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"Well, an ace gets you a 50% edge assuming your other card is random."-But that doesn't mean your total overall edge over the house is 50%!
No, it doesn't. I was responding to your suggestion that you needed an ace and a ten for a blackjack.
I acknowledge that knowing the location of aces would be worth an added edge over not knowing.
But in a 6 deck shoe there are only 24 aces mixed in with 312. Whereas if you are tracking slugs, there are 120 high cards out of that same 312. A much higher number and a much greater probability for heavy concentrations, aka slugs. Better odds of hitting those slugs when more of them exist and they are larger in size.
Well, the odds are better because the information is weaker and thinly spread.
Also, when you only have 24 cards (aces) you can track out of a total of 312, inconsistent dealer grabs would easily and quickly cause havoc on your locating accuracy.
Less of a problem with location, which most people use as a pure statistical method, than with segment tracking, which depends entirely on observation.
-I was not aware of this, but cannot say I am totally surprised that someone else thought of it too. At some point, I would like to see the results of that study.
Try the Google archives.
"Finding the ace is enough, trust me. The other cards will take care of themselves."
-Nothing EVER just takes care of itself, trust ME!
Well, if you know an ace is coming, as I said, you have a 50% edge. So, the other cards by comparison are unimportant.
"The ceiling on segment tracking is not much higher than card counting under optimal conditions-3-4%."
-At the risk of sounding conceited, I think I have a better understanding of tracking than most, and I honestly don't see any way that your ceiling claims can be substantiated or verified. -Certainly not to the pinpoint accuracy you have claim. However, I would be interested in seeing the data you used to arrive at that exact figure.
Well, unless you are extremely good at eyeballing, you cannot have very good information about the composition of deck segments that are much smaller than three quarters of a deck or so. It is logical to compare the gains to those of card counting under optimal circumstances-deeply penetrated single-deck games, because you cannot do much better than that. Card counting under the very best conditions yields a 3-4% edge. I don't believe shuffle-tracking can do any better than that. No estimate (M'Hall, Malmuth, Snyder) of the gain from shuffle-tracking has suggested a higher ceiling.
"With location play you could be looking at ten times that.."-Another pretty fantastic claim. My response would be the same as above. I would like to know how you were able to arrive at this precise of a conclusion. Perhaps it does give a player a bigger advantage, but I have doubts as to it being possible for you to have a means of even roughly (let alone accurately) arriving at a figure like "ten times".
It is not a precise figure. The true figure is probably higher. Remember we are talking about the ceiling-not typical gain. This would imply a single riffle. You do not seem to have used location play under such circumstances-I think if you did you would understand what I am saying is not controversial. I have played in such conditions and been able to predict aces with 80% accuracy, which is close to actually knowing when the ace will appear. In this situation talking about % edge is really pointless, you simply decide how much money you can take with you.
-Frankly, if my tracking career had depended on finding a perfect single riffle somewhere in a real life casino, I'd have moved on a long time ago. Good luck!
It is not that hard finding locatable shuffle in Europe right now. Maybe it is harder in the US, it is difficult to say.
On the other hand, I can think of several trackable shuffles within 200+ miles of me, and enough of them in Vegas to keep me busy there anytime I go. So I can travel if I want, (and to a place people actually WANT to go to!) or I can play nearer to home. I have those options, whereas you wouldn't.
Well, you are lucky if you can combine reaction with your gambling. It is strictly business for me-my travel schedule is regulated according to how much money I can make from a given opportunity.
You may find this surprising but I do not enjoy Las Vegas at all.
Alienated, first let me say that I am flattered by your kind words.
I always click immediately on any post you have made, since I highly respect your views on tracking as well.
I also appreciate the detail and thought you have put into this reply post.
"Firstly, some complex/involved shuffles are convoluted in ways that render segment tracking virtually worthless while still leaving the door open for sequencing strategies."
-Alienated, Since I admittedly am not really a sequencer, I can neither dispute or confirm this. However, because of the great repsect I have for your tracking opinions, I am somewhat willing to take this on faith. Something I am not known to do much, but nonetheless...
"Secondly, sequencing does not require finding single-riffle shuffles any more than segment tracking requires discovering single-pass shuffles.-Again, because I am not a sequencer, all I had to go by here was John May's statement that that a single riffle was needed. Since he'd stated that, I was pointing out that they are few and far between, which I think you will admit is true.
"In the same way as a segment tracker will travel to play a single-pass shuffle, the sequencer will eagerly travel to play in a single-riffle game."-Yes, I would assume so, since I would, but I cannot say that I have seen any of either lately. So, when in Rome,... that's exactly the reason I originally embarked on sharpening my 2 pass and stepladder skills long ago, since I do encounter them frequently.
