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By Riverboat Flyer


Riverboat Flyer is a low-stakes blackjack player. He plays the southern Ohio riverboats along with frequent trips to Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Tunica, and occasionally Lake Tahoe. He has been counting cards for over ten years, using the Hi-Op, High Low and currently the half-count system.

My March Tunica Trip Report brought comments and questions from Walt, another low-limit bettor. I will try to answer his questions and shed some light on at how I approach the game.

Here are Waltís questions and comments:

Just read the March issue. Liked the Tunica report a lot!

I'm a red chipper, been counting Hi-Lo about a year.

Most of the books I read say you must spread 1 to 10 or 1 to 12 to win this game. etc. you get the idea, more data to help us low budget red chippers.

This type of info would be great; normally I can't find data on playing low limit $5 games. 

Liked the idea that Riverboat Flyer spreads anywhere from 1 to 3 up to 1 to 4.

Before I answer Waltís questions, let me first provide some insight into my playing style (keeping in mind that I am a low-limit card counter).

I generally look for a $5 or $10 table and try to spread form 1 to 4 units. I realize that spreading one to four units will never make me rich. It also limits my top end earnings potential because I have less bet when the count and odds are in my favor.

The reason I use a small bet spread is because I am risk adverse. I donít mind winning big bets, but it really bothers me to lose big bets. So in the long run, my wins and losses are somewhat limited. I also play a lot of hours at the same casinos, so I am trying to have my counting go unnoticed. I consider myself a serious player, not a professional player. I play for comps almost as much as I do to win money. Last year, I had 11 overnight casino trips and did not pay a cent for food, room, or entertainment. My wife plays slots and that has a major effect on the amount of comps we get. So far this year I am up $281 after 36 hours of play. Finding decent $5 games is not easy. You can forget Atlantic City and the Vegas Strip. Friday nights and weekends are usually the times when low-limit games are difficult to come by. I try to play mid-week, early in the morning, and at casinos off the beaten path. Most of my play last year was in Tunica, on a cruise ship in the Caribbean, and at the southern Indiana riverboats. I have also played in Atlantic City, Reno, Lake Tahoe, and Vegas.

Here is my response to Waltís questions...

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