Playing the runs I am not looking for partners and I do not drink. More so, I am not a kool aid drinker that believes all the they hear or read. With my system, I have modified BS a bit to compliment my "runs". I am also a computer professional that has tested my system quite extensively with many different options. There are many ways to skin a cat and I have one that will never be accepted by the BJ community unless one of the "biggies" says it is so. More so I am not interested in writing a book or convincing anyone that it works. I just responded to FMike to agree that it is real and VERY profitable. The more people that try it and have winning sessions may cause the casinos to look at this strategy and actually take steps to disallow it. I would rather keep a low profile and keep taking my withdrawls... I have nothing further to add. Good luck to all.

In 1979 I purchased a Radio Shack TRS80 Model III. For those readers too young to remember, this was one of the first PCs. It had a Z80 processor rated at about 1.5 MHZ. As a computer programer, and statistician (and having a little time on my hands) I wrote a program to simulate the game of blackjack. I won't bore you with a lot of details, but the system allowed me to vary playing stategy, and betting patterns. It outputted a vast number of statistcal results including data on win\loss streaks. The computer would simulate only about 6000 hands per hour, so it took about a week for a 1,000,000 hand simulation, which I determined was the minimum for valid statistical results. I ran this program for about 3 years, 1979 through 1981. I was able to quickly confirm published basic strategy, which was by the way was not developed using simulation, but rather via mathematical analysis. I found one or 2 major differences, but that is not the subject of this posting. I was able to establish, that streaks, both win and loss, would occur with statistical regularity. Just like we know that a 4.5 2 card 21s will occur every 100 hands, a win streak of x length, will occur y times every 1,000,000 hands. Then I began to simulate various betting schemes to see if one could take advantage of the streak propensity of the game. About 250 one million hand simulations were used for this analysis. I can't reveal the exact results, but discovered that a win streak betting scheme based loosely on Fibonaci numbers, consistantly yielded a positive expectation over one million hand simulations. So, in 1982, I began to use this system in occasional trips to Vegas and Atlantic City. My basic bet was 2 green chips. The results were immediate...the very first trip produced a result that I still don't believe. Most trips (2 or 3 days) saw a profit of $1000, to $2500, with a high of $27000. Yes some trips lost, but these were usually under $1,000. On some trips, I never had a losing session. All in all, the actual results far exceeded the expectation from the simulations. This streak continue for almost exactly 20 years. My last win was for about $8000 at the Sahara in June 2002. Then, after 20 years, the worm turned. For the past 6 years, the law of averages has caught up with me, and now wins are rare. However, to all the "experts" who state that a betting system cannot over come the negative expectation of blackjack, my response is "yeah, right".

And your opinion is? Fredguy, The last two paragraghs of your post have me confused as they are somewhat contradictory, depending on how you mean the (yeah,right). Are you saying that some systems are good? Billy C

Billy.... The system my simulations developed is tens of thousands of dollars ahead after 26 years. I would call that "good", wouldn't you ? And this does not even consider thousands of dollars in casino comps, including first class airfare. The fact that after 20 years, it was way ahead of predicted results, and now seems to be leveling off, in no way contradicts the overall validity of the system. Sorry for any confusion. My post was primarily intended to support previous posts the authors of which experienced similar results. By the way, I tried card counting a couple of times, and all I got was a headache. Fred

I generally agree with our in house experts on most issues that we discuss at this site. I also agree with them on this topic, but with a caveat. Fred and Dick have both presented cases that are contrary to popular opinion on this subject. Could they have found something that works in spite of the math? If they both kept records of their play over a number of years and those records indicate they are winning, is this "long haul", evidence that methods other than counting are viable? I don't think we have reached the definitive pinnacle of BJ expertise, that the game is constantly evolving, and that new approaches are needed to stay ahead or to remain even with this game. Maybe there are a few people out there that have found a "crack in the armour" and can use it for their benefit.

Here's some food for thought FMike. Everything card counters do and believe is based upon the assumption that the cards are totally randomized. What if they're not? Can you predict card runs working under the assumption that the cards AREN'T perfectly randomized? I once had a simulator using a desktop RNG give me some pretty strange results that suggested long term anomalous trends over hundreds of thousands of hands. No math studies I've ever heard of could explain it. A professor at my university thought it might be the non-random shuffle. You would need infinite computing power to completely randomize cards on a computer. How much more so is that for a red-blue shuffler or a hand shuffle?

How much play? I don't think either Dick or Fred indicated how many hands they played in the 40 and 26 years, respectively and that would certainly be a factor needing consideration! Billy C

Billy... I, for one, have absolutely no idea how many hands I have played over the past 26 years, nor do I think it's at all important. The betting strategy I use was developed from approximately 75 million simulated hands...and was then statistically confirmed with another 25 million simulated hands. The positive expectation duing these 25 million hands ranged from .095 to .099, an incredibly tight range. The actual results that have exceeded these expectations only shows that the luck factor is of paramount importance in our favorite game. But if one is playing with an overall strategy with a positive expectation, lady luck has a lot of help. By the way, I have no intent of writing a book, starting a school, hosting a radio program, or making a movie. I entered this thead to support those readers who are looking for a possible winning system not involving card counting. Fred

I'm not so sure about this. I've heard from several "programmer types" that writing a program that randomizes stuff is one of the simplest programs around. People just think it's not random because there tends to be repetition in randomized than what a human mind would choose. There has also been at least one study that shows humans are terrible at recognizing true randomness. Our minds focus on one string of numbers (or in our case, cards) and automatically thinks its not random because of that string of repeating numbers, when it's quite the opposite. If said humans were asked to write out a hundred numbers, in a "random" sequence, there wouldn't be enough repetitive sequences of numbers and probably would fall under a pattern of some sort over the long haul. I think "runs" of cards are perfectly random. We just like to think they're not because in our minds, we want "even distributed" cards and not truly random cards. Truly random cards will have clumps.

