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Thread: Opinion of Blackjack Apprenticeship?

  1. #101


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    Quote Originally Posted by DuecesWild22 View Post
    Quarantined and WFH provides the time to do this at home, especially with the software allowing me to rip through hands. Essentially aiming to not reinforce bad habits if jump to the casino too quickly. Still, from everything I read (forums/books) they suggest 100+ hours of practice before jumping into the real deal. Realistically, my schedule has me putting in approx. 50 hours. So well below the "average" if all goes according to plan.
    Play while you practice, because you never know it is for you until you do. It’s like doing “unpaid internships” in college. It gives you a real feel for the profession that interests you. Sure, you might lose a bit if you play before you are fully capable but consider it as tuition. To learn any career, you need experience.

  2. #102


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    Quote Originally Posted by MJGolf View Post
    I would reiterate what was said above and play for lower stakes than CVCX states for your bankroll for your first initial experiences JUST to get your feet wet and find out what it takes to keep your HEAD in the game.
    Good advice. CVCX produces a ROR of <2% with blacks (1-12x spread) but Std Dev is higher than I'd prefer when considering it as a hobbyist venture. Plan to red chip it for the first few trips (or even back count) and then jump into green when I feel comfortable. Of course, this is all talk and talk is cheap. I need to follow through on the plan and only time will tell if it happens.

    Today marks the start of transitioning into BJA free trainer (5 second timer) and counting down a deck (also free).

  3. #103


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    Quote Originally Posted by DuecesWild22 View Post
    After watching Holy Rollers I realized that Ben Crawford was the true leader of the team. Colin seemed more behind the scenes running the numbers and producing graphs for team meetings. This isn't to say Colin isn't a great BJ player. He clearly has the ability to market and teach. Simply an observation that he seemed more along for the ride while Ben made the big calls and ultimate team direction. Making it relatable to the thread for BJA - I am using his free training platforms in combination with CVCX and Verite BJ. This past week I have dedicated to mastering basic strategy with over 1,000 hands per day. Excel file shows that I range from 98 - 100% (more recently 100%) without a timer and currently working with a 5 second timer to get the heart rate going. The upcoming 3+ weeks will be solely spent on card counting. Current goal is to roll out my first casino visit in late October at very small stakes.


    My introduction...I live in central Texas but grew up going to Vegas with my parents long before I could gamble, staying in Circus Circus, Treasure Island, etc. Learned the rules to games and prepared myself to play as soon as I turned 21 years old. I would go 3-4 times a year with my girlfriend/fiancée/now wife and we stayed all over spending most of our time sightseeing, eating, shopping, and taking in shows. She would crash early and I’d go down and play blackjack for hours every night loosely using Basic Strategy. I loved the game and started to read about counting cards. Right about that time we found out that we were expecting our first child. That pretty much ended our trips to Vegas and then life continued to happen including a total of three kids and a 16-year hiatus from Vegas. Fast forward to today and I’m training regularly to learn Hilo (or KO) and soaking up any and everything I can read or listen to about card counting or AP play.

    I’ve mastering Basis Strategy and learning to keep the running count. I’ve been using the updated Blackjack Blueprint book as my main guide, but own almost all of the known blackjack books. I’ve watched all of BJA’s free videos as well as listened to all of their podcasts and GWAE’s podcasts. I’m taking my time during my training because I’m not in a rush to get to a casino right away. I want every mental move or calculation to be second nature. I am using flashcards for mastering the last few BS decisions that I even hesitate on (such as a few soft total doubles) and repeatedly count thru decks of cards daily. I can flip over a deck in 25-30 seconds perfectly keeping the running count, and fan thru a deck even quicker cancelling in groups. I keep a deck of cards at my work desk and start and end my day counting thru them a few times each as well as my BS flashcards. I do this at lunch and at home as well. I also use BJA’s free online BS and counting drills almost daily. I’m at the point of deciding to move forward with Hilo and start to learn deck estimation or jump on KO instead. I’m very comfortable keeping the running count already.

    I’m trying to be realistic with my expectations. I already know I’m not going to get rich from this. I have a 20+ year career and don’t plan on ever trying to do this full time. I like the idea of beating the game and would love to make some extra money by taking day trips to areas around me and playing aggressively at those casinos while also returning to our trips to Vegas and playing more for comps or rewards but still have a fighting chance to bring home some money. I plan on hopefully keeping my spread to level that won’t raise much suspicion but still helps me survive longer and win some money.

