Blackjack Betting Systems

Easy Money Blackjack

This eBook teaches you the real secret to winning at Blackjack, and that secret is NOT counting cards. Counting cards actually does not give you any more than a 2% advantage AT MOST. There is a much better way to make money playing Blackjack, and this eBook outlines this carefully tested method. This system gives you a few basic rules to follow so that you will be able to have a Blackjack Sixth Sense. You will be able to identify the hot tables, and play with only a little bit of money. You will be able to tell what you should bet at any given time, according to different winning or losing streaks that you are having. You will also learn when you should just avoid the table where you are, and avoid losing money. This system focuses on giving you the best returns possible, while minimizing how much you can lose! Read more...

Easy Money Blackjack Overview


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Author: Bill Brown
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My Easy Money Blackjack Review

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The difference between full and fractional Kelly investing and the resulting size of the optimal investment bets is illustrated via a tradeoff of growth versus security. This is akin to the static mean versus variance so often used in portfolio management and yields two dimensional graphs that aid in the investment decision making process. This can be illustrated by the game of blackjack where fractional Kelly strategies have been used by professional players. The game of blackjack or 21 evolved from several related card games in the 19th century. It became fashionable during World War I and now has enormous popularity, and is played by millions of people in casinos around the world. Billions of dollars are lost each year by people playing the game in Las Vegas alone. A small number of professionals and advanced amateurs, using various methods such as card counting, are able to beat the game. The object is to reach, or be close to, twenty-one with two or more cards. Scores above...

The Sure Thing Almost Nobody Plays

The atmosphere is unhurried, the blackjack tables are sparsely attended, and every player sits behind a mound of green and black chips. You think at first you've come to the wrong place. You see the ordinary table limits, the ordinary clothes, the ordinary games. But then how did these ordinary people get such piles of money

Put Big Bets on High Probability Events

Blackjack players understand this tactic intuitively When the odds are strongly in your favor, put down a big bet. In the eyes of many pundits, investors and gamblers have much in common, perhaps because both draw from the same science mathematics. Along with probability theory, mathematics provides another piece of the focus investing rationale the Kelly Optimization Model. The Kelly model is represented in a formula that uses probability to calculate optimization in this case, optimal investment proportion. (The model, along with the fascinating story of how it was originally derived, is presented in Chapter 6.)

An Intelligent Gambler

Some famous investors like betting on horses. They include Peter Lynch, of Magellan Fund fame, and Warren Buffett, who used to publish a newsletter on handicapping. My friend Lou, to whom my first book was dedicated, spent several years on the handicapping circuit and bet on horses for a living before buying an exchange seat and approaching financial markets like a cool handicapper. Some card games, such as baccarat, are based on chance alone, whereas others, such as blackjack, involve a degree of skill that attracts intelligent people.

Never Let a Winner Turn Into a Loser

For example, if your near-term target is 15 pips, then as soon as you are 15 pips in the money, move your stop to breakeven. If it moves lower and takes out your stop, that is fine, since you can consider your trade a scratch and you end up with no profits or losses. If it moves higher, by each 5-pip increment, you boost up your stop from breakeven by 5 pips, slowly cashing in gains. Just imagine it like a blackjack game, where every time you take in 100, you move 25 to your do not touch pile.

Principle 3 Rational Investors Are Risk Averse

A risk-averse investor does not avoid risk at all cost. She may gamble with small percentages of her wealth in hopes of attaining a significant but unlikely payoff. She can make the occasional trip to Las Vegas or Atlantic City and feed the quarter slot machines or take a seat at the two-dollar blackjack table. She also may participate in the Power Ball lottery in hopes of striking it big, even though she knows that the odds are greatly against her. With a small portion of her assets, she even may have purchased Internet stocks at their height in hopes of latching onto the next Microsoft or Dell.

Figure ii 20 sequences of 2

Naturally, the other type of random process is one in which the outcome of prior events does affect the probability statement, and naturally, the probability statement is not constant from one event to the next. These types of events are called dependent trials processes (sampling without replacement). Blackjack is an example of just such a process. Once a card is played, the composition of the deck changes. Suppose a new deck is shuffled and a card removed-say, the ace of diamonds. Prior to removing this card the probability of drawing an ace was 4 52 or .07692307692. Now that an ace has been drawn from the deck, and not replaced, the probability of drawing an ace on the next draw is 3 51 or .05882352941.

