Systems Archive 1

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Snyder's '98 _Blackbelt in Blackjack_

Posted by Chipster on 13 May 1998, at 3:30 p.m., in response to Best book on card counting, posted by MIke on 13 May 1998, at 6:53 a.m.

I've got a library of BJ books and if you become serious about the game you'll accumulate most of the books that Boot mentioned.

That said, my favorite has become the '98 edition of Arnold Snyder's _Blackbelt in Blackjack_. It opens with a very intellectually honest discussion about the difficulty of actually beating the game. Then it provides 3 -count 'em- 3 different systems. The simple but effective Red7, which is almost the same as knockout; HiLo lite, which is the only hilo to use; and the advanced Zen count. There's also a good chapter on shuffle tracking. This little book is a condensed statement of all the present knowledge of the field. Hey, I should be Arnold's ad writer.

As far as what system to choose, most people hop around early in their career, but at some point they'll hop with either KO, Red 7, or HiLo. Do not start with a more complex system. You can move up later once you know what you're doing. KO and Red 7 are easier than HiLo but just as effective. I personally have switched to HiLo, however, because it is more appropriate for team play and shuffle tracking. It is the industry standard, most people have probably used it at one time or another.

A couple things that I knew about early on, but wish I'd had a better appreciation of: Risk of Ruin and the importance of Wonging. Read and take seriously all the discussions you run across about bank role variance and risk of ruin. Don't be bashful about wonging shoes -- I and many others started out bashful because it seems too obvious a counter's activity. But shoes aren't really playable by the lone beginner without wonging (don't be fooled by an early lucky win). It's better to risk being kicked out rather than not being able to play a winning game at all.

One thing the books mention but don't do enough with: the importance of accurate counting. This is something books can't really help you with. You've got to develop your own methods for monitoring your play and determining if it's accurate, hour after hour. The counter's edge is comically thin -- it dosen't take much to blow it. A big problem is that you don't _know_ if your game is good, because wins or losses can easily be due to chance. Many counters have started out lucky, thought they were good, then realized a couple years later that they'd begun losing.

Dang, it's quitting time, I gotta go punch out.



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