Random events With my limited knowledge of statistics, I can't very well define randomness, but I would think that a true random sample, must require a relatively large number of occurences, and that the sample must not have constant intervention. I guess I am implying that a deck(or 2,4,8 decks) of cards and it's constant revision by a dealer,changing dealers,the manner in which they are placed in a discard rack(the sequence is at or near a total of 21), and a few other factors does not allow for true randomness to occur. If we consider the way playing cards are packaged, I think this would alter random distribution of the cards. The cards, by suit and in chronological order are given a cursory wash and a short shuffle, and then are ready to play. Does this allow for a random distribution of the cards? I don/t think so. Maybe after the cards have been dealt for a few rounds, the random factor will become greater. I think that some savy BJ players can and do use the non random events to their advantage. I am not one of those and must rely on BS and a little extra skill.

Am I wrong In thinking that most of us presume that randomness exists unless we would see something obvious like clumping, etc.? It would be difficult (for me, anyway) to play the game with any other approach. Billy C

wish systems really worked My system is: 1, 2, 3, 5, 5, 7.5, 10, 10, 12, 12, 14, 14,.....A friend uses: 1, 3, 3, 6, 6, 12, 12, 24, 24, 48,48....... with these systems you advance the bet after wins and start over after a loss. I still sometimes combine my system with counting to disguise what I am doing. System betting is much more fun than just betting flat. I used to reason that if I'm winning, the count must be good, but not true. I have ran thousands of computer simulations using basic strategy comparing both of the above progressions to flat betting, betting based on count and betting and playing based on count. Betting and playing based on the true count made the most money. Betting based on the count but playing basic strategy also made a profit. The other methods ended in losses, flat betting lost the least. I can't stand sitting there flat betting unless the count is bad. tgun

systems Tgun... Both of the systems you mentioned are doomed to failure. Here's why. Both systems double (or triple) the bet after 1 win. The single most frequent win streak length based on millions of simulations is 1. Now think about it. If you increase your bet after every win, you will lose at least double your win when the next hand is a loss, which will occur more frequently that any other result. This is why every non-counting system that presses after a single win cannot possibly win in the long run. Fred

And this is exactly what my post was talking about. Clumps are random. What you presume about randomness isn't random, it's even distribution. Players want the cards to be evenly distributed, but when they get clumped up (true randomness), all of a sudden people think it's not random anymore. This is simply not correct.

Covered in Bees! We interpret "clumping" differently but that's fine. No problem here! I understand what you're saying. Billy C

Systems/Card Runs/Counting Oh to be a casual playa. Sid down. Have a drink. Let the chips fall where they may, and the cards as well. Hope for that 20 minutes of fame and fortune. Brick-a-brack with the dealer, udder playas at the table,(hopefully, from my part, a beautiful lady on either side)and the pit crew. Nary a worry about "heat." Point one: Find a counting game anywhere in the world, anymo. Continious shufflers, automatic shufflers, quick shuffles, six, eight deck games cut at less than 50%, on and on, with 6-5, no double after split, no double on certain counts, and on and on. What's a mother to do? Go to Macca(sp) Chinese gangs and "organization?" In the US, find a stupid Indian Casino not rum by Berman? Wait months for hearing about some favorable game some where far far far away, where the cost of travel may outweigh the final outcome? The promoted benefits don't fit the offered games anymo, unless somehow. you be privaleged to know wht 99.9 per cent of the peons and casino suits dona. Point Two: Money management. Crucial, in whatever type of play one chooses. AP, or casual. Percentages have changed with the game offerings. But managing your money hasn't. So the card run proponents at least offer their own money management theories, which is what works for them. A sit down bankroll, comfortable to lose in an effort to try for the "win." A system to play on the "house," or walk away. And try again at another table or another "location." Given that one is playing on the house's money, say the third win in a row to increase one's bet, or after winning a double, or the rare split, to increase one's bet, it's a "chance" on taking advantage of the "run." Blindly recognizing when the "run" is over becomes ruinious. Too much adreneline and optimism overcome even the best efforts to get up an go when things go bad. And trying to recognize when they do. However, sacrilage! Without the ability to find a counting game, a money management system with a continuous shuffler, which approximates the infinite probabilities, played with "perfect basic strategy," would yield the least "loss" as long as all the favorable "moves" were allowed. Without the ability to "count" a game, that is the best one can hope for along with the smile of "Lady Luck."

The cost of fun There's no doubt that "ploppie" play (even with BS) is easier and more fun than "working" your game. The question is, do we want to PAY that much for fun? Not me. Billy C