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Thread: Help interpreting heat at my local game

  1. #1


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    Help interpreting heat at my local game

    I've been playing the same local game for 2 years, first at low stakes, then higher, but still nothing big (no bets over $150). I play rated and have had almost no heat at all in those 2 years, until this week.

    Early in the week, I played (unrated) at a neighboring casino for the first time and had some heat but no back-off.

    Then the next night, I played my home casino and two things happened:

    1) I was max betting at the end of the shoe, then dropped to table min at the shuffle (40:1 ratio). Within about 3 min, security came to the table and joked about needing my ID because I looked too young to gamble (I don't). He said "just kidding, I'm just here to watch the game" and he stuck around for a few rounds and left.

    2) A bit later, at another table, a dealer I'd never seen before tapped in. I'd never seen him, but he didn't seem new, as he was a very good dealer (I should emphasize that I know all the dealers on this shift at this store); he even gave a 5/6 cut which is better than most dealers at this store give. When several 2s came out in a round, he commented on how many 2s were now left in the shoe. Then about halfway through the shoe, as the count was rising (and my bets too), he blurted out, at me: "where's <local specialty grocery store>?" I told him, vaguely, and we went on. As the count rose to +5 and my max bets went out, he started talking to the table about how he used to work in surveillance and the first thing they learn is how to count cards so they can catch "cheaters" (dick). Like an idiot, I asked how they know when someone's counting, and he gave me an accurate answer. I asked what they did when they caught someone and he said they get flat-bet. Then I said I bet they didn't get many people "cheating" and he said, "yeah, most don't know how to do it - at least without being obvious." Around then the shoe ended and I went home.

    I don't want to lose this game any sooner than necessary - it's the only one to which I have regular access and I'm not able to travel much. Looking for some veterans to interpret what happened and suggest a strategy for how to avoid a back-off. At this point I'm thinking it may be smart to go in for a short session and play a break-even spread, or even flat-bet, and see what happens - put on a show for them, maybe play a few side bets, and make them re-think me. Then see what happens and take it from there. Smart?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Jabberwocky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Optimus Prime View Post
    I've been playing the same local game for 2 years, first at low stakes, then higher, but still nothing big (no bets over $150). I play rated and have had almost no heat at all in those 2 years, until this week.

    Early in the week, I played (unrated) at a neighboring casino for the first time and had some heat but no back-off.

    Then the next night, I played my home casino and two things happened:

    1) I was max betting at the end of the shoe, then dropped to table min at the shuffle (40:1 ratio). Within about 3 min, security came to the table and joked about needing my ID because I looked too young to gamble (I don't). He said "just kidding, I'm just here to watch the game" and he stuck around for a few rounds and left.

    2) A bit later, at another table, a dealer I'd never seen before tapped in. I'd never seen him, but he didn't seem new, as he was a very good dealer (I should emphasize that I know all the dealers on this shift at this store); he even gave a 5/6 cut which is better than most dealers at this store give. When several 2s came out in a round, he commented on how many 2s were now left in the shoe. Then about halfway through the shoe, as the count was rising (and my bets too), he blurted out, at me: "where's <local specialty grocery store>?" I told him, vaguely, and we went on. As the count rose to +5 and my max bets went out, he started talking to the table about how he used to work in surveillance and the first thing they learn is how to count cards so they can catch "cheaters" (dick). Like an idiot, I asked how they know when someone's counting, and he gave me an accurate answer. I asked what they did when they caught someone and he said they get flat-bet. Then I said I bet they didn't get many people "cheating" and he said, "yeah, most don't know how to do it - at least without being obvious." Around then the shoe ended and I went home.

    I don't want to lose this game any sooner than necessary - it's the only one to which I have regular access and I'm not able to travel much. Looking for some veterans to interpret what happened and suggest a strategy for how to avoid a back-off. At this point I'm thinking it may be smart to go in for a short session and play a break-even spread, or even flat-bet, and see what happens - put on a show for them, maybe play a few side bets, and make them re-think me. Then see what happens and take it from there. Smart?
    The shit eating dogs have their noses dug deep up your ass. You are dead meat so move on.

  3. #3


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    It’s discussed in other threads.

