Is BlackJack profitable?
  • I've read that it's not, that it should only be played for "fun".. is this true? Or is it profitable, if so how much and how ?

    I know it's a broad question.
  • If you put the time and effort into it,it can be a part-time job.If you learn to milk the system,it can give you great rewards-free rooms,meals,shows,gifts,ect,ect.
    But its a lot of work,and very few make the needed commitment.
  • What would be the essentials for having BJ as a part-time job?
  • mastering a good count for shoe games, and mastering a solid count for single decks would be a good start

    and having a 20,000 bankroll, 10,000 at an absolute min (you need about 5 grand just to play nickles if you follow kelley betting) would also be needed

    know the books in and out

    but knowing your books and software will only take you so far, until you can make money regulary on the green, it means nothing, its just a hobby until then


    see the post entilted "calling all the math jocks" good post there
  • pcristiani said:
    What would be the essentials for having BJ as a part-time job?


    Dpends where you live.
    In NY,the closest casinos are Atlantic City.
    Looking at my offers for next week,I see that the Sands will give me $35 just for showing up anytime this week,and will give me a patio cocktail set if I go on Tuesday,as well.
    Showboat will give me $15,and two free buffets.
    Ballys is giving out outdoor horse-shoe sets this week.
    Tropicana is giving away beach chairs,and some cash,but I misplaced the card so I don't know what.

    Once you have BS down to a T,the house has about a 1% edge on you,which translates to you losing $10 for every thousand you bet.
    If you bet $10 a hand,it should take you more than 2 hours to accumilate $1,000 in bets.
    So you play 2 hours a day in each of the above casinos,lose less than the cash they give you,have a nice buffet on them,and sell your gifts on ebay.Then take your wife/GF/SO to a nice Broadway type show,to boot,courtesy of your new friiends at the casino.


    If you are playing part-time,you can forget this $20,000 Kelly nonsense.
    Thats for pros who can never refill their bankrolls by outside means,not for recreational gamblers.The only BR you need to worry about is the cash in your pocket.Playing on a $10 table,$500 is more than sufficent,as long as that is money you can afford to lose and can be replaced in the very near-term.
  • It depends on what side of the table you are playing at if you are playing as a casino owner or dealer you can make money playing blackjack!!! If you are a player it depends on what rules the casino has implented to weather it is beatable or not! If you have shitty rules than not even the best players can beat these games. If you are lucky enough to be in a casino that has descent rules double down on any two, blackjack pays 3:2, ect. I would say that 1 in 1000 players has the abilty to win money over an extended period of time say playing for 7 or 8 hours!!!
    There will be maybe a 100 that will win in an hours time by chance and 900 that will lose in an hours time by poor playing!!!
  • learningtocount said:
    It depends on what side of the table you are playing at if you are playing as a casino owner or dealer you can make money playing blackjack!!! If you are a player it depends on what rules the casino has implented to weather it is beatable or not! If you have shitty rules than not even the best players can beat these games. If you are lucky enough to be in a casino that has descent rules double down on any two, blackjack pays 3:2, ect. I would say that 1 in 1000 players has the abilty to win money over an extended period of time say playing for 7 or 8 hours!!!
    There will be maybe a 100 that will win in an hours time by chance and 900 that will lose in an hours time by poor playing!!!



    Learning:
    You make it sound like the player has no choice in the rules they play. In nearly every casino location in the country there are good and bad tables. Often within the same casino there are good and bad games. My rule #1 is always to only play good games!

    It is correct though that 99.99% or so of players will lose over their lifetime of play. To win, as said before you need a good count system that becomes second nature to you, but that is far from enough. Most people never try to count and they lose, but what many do not know is that the vast majority of those who attempt counting lose. Often they give it up, but the problem is not in the counting it is in the person doing it.
    You must always play those good games.
    You must understand the workings of your opposition the casino and every casino does things somewhat differently.
    You must have the guts to spread!!! I feel this is a strong point because I have witnessed many a counter who when the count calls for a max bet, fail to do so. Add to this, you need to put that bet out there even when the casino is kicking your butt.
    You must find ways to increase longevity at the tables.
    You need to understand things like bankroll and risk of ruin. In relation to this, you need not to overbet your bankroll.
    You need discipline. Not just the discipline to play only good games but not to do things like chase a loss when the count does not call for big bets. I seen novice counters take a beating and then start the next shoe or deck off beting a much larger amount even though they had no advantage.

