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Table Games Blackjack counting

Discussion in 'Table Games' started by bclions2011, Jun 15, 2013.

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  1. bclions2011

    bclions2011 Tourist

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    Here's my back story. I'm a self employed landscaper/degenerate poker player who just developed some health issues. My back is screwed and my shoulder is in constant pain. I came to the conclusion that its time to find another line of work that doesn't involve shovels and heavy lifting. I've always loved Vegas and gambling and was thinking - I should be a professional gambler when I grow up ( lol I'm 45 ) Anyhow, I've messed around on ocassion with some online bj card counting trainers and with my recent injuries thought why not take this a step further and really try to become a proficient card counter. Would like some thoughts, advice and suggestions from any of you out there who may be proficient at card counting. Is it a worthy pursuit, how good are the casinos at catching counters ( or do they even care, if it's not for stakes in the high thousands )what kind of time frame does it take to become good at counting or is this just a silly thought and a total waste of time? Any online sites that I should be looking at. Thanks.
     
  2. shifter

    shifter Degenerate Gambler

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    don't quit your day job.
     
  3. dankyone

    dankyone VIP Whale

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    Bj21.com
     
  4. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    You can find hundreds of casinos making good money.

    Not sure how many card counters you can find that can say the same.
     
  5. VegasBJ

    VegasBJ VIP Whale

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    Yes, they are proficient. They will back you off quickly if your bet spread is too big. The pit critter will also watch your play and count along to see if your bets alter with the spread.

    To really do it correctly without getting backed off, you need a great cover, do exactly the opposite of what all the counting books will tell you to do, and still maintain the count. That means ordering drinks, socializing with the dealers, and other "disguises" that will set you apart from all the card counters they have seen before. Most counting strategies will tell you not to drink (so you can concentrate), not socialize so you do not bring attention to yourself, etc, etc, etc - but these are the exact traits that the dealers and pit critters are on the lookout for. To do it in a long term capacity, you need to be able to count at a glance while seeming not to be paying attention to what the other player's cards are. You cannot be staring at all the hands as they are being played out. Best time is to glance quickly at the end of the hand as the dealer starts to sweep the cards up, and to be able to disregard all the cards that cancel each other out, and only pick up the few cards that bring the count up or down. All this takes literally years of practice to do it well.

    Grab a pile of 10 or so cards face down, and then turn them over and throw them down. You need to be able to determine the count of all these cards within a second or two. You have to figure out these values while also not appearing to be concentrating on the cards. It is way more difficult to master properly (and properly means doing it without detection) than the books make it seem. You also need to be able to then add this new value to the previous count at the same time the next set of cards are coming from the dealer. It takes a ton of concentration, and deceipt, and this takes a LOT of practice.

    There are a ton of other things to consider, but seriously, it is almost impossible to make a living doing this unless you have a huge starting bankroll just for the consideration of variance alone.
     
  6. Mitkraft

    Mitkraft High-Roller

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    All these things would be just as sensible things to quit your job at 45 to persue as being a professional card counter.
     
  7. 44inarow

    44inarow VIP Whale

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    Yes it is.
     
  8. C0usineddie

    C0usineddie VIP Whale

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    I think this tutorial might help.

    [youtube]wg74T7Ygrec[/youtube]
     
  9. Someone

    Someone High-Roller

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    probably not a good idea at all

    but if you were to attempt this Atlantic City is not legally allowed to ban card counters or other "skill players"......but their odds and table rules will probably be worse and that does not mean they will not attempt to find some other way to make your stay at the table miserable

