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Thread: Backed-off for the first time

  1. #1


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    Backed-off for the first time

    So let me start by giving some background information. For the past week I visited this Indian Casino a total of 4 times. Each time I stayed for about 8 hours playing rated and spreading my bets with impunity. I spread from min (5/10/15) all the way to 2x150. For the first 3 trips nothing happened. I was up 5k. An important point to note is that when I Cash my chips they asked for my player card and I have it to them.

    Now on the fourth trip, I continued to do the same. However, there was this one hand where I thought the dealer had made a mistake so I complained to the pit boss and he contacted surveillance to review the hand. I think I shot myself in the foot there. In the previous shoe the count was astronomical and I had my huge bets out. After the pit boss contacted surveillance regarding the hand I complained about, count went up high again and I betted huge again.

    After that last shoe, I went to eat and that's when they told me I was a confirmed card counter and that I am banned from playing blackjack. I can still play everything else.

    Do you think me asking the pit to review that one hand caused surveillance to scrutinize me? I feel like that was the sole reason because I've been counting/spreading heavily with my player card for a total of 26 hours in just a week and nothing ever happened. I feel like the surveillance team doesn't really care all that much about their job but my request for a hand review forced them to act and comply with procedure.

    What do you guys think? Think I can ever play back there again? It would be a shame if I couldn't since they have such great rules and pen. I even played single deck spreading 25-2x150!

  2. #2


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    Overexposure + cumulative win = backoff. Just a matter of time. Casinos have various levels of tolerance, but none are brain dead. And no, you won't be able to play BJ there for years. If you try, it would likely get nasty.

  3. #3


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    Quote Originally Posted by itsedmondfoo View Post

    Do you think me asking the pit to review that one hand caused surveillance to scrutinize me? I feel like that was the sole reason because I've been counting/spreading heavily with my player card for a total of 26 hours in just a week and nothing ever happened. I feel like the surveillance team doesn't really care all that much about their job but my request for a hand review forced them to act and comply with procedure.

    WHAT CASINO WAS THIS?

    You spread way too aggressively and you played far far too many hours.
    I certainly would have thrown you out if it was my casino.


    Quote Originally Posted by itsedmondfoo View Post
    What do you guys think? Think I can ever play back there again?
    It would be a shame if I couldn't since they have such great rules
    and pen. I even played single deck spreading 25-2x150!
    Absolutely not. Your photos, name, D.O.B. etc. is in their database.

    having them view the video of the play certainly sealed your fate,

    but whether you know it or not it was 100% inevitable.

    AS I have trained dozens of Professional players I can tell you that

    I often hear "There was no heat."'There is no heat ~ until there is."


  4. #4


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    I'm thinking of returning at the end of the year and I change my appearance and play unrated.

    What would happen if they catch me again? Would I be arrested?

  5. #5


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    Probably if you return and play again so soon you will get trespassed. They will tell you that you are banned from entering the casino and that if you return they will have you charged with trespassing. I advise you wait a few years and play somewhere else in the mean time. Let memories fade and staff that might recognize you move on to other employment opportunities before returning to this particular casino.

  6. #6
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    So you go to a casino and tombstone (play way too long) each time. You spread 1-12 on SD and on other games with played great rules and pen (meaning they will almost certainly have strong game protection) spreading 1 to 60, 1 to 30 etc. You play with a great deal of frequency (4 times in less than a week) averaging way too much time per visit (8 hours of play/visit)until the last visit was cut short by a backoff. Yet you seem surprised they backed you off. This is what I have been talking about. Half the battle is found in sim results and the other half is in using information to be allowed to continue playing. You failed to include the latter. You probably bought a little time playing rated but now you are most likely data based. Hopefully they won't add your name, license plate and picture to any black books. If you go back the chances of that go up dramatically. If they already entered you in a black book there is no reason not to go back over and over. It can get ugly at Indian casinos that are on reservation land. Your rights are what they say your rights are.

    Anyway, you are surprised you got backed off? If so, you are green. You have to allow the casino employees room to not act and not get in trouble. If you make it so they must act or get in trouble they will act every time. If you do things that allow them to have enough doubt that you are a counter and don't get greedy the suits will usually look the other way. Usually the better the game the more it is protected. The best games are usually strongly protected. If they weren't they would get burned and not exist anymore. Great rules attract big money which is good for the casino. Deep pen means more rounds an hour which means extra profit on every table which is good for the casino. All they have to do is protect the games from true threats not any counter since most will lose their BR and casino profits are maximized. Casinos make decisions on how comfortable they are attracting big bettors and taking their action and how to train their game protectors to ferret out the true threats and let the counter wannabes without the skill and/or BR lose their BR's. Many casinos feel their games are bad enough that they don't need much protection. If you understand these things and observe how things go by feeling heat before the tap you can figure out where you can get away with what.

    Theoretically great rules and pen are the best games but getting away with playing is tough and even tougher with a simpler approach. If you can't get away with playing great rules and pen aren't worth much. If you choose to play great rules and pen at a casino that protects their games you need a plan to get away with playing. Smaller spreads and bet moves or plays that don't make sense to them. Breaking the correlation of bet size to playing decisions by using an ace neutral count can help. Understanding the frequent hands that have an index close to zero will be used to spot counters and how to alter your strategy to pass that first line of testing will help. Counter's Basic Strategy (CBS) is an altered basic strategy that is right for the counter because he alters his bets so being right when your big bets are out can outweigh being right more often, but only when you have min bet out. Wonging strategy can almost eliminate the frequency of the min bet situations where BS is right making CBS right not only for EV but for frequency. Then you have to understand how the casino will spot a too aggressive wonging style like backcounting. The key is to use the sims to get the best EV that is practical considering how various casinos protect their games. Figuring out ways to alter betting patterns in a way that costs little or nothing but makes it hard for the casino to find a correlation between your bets and the count is of great use. You also must be aware of each casinos own tolerances for how much you win at any time whether that be a session or week, month or year. There are tolerances for how long you play and how often you come.

