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Topic: Card Counting Trainer for BlackJack
Message: Posted by: AMcD (Oct 27, 2011 01:29AM)
Hi all!

Because some professional "problems" (F*** crisis!), I might be away from this place for... quite some time.

Before I leave, I'd like to finish a tool for practicing card counting I put on my website. It's an adaptation for the Web of an old software I coded a long time ago. I just need some of you to test it:


It would be of great help if you report something wrong, if you notice a bug, etc. I can add other counting systems if you want, or others parameters as well. Just tell me. Of course, as I'm a bit in a hurry, there is no help explanations, but I'll add some later. If you have practiced card counting, you should understand everything easily though.

Thanks for your help boys!
Message: Posted by: panlives (Oct 27, 2011 05:11PM)
Hey - are you going to be ok?!
Message: Posted by: AMcD (Oct 27, 2011 09:34PM)

I'm afraid I have difficult months in front of me. Thanks for taking care.
Message: Posted by: poonchingyip (Oct 28, 2011 12:21AM)
Man,hope everything will be ok for you.
I am still waiting for your next booklet~*

Best regards,
- Arthur
Message: Posted by: jjsanvert (Oct 28, 2011 03:11AM)
Take care AMcD...
Message: Posted by: vanp8 (Oct 29, 2011 09:56PM)
AMcD this to shall pass
Message: Posted by: AMcD (Dec 28, 2011 12:19PM)
Hi my friends!

2 guys asked me whether I could add other counting systems or not to that page. Hey, why not? Revere RAPC and Revere APM. I'll do that as soon as I can. Do you want other systems?

BTW, thanks to the soon 1,000 people having already played with that script!
Message: Posted by: AMcD (Dec 29, 2011 11:57AM)

New counting systems added:

Revere APC,
Revere APM,
Revere 14C.

Ask me if you want more systems.

Good luck (I just can't believe some people use Wong Halves system...)!
Message: Posted by: Vincero (Dec 30, 2011 04:02AM)
Great work. Love your site, videos, and writen contributions to this forum. Hope that your problems are being resolved.

Happy New Year to you, and everyone else around here :)

Message: Posted by: AMcD (Dec 30, 2011 05:26AM)
Not solved at all, but I appreciate your kind words.

About the website, it's going very slowly but I'll add many tools and articles next year. The main problem for me is to (re)code software for Internet that I coded years and years ago for Windows (or even MS-DOS). Which is not really sexy or fun to do :). Furthermore, much of the material is for research only and I'm not convinced many people would be interested to play with 20 parameters scripts for spelunking card shuffling...
Message: Posted by: M for Magic (Dec 30, 2011 06:54AM)
I hope everything works out mate.
Take it a day at a time.
Message: Posted by: Vincero (Dec 30, 2011 03:24PM)
On 2011-12-30 06:26, AMcD wrote:
Not solved at all, but I appreciate your kind words.

About the website, it's going very slowly but I'll add many tools and articles next year. The main problem for me is to (re)code software for Internet that I coded years and years ago for Windows (or even MS-DOS). Which is not really sexy or fun to do :). Furthermore, much of the material is for research only and I'm not convinced many people would be interested to play with 20 parameters scripts for spelunking card shuffling...

Ahh, I see what you mean. Still, Who knows... Some of the folks around here may enjoy those scripts! Ah well, it's an awesome resource nonetheless.


Message: Posted by: AMcD (Jan 3, 2012 07:17PM)
Hi my friends!

To celebrate the new year 2012 I have updated the "Card Counting" tool (works now with Opera and Internet Explorer) and... I have added a new one: "Basic Strategy Chart Generator"!

Basically, it provides tables of actions according several parameters: does the dealer stand or hit on soft 17? Does the dealer peek his second card or no? etc. I don't release the full script here, but I think that all the conditions you may meet in standard casinos are covered.

The next tool will probably be the one I use to fill these tables, well, we'll see :).

As usual, feel free to tell me any bug you find out or don't hesitate to ask me for any improvement.




Have fun and happy new year to all of you guys!
Message: Posted by: splice (Jan 4, 2012 05:56AM)
Maybe you'd want to consider adapting your basic strategy tool to work with the counting tool. It would make more sense that if someone selects a counting strategy, the relevant indices should appear in the strategy chart.
Message: Posted by: AMcD (Jan 4, 2012 06:46AM)

I understand but it would make sense only in a simulator, i.e., you play a "real" game (the tools should take into account bettings, many players, strategy charts, statistics, etc.).

Why not, but it's a lot of work...
Message: Posted by: M for Magic (Jan 4, 2012 06:58AM)
Amazing work Arnold!
Message: Posted by: splice (Jan 4, 2012 11:20AM)
Putting a 0 instead of H for 16vT with Hi-Lo counting selected shouldn't be complicated and doesn't require any kind of simulation of play to do. If this is meant for card counting, it would be helpful to those who are looking for instruction in that area to have an accurate strategy chart for the appropriate count.

