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Thread: Is this normal or should I just quit?

  1. #1
    Senior Member dalmatian's Avatar
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    Is this normal or should I just quit?

    So I've been doing this blackjack stuff for about 6 months now. My peak was 5 weeks after I started and now, almost 5 months later, I'm at only 0.75 of that value.

    Is this normal? I've had just too many weeks that were break even. I can't consistently hit a steady upward rate. It's all super good followed by super bad. I spent about 500 hours doing this and only made 400 units. That's terrible.

    My marriage has suffered irreparably, I've already lost multiple jobs, and my health is starting to be compromised no doubt as I breathe in second hand smoke/sleep a few hours a day/eat garbage casino food all the time. I currently work 2 jobs (~60 hours a week) and spend at least 25 hours a week counting. I'm only in my 20s so I'm wondering if I should just get out now.

    I really really love blackjack though and I would be sad to quit I just wish there was some light at the end of the tunnel to look forward to. Currently I wong out at -1 or less, $5 up to +1, $5 and some whites between +1 and +2, $10 at +2, 2×$20 at +3, 2×$40 at +4, 2×$50 at +5, and 2×$100 +6 and above. I wasn't doing exactly this spread the entire time but some close variant usually.

    6D, DAS, split 4 times, splits aces, double any, pen. 80%+, no surrender, 3:2, insurance, all of Stanford wongs positive index plays (hi low).

    Is there a way to improve my play? I though wonging and index plays would help but I feel like it has only been marginal. I am willing even to pay for mentoring at a more advanced level then can b provided on a public forum if anyone is in my area/willing.
    Last edited by dalmatian; 01-03-2018 at 01:11 PM.

  2. #2
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    Very normal indeed. You could be penniless by now.

    So ~ yes, you should "get out now."

    You can (radically) improve your play, but that is not the issue.

    Seek help with your marital, occupational, and health problems.

    Maturity includes problem-solving, making good choices, etc.

    You ought to consider professional guidance.


  3. #3


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    I think you should stop or at least slow down if blackjack is costing your job and deteriorating your marriage.

    As far as your results go, it would be easier to understand where stood if you kept track of your EV. I have no idea what your EV was for the first 500 hrs, so it’s hard to say. But blackjack is very volatile and the swings can be massive. A lot can happen in a short amount of time, good or bad.

  4. #4


    3 out of 3 members found this post helpful. Did you find this post helpful? Yes | No
    Get out. In "The Color of Blackjack", Daniel Dravot says that blackjack makes a great hobby, but a lousy career. I have found this to be true. I paid my way through college counting cards in Vegas a long time ago, but it was putting stress on my marriage (not because I was losing, but because it's a tough lifestyle). Ultimately that's not why I quit, though. I finally just decided I wanted my life to amount to more than being an AP. Try to imagine gathering your grandchildren around you 50 years from now regaling them with "tales of triumph from the blackjack pits." I can't imagine it either. I still play recreationally (and profitably), have a career I can proudly talk about at family gatherings, saved my marriage, and have a pretty great life in general. If you're strong enough to make money as an AP, you're strong enough to make a lot more money a lot more easily in other ways. You're still young - get out while you can and keep playing for fun - you'll be glad you did.

  5. #5


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    Quote Originally Posted by dalmatian View Post
    So I've been doing this blackjack stuff for about 6 months now. My peak was 5 weeks after I started and now, almost 5 months later, I'm at only 0.75 of that value.

    Is this normal? I've had just too many weeks that were break even. I can't consistently hit a steady upward rate. It's all super good followed by super bad. I spent about 500 hours doing this and only made 400 units. That's terrible.

    My marriage has suffered irreparably, I've already lost multiple jobs, and my health is starting to be compromised no doubt as I breathe in second hand smoke/sleep a few hours a day/eat garbage casino food all the time. I currently work 2 jobs (~60 hours a week) and spend at least 25 hours a week counting. I'm only in my 20s so I'm wondering if I should just get out now.

    I really really love blackjack though and I would be sad to quit I just wish there was some light at the end of the tunnel to look forward to. Currently I wong out at -1 or less, $5 up to +1, $5 and some whites between +1 and +2, $10 at +2, 2×$20 at +3, 2×$40 at +4, 2×$50 at +5, and 2×$100 +6 and above. I wasn't doing exactly this spread the entire time but some close variant usually.

    6D, DAS, split 4 times, splits aces, double any, pen. 80%+, no surrender, 3:2, insurance, all of Stanford wongs positive index plays (hi low).

    Is there a way to improve my play? I though wonging and index plays would help but I feel like it has only been marginal. I am willing even to pay for mentoring at a more advanced level then can b provided on a public forum if anyone is in my area/willing.
    First, there should be non-smoking section. If you don't smoke, why do you play at tables in smoking section.

    Now back to your original question. I think BJ career is not suitable for you.

  6. #6


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    Quote Originally Posted by dalmatian View Post
    So you must not like that rascal flatt song "god bless the broken road".....

    I lost several dead end jobs because of the blackjack but it lead me to my current job which happens to be the best one of my career so far. Between that and my part time job I make just shy of six figures.

