Numb3rs 01/13/2006 "Double Down"

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by jeff125va, Jan 20, 2006.

  1. jeff125va

    jeff125va New Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    Ashburn, VA USA


    I liked this episode, good plot twists and turns. A question, though: Do people really consider card counting to be cheating? I mean, I don't question the casinos' prerogative to define cheating however they want, and, essentially to refuse service to anyone, it's their business/private property. But as for other players considering it to be cheating, we're talking about cards that are in plain view. Obviously some schemes may involve other things - like gaining access to the automatic shuffler algorithms, but without something like that involved, how is it cheating?

    Also, where exactly is the Bicycle Casino? Is it on an Indian Reservation? I've heard it's in "Los Angeles" but in the context I heard it, that may have meant the greater Los Angeles area, I don't really know.

    Btw, anyone catch Annie Duke playing the dealer? Took me a while to place her.
  2. MarkofT

    MarkofT ****

    Jul 27, 2001
    Where Texas...
    I saw her credit at the start of the show but didn't catch that it was her playing the dealer until I looked it up later. I figured they would have her playing herself as a consultant or something.

    I don't consider card counting as cheating and neither do most Gaming regulatory agencies, unless an electronic or mechanical device was used to keep the count. Most casinos don't mind card counters as their winning increases the excitement level that tends to promote more gambling by the other patrons. At least to some extent. If they see someone who just can't stop winning, they will have them removed as it is no longer profitable to let them be.

    The Bike is very close to download LA, appearently. It looks to be rather central on that map.
  3. stitch626

    stitch626 Member

    Jun 26, 2002
    Most casinos will frown upon card counters- that's why they've fought back with the introduction of things like automatic/continuous shufflers as they negate the ability to perform a card count.

    As I was first watching the episode I was thinking exactly that with an automatic shuffler in use it's downright impossible to perform an effective card count so there has to be a catch involved. It looks like they were borrowing another technique which has been exploited before to beat a casino- exploiting a loop hole with the random number generators in use.

    Several years ago there was a real life case where a group of students I believe effectively cracked the RNG algorithms in use at a casino as part of their Keno system by basically logging and analyzing games in play. What was happening at this particular casino was that every day with a reboot of the Keno system the numbers presented were not truly random because they were started with a particular seed for their algorithm which the students were able to crack and figure out.

    The episode just touched upon the concepts of team play in card counting and some of what they presented wasn't truly how card counting teams really work. There's definitely strategy involved in terms of even being able to manipulate a dealer's play into influencing the sequence of cards presented to the "BP" or big player (if your other team members are also combining techniques like shuffle tracking) where they can effectively stack the deck in favor of the large bets. They didn't even go into why team play is effective (the roles of the spotter, gorilla, big player and even the back-spotter making up an effective team).

    So the storyline here seemed to pick up on a few different techniques possible to cheat the house- might have been more interesting if they had done a story about the systems in use (Eudamonic Pie) to tackle roulette as that is much more difficult for a casino to actually be able to pick up on and from a mathematical standpoint makes for a much more interesting possibility (and would also justify why these kids would have gone to so much trouble to recreate the casino environment as that's essentially what the original Eudamonic Pie founders of that technique did in real life).

    And these days with casinos using things like the Griffin facebook- the concept of team play being effective is not really viable in today's casinos.
  4. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Well-Known Member

    May 10, 1999
    Card counting is not cheating, and it's not illegal either, at least in the U.S. where courts have ruled on the matter. However the casinos (in Nevada, at least) can bar you for whatever reason they want to (they probably would just bar card counters from the 21 tables rather than kicking them out of the building entirely, at least the first time they caught someone). In Atlantic city the courts ruled that they can't bar people for counting, but it's legal for the casino to take countermeasures like shallow penetration before reshuffling.

    I prefer poker where you can get a healthy edge on other players & you won't get hassled by the casino for taking their money :).

    I was kind of perplexed in the show why the casino wouldn't take the simple precautionary measure of a few quick hand shuffles before they dropped the cards into the machine, which should make flawed or cracked RNGs a non-issue.

    Bicycle Casino is I believe basically smack in the middle of L.A. and not on an Indian reservation. As such it doesn't offer casino blackjack ala Vegas, which is illegal in California. It only has "California blackjack" which has players being the bank with the house getting some cut that makes the game unbeatable in theory. (Probably not a hugely popular game there, a lot more action in various Asian card games & poker).

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