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Archive for May, 2011

An Alternative to Wonging

An Alternative to Wonging
In Beat the Dealer
Ed Thorp says he started out with 1:10 bet variation. When that attracted too much attention
he cut back so that his big bet was a smaller multiple of his small bet. Most authors since Thorp have written as though 1:4 was large enough. I took small bet variation to the extreme in Professional Blackjack
recommending flat bets and Wonging. It is also possible to get away with the other extreme — to use bet variation
and lots of it. You might be able to get away with one hand of $25 on the worst situations and have two hands of $200 or more on the best. In casinos where bets over $100 attract too much attention
you might be able to get away with $5 to $100. Bet variation is tolerated better now than it was in the 1970s. Perhaps this is due to the increased number of Asian customers in casinos now. In Macao and other countries in the Orient
huge bet variation is the norm; if the table limit is 10 to 2000 in local currency
most customers seem willing to bet 10 for a starter and progress to 2000 if they hit a winning streak. If casino employees see enough poor players use huge bet variation
then a card counter using big bet variation can blend right in. The trick to getting away with big bet variation is to do it in other than a mechanical
by-the-numbers way. For example
you might occasionally pop out a big bet on the first round after a shuffle. If you are going $25 to two hands of $200
for example
you might sometimes bet one hand of $100 or more on the first round. If you bet $100 on the first round
then you might go up to $200 or drop to $25 on the second round
depending on the count. Thus you get a $25 to $200 spread on the second round. Cutting back from $100 to $25 does not seem to attract attention. If you had bet only $25 on the first round you certainly would attract attention betting $200 on the second round!. Try to avoid any sort of a pattern. For example
if you realize that for the last ten minutes you have been betting only one or two green chips each hand because the count has not gone very high
you might pop out five greens on the first round after the shuffle. Your expected win is negative on that one bet
but it buys you the ability to bet five or more green chips on the next good count. Do not use bet variation in a mechanical manner. If the count calls for a big bet
just grab a handful of chips and place them in the circle. If you want to bet $200 and have you are betting quarters
for example
you may actually have $200 out there
but if you did not grab exactly the correct number of chips you might bet $175 or $225. People do not seem to pay as much attention to how much you bet as how you bet it. You would probably get more attention carefully counting out $150 than by quickly grabbing a handful of chips that happens to total $225. A side benefit from betting odd amounts is more dealer errors. For example
once I bet $55 in $5 chips and was allowed to insure the whole bet for just $25. The dealer thought I had bet an even $50. Bet what you can get away with rather than trying to bet an optimal amount that depends on the count. If the count is negative
try to bet the least you can get away with. If you have an edge
try to bet as close to the optimal amount as possible with the constraint that you want your bet size to look natural to whoever is watching.   At
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