Team Handbookgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Team Frog : One Thread
last updated on 12-13-99
This handbook is intended for the exclusive use of team members. It should not be shown to anyone else. Any hard copies should be kept in a safe place at all times. Players must return any hard copies of this manual when the team is disbanded or when the player leaves the team for whatever reason. Please do not reproduce any of this material. This edition of the manual is intended for use by all players, regardless of which system is used. It should be noted that there are minor differences in the text according to the system in use.
abbreviations used in this manual:
- HL/1: refers to the Hi-Lo system as published by Stanford Wong (& others). True-Counting is done to the one-deck level. For example: a running count of +6 with 1.5 decks left unseen is a true count of +4.
- HL/2: refers to the Hi-Lo system, true counted to the half-deck level. For example: a running count of +6 with 1.5 decks left unseen is a true count of +2.
- AO2/1: refers to the Advanced Omega Two system published by Bryce Carlson. True-Counting is done to the one-deck level as per HL/1, above. An Ace side-count must be maintained and used for all betting decisions when using this count.
- Zen/1: refers to the Zen Count as published in the pre 1997 edition of BlackBelt in BlackJack. True-Counting is done to the one-deck level as per HL/1, above.
- KO: refers to the Knock-Out count system by Ken & Olaf. IRC's, Keys & Pivots are as published in the book. No true-counting or Key fudging is assumed in these discusions.
- FKO: refers to the Knock-Out count system by Ken & Olaf (with a little fudging). IRC's & Pivots are as published in the book; Keys are fudged as per guidelines later in the manual.
- TKO: refers to the Knock-Out count system by Ken & Olaf (but true-counted to the one-deck level). IRC's are -4(decks in play). Keys & Pivots aren't really used.
- UAPC/2: refers to the Uston Advanced Point Count found in Million Dollar BlackJack. True Counting is done to the half-deck level as per HL2, above. An Ace side-count must be maintained and used for all betting decisions when using this count.
- HO2/1: refers to the Hi-Opt 2 system by Lance Humble. True-Counting is done to the one-deck level as per HL/1, above. An Ace side-count must be maintained and used for all betting decisions when using this count.
- USS: refers to the Uston SS count (Simple & Strongest) as published. No True-Counting is assumed in the text of this manual, though such techniques are not forbidden.
- R7: refers to the Red Seven count as published in the latest edition of BlackBelt in BlackJack. No True-Counting is assumed in the text of this manual, though such techniques are not forbidden.
If you use a count system not described above, please inform management so that the manual can be properly updated. Same story if you use a count listed above, but with a different true-count method than as described above for your count.
-- Anonymous, August 14, 1999
The following principles and guidelines are intended for the use of all team players. Be aware that team play is different from individual play and may require you to change from the style with which you are most familiar or most comfortable. However, to give the team the maximum chance of success, it is vital that all players adhere strictly to the rules and guidelines contained in this handbook, without any deviation whatsoever. Your ability to play according to the principles outlined herein is a function of discipline and will-power more than anything else. There is no room for sloppiness of thought or execution in such an operation. Playing high stakes, winning blackjack is, in large part, a result of outlook and commitment to excellence. Without these, all the technical knowledge in the world will not guarantee success. It is understood that, when you are tested on the polygraph, you will be asked if you have been complying with all of the team guidelines as set forth in your handbook. Failure to satisfy the polygraph that you have, indeed, been complying may be grounds for dismissal from the team. (See Section IX.) To facilitate use of the handbook, guidelines have been arranged sequentially, by topic.
-- Anonymous, August 14, 1999
1. All team players are expected to play a valid point count system.
2. Playing qualifications and certification criteria are as follows:
a) Players must demonstrate mastery of true count conversion (if required by your count system) by computing number of decks in tray, number of remaining decks, and true count for randomly given running counts and deck situations. After true count is established, the player must associate the correct bet with that particular count. Players will be expected to demonstrate proficiency in keeping a side count of aces and must use this procedure for all bet-sizing (if using a non-ace reckoned count).
b) Counting ability will, in part, be demonstrated by counting down two decks (102 cards, two pulled out) in 50 seconds or less with no mistakes; this includes keeping proper track of aces (if required by your count). Faster times are encouraged so that minimum attention is given to the cards at the table.
c) Playing ability will be demonstrated by accuracy and speed with flash cards. The Sweet Sixteen index numbers (including insurance) will be utilized as will the 'Fab Four' surrender plays. The standard will be eighty seconds or less, although, once again, players are strongly encouraged to achieve a substantially faster time. For example, an average of two seconds per number (not at all unreasonable) would produce a time of forty seconds. Strive for it!
d) Players must demonstrate mastery of basic strategy; any good composite basic strategy is fine so long as the player is familiar with the differences between DAS and non DAS splitting strategies.
e) Players must demonstrate complete understanding of the guidelines and procedures set forth in this handbook. There will be a test!
3. Players who do not qualify at the certification meeting may request to be certified any time thereafter and will make an appointment with the team manager for this purpose.
4. Players who do qualify may nonetheless be asked, at periodic intervals in the future, and at the sole discretion of the team manager, to demonstrate that they have maintained their skills and high level of proficiency. Keep sharp and keep practicing on an ongoing basis.
5. Prospective new team members will be required to comply with a credit check and to provide character references.
6. New team members will be placed on probationary status (with smaller unit bets) for a minimum of thirty playing sessions. This probationary period may be waived at managements discretion. Having accurate records of past performance could be grounds for waiving the probationary period. Completeness and accuracy of these records is important; win-rate is not.
7. Drug or alcohol abuse (especially if it interferes with solid blackjack play with team money) may be grounds for dismissal from the team.
