I explained this in an earlier post in this thread, so no need to repeat it here.
post #76 of 100
9/7/07 at 5:13pm
Guys. Yes, I have been very lucky at blackjack? Impossible? No, because its true. Improbable? Sure, but it's still true.

I'll provide another example. I have an uncle who only ever bets on one horse race of the year, that's the Melbourne Cup (in November) in Australia. In the last 20 odd years he has only failed to place a bet that has NOT paid a return only a few times (and he has won the trifecta twice). That means that he has a success percentage in the high 90's  on that particular race. If you broaden the view and say that he wins 95% of the time he bets on horse races you would clearly think that he should bet more and make a living from it. The fact is that because he only bets on that race, which has a lot of information published about it, he has been able to achieve an excellent success rate.

The more times he bets on other races the more likely it is that he will lose. This will reduce his overall success rate quickly, but it won't alter his success rate for THAT horse race.

My comments related to my experiences playing blackjack. I didn't mention the 50 times that I have walked away from slot machines (pokies) at clubs (not casinos) $50 or $100 down.

So, I have a high success rate at blackjack (lucky me) mostly because I walk away when I'm winning. Think about how many times when you've played blackjack that you've been up, and then gone down. I stop when I am up. This is the 'system'. Casinos want you to stay at the table, because they know the longer you play the more likely you are to lose. They comp you drinks and all sorts of stuff to keep you playing.

dj_mocok has provided a personal account whereby if he had stopped he would have been very much ahead, rather than continue to play and end up marginally ahead. 
I have a low (but expected) rate of success on slot machines. This, on balance, means that I am probably about even on my gambling.

The title of the thread is about blackjack and casinos. It's not about overall gambling. I was providing my experience in relation to the topic.

"Knowing when to quit" is a fallacy, an illusion. There is no way to predict when to quit such that in the long run quitting at any point will translate into having better odds than the house and therefore see a profit. Virtually the only way to not allow the house their statistically advantage is not to gamble.
What... do you actually think casinos would go out of business if everyone all of the sudden "knew when to quit"? Casinos have every reason to be appreciative of those who believe this fallacy as it helps increase their profits. 
http://newsinfo.wustl.edu/news/page/normal/570.htmlCasual gamblers may be no more impulsive than nongamblers when it comes to discounting the value of a delayed reward in favor of a smaller amount of cash on hand. But gamblers are more likely than nongamblers to take a chance on a possible higher payoff instead of taking a smaller guaranteed reward.
This is a common fallacy and your quote above shows you used it in support of using your system. This fallacy and your system completely ignore the fact and consequences of the house advantage. If it is true that your system statistically results in less than a 50% success rate, the following example is true. If you take 100 people and give them each $100 dollars to bet and they each use your system (which tells them when to quit), statistically the 100 people will lose more than $5,000 and walk away with less than half the original bank roll of $10,000. Reason: the house has the advantage, that is, a greater than 50% chance of winning. If instead your system has a success rate of 96% or 98%, than these 100 people statistically should walk away with something closer to $19,000.

1Time  you continue to assert that unrelated events can influence each other.

In your coin toss example if I first toss heads, then the next toss must be tails. This is absurd.

Statisticly the odds of tossing 10 heads in a row is 2 to the power of the number of tosses; in this example 1 in 1024. But, if I have just tossed 9 heads in a row, what is the probability of tossing another head? It remains 1 in 2. The previous tosses have nothing to do with the next.

You suggest that the sample set size is irrelevant in realising the statistical outcome. I'm sorry, but that is incorrect. The greater the sample size the more likely the closer to the statistical outcome.

In the case of my blackjack playing each time I play I have a 48% chance of winning. Whether I won or lost on my last visit to the casino has no bearing on this.

As far as knowing when to quit. I disagree with you. I have never suggested the concept is about the 'optimal time to quit'. It is simply quit while you're ahead.

"Knowing when to quit" is a fallacy, an illusion. There is no way to predict when to quit such that in the long run quitting at any point will translate into having better odds than the house and therefore see a profit.

I tend to quit when I have double my stake (I normally start with $100  $200). Or, I will cash in my stake and the equivalent in profit and then play with any additional winnings. If I lose those, I'm still ahead.

If everyone knew when to quit the casinos would go broke, but very few people know when to quit; so the casinos continue to make money.

You seem to think that gambling is a logical pursuit for most people. Fact is, it's not. People rely mostly on their emotions when gambling.

Why do people chase losses? Because they believe that they can regain their losses.
Why won't people quit while they're ahead? Because they believe that they can win more. 
You seem to be missing the details of some of the points raised here. You continue to come back to the 'house has the advantage so nobody can ever win argument'.

It's also worth remembering that people are illogical when they gamble. Why don't most people back the same number in roulette? Because we illogically assume that if the number just came up there is somehow a lower probability of it coming up the next time. Statistically, the probablity is identical.
Why do casinos give you those cards to track the numbers in roulette? Because casinos know that people are illogical. The follwoing is an article on the beahviour of gamblers: http://newsinfo.wustl.edu/news/page/normal/570.html Casual gamblers will take a smaller guaranteed reward. That's me. 
You seem to be confusing my success rate with the average success rate and the general probablity associated with black jack. Your example is ill considered.

I have never disputed the odds in blackjack, nor have I ever contended that my win rate is repeatable.

You have provided the silly example that I assert that everyone in the game has 96% chance based on my 'system' (as you keep calling it)  I have never claimed that, and your example simply demonstrates is that you have not really thought about this very well, and that you don't understand distibution at all. I am no expert, but I appreciate that gambling returns would most likley comply with normal distribution.

Based on your example of 100 people with $100 each; the house will take about 52% or $5200. (at least we seem to agree on this)
The remaining money will not be distributed evenly amongst the 100 people. A few will lose all of their money, many will lose part of their part of their $100 an approximatly equal number will win part of an additonal hundred, and a few will win more. Your line of logic demands that nobody in this example could ever do better than losing 52% of their stake. Thus, the remaining $4,800 will be distributed evenly amongst the 100 people. Clearly, that is not based in reality. 
I am simply saying that I am in the leading edge of the distribution curve. Why is this so hard for you to understand?