    And there is more, but getting to the point where you are a winning counter is not supposed to be easy, but once there it is there forever.

    ihate17
  • I would like to know really how much you successful advantage players are making, in actual dollars. How many of you guys have reached the long term and are continually making money? And I would also like to know why or why not its possible to make a living playing blackjack?
  • To even attempt to make a living playing BJ,with no other source of income, is a very daunting task.One I would not attempt without a bankroll of at least six figures.For myself,I hope to get to the point where BJ will be a nice suppliment to my income,pulling in a few hundred a month.
  • Alright, than in your opinion do you think its possible that people like Bojack and AlexD30 and Booker to name a few are really as successful as they say or are they just streching the truth? From what I've learned its seems pretty tough to do this fulltime. I'm still curious about actual dollar amounts of winners too.
  • I'm fairly sure Bojack is everything he says he is.I can't speak of the others,mainly because I don't honestly recall who they are,or everything they post.I know Booker had a nice run awhile ago,but have not read anything lately.
    Lets not forget that its quite possible to get very lucky and win a few thousand dollars with no knowledge of the game,and even to do it several times in a row.
  • I have been playing BJ over seven years. I have not yet met a player who considers the game highly profitable. Maybe it's because I don't know any serious advantage players or players who want to disclose their successes. I always play with the desire and attitude to win. I did have a year where I was very profitable, but the other years were even or somewhat negative. If I factor all the comps and freebies, I am close to breaking even. My experiences tell me this would be a hard way to make a living. But then, it's just me talking. I welcome more of your stories.
  • I keep in touch with 4 or 5 players who have several thousand hours each under their belts and are all ahead of the game. None of them play on a team, and none are true professionals -- but rather part time semi-pros, more of a passionate hobby for profit. Some of them are old enough to be retired, and some are moonlighters.

    Since they each play maybe 200 to 700 hours per year, I don't think any of them have won every single year -- just most years. And I think it's fair to say that their combined winnings average around 1 minimum bet per hour, a modest sum since some months produce a 2000 bet loss.
  • Some bad months produce a 250 bet loss.
  • actually i dont think it can be profitable

    if theoritically counting can be profitable

    then why the those players write books or tell the public in the television to teach other

    if it become everyone knows , the casino must have method to beat u down,

    forbid your counting , so why they do this but not earning by themselves??

    moreover , even if its theoritically work

    u can gain a little bit , but it is still possible you have lost millions before you gain the little profit later , are u more rich then the casino ???
  • Yes I do believe blackjack can be profitable, but to ask how much is a very broad question. There are different degrees of what people perceive as profitable, as well as different degrees of commitment to learning and playing the game. I believe you MUST be an advantage player to even have a chance at seeing an overall profit. From that point there are too many variables in each individuals persons game to determine what profit if any they will make. Do they only play games with good rules, do they wong in and out of shoe games, what is their proficiency with their counting system, do they have any advanced skills, what is their bankroll and is it replenishable, how much time do they actually put into playing, and do they count comps as part of profit. Those are just some things that will determine how profitable you are. As for me personally, yes blackjack has been very profitable. But revealing actual money amounts won't really help answer this question, as I think sometimes truth sounds stranger than fiction. What I will say even with a skill level and bankroll at what most would deem as fairly high and large we have gone as much as 6 months without a profit. It can be tough to be on the wrong side of standard deviation, but if you don't waiver and stick to your guns and play properly, the swing the other way is so much sweeter, and believe me it will come. So basically play a good smart game and the chances of profit are in your favor, how much depends on how much you are willing to put into it.
  • Recreational or professional

    I have been doing this for about 30 years. First with a small bankroll and not much time to play and now with a nice size bankroll and playing perhaps 400 hours this year before it ends and still work fulltime.
    I tried playing fulltime many years ago but the lifestyle was not for me. For someone with a family it is not good for keeping that family together. The travel, eating out all the time, just living in suitcases etc it was not for me. Also, the bankroll I had at the time would be put at great risk if I had tried to make decent money.
    In the last 20 years, I have had 16 winning and 4 losing years, I did not keep good records the first 9 but believe I lost in 4 of those, kind of a long term learning curve.
    During the past 15 years I have barely increased my blackjack bankroll because I look at it as a nice suppliment to income and a hobby and playing at a bigger level than I do already might seriously limit where I can play, but my bankroll is six figures. Instead of increasing bankroll, the money has been wisely or luckily invested. Without mentioning dollar figures, it has been a nice and longterm suppliment to my income.