    Some casinos back off anyone that wins while others want to have the highest profit margin so they only back off true threats. A true threat plays too long, comes too frequently and/or wins too much. The don't do anything that looks like a mistake. A counters advantage is so slim if they see you are mistake prone they assume you most likely are not a threat. The key is to make "mistakes" enough that it looks like you are not a threat but in reality they are calculated to have very little affect on EV. The may affect variance and n0 some but you shouldn't be making costly "mistakes". A costly "mistake" may be costly because each instance is costly, the bet you have out when you make the "mistake" is large and/or it is a "mistake" that you would make frequently but doesn't cost much per instance. You can often do something about frequency by your wonging style. You can choose how costly each instance of the "mistakes" you make is. I see posters that only use the I18 say you can't afford to make mistakes because your edge is so thin. They don't seem to realize that that not using full indices they are making mistakes all the time. They rationalize that what they give up is not much. They sacrifice some EV, some additional variance comes with fewer indices and n0 increases. If you decide to use cover, which is what we are talking about, you need to carefully calculate a game plan that will actually increase your EV first by planning carefully to give up almost nothing. But also you can often get away with spreading more, playing longer sessions and having a higher top bet because you don't look like a true threat that a player playing to a lower EV using fewer indices but playing perfectly does.

    The big caution here is you must do a lot of research into how to do effective cover at almost no cost or +EV and never do cover without understanding just what it costs. For example you here 16vT as one of the most important cover plays. BS says to hit. The index is 0 and it is the most frequently dealt matchup you will have to make a decision on. In just a short time the casino will see you play it both ways many times. CBS says to stand because that is the right decision for everything but some of your min bets. The truth is for Hilo at RC 0 you should stand and at TC -1 and -2 there is virtually no difference in EV whether you hit or stand. Only if you are playing at TC -3 or less does standing start to cost you. Most have wonged out by then but if you haven't the frequency of those TC's are very low. You can either accept the very infrequent cost of misplaying below TC -2 or move the standing index to TC -2 or -3 and kill their ability to see you play it both ways frequently. If you wong out at TC -2, as most do, there is virtually no cost to always standing on 16vT. If you move the index to -3 and play all the cost is minimal and you almost always play the hand the same. This is the kind of analysis you need to make when choosing cover. What plays do they look for. Can I do something that is almost cost free "mistakes" that allow me to pass their tests that would have my play reviewed if I failed the test?

    There is a chapter on cover in BJA3 that has some stats that might be useful. The link below can be used to see the index and amount of advantage change around it for Hilo. Look at the 16vT play in the link below to see how my comments on the primary play they use to identify counters pans out and what the cost would be (note the point half way between the lines is the EV at the TC indicated):

    https://www.card-counting.com/cvcxonlineviewer3.htm
    Last edited by Tthree; 02-17-2017 at 10:46 AM.

  7. #7


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    You've got some chutzpah, that's fir sure. Subtlety is an art form. There's a lot of you can get away with provided you don't hit them with an insulting spread. Not to worry, most of us have made the same mistake. I know I have, and my spreads have only been, in some cases, semi insulting.

    There's also comportment at the table. Were you intently gazing on the cards, or were casually talking with everyone with non stop jabber. In some o,aces, critters back you off of their own volition, in others, someone has to authorize it.

    The next question - how good are you really - keeping count, index play, non chalance etc. I got the impression you're fairly new at this. I think you'd get far better long term mileage learning the craft and its nuances first. Build your bankroll, and then, if you're going to get the boot, at leSt it will be fir some meaningful spread.

    This is decent advice for most locations, except sweat joints like Vegas, where farting while parlaying may identify you as an AP. last, but not least, meaningful stakes while camping out with big spreads at InDian joints in Yankee land is a recipe for trouble.

  8. #8


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    Wow so much info here. I didn't realize I was in way over my head. I do know about the concept of cover. I guess i was just pushing my luck as far as i can to see where the limit was. It's strange though that i never got any kind of warning anywhere i played and then the suits just show up this time. Everyone in the pit were always friendly. Dealers yelling black action gets ignored. And one of the dealers even joked to me that i can count all i want since her manager (standing right next to her) don't know anything about it. Then I got really bold.

    btw, what makes indian casinos scarier?

  9. #9


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    Go back? Butter your butt and call yourself toasty. Read/learn from your mistakes. Hmmm, that's what blackjack (and life) is all about.
    Play the game to live your life. Don't live your life to play the game. Pigs get fat...Hogs get slaughtered.

  10. #10


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    Quote Originally Posted by itsedmondfoo View Post


    [/B]btw, what makes indian casinos scarier?
    Second circumcisions when you can't afford the first are deadly. Your rights as you know them, do not apply on InDian sovereign lands. Your ability for recourse as it applies to backrooming or chip confiscation are extremely limited as opposed to non Indian casinos.

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