Why I’m Not Counting Cards…Yet

When I talk about my blackjack playing with people for the first time they almost always ask the same question: ‘do you count cards?’  They’ve seen the movie 21 or read articles about Ben Affleck getting kicked out of casinos and assume that anyone who is as passionate about blackjack as I am must be a card counter.

I’ve read a bit about counting cards and my math skills are probably solid enough to keep pace, but as of today I’m not interested.  I’ve never really thought about why I haven’t tried card counting until I recently started a new job.  The new job is good, but the money makes it nearly impossible to walk away even if I wanted to.  Basically it’s a job.  And that is what I’m afraid card counting might do to blackjack – turn my passion into a job.

I enjoy the idea that every trip to the casino brings the opportunity for wins and losses and the thought that my ‘system’ gives me some advantage over the average player.  I know that no system is truly mathematically sound and over time I’ll likely never make any real money unless I go the card counting route, but the illusion of control keeps me going.

I want my hobby to be fun and if I think that I have to win every time I play because I’m counting cards it will lose some of the attraction.  It’s like my golf game when I was in high school, I expected to go out and shoot a score every round and when I didn’t it drove me nuts until the game wasn’t fun anymore.  Now when I go out and play golf I have low expectations so I can appreciate the good shots and when I have a blow up hole its out of my head as soon as I step up to the next tee.

Maybe when I retire I can dedicate myself to counting cards and use that as a way to generate extra income to make up for the failures of Social Security.  Until then I’ll keep playing my system, hoping for the best and having fun.


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