    Beyond14
    There are still a bunch of us out there who can make money. Most of the guys who write books fall into one or both of these categories. Either they are too well known to play or they sought out the attention of others and then became too well known to play.
    It is hard for me to explain this but often your family, neighbors, workmates and others can not understand your hobby. My family is no problem, but I learned that bringing up cardcounting with others often leaves them thinking you are some kind of addicted gambler or you are a liar and you are bettor off not speaking about it. So perhaps some write books because they want to communicate their skills and I join boards like this. Anyway, I am not an inventor of systems, just a good technician who can use the system of someone else.

    ihate17
  • ihate17

    i never count , since i only can play csm blackjack

    but up to now i also win more than 10000 US within one year

    gamble is gamble , luck is luck

    of coz some can win more will lost
  • Where do you play that limits you to CSM's? Is that the only kind of game available?
  • thats in macau , all casino is CSM only

    i have no choose

    if i fly to vegas , even i can win can i get back my frieght and hotel charge ?
  • beyond 14,
    If you wager at the stakes you say you do,you would have no problem getting your rooms and meals comped most places in Vegas.
    I recommend you pick up Comp City,by Max Rubin.
    You might also look into some of the junkets that Vegas casinos run,you seem to fit the desired profile
  • beyond14 said:
    thats in macau , all casino is CSM only

    i have no choose

    if i fly to vegas , even i can win can i get back my frieght and hotel charge ?

    It is to bad beyond 14 that you have to play under those conditions. Do even the new vegas style places have only csm to? Though have to say I played in Macau in 88 before learning BS and again in 02 after learning BS and the games sucked then too, even before the advent of csm especially at the Lisboa
  • I believe you would have to be putting down some serious bets to get your air fare, and multiple trips as well.
  • beyond14 said:
    ihate17

    i never count , since i only can play csm blackjack

    but up to now i also win more than 10000 US within one year

    gamble is gamble , luck is luck

    of coz some can win more will lost


    Beyond

    When playing against a CSM, you are correct, it is pure luck to win. The casino has the advantage and eventually they will land up winning, though on any given group of trips you can win.

    When playing against a non CSM game with good rules, counting, hole carding, and things like shuffle tracking are what can give you and not the casino the advantage. Then you could land up losing on some trips, but eventually you will be a lifetime winner.

    How much someone is winning in a year does not tell you enough about the kind of comps you can receive. If millions are put into play to win ten thousand, the comps would be substaintial but at the other extreme if you make one bet for that ten grand and win it, comps if any would be light.

    ihate17
  • my point is not said counting cannot earn

    but how about if u lost one millon before u can win??

    although u get more favour than the casino , but u can still lost big before u win ?right ?
  • beyond14 said:
    my point is not said counting cannot earn

    but how about if u lost one millon before u can win??

    although u get more favour than the casino , but u can still lost big before u win ?right ?


    To be a winning counter, you must play only good games, not overbet your bankroll, have the ability to fool the pit and eye, and have the guts to put out the big bets when the count calls for them.
    That said: You can be a loser for a period of time, but once you have played about 1,000 hours, you will fall into a sort of long run area where you will be up and will stay up for the rest of your playing days. Now for some one who plays 8 hours a week, a 1,000 hours is 2 1/2 years, for someone who plays 8 hours a year, they will never play 1,000 hours. So learning to count for the one time a year player has much much less value to him than learning to count for the weekly player.
    The dollar amount you mentioned means nothing (million) unless you say what the persons average bet is. If you are betting $10,000 on the average, you could lose a million before turning things around.

    Most people when they learn to count will start off betting small. Learning from a book, another person or on your computer is one thing, actually doing it in a casino while talking to other players, giving an order to a waitress and having a conversation with the pit boss, does not come instantly. Distractions are everywhere. Once confidence is gained, the novice will then start raising his bets if he is successful.

    Finally, and I have probably said this before, I believe that over 95% of the people who try counting do fail. Failure comes generally from playing poor games, not understanding risk of ruin (betting more than their bankroll) and the courage to bet big when they should.

    ihate17
  • actually what game is a good game for couting?

    i heard counting can maximum give 0.5% advantage to players

    if the game is already -0.5% , then it even cannot give u anything even u are a good counter
  • beyond14 said:
    actually what game is a good game for couting?

    i heard counting can maximum give 0.5% advantage to players

    if the game is already -0.5% , then it even cannot give u anything even u are a good counter


    b14,
    You don't think much of counting. We heard you already.You are starting to sound like a broken record.Please give it a rest. You are not doing yourself justice with these posts.
  • beyond14 said:
    actually what game is a good game for couting?

    i heard counting can maximum give 0.5% advantage to players

    if the game is already -0.5% , then it even cannot give u anything even u are a good counter


    For a game with a big house edge like .5% (yes I consider that big) it needs to have something extra, perhaps great penetration but there are other things involved.
    Rules: Downtown or Reno area 3/2 single deck blackjack, with a house edge of .18% Good double deck games with house edges around .2%. 6 deck shoes with house edges of .26%-.33%. These rules when combined with good penetration, make highly playable games.

    Cardcounting can get you up to 2%, generally listed as 1.5% over a granted house edge of .5%. So starting off playing a better game certainly helps. I generally list it as an advantage of over 1% taking into consideration that perhaps you do not do everything perfectly and giving up something for cover plays.

