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Thread: Your Average Joe

  1. #1


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    Your Average Joe

    Hello,

    New to the forum as well as Blackjack. I like gambling but hate losing money, which is why I never played blackjack as I knew it was a -EV game (unless you are counting cards.)
    When I and I'm assuming many others think of card counters the imagination goes to characters such as Ben Campbell from the movie 21. Not just someone who goes to MIT but someone who is able to get into MIT and standout in the class. "A gifted mind" among gifted minds.

    I thought I'd tie my username to my first post/thread. My question is can your average person (intelligence wise) be a successful card counter (Given an adequate bankroll) or does Hollywood's interpretation of a card counter lean towards reality?

    "Successful" may be subjective so if needed I'll let you define it in your response.

  2. #2


    2 out of 2 members found this post helpful. Did you find this post helpful? Yes | No
    Quote Originally Posted by Below AVG IQ View Post
    Hello,

    New to the forum as well as Blackjack. I like gambling but hate losing money, which is why I never played blackjack as I knew it was a -EV game (unless you are counting cards.)
    When I and I'm assuming many others think of card counters the imagination goes to characters such as Ben Campbell from the movie 21. Not just someone who goes to MIT but someone who is able to get into MIT and standout in the class. "A gifted mind" among gifted minds.

    I thought I'd tie my username to my first post/thread. My question is can your average person (intelligence wise) be a successful card counter (Given an adequate bankroll) or does Hollywood's interpretation of a card counter lean towards reality?

    "Successful" may be subjective so if needed I'll let you define it in your response.
    Card counting is like flipping burgers at your local fast food joint: tedious, repetitive motions for not so great pay. Your co-workers (other players) are ass-holes who could care less about you, your manager (pit boss, surveillance, table game manager) hates your guts and will do anything to sabotage you, and everything about the job is boring. The pay is low for what extensive effort you put in.

    Yet, you enjoy doing it because it gets you out of the house.

    If you can add numbers together in your head and can do integer multiplication/division on the fly as well as memorize specific actions, you can count cards. Anyone can do it! I would imagine middle-schoolers could do it, provided it were legal for them to gamble as well as have the emotional maturity it takes to handle gambling.

  3. #3


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    I disagree. You must have fast calculations, great memory, mathematical fortitude, flexible personality and willingness to accept deception is part of the game. Not everyone have all these together

  4. #4


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    The worse thing is handling the variance and discipline . I know a few counters that makes the same mistakes from time to time. I have messed up a few times even if it's not in any serious degree. Examples would be playing when table starts to get crowded, disregard heat , dealer is clearly giving crappy cut , etc....GL... it is not hard to count but hard to play long term and earn a decent amount. Of course it REALLY DEPENDS on the person !

  5. #5


    2 out of 2 members found this post helpful. Did you find this post helpful? Yes | No
    The reality is that success has to do with some inherited and some environmental background and ONLY you can learn if you have it or not. You get the card counting done and do all the preparations and then you find whether you have the fortitude to play (or want to play) in a game with this much variance and this much stress.

    Its like a 10 year old asking if he can grow up to be a pro player. The answer he gets told is “yes”, he does okay playing in junior varsity and high school (like playing BJ practice games online) and then goes to a division 1 college. Some find they cannot make it into the team, some others do. If you make it into the team and have some success (like having success in local casinos which also lasts 4-5 years). Then you try the pros (travel to play) and you find out that the commitment it takes is a whole different level, hard to maintain relationships, you get cut (backed off) after mostly being on the bench (playing about even with the casino, maybe winning a bit). A few get to become rotation players and make some money but it ends up a short career anyway. If you had become really good, you soldier on writing books, teaching others, running forums, selling and boasting on this or other forums of imagined success.
    Last edited by ZeeBabar; 01-04-2021 at 01:26 PM.

  6. #6


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    Quote Originally Posted by ZeeBabar View Post
    The reality is that success has to do with some inherited and some environmental background and ONLY you can learn if you have it or not. You get the card counting done and do all the preparations and then you find whether you have the fortitude to play (or want to play) in a game with this much variance and this much stress.

    Its like a 10 year old asking if he can grow up to be a pro player. The answer he gets told is “yes”, he does okay playing in junior varsity and high school (like playing BJ practice games online) and then goes to a division 1 college. Some find they cannot make it into the team, some others do. If you make it into the team and have some success (like having success in local casinos which also lasts 4-5 years). Then you try the pros (travel to play) and you find out that the commitment it takes is a whole different level, hard to maintain relationships, you get cut (backed off) after mostly being on the bench (playing about even with the casino, maybe winning a bit). A few get to become rotation players and make some money but it ends up a short career anyway. If you had become really good, you soldier on writing books, teaching others, running forums, selling and boasting on this or other forums of imagined success.
    Hard-to-find wisdom from an experienced pro. Thank you!

  7. #7


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    Quote Originally Posted by dogman_1234 View Post
    I would imagine middle-schoolers could do it, provided it were legal for them to gamble as well as have the emotional maturity it takes to handle gambling.
    This answer on its face looks like a yes but unfortunately the average person would probably fail "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader" so it may not be a yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZeeBabar View Post
    The reality is that success has to do with some inherited and some environmental background and ONLY you can learn if you have it or not. You get the card counting done and do all the preparations and then you find whether you have the fortitude to play (or want to play) in a game with this much variance and this much stress.
    Interestingly, if I'm understanding correctly, the hard part of card counting isn't the card counting (Math) it's everything else?

    Quote Originally Posted by ZeeBabar View Post
    Its like a 10 year old asking if he can grow up to be a pro player.
    Am I the 10 year old in this analogy?



    Thank you guys for your responses.

  8. #8


    3 out of 3 members found this post helpful. Did you find this post helpful? Yes | No
    Quote Originally Posted by Chaconne View Post
    Hard-to-find wisdom from an experienced pro. Thank you!
    lol

  9. #9


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    Quote Originally Posted by dalmatian View Post
    Most people that are successful at counting cards have serious personal and emotional issues. To make a living playing blackjack you need to already have a sizable bankroll to begin with, more than likely because you already have skills that enabled you to make that money in the first place. So why would you turn to something as risky and abusive as card counting? The answer is you have severe emotional problems amd you simply can't fit in in the real world.

    Smallcap is a prime example. He is a complete degenerate that was sexually abused as a child and grew up to be a terrible psychotic lunatic that couldn't possibly function in normal society. He was drawn to the degeneracy of casinos because he is in fact a degenerate himself. He is FRINGE class. The fact that he has no friends, no girlfriend and he is a wealthy millionaire says just about everything.

    Card counting sounds like fun from the movies but unless you cant possibly function at all in normal society the life is probably nothing to envy. You arnt missing much, AT ALL!
    Not cool, man.
    Last edited by Chaconne; 01-04-2021 at 07:53 PM.

  10. #10
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    You mentioned the MIT team. In the Breaking Vegas documentary about the MIT team on Youtube, which is different from the Hollywood Production 21, one of the members says at 26:35 something to the effect of "I could teach a piece of firewood how to count cards, if that piece of firewood could concentrate."

    In my experience, it was easy to learn and as I got more and more comfortable with it, I started adding more and more indices.
    Handling the downswings, plus heat and backoffs can be difficult though. I viewed it as a validation when I got my first and only
    backoff.

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