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Twenty-First Century Blackjack: A New Strategy for a New Millennium28 August 1999
Twenty-First Century Blackjack: A New Strategy for a New Millennium
Chance and Circumstance columnist, Walter Thomason, the blackjack maverick, has published the best book ever written on progressive betting. Titled Twenty-First Century Blackjack: A New Strategy for a New Millennium [Bonus Books], the book discusses the benefits of using Thomason's Four-Step Positive Progression with Quit Points as opposed to flat betting. Thomason's system is geared strictly to multiple-deck shoe games and is not being offered as a substitute for card counting or other advantage-play methods.
So, what sets this book apart from past books on progressive betting? Thomason does an exhaustive comparison of hundreds of thousands of hands (both manually dealt and computer simulated) using three betting styles:
In order to be uniform, all three betting styles use the same basic strategy for the play of the hands with no variations for the count. But here's the key that makes this a progressive betting book to be reckoned with: these three styles of betting were all compared against the exact same hands! That's right, the card counter, the flat bettor, and the Four-Stepper all played the exact same hands, using the exact same strategy, with only their betting styles at odds. That's tantamount to having Babe Ruth and Mark McGwire hitting against the exact same pitches to truly determine who is the better home-run hitter. The results of Thomason's study are eye-opening and, if duplicated by others, will certainly go a long way towards proving what Thomason has doggedly maintained all along -- that his style of progressive betting is superior to flat betting at blackjack and is certainly an attractive alternative to individuals who can't or don't want to learn how to count cards.
This is an iconoclast's handbook as it takes dead aim on a gambling sacred cow. The math of gambling clearly shows that if the total amounts of money wagered over the long run by a flat better and a progressive are the same, their expectation is the same as well (assuming the same strategy). Progressive betting merely changes the patterns of the wins and losses, not the overall results. You can see this clearly in independent trial games -- such as the flipping of a coin. In blackjack terms, if a flat bettor and a progressive bettor play basic strategy and face a one-half percent house edge, after a sufficiently long time both will lose one-half percent of all the money they wagered. Thomason's findings cast doubt on this mathematical precept (as it relates to blackjack shoe-games only), and he speculates that there might be something in the nature of a shoe game that creates streaks that are somewhat longer than randomness dictates, streaks that his system of wagering exploits. Of course, others have speculated on this in the past and attempted to use logic to support their opinions. The math and the computer simulations of countless hands showed them to be mistaken. Thomason took a different approach -- a more challenging approach -- and one that must be reckoned with.
Is the Thomason Four-Step Positive Progression with Quit Points a more attractive alternative to motivated blackjack players than actually counting cards? No, it isn't. Should successful card counters jump to progressive betting the Thomason way? No, they shouldn't. (Although it can be incorporated into their method of play in positive counts.) Card counting is still the superior way to attack blackjack. But for those individuals who are not motivated to learn a count system or who have trouble keeping the count in the casino atmosphere, Thomason shows us clearly that his Four-Step with Quit Points is certainly a worthy way to play for the basic strategy player. In fact, handled properly, Thomason's system will actually reduce a player's overall risk while still giving him or her loads of action. This book will generate a lot of controversy, of that I'm sure, especially among those who do not take the time to carefully read what Thomason is saying and even more especially among those whose minds are so narrow that they will ignore his evidence. Twenty-First Century Blackjack retails for $12.95 and is available from Paone Press, your favorite bookstores, or on the Internet.
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