We all love to play blackjack, but it is important that we maximize EV, especially when the game is beatable, but not ideal. This is an example involving an important lesson known as patience.
Recently I was playing a game at a casino 1.5 hours from me that was 8D das da2 rs3 ns w/ about 80% pen. Not the best game, but beatable. I know we all love to play every hand if possible, but for those newer, this just isn’t a game worth having a play-all strategy. The rules are mediocre, pen is mediocre, and the variance of an 8 deck game is through the roof. This is where I like to employ backcounting. With this type of game, don’t be afraid to let the ploppies play through those bad shoes. Wong in at +1 or more, and out at any negative count. Don’t allow the casinos to take any of your EV because it is already significantly lower than even your 6 deck game.
The lesson here is patience because I sat around more than an hour backcounting multiple shoes because each of the first 5 or 6 shoes went negative. I didn’t play a single hand in more than an hour, but I knew that I was giving up no EV to the casino. Once I found a good count, I jumped in when appropriate, and out when the casino had the edge. I played a total of 7 hours, sitting out a significant portion of that session, but left the mediocre game with an additional 96 units, a spread that was well camouflaged, and a casino welcome to have me back anytime so I can take more of their money. Just be patient, wait for those positive counts, then make them pay!