    1. Keep regular tabs on your won/loss record by going to players desk and asking for it. If it gets too much, back off.

    2. Book losses....down a $100, take a break so they book that session as one you lost. You want to keep the ration of win to loss as even.

    3. If you are down a lot,mask for comps do they note you had a big losing session.

    4. Learn to rathole.

    5. Don’t make major decisions based upon your success at local casinos. There are a whole lot of people who learn card counting, join BJA, have success in local casinos (there are no expenses involved) and decide within a year that they can quit their college, career etc., and do it full time. Fact is that you have the early success but you lose your local casinos in 1-4 years (depends upon how aggressive you play) and by then you have committed to a career playing BJ. Once travel becomes necessary, expenses multiply (flight, car, gas, motels, food etc.) and you find that playing while traveling is a whole lot different, a grind that requires skills far beyond your own. However, BJA does not allow you to remain on their forum and share your experiences then.

  4. #4


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    Nothing of what you described mean much in terms of heat. Just background noise but no signal.

  5. #5


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    Hmmm... So you think they’re more or less just checking in to me?

    That would suggest my strategy of playing break even for a session or two is a good one

  6. #6


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    If they can figure out that you are playing a break even game, they can figure out that you are counting. Just play till they toss you out which they will but nothing of what you said indicate anything other than random chat.

  7. #7


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    So Jabberwocky was being sarcastic? Forgive me, I have little experience with heat.

  8. #8


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    Quote Originally Posted by Optimus Prime View Post
    I've been playing the same local game for 2 years, first at low stakes, then higher, but still nothing big (no bets over $150). I play rated and have had almost no heat at all in those 2 years, until this week.

    Early in the week, I played (unrated) at a neighboring casino for the first time and had some heat but no back-off.

    Then the next night, I played my home casino and two things happened:

    1) I was max betting at the end of the shoe, then dropped to table min at the shuffle (40:1 ratio). Within about 3 min, security came to the table and joked about needing my ID because I looked too young to gamble (I don't). He said "just kidding, I'm just here to watch the game" and he stuck around for a few rounds and left.

    2) A bit later, at another table, a dealer I'd never seen before tapped in. I'd never seen him, but he didn't seem new, as he was a very good dealer (I should emphasize that I know all the dealers on this shift at this store); he even gave a 5/6 cut which is better than most dealers at this store give. When several 2s came out in a round, he commented on how many 2s were now left in the shoe. Then about halfway through the shoe, as the count was rising (and my bets too), he blurted out, at me: "where's <local specialty grocery store>?" I told him, vaguely, and we went on. As the count rose to +5 and my max bets went out, he started talking to the table about how he used to work in surveillance and the first thing they learn is how to count cards so they can catch "cheaters" (dick). Like an idiot, I asked how they know when someone's counting, and he gave me an accurate answer. I asked what they did when they caught someone and he said they get flat-bet. Then I said I bet they didn't get many people "cheating" and he said, "yeah, most don't know how to do it - at least without being obvious." Around then the shoe ended and I went home.

    I don't want to lose this game any sooner than necessary - it's the only one to which I have regular access and I'm not able to travel much. Looking for some veterans to interpret what happened and suggest a strategy for how to avoid a back-off. At this point I'm thinking it may be smart to go in for a short session and play a break-even spread, or even flat-bet, and see what happens - put on a show for them, maybe play a few side bets, and make them re-think me. Then see what happens and take it from there. Smart?
    If you wanted to keep this home casino, why in the hell are you using a 40:1 spread?
    And then you also drop to table minimum at the shuffle? You forced them to back you off...and they surely will.
    Were your rated a few steak dinners or rooms worth the lost future EV?
    Assume you will eventually be backed off from any game you play...I would rather come out of it with a clean name. Just my opinion.
    Last edited by Counting_Is_Fun; 01-13-2020 at 01:14 AM.

  9. #9


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    Because they’ve never seemed to care what I did. Played another session with no heat.

  10. #10


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    Quote Originally Posted by Optimus Prime View Post
    Because they’ve never seemed to care what I did. Played another session with no heat.

    Ok well good luck with that. I guess all your fears are over. Let us know how that ends up for you.

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