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# In My Mailbox

20 October 2000

Here are some interesting questions from my mailbox:

On page 13 of your excellent book (the out-of-print Baccarat for the Clueless), you mention that a combined banker and tie bet "has a 55.4% chance of winning". I'm sure my lack of arithmetic ability has caused me to read more into this than I should and no doubt you cover elsewhere information that throws this point into a clear perspective.

I probably should have emphasized this point a bit more. The chance of winning is not the same as "positive expectation," which I think you are confusing it with. "Chance of winning" in this case means that either banker or tie will win 55.4% of the time. However, your average winnings will be less than your average loss, meaning that you still have the hefty house edge against you and this is not a long-term winning strategy. If you are not an advantage player, betting bank continuously is always the best (i.e., loses least) strategy.

I will rewrite this section in any second edition to make it clearer.

How many ties in a baccarat shoe, and how many in an infinite shoe?

A quite accurate estimation of the average number of ties in a shoe is to simply take into consideration the number of decks dealt out. If they deal out almost all of six decks, you would have about six ties. Easy, eh? With an infinite-deck shoe, there would be an infinite number of ties. I'm not being silly here, that really is the answer. Basically a tie will happen every ten hands.

Are there any ways to get an advantage against an internet casino?

There are three basic methods I know of that have been used in practice to beat netcasinos.

1. Bonus hustling. No further explanation required really. Sign up, play a few hands of basic strategy and collect \$25 or whatever. Used to be easy, but the netcasinos seem to be cracking down on it now.
2. Reverse-engineer programming. Figure out the RNG and you can predict every single card. This has been done, but naturally it's not a trivial task, certainly way beyond my abilities.
3. Affiliate commissions. Webmasters get 20% of net losses from gamblers who sign up to a netcasino through their link. What if the webmaster was in partnership with the gambler? Say they split things 50:50. The gambler gets a 10% rebate on his losses. That's a lot. That gives you a greater advantage than you will ever see with the highest true count! Moreover, blackjack is not the best game to try this out at. Betting on a single number at roulette with a 10% rebate gives you a initial 14% edge!. Moreover, with another gambler you can bet your money on the both sides of the table (e.g., bank and player at baccarat) and be certain of a profit. You would be looking at 25-50% bankroll growth with no risk.

I have tried out this out myself and acted as affiliate for a number of players.

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John May
John May is one of the most feared gamblers in the world. He has developed "advantage play" techniques for many games that are considered unbeatable.

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John May
John May is one of the most feared gamblers in the world. He has developed "advantage play" techniques for many games that are considered unbeatable.