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Thread: Designing your game based on your situation.

  1. #1


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    Designing your game based on your situation.

    Most people base their game when they first start out on general things they hear from good sources. However, combining the information you have and customizing it to your situation is what should be done. If you read one source that promoted Hi-Opt II with an ace side count as the best count, you might decide to use it. However, if you are going to be playing 6 deck shoes at TC >-1, you will lose a lot of time to perfecting a count that is far too complicated for the game your are playing!

    What you didn't factor in is that the increased PE of Hi-Opt II with an ace side count doesn't make much of a difference for a 6 deck shoe. Combine that with wonging constantly and a simple count starts looking a lot more appealing.

    Some questions you should ask yourself:

    How many casinos are within a reasonable drive of my location?

    What type of games do they offer?

    The answers to these two questions define your situation. The number of casinos in your area determines how much heat you can afford to generate. If there are a lot, lasting a long time at one isn't as important as it is to someone who has only a couple of casinos available to them. This factor also determines which kinds of games you can play. The better the game, the more heavily watched it is.

    Choosing your counting system (a question that plagues many newer players) should be based on which games you can play! The worse the games, the more you wong, the less powerful of a system you need (as you avoid having the disadvantage more often and PE is less important). Once you know which games you will be playing, you will be able to select a counting system with confidence.

    For someone like me (who is in a similar position to many casual players), you are limited to a smaller area of casinos you have to visit more often. This means settling for mediocre games where you action is tolerated and not trying to push the limits of your theoretical win rate. 6 deck shoes with average rules (some good, some bad) are the norm for these players. This means basing your strategy off of this knowledge.

    For the above player, wonging is going to be a must. Given the predominance of shoe games and the limited amount of time you will actually spend playing (due to being a casual player) a weaker counting system will work just as well as a stronger system (as the difference in win rate will be unnoticeable in the waves of standard deviation). Anything as weak as KO or stronger level one counts are recommended (ace reckoned as well, as BC dominates PE in shoe games).

    The above strategy will increase such a player's longevity immensely. The wonging will allow for a lower bet spread, combine this with the shoe game play and you will have to This player is always looking for high EV promotions across the country and always tries to maximize EV. They also have a considerable bankroll and a large unit (.....) to compensate for the travel expenses. Longevity is much less important due to their enhanced mobility.

    A strategy this player would use differs greatly from the casual player. A strong count designed to squeeze every drop of EV from every game they play is utilized. They will take the counter bait for all it is worth before vanishing. They don't care if they get backed off, they have another store scheduled for tonight anyways! Besides, when they do show back up in a couple months, they certainly won't have the same name or face. Commonly used counts will vary, but all will be strong. Halves, Zen, and Mentor will be some of the commonly used ace reckoned strategies. Hi-Opt II and AO II might be used with an ace side count for the pitch game specialist.

    Of course both of those situations assume you are operating solo. The number of possible situations varies infinitely as does the possible structure of your ideal AP play.

    Figuring out your personal situation should be the first step before you spend hours designing and refining your strategies.

  2. #2


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    This should be required reading for new counters, old counters and maybe even APs. Note that I don't lump counters and APs together. I haven't see a lot of discussion on this subject and I think it's something everyone should be aware of. I have been through all of these situations and have had to adjust accordingly. Not everyone is flexible or even knows that they should be flexible.

    I was at a party over Thanksgiving weekend where they was a "card counter" holding court. After the usual boring stories about who hit what, who took whose card and the double down that got away, he said that he uses Hi-Opt. Someone in the group had obviously heard of Hi-Opt and asked Hi-Opt I or Hi-Opt II? He replied Hi-Opt I as the questioner nodded approvingly. He then went on to say that he plays $5 tables with 8 decks and H17. I was tempted to ask about a side count but I really wasn't part of the conversation.

    The gentlemen was in his 70s which may explain the Hi-Opt I.

  3. #3
    Senior Member blackjackomaha's Avatar
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    If you're restricted to a certain number of casinos in a given area, I also find it helpful knowing the schedules of the dealers and floor personnel (and if possible, surveillance). This information is obtainable if done correctly.

    IMO, a level 1 count, such as HiLo utilizing the 18+4 indices, is just fine as it does not 'wear you out' as much as a slightly more complicated level 2 count. Keeping a good act is a must - no matter where you are. Looking and talking like a ploppy can go a long way, and if you're restricted to a few casinos, longevity should be high on your priority list. Floor personnel and dealers enjoy having friendly, courteous, and 'dumb' players at the tables.

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