    I would try it anywhere but Vegas and I would start with smaller casinos that might have decent table rules and with very small stakes of course....I am positive that all casinos across the country communicate about counters and others they would like to see not on the property, but at a smaller casino in an out of the way place I would see it as less likely that you would be identified as a counter especially at low stakes while you are "practicing"......the issue can of course be poorer table rules and also the fact that the pit boss at smaller places tends to sweat what is considered to be very small scale action in Vegas much more than it would be sweated in Vegas...so while you might not be identified as a "counter" you will probably attract attention if you are moving bets up and down and generally winning more than losing......but in Vegas once you are identified as a counter you will be on the list and they will (at many places) have the higher tech surveillance systems in place to ID you....who cares if you are caught counting in Quapaw, Oklahoma if they don't have the surveillance system to get a good capture of your face to let others know....you simply leave there and head on down the road....in Vegas once an MGM property or a CET property gets wind of you that is it they are going to ID you

    so practice for this otherwise not recommend change of professions in a place that can't ban you for counting or a place that won't catch you counting or in a place that can't get a good ID of you if you are caught before moving on to the lights and big stage of Vegas where once you are caught your career will be in the twilight because you will lose out on a number of venues to "work" in...and if you are caught while "warming up" your career will be over before it starts

    and although I think playing poker for a living would be worse than death I would say that if you can count cards well enough to actually make money then you should also be able to play a decent enough game of poker to make as good or better of a living.....but again if you get the boot from the casinos for card counting then poker is out as well
     
  10. johnvic

    johnvic VIP Whale

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    OP, I hate to sound harsh, but if you're a degenerate poker player what makes you think you won't be a degenerate blackjack player?
     
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  11. Auggie

    Auggie Dovahkiin

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    Most people don't know how to count cards or what they are supposed to do when the count is in their favor... so long as you are bad at it the casinos won't have any problem letting you count, its only when you are good at it that they don't want your business.

    When you say "if its not for stakes in the high thousands" one would have to ask whats your strategy? how are you planning to bet? aren't you expecting to play in the thousands?

    When the deck is in your favor, the key there is: it is ONLY in your favor, its not some guarantee you are going to win, just that the cards are, at that point, favoring the player.

    And it is when the cards are in your favor that you have to bet big. You can't just go from betting $25 per hand to betting $100 per hand and expect to actually win anything or turn a profit - your play while the deck is favoring the player has to be big enough to recoup any lost big bet wagers AND any money lost while you are doing your counting AND be enough to win you a profit.

    And now the problem you will encounter is: this is why card counters work in teams. If you are sitting there playing $50 a hand for an hour watching the cards and counting, and then suddenly you jump your bet up to a few hundred dollars or maybe even a thousand or more per hand... thats going to look really suspicious to the casino.
     
  12. Huddler

    Huddler VIP Whale

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    Last week at Cherokee, I spread from $100 on one hand up to $500, and then up to $500 on 2 hands, and was not backed off. Of course, I ordered a lot of drinks, tipped the dealers a lot, called the pit boss over to ask him if I should make some crazy play, and then did it even when it was marginal at best. You need some sort of cover if you are serious about counting. I am not serious and more a recreational player that can count even when drinking using basic Hi Low. I am a long term loser at bj though so they certainly arent going to be concerned about me. Very few people can grind out a living counting at blackjack. I certainly couldn't do it, but to say they will always back you off for spreading black chips is not accurate.
     
  13. Keyser Soze

    Keyser Soze Low-Roller

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    I count. Been doing it a long time. Yes i make money doing it, but it is not my primary source of income. I cannot imagine any successful counter recommend that you do it for a living. I could write for hours the reasons it is a bad idea.
     
  14. mike_m235

    mike_m235 Tourist

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    If you want to try it...and I don't recommend it, by the way...maybe it's better as a hobby than a job. It's not that hard to do.

    The only decision I've ever used counting to make was if I should quit in the middle of a shoe, which is pretty much indetectable. And if you're leaving the table, what are they going to do? Tell you that you have to stay?
     
  15. Aurelien

    Aurelien Low-Roller

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    Making a living playing Poker against other players is WAYYYYY more easy than BJ Card counting. You can continue your job while learning poker at home and playing online. There is a lot of books but you can also read forum like 2+2 and practice, practice practice with blind 0,1/0,2 at first all the way to live 5/10 where the rake is great (and you'll find countless fishes).

    If you are not serious enough to succeed at poker in one year of hard work, you have no chance at BJ.
     
  16. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    Compared to some other crazy job ideas, this one will not cost too much to "Try".

