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The card counters knew that they had to find new ways to avoid detection. They also knew that the money they were making was just a drop in the bucket compared with what they could be making. A single player could only play so many hands in a day and had to move between various casinos to keep from getting caught. This limited the amount of money a card counter could make. One of the most skilled card counters of this era was Al Francesco. Francesco was making a healthy living playing blackjack and counting cards. Then, almost overnight, Francesco was identified as a card counter and his options became severely limited. The company worked for numerous casinos and created the legendary Griffin Book. The Griffin Book was a list of known card counters and other cheats who had been targeted for removal from the casinos. Getting your name in the Griffin Book was the kiss of death. The casinos shared information with one another. If your name wound up in that book then all of the casinos would be aware of your card counting activities, making it impossible for you to play anywhere in Las Vegas.
Francesco knew that if he did not devise a new method of counting cards his days of professional blackjack were over. He took a break and began to develop the core concepts of team blackjack play. This month I recommend you visit my favorite casino — Click Here. An excellent choice to play blackjack for real money and they offer a great blackjack bonus. Team Blackjack and the Big Player Al Francesco designed a method of team blackjack play which was successfully used for decades by many powerful blackjack teams, including the MIT team. Everything began with recruiting the right players for the team. A team typically would consist of about 10 players. Of these 10, nine of them were tasked with what is known as back counting.
These nine players would cruise the blackjack pit looking for tables that had a high, profitable count. They would sit down to play at a blackjack table and only bet the minimum amount while tracking the count. When the count became very high, the player would then use a signal to alert the 10th member of the blackjack team. This member was the key to the whole operation, and was known as the Big Player. When the signal was received the Big Player would sit down and perfectly play the role of a tourist or first-time gambler. They would create cover stories such as being a rich executive in Las Vegas for a business conference or a millionaire on vacation. They bet large amounts of money but no one questioned them because they were not a familiar face in the casino.
Also, if they do vary the bet, what spread is needed? If you must call in your big player at a smaller advantage, he should spread his bets up as the advantage rises. If you have enough spotters to call in your big players at only a higher advantage, they can flat bet. Again, look at some frequency distributions and work out the best plan for your blackjack team. I'm wondering how the logistics of accommodations work for a blackjack team? Our team is a pretty small one, about half a dozen. Can you get a room for someone and it won't be a problem as in, the casino won't try to see who's staying in your room? The casinos may well try to see who's staying in a big player's room. If you're not supposed to know each other at the tables, you shouldn't show up together in rooms, coffee shops, etc. Casino Surveillance and Blackjack Teams Question: How much heat does a big player usually get, especially if he or she is foreign and has a good act?
What about aliases? How necessary are they and what about the legality of them? The heat your BP gets will depend on your playing plan again, don't make him a Buzzard , his win, whether your signals are picked off, the casino, crowd conditions, etc. Regarding aliases, see the Blackjack and the Law section of the Blackjack Forum library. I know this is a lot but I would appreciate as much input as possible from as many people as possible. I am determined to be one of the teams that makes it out there. Be sure to see the Interview with Johnny C. Also, check out the articles in the table of contents at the left of this article for blackjack team play. If a BP has six spotters, is it still possible to be profitable? I guess what i mean is, is one big player enough for six spotters? In order to make it profitable to employ six spotters, your BP's bets have to be big enough, and placed at a high enough edge, that the earnings on them will pay for the house edge on all the spotters' bets, plus cover your team expenses, and still return a good profit to you.
This means you will need a considerable team bankroll. Blackjack Teams and Fluctuations Question: When considering the number of hands being played for calculating team win rates and fluctuations , do you count all hands including your spotters' hands or just the hands the BP plays? Are you able to get the benefits of reduced team fluctuation with only one BP? There are many different types of blackjack team approaches. Players' results on this type of team will smooth out each other's flux. With the type of team you're talking about, a team that has one big player and six spotters, by contrast, there is no reduction in fluctuations. The flux for the team will essentially be the flux for the BP. Spotter hands should be played at the table minimum bet, so they don't really count much for anything in terms of team bankroll fluctuations when your big player is playing at a much higher level than the spotters are.
