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=========================================   Thursday, November 8, 2001
Baccarat Stories and Magic Five Modifications

Hello everyone,

The staggering amounts of money wagered at baccarat have given rise to a disproportionate number of juicy stories connected with the game. Here are some

Warrior Whale - In the gambling biz, the highest of high rollers are referred to as "whales," and Japanese gambler Akio Kashiwagi, nicknamed "The Warrior," was one of the biggest whales on the planet. In 1990, Kashiwagi took on Donald Trump in an epic battle waged at Trump's baccarat tables. An agreement was made that Kashiwagi would gamble a stake of $12 million until he either lost it all or doubled it.
The Warrior reportedly wagered at a rate of $14 miIlion per hour, and at one point was ahead almost $7 million.  His luck didn't hold, however. The "freeze out" agreement was ultimately aborted over a credit dispute. Media accounts indicate that Trump triumphed to the tune of $9 million.

Monster Tip -  While casino brass have mixed feelings about taking on a big bettor who might dent their bottom line, the casino dealers certainly don't.   Dealers make the lion's share of their income from tips and a freewheeling baccarat high roller represents a shot at a lucrative payday. One of the biggest tips ever came in the 90's at The Mirage, where a baccarat whale made a single $100,000 bet for the dealer. He won it, adding $200,000 to dIe dealer's tip pool.

Strip Giveaway - ln December 1989, a major Las Vegas Strip casino dealt baccarat with no commission on winning bank bets up to $100. Player had a 1.23 percent advantage, for an expected win of more than $100 per hour. After five days of play, the bosses brought in a detective agency to identify knowledgeable players who were participating in the promotion.  Some participants were professional blackjack and poker players. Others just happened to recognize a good proposition. The casino began barring players as they were pointed out by the detectives.  Gambling authority Stanford Wong summed it up best: "It looks like the casino is giving away money, but I guess they're particular about who they give it to."

Low Wage - In his book, The Theory of Blackjack, Peter Griffin examined the value of counting cards with a special count designed just for baccarat. He determined that if you bet $1,000 whenever the count indicated a player advantage, and nothing on all other harids, you could expect to profit at a rate of approximately 25 cents per hour of play.

Thorp's Tie - Once upon a time casinos offered sidebets on whether or not a natural would occur on the next hand. These bets seemed safe for the casinos, with healthy 5+ percent advantages attached to them. What the operators didn't realize was that card counting could be applied effectively to beat these propositions. Ed Thorp, author of Beat the Dealer and one of the original casino killers, derived the appropriate count and beat the casinos into submission.  The sidebets on naturals are no longer offered.

The Football Streak - One of the best stories to come out of the baccarat rooms in the past decade had little to do with baccarat.  In late 1991, a group of eight baccarat dealers from the Las Vegas Hilton turned an initial $80 stake ($10 per person) into $103,000 by betting one NFL football game per week, parlaying their winnings, and winning eleven consecutive bets. The dealers' goal was to continue their parlay until they either lost or reached 15 straight wins. Had they been successful, the group would have cashed a $1.3 million profit. The odds against
winning 15 straight are about 33,000-1. The odds against winning the remaining four games were only 15-1. Alas, they lost in week 12. The two dealers who made all the winning picks were women.

Have you tried Progressive Baccarat, the successful system designed specifically to win in Baccarat?  If not, click to read more about it.

The Magic Five system has been in the market for over a month and a half now and there has been a variety of feedback on the system's performance.  Here is a recent posting on the discussion forum:

"Magic 5, the latest system by Izak, is eliciting probably the most controversy in the history of the systems he has invented. There are quite a few players reporting positive results with it, but there are also a considerable number of players disappointed with it.  The system, according to Izak, elicits a 16 to 1 win/loss ratio over the long run, however, most users feel this may be a bit generous. 10 to 1 seems to be what to expect in short term live play, but this still will show a profit. Judicious use of win goals and loss limits combined with this system should make it a winner. Izak recommends using $100 units with the system. 5 wins and you have paid for it. That is his rationale for the price tag. Be sure to give it a good long test before abandoning it."

Based on such similar comments the following modifications are recommended to apply:

More than 90% of the time,  when one is at -3, the run is terminated as a losing one going to -5 where we stop.  If one would limit his/her losses to 3 units instead of 5,
this will gain 2 units per losing run.  This way, even if the win/loss ratio is not more than 7 to 1, one will be ahead by 3 units for every 7 runs in average.

One concern to this modification was if one is not missing on the winning runs. 

The answer to that is:

Those are not more than 10% of those runs.   That means that if you cut your losses to -3 instead of -5, you are gaining 2 extra units on 90% of the losing runs.  Doing the math, and considering 10-1 loss ratio, you would be losing 10% of all runs and on 9% of those you would gain 2 units.  In the normal case 10 to1 would mean 9 winning runs of 1 unit and 1 losing one of 5, totaling 4 units.  In percentage, this means 40 units over 100 runs.  With the modification, the 10 to 1 ratio becomes 9 to 1,
since you are missing on the winning runs by 10% of all losing runs.

9 to 1 would win 8 runs of 1 unit and lose 3 units on the losing run, profiting 5 units over 9 runs.  On a scale of 100 again, this would mean 55 units over 100 rather than 40, a significant improvement on the system's performance.

And some more test results received from John H:

"I just finished testing Magic 5 against 102 of my most recent Baccarat shoes,
played in Atlantic City and Foxwoods Casino.

There were a total of 386 runs, with 36 losing runs of 5 units each.  The
total winning runs were 350, less the 180 units lost on the 36 losing runs,
leaves a gross win of 170 units, less comission, for the 102 shoes."

Those recent comments and modifications have been added to the FAQ section on Magic Five that you can read at:

Wishing you all the best,
Until next week,


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