8. Players who are compulsive gamblers (in the managements view) will be excluded from the team.
9. All players on the team will be required to have at least $1000 invested in the team bank at any time. A player whose starting balances on his investments do not add up to at least $1000 will have to suspend play until he puts more money into the bankroll.
10. Selection of new team players will be limited to those who can commit to at least sixty hours of team play per quarter. Those players who put in less than 30 hours in a given quarter may be asked to leave the team.
-- Anonymous, August 14, 1999
1. Players should inform management of intention play at least one week in advance to facilitate any required planning. There should be no unscheduled play with team funds.
2. As we do not wish more than two team members to be in the same casino at the same time (except for special team operations), when several players in a gambling mecca at the same time there will be a schedule to follow as closely as possible. If you wish to modify this schedule, please check with management beforehand. We anticipate that six to eight hours will constitute a days play. Occasionally you will be asked to follow a specific shedule even when there is little possibility of timing conflicts... please respect management's wishes in this regard.
3. It should be the rare exception that a player plays for more than five days straight without a couple days off. Management prefers that these days off be spent outside of the casino environment.
-- Anonymous, August 14, 1999
1. You are expected to utilize your time as expeditiously as possible. Please limit non-playing activities to a reasonable amount of time.
2. Spend all time within the casino area actively playing or back-counting. Time spent walking, but not looking at a table, is wasted time. It is, nonetheless, understood that there is a certain amount of dead time associated with a back-counting approach.
3. Try to look like everyone else in the casino as you walk about. For example, walk, dont run, to a table with a good count that you have spotted from across the pit! You wont be alone as you stroll around, so dont feel self-conscious. In addition, avoid back-counting the lower-limit tables. Large bets at a $5 table would be grotesquely out of place! (this is not a problem at most Washington casinos; nor is it a problem when our betting unit is small)
4. Back-count from afar, not from directly behind the players seats. Look casual, and divert your attention from the game as frequently as you possibly can. It is foolish to stare at the table if the dealer isnt dealing. It is actually possible to wander a couple of tables away between rounds and be back in time to count the next round. Use this technique.
5. As a general guideline, walk away from a potential SHOE game (give up on playing/backcounting there) if the running count is negative (less than your IRC) and you have seen half a deck. If the count hasnt exceeded 0% advantage by the time you see one full deck, start looking for another shoe to count down. If the count does not indicate at least a 0.5% advantage by the time you've seen two decks, then start looking for another shoe to count down.
. HL/1, UAPC/2 Zen/1, AO2/1, HO2/1 HL/2 KO R7 USS 0% advantage ~ +1 +2 +0.5 Key-10 (-14) -4 -8? 0.5% advantage ~ +2 +3 +1.0 Key 0 0
6. For shoe games if the count equals or exceeds a ~0% advantage, consider playing. Your participation may not be automatic, as a count indicating a 0% advantage at a full table may not yet be worth pursuing. The only reason we consider jumping in at no advantage (but no disadvantage either) is for cover purposes. It may be easier to not look suspicious counting the deck while playing than it is to not look suspicious counting the deck while hovering around the table.
7. Consider standing instead of sitting down as you play the first hand or two. The count may deteriorate, and you may be leaving sooner than you think! It is easier to get away from a table if you have not yet made yourself comfortable!
8. Your buy-in should not exceed five to ten times your unit bet size.
9. Set up your departure from a table in advance. You might try looking at your watch habitually as if preoccupied with the time. The implication is you are late for an appointment and may have to leave at any moment. If the count deteriorates during a big win, play until you lose a hand (or two) and then leave, possibly stating out loud, Well, I guess its (winning streak) over. I think I'll take a break before I give too much of this back. (This is a technique for Nevada... doesnt really work when you are doing a marathon session in a Washington casino)
10. Squirrel away whatever chips you can, but dont be obvious. As you change tables, if you have a stack of chips, dont put the whole stack on the new table. Play out of your pocket for a while. When leaving, the dealer will ask to color your chips to a higher denomination. Try to keep some, saying, I'm going to play some more. But if he insists nonetheless (and dealers often do), by all means, give in your chips. This isnt important enough to start an argument over. Note that if you squirrel away chips, you cant cash them out during that session... if you cash them out, then youve defeated the purpose of hiding them.
11. If you are already known by name at the casino, continue, of course, to use that same name! However, if you have the opportunity to establish a pseudonym, then do so. Remember the name you use as if it were your own. Groping for an answer when someone asks for your name is the ultimate embarrassment! In most cases, any comps extended to you (under whatever name) are yours to do with as you see fit.
12. If you spot a teammate in the casino, completely ignore him or her. Make no attempt whatsoever to communicate with the person in any manner while still inside the casino. The exception would be if it has already been established that you know each other; still try to minimize contact as much as is reasonable.
13. If you are marathoning in one casino (the usual Washington tactic), take a 15 minute break at least once every two hours. This is not a paid break, but it is a good idea anyway. Give your brain a chance to reset every so often. In gambling meccas, spend between 45 and 75 minutes playing in any one casino.
14. Take a break (end of session) if you have lost a session bankroll. If the situation presents itself, you might lament your loss and let it be known that you have dropped a bundle. Use this break to clear your head and analyze why you are losing. If its just a negative fluctuation, thats fine. But if its because the conditions are not as good as they should be or because you are making mistakes, then either correct the situation and get back to work or quit for awhile (possibly the day).
15. Take a break if you have won a session bankroll even if this occurs after only fifteen or twenty minutes (it doesnt matter how great the conditions might be that you are walking away from). This would be considered the end of a session. Do your record keeping. Take an extended break or start your next session (at a different casino, if possible).
16. Cash in quickly and quietly. Count it along with the cashier to make sure there is no error.
17. Record your result immediately in writing, so as not to forget the outcome.
-- Anonymous, August 14, 1999
1. As the dollar value of the BankRoll grows, so too will the unit size of the BankRoll grow; more money in the pot is worth more protection.