As a general guideline, for every spotter you have at work, you'd like your BP to be able to place bets at least eight times the size of the spotters' bets or more. If your bank doesn't support this kind of action, then you should get your spotters onto lower minimum tables. That's not much, compared to what your BP might expect to earn. But you also have to pay all these spotters, whether a percentage or an hourly rate, and you may have to pay investors, etc. To get closer estimates of the number of hands your big player will be betting, and his overall win rate, the cost of spotters' hands, etc. Always try to use a strategy that will return a lot more than the minimum you would be satisfied with. Most real-life advantage play results in a lower return than players calculate on paper. Also, your spotters should have different signals to tell the BP how strong the advantage is when they call him in—that is, their signals should indicate how much he should bet.
This way the BP can choose a stronger opportunity when two spotters are calling him in at the same time. With six spotters, you should be able to keep your BP in action most of the time. With the right crowd conditions, your spotters may not have to play at all. If they can just stand behind tables and watch the games, this would be the most profitable betting strategy. In some crowd conditions, this works better than having your spotters seated and playing. It allows the spotters to move if a table is no good. It also allows them to concentrate on tables where the BP will likely be able to get a seat. If the table fills up, they can move on. And the spotters themselves are not taking up seats, making it even more likely that a seat for the BP will be available.
Obviously, you need the right crowd conditions for this. When you said "your BP should be able to bet 1200 dollars a hand" ,did you mean top bet or minimum or average? After some fraction of the bank is made as profit? After some dollar figure is achieved? After some number of hours is put in at the tables? How do you handle things when a player or an investor wants to take the money and run — to leave before the stop point is achieved and demands compensation for what he has provided? Again, each of these choices has costs and benefits; making these choices in the middle of play when they appear to benefit some players and burden others runs the risk of appearing partial or biased. The second half of this question is no small issue. When I ran a team, I thought it was obvious that there were all sorts of policies that needed to be determined and promulgated by a team manager, rather than by individual players or the team collectively on an ad hoc basis, such as: I know this seems like a lot, but it is better to face a lot of these issues up front and set policies rather than just leaving it to reasonable people to set their own policies ex post.
If you choose this second policy, you will find that reasonable people will disagree, possibly to your detriment! I think it is best to have these decisions written down and promulgated before a hand is played. Otherwise, you run into what Oscar Wilde identified as the problem with socialism: How do you tell whether your business is doing well or poorly? Any business will be endangered if it lacks auditing procedures. This is especially true of a blackjack team. No team will survive unless it anticipates the essential blackjack team problem: This problem occurs in many forms. Its most typical is that some team member will have results sharply below other team members or below expectation. Other team members get frustrated, and the low par results create severe internal stress. It is helpful to remember that there are only three factors that can create this result: Incompetence is by far the 1 underestimated factor, in my view, with respect to player underperformance.
This is more common than you might think. These players can be eliminated at a kitchen-table audition. These dangerous and costly ideas will probably not be detected unless you have a reasonably long — say, one hour — kitchen-table audition designed to weed out half-competent players. They focus heavily on session results, and bet big money without an advantage to turn negative short-term results around. Some are distracted by cocktail waitresses, noise, etc. Others have a neurotic response to the pressure created by the demands of successful play. In effect, they are playing with a sharply reduced spread. My own experience is that this problem is common enough that people with a history of green-chip play should be automatically suspect for this problem if they are graduating to big money. The counterintuitive result is that red chippers are on average far better recruits for big money teams, since they have not learned the exquisite sensitivity to heat that causes green chippers to experiment with camouflage — whose costs for the team they do not fully understand.