    My marriage is no doubt ending but again, it's a good thing because we weren't right for each other and the blackjack facilitated the break-up.

    I'm very mathematically inclined and blackjack is a great way to let off some steam and stress while still stimulating my mind and it's only 10 minutes away from my house!

    Although I understand your position I don't think it's appropriate to discourage an aspiring counter on a counting forum when you do not understand why I play. It's not the money, I make a fine amount from my jobs. It's the thrill and excitement of pursing a passion that is challenging and demanding but rewards one for skill and precision. It's like a bar where you can drink and socialize but also use your brain to beat the system and win some money!

    I'm sorry, what I was really expecting was someone to nudge me in the right direction. If I improve my game I can play less hours and make the same amount, or make more playing the same length. It is quite alright, I will figure this out on my own.
    Now you confirmed you’re not suited to this life. Don’t ask “should I get out now” if you are going to argue with a truthful answer.

  7. #7


    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful. Did you find this post helpful? Yes | No
    Quote Originally Posted by dalmatian View Post
    I'm sorry, what I was really expecting was someone to nudge me in the right direction
    They are

    It seems that you didn't really want the opinion of the forum. You just wanted folks to tell you that "it's normal -- keep going"

    The answer to your question is that it's normal. Only you can answer whether it's acceptable to you.

  8. #8
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    betting $0 to $10 on counts up to +3 is "pauper wages"....just get a regular job

  9. #9
    Senior Member Bubbles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dalmatian View Post
    So you must not like that rascal flatt song "god bless the broken road".....

    I lost several dead end jobs because of the blackjack but it lead me to my current job which happens to be the best one of my career so far. Between that and my part time job I make just shy of six figures.

    My marriage is no doubt ending but again, it's a good thing because we weren't right for each other and the blackjack facilitated the break-up.

    I'm very mathematically inclined and blackjack is a great way to let off some steam and stress while still stimulating my mind and it's only 10 minutes away from my house!

    Although I understand your position I don't think it's appropriate to discourage an aspiring counter on a counting forum when you do not understand why I play. It's not the money, I make a fine amount from my jobs. It's the thrill and excitement of pursing a passion that is challenging and demanding but rewards one for skill and precision. It's like a bar where you can drink and socialize but also use your brain to beat the system and win some money!

    I'm sorry, what I was really expecting was someone to nudge me in the right direction. If I improve my game I can play less hours and make the same amount, or make more playing the same length. It is quite alright, I will figure this out on my own.
    I'm sorry to hear about your marriage. Blackjack and relationships seem difficult to juggle. Do your best to keep things in perspective and balanced. Many things in life are important, like family, and deserve a portion of your energy and time. I'm writing this while sitting on my parent's couch right now actually.

    I play for the same reasons. It's a passion of mine. I love the social aspect, I can be OCD about it, and it makes money. I really like the reasons you give for playing. Blackjack is a hobby for me. I don't think I could do it as my main source of income.

    The road to the long run is tortuous. It's possible to go hundreds of hours and still be behind. Play long enough and you'll experience a hundred hour streak of being behind your last all time high, sometimes by a great margin. My favourite piece about this is by Arnold Snyder http://www.blackjackforumonline.com/...t/wontwin.html . Only you know if you have the fortitude to handle the swings. We can't answer that for you.

    If blackjack is your passion, pursue it. Like any passion, once the siren has been heard, is it possible to ignore the call? As with any endeavour, don't put the cart before the horse. Have a stable source of income while you build up your confidence and bankroll.


    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

  10. #10
    Senior Member Bubbles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dalmatian View Post
    Why exactly? Because I'm upset at short term variance? I think it's normal to be upset at that and if you arnt something is wrong!
    Short term variance is noise. It should not bother you as an AP. We are human and short term swings may always have a tiny influence on us, but it should be very minimal. If you cannot get to where a loss or win means nothing to you, then AP is not for you. At least not full time. The swings will consume you.

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  11. #11
    Senior Member Bubbles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dalmatian View Post
    I'm not doing it for the money, I'm just a little bummed out it's so break even. What I was expecting was someone to suggest a better count system.
    In that case.. Full EORs with all the side counts, Rofl. Or hiopt2. No—halves! Halves with ASC on Freightman's balls :O

    The most important part is executing your count with precision and accuracy. A count like hiopt2 may do better, but the ride is still a bumpy one. Switch if you'd like. Norm's book does a good job of comparing the different counts. I use hiopt2 and had a few hundred hours of being behind to breaking even this year. While better counts help, they do not magically fix variance.


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    Last edited by Bubbles; 01-03-2018 at 04:10 PM.

  12. #12


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    Seriously, Zee should respond to this thread. Anyone reading Zee's posts would know exactly what he is going to say. Frankly, he would have the best answer for this guy.

    I'll +1 his anticipated reply in advance.
    Last edited by Freightman; 01-03-2018 at 04:34 PM.

  13. #13


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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubbles View Post
    In that case.. Full EORs with all the side counts, Rofl. Or hiopt2. No—halves! Halves with ASC on Freightman's balls :O

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
    The accolades keep coming for "FBM ASC"
    Freightman Ball Method Ace Side Count

    For feel good play.

    Thank you for your vote of confidence

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