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Thread: astonishingly good run

  1. #1


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    astonishingly good run

    Kind of a long post, I would not be surprised if moved to voodoo section.

    I am an Electronics engineer PHD, I make my living from math, statistics programming etc. I abhor superstitions and voodoo.
    I play BJ recreationally in vacations and similar opportunities a few hundred hands each run, strict basic strategy, usually minimum flat betting. At the end of the run I expect to be +- 20-30 bets with a house edge of a few bets. Great recreational value.

    Last time I visited a Casino I decided to relax the basic strategy as follows. In BS if one action has an edge of less then 5 percent advantage to another action then I I will intuit what to do ( just take the action that comes to mind, randomly, (stinks of voodoo I admit)) , for others stick to BS. This strategy has a slight disadvantage compared to BS but the disadvantage should be apparent only after a few thousand hands.

    The game is 8D ENHC NLS HS17 NDAS 0.5Pen (Hotel casino at Cyprus) . It was a weekday so min bet was about 5 dollars, table max was 500 dollars. From what I understand not a good play for a pro AP since good counts will happen rarely. (First time user of of AP terminology I may have made mistakes here).

    I joined a table as the fifth player in the afternoon. Bought in 50 dollars worth of chips and started playing. I was the only one always placing min bets, others were typically betting 50ish, one guy was regularly betting a few hundreds.
    At the end of the first hour ( about 30 hands) I my chip pile grew to 100$ and I converted 50 dollar worth greens to a white chip and said to myself --OK if I run out of greens I will give a break and each time I hit 100 in greens I will get another white chip, like playing with a BR of 50$ you see (funny). I don't think there was an AP in the table since all other players were playing the side bets heavily (lucky doubles, and something 21). It is as if they were playing BJ so they could play the side bets. I tried to ask the guy next to me what the house edge was on this lucky doubles bet. His answer was
    -- ..see if you get the same number here it gives 30 to one but if the suits match too you get 300 to 1
    I did not want to explain expected value and statistics at the table so I said
    -- 300 times eh? thats cool.... Then he went onto explaining the other side bet, I just pretended to listen after that point. My question was an honest one but I appeared to be a total novice in the end, no problem. I am totally novice in terms of the side bets and not (consciously) counting cards anyways.

    At the end of the second hour I converted another 50$ worth greens to a white chip. By that time I was really enjoying the good luck I was having, and the other players in the table noticed I was winning and the table atmosphere changed. Two more players joined the table and the game slowed to about 20 hands per hour. The table was alot more chatty and loud and a few onlookers gathered around the table. I heard one girl shouting
    --- Hey dad there is a lucky man in this table he keeps winning.--
    and she started back-betting me. I was a little stressed I did not like the attention and responsibility. Thankfully one of the players left the table soon and the girl took his seat. In the next shuffles most players at the table were winning slightly their BJ hands and losing the side bets.
    After another hour and a half I was up another 50 in greens, I left the table for dinner at that point. I was pretty sure that my luck would run out after dinner.

    When I came back from dinner about an hour later the players at the table cheered, one guy said, where have you been? since you left the dealers are killing us.
    I smiled and joined the table. I kept playing and winning in the same consistent manner until 4 AM that night. At some point one player with a totally fake last name (something like tailor1) chatted me up. What do you do, how often do you play, where are you from etc. I did not mind the questions, just funny. One heavy better guy at the table kept saying "dude you are very lucky, you are not using your luck". He was back-betting a couple hundreds my 5$ bet. I complained - y'now I am not really comfortable, I don't want to be causing you lose money... He stopped after that.
    In total that night I hit 100$ mark 9 times never running out of greens(hence made about 450$ in 15 hours, betting minimum at a slow table). Went to sleep happy and elated. My wife was with me all along, playing my lucky charm.

    When I woke up later morning I was astonished and disturbed. I had to explain last nights action it but just could not. The conversation with my wife (who is also an engineer PHD) was something like
    --- ..you were lucky this time so whats the big deal?
    --- honey the possibility of this is like tossing a coin 9 heads in a row, about 1 in 512. They hang people in Texas with a weaker evidence.
    --- so what are you saying? Lottery winning probability is much less yet someone wins
    --- you are right but still....
    --- you are not suddenly going to be mystic or anything are you ?
    --- no no but it looked like as if I was playing with a player edge of 0.2!!!! which I can not explain
    ...



    damn.... I should stick to Basic Strategy.

    I looked around, found bjtf, great resource, wanted to share and ask

    I would not be backed off with this style of play would I?

    thx

  2. #2


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    Correct, you won't be backed off as they know you'll end up a loser in the long run

  3. #3


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    Some casinos have exceedingly paranoid and stupid bosses. They back off any big winner, often to their detriment.

    I recall a story about a non-AP who got backed off from Wynn for hitting 2 royals in an hour on VP :-)

  4. #4


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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    --- honey the possibility of this is like tossing a coin 9 heads in a row, about 1 in 512. They hang people in Texas with a weaker evidence.
    Two comments: 1) why do you think that is a similar probability? 2) Maybe keep your opinions about Texas to yourself.

  5. #5


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    CC,TX born/raised and I agree Refinery, the odds of being hanged in Tejas are MUCH HIGHER!!! Lol

  6. #6


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    therefinery: 1) why do you think that is a similar probability?

    It IS a similar probability. Depending on the number of hands he managed to play in 15 hours, the $5 minimum bet, and the rules, his estimation isn't far off at all. It was a legendary run and probably wouldn't happen again in his lifetime.

    Don

  7. #7


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    Quote Originally Posted by DSchles View Post
    therefinery: 1) why do you think that is a similar probability?

    It IS a similar probability. Depending on the number of hands he managed to play in 15 hours, the $5 minimum bet, and the rules, his estimation isn't far off at all. It was a legendary run and probably wouldn't happen again in his lifetime.

    Don
    Thanks Don. I appreciate that you didn't treat my question as a rhetorical one. That's interesting knowing they are roughly the same.

  8. #8


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    Hi,

    My reasoning was as follows:

    I played as follows. I start with fifty dollars. I stop if I go bankrupt or hit 100. If the house had zero edge those two outcomes would have equal probability 0.5.
    I played this way 9 times and each time I hit 100 dollars, hence 9 coin tosses. (in reality bankrupt probability would be slightly larger due to house edge and my silly play).
    I agree that it will never happen to me again. One can hope though...

  9. #9


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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Hi,

    My reasoning was as follows:

    I played as follows. I start with fifty dollars. I stop if I go bankrupt or hit 100. If the house had zero edge those two outcomes would have equal probability 0.5.
    I played this way 9 times and each time I hit 100 dollars, hence 9 coin tosses. (in reality bankrupt probability would be slightly larger due to house edge and my silly play).
    I agree that it will never happen to me again. One can hope though...
    But if you do get on a lucky streak again, and raise your bet to like $50,000/hand and happen to get an article written about your lucky streak in the Atlantic magazine, you have a good chance of getting voted into the BJ Hall of Fame. It’s happened before so it can happen again.

  10. #10


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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Hi,

    My reasoning was as follows:

    I played as follows. I start with fifty dollars. I stop if I go bankrupt or hit 100. If the house had zero edge those two outcomes would have equal probability 0.5..
    True, but the house DOES have an edge.

    What you're doing is foolish, but sometimes it's better to be lucky than good.

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