DONíT BAR YOURSELF
by The GameMaster
Every month, I'll be posting an article which will, I hope, make you a better Blackjack player. Naturally, the question follows: Just who am I to say I can make you a better player? My background in Blackjack began in Atlantic City in 1978 where I learned, by attending a four-session school, how to count cards. That led to considerable involvement with Blackjack teams and travel to a lot of places to take the casinos' money. After the liberal rules in Atlantic City were dumped by the casinos, my Blackjack-playing days went dormant for some time. I'd do the occasional trip to Reno or Las Vegas, but it wasn't until casino gaming came to Missouri in 1994 that I got back into Blackjack with both feet. Now I live close to 5 casinos, can play as much as I want and can tell you - with first-hand experience - how to win at Blackjack. My Website iswww.gamemasteronline.com
If youíre new to card counting, or even if youíre not, getting tossed out of a casino seems to be the worst possible fate you can suffer. After all, youíre only playing the game of Blackjack in a skillful way, using the same information available to every player at the table, but processing it in a different way. It somehow seems so wrong for the casinos to want only losers at their tables, which they enforce by telling players with obvious skill to leave. First comes the dreaded tap on the shoulder, followed by: "Youíre welcome to play any other game here, but stay away from the Blackjack tables."
It is unfair; in fact, it completely sucks. But itís their casino and they may serve whomever they wish, just as Starbucks can refuse to serve you if youíre not wearing shoes or a shirt. Iím not going to get into the legality of all this because Iím not an expert in law; Iím a card counter, so I deal only with the concept that most casinos donít want me to practice my trade in their establishment Ė reality is all that matters to me Ė trying to change the world is for others to do.
In a perfect world, my skill would be accepted, if not applauded, much like professional poker players are today. Certainly, the growing Blackjack tournament industry is offering that opportunity, but until it gets a lot bigger, counting cards at a decent $50 minimum bet double deck Blackjack game is going to pay the rent for most BJ pros out there. And, because those pros are regularly removing $$$ from the casinos, they will continue to be told to leave, or "barred" as we say.
New card counters seem to think that they have a big, red "C" tattooed on their forehead, so they spend a lot of time trying to camouflage their skill, which is almost always a very big mistake. When youíre new to the sport, or are losing on a regular basis, gaining casino experience by playing and betting in the way called for by your game plan is absolutely essential. If your bankroll and counting system calls for you to use a 1-16 bet spread, then you need to put the $$$ out there when the time is right.
Will moving your bet from $5 to $80 in the course of one shoe attract attention from the pit critters?
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