Of course after playing with the chart quickly, I realize there is enough missing from it that you'd need to work on it some more before thinking about strategy deviations, so I guess it's not that important.
Message: Posted by: NFS (Jan 4, 2012 07:35PM)
Arnold, you are clearly knowledgeable about programming. You should put your efforts toward something that hasn't already been done [i]dozens[/i], if not [i]hundreds[/i] of times before. Just a thought.
Message: Posted by: AMcD (Jan 5, 2012 06:52AM)
Hi Nicholas!

Hundreds of times? Let's be honest, I can name myself 4 or 5 similar scripts, but hundreds... maybe you're overacting a bit :).

Actually, my goal is to put dozens of scripts related with cards and Gambling on my website. It's just the beginning of that project, so, obviously, I start with the very classics: currently BlackJack and soon Poker. Nothing really new, I know, and you're right, other people have done it before. But little by little, I'll put more serious ones. And eventually there will be an interesting collection, all in one same place.

Trust me my friend, I have hundreds of old scripts to put online. Hundreds. But it takes time because it's been coded a long time ago and it's not compatible with Internet. Besides, it's not always easy to choose which technology I ought to use, javascript, ajax, flash, java, javafx, air? That's why I'm a bit slow :).

Maybe you don't know it but there are already scripts with no equivalent on the Internet on the website (for instance here, for Faro shuffling addicts: http://www.arnoldmcdonald.org/code/main.php?p=6400000)


Now, I'm of course all ears in case someone has got any good suggestion! If you have good ideas, man, feel free to tell me!
Message: Posted by: M for Magic (Jan 5, 2012 03:42PM)
Arnold, your work is bloody astounding!
Please keep up the fantastic work!
Message: Posted by: NFS (Jan 5, 2012 08:41PM)
Hi Arnold,

I'm not exaggerating at all, in fact I feel I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt. I have 3 of these apps just on my phone right now, and I used to have many more. "Card Counting" brings up 40 relevant downloadable apps on Apple iTunes. I can recall coming across at least 20 Flash games that does card counting drills in some form. "Card Counting Trainer" brings up 1,120,000 hits on Google, though I'm aware that many of these are irrelevant and/or duplicates. "Blackjack basic strategy chart" brings up 60,300 images on Google Images. Also consider the thousands of books written on Blackjack that supply basic strategy charts for each variant. Even casino gift shops sell basic strategy charts for their games, although they are usually slightly inaccurate in some way.

You are right that this specific script is very unique to you, but everything it contains has been beaten to death thousands of times before, many times as software trainers and generators. Unless you can program something that can compete with Casino Verite and all of it's addons and extensions, widely regarded as the gold standard of publicly available blackjack training, analysis, and simulation, I seriously wouldn't bother.

I understand the pride of having something like this being [i]yours[/i], as I know about all the time and effort it takes to put together something like this. From my perspective it seems like such a waste of good time and talent, seeing how you are capable of producing something much more sophisticated, unique, and useful.

If you insist on refining the script you have now, I would follow Splice's advice and eventually add the appropriate indices for the BS charts. Also consider adding a "Show/Hide" button for the "Card Values" table, and adding a true count conversion when appropriate.

You are right that there is no close equivalent to the faro analysis tool you have, but there are some similar tools related to faro that can produce the same results. Nick Pudar's software "StackView" provides a very powerful and customizable sequence analysis through various types of shuffles, including faros, running cards, dealing into piles, etc.. Also, Denis Behr has a very simple faro calculator on his website (http://www.denisbehr.de/faro/index.php).

Something I would like to see done properly is a visual shuffle tracking trainer for various types and combinations of shuffles -- fully customizable with the types of shuffles, thoroughness of the riffles, thickness of the packets with the strips, etc.. It would need to be highly visual by nature, so it's not practical to be done as a web-script which you seem to be fond of. I worked on something like this many years ago but abandoned it for various reasons. Maybe I'll pick it back up some day, or maybe you'll beat me to it.

In a nutshell, you're too good of a programmer to be wasting your time making a run-of-the-mill basic strategy chart generator. They don't call it basic strategy for nothing. :)
Message: Posted by: M for Magic (Jan 6, 2012 05:16AM)
Admittedly NFS is partially right.
But...although there are other scripts out there -
Nothing, Nothing at all compares to your work.
And the fact you are doing it for free and offering it to us no string attached is incredible of you.
Thanks so very much!
Message: Posted by: AMcD (Jan 6, 2012 07:18AM)

I thought you were serious but now I see you're not :).

The apps you're talking about run on your phone only. If you don't have your phone, you can't access your app. Me, you just need an Internet connection. No need to have an operating system in particular: as long as you have an Internet access you can use the tools, whether you are running Windows, Android, Linux, iOS or another OS. I use technologies anyone can benefit, therefore no flash or java (which would be more convenient for me, trust me). Phone, tablet, laptop, computer, everything is OK.

My tools are for free. Not even an advert on my pages! You're talking about CV, but this software isn't free... Again, stackview is a software dedicated to a particular operating system, you need a computer running Windows.

