Learning When to Walk Away From the Blackjack Table

I had a quick trip to Horseshoe in Iowa this week.  Was in town for work and had a free night so I expected to spend 5-6 hours playing blackjack.  From my last trip I knew to stay away from Harrahs ad headed straight from the airport to Horseshoe.  As it turned out my night was much shorter than expected.

I arrived at around 6p and by 7 I knew it was my night, and that I’d have to leave sooner than expected.  I sat by myself at the $25 table in the high-roller room and the first shoe instantly doubled my buy-in.  I thought about leaving immediately, but I don’t have that kind of discipline and I wanted to keep playing.

I put my winnings in my pocket and pressed forward to an uneventful shoe 2, but shoe 3 was a monster tripling my buy-in – the highlight was a $200 bet split aces to make it $400 on the table against a 3.  My hands were soft 14 and soft 16 – dealer turned a 6, 6, 8 for a huge win.

I played out shoe 3 to see how hot my streak was going to be, and by the end I had given back some of the winnings and a couple other people came in the room so I pulled up stakes and had dinner.  As much as I hated it, I knew it was time to hit the road.  I love to play, but when you go up 4X in your first hour and there are only 3 $25+ tables open in the whole casino there was no way to keep up that pace.

I’m torn – on one hand I’m getting better as a player because I was smart enough to not give back my winnings – on the other hand I only get to play on rare occasions so when I do get to play a one hour session feels like a little bit of a let down.

I’m going to focus on the positive and the win, but if I’m being honest I’d like my wins to come after a few hours of play.


2 thoughts on “Learning When to Walk Away From the Blackjack Table

  1. Brian says:

    I’ve really enjoyed reading this blog. Thanks for sharing your adventures. On this post you mention being up 4x your buy-in, but doing it in a short amount of time. Why not just take a small percentage of your win and move to a $10 table? I know you’d rather play alone but you could get some more play time in with very little risk. There’s fun $10 tables to be found, I find them all the time.
    Just a thought. Thanks again, your posts are well written and informative.

    • Appreciate the feedback Brian! Glad you are enjoying the blog. I just got back from a long week in Vegas and actually played at a $15 table with a buddy and group of people. It was frustrating since rules were bad – 6:5 blackjack – and guy on 3rd base wouldn’t hit on anything above 14. Know this isn’t typical, but a lot more common at lower limit. I’ve had fun times at lower-limit tables and playing in groups, but for a few reasons like game control and relaxing atmosphere I enjoy playing solo at higher limit games. When I want to have fun as a group at casino I tend to play Roulette or Craps.

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