    I apologize for the length of this and promise this will be my longest post. I welcome any comments as well as advice of whether I should stick with Hilo or go with KO. Thanks, and I’m glad to be a part of the group.
    Last edited by Texascc; 10-03-2020 at 06:08 PM.

  4. #104


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    Quote Originally Posted by Texascc View Post
    My introduction...I live in central Texas but grew up going to Vegas with my parents long before I could gamble, staying in Circus Circus, Treasure Island, etc. Learned the rules to games and prepared myself to play as soon as I turned 21 years old. I would go 3-4 times a year with my girlfriend/fiancée/now wife and we stayed all over spending most of our time sightseeing, eating, shopping, and taking in shows. She would crash early and I’d go down and play blackjack for hours every night loosely using Basic Strategy. I loved the game and started to read about counting cards. Right about that time we found out that we were expecting our first child. That pretty much ended our trips to Vegas and then life continued to happen including a total of three kids and a 16-year hiatus from Vegas. Fast forward to today and I’m training regularly to learn Hilo (or KO) and soaking up any and everything I can read or listen to about card counting or AP play.

    I’ve mastering Basis Strategy and learning to keep the running count. I’ve been using the updated Blackjack Blueprint book as my main guide, but own almost all of the known blackjack books. I’ve watched all of BJA’s free videos as well as listened to all of their podcasts and GWAE’s podcasts. I’m taking my time during my training because I’m not in a rush to get to a casino right away. I want every mental move or calculation to be second nature. I am using flashcards for mastering the last few BS decisions that I even hesitate on (such as a few soft total doubles) and repeatedly count thru decks of cards daily. I can flip over a deck in 25-30 seconds perfectly keeping the running count, and fan thru a deck even quicker cancelling in groups. I keep a deck of cards at my work desk and start and end my day counting thru them a few times each as well as my BS flashcards. I do this at lunch and at home as well. I also use BJA’s free online BS and counting drills almost daily. I’m at the point of deciding to move forward with Hilo and start to learn deck estimation or jump on KO instead. I’m very comfortable keeping the running count already.

    I’m trying to be realistic with my expectations. I already know I’m not going to get rich from this. I have a 20+ year career and don’t plan on ever trying to do this full time. I like the idea of beating the game and would love to make some extra money by taking day trips to areas around me and playing aggressively at those casinos while also returning to our trips to Vegas and playing more for comps or rewards but still have a fighting chance to bring home some money. I plan on hopefully keeping my spread to level that won’t raise much suspicion but still helps me survive longer and win some money.

    I apologize for the length of this and promise this will be my longest post. I welcome any comments as well as advice of whether I should stick with Hilo or go with KO. Thanks, and I’m glad to be a part of the group.
    Welcome. But in my opinion, you are wasting your time learning to count cards if you live in the middle of TX. That might be the worst location in the US to pursue card counting. You will never get enough hands played to justify your time spent learning. It's about the long run...a very long run.

  5. #105


    0 out of 1 members found this post helpful. Did you find this post helpful? Yes | No
    Quote Originally Posted by Texascc View Post
    My introduction...I live in central Texas but grew up going to Vegas with my parents long before I could gamble, staying in Circus Circus, Treasure Island, etc. Learned the rules to games and prepared myself to play as soon as I turned 21 years old. I would go 3-4 times a year with my girlfriend/fiancée/now wife and we stayed all over spending most of our time sightseeing, eating, shopping, and taking in shows. She would crash early and I’d go down and play blackjack for hours every night loosely using Basic Strategy. I loved the game and started to read about counting cards. Right about that time we found out that we were expecting our first child. That pretty much ended our trips to Vegas and then life continued to happen including a total of three kids and a 16-year hiatus from Vegas. Fast forward to today and I’m training regularly to learn Hilo (or KO) and soaking up any and everything I can read or listen to about card counting or AP play.

    I’ve mastering Basis Strategy and learning to keep the running count. I’ve been using the updated Blackjack Blueprint book as my main guide, but own almost all of the known blackjack books. I’ve watched all of BJA’s free videos as well as listened to all of their podcasts and GWAE’s podcasts. I’m taking my time during my training because I’m not in a rush to get to a casino right away. I want every mental move or calculation to be second nature. I am using flashcards for mastering the last few BS decisions that I even hesitate on (such as a few soft total doubles) and repeatedly count thru decks of cards daily. I can flip over a deck in 25-30 seconds perfectly keeping the running count, and fan thru a deck even quicker cancelling in groups. I keep a deck of cards at my work desk and start and end my day counting thru them a few times each as well as my BS flashcards. I do this at lunch and at home as well. I also use BJA’s free online BS and counting drills almost daily. I’m at the point of deciding to move forward with Hilo and start to learn deck estimation or jump on KO instead. I’m very comfortable keeping the running count already.

