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Jumping into a Game

A reader says:

we have been using optimal proportional betting and "Wonging it:" we find this method superior to changing bets with the count for two reasons. First, we attract little or no heat, except if we spend too much time at one pit. Second, we have never liked losing big bets and then having to try to catch up with small bets because the count has dropped; making big bets every time suits me better.

we have a question. You talk about "jumping into a game in progress." Is this a dangerous way to play? Can you suggest some guidelines for this type of play? Specifically, when we are playing six-deck shoes, when should we consider not playing the method - when one, two, or three decks have already been dealt before we arrive? Should we lower our bet because of the additional risk or is there, in fact, no additional risk? What are the dangers?

There is no additional risk and there is no danger. The only problem with jumping into a game in which cards have already been discarded and you do not have a count of them is that the shuffle comes too soon. Suppose for example six decks have been shuffled, two have been cut off, and three have been used before you start to count. You are only going to be able to see the cards from one deck before the dealer shuffles. You will be dividing your running count by five or six to get your count per deck. You never get to play against a big count per deck if you get to see only one deck out of six before the cards are shuffled.

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Loose Players and Passive Players
A loose player would probably play 70 hands, avoiding only the bad ones.
A tight player waits for quality starting hands. He would play only the 20 good hands, although a very tight player might play only a dozen, and a moderately tight player might play 30.
There's a middle ground for players who choose to play SO or so hands. Some people want a third label for "average" players, while others want just to use "slightly tight" or "barely loose." When you start arguing about points like this, you're starting to lose the forest for the trees. Labels are only a tool and one has to think to use that tool. The thinking can happen when you create the labels, but it's probably wiser to do it later in the process when you actually need to make judgments and decisions about how to play hands.
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