Gamblers As Hedge Fund Managers

With essentially zero wealth into hundreds of millions or billions. Each had several common characteristics a gambling background usually obtained by playing blackjack professionally and a very focused, fully researched and computerized system for asset position selection and careful attention to the possibility of loss. These individuals focus more on not losing rather than winning. Three were relative value long short managers consistently eaking out small edges who extensively used derivatives. One was a futures trader taking bets on a large number of liquid financial assets based on favorable trends (interest rates, bonds and currencies were the best). The fifth was a Hong Kong horse race bettor see Benter's paper in Hausch, Lo and Ziemba (1994). The sixth, James Simons of Renaissance, was in 2005 the top hedge fund earner in the world at 1.4 billion and second in 2006 earning 1.6 billion. The seventh is a superior trader and hedge fund manager. Their gambling backgrounds led them...

Failure of the Gaussian Hypothesis

An exception is the game of blackjack, or 21. Related examples include baccarat and chemin de fer, games beloved of European casinos and James Bond enthusiasts. In blackjack, two cards are dealt to each player. The objective is to achieve a total value of 21 or lower (picture cards count as ten). A player can ask for additional cards. In its original form, a single deck was played until the cards were exhausted, at which point the deck was reshuffled.

Walking Away from the Chips

It's important to realize that investing using contrarian strategies is a long-term game. One roll of the dice or a single hand at blackjack is meaningless to the casino owner. He knows there will be hot streaks that will cost him a night's, a week's, or sometimes even a month's revenues. He may grumble when he loses, but he doesn't shut down the casino. He knows he'll get it back. Even when we look at the record of these superb returns (which encompass both bull and bear markets over decades), we are still disappointed that a contrarian strategy doesn't win each and every year. The probability is zero that any investment strategy would, just as it is that you'll win a hundred straight hands at blackjack. It's obvious if we were totally rational data processors. But we are not. We demand the impossible, and repeatedly make poor decisions in pursuit of the unattainable.

Money Management and Market Timing Software

Others may say that money management marks out the line between gambling and trading. Even in gambling, the best blackjack players use money management. The words of the Kenny Rogers song The Gambler, you gotta know when to hold 'em and know when to fold 'em, is very similar to the trader's axiom of letting your profit run and cutting your losses short. The song goes on to advise would-be gamblers that they should know when to wralk away from the game, and be sure not to count their money while they're sitting at the table.

Being An Active Winner And Loser

A good example of an active winner and loser might be a person playing blackjack at a casino. You must make a conscious choice to play and risk your money. And when the game is over, the rules force you to be an active loser. If you want to play and risk your money again, you must place another bet. Without another bet, you can't be a loser again. You must actively participate to lose and do nothing to stop losing, the exact opposite of trading.

Only play with fun money

In fact, I would be more emphatic here. Money you can afford to lose is still money that you value. You need to play with money that you are willing to light up with a match, money that is treated as worthless plastic poker chips on a table. Casinos make you use poker chips and tokens when you play slots or blackjack and roulette so you won't value them and be afraid to play more chips.

Finding a Traders Achilles Heel

When trading, figuring out the market is only part of the battle. A far bigger challenge is dealing with yourself and your personality quirks and emotional demons. Most traders have a hard time keeping their trading ego in check. The best trader in natural gas (we'll call him MVP) happens to work for MBF and is like a brother to me. This is a man who would never gamble more than 50 or 100 on a hand of blackjack at a casino. I think that if he ever lost more than 500 or 1,000 in Atlantic City or Las Vegas, he would kill himself. Yet, this same person thinks nothing of trading hundreds of natural gas contracts at a time and doesn't bat an eye over having hourly profit and loss swings in the six figures.

To Make a Thousand Youve Cot to Bet a Thousand

There is not that much difference between gambling and speculation. The big compelling contrast is that gamblers can never get a leg up on the game, the odds are against them all the time (unless they count cards and play blackjack). It has always amazed me that in a game where the odds are against us, we flock to the table to play.