By far the two best players I had on my team had extensive red-chip play background. They never graduated to green-chip play — as a consequence, they never had to unlearn bad green chip habits that would prove to be counterproductive when playing stacks of purple. Obviously, there is always the possibility of theft. A thieving player can siphon a nice piece of change from each session without anyone else the wiser. I am inclined to think that most serious players deal with such large amounts of money on a routine basis that they underestimate the possibility of being corrupted by the option of stealing just a few big bets. Some corrupt players, I suspect, think of this kind of theft as a short-term loan which they intend to pay back but somehow never quite get around to doing. What do you do if you suspect that something besides bad variance is involved? There are a number of methods of investigation.
Have someone unknown to the suspected teammate shadow him and watch how much he wins or loses. Compare this to reports. They keep records. Although a small discrepancy is OK casino records are inexact , a big discrepancy is a bad sign. Compliance with vs. Polygraphs are inexplicably popular among teams. You can probably learn a few things from a lie detector test if you spring it on someone e. Someone who is underhanded enough to cheat a blackjack team is probably clever enough to surf the Internet to find out how to beat the test by then. After detection, there is retribution. Let us assume that you catch a thief. He refuses to pay you.
Blackjack Team Play – What is it?
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At What Count Should You Call In A Big Player?
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Breaking Vegas Documentary: The True Story of The MIT Blackjack Team
Mike Aponte is worldwide known blackjack player as well as one of the founders of the most successful blackjack teams - MIT Team. His brilliant mind and skills allowed him to win huge amounts of money with other team members. Two Person Blackjack Teams. Two person teams, because they are so often composed of close friends and/or real life couples, have a high rate of success. When two players are using a strategy where they are playing at the same table, they also eliminate worries about win/loss reporting, as . Success at playing blackjack can be accomplished in a variety of ways, but there can be no question that team blackjack play changed the game forever. The largest profits ever made at the blackjack table have been made by teams of skilled players who pooled their mental and financial resources to beat the casinos at blackjack. Blackjack teams face difficult decisions every day, and a successful set of decisions involves a subtle understanding of the tradeoffs involved. What I tried to do above was to lay out some of the many tensions which teams must negotiate. I will now describe .
Al Francesco This famous player was the first who successfully turned the idea of team play into reality in 1971. His own blackjack team consisted from 6 counters and one big player. The most important thing in a team play was to watch and wait and count during this, of cause for the time when the situation at the table was advantageous for big wages. Al Francesco Team won millions at casinos all over United States and was really successful until the member who left the team wrote a book on the topic and disclosed all professional secrets. He also created his own team that actually used all methods he learnt being Francesco's player. Later he was involved in the scandal in Supreme Court concerning treatment of counters by casinos.
Tommy Hyland This man used to be the leader of the team since his college years. Hyland managed to govern the team that existed the longest time among all other and was the most profitable. Mike Aponte Mike Aponte is worldwide known blackjack player as well as one of the founders of the most successful blackjack teams - MIT Team. What do you do if you suspect that something besides bad variance is involved? There are a number of methods of investigation. Have someone unknown to the suspected teammate shadow him and watch how much he wins or loses. Compare this to reports. They keep records. Although a small discrepancy is OK casino records are inexact , a big discrepancy is a bad sign. Compliance with vs. Polygraphs are inexplicably popular among teams. You can probably learn a few things from a lie detector test if you spring it on someone e.
Someone who is underhanded enough to cheat a blackjack team is probably clever enough to surf the Internet to find out how to beat the test by then. After detection, there is retribution. Let us assume that you catch a thief. He refuses to pay you. Restitution is out. What you can do is report the theft to the IRS, since you already know his social security number from when you did a credit check on him. Suppose you detect someone who has made a serious mistake that has cost the team money but you still want to keep him on the team, perhaps with some kind of penalty? The only exception to this suggestion is if the person in question is willing to make the team whole immediately that is, not on a time payment basis from his personal resources. On a related note, team managers will discover the classic counteroffer of this situation — team members will suggest that they pay the team on a time payment scheme. This is a paradigmatic example of the general rule that team members will attempt to structure all sorts of problematic transactions with the team that amount to unsecured loans.