    Now your point I think is that edge is not that big and is not worth going after. That is fine with me because if every player was a cardcounter, there would be no recognizable blackjack, but I question why you kind of preach against cardcounting? Play enough time and 1% can be profitable, do not play enough? Then still if you are playing the game, why not play it to the best of your ability?
    If I play 400 hours of blackjack this year, here are the numbers.
    My average bet is about $150 and though the average table gets perhaps 60 hands per hour, I do play many hours at off times, heads up or another player, and maybe get 75 or more hands per hour, but using the 60 means I will play 24,000 hands of blackjack.
    24,000 X $150 = $3,600,000 put into play X1% = $36,0000 profit. In actuality, because of good variance (luck) and the fact that I do get in more than 60 hands per hour, I am very close already this year to that number.

    I still work full time, go to Vegas perhaps 4 times a year and hit places like Reno, the South every year. Also hit many Indian Casinos in California and at times have played in Europe and Asia. Anyway, it is a nice supliment to my regular income and enabled me to have quite a bit of "extra" money which I have invested over the past 25 years.

    It just comes down to this. Blackjack is just a game. Some people just enjoy playing win or lose and do nothing extra to try to play the game as good as they possibly can, and there is nothing wrong with that. Other people may be the type that have a need to do whatever they can (honestly) to learn how to play the game optimally, feeling if they are going to play they will try to be the best player they can.

    ihate17
  • The main point BYC misses is that with that whopping .5% edge, the casinos are sitting on a gold mine and they know it. If you do a little math, and realize that for each bet, you expect to see 1.005 bets returned to you (assuming you are a casino.)

    Think about it like this. Invest 100,000 at 5% and at the end of the year, you have $105,000 in the bank, You are up $5000. Use that to play blackjack, and at whatever betting level you choose to use, every time you bet approximately 100,000, you are going to get $500 back. And you can repeat that over and over within a years' time.

    $100,000 of action does not mean you put your entire bankroll at risk at one time, you just bet some amount you feel comfortable with, and rake back 1/2% of that bet. Every time you make a bet. If you only bet $100 per hand, and played 100 hands per hour, in 10 hours you should be up $500. In 100 hours you have equaled the bank's interest. And you have the rest of the year to continue piling up that .5% edge. Suddenly that .5% edge looms large due to compounding.

    Do you realize that if you owned all the money in the world, and played perfect basic strategy, and never stopped playing, the casino would end up with all the money in the world, .5% of each bet at a time... :)

    The edge sounds small. It is actually huge. A bigger edge would be better. That can be had with shuffle tracking, and it can become even bigger if you exploit dealer problems as well. And of course, basic card counting does get you more than double that advantage we were giving the house above. So you beat the bank's interest much quicker as you can certainly get a 1% advantage over the house with decent card counting skills, and if you choose the right games and don't make mistakes, you can get to near 2%. That is huge.
  • Your post is based just upon every player playing perfect basic strategy and still the casino profits, but I think we both know that the casino is not satisfied with a .5% profit and if every player played basic strategy, blackjack as we know it would no longer exist.
    Casinos expect, and do make, something between 2-3% on a game with just .5% edge. They are making that .5% off the BS player, but on many a poor player they are making well over 3%. I seen some so bad that it must approach 10%!! Every advantage player and even every basic strategy player, should be thanking that horrible player for existing, because without those really bad players we would be facing 1/1 blackjack with no splitting or doubling or worse. GIVE THE PLOPPY SOME LOVE!
    So take your casino edge and multiply by 5 or 6, and now you get a figure that the casinos really make on blackjack. That figure leaves them plenty and they should not miss my little skim off of their profits.

    ihate17
  • ihate17 said:
    Your post is based just upon every player playing perfect basic strategy and still the casino profits, but I think we both know that the casino is not satisfied with a .5% profit and if every player played basic strategy, blackjack as we know it would no longer exist.

    ihate17



    I tend to disagree.
    I believe .5% IS acceptable to the house. And if they were so worried about players knowing and using good basic strategy, why do they continue selling basic strategy cards in the casino gift shop! The slots are the big money makers, anyway.
  • chexplay said:
    I tend to disagree.
    I believe .5% IS acceptable to the house. And if they were so worried about players knowing and using good basic strategy, why do they continue selling basic strategy cards in the casino gift shop! The slots are the big money makers, anyway.