Unit size according to bankroll size:
BR LL ($) BR UL ($) Unit Size ($) BR LL (U) BR UL (U) Units to next LL 0 2000 no play 2000 4000 5 400 800 400 4000 8000 10 400 800 400 8000 14k 15 533 933 400 14k 22k 20 700 1100 400 22k 32k 25 880 1280 400 32k 44k 30 1066 1466 400 44k 60k 40 1100 1500 400 60k 80k 50 1200 1600 400 80k 104k 60 1333 1733 400 104k 134k 75 1386 1786 400 134k 174k 100 1340 1740 400 174k 224k 125 1392 1792 400 224k 284k 150 1493 1893 400 284k 354k 175 1622 2022 400 354k 434k 200 1770 2170 400 434k 500k 225 1928 2222 293 500k 550k 250 2000 2200 200 550k 600k 275 2000 2181 181 600k 650k 300 2000 2166 166 650k 700k 325 2000 2153 153 700k 800k 350 2000 2285 285 800k 900k 400 2000 2250 250 900k 1 mil 450 2000 2222 222 1 mil 1.2 mil 500 2000 2400 400 1.2 mil infinity 600 2000 infinity infinity
2. A session bankroll is 30 starting units. You will begin each days play with three session bankrolls or as large a percentage thereof as possible. If you are in possession of more than 90 units of team bank, carry it with you separate from your playing money; do not consider it available for play. You should arrange to have any money in excess of 90 units delivered back to the team manager as soon as possible.
3. Keep these three session bankrolls separate from one another. You dont want to lose all of them at one table!
4. Dip into a second bankroll (or third, but NOT isolated team funds) at the same table after a wipe-out (session bankroll loss) only if:
a) you need more money to make a correct play (split and/or double), or
b) the count is still high and the shoe is not over. It is thus possible to lose more than one session bankroll at a table (a super wipe-out) given the above conditions.
5. You are done playing (until you contact management) if you have less than a session BR (30 units) left in non-isolated funds. The exception is if the count is still high and the shoe is not over. In this case, keep playing as normal (until the high count is over) but do not place a bet of more than half of what you have available to you in non-isolated funds (save half for splits & doubles). Once youve run out of non-isolated funds, you are done playing even if the shoe is still hot. Do not play with less than 30 units left (of non isolated funds) just to keep playing (and hoping for some wins before you have to make a max bet)... this is a discipline thing. Under NO circumstances should you place a bet from isolated funds. This is very important... if you dont understand these terms (isolated/non-isolated), then be sure to ask.
6. If you are in possession of less than 60 units of non-isolated funds, do not make a trip to a casino (if you are not there already) without first consulting management. Dont take funds out of isolation at your own discretion.
7. There should be no transfer of team funds between players without management approval.
8. Betting levels are as follows (for our initial play):
MULTIPLE DECK GAMES (two, four, six and eight decks)
on double deck: if you cant get away with a 10 unit bet, then top out at 8 units. play at least two rounds after shuffle, regardless of count.
on four or more decks: if at all possible, spread to the appropriate two hand bet at high positive counts.
*on double deck, it is understood that if you are the only player at the only good table, you may have to adopt a play-all approach.
HL/1, UAPC/2 HL/2 Zen/1, AO2/1, HO2/1 KO Red7 Betting Strategy
bet TCx2-2 units bet TCx4-2units bet TC-1 units bet RC+1 units bet RC units <-- general rule... but note exceptions TC -1 or less TC -0.5 or less TC -2 or less RC -5 or less RC -2 or less do not play DD games (exit game after the first hand you lose)*
less than TC +1 less than TC +0.5 less than TC +2 less than KEY less than RC -2 do not play Shoe games except at top of shoe (remember III.5)
TC +1 TC +0.5 TC +2 KEY RC -2 table minimum or 1 unit; whichever is lower
TC +2 TC +1 TC +3 RC +1 RC 0 bet 2 units (two hands of 1.5 units each would be better)
TC +3 TC +1.5 TC +5 RC +3 RC +4 bet 4 units (two hands of 3 units each would be better)
TC +4 TC +2 TC +7 RC +5 RC +6 bet 6 units (two hands of 4 units each would be better)
TC +5 TC +2.5 TC +9 RC +7 RC +8 bet 8 units (two hands of 6 units each would be better)
TC +6 TC +3 TC +11 RC +9 RC +10 bet 10 units (two hands of 8 units each would be better)
SINGLE DECK GAMES Play-All most of the time your top bet on single-deck is 10 units. you should bet this much (10 units) at almost all positive running counts. use at least a 1-4 spread (if not more).
note that this table represents a 1-4 spread.
HL/1, UAPC/2 HL/2 Zen/1, AO2/1, HO2/1 KO Red7 Betting Strategy
TC 0 or less TC 0 or less TC 0 or less RC +1 or less RC -2 or less bet 2.5 units or less
TC +1 TC +0.5 TC +1 KEY RC -1 bet 5 units
TC +2 TC +1 TC +3 RC +3 RC 0 bet 10 units
9. A different betting schedule may be adopted if the team bank reaches the $50 unit size. This will be dealt with in a supplement to the handbook when the time comes.
10. If the pit is not paying attention to you, then there is not much need for camouflage. Jump your bets as the count dictates, but watch for a reaction from the pit. If the pit is watching (even casually... which might not be heat), or if the pit is conspicuously absent, then employ the following camouflage:
a) Only increase your bet if you have won the previous hand. The next bet is, at most, a parlay of the previous original bet and should not be more than double the prior wager, even after winning a blackjack, double, or split. Remember that jumping your bets is a sure sign of a card counter... so exercise caution and be aware if you are drawing heat.
b) Do not increase your bet after losing a hand, even if the count merits a higher wager.
c) Do not decrease your bet after winning a hand, even if the count merits a lower wager.
d) Do not change your bet after a push.
e) always take even money on a blackjack, even if the count says not to. (if you were to always take even money, the long-term cost to you is very small... you might want to think about always doing this.)
f ) dont even think about splitting your tens.
