A question that is often asked me is how long to play a session on a shoe game. I believe the best time to quit is the first shoe where the count has warranted a max bet at the end of the shoe, no matter when in the session this happens, and no matter if you are winning or losing. Here's why:
1. If your bets create interest on the part of the casino, you're gone before they can monitor you.
2. You are never faced with the awkward situation of having to reduce your bet at the end of a shoe, or to take the negative earning value hit of starting out a new shoe with a big bet.
3. If you are losing, it allows the casino to book a win. This will pay you longevity dividends. Many players, including some very competent ones, have difficulty quitting a session when they are losing. This is when you are at your most vulnerable point psychologically, and most exposed to prolonged casino scrutiny.
4. Your ratings for comps will be helped. There is a tendency for pit personnel to base your average bet on their most recent observation. With a little encouragement from you the floorperson may make your average bet your last bet. When I play, my top bet, or something close to it, becomes my average bet for comp purposes more often than not. I can't accomplish these lucrative ratings if I've made minimum bets for several shoes before quitting.
5. In the event I've played at least 45 minutes and have not had one shoe that has resulted in big bets at the end, I'll quit in the middle of a minus shoe.
Longevity, the benefits of recorded losses that you can talk up with casino personnel, better ratings (more comps), no need to make big bets off the top: a good package.