The Floating Edge

The explanation for this phenomenon is complex, and not by any means complete. At very extreme negative counts, say, for example, when all the cards in the deck are 10s (as in the previous example suggested by Roger Gros), our count system tells us we are playing with a disadvantage. According to Griffin, the removal of a 10 decreases the house advantage on the tie bet, so a deck composed only of 10s would have a very low count. If only 10s remain, however, as Gros previously pointed out, we are playing with an 800 percent advantage! At the other extreme, high counts also gives us a huge advantage. A deck composed only of 5s (whose effect of removal is bad) also gives us an advantage of 800 percent. These extreme situations become more commonplace as we get deeper into the deck. For this to result in no change in our overall expectation for the whole shoe, there must be some kind of balancing force around our count system's pivot at 0. Could we then use a higher figure to determine at which point we have the advantage? Yes, and it gives us a slight advantage over the house, but our average earnings per hour are still at minimum-wage levels with anything other than obscene, you-could-buy-a-hospital-with-that-sort-of-money wagers.

It's also possible that extremely negative counts, as well as extremely positive ones, might be worth wagering on. It seems intuitively likely that there is some point at which the composition of remaining cards becomes so concentrated in negative cards that the number of possible totals becomes limited, thereby creating increased expectation for the tie bettor.

The most important characteristic of the table isn't its external dimensions, however; it's the playing surface. A soft surface, like felt, makes a big difference because it allows cards to be easily picked up by players. Anyone who has played cards on a hard surface knows that shuffling can be difficult(especially with a new (deck ), and the only ways to pick up cards are to squeeze them between your fingernails or slide them to the edge of the table, both of which will mark up and wear out a deck in no time. This is not a minor issue over a six+ hour session; playing poker on a hard surface is fatiguing to players-even though most won't perceive it-and will lead to shorter and less relaxing games. A hard surface is also harder on your chips.
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