Break these camouflage guidelines at your discretion (and as your act allows). The LAST camouflage guideline you should be willing to break is (a); breaking this rule (more than any other) is likely to draw heat. For a successful card-counter, there is no substitute for a well tuned heat antenna.
11. If you are certain that you are drawing heat, then end your session as soon as you no longer have a count indicating a 0.5% advantage or better. Leave sooner if you feel it prudent.
. HL/1, UAPC/2 Zen/1, AO2/1, HO2/1 HL/2 KO R7 USS 0.5% advantage ~ +2 +3 +1.0 Key 0 0
12. Determine your next bet quickly so as not to give the impression of calculating or pondering over what to bet. Strive to make your bet appear natural and uncalculated. Make it appear as though you just grabbed some chips and shoved em out there.
13 When using the above camouflage (#10) at single and double deck games, consider coming off the top (after a shuffle) with a two-unit bet occasionally (if not always). Be less inclined to do this at games with mediocre rules. After coming off the top with a two-unit bet, adjust your betting to the count as normal for the second and succeeding hands. There is no need to use this costly ploy if you are not employing camouflage... camouflage is much more expensive to you (long term) in pitch games than it is in shoe games.
14. In general, it is best to leave a table at which you have placed large bets towards the end of the shoe (6 or 8 deck) once the shoe is over. If you do stay at the table (what is your reason for being there?), you must bet approximately half of your final bet off the top of the next shoe (two units is fine) so as not to be too obvious. Put this bet in the circle immediately, and leave it there as the dealer is shuffling. Best advice: leave the table!
15. A different camouflage routine may be adopted when the team bank reaches the $50 unit size.
-- Anonymous, August 16, 1999
1. Over-tipping can be a serious drain on your bankroll and can cut deeply into your hourly win rate. If your expected win is 2 units per hour, and after a big win, you toss the dealer a toke of about one unit, you have forfeited half of your average hourly expectation in one gesture! Do not do this!
2. On the other hand, if you are projecting the image of a high roller (and with large bets, you have no choice!), it is incongruous not to tip at all. As you begin to win, ask for a unit chip to be colored and, when you make a big bet, make a smaller chip wager for the dealer, stating, Lets see if we can both win this one. Do this no more than twice if you win the bets and, therefore, have effectively tipped the dealer four chips. You might try letting your dealer bet ride on top of your bet... then, when it wins, give the dealer the chip and let the original dealer bet ride; sometimes the dealer will be very happy with you after a winning streak.
3. It makes no sense whatsoever to tip while you are losing.
4. Wait to tip until you are reasonably assured of a winning session. It is embarrassing to tip early, then lose all your winnings and more. You have to record a loss for the session and then a tip on top of a loss!
5. A good long term goal for tipping, is to not be tipping more than 10% of what you are earning (long term) in your blackjack career. Tipping is a necessary evil that costs both you and your investors.
a) Hourly tipping guidelines based on unit size:
Unit Tip Rate $5 $1 $10 $2 $15 $2 $20 $3 $25 $4 $30 $4 $X $0.2X
Tip less than this if you can get away with it. You definitely should not be tipping more than 0.2 units per hour (long term).
6. Record all tips separately along with gross wins for your final accounting. (See section VII.)
-- Anonymous, August 16, 1999
0. Game selection is critical. Play no game that has a SCORE of less than 50 (as per BJF Vol. XIX #2, Summer 1999; the SCORE article is also available at RGE21.COM). Alternatively, you may choose your game according to its Desirability Index (DI) from BLACKJACK ATTACK or WORLDS GREATEST BLACKJACK SIMULATION books or from simulation data; in this case, play no game with a DI of less than 7.07. There are very few shoe games in Washington State that qualify under these critieria. If you have an approach to these games that you feel will generate a better SCORE or DI than is indicated, then feel free to discuss it with management for approval (off the top of my head, i can think of nine ways to do this). If you wish, you may occasionally play games with a SCORE between 25 and 50 (or a DI between 5 and 7.07) so long as you are willing to accept half credit for your time; dont make a habit of it. When you do this, you must be sure to report actual hours played and hours claimed. I need the actual hours for statistical record-keeping purposes, and i need claimed hours for accounting purposes.
1. When playing single deck games, do not play at tables where more than three spots (including you) are being played. Further, make certain the dealer is following the rule of six (or better). That is to say, at least three rounds are being dealt to three spots; four rounds are being dealt to two spots; five rounds are being dealt to one spot.
2. When playing double-deck games, look for two criteria:
a) no more than four spots being played (including you)
b) at least 67% penetration (but definitely shop for better)
If you are thinking about playing a game that does not comply with these criteria, you had better have compelling reasons to do so.
3. When playing shoe games, have a preference for less crowded tables (this is desirable, but not critical). Also have a preference for tables where no silly side-bets are being played much (Royal Match, Progressive Jackpot, etc.). Progressive Jackpot is much preferable to Royal Match... it doesnt slow the game down much. Absolutely no more than 1.5 (and thats not great) decks should be cut off from play... more than 1.5 decks unseen may be unprofitable (so definitely shop for better).
4. Except as part of an approved team operation, do not play at the same table with a team-mate. This is very important. This is true even if you are off duty and playing with your own money... DO NOT PLAY AT THE SAME TABLE WITH A TEAM-MATE... PERIOD.