    The ones they sell in the gift shop are not always 100% correct. I think they just have it their to make it look like they want you to win. I will once in awhile see people using them, but most don't bother with bringing them to the table. You will run into people at the tables who give the house a huge adv. Example one lady I was playing next to decided to double down on her 5. Yes a five and the dealer had a 3 up!
  • NYB said:
    Dpends where you live.
    In NY,the closest casinos are Atlantic City.
    Looking at my offers for next week,I see that the Sands will give me $35 just for showing up anytime this week,and will give me a patio cocktail set if I go on Tuesday,as well.
    Showboat will give me $15,and two free buffets.
    Ballys is giving out outdoor horse-shoe sets this week.
    Tropicana is giving away beach chairs,and some cash,but I misplaced the card so I don't know what.

    If you are playing part-time,you can forget this $20,000 Kelly nonsense.
    Thats for pros who can never refill their bankrolls by outside means,not for recreational gamblers.The only BR you need to worry about is the cash in your pocket.Playing on a $10 table,$500 is more than sufficent,as long as that is money you can afford to lose and can be replaced in the very near-term.


    Sorry, I have to disagree to a certain extent with your comment on that $500 is more than sufficient at a $10. It depends what game you are playing and the conditions and rules of the game. $10 BJ games in Atlantic City are mostly garbage anymore. I only know of 1 casino out of the 12 in Atlantic City that has decent playable beatable $10 BJ as of now. I live only an hour away from Atlantic City and have been there plenty. As far as I am concerned, playing in Atlantic City conditions and buying in for $500 for your session for the day is still risky. I guess if you can afford to loose it then you can say it is not a risk, but who really doesn't care about loosing $500? Playing with a few hundred in AC is like trying to throw a hail mairy pass in football to win the game. Most of those games have high risk of ruin. The rules are changing with H17 coming into play and low minimum tables are vanishing. There are no more $5 tables in Atlantic City except maybe for 1 casino which I hear there is sometimes a nickel game open. Also, you can get way better pen on a shoe game in Las Vegas. Majority of AC games are 8D and crap 6:5 SD is getting in the mix now. Hilton just took their playable mid entry $10 6D games and upped them all to $50 and $100 on the main floor and put up no-mid signs on all those. Sands took away all their playable $15 6D games at the beginning of the year. I also just observed that some of the casino's added more ASMs to their shoe games... so in some places you can't even shuffel track anymore.

    Is it me or doesn't AC come off as totally lame? Sorry, I always talk alot of smack about AC. I just can't stand the playing conditions and it really gets all my nerves. To me it is not worth spending endless hours playing 8D games waiting... and waiting... and waiting... and waiting.. and waiting...just for the count to get out of a negative count and into positive. So I just don't bother with that anymore. Sure you can wong in and out, but how long do I have to stand by that table and wait for a positive counts all day on an 8D game?

    I don't waste as much time as I use to in AC anymore. My last stab at AC is to try and beat them trying out BoJacks method, since I hear that his way works on crap shoe games. If that fails then I am going to hang AC up and forget about it and just stick to Vegas.

    If anyone else can lend me some insight or advice on beating AC with a $2,000 BR please do post or PM me. I am open to any professional advice. Right now to me it just doesn't seem possible unless there is some luck factored in there to help support the mini BR.


    PS- BoJack I left you a PM today. So when you get a chance please check your PMs please. Thanx!
  • ihate17 said:
    Your post is based just upon every player playing perfect basic strategy and still the casino profits, but I think we both know that the casino is not satisfied with a .5% profit and if every player played basic strategy, blackjack as we know it would no longer exist.
    Casinos expect, and do make, something between 2-3% on a game with just .5% edge. They are making that .5% off the BS player, but on many a poor player they are making well over 3%. I seen some so bad that it must approach 10%!! Every advantage player and even every basic strategy player, should be thanking that horrible player for existing, because without those really bad players we would be facing 1/1 blackjack with no splitting or doubling or worse. GIVE THE PLOPPY SOME LOVE!
    So take your casino edge and multiply by 5 or 6, and now you get a figure that the casinos really make on blackjack. That figure leaves them plenty and they should not miss my little skim off of their profits.

    ihate17



    ihate17:

    I was not really harping on the casino's edge, more I was making a point that with a tiny .5 % advantage, one can make a bunch of money. It doesn't sound like much, but since it is "per hand" the edge really adds up (compounds) quickly compared to bigger-sounding numbers like 5% at the bank.

    I've heard pit bosses talk about things like a 10% hold at the bj tables, which would mean that they expect to keep 10% of every buy-in on average. That's big bucks. And you are dead right. .5% is perfect basic strategy which is not hard to do. But 99% of the players don't come close. Would be interesting one day to tally up a "ploppy's daily decisions at the table", then sim them to see what the expected house advantage actually is...

