I’ve played enough blackjack to see shoes* that have contained the good, bad and the ugly in terms of wins and losses. In most cases the results stay within the realm of reasonable expectations even if that means taking a chunk out of your bankroll. I’ve had shoes that have gone well before, but this last trip to Vegas was my all-time biggest positive swing on one shoe.
*A shoe in blackjack is the plastic card holder where the dealer places and then pulls cards for play on the table. A shoe is measured in decks of cards (I play 6-deck hand-shuffled shoes) dealt before the next shuffle. As a side note I’d recommend never playing more than a 6-deck shoe and avoid continuous-shuffle machines at all costs.
I wrote earlier about my climb back to even money for the year and this is the brief tale of the shoe that got me there. I was down a decent amount for the trip, it was getting late on my third night in town, I was playing at a $50 limit table in Bally’s, and I was down $500 on this one shoe alone.
The first 1/3 of this last shoe was looking bleak and I was about ready to throw in the towel and accept a losing night. At that point I started a nice winning streak that got me back to even for the shoe in a few hands with a couple of splits and doubles. Once I was back to even, things got exciting in a hurry. I don’t recall exact hands very often and this was the case tonight as well, but one thing I clearly remember from this run was being dealt 4 straight blackjacks! That streak of easy wins built my bet size up quickly and the wins kept coming after that run with nearly every hand.
I was getting fired up, the dealer was nearly shouting on every hand when it seemed like I couldn’t lose and the chips kept flowing my way including a 2x split with 2 doubles that hit for another big hand win. The last few hands of the shoe cooled off until the last hand came up as a blackjack to finish off a great run.
When all was said and done I went from $500 down to $2,500 up in the last 2/3 of that one shoe for a $3K swing. I’ve never had a single shoe with that big of a win and that is a rush I won’t soon forget.
Now I’ve set a very high, and probably unrealistic, bar to judge my future shoes against, but I’ll keep playing to try and match, and then exceed, the rush and win from that one elusive killer shoe on my next Vegas trip!