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Old 05-26-2017, 11:54 PM   #1
Mr.Jones
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Is it worth learning Blackjack / Card counting?

I've been playing poker on and off since the boom, but never put in enough work to be a real winner. Fundamentally I've always been strong, I just suffer from tilt issues.

(yes I understand you can tilt in blackjack as well but I feel like I'd be able to reset faster and just play like a robot)

I've always stayed away from the table games, maybe a fun bet here and there, but since I was 21 I've always known you can't beat them and I've stayed away.

Which brings us to blackjack. Is it worth learning how to card count, and all the intricacies associated with being successful at the game?

I'm not talking about just reading a book and increasing my edge while betting for fun, but I'm talking seriously learning the game, practicing with software and all that.

Can I make reliable money doing this?

Last edited by Mr.Jones; 05-27-2017 at 12:13 AM.
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Old 05-26-2017, 11:58 PM   #2
Tom Ames
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Re: Is it worth learning Blackjack / Card counting?

If I were starting from scratch today, I wouldn't bother.
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Old 05-27-2017, 01:16 PM   #3
browni3141
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Re: Is it worth learning Blackjack / Card counting?

Yes, you can make money, but I wouldn't call it reliable. It's easy to learn to count. It sucks dealing with smokers, *******s, morons and degenerates that frequent the blackjack tables. It is difficult to sustain a reasonable winrate for your risk when the casino can notice what you're doing and ask you to leave at any time. You can get around this typically playing short sessions, but this causes a lot of down time where you are making no money at all, and the casino will still catch you eventually even if you have the best cover and never stay longer than an hour.

Generally ignoring these aspects poker is a more profitable game. Some blackjack games are more profitable per risk than poker, but these games are rare and often more closely watched.
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Old 05-28-2017, 10:07 PM   #4
Sooga
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Re: Is it worth learning Blackjack / Card counting?

if you want to learn it to help negate some of the house edge when you play casually, I'd say go for it.

if you want to learn it thinking it'll provide you a steady source of income, I'd say don't bother.
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Old 06-09-2017, 04:36 PM   #5
JWalterWeatherman
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Re: Is it worth learning Blackjack / Card counting?

I deal tables and can tell you that it can work but you need to be even more devoted to thinking about not getting caught as you are with being skilled at counting.

I've seen plenty of players who could count great but gave zero thought to how to blend in or playing at the optimal time and they ended up getting walked off before they could really do any damage. Play when the specific casino is having a big event/concert and surveillance/security/ floor staff will be very busy. Play when other big action is happening. Do not play long. Get in and get out ASAP.

Oh yeah if you want to count, some tipping will definitely help you stay longer.
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Old 09-10-2017, 09:11 PM   #6
Mr.Jones
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Re: Is it worth learning Blackjack / Card counting?

Anyone have any other thoughts on this?
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Old 09-11-2017, 01:41 AM   #7
Fubster
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Re: Is it worth learning Blackjack / Card counting?

It's a good idea if you're looking to gamble for fun but it's not a great way to make money in 2017
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Old 09-15-2017, 01:42 PM   #8
callipygian
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Re: Is it worth learning Blackjack / Card counting?

Given your threads about losing 20 Powerball tickets in a row, I don't think card counting is for you.
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Old 09-15-2017, 09:14 PM   #9
wahcheck
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Re: Is it worth learning Blackjack / Card counting?

Card counting in BJ can be worth it if you:

1) like to sit at BJ tables and try to hide that you are a counter, especially
when it's about the first thing all the pit bosses and eyes in the sky look
for...
2) enjoy memorizing and counting cards in a furtive way
3) can grind it out for hours on end without getting tired
4) be satisfied with any winnings at all
5) like sitting next to clueless players and smokers
6) can accept that you won't get anywhere near rich unless you play whale
level stakes and get extremely lucky
7) think that the whole process is a fun pastime regardless of how little money
you actually make
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Old 10-05-2017, 07:17 PM   #10
ChipWrecked
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Re: Is it worth learning Blackjack / Card counting?

I came to poker from low-level counting.

- You need a huge bankroll. Both to absorb swings, and the fact that games with favorable rules are often $25 min bet. If you aren't prepared to bet high, you will have a hard time finding a decent game in a place where you aren't worried about being stabbed on the way to your car. You can forget the Strip, unless you're playing at the highest levels.