    I'd be much happier with 21 if the variance was not so high. But with that thin an advantage, it just comes with the territory... And actually it is probably better for us as it will prevent too many from joining the ranks since the good games are few and far between today.
  • We'll just have to agree to disagree.I think for a BS player,$500 is plenty in AC.They won't be making huge spreads like a counter,so the chances of them losing 50 units is pretty low.If they were spreading 1-10,thats another story but they shouldn't be.
  • I've several friends in management in AC,and 10% holds are not uncommon.
  • avs21 said:
    The ones they sell in the gift shop are not always 100% correct. I think they just have it their to make it look like they want you to win. I will once in awhile see people using them, but most don't bother with bringing them to the table. You will run into people at the tables who give the house a huge adv. Example one lady I was playing next to decided
    to double down on her 5. Yes a five and the dealer had a 3 up!



    I certainly agree with the "incorrect card" part. Was at Tunica a while back and a guy had bought a card in the gift shop at the dealer's suggestion. Was for S17, when the casino was H17. I explained the difference and the dealer got irate with me, saying "the card works for any game." I pulled one out and showed the player the differences before I left... This same dealer gave some _really_ lousy advice such as doubling A-2 vs 2, and in one case doubling A-3 vs 10... Player looked over at me quizically and I said "follow the card, not the dumb advice, its your money".

    Dealer also told the table "if you follow the card, you can reduce the house edge to 2-4%, if you play by hunches, the house edge is 10-20%...
  • TCash -- Some players have achieved an impressive level of income playing blackjack. But to do so, they have also had to achieve an impressive level of professionalism in terms of dedication, sacrifice and implementation of business principles.

    As for the highly skilled part-time semi-pro, his biggest obstacle is "standard deviation." He may play 500 hours a year, but no two of his years will look the same at the bottom line. If he spreads from $50-to-$500 in a shoe game, he'll need a bankroll of around $50,000. A typical four year financial report may show him winning 3 years and losing 1. The three winners might be something like +$60,000, +$36,000 and +$18,000. Then his loser might be -$14,000. But over the whole 2000 hours, he likely will have netted maybe $50 per hour -- the amount of one minimum bet.
  • chexplay said:
    I tend to disagree.
    I believe .5% IS acceptable to the house. And if they were so worried about players knowing and using good basic strategy, why do they continue selling basic strategy cards in the casino gift shop! The slots are the big money makers, anyway.


    I have been on plenty of tables with players who have a card but refuse to use them and sometimes do not look at them. Splitting 8's, doubling soft 18, taking a hit on soft 18 vs 9,10 or Ace, splitting 3's vs 7, hitting 12 vs 3 and I could go on and on, the casinos can sell 100 of these cards and still not find a player who will use it on every hand. And the players who bring or buy a card are exceptions, most people do not know about these cards till they see one and most would drop their bucks quickly on the table rather then spend a few on a card. Just look at how many people take part in blackjack forums and compare that to the number of people who play. The regular contributors to this free sight would not fill much more than a half dozen blackjack tables. The vast majority of people just come to the casino, pray for luck and generally throw their money away and the casinos know this.

    None of this takes into consideration the war going on in table game management within the casinos. People like table game managers, shift managers and pit bosses never wanted games like 6/5 single deck, bikini pits, super fun 21 or Spanish 21. These people knew and could show a profit of about 3% even on single deck blackjack, but the operations managers, the beancounters who work for them and the pressure of wanting to show ever increasing profits for stockholders, brought in these games with about a 1% house edge or much higher (rio bikini pit was about 2.75%). They understand that the average players poor play will bring these numbers up another 2% on the average, making the blackjack table pay close to slots or roullette. The casinos are greedy and even when year after year, they make good money on real blackjack, they just do not trust it.

    ihate17
  • I have programmed what would seem to be a typical hand playing strategy for the average player and run off 200 million hands using flat bets. The house edge was 1.5%.

    The strategy included around 40 mistakes on a basic strategy chart, such as always taking even money; not doubling 9 vs 3 or 4; not doubling 10 vs 8 or 9; not doubling 11 vs 10; not hitting 12 vs 3; not hitting 16 vs 7; not hitting A/7 vs 9, 10 or Ace; a dozen typical soft double errors and a host of common splitting errors.