"Thirdly, the 50% figure is the correct approximate estimate of expectation when you know that one of your first two cards will be an ace.
-Therein was the misunderstanding. As I understood John May to be saying that sequencing renedered an overall edge of 50%, not the short term immediate expectation.
A misunderstanding of words/terms.
"But even knowing an ace is coming in the next six cards will normally give a much higher edge than a rich slug."-You lost me there. I just haven't seen ample evidence of that yet. A single ace is going to increase that edge only for the single hand it lands in, but not for the hands either before or after it. A rich (large) slug can (and as you, know often does!) increase your expectation for several hands. Sometimes quite a few!
I think that is something that hasn't been calculated into the equation here.
"The slug on average gives an edge of about 26%,"...-But it is important to remember that it is just one of a number of slugs in the shoe (each one of which will possibly increase the players edge for several hands, not just one hand as with a single ace.
"The 26% and 50% figures are, roughly speaking, the correct estimates of average expectation for these two examples."
-Again, with ALL due respect, I think the multiple hand thing is a big factor that has not been considered here.
"I should stress that I wholeheartedly agree that combining segment tracking and sequencing is more lucrative than employing one or the other strategy in isolation.-As I did also in my original post.
"Doing both would certainly be well beyond the scope of even most good trackers."
-True for myself as well. Or at least it is with my understanding of sequencing. I will readily admit that there may just be some perspective or visualization method necessary to conceptualizing it, that I have not zeroed in on yet.
Back when I was first learning tracking, it seemed like I would work on things, making slow progress and then suddenly, something would dawn on me. I could could then (and only then) learn something new based on that new "realization" and get more and more advanced about tracking. But without that little "epiphany", one is stuck.
"I should also point out that there are ways of strengthening sequencing strategies by noting whether the ace is discarded nearby high or low cards.
-Yes, I have attempted that a couple of times when there were no dominant slugs in a shoe, and I saw several aces near each other accompanied by a few high cards, (but not enough to really constitute a slug per se). Of the times I tried it, I think only one time was I successful.
"I feel compelled to agree with John that keying single aces - and nothing else - is without doubt a very powerful winning strategy on its own."
-That wasn't my point of contention.
Mine was both partly because he rather smugly spoke with a tinge of superiority as to sequencing over tracking and because he threw precise figures around, which cannot be confirmed. Admittedly I may have also reacted somewhat to who it was that posted this, and might have responded differently to someone else. Considering his reputation..
One figure I really dispute is his contention that tracking only yields a 3-4% edge. (If I understood him correctly.) My playing/tracking experience simply says it is better than that. I cannot make a precise claim as to the exact percentage, but neither can he.
Nonetheless, in all sincerity, based on my experience, the 3-4% overall edge estimate for tracking is too low.
"Perhaps your arguments relate more to EV than expectation."
-Yes, you are right. I think my earlier comments about the misunderstanding of terms has pretty well covered this.
"Some may be able to get in more rounds with an average edge of, say, 2% while segment tracking than the number of rounds they can find while keying aces with an edge of, say, 10% (allowing for inaccuracies in keying, etc). I'm not sure what the correct answer is on this question, except to say that it will obviously depend on the actual conditions of the game, as they relate to segment tracking and sequencing."
-This is exactly the basis of my point to May! There are just too many intangibles involved for him to credibly toss around precise numbers mixed with a hint of sequencing's superiority over tracking.
Both are very powerful tools. The degree of the strength of each depends overwhelmingly on the abilities of the user, shuffles, heat and game conditions. -Too many intangibles that cannot be factored into the equation.
"I will say that from a personal perspective, I am not averse to spending a lot of time searching for a relatively small number of high-edge opportunities.-Agreed, and I will say that I think that's goes for almost anyone who seriously tracks.
If one doesn't enjoy the process of learning and refining it almost as much as the financial rewards, it probably isn't worth their time.
The original concept of Target as devised by Eddie Olsen in the early 80's was meant to find games experiencing the right side of the bell.
Unfortunately, it does indicate hindsight, not forecasting the increased positive probabilities as a good CC system. However, we have to agree that those 'swings' are inevitable and happen. I still use Targeting methods to increase my winnings. We've been at tables were the true runs +4 and we're losing and vice versa. I know, I know.. it happens mathamatically; but so do 'hot' craps tables - I know of successful craps players who only play at loud tables. That's what Target was meant to exploit. Jerry P bastardized the original to keep coming out w/ 'new and improved' - go figure - he's still in business.