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Disguise Counting Methods
 

This is a favorite topic of mine, for I'm intrigued with disguises, and when I discuss disguises, I don't mean physical changes. There are some card counters who have been barred from practically all casinos, and they must resort to false beards and things like that. The disguises I refer to are emotional and intellectual ones, for they are more effective than physical changes and are necessary to a card counter who is winning.

The following are the best methods of disguising play:
-- Don't stay at any one table more than an hour or in any casino more than two hours at one time.
If you play often enough at a particular casino you'll be recognized by the casino personnel. That's all right as long as they don't recognize you as a card counter or winner. By hitting and running, you stand the best chance of not being barred. Long play at any one table gives them the opportunity to really scrutinize your play, so don't linger.

-- Change your betting patterns when you have to. Even though the methods outlined in this book give you the best chance of winning by altering your bets according to the count, there will be times you won't be able to do this and survive in a casino.

Sometimes if you've put out a big bet in anticipation of a favorable hand and the dealer shuffles up instead, it pays to leave the big bet out. If you constantly change your bets at the last minute when the dealer breaks the deck, it will raise a red flag in front of both the dealer's and floorman's eyes. I always wait until the last minute to make my bet, eyeing the ,dealer surreptitiously, waiting to see what he is doing with the cards. If he breaks them, I then make my normal or neutral bet without having to remove chips from a previous bet.

I can remember one incident vividly, at a Strip hotel-casino where I had done very well on many occasions. I was playing head-to-head with a dealer at a single-deck game. The minimum bet allowed was $25, and I was altering my bets from a minimum of $25 to a maximum of $200.

I had played many times there, almost daily for long periods of time when I lived in Vegas, and yet I never was barred even though I beat them for a lot of money. The floormen and pit bosses had their suspicions, but any time they came close to barring me, my actions disarmed them.

On this occasion I had a $200 bet out with a favorable hand coming up when the floorman came over to the table. The dealer immediately shuffled up the cards. The logical move was to reduce the bet to $50, since the opening round would be a neutral one, neither plus nor minus. However, to do this might have been the final straw, and the floorman might have taken the opportunity right then and there to bar me.

Instead I let the bet ride and started a conversation with the floorman.
"Can I get a drink?" I asked.
"Sure." He snapped his fingers for a cocktail waitress.
"I've been running some good luck tonight," I told him.
"I see that." I had a huge stack of chips in front of me.
"Were you here yesterday?" I asked.
"Yes."
"Did you see what happened to me?’’
No.
"It was at lunchtime. I sat down just before eating, and by the time I got to the coffee shop I blew three big ones. Three thousand. I couldn't even eat."

I made up this story with impunity, because floormen work on shifts just as dealers do, and there was no way a floorman would be on at noon and at ten o'clock in the evening, when this conversation was taking place.
"I can't get over losing that much. I'm going to have to win ten more times just like this just to break even." By this time the cards were given to me to cut. I cut them, the dealer restacked them and dealt me my cards face down. His upcard was an ace.
"Insurance?" the dealer asked.
"Should I take insurance?" I asked the floorman.
"First take a look at your cards."
"Okay." I had gotten a Online Blackjack Games, a lucky break for me with a maximum bet riding.
"Should I insure it?" I asked.
"You should always insure a Online Blackjack Games," the floorman said to me.
"You can't lose that bet."
Of course this was bad advice (see Insurance), giving the house an 8.1 percent edge.
"I have a hunch he doesn't have his Online Blackjack Games," I said.
"It's up to you, sir."
The dealer waited patiently.
"No," I said, "I don't want insurance."

I waited. The dealer peeked and then prepared to deal, not having seen my cards. I turned over my Online Blackjack Games and got paid $300 instead of the $200 I would have received if I'd taken the floorman's advice.

The floorman shook his head and walked away from the table. He didn't bother me again that evening. After all, how could I be a counter? I left my big bet riding and didn't alter it. I asked for a drink. I asked his advice and didn't take what he considered correct advice. And I told him I had a hunch. This isn't the way card counters operate. Many card counters are stubborn individuals who don't roll with the punches. Such a counter would have reduced his bet, considered the floorman as an enemy, and immediately not have taken insurance without consulting the floorman. And in that situation he might have been summarily barred from the casino as a card counter.

