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Best of Walter Thomason

Gaming Guru

 

Blackjack Is Played One Shoe at a Time!

22 September 2000

Most casino gaming experts base their blackjack advice upon the results of millions of hands of simulated play and suggest that players learn to count cards and only play single-deck or double-deck games with rules that favor the player.

Unfortunately, most players aren't good card counters due to lack of concentration and lack of adequate bankroll; they don't have the opportunity to play single- or double-deck blackjack because those games aren't offered by their local casinos, and they don't have the time to play millions of hands in hopes that probability will kick in and show them a meager long-term profit.

Most players are like me. I play in six-deck shoe games, only have time to play for a few hours every few weeks, and lack the bankroll, patience, and mental fortitude required to be a successful card counter. Even if I had the counting skills and lots of cash and played the best games under the best conditions, I'd be 131 years old before I was guaranteed to be a long-term winner!

Of course, I am using hyperbole to prove a point, that point being that most blackjack players play shoe games with less than the best rules and less than ideal penetration, and base their continuation of play on the amount of money that they win or lose -- shoe by shoe. My new book, Twenty-First Century Blackjack: A New Strategy for a New Millennium, presents a viable alternative to card counting, "inspirational" betting, or flat betting at blackjack -- a simple Four-Step Positive Progressive betting system with "Quit Points" that I've found to be a most beneficial strategy to the average recreational blackjack player.

Since completing the final manuscript, I've continued to conduct computer simulations comparing the win-loss results of card counters, flat bettors, and Positive Progressive bettors who all play the same hands against the same dealer -- the only differences being the amount wagered on each hand and the rationale for the amount of the wager.

My most recent study compares the shoe-by-shoe results of 100 consecutive shoes of play (six decks, 75% penetration, approximately 44 hands per shoe). The flat bettor wagers $30 on each hand. The Positive Progressive bettor initially wagers $20, increases the bet by $10 after each win to a maximum bet of $50, and drops back to $20 after a loss. The card counter employs a $10 to $80 spread, depending on the count. The following table summarizes the results.

Progressive
Bettor
Flat
Bettor
Card
Counter
1st 13 Shoes-$710-$690+$270
2nd 13 Shoes+$430+$225-$385
3rd 13 Shoes+$370+$540-$285
4th 13 Shoes-$75+$135-$490
5th 13 Shoes-$705-$1050-$1,410
6th 13 Shoes-$755-$915-$400
7th 13 Shoes-$415-$15+$355
8th 9 Shoes+$1,435+$1,110+$720
Total 100 Shoes-$425-$660-$1,625

Conclusion: All players lost, but the Positive Progressive bettor lost less than the flat bettor, and much less than the card counter. The card counter lost due to a few "big bets" in high counts that went the wrong way. This conclusion mirrors the results of thousands of manually dealt hands of play and hundreds of thousands of computer-simulated hands of play that were the database for Twenty-First Century Blackjack.

So what's my point? Simple: If you're a recreational blackjack player who lives or dies on the basis of short-term play, my Four Step Positive Progressive betting system may be your best bet! My research indicates that you'll win more (or lose less) than a flat bettor, and you won't experience the emotionally crushing losses that card counters must endure due to fluctuations when the count goes up and the luck goes down!


For more information about blackjack, we recommend:

Twenty-First Century Blackjack: New Strategies for a New Millennium by Walter Thomason
The Ultimate Blackjack Book by Walter Thomason
Best Blackjack by Frank Scoblete
The Morons of Blackjack and Other Monsters! by Frank Scoblete
Winning Strategies at Blackjack! Video tape hosted by Academy Award Winner James Coburn, Written by Frank Scoblete
Walter Thomason
Walter Thomason is the best-selling author of Blackjack for the Clueless and the editor of The Experts’ Guide to Casino Games and The Ultimate Blackjack Book.

A long-time casino gaming enthusiast, he is a frequent contributor to
The New Chance and Circumstance, Midwest Gaming & Travel, and Heartland Casino News.

His new book is
21st Century Blackjack: A New Strategy for a New Millenium. He can be reached
at PO Box 550068, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33355.

Books by Walter Thomason:

Blackjack

> More Books By Walter Thomason

Walter Thomason
Walter Thomason is the best-selling author of Blackjack for the Clueless and the editor of The Experts’ Guide to Casino Games and The Ultimate Blackjack Book.

A long-time casino gaming enthusiast, he is a frequent contributor to
The New Chance and Circumstance, Midwest Gaming & Travel, and Heartland Casino News.

His new book is
21st Century Blackjack: A New Strategy for a New Millenium. He can be reached
at PO Box 550068, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33355.

Books by Walter Thomason:

> More Books By Walter Thomason