Approaches to Money Management One Is Right for

There are many ways to go about this problem, many formulas to follow. But all the superior systems to manage your investment dollars have a common tenet you will increase the number of units, contracts, or shares as you make money and decrease as you lose money. That is the essence of the sweet science of the correct marshaling of your funds. This basic truth can be worked several ways. I am going to show you the major ones in hopes you find the shoe that fits you. No discussion on the subject could be complete without bringing up the name Ralph Vince. In 1986, I ran across a money management formula for playing blackjack originally developed in a 1956 paper, A New Interpretation of Information Rate, regarding flow of information and now called the Kelly formula by commodity traders.

Positive Expectation

If you know how to count cards in blackjack, you can have an edge against a casino (unless they detect you and throw you out. Casinos love drunk gamblers but hate card counters). An edge lets you win more often than you lose over a period of time. Good money management can help you make more money from your edge and minimize losses. Without an edge, you might as well give money to charity. In trading, the edge comes from a system that delivers greater profits than losses, slippage, and commissions. No money management method can rescue a bad trading system.

The Good the Bad and the Ugly of Money Management

Ralph noticed the error of Kelly, which is that it was originally formulated to assist in implementing the flow of electronic bits, then used for blackjack. The rub comes from the simple fact that blackjack is not commodity or stock trading. In blackjack, your potential loss on each wager is limited to the chips you put up, whereas your potential gain will always be the same in relationship to the chips bet.

Probabilities Paradox Random Outcome Consistent Results

Results, if you can get the odds in your favor and there is a large enough sample size. The best traders treat trading like a numbers game, similar to the way in which casinos and professional gamblers approach gambling. To illustrate, let's look at the game of blackjack. In blackjack, the casinos have approximately a 4.5-percent edge over the player, based on the rules they require players to adhere to. This means that, over a large enough sample size (number of hands played), the casino will generate net profits of four and a half cents on every dollar wagered on the game. This average of four and a half cents takes into account all the players who walked away big winners (including all winning streaks), all the players who walked away big losers, and everybody in between. At the end of the day, week, month, or year, the casino always ends up with approximately 4.5 percent of the total amount wagered. That 4.5 percent might not sound like a lot, but let's put it in perspective....

On Markets and Odds

Like the battlefield, it runs on probabilities and odds. These control markets every bit as strongly as they do roulette, blackjack, craps, or any other game in a casino. Unlike Napoleon at cards, we don't have to cheat, though our survival does depend on staying ahead of the opposition. As this book will show you, the odds in the marketplace can be turned decisively in your favor.

Profit Goals

To be practical, a risk evaluation must use the performance profile of the system being traded. That includes the size of the profits and losses, as well as the amount of risk the investor is willing to accept. The following formula, from Ralph Vince's Portfolio Management Formulas (New York Wiley, 1990) is a summary of P. Griffin's work, The Theory of Blackjack (Las Vegas Gamblers Press, 1981) and a fair approximation of risk

Analysis Paralysis

With), and (2) get lots of information. If I said, Let me tell you the exact cards that will come out on the blackjack table Without a doubt, your next hand will be a 19 and the dealer will have 18. The next one, you are going to have 21 and the dealer 18, you would be inclined to play because you would have information about what will happen. This can also happen in real estate investing when you gather lots of meaningful information.

Consistent results

To illustrate, let's look at the game of blackjack. In blackjack, the casinos have approximately a 4.5-percent edge over the player, based on the rules they require players to adhere to. This means that, over a large enough sample size (number of hands played), the casino will generate net profits of four and a half cents on every dollar wagered on the game. This average of four and a half cents takes into account all the players who walked away big winners (including all winning streaks), all the players who walked away big losers, and everybody in between. At the end of the day, week, month, or year, the casino always ends up with approximately 4.5 percent of the total amount wagered. That 4.5 percent might not sound like a lot, but let's put it in perspective. Suppose a total of 100 million dollars is wagered collectively at all of a casino's blackjack tables over the course of a year. The casino will net 4.5 million. Second, we know that in gambling a number of unknown variables...