    So, give it a try. And keep VERY GOOD records so you do not fool yourself.
     
  17. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

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    A few things to consider:

    1. Playing perfect (or near-perfect) basic strategy gets the house edges down to 1/2 % or so. Maintaining a decent simple plus/minus count can swing that to your favor by a percent or two. It's not huge. This is very important to remember.

    2. The ideal game to play is a two deck shoe. Why? Because the cards are dealt face up. Keeping your running count actually becomes quite easy when you can do so as the hand is being dealt.

    3. The casinos absolutely DO care if you're accurately counting and taking advantage of that count, regardless of your base-bet. It is the spread of your bets that will get you noticed.

    4. There are some very-borderline (but 'wrong') plays you can make if you think that you're being 'observed' - plays you would make in front of the observer... standing on your hard 16 with a dealer ten showing, or doubling A-2 against a dealer 2...that sort of thing. Increasing your bet on a neutral count is one of my favorites.

    5. I know others who are more adventurous, but I have a found that 1-to-5 spread goes virtually unnoticed. I play $10 up to $50, with $50 almost never occurring, as I would need a +5 on a two-deck game to justify the wager - something that rarely happens. My bets typically run more along the lines of $10 to $30. A pit-critter critically noticing that would be rare indeed.

    Now - as to what you can reasonably expect to make an hour playing perfect basic strategy while keeping a good count? Let's give you 2% advantage. If your base bet is $25 and you spread it to, say, $100 (with the very-occasional $125 or $150), you'll end up betting about $4000 an hour.
    The house is going to win their same 53% of the time that they always do. You will win your 47%, but with more wagered when those winning hands are more likely to occur. So, let's apply a 2% edge for you - You would net about $80 an hour, but this would only materialize over the course of many, many hours of perfect play. Maintaining perfect play and a perfect count for even 2 hours is VERY tough to do. But if you can do that every day, that's $160 a day, on average. Day-to-day, you will win more, win less or even lose.

    At that rate of play, you'll eat and sleep "free" on comps - and your other expenses will be minimal, but it's still not much of "a living".

    My advice? Play blackjack for fun/entertainment only...play it correctly and keep a running count as best as you can while still having fun. Do not ever expect to make a living doing so.

    :beer:
     
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  18. Kickin

    Kickin Flea

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    A 1 to 5 spread is nothing unusual at all and won't get noticed. I spread 1-6 black chips when I stick to my progression (not counting) and no one bats an eye. I suppose if they notice its perfectly correlated to the count they may say something, but that spread itself won't draw attention.

    It doesn't matter anyway, if you're using a basic hi-lo true count you need to spread much bigger than 1-5 to take real advantage of it. Otherwise you're advantage is only a few basis points.

    As far as the OP's question....I think it would be one of the most miserable ways to try and make a living.
     
  19. grosx2

    grosx2 VIP Whale

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    LOL....I guess that would be getting "backed on"...."Where do you think you're going? You sit right back down and put your chips in that circle, mister!"
     
  20. MikeOPensacola

    MikeOPensacola VIP Whale

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    I started counting in the early 80s and it took me a long time to get good at it where it became natural as opposed to mechanical. There are a lot more countermeasures now that casinos employ. You should also know that even if you become proficient at counting you will need a significant bankroll to stem the tide of losses. Think of it like this: Casinos have an edge on all of their games. Even with the built in house edge there are periods where certain table games lose money over a day, a week or even a month. If this holds true for the casino it will most certainly hold true for a card counter, much less a fledgling card counter. I'm not trying to rain on your parade, but I would seriously reconsider. You would be better off buying a craps table and learn how to control the dice (somewhat)like some craps players have done. If you have a big enough bankroll give it a shot, but be prepared for losses, casino heat and very unfavorable conditions for counting.

    Also, being able to count on a computer program takes about 1/100th of the necessary skill that a successful BJ counter has in the casino environment of 20-30 years ago, let alone today.

    Good luck, I wish you well and hope you make the correct choice.:peace:
     
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