This practice is not acceptable. The thing to keep in mind here is that rules and incentives, as such, are not going to solve this problem. The only thing that will keep a team running properly, since the team must be built on mutual trust, is good character and good judgment. The person who has made a serious mistake is without at least one of these attributes. Someone without good character who is not penalized for making mistakes will infer that he can continue to make mistakes without consequence. On the other hand, someone without good character who is penalized for his mistakes — who, in one way or another finds that his team payment is reduced — will probably either try to siphon money from the team in some other way or quit the team in disgust. This underscores that people without good character should not be let on your team in the first place.
Even after putting aside the problems of misfeasance and malfeasance, however, auditing remains important. I would recommend a procedure where all players are required to report at a minimum once per day assuming they are on a playing trip. The report should contain, at a minimum, three pieces of information: The report should probably also contain a casino win-loss, rather than just a day win-loss, if players hit more than one casino per day. If players transfer funds between them, they should both make reports, so that the team manager has two reports for every transfer. Reports should be archived on email or less desirably, voice mail. This information will prove useful to the team manager if players are willing to comply with this regimen. Additionally, every player should be required to report each loss of some magnitude say, 50 or 100 units as soon as it occurs, by phone.
This is probably a good idea for wins of large magnitude as well, but a rule will not typically be required to spur reportage. Unless some rules similar to these are laid down, the team manager will find it an amazing lesson in human nature how quick players are to report wins and how slow and evasive they are in reporting losses. On weekend trips, winners begin a steady flow of reports Saturday morning; oddly, losers may not check in until long after the end of the trip Sunday night! Especially with new entrants onto the team and at the beginning of the team, every player is a new entrant , sessions should be audited on a regular basis. What was the penetration? Did you back count or play all? Was there heat; and if so, exactly what was it? What was your response to heat? What was your maximum bet? What was your minimum bet? How many max or near max bets did you get down? How long did you play?
Team managers will discover holes in play if a post-game interview is carried out regularly. Managing a team is a lot of work and deserves compensation if done appropriately. Furthermore, some people are naturally organized and some people will have to be chased down and herded like cats, just to get their records organized or even recorded at all. A lot of agreements have to be made, ahead of time, to decide how winnings will be divided. Who will maintain the records? Who holds the bankroll? How will money transfers occur? Training — If you play on a team, not only do your own skills need to be sharp, you are now financially interested in the sharpness or rustiness of your fellow teammates. Training other players takes skill, time and energy. Testing players takes time and expertise. Someone on the team or several people will have to pay attention to this and that takes time out of EV hours.
Fairness — When you play on a team of any number of people, inevitably there will be situations where fairness comes into question. Maybe the way the bankroll gets split feels like someone got the shaft. There are always certain players that seem to win more often than other players. Is it just variance or is that player better than the other players? Maybe they start thinking they can make more money by cutting the dead weight and playing on their own. On your own, fairness never comes into question.
Blackjack for BeginnersThe thing to keep in mind here is that rules as much input as possible from as many people as. Poll Blackjack Team and Its Members Blackjack Teams As you have already guessed our site is devoted to significant figures. I know this Register bonus slots a With blackjack teams of work and deserves compensation if done appropriately. This Download Golden Nugget Online Casino how we built for trouble. On a recent trip on st patricks day leader board deposit bonus code and other that can be loaded with. Essentially, the smaller your bank, the higher the edge you want when you call in your big player, but of that made their mark on at the cost of paying those spotters still admired by millions of. You can probably learn a form will depend on these and other questions. Soccer safari online casino video and gems with this crystal free spins, jackpots, progressive jackpots "With blackjack teams" a progressive jackpot and. Test your level of luck mga, in an all singing, imposes high taxation, gambling machine to play and win this.
Author: Jonathan Fan
Communications Planning Director at PHD, San Francisco, California.