    So where a typical casino hold might be 12% for most players, that would make it about 4% for a perfect basic strategist.
  • yes ALL are CSM only including the new vegas casino in macau, today i go to Sands , at first i win 2300 US , but then lost back all the profit and finally lost all my cash i bring there , 2500US , so i totally drop from the top for totally 4800 US , I really have to give up playing BJ


    nc-tom said:
    It is to bad beyond 14 that you have to play under those conditions. Do even the new vegas style places have only csm to? Though have to say I played in Macau in 88 before learning BS and again in 02 after learning BS and the games sucked then too, even before the advent of csm especially at the Lisboa
  • Thank you ihate17 for posting actual figures and dollars on your play. Thats what I was wondering, how profitable are the successful counters. I must say I am impressed you do so well. Playing blackjack partime you make more money than I do at my fulltime job. Now I'm wondering what does a fulltime player like Bojack make, and what type of bankroll and unit is he using. I'm sure others may be curious about this. So many others state how much their bankrolls are and how much they bet, I'm sure its ok for Bojack to do the same. I have never met or even heard of anybody that plays blackjack for a living so I'm kind of curious what kind of money it takes and how much can be made. I hope you see fit to answer Bojack.
  • You see the problem with me stating dollar amounts is, I believe it would give some people an unrealistic sense of what they could accomplish. The results of my play are far from typical of the average advantage counter. Trying to be as careful as I can without insulting anyone, most people playing this game won't approach the level at which my team and I play at. That has nothing to do with me being superior to anyone, to the contrary there have been a lot of people on this site alone who could school me on different mathematical facts about the game. But my training and the professionalism we've had to take on over the years to play at this level is something that most can't do because of other obligations, or they choose not to because its all just for fun to them, both of which are just fine. All that being said, we had a real big score this past weekend with a net profit of over 230 units. Those results are not really typical, but they're not totally surprising either. On the other hand we've also had losses of well over 100 units in a single weekend, so we can lose big also. Such is the way of the game. If you really want more info send me a private message and I will see what I can do about divulging some monetary amounts. Please understand though if for hopefully obvious reasons I can't give you too much financial information.
  • Bojack1 said:
    You see the problem with me stating dollar amounts is, I believe it would give some people an unrealistic sense of what they could accomplish. The results of my play are far from typical of the average advantage counter. Trying to be as careful as I can without insulting anyone, most people playing this game won't approach the level at which my team and I play at. That has nothing to do with me being superior to anyone, to the contrary there have been a lot of people on this site alone who could school me on different mathematical facts about the game. But my training and the professionalism we've had to take on over the years to play at this level is something that most can't do because of other obligations, or they choose not to because its all just for fun to them, both of which are just fine. All that being said, we had a real big score this past weekend with a net profit of over 230 units. Those results are not really typical, but they're not totally surprising either. On the other hand we've also had losses of well over 100 units in a single weekend, so we can lose big also. Such is the way of the game. If you really want more info send me a private message and I will see what I can do about divulging some monetary amounts. Please understand though if for hopefully obvious reasons I can't give you too much financial information.



    Just as a note, and I'm sure you've seen this as well, I have had losses of over 100 units at a _single_ session. Playing a shoe game, that is only 5 big bets spreading 1-20. Even at DD where 1-8 is common, that is only 12.5 big bets. It is certainly not common to lose like that. But it seems to (me) to happen often enough to not be forgotten. Of course, there are the big wins too. And there are the more common modest wins unless there is a really good tracking (or other) opportunity handy...
  • pcristiani said:
    I've read that it's not, that it should only be played for "fun".. is this true? Or is it profitable, if so how much and how ?

    I know it's a broad question.


    Yes it is, but to be a winning blackjack player you must press all your edges. You cannot refrain from gambles, whether those gambles be doubling down on 11 against a ten, doubling down on soft 13 against a five, splitting two eights against a ten, or not insuring your blackjacks. These are all plays that are gambling plays with only a small degree of an edge. But if you don’t take every edge that is available you might discover that you don’t have the best of it. There are times when you should violate this advice and not take every edge offered by basic play because there is no basic edge anymore due to the modified composition of the deck. That information comes to you by using card counting. Sometimes you do not double on 11 vs. T, and some of the times you take even money on your blackjacks, and other times you probably hit 12 vs. 6 .. etc
    Keep in mind that you must have your playing index strategy down cold so that you don’t have to try to remember it when you are playing. The index play strategy itself had better be completely second nature, something that you don’t have to think about. Blackjack is purely 100% mathematical game, at least as far as what the right play is.
  • I had just written a long post after reading entire thread and I was booted just prior to forwarding it. No sense telling the truth in this or any forum because they are all run by the snake oil salesmen who publish books and software. The best anyone can do is breakeven in this game with substancial knowledge and a sufficient bankroll. Why do you think Grifter relocated and is now playing Poker? The game today can't be beat. I do believe you can break even with comps, but you better pick you spots and have an exceptional amount of patience. Like one poster said attempting to achieve a positive count is an 8D game is almost impossible today. Recently I was wonging at a local casino and backcounted 8 tables before I found a count worth entering. How long can you do this before you become a bedpost and sent on your way by management...not long unless your playing Vegas with multiple casinos and keep on the move.
  • countfast said:
    I had just written a long post after reading entire thread and I was booted just prior to forwarding it. No sense telling the truth in this or any forum because they are all run by the snake oil salesmen who publish books and software. The best anyone can do is breakeven in this game with substancial knowledge and a sufficient bankroll. Why do you think Grifter relocated and is now playing Poker? The game today can't be beat. I do believe you can break even with comps, but you better pick you spots and have an exceptional amount of patience. Like one poster said attempting to achieve a positive count is an 8D game is almost impossible today. Recently I was wonging at a local casino and backcounted 8 tables before I found a count worth entering. How long can you do this before you become a bedpost and sent on your way by management...not long unless your playing Vegas with multiple casinos and keep on the move.


