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Thread: Advice Please

  1. #1


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    Advice Please

    Hello everyone! I am looking for a bit of advice but first some background on me. I am a 22 year old with an electro-mechanical engineering degree and started to get into blackjack to make some extra cash during college. I learned how to count cards and of course played using basic strategy. Recently I have been playing more and winning more often than losing and have been contemplating playing blackjack on a more consistent level. Here is where I need advice. I have done lots of research and there are a lot of different ideas and beliefs about counting cards and if you can be consistently profitable and I was wondering if anyone can give a young blackjack player some advice as to if I should pursue blackjack as a steady source of second income or just play for fun. I ran a lot of simulations from a free software that I found and every time I run it I get different figures. Sometimes it says I will go broke 100% of the time and sometimes it says I will I go broke .13% of the time. They are two very big differences. Here is my strategy in case someone needs some more information. The counting method I use is the HiLo method, I would start my blackjack bankroll around 500 dollars and the casino that I play at most often only offers 15 dollar minimum games where I normally buy in to the table for 100 dollars. I could really use some advice from someone who has experience. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Jabberwocky's Avatar
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    Without going into any detail about the math considerations, well, try beating a dead horse. You'll get further.
    Vincit Qui Patitur

  3. #3


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    Thanks I appreciate it. I know that the EV is not going to be high at first but my plan would be to gradually grow my blackjack bankroll. If that is what you are referring to about not getting into math considerations.

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    Senior Member Nikky_Flash's Avatar
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    hi tjr , good that you Are "winning more than losing" , what is your max bet ? are u avoiding 6:5 blackjack and csm?can you play 5 dollar minimum games ?because for 15 minimum games , you would think a bankroll , should be larger, like ; 15,000 $ , that with a 1-10 spread , the rest of the guys and girls here will probably want to know the exact rules /decks / penetration , but yeah , to red chip games for just one visit , i take a few hundred , and that's very small for a trip bankroll spreading 1-8 , on red chip games. can u save more than what u got /? and travel to smaller stakes ? thats a safer idea in my opinion, hope all is well . nikky

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    Yea thanks for the advice. I should clarify some things. I have enough capital for an increased bankroll, but since I am pretty new to this I guess I just sort of came up with a starting bankroll of 500 because I wasn't really sure how much I should "set aside" for strictly blackjack. That is another piece of advice I could use. The game I play is 8 decks, dealer stands on soft 17, aces can only split once, anything else split to a total of 4 hands, blackjack pays 3to2, penetration is pretty good for most dealers I have experience there, I would say less than one deck is left in the shoe. I bet minimum bet until the true count is 3 and then my max bet is anywhere from 75 to 100 depending on how the session is going. I guess the reason for the 100 dollar buy in is because I am still not 100% convinced that what I am doing can be profitable. That is why I am seeking advice. I don't want to invest in something that can't be profitable in the long run. Like I said, I am 22 fresh out of college with an entry level engineering job and a lot of student loan debt. I would love to play blackjack on weekends for a second income I just need some more evidence and advice on if it will work and how to make it work.

  6. #6


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    With $500 your chance of going broke is approaching 100%.

    Right now your best investment would be more books, practice software, and simulation software. There's been several threads on best books for new players.

    Practice at home until you have saved at least 100 max bets. With the simulation software CVCX you can figure out exactly what bankroll is needed.

  7. #7


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    OP, if I were you, I wouldn't expect to actually earn any supplemental disposable income until you get closer to a much larger bank, say $50k at least. Until then, you will want to return any winnings to your bank and grow it as you learn more about what it takes to play a winning game and withstand the negative variance. Play BJ as a serious hobby, get to know how to pick games, avoid heat, and make other advantage plays. Use your day job to build your bank.

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    Thank you I appreciate it.

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    I hope that your request for advice includes things that you may not want to hear.

    First of all, please understand that you need a LOT of education first. To do this effectively, you must be willing to study up. Judging from the way you speak, you know more than enough to get yourself into a lot of trouble.

    1. Are you sure that you know basic strategy for the rules at the tables you play (S17 vs H17, DOA vs. DO 9,10,11 only, DAS vs No DAS, RSA vs. No RSA, Late Surrender, etc.)?
    2. Do you know which is the best table in the place by their rules and penetration?
    3. Do you know the Illustrious 18 (exceptions to Basic Strategy based on the count)?
    4. Are you properly bankrolled (sounds like you're not)?
    5. Are you familiar with what you can and cannot get away with in the casino?
    6. Can you look at a shoe and know within 1/2 deck how many cards are remaining?

    You need to be able to know the answers to all of these questions and many others. At a table with a $15 minimum, you'll get cleaned out easily with only $500.

    By the way, here are the abbreviations that everybody uses around here in case you didn't know them:

    S17 - Dealer stands on soft 17, H17 - Dealer hits soft 17, DOA - Double on Anything, DAS - Double after splitting, RSA - Resplit Aces

  10. #10


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    Quote Originally Posted by tjr5259 View Post
    Yea thanks for the advice. I should clarify some things. I have enough capital for an increased bankroll, but since I am pretty new to this I guess I just sort of came up with a starting bankroll of 500 because I wasn't really sure how much I should "set aside" for strictly blackjack.
    If you don't know how much of a bankroll you need, then you need to read up more before you go to a casino. I like "Blackbelt in Blackjack" because I like the way that it reads. That's just me though. "Professional Blackjack" is good too if you really love the math side of things. It has every chart you could ever need.
    I don't blame you for being excited, but I can not stress enough how badly you will lose with what you currently know (or maybe don't know). It sounds like the rules at your casino aren't that great. 8 decks sucks, but I do like the penetration if you have estimated it correctly. Could be some opportunity there, but probably only for back counting.
    Can you double down after splitting?

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