I used to spend 16 hours on a daily basis playing blackjack in land-based casinos when I started gambling. Of course, I wasn’t gambling per se, otherwise I wouldn’t be here writing about how I beat the casinos. As I was developing my card-counting skills, casinos noticed me and it wasn’t long before they forbid me from entering. Until they did though, I enjoyed spending endless hours on their blackjack tables.
Why? Because I was winning. And winning money is a highly intoxicating feeling.
As you probably know, making money in gambling makes you feel at the top of the world, even if Lady Luck looked after you for just one day. Now, imagine you were guaranteed to make money almost on a monthly basis by doing what you enjoyed: playing cards and gambling.
Wouldn’t you put everything back to chase that dream?
That is what I did, as I realized the advantage that card counting and shuffle tracking offered me. Those two techniques are used by blackjack players around the world to constantly turn the odds in their favor. Unfortunately though, casinos are aware as well, thus skillful players need to avoid detection. Avoiding detection when you are spending too much time in the same land-based casino sounds hard, doesn’t it?
Wait; why should you, as a card-counter, spend that many hours playing blackjack?
Simply put, because you must put the hours in, in order to prove you are a worthy card-counter. You see, card counting may seem easy at first. You just have to add or subtract a number, for each playing card you see on the table. Easy, right?
Maybe when practicing at the calmness of you home, it is easy. Yet, when you try counting cards in the heat of the game, you are easily distracted and can lose the count, not to mention that you also have to calculate your bet sizing, announce your actions and be as social as possible. That’s how you avoid detection, remember? By acting as a regular losing casino player. By keeping a low profile and gluing your eyes on the cards instead, red flags are raised all over you. You won’t last long.
No matter how social you become though, you are still counting cards and beating the game. Maybe you are unlucky and start with a bad run. No matter how hard you try, the deck is cold for you. Eventually though, as long as you keep mistakes to the minimum and apply proper money management, your long-term success is guaranteed. And that success comes only after you play thousands of hands at blackjack, so that variance eases out.
That is the reason I kept on playing blackjack for endless hours. I wanted to have an adequate sample of data, that would prove whether I would be a winning player or not. That sample of hands is difficult to increase, as you play on a single blackjack table at land-based casinos. Yes, online casino sites do allow you to play at multiple tables at the same time, effectively collecting much more data for hand analysis. You think I wouldn’t prefer staying home in my pajamas, beating online casinos for twice or three-fold my winrate?
Unfortunately card counting at online casinos does not work, even after they introduced live dealers as I demonstrate in this post! At least, not in the magnitude that does in brick and mortar casinos.
Thus, I was stuck at visiting my local casino Monday to Friday, playing non-stop for 10+ hours. I don’t complain, as it has been the way I built my bankroll that I used later for sports trading and poker. It is the very same bankroll that enabled me today to turn away from gambling and start a new company.
So, whatever you do for a living, if you really need to make money, you just need to be persistent and put in the hours. Contrary to popular belief, there’s no easy money. Not even in gambling; far from it.
Photo via Flickr