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red chip vegas trip report 10/98-8/99

 Posted by one percent on 10 August 1999, at 12:23 p.m.



Lately it occurs to me...

Blackjack is alive and well and living in Las Vegas; however, from a personal standpoint, I'm taking a long break from it. Here I am, 75,000 hands into my low-minimum quest for the long run. I spent the first 35k hands playing marginal games, SD and DD with good rules but variable to poor penetration: Horseshoe, Joker's Wild, Arizona Charlies, Nevada Palace, El Cortez, Gold Spike, Plaza, Westward Ho, Silver City, Longhorn (shoe, good rules) et al, with some good handheld silver and red chip pen springing up on occasion, mainly San Remo, Fiesta, Santa Fe, and Barley's. I learned that--not just 1, but 2 and 3 players at a SD table is a good situation due to the commonality of Rule of Six penetration (do the math, 2.7 cards are dealt per hand per player on average) while 4 or more players should be avoided for the same reason, as well as for the more than occasional incidents of 3 rounds dealt to 4 players during negative counts and 1 round to 5 players during positive counts. I finished the first 35k hands at 1200 units plus. Then I found a dream situation for the card counter: Double Deck, bad rules but incredible pen, ranging from a low of 65% to over 90% penetration (I'm not kidding, some dealers at this place would finish with a stack so thin you could slice hard cheese with it!). I was seeing TC's>+15 in these some of these last rounds and betting accordingly, a 1-25, sometimes a 1-40 spread, playing full index deviations along with a perfect insurance side count against a totally clueless pit and laughable surveillance. The results? After 30K hands, I'd lost the 1200 units and another 250 to boot!
Terrible, atrocious luck.
Now, why not just keep playing through? Let me tell you something, 75k hands is a drop in the bucket on the way to the long run, a computer can run through that in no time at all, but from a human standpoint, it's an endless, mind-numbing grind stretching through a drab infinity reminscient of the movie Groundhog Day. The same stupid "experts" accusing you of ruining the cards with strategy deviations, the same tsk tsk of the dealer when you win a slew of minimum bets and tank on a max bet double down...hands, hands, hands! Hands in your dreams, when you're not playing, forever accompanied by the ghostly inane babble of the slots running through your head every waking hour. The general despair and malaise of losers all around beating down on you every working minute, GAAAAHH!
I'm not a masochist, but I was a stubborn bastard to hold out for so long. I realize my luck for this trip is dwelling in the low single digit percentiles, but I've had enough. I'm taking a break. Here's hoping your luck is better.



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