5. Try to sit one seat to the right of the third base-man, if possible. In any event, avoid first and third base unless the count is compelling and they are the only seats available. Playing first base puts you under the gun, and forces you to count all cards to your left before making playing and insurance decisions. Playing third base brands you as the table expert and subjects your play to the scrutiny of everyone. You dont need the aggravation!
6. If you have the option, sit where there are two contiguous spots open. If this is not possible, but there is an open spot to the left or right of your neighbor, you can ask him/her to please move over because youd like to play two hands. (Do this only when it is time to bet two hands, not before. You dont want to be pushy, and you may never get to the two hands, anyway.)
7. Count all the cards on the table before you play your hand. This is important. Basic strategy departures should be based on all the information available to you at the moment the play is made. Anticipate a possible departure. Be ready to make the calculations. If you have the slightest doubt as to the appropriateness of the decision, abstain. There is no sense in guessing to make a departure. When in doubt, dont!
8. Never round a true count computation up for the purpose of deviating from basic strategy. If you havent achieved the entire number (without rounding), you dont make the play.
9. If unsure about an insurance play, when the dealer asks for insurance, tell him, Wait a minute, and fumble with your chips as if you are considering making the bet. All the while, you are gaining extra time and should now know whether or not to insure. If you decide not to, simply state, No, forget about it. IF IT IS A CLOSE CALL, a good tie-breaker is to insure your 20s and 21s. This will simply cut down on your fluctuation... it wont improve your bottom line (but wont hurt it either).
10. If youre worried about not having insured several times at the same table and then having to take insurance, simply say, This time, i think youve got it. Youre overdue. (Assuming, of course, that when you did not insure, the dealer didnt have a blackjack!)
11. Give a hand signal for every play, every time, no matter what the total. This is mandatory. Signal stand for every 20, even in two cards. This way, the dealer will get used to expecting a signal from you. For example, when you have A,7 v. his 10, he will be less likely to pass you by. (Proper procedure for this play is to get your hand out early and to be ready for the hit signal before the dealer gets to you.) In addition, be ready to stop the dealer if you intend to split tens or double on A,9.
12. Call attention to a dealers mistake (when not in your favor) concerning your hand as soon as possible, preferably, the moment it happens. Once your bet is collected and the hands are picked up, it is much more difficult to rectify an error.
13. Again, try to anticipate close plays as the hands are unfolding. Be ready when your turn comes so that your play is natural and casual.
14. Dont give advice to other players. Dont appear to know a lot about the game. Play dumb. Dont explain strange plays that you make. I had a hunch will do! Dont make adverse comments about the play of others. Also, if you still spend your time figuring out what you would have done if the player to your right had only done this or that, or what the dealer would have made if only the third baseman had done this or that -- its about time you stopped! Aggravating yourself and making useless calculations of hypothetical situations are counter-productive. Avoid them!
15. There is no such thing as luck, a hunch, a feeling, intuition, or forecasting hot and cold dealers or tables. The latter, in particular, is fiction. You are to play mechanically, according to sound mathematical principles, as if you were a machine. If you do not wish to play this way, DO NOT PLAY AT ALL!
16. Finally, if you are challenged or spotted by a pit boss or counter-catcher, do not get involved in a dispute. Do not become excited or indignant. You are in a no-win situation and should act accordingly. If a team-mate is in town and can cash your chips later, then dont even cash your chips. Just leave. After cashing your chips (or not), leave the casino promptly and without discussion. After you have left, a description of the personnel and the circumstances involved in the incident should be written down.
-- Anonymous, August 16, 1999
1. You will receive your days bankroll (if you dont already have it) at a designated meeting place prior to the commencement of the team play. (See IV.2)
2. Keep this money separate from all other money you may have on your person.
3. Carry your wallet (or wad) in an inside jacket breast pocket or a front pants pocket. Do not carry the wallet in a rear pants pocket. You are responsible for any team money assigned to you... so DONT misplace it.
IF you lose team money (you got mugged, it got stolen, or misplaced)...
... and it is deemed by management that you were careless (and that is how the money was lost or stolen), then you will make up the loss out of your pocket.
... and it is deemed by management that you took all reasonable precautions and the money disappeared anyway, then you will not make up the loss out of pocket; it will be considered a losing playing session (by you) and will be reflected in the accounting program (but not the performance spreadsheet).
4. As you begin a play, isolate the 30-unit session bankroll so that you will know where it is at all times and if it is gone.
5. Record all results diligently and accurately. Be precise and careful. You are to record time played and the outcome (both gross and net win, after tips). Take care of your record keeping IMMEDIATELY after a session; do not rely on memory for your records. record your time to the nearest five minutes (round down)... do NOT round up to the nearest quarter hour (or whatever); doing so is unfair to the investors.
6. Count your chips before cashing in and know ahead of time how much you will be receiving from the cashier.
7. At the end of a days play, tally up your information and give it to management. Be prompt with this information so that discrepancies can be sorted out in a timely fashion and BR size can be determined for the next days unit size. Management needs to have results by twelve noon if any team-play has occurred in the previous twenty-four hours.
- casinos played at.
- unit size you were working with for each session
- time working at each casino
- gross win/loss at each casino
- tips at each casino
- net win/loss at each casino (gross minus tips)
- TOTAL time, gross, tips, and net for the day
- BankRoll left in your possession
A phone call, email, or hand delivered written report are all acceptable methods of reporting this information to management (see samples). Repeated failure to be prompt in reporting results is grounds for dismissal from the team. Three strikes (written warnings) in a quarter (three months), and youre out.
8. Convert all odd bills (20s, 10s, etc.) into as many 100s as possible. At the end of the day, only amounts below $100 should not be in $100 bills.
9. Most incidental expenses are incurred by the player: food, lodging, entertainment, tips to the cocktail waitress, and transportation are to be paid as out-of-pocket expenses and will not be borne by the team as a unit. Some lodging and transportation expenses will be covered by management for certain approved team trips (see below).