    I’m trying to be realistic with my expectations. I already know I’m not going to get rich from this. I have a 20+ year career and don’t plan on ever trying to do this full time. I like the idea of beating the game and would love to make some extra money by taking day trips to areas around me and playing aggressively at those casinos while also returning to our trips to Vegas and playing more for comps or rewards but still have a fighting chance to bring home some money. I plan on hopefully keeping my spread to level that won’t raise much suspicion but still helps me survive longer and win some money.

    I apologize for the length of this and promise this will be my longest post. I welcome any comments as well as advice of whether I should stick with Hilo or go with KO. Thanks, and I’m glad to be a part of the group.
    I am assuming you have another career. Keep it. With a wife and young children, playing other than recreationally would be disastrous.

  6. #106


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    Quote Originally Posted by Counting_Is_Fun View Post
    Welcome. But in my opinion, you are wasting your time learning to count cards if you live in the middle of TX. That might be the worst location in the US to pursue card counting. You will never get enough hands played to justify your time spent learning. It's about the long run...a very long run.
    Speaking of that, I have casinos 3 hours away in Oklahoma and a little over 4 hours away in Louisiana. What are the games like in those spots? I know there is Choctaw, WinStar, Golden Nugget, and more within that driving distance. I don't mind driving. I live in Texas, I could literally drive all day long and not leave the state depending on where I start so I'm used to long drives.

  7. #107


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    Quote Originally Posted by Texascc View Post
    Speaking of that, I have casinos 3 hours away in Oklahoma and a little over 4 hours away in Louisiana. What are the games like in those spots? I know there is Choctaw, WinStar, Golden Nugget, and more within that driving distance. I don't mind driving. I live in Texas, I could literally drive all day long and not leave the state depending on where I start so I'm used to long drives.
    If you play in Oklahoma, you will have to find a casino that doesn't charge an ante. A lot of casinos in Oklahoma charge antes, but there are also casinos that don't or have ante free days. Also some casinos offer great promotions like double exposure, but with regular 3:2 rules. Do your homework and you can find them.

  8. #108
    Senior Member MJGolf's Avatar
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    Nice intro post. Welcome to the Board. You will have to travel but based upon it being an "avocation" v. a "vocation", I think it's worth it. CIF is right as to it being long term play to maybe get to the positive side but there is no reason you can't do this part time. Midwest is right; stick with casinos that don't have an ante in OK as that percentage on your bet will eat you alive IF you don't bet high enough. Choctaw and WinStar are wonderful casinos.............for the amenities.............not the BJ. They NEVER waive antes. So plan on driving to another on the border (The Comanche Nation casinos) or a little further into central OK to avoid antes on certain days or times. Or, like you mentioned, go to Louisiana. Difference between the two is OK is still mostly S17 games; Louisiana is mostly H17 games. That .2% can make a difference............in the long run. Good luck and have fun!
    "Women and cats will do as they please, and Men and dogs should just relax and get used to the idea" --- Robert A. Heinlein

  9. #109


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    Quote Originally Posted by Hsiaodi View Post
    I did. But then at some point I learned to trust the math. And bring enough to casinos to have proper ramp and ror.

    I standby what I said in the beginning, there are people who can do it, who will keep on doing it. Who can’t hack it then start teaching it.

    I want someone who practice on a regular basis and who actually immerse in doing ap, not someone who charges a fee to teach what he did 10 years ago.

    I also have problem with people who are preaching “do as I say, not as I do....”

    In short, he won’t get my money.
    I heard about basic strategy after I had played blackjack for 5 years and I started to learn basic strategy after I lost bigger playing it. Without basic strategy, I was even on win and loss playing , but my loss bicameral bigger after I learned basic strategy because I thought I knew how to play it.

  10. #110


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    Quote Originally Posted by ZeeBabar View Post
    I am assuming you have another career. Keep it. With a wife and young children, playing other than recreationally would be disastrous.
    I would add to this that if you play the way Zee plays, even playing recreationally will be disastrous and produce incredible presumptuousness.

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