Please tell me about your new $700 Speed Count System........
As the creator of Speed Count, I guess I can try and answer your question. Henry may post as well of course, so please keep an eye out for his valuable input too...
First, I've been spending a lot of time defending SC (Speed Count) in forums, including competitors to the BJ21 boards. We've prepared a landing page at our "Blackjack Insider" web site that collects together our answers, and all the available data on Speed Count that we are exposing publicly. Quite a bit of information beyond the GTB 'marketing pitch' is available there:
The web page is:
We'll continue to update this site as a common repository of our answers and data, so that we don't have to keep posting at every forum.
I'm not going to repeat everything I've said, that is available there. But here's a summary:
- A professional review and comments on Speed Count by Michael Shackleford, who runs "www.WizardofOdds.com"
- A collection of forum posts we'v made. These include some of the actual simualtion data, including expectation, win rate, standard deviation, and avg. bet sizes for Speed Count, in comparison to HighLow. Even to see that we're not talking turkey!
Now, a few personal comments on the reactions so far:
- I expected some people to be very skeptical of Speed Count. Especially our claims that it can be *mastered* in a few hours, over a two-day course.
- I'm not a marketing guy, I developed the system. I back up that claim 100%. I've taught complete greenhorns how to track the 'speed count' in a few hours over an evening. It's that easy.
- And I've run billions (geting close to 100 billion now) rounds of blackjack simulations to test and prove SC works, and works well in all games. I had to custom-modify my own blackjack simulator, Blackjack Audit, to support Speed Count.
- The basis for Speed Count is very, very different. Yet, it's not a garbage progression count, or some other voodoo. It's real, it's different, it works, and it's super simple.
- We aren't claiming SC is a super powerful high-performance system. We are very clear that it slightly UNDERPERFORMS HighLow, even without play indices. But it does get 70-95% of the performance of HighLow (without play indices, and it depends on the game), and we aren't jacking up the bet ramp to fudge that. See prior note above the sim data we've revealed that backs this up.
- Part of what makes SC easier, but not only, is that we don't teach play indices. Instead, we use an 'Optimal Basic Strategy' (OBS) that is tuned for non-index using card counters. Hal Marcus, creator of Blackjack 6-7-8 (which is a nice simulator, I should add) showed that a card counter using a count system, but no play indices, can get an increased edge by deviating some plays consistently. This turns out to be highly dependent on the system, especially the bet ramp. We've run exhaustive sims to develop the *maximal* OBS for Speed Count. In effect, a perfectly tuned OBS replaces using the 'Fab18' or other reduced index set (although some play deviations are surprising in SC OBS). This makes learning SC even easier, since you don't have to memorize indices. In my experience teaching average players, learning even a reduced set of play indices is hard, and they usually misplay them, sometimes on the wrong hands. Even a few errors can eat away a small positive edge. Hence, why SC doesn't use, or need, indices to get 70 to 95% of the performance of HL (without play indices).
- We are very nervous about exposing SC publicly to masses of people. Also, it's not my decision... I've licensed SC exclusively to the GTB folks for the course. If it were leaked, accidentally or otherwise, it would hurt the value of the course.
If folks have problems with this, talk to them: www.GoldenTouchBlackjack.com. Until then, more professional reviews are in process, and will be published when done.
Ok sceptics... please try and keep your responses professional, and I'll try my best to answer specific questions not already answered and posted at the BJI web site for Speed Count.
It's easy to make a grandiose claim when the author runs the numbers of this system...I would think you have a vested interest in giving a glowing account, but, has Don Schlesinger or other notable professionals done the numbers, agrees with your assessment and gives your claims credibility?
If not, why not? (You obviously don't have anything to hide?)
This is a fair question, which to some degree have been answered in various forums including this one, but I'll go into more depth and summarize below:
- Please visit our 'repository' of forum posts and info on Speed Count... I don't have the time to answer the same questions over and over again everywhere, so I'm collecting posts and relevant facts on Speed Count at:
- We are currently getting a number of blackjack authorities to review Speed Count. Give us time... it's brand new. Michael Shackleford's official comments are now available at the web page above. Other reviews are in progress, and a few more will come.
- The reviewer's kit is much, much more than just a description of Speed Count. It includes many spreadsheets showing the FULL simulations results for Speed Count in comparion to HighLow, across most common game variations (decks, rules, etc.). It also includes the full analysis showing the derivation of our OBS (Optimal Basic Strategy). It also includes a mathematical explanation of Speed Count... how it works, why it works. It also includes the actual simulation reports, so reviewers can check the numbers directly.
- The licensees of Speed Count (GTB) are looking at getting an independent reviews by blackjack simulation programmers. You are correct in that we "have nothing to hide", other than concerns about security, and the system being leaked accidentally or otherwise (hence devaluing the course).
- You mention Mr. Schlesinger. While it would be improper of me to expose private discussions we've had with him and members of his 'blackjack circle', and I can say such discussions are continuing. We have extended an offer for some members of that specific group to review Speed Count, and to date these offers have been declined. I'll be frank about this... when members of said circle publicly say things about Speed Count such as "it's Bull" and it's "BS" (not meaning Basic Strategy"), especially in regards to our claims to be able to teach it to players in a two-day course giving players a positive edge by counting with SC... well, that makes the licensees of SC (GTB) very hesitant to "open the kimono" to them (also odd given they don't know the system at all yet)! I'll repeat one more time: it ain't my decision who to show SC to, but I agree with our licensees that we have to be very careful in this as well.
- I will say that there are other simulation experts out there, and discussions are in progress. Also, recognize that conducting a simulation review is time consuming and expensive (any such software product would have to be modified, since SC is so different). Payment for such services is becoming an issue.
- When Vancura and Fuchs came out with KO, many critics and luminaries said a lot of simlar things. KO has stood the test of time, and proven to be a historic evolution of blackjack card counting that lessened the skill required to master card counting. We stand behind our claim that SC brings this bar down much further, while still providing players a very healthy positive edge in the game.
This post, and others, are available at:
You mention Mr. Schlesinger. While it would be improper of me to expose private discussions we've had with him and members of his 'blackjack circle', and I can say such discussions are continuing. We have extended an offer for some members of that specific group to review Speed Count, and to date these offers have been declined.
I offered to review SC at no cost. It was the GTB people that declined, not I. I was informed that I would not be allowed to see SC. Also your statement indicates that members of our 'Blackjack Circle' declined to review SC. I believe this to be a misleading statement.
I don't see how it's misleading...
We've offered the reviewers kit under NDA, and it's been declined!
We're happy to provide full disclosure to specific folks, while the details are being ironed out for a simulation review (I said that in my post).
If it's misleading, clarify how.
Your carefully worded statement suggests that Don's group 'declined' to review SC. In truth, the conditions were declined. I believe the statement gave an invalid impression that we simply refused to review SC.
Well, as I said in my first post, I'm hoping the details for an acceptable review between GTB and yourselves can be worked out.
We welcome an independent simulation review of SC.
Until then, the reviewer's kit as described is available under NDA to specific individuals. Maybe that's a starting point?