Unfortunately, most casinos don't allow you to exit and re-enter a game at will. Sitting at a table and playing a few hands, sitting out a few, then jumping in and playing again is a sure-fire way to draw attention to yourself.

A less obvious way to play is to back-count, which means standing behind a table and counting cards until a favorable situation arises, then jumping in with a big wager. This approach was first suggested by Thorp and is now sometimes referred to as "wonging." Back-counting makes you less obvious in your avoidance of the negative hands at the beginning of the pack while you wait to play only the positive hands thereafter. As soon as the deck sours, you leave to find another table.

But casinos have started to thwart back-counters as well. In fact, many now do not allow mid-shoe entry. Only players who have participated since the very first hand out of the shoe are allowed to continue to play until the dealer reshuffles. Another way to play is front-counting, where you leave the game when the count gets sufficiently negative. We will discuss this further and present a K-O exit strategy for shoe games in the next page.

The point is, casino conditions today ensure that having to play during negative counts is almost unavoidable. This is especially true for casual players. If we have to play every hand, then we need to have a plan.

The Value of Low Hands
A-2 is strong enough to play even if your hand has no other strength. A-3 is usually playable also, but it is surprisingly vulnerable: when you have an A-3 in a six-player game, there is almost a 30 percent chance that someone else has A-2! The value of low hands drops off even faster after that. 2-3 is much worse than A-3 and needs something else going for it-like additional low cards or a high pair-to be worth a call before the flop. A call with 2-3 for low is really a bet that an ace will appear on the flop, setting you up for the nuts.
eXTReMe Tracker copyrights © 2005 all rights reserved. Online Poker Guru