- It gets boring just grinding the math. It gets tiring, having to concentrate so hard for lengths of time both on the count and your cover.

- Your best edge is tiny. Counts are often bad. The sweet spots in decks are few and far between.

IMO the only good ways to count are either to Wong in, meaning you only sit when a count is favorable, because you've been counting while standing off to the side, which isn't allowed pretty much anywhere anymore, or to play as part of a team, which is actually cheating, as I see it.

With poker, you can exploit bad players in a nice environment for low stakes. This makes poker so superior to counting it's not even close.
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Old 10-05-2017, 10:08 PM   #11
WaKtickets
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Re: Is it worth learning Blackjack / Card counting?

I'll take the bait. How is team play itself cheating?

100% correct that poker is a MUCH better skill to learn
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Old 10-06-2017, 01:09 PM   #12
ChipWrecked
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Re: Is it worth learning Blackjack / Card counting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by WaKtickets View Post
I'll take the bait. How is team play itself cheating?

100% correct that poker is a MUCH better skill to learn
It's just my opinion. The game is designed to be one on one, player vs. dealer. Counting is merely exploiting the nature of the game, dependent trials within the deck.

Team play is taking it a step further in an attempt to exploit the casino. In the same realm as capping a bet. It's physically possible to do and get away with, at least for a while. But it's unethical. Cheating.

Edit: Wonging is a gray area imo. But it's so difficult to pull off, and easy to protect the game from, it doesn't really matter.

Shuffle tracking might be a gray area, but in this case I say **** 'em. If you can do that, more power to you. Casinos introduced continuous shufflers into the game. If you can exploit them, go for it.

Last edited by ChipWrecked; 10-06-2017 at 01:25 PM.
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Old 10-06-2017, 03:54 PM   #13
callipygian
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Re: Is it worth learning Blackjack / Card counting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChipWrecked View Post
Team play is taking it a step further in an attempt to exploit the casino. In the same realm as capping a bet.
Absolutely false. There are laws against capping bets, the consequences are not only moral but criminal.
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Old 10-07-2017, 09:25 PM   #14
WaKtickets
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Re: Is it worth learning Blackjack / Card counting?

I don't see ANY relation between Wonging or team play and bet capping. Bet capping is cheating/ theft! The others are simply further uses of brain power. Not going to try to argue here because both our opinions are already decided but I think your position is WAY out there.
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Old 10-09-2017, 05:44 AM   #15
borg23
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Re: Is it worth learning Blackjack / Card counting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChipWrecked View Post
It's just my opinion. The game is designed to be one on one, player vs. dealer. Counting is merely exploiting the nature of the game, dependent trials within the deck.

Team play is taking it a step further in an attempt to exploit the casino. In the same realm as capping a bet. It's physically possible to do and get away with, at least for a while. But it's unethical. Cheating.

Edit: Wonging is a gray area imo. But it's so difficult to pull off, and easy to protect the game from, it doesn't really matter.

Shuffle tracking might be a gray area, but in this case I say **** 'em. If you can do that, more power to you. Casinos introduced continuous shufflers into the game. If you can exploit them, go for it.
good one. so let the dealer catch me counting and nobody else.
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Old 10-09-2017, 04:21 PM   #16
callipygian
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Re: Is it worth learning Blackjack / Card counting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by WaKtickets View Post
I don't see ANY relation between Wonging or team play and bet capping. Bet capping is cheating/ theft! The others are simply further uses of brain power.
I don't agree with the argument that team play is immoral, but I respect the argument that team play (and holecarding and Wonging to a certain extent) involves information that the casino didn't intend to reveal.

That is, people will argue that there's some sort of implied contract where the casino agrees to reveal certain information and if you can beat it "fair and square" then good for you. But you reaching out for information beyond what that implied contract entails is a breach of trust.

And while I think that's nice in theory, I don't think these implied contracts really exist. Or at least not any more (since casinos have become more corporate). Casinos routinely breach these implied agreements by changing the rules and penetration and in general trying to squeeze every cent out of a player.

So if people feel like they have some kind of tacit agreement with a casino and choose to limit themselves by not aggressively chasing the additional EV that Wonging or team play offers, I respect that. But I have a feeling that the agreement is one-sided and when some bean counter in a New York office decides to screw them, they will end up where the rest of us are now - **** the casinos, we're out for blood.
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Old 10-12-2017, 01:21 AM   #17
kewlj
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Re: Is it worth learning Blackjack / Card counting?