10. Initially, management will seed one expense account for each team member.
...ACCOUNT: money that is in action with the team BR; expense account money is not available for immediate use.
...FUND: money that is not in action with the team BR; fund money is held by management and distributed as the need arises.
b) the player expense accounts mature as normal except in the case of a player leaving the team. in which case, the account will mature normally, but the investors portion of the account will be added to the team expense fund (see 11).
c) upon maturity of a player expense account, the original investment plus 22.5% of the accounts profit will be reinvested. 22.5% of the accounts profit will be held by management as an expense fund in the players name. the remaining 55% of the accounts profit will be disbursed among players and management as is normal for any maturing account.
d) if the player expense account to be reinvested is more than ten thousand dollars, then only ten thousand will be reinvested and the remainder will be added to the players expense fund.
e) players will be reimbursed (from these expense funds) for transportation, lodging and other expenses subject to availability of funds and approval of management.
f ) management will reimburse the players at a rate of $20 per hour played for the team (up to the cost of the actual expenses incurred, and assuming availability of funds).
g) IF these player expense funds become wildly successful, management may consider using money from them to buy books, subscriptions and fake IDs for the players personal library and use.
h) any seed money provided to a players expense account by management, will be repaid to management 110% as soon as the funds are available in the players expense fund.
11. Initially, management will seed one expense account for the team as a whole.
a) the team expense account will mature after the account has increased by 100%.
b) when the team expense account matures, management & players will be compensated as is normal for any maturing account. from what is left, 50% of what each player was paid will be awarded to their expense funds (see 10); in this way, players who play more will have more expense money to draw upon. half of the remaining profit will be set aside as the team expense fund. the remainder of the account and its profit will be reinvested as the team expense account.
c) if the team expense account to be reinvested is more than ten thousand dollars, then only ten thousand will be reinvested and the remainder will added to the team expense fund.
d) money from the team expense fund will be used as management sees fit for the well-being and improvement of the team.
e) any seed money provided to the team expense account by management, will be repaid to management 110% as soon as the funds are available in the team expense fund.
12. Players should not owe the bank any money. If a player needs to borrow from the bank for some miscellaneous expense, it should be repaid to the bank within 24 hours of returning home from a blackjack trip. If you absolutely must borrow some money for an extended time, get management approval first. Leniency will be granted for out-of-pocket expenses that in some way benefit the team as a whole (gas money for a BJ trip, for example). In any case, keep an accurate record of what you owe the bank; keep this note with your portion of the bankroll.
13. Expenses that will be paid for from the players expense funds include:
a) polygraph testing.
b) prepaid calling cards (for team business only).
c) certain management approved trip costs (funds allowing).
d) negative bankroll discrepencies that are due to poor record- keeping skills of the player (funds allowing) (the player will, of course, be chastised)
14. Expenses that will be paid for from the team expense fund include:
a) safe deposit box rental.
b) costs associated with recruiting new players.
c) costs associated with recruiting third party help.
d) costs associated with the transfer of team monies.
e) bankroll discrepencies that management has been unable to resolve (funds allowing).
f ) costs associated with conversion of currency.
g) discrepencies as per #13d when player funds did not allow.
15. Expenses that will be paid for from gross team winnings (deducted as overhead) include:
a) tips to dealers.
b) bankroll discrepencies that management has been unable to resolve and there is not enough money in the team expense fund to make up the difference. (as per #14e)
c) discrepencies as per #13d when player nor team funds allowed.
d) costs associated with conversion of currency or transfer of team monies when team funds are insufficient.
(at some point, if the expense funds become self-sustaining, then tips to dealers might start coming out of players expense funds rather than straight out of the bankroll)
16. Other unforeseen expenses might be deducted from either the team expense fund or a players expense fund (see 10 & 11) at the discretion of management.
17. As much as is possible, the team manager will be in possession all funds beyond three session bankrolls per player. Management may require inactive players to give up team funds so that active players may play.
-- Anonymous, August 16, 1999
1. A parallel bankroll scheme will be employed.
2. The accounting will be handled with software. In the event of software failure (unlikely), the various accounts will immediately be divided up as best as the team manager can decipher and still make consistent with the original intentions. The managements judgments in this regard will be final.
3. If the total team bankroll is...
... less than $80k, then anyone is eligible to make an investment.
... greater than $80k, then only team players and third party help (Decoys, Spotters, Big Players, etc.) are eligible to make an investment.
4. An investor may open an account with the team at any time.
5. A player is always playing for all the accounts which together form the whole bankroll.
6. Minimum investments of...
... $100 are allowed if the current unit size is less than $25.
... $500 are allowed if the current unit size is equal to $25.
... $1000 are allowed if the current unit size is greater than $25.
7. Players on the team are required to have no less than $1000 invested at any time. This does not have to be in a single account; so long as the starting balances of all your accounts add up to $1000 or more, then you are fine.
8. Investment accounts mature at the conclusion of any team trip when two conditions are met:
a) the account has seen no less than 800 hours of action.
b) the account has increased in value by at least 50%.
Other investment plans might be negotiated, but this is the basic investment package.
9. An account automatically matures when its balance falls below $1.
10. After the account matures, the program forcefully withdraws it and the players are paid (if the account had profit).
11. Each account receives a share of the latest win based on its current balance. New accounts are thus "easily" added in. Every trip or three a small portion of the bankroll's accounts should mature and will be cashed out, with the investors hopefully choosing to reinvest then or soon after.
12. If an account matures showing no profit, then the investor gets the full remaining balance of the account; players and management get nothing.