Using stops

What we have to watch out for is that we don't use stops as a crutch - to absolve us from the responsibility of making a wrong trade. Peter Steidlmayer* has put it at its most forcible if you ask me, people who are using stops are using a crutch or buying insurance, like in blackjack. If you don't have the confidence that you're right, don't make the trade. What happens is that people who use stops end up making more trades because they feel they have this crutch that they are leaning against. 'Well, it's only going to cost me five cents'. Those attitudes are copouts (The Big Hitters). Even if we don't go all the way with Peter Steidlmayer, we must be clear in our minds that if a stop is hit, it has to be because we have made a wrong trade.

Dependent events

Trading is much more like blackjack (casino card game). If you start with for example 52 cards and the king of spades is dealt, what are the chances of that card coming out again on the same deck Blackjack obeys the laws of dependent events. If you have the mental capabilities you can beat blackjack. On the other hand because roulette obeys the laws of independent events you will never beat it. It is a mathematical impossibility to beat any game that obeys the law of independent trial (events).


So what is the difference Gambling involves games of chance where probabilities remain constant. For example, if you played pontoon (also known as blackjack and twenty-one), say 20 years ago, your probability of drawing a given hand out of the deck of 52 cards is identical across all time periods. The probabilities will remain the same whether you played 20 years ago, today, or 20 years from now. In pure gambling the gambler has no control over the odds of his game and this means that the decision of when to make the bet is largely irrelevant. Odds are fixed, probabilities are known in advance, and nothing will change them.

Be the House

It's amazing the misconception that people have about gambling in a casino. Most are shocked to learn that casinos have only a 1 to 1V2 percent statistical advantage over the player in both blackjack and craps but are still able to generate huge profits. Furthermore, these gaming establishments must spend millions of dollars on luxurious attractions and outlandish accommodations. Only in Las Vegas can you find volcanoes, shooting springs, replicas of the New York skyline, the Eiffel Tower, and the Venice canals. The casino would rather not have someone make a single large wager for 100,000 and, win or lose, immediately walk away. Although the house has a small statistical edge in blackjack or craps, any one hand of cards or roll of the dice is completely random. What the house wants is for you to keep playing. The passage of time is the casino's best friend and the player's worst enemy. Applying this concept to the markets, if you can develop this 5 percent trading edge, you would...


This situation closely resembles the game of blackjack, played by a player who mentally keeps track of the cards played By adjusting the playing strategy to account for the composition of the remaining deck, such a player may have, on average, about a 50.75 chance of winning a hand that is, p 5075, The player must decide how much to bet in such a situation or a 2p 1 3 Hence in the blackjack example, a player should bet 15 of the total capital on each hand when p 5075- Professional blackjack players actually do use ' this rule or a modification of it Blackjack may seem to offer an easy living The growth rate of the Kelly rule strategy is


Blackbelt in Blackjack Playing 21 as a Martial Art by Arnold Schny-der (Cardoza, 2005) Written by a member of the blackjack hall of fame (possibly not Cooperstown but ahead of the Derivatives Hall of Fame), this book teaches players how to play at a professional level. Just as in trading, blackjack players need to find an edge, manage their money, and execute their strategy. I doubt that traders who are unable to find anything relevant will have the imagination required to succeed over the long term.

William Poundstone

Poundstone starts out discussing the racetrack wire service and the early players in the development of modern gambling activities. Characters like those in the 1969 movie The Sting abound. This leads to the early work on blackjack by Ed Thorp and his involvement with the giant of information theory, Claude Shannon. The history of this era is told to a large extent as a bio of Thorp and Shannon. Since I have known Ed since the early 70 s, much but not all, of this section on his life is familiar to me but most of the Shannon discussion is new to me. It's a good read though for those who want to trace the difficulties and successes of the great thinker Thorp as he moves, to put it in his own words to me, from essentially zero wealth to a giant hundred million fortune. Throughout the book there is the tension between the academics who are efficient market types and those academics

An Original Turtle

Blackjack is the only gambling game that is not determined by chance alone. The shrewd player can influence the outcome by counting the cards. The fact that most casino visitors unconsciously aim at losing (the gambling addicts) or play for the thrill creates chances for the rational gambler, the one who sits down at the blackjack table well-prepared and poised to win. They are in Business Successful gamblers and traders pursue their goals as a business, not as a leisurely pursuit. For gamblers from blackjack to horse racing as well as all traders, making serious money demands they get serious. As a result, they take a completely different approach towards betting from people who enter these endeavors for

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