviously, some outspoken people must have put up some posts to the contrary. Perhaps they just weren't very well informed and made some comments that didn't sit well with JM.

Don

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