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Modern Blackjack nth Edition

The Casino as Partner

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I was thinking about nasty people and the causes of nastiness. Unfortunately, there seems to be a larger percentage of nasty people in the card counting world than in the set of all humans. Not terribly surprising as the actual practice of card counting can be a lonely endeavor, surrounded by unpleasant and less than interesting people and surroundings. BUT, most of the truly successful counters that I have known appear to be really nice guys (or at least successfully present themselves as such).

Now, I have lectured to the point that people are sick of it on the need for civility. But, in this case, I am not talking about civility for civility’s sake. What I am now saying is that Blackjack players that present themselves in a courteous, respectful manner, appear to have a greater longevity at the craft, and have less of a need to switch to other games or techniques. I’ve known some card counters that have played for amazing periods of time, at high stakes, with far fewer backoffs than would be expected. This is due to personality. Yes, that’s a part of an “act.” But, I’m saying, you can only act to an extent – unless you are a professional actor. It’s far easier if you actually understand the motives of the casinos, and give them their due.

I’ve said this many times before. Casinos are not the enemy. OK, they are the enemy in some manner and disgusting in some examples. BUT, the real enemy is yourself. Conquering your instincts is first. Conquering your reaction to the inevitable downswings is next. Conquering your dislike of the ostensible enemy (i.e. casinos) is the last. Casinos are NOT your enemy. They are your partners. Card counting at Blackjack, or any other casino advantage technique, cannot exist without the casinos, and cannot continue if the casinos do not continue to make a profit.

Think of the casino as a benefactor. A benefactor with a test. You must pass the test. You must not appear threatening to their bottom line. They are in a business. You are in a business. Businesses that succeed do not think of their competitors as “evil.” In the best circumstances, they will try to partner with them. But, at arm’s length. That is the mindset that I think works best for a counter. A silent (very silent) partner that helps the casino by attracting more suckers, while making a reasonable profit.

I know it’s not easy to think of a casino as a partner in a mutually beneficial relationship. Particularly since they are too stupid to understand a symbiotic relationship themselves. But, rise above your base instincts. Do not stoop to their level of ignorance. In my humble opinion, not only may it make you more successful, it will make your life more pleasant. And THAT is positive EV.

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  1. Coyote's Avatar
    I can appreciate this article! Nice work.
  2. Fate's Avatar
    Well said. Thank you.

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BJTF is an advantage player site based on the principles of comity. That is, civil and considerate behavior for the mutual benefit of all involved. The goal of advantage play is the legal extraction of funds from gaming establishments by gaining a mathematic advantage and developing the skills required to use that advantage. To maximize our success, it is important to understand that we are all on the same side. Personal conflicts simply get in the way of our goals.