13. If an account matures showing profit then...
a) investor gets original investment back.
b) investor gets a payment of 50% of the profit.
c) players split up 50% of the accounts profit in proportion to their time contribution.
d) a commission fee of 10% is charged to each payment (players and investors) and awarded to management. (effectively: investor gets 45% of the profit, players split up another 45%, and management gets 10%)
(in practice, everyones payments are calculated first and then a commission is taken out of their payment)
14. In the case of an investor wishing to make a premature withdrawal of his account, there will be a penalty applied to the account equal to 10% of the investors profit on the account (before commission). (in practice, the investors commission fee is increased by 10% (usually to 20%))
15. Management may occasionally offer specials and promotions that will allow investors to be exempt (or partially exempt) from commission or other investment restrictions.
-- Anonymous, August 16, 1999
1. Periodic polygraph testing may be performed on players at the sole discretion of managment. Random polygraph testing will likely become a reality on this team once the team's expense funds are robust enough to support such activity.
2. With or without the polygraph test, two basic questions concern management:
a) Have you reported all results honestly?
b) Have you followed, to the best of your ability, the guidelines set forth in the handbook?
3. Players who cannot satisfy management with their answers to these two questions may be dismissed from the team. Management will tend to err on the side of caution.
4. Team management will employ spies and use other (legal and ethical) techniques to assure player honesty & integrity.
5. Players are encouraged to report any suspicious activity of other team-members to management.
Note: Protection of the investors money is paramount; no foolishness will be tolerated in this regard.
-- Anonymous, August 16, 1999
1. Spotter/Big Player operations:
a) two or more qualified team players enter a casino; some back count and signal while others (the BPs) get called in to good games.
b) each player in such an operation gets full credit for his time.
c) the win from such an operation gets split equally among those participating.
d) this description includes normal BPs and Gorilla BPs so long as all the players involved are qualified team members.
2. Big Player operations (with third-party help):
a) one or more qualified team players enter a casino with one or more management approved outside spotters or BPs.
b) each team player gets full credit for time.
c) the win is split (and credited) equally among the team players involved.
d) third party spotters will either back-count or play with their own money.
e) approved third party BPs will play with team money.
f ) third party spotters and BPs will have their travel and lodging expenses covered by the team (directly from the team expense fund or shared with team players). they will have to commit to a certain minimum number of hours of team play to qualify for travel & lodging expenses to be covered.
g) third party spotters and BPs will be paid a flat hourly rate straight out of the team expense fund. this is the only monetary compensation they will receive.
h) BPs might be normal or Gorilla.
i) in the event that outside investors are phased out of the team, third party help will still be allowed to invest.
Note: it is understood that Big Player type operations do interesting (and complicated) things to the risk vs. reward situations with the bankroll (especially when all players involved are getting full credit for their time). there are just some vagaries in this line of work that we have to learn to live with.
3. Decoy operations (with third party help):
a) a team player enters a casino with a management approved Decoy.
b) Decoys who do nothing more than hang out with the player and distract pit bosses will have their travel, food and lodging expenses covered straight out of the PLAYERS expense fund (or comps). this is the only compensation they will receive.
c) to qualify for this free vacation, Decoys will have to commit to a certain minimum number of hours of team play and will have to demonstrate their worth as a Decoy to management. Decoys should have good people-skills and be able to think quickly & improvise according to various situations that may arise. knowledge of basic strategy is a plus... such a Decoy may eventually qualify for Gorilla BP status (& appropriate compensation)
d) all Decoy operations must be pre-approved by management.
e) in the event that outside investors are phased out of the team, Decoys will still be allowed to invest.
4. Shuffle-Tracking operations:
a) all players wishing to utilize shuffle-tracking strategies must demonstrate to management beyond any shadow of a doubt that they understand what they are doing.
b) required reading (where possible) for potential Trackers:
...the Card Domination essays from BLACKJACK ESSAYS
...the Shuffle-Tracking chapter from BLACKBELT IN BLACKJACK
...SHUFFLE TRACKING FOR BEGINNERS by George C.
...the SHUFFLE TRACKING TREATISE by Michael Hall
...the three part Shuffle-Tracking series from BLACKJACK FORUM
...the SHUFFLE TRACKING FORUM at www.bjmath.com
c) before using any tracking strategies at a particular casino, the player must provide management with a map of the shuffle in question and a written proposal on how to attack that particular game.
5. Play of other casino games (for camouflage purposes)
a) if the unit is so large that this extra level of camouflage is needed, then the play of some games other than blackjack MIGHT be approved by management.
b) the BankRoll for playing these games (craps, pai-gow, video-poker, spanish 21, baccarat) would NOT come from the team bank.
c) if funds were approved for the play of these games, this money would come straight out of the players expense fund.
d) win or lose, all money would be returned to the players expense fund afterwards (plus or minus the win or loss). note that on a lucky day this will result in an increase to the players expense fund... the player does not get to keep the profits of such play.
e) of course (as an alternative), the player can play these games with his own money.... but management might begin to wonder....
f ) time spent playing these games is not counted in any way toward team play. this is something you do on your own if you choose to.
6. Dual Time (method one) operations.
a) a player plays blackjack with team money and non-team money simultaneously (only with management approval before each session).
b) the player must fill out the Dual-Time (method one) worksheet before and after a session of Dual-Time play.
c) while playing a Dual-Time (method one) operation, the player will be operating at a higher adjusted unit than the rest of the team, but all bet-sizing (and conduct) must still conform to team guidelines.
d) players operating on Dual-Time (method one) will get full credit for their time played and adjusted credit for their win (based on actual percentage of team-bank employed during the session)
7. Dual Time (method two) operations.
a) another variation on a theme, though less preferable. a player plays blackjack with team money and non-team money simultaneously (only with management approval before each session).
b) the player must fill out the Dual-Time (method two) worksheet before and after a session of Dual-Time (method two) play.
c) while playing a Dual-Time (method two) operation, the player will be operating at the same unit size as the rest of the team and all bet-sizing (and conduct) must still conform to team guidelines.
d) players operating on Dual-Time (method two) will get credit for a percentage of the actual time played and win based on what percentage of the players session BR was team money.
