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.
So Ben Affleck was reportedly kicked off the blackjack tables at Hard Rock in Vegas for counting cards. I’m very intrigued by card counting and how you become an advantaged blackjack player. An advantaged player is someone who the casinos consider to be using card counting or other blackjack strategy that changes the odds into the player’s favor to place higher bets when counts are in their favor and minimum bets when the odds are against them.
I don’t count cards and it isn’t something that I’m planning to take up. I feel pretty good about my Momentum Blackjack ™ system and the ability to win by controlling the play using solid strategy versus card counting. I’m not totally against card counting since casinos have the upper-hand in almost every situation and I’m honestly impressed by the people who can maintain focus and keep count during live play. I will say that if you know casinos have rules against something then you employ that tactic you should expect them to come down pretty hard – especially if you are a famous person who will be drawing extra attention just by walking in the door.
From what I understand Affleck was not particularly subtle when placing wide swings in bet amounts which made him a fairly easy target for the casinos. I get why he would place such large bet amounts on hands that had a better chance to win, it’s human nature to try and grab any edge and for someone with more resources than I could imagine you would need to place and win extremely large bets in order to get the rush we all feel when we win.
For me a couple hundred dollars per hand is a big deal and I get nervous, excited and geeked up when I’m near the upper limit of my betting range. For someone who can afford to lose hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars in a session I’d imagine you’d need to bet big in order to get that same rush. I’d also imagine that if you have plenty of time and are betting such large amounts it would be hard to swallow losing when you are aware of a way to put the winning odds in your favor.
One day maybe I’ll have the time to learn to count cards and the resources to make that card counting worth the risk. Until then I’ll continue to employ Momentum Blackjack ™ and see how far it can take me.