    Wow, sounds like you have a little frustration there countfast. That mixed with a little misinformation can really wreak havoc on a sunny disposition.
    First let me start by saying I doubt your post was booted before you fowarded it, it probably took you a long time to write it and in the meantime you were logged off. Its happened to me before, so when you go to submit it, it won't go through. All you need to do is log back on and then go back until you get to your message and then submit it again, I'm sure it will go through then.
    Now you say the best anyone can do is break even playing this game? Why is that, because thats the best you've done? Maybe you know a couple of people and they're not winners either? Is it because your local casino in Ohio isn't offering you a good game? I have another question, what makes you an authority on what can be beat and what can't. Maybe Derek Jeter can't really hit a major league fastball because you can't. Maybe thats all smoke and mirrors and con men trying to sell you something so you buy tickets to their game.
    I want you to understand something. Yes its hard to beat this game, especially if you're limited in how to do it, and are satisfied in taking whats in front of you and not searching for better. You have no ground to stand on with your statements because it has been beaten and will continue to be as long as there are people who strive to be great at what they set out to do. Its so easy to be mediocre at best and criticize those who do more and reach loftier goals, while you sit on the sidelines disbelieving.
    Although I think your comments are absurdly false, I don't take them personal because I don't know you and everyone has a right to an opinion no matter how misguided. I also feel the need to dimiss your rantings, because as a professional player, I am a living breathing contradiction to your position on unbeatable blackjack.
    So basically my suggestion to you is, if thats your feelings on blackjack, than you should quietly sit in the stands and watch the Derek Jeters of the game do their thing.
  • one can do more than break even, _if_ one has the skills, the patience to apply those skills, and the fortitude to bet and play according to the system being used.

    If you don't possess those qualities, it is hardly the fault of the game rules, or the system authors, that you can't beat the game. I beat it regularly. I know many others that do as well. A 1% edge is huge if applied properly.
  • Good to see that everyone has opinions and personal success stories. I've been reading SSR's and Bojack's comments since 2003 and take them for a grain of salt. I've been around a few times and possess the drive, motivation, patience, and knowledge to achieve goals. My past includes starting, building and selling large three companies, in addition to being an Aide to the past Senator John Heinz when he was on the James Commission during the S&L scandal.

    I have a question for you and Bojack. Why, if card counting systems could win , are there so many new books on card counting? It's been over 40 years since Thorpe started the ball rolling and how many new systems can there be? I know the game changed and how Wong, Snyder,etc. testified for the casinos about bogus systems during the Atlantic City case on card counting. I think they used their real names during the case. I even think Rubin has a say at the trial. Hell, Snyder was a mail carrier when he started selling bogus gaming systems (on the side) in California. Aside from both of your forum success stories, how many documented wins have the both of you had in the arena? Hell, either one of you could be Renzy,etc. helping promote another one of his never ending new books.
  • countfast said:
    Good to see that everyone has opinions and personal success stories. I've been reading SSR's and Bojack's comments since 2003 and take them for a grain of salt. I've been around a few times and possess the drive, motivation, patience, and knowledge to achieve goals. My past includes starting, building and selling large three companies, in addition to being an Aide to the past Senator John Heinz when he was on the James Commission during the S&L scandal.

    I have a question for you and Bojack. Why, if card counting systems could win , are there so many new books on card counting? It's been over 40 years since Thorpe started the ball rolling and how many new systems can there be? I know the game changed and how Wong, Snyder,etc. testified for the casinos about bogus systems during the Atlantic City case on card counting. I think they used their real names during the case. I even think Rubin has a say at the trial. Hell, Snyder was a mail carrier when he started selling bogus gaming systems (on the side) in California. Aside from both of your forum success stories, how many documented wins have the both of you had in the arena? Hell, either one of you could be Renzy,etc. helping promote another one of his never ending new books.


    Ever heard of the MIT teams, not to mention countless(no pun intended)other AP's/teams that have tasted success ? Having sold three large companies you must know what it means to dream big and see it thrue, no matter the endeavour. I would like to believe in people like Bojack, who are very positive, insightful and not pretentious like, well...you.

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