I strongly doubt there are thousands of basic strategy chart GENERATORS. What you are talking about are definitive charts. You can't change anything. And many are just duplicates. Besides, many of them are sometimes inaccurate and even just... wrong! Mine, you can GENERATE the chart you WANT. You can SETUP various parameters. Again, I just know 3 or 4 equivalent scripts and, please, understand it's just a pre-version, with time the script is gonna be more powerful. You're talking about books, sure, but do you have your books always with you?

I'd like you to name a Faro app/software providing Faro chains, just for instance :).

Wasting time? Well, I don't know. The Card Counting Trainer took me maybe 2 hours to code. It's nothing.

Man, I don't want to compete with anyone or to challenge anyone. I just put useful (well, I think...) scripts online (for free) and ask for some feedback in order to improve them. I plan dozens of scripts, don't forget it's just the beginning of the story, therefore some scripts are basic and, obviously, some exist already. But with good feedback and useful comments they may evolve.

I already have a shuffle tracking tool. For years (I code gambling stuff for 30 years pal!). How do you think I created my method for stacking cards? But I doubt you'll see it as I release mainly stuff I don't use anymore.

Thanks for your comments.

PS: the link for the Faro tools provided above is wrong (there's a stupid ) at the end of the link), here's the good one:

Message: Posted by: M for Magic (Jan 6, 2012 07:26AM)
Message: Posted by: splice (Jan 6, 2012 11:27AM)
For those of you interested in a functional BS chart (not for counting, just BS), go to the classic Basic Strategy Engine (http://www.blackjackinfo.com/bjbse.php), it's been online for about 10 years now. Not only can you GENERATE the chart you want and SETUP various parameter's like Arnold's generator, but this one actually gives you the choices to pick, you're not forced to use LS with DAS and DA2. I'm sure Arnold will eventually implement those choices, at which point it'll be just as useful, free and accessible as something that's been available for a decade or so. If he implements strategy deviation indices for various count it may be interesting.

I mean, keep at it, Arnold (it's not like anyone will stop you), I'm sure you'll come up with interesting things, even if only for yourself. But you don't need to go over the top to try and justify yourself. Every time I read any of your replies to any kind of criticism or suggestion I can't help but imagine a pufferfish that feels threatened.
Message: Posted by: AMcD (Jan 6, 2012 12:37PM)
I'd like you to explain to my small brain the difference between the generator you provide the link and mine... (except than mine being not finished - I'm currently working on it - hence the limitations).

So, if I understand you well, just because someone has done something before we can't do it again?

I don't justify myself man, it's just that, as usual here, it's almost impossible to have a clever debate.

I'm gonna sum up it for you. You don't wanna use my tools? Just don't.
Message: Posted by: NFS (Jan 6, 2012 01:44PM)
Arnold, I wish you nothing but the best. I look forward to using a tool of yours that is applicable to my needs, and that I don't already have available.
Message: Posted by: AMcD (Jan 6, 2012 02:00PM)
Soon Nicholas, soon...

I'm simply disappointed you don't understand my goal. Anyway.
Message: Posted by: NFS (Jan 6, 2012 06:53PM)
I understand now that your core focus is portability - having various tools, new and old, accessible from your website.
Message: Posted by: AMcD (Jan 9, 2012 10:41AM)
Hi all.

I have taken into account some comments. Here are the new version (redesigned):


Thanks to those who help me!
Message: Posted by: Tony45 (Jan 9, 2012 12:55PM)
That's really some nice stuff Arnold, you got talent.
Message: Posted by: joeyfx (Jan 9, 2012 01:55PM)
Thanks a lot AMcD
I was never really interested in Card Counting, but playing with your script is a lot of fun
Message: Posted by: AMcD (Jan 9, 2012 02:38PM)
Thanks pals!

There's more to come! This year I'm gonna release many scripts. Actually, old code I have decided to turn into Internet material. I don't use it anymore but maybe it can be helpful to someone.

Here's the new design for the basic strategy chart engine (I'll add new tables when I have some spare time):


Again, thanks for all the good comments and suggestions.
Message: Posted by: AMcD (Jan 10, 2012 11:21AM)
OK, I have added some suggestions.


1 - Counter on sevens.
2 - The current card value is highlighted.
3 - The card values can be hidden.

Thanks to the contributors and NFS in particular.
Message: Posted by: Cagliostro (Jan 10, 2012 02:10PM)
Arnold, very nice job on the simulator and appreciate your effort and positive contribution to the board.

I am going to describe the way I learned to count back in the early sixties and how we practiced at that time, plus further information on count plays during that time period on another thread (Modern Card Counting by Cris Statz) because I think it is more appropriate there. But thanks again for the simulator. Unfortunately for me it is about 40 years too late. Iíve already made my money with the count. LOL
Message: Posted by: AMcD (Jan 10, 2012 02:57PM)
Thanks Cagliostro.

I like reading your contributions.

Maybe I should add the Canfield counting systems :P.