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Thread: Would it be possible for a counterto turn losing sessions into winning sessions by...

  1. #1


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    Would it be possible for a counterto turn losing sessions into winning sessions by...

    ...getting comp for loses? In Blackjack every card counter have losing sessions and winning sessions. It is not possible to win every session counting cards. But could a card counter turn their losing session by getting comped for their loses? Either food, beverage or room comps. Some casino also offers cash back which is a plus. What will be the formula to simulate if that could generate a positive expectation?
    Last edited by seriousplayer; 04-23-2015 at 11:04 AM.

  2. #2


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    I'd think if some how this was to work it would just work like a loss rebate scheme. However don't expect to run around and get 100% of your loss rebated in comps. I'm not experienced with comps, but I'm quite certain no casino will give you a decent back of your loss. You'll get a small to ok amount of your expected loss. I think you would have to specifically negotiate an actual loss rebate. However, food, beverage, comps, even cash back, probably won't dent any particular loss since none of those things will be awarded heavily based on the actual amount loss in a given session. A single session is highly volatile and nothing short of a loss rebate will dent your loss (and that's just dent, not turn every session loss into a session win).

    This is not to say that there isn't worthwhile EV to be had, but the way your phrased your question posed a bit of a wishful thinking, unrealistic scenario. Maybe a particular loss might be comped for more than a loss(you played for 10 hours and lost $9, here's a meal ticket). But you can't turn even a decent amount of your losses into wins just by using comps since your actual wins and losses will probably not be close to expectation (because of the high SD to EV ratio for single sessions) and your comps will be based on what the casino thinks your expectation was (average BS player for X hours with Y avg bet).
    Last edited by NotEnoughHeat; 04-24-2015 at 03:11 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member MJGolf's Avatar
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    Simple answer: Never

    T-Three answer..........OK, I won't do that. (Teasin' T-Three)

    But Serious I think you are "overthinking" this a bit. First comps are based upon a "percentage" of your theoretical loss. They will NEVER reach your total loss. So to be able to turn comps into a win alone is essentially impossible. However, if you are a PTPP as some call it here...... Or you don't bet high enough to totally want to avoid being ID'd and therefore don't even want to use comps, then comps can reduce any loss that you have at the tables or increase your win. Rooms and food obviously have a cost. Reduction in those expenses helps your bottom line. But they can NEVER be enough to replace losses.

    For reference and fun, I have a couple of links for you. One gives you the actual estimation as a calculator of comps, though I think that BJ is comped at different levels depending upon what kind of player the "house" categorizes you as. I think they have basically three different levels and the better a player you are, the less they comp you. This has been a change in recent years. Basic strategy players do NOT get the same comps as what folks call "ploppies" or John Q Public on this forum. This is from PERSONAL experience over the years. I do NOT get near what I used to get for the same level of betting in the past. The casinos are smarter or tighter whichever way you want to describe it.

    Link: www.vegastripping.com/compcalculator/



    Here is a link from BJ 21 and is a very GOOD analysis on comp play v. your EV and what it's REALLY worth. And it's from one of our esteemed members, The LV Bear:

    Link: //bj21.com/advantageplay/comps/valueofcomps.shtml

    Last edited by MJGolf; 04-24-2015 at 07:13 AM.
    "Women and cats will do as they please, and Men and dogs should just relax and get used to the idea" --- Robert A. Heinlein

  4. #4


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    Quote Originally Posted by NotEnoughHeat View Post
    I'd think if some how this was to work it would just work like a loss rebate scheme. However don't expect to run around and get 100% of your loss rebated in comps. I'm not experienced with comps, but I'm quite certain no casino will give you a decent back of your loss. You'll get a small to ok amount of your expected loss. I think you would have to specifically negotiate an actual loss rebate. However, food, beverage, comps, even cash back, probably won't dent any particular loss since none of those things will be awarded heavily based on the actual amount loss in a given session. A single session is highly volatile and nothing short of a loss rebate will dent your loss (and that's just dent, not turn every session loss into a session win).

    This is not to say that there isn't worthwhile EV to be had, but the way your phrased your question posed a bit of a wishful thinking, unrealistic scenario. Maybe a particular loss might be comped for more than a loss(you played for 10 hours and lost $9, here's a meal ticket). But you can't turn even a decent amount of your losses into wins just by using comps since your actual wins and losses will probably not be close to expectation (because of the high SD to EV ratio for single sessions) and your comps will be based on what the casino thinks your expectation was (average BS player for X hours with Y avg bet).
    I was just thinking that if I turn out an overall winner counting cards combining all the sessions I've played. Wouldn't the comps (free room, food and beverage) add to my EV since I getting though stuff for free and I am making a profit. Suppose for example if I lose on 5 of the 11 trips and won on 6 of my trips and overall I am making a profit. When I receive some comps for like two of my losing sessions. It still add to my EV, correct?
    Last edited by seriousplayer; 04-24-2015 at 07:55 AM.

  5. #5


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    Quote Originally Posted by seriousplayer View Post
    I was just thinking that if I turn out an overall winner counting cards combining all the sessions I've played. Wouldn't the comps (free room, food and beverage) add to my EV since I getting though stuff for free and I am making a profit. Suppose for example if I lose on 5 of the 11 trips and won on 6 of my trips and overall I am making a profit. When I receive some comps for like two of my losing sessions. It still add to my EV, correct?
    Yes, having comps opposed to not having them is a gain in EV. However, I would not overestimate what is really possible to get with comps. It will always be ostensibly the case that the comp EV will be considerably less than your normal counting (you only get better comps with bigger action, if give bigger action while counting, you counting earnings will also be better). Perhaps the way your post was phrased conveyed something you didn't intend, but it sounded as if you thought it might be a possibility to fill in the dips of all your losing sessions with comps. Gambling is relatively volatile, and since your comps are based on theoretical loss (not experienced loss), it will never be the case that your losing sessions will be fully reimbursed (unless you live in a dream world where you're playing with 0SD and the casinos are generous).

  6. #6


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    Quote Originally Posted by MJGolf View Post
    I think they have basically three different levels and the better a player you are, the less they comp you.
    I think I have read somewhere, that in actual practice, everyone is just given the average player level for a couple of reasons. First, it's easier to do and pit bosses are lazy (are you really going to just sit there and watch them play the whole time?). Second, rating them bad might have repercussions if the player finds out and is offended. Third, it's card to tell the difference between somebody playing perfect basic strategy all the time, and a ploppy who follows it most of the them, so rarely are players rated as good.

  7. #7


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    If you have a host, it's possible to get comped slightly more than your theoretical loss if your actual loss is significant and you're good at negotiating.

    Let's say you played for an hour and lost $5,000 betting an average of $150 per hand. Your theoretical loss is about $45, and you're only supposed to get up to 10% of your theoretical loss in comps, or $4.50 (some hosts can do a lot more depending on your relationship and if s/he can justify it). Your host may see the potential based on your actual loss and comp you for a lot more than you're entitled to. For example comping you a meal worth $50 when your theo is only $45.

    Casinos don't like to do walking money comps (cash back). You would typically have to lose a minimum of $10,000 depending on the casino to get around 5% of your actual loss back. So you'd get around $500 for losing $10,000 if you have a host who knows your play history and feels that you'll lose more to them in the future. If you're a counter and have a positive expectation, the cash back is a sweetener since you know you'll come out ahead in the long run anyway.

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