8. Playing with a smaller unit than the official team unit size.
a) sometimes it becomes necessary to play for smaller stakes than the team BR would suggest is appropriate; possible reasons include...
...you are bumping against house maximums
...you do not feel that the casino in question will tolerate your level of action if you play official team units
...you do not have enough team money on you to support official betting levels
...you are on probation, and thus not approved to play at the larger unit size
b) figure out the unit size you will be playing given the circumstances at hand.
c) figure what the percentage of your temporary unit is to the official unit. for example: if the team unit is $40 and you are playing at a casino whose table max is $250 on the double-deck game, then you will have to play with a $30 unit.... 75% of normal.
d) you only get credit for this percentage (from c, above) of your time played. continuing from the example above: if you played one hour and ten minutes (1.17 hours), then you only get to claim 0.88 hours for accounting purposes.
e) you still get full credit for your time on your performance spreadsheet... so make sure your records are complete (pre- and post- adjustment).
f ) as always, all such smaller unit operations must be pre-approved by management.
9. Spy operations.
a) management may occasionally call upon you to secretly observe another team member (or prospective team member).
b) you will get full credit for your time. if you were flat-betting (to avoid suspicion), then this session will not be reflected on your performance spreadsheet.
c) obviously this costs the investors something, but possibly less than a polygraph would cost. ultimately, it might save the investors something as well.
-- Anonymous, August 16, 1999
(these items will eventually be incorporated into the main body of the handbook once i organize my thoughts a little better)
1. Do not employ strategies not covered in the handbook without consulting your team manager first. He will want to verify that your strategy is valid and that you are fully capable of implementing it properly. The casino is not the place to try out new ideas... these should be tested on simulators; not with real money. examples of forbidden strategies (until management consents):
Card Eating Multiple Hand play (except where noted above) Ace Sequencing Progression methods T.A.R.G.E.T. latest BJ fad you read somewhere.
Some of the above strategies are valid, but you must demonstrate your competence in them before using them with other peoples money.
2. Doubling for less is almost never correct. if you dont have enough money to double for the full amount, dont double at all. Just hit instead... you might want another card afterwards.
3. Some of the restrictions in previous sections may seem to have no validity. In truth, for the solo player, some of the above money management schemes are bullshit; however, in order to allow the team to constantly be aware of its changing bankroll (and adjust to it), these strategies have merit.
4. Get to know and understand the way things are done before trying to improve upon them. After a couple of months, if you still feel that you see room for improvement, offer your ideas to the team manager; DO NOT just implement these ideas on your own without first consulting management. We do things the way we do for a reason.
5. Be especially wary of heat at the Lucky Eagle casino in Rochester. DO NOT exhibit any familiarity with any team-members. Some team-members are already under scrutiny here... you dont need the aggravation.
6. when playing blackjack for the team you should consider yourself at work. in general, your significant other (or other friends & companions) should not come to work with you except as part of some camouflage technique (unnecessary in Washington). an OCCASIONAL visit from friends and family while you are at work is acceptable if it doesnt interfere with your work. dont forget that your work is being compensated somewhat for your hours... so use your hours appropriately.
7. leaving a casino stuck is not a sin. management prefers that you not worry about individual session wins and losses; all that matters is that your skills are sharp and you play according to the guidelines set forth in this handbook. win or lose, each session you play for the team has value. expected value has nothing to do with actual results.
8. during a show is a good time to be playing as the tables will be less crowded. after the show is a good time to dine as the dining/show area will be less crowded and the BJ tables will be more crowded.
9. keep your drinking of alcohol down to a minimum until you have demonstrated to management that you can play according to specifications and according to team guidelines (this handbook) even while drunk.
11. soon we will develop signals for use in the casino in order to facilitate communication without letting the casino know that the players know each other.
12. in case it wasnt clear in the handbook: each active player should be in contact with management a minimum of once per day and sometimes more often depending on the circumstances.
13. keep lots of notes on good & bad dealers, when shift changes occur at different casinos, and other items of interest. management will eventually compile a database for use by players on team trips to facilitate planning and finding good games (or avoiding bad ones).
14. as situations change, so too will the contents of this manual.
15. be wary of what you post on the internet. many of the blackjack sites on the web have much value, but they are not secure and it may be dangerous to post too many details of when & where you played and who (other team members) you play witth. loose lips and all that.
16. i have worked hard to make sure ive covered all the important details and explain how we deal with them as clearly as possible. further, ive tried to make sure that all my references in the body of this text are accurate. if you notice a vagary, or a misplaced reference, or a missing detail, or some other editing nightmare... please let me know so that i can correct it.
-- Anonymous, August 16, 1999
I, _________________________, do hereby agree to conform to the guidelines for team play as set forth in the Team Handbook. I realize that failure to comply with these principles may result in my exclusion from the team. I accept the terms and conditions upon which team play will be based.
-- Anonymous, August 16, 1999
-- Anonymous, August 21, 1999
Player Name: _______________ City: _______________ Page ___ of ___
Date Real Unit Adj. Unit Casino shift or oclock Real Hours Adj. Hours Gross Tips Real Net Adj. Net Team Play Total Transfer BR on hand . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . This Sheets Totals: . . . . . . | | | | | | | . . Previous Sheets Totals: . . . . . . | | | | | | | . . TOTALS: . . . . . . | | | | | | | . .
real unit is the team's official unit size at the time this session occurred
adj. unit is the unit size you played to during this session
adj. hours takes into account adj. unit & special ops
adj. net takes into account BP/Spotter situations
-- Anonymous, October 17, 1999