-- Make the wrong plays at times if the floorman or pit boss is watching your play. I do this often, especially when I have a minimum bet out and the deck is unfavorable. Some of my plays are so dumb and crazy that they'd confound me if I was watching a stranger make the same moves.

A floorman had been watching me closely for about fifteen minutes when the deck got very unfavorable. I split 6s against the dealer's 10 and managed to break even; then on the next hand I stood on a soft 16 against the dealer's 5, mumbling that I figured he'd break first. After these two plays the floorman left me alone.

Other times I've split 5s instead of doubling down, stood on soft 17s (a real amateur move), and doubled down on a hard 9 against dealer's 10. In short, I've done ridiculous things to impress a floorman with my stupidity, just to be left alone. After I make these moves, floormen think I'm just an idiot having a good run of luck.

-- Ask a lot of questions. I'm always asking questions at a table. I ask the dealer if I should split certain cards, such as 2s against a dealer's 6> or 8s against a dealer's ace. If he gives me the right answer, I follow his advice. If he gives me the wrong answer, I tell him he's probably right but I have a hunch. If he's silent or noncommittal, I act flustered, then make the right decision anyway, muttering about my ignorance.

If a floorman is around, I direct questions at him till he runs away to the tranquility of another table. I've asked floormen to suggest books for me to read so I can learn how to play Online Blackjack Games. They invariably give me the name of the most worthless one written by a fellow casino executive, which I sometimes ask them to write down, so I won't forget the title.
If you ask enough questions, no dealer or floorman will consider you more than a nuisance.

• If the game is big enough and there's going to be casino scrutiny from the start, the following steps have to be taken to protect your interests. This is what I do when a game is big and there's going to be immediate heat from the casino.

  • I come to the table with a glass full of liquid. It can be a weak drink of water. I'm the only one who knows what's in there, and I don't disclose the contents, except to intimate that it's a strong drink.
    b. Instead of taking the money out of my wallet in an orderly fashion, I sometimes shake out the cash as if I'm slightly drunk.
  • After I get my chips, I drain my drink and ask for a strong drink, such as gin and tonic, which I'll nurse during the remainder of the session.
    The casino loves a drinker, and they don't figure that a card counter will be drinking.
  • My betting pattern is not rigid. In a big game I'll be at a casino that has favorable rules, and I might make my biggest wager on the first round of play, when I have a slight edge over the house. Thereafter, my bets will appear haphazard. If I win a previous hand, I double up the bet if the deck is neutral or slightly favorable.
  • I ask the dealer and floorman for advice, and sometimes I show my cards to a fellow player and ask his advice as well.
  • I joke around and keep up a constant patter. Casino personnel have an image of a card counter: a serious type who's always looking around at the cards to keep the count going. They don't believe that card counters would engage in idle chatter.
    However, I am so attuned to the game that I can joke with the dealer, talk to the other players, and still keep an accurate count, including aces and, perhaps if I'm really sharp, a count of the neutral cards as well.
  • With a minimum bet and the deck unfavorable, I make crazy, strange bets only a fool would make.
  • I tip the dealer generously, keeping him happy.

    Writing about this brings up many fond memories of the times 8oormen would be shaking their heads and smiling at my stupidity, wondering how an idiot like myself managed to be a winner. And they welcomed me back the next time with open arms, knowing that sooner or later a fool and his money are parted, as the old saying goes
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Other Ways to Judge Your Play
 
Good reasons to bet or raise in poker include:
- To add money to a pot you know you are going to win.
- To increase the size of a pot in which you have a draw to the nuts so that if you make your hand, the pot size will force players with good but not great hands to make losing calls.
- To isolate another player (drive out a third player who had a chance to win or who might be a superior player).
- To encourage other bets and raises that will create the proper pot odds for you to draw to the hand you are trying to make.
- To cause players who might outdraw you to fold.
- To get a free card on a later (more expensive) betting round.
- To drive out players who would otherwise have position on you.
- To establish an image or reputation that may pay dividends later.
- In seven-card stud, when your cards are extremely live and/or your opponents' cards are mostly dead.
- You have made a read on an opponent (either through a betting pattern or a tell) that informs you your bet can make him lay down a superior hand.
 
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