"Team play is cheating" is an interesting concept and one I really haven't heard before. I can see some merit to that argument. My fellow counters won't like my reasoning, I am sure.

I play blackjack for a living, my 14th year now. Living in a city with many casinos and tables in close proximity, I have tailored my game for my situation, meaning I exit negative counts (wong out) very aggressively. Why do I want to play negative counts when there are better opportunities close by, like the next table. I frequently track multiple tables, the game I am playing and a neighboring table, looking to jump to a better opportunity with zero downtime.

So, I will never accept the argument that card counting, and/or wonging, is in any way cheating. How can thinking be labeled "cheating". Only in the casino industry's eyes.

But with team play, the traditional call in approach, the player being called in is not the one doing the thinking. His teammate is, And when that information is passed between players, you can make the case that is colluding, and not a stretch to consider that "cheating".
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Old 10-12-2017, 01:43 AM   #18
kewlj
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Re: Is it worth learning Blackjack / Card counting?

And as for hole-carding...in my mind that is immoral. I won't go as far as to say cheating, but it is a gray area for me....a very gray area.

When I relocated to vegas, 8 years ago, I got into some hole-carding for about a 3 months stretch. I identified weak dealers who flashed their hole card and literally learned their schedules and followed them around. One night I set my alarm for 3am to get to Circus Circus just in time for a very weak dealers shift. That was the moment I said to myself "what the hell am I doing?" I want to win fair and square, playing within the rules the casino has set up and I just felt hole-carding went outside of that parameter. That just was NOT the way I wanted to win or support myself. It really is the casinos responsibility to protect their games, so I don't really have a problem with other players that do so....it was just not for me.

Now, of course, sometimes when you are playing, during the natural course of play, I will run up against a weak dealer and see some hole-cards. I am not going to jump up and exit the table, nor am I going to pretend I didn't see and don't have that information. As I said, it is the casinos responsibility, but for me when you cross over to seeking out that information and weak dealers, you have crossed some sort of line that I am not comfortable with.
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Old 10-17-2017, 04:20 PM   #19
FrankyRizzo
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Re: Is it worth learning Blackjack / Card counting?

i wouldnt say i have the bankroll to sustain big blackjack games but i dont rely on it as my source of income.

however when i go to the casino, which is only like 3x a year now and if im not playing any poker, i do play a little blackjack. when i play i like the 25 or 50 min tables. players somewhat seem to have a clue what they are doing and arent hitting on 15 when dealer is showing a 6 like at borgatas 15 min tables (esp near the club, stay away from tables right outside the club) i often find myself starting at the min and if i am doing well or atleast breaking even for a decent period of time going as high as 10x min bet. i am going to vegas in 2 weeks and wondering if its worth even reading a counting book or not ha.

i know basic strategy as far as by the book goes and i wouldnt say im a winning player by any means. my biggest win was buying in for 800 and leaving with 12k in about 4 hours of going between min bets (50) and 800 bets and my biggest lost has been 3k. i usually leave once i am down 2 buy ins and go for a walk.

is it worth reading a book or do u think it might f up my game or help me?
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Old Today, 10:57 AM   #20
GBV
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Re: Is it worth learning Blackjack / Card counting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Jones View Post
I've been playing poker on and off since the boom, but never put in enough work to be a real winner. Fundamentally I've always been strong, I just suffer from tilt issues.

(yes I understand you can tilt in blackjack as well but I feel like I'd be able to reset faster and just play like a robot)

I've always stayed away from the table games, maybe a fun bet here and there, but since I was 21 I've always known you can't beat them and I've stayed away.

Which brings us to blackjack. Is it worth learning how to card count, and all the intricacies associated with being successful at the game?

I'm not talking about just reading a book and increasing my edge while betting for fun, but I'm talking seriously learning the game, practicing with software and all that.

Can I make reliable money doing this?
Essentially no. Modern games are mostly unplayable. Those that are, aren't worth it. It might be a way of treading water whilsts looking for other profitable opportunities: dealer mispays, some form of card exposure, shuffle-tracking etc etc.

Advantage play 2017 depends on doing something that isn't mainstream.
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