There are many ways to make a living. But there was a time not too long ago that Ben and I were more focused on the money we were making than how we were making the money. Fortunately, as we have been growing and changing, the process has become as important as the end result. With that being said, we are very cautious about how and why people are using the information at Blackjack Apprenticeship. Card counting can be used to foster wise finance-management, good work ethic, and self control to take money out of casinos. But, like almost everything, there are ways that this information can be used to cause great damage to individuals and their loved ones.
We have spent plenty of time and energy wrestling our own demons. And with the amount of time we’ve spent in casinos, we know all too well the dangers of gambling addiction. We encourage you to take 5 minutes to answer the 20 questions at GamblersAnonymous.org and ask yourself if you can handle casinos and card counting. Rather than copy and paste their 20 questions, I thought I’d talk about a couple and discuss the dangers of playing the game for the wrong reasons.
#5. Did you ever gamble to get money with which to pay debts or otherwise solve financial difficulties?
I get contacted fairly regularly through the website by people hoping to use card counting to solve debt problems. There are multiple problems with this. One is that card counting is not a sure thing. As with any investment, no one should use money they cannot afford to lose. Being in debt is a situation where the risk of getting further behind is greater than the reward of potential gain. Furthermore, card counting isn’t a short-term investment. If you understand the math, then you know that you are just as likely to lose as to win in 5 hours, 10 hours, even 50 hours. Hundreds of hours are needed to Reach the long run. If you are looking for quick gains, card counting is the wrong investment choice. A job is a much more sure short-term solution. If someone choses to not heed this logic, there is a good chance they have a gambler’s mentality and perhaps a gambling addiction.
#7 & 8. After losing did you feel you must return as soon as possible and win back your losses? After a win did you have a strong urge to return and win more?
As an advantage player, there is always EV to generate. There are times to play a good game longer, but decisions should not be made based on emotional responses to wins and losses but on the best way to run our business. If you are winning and the game is still good, perhaps you decide to keep playing. If you are losing and there is no heat, perhaps you play another hour or 2. But chasing money or going on tilt (either from winning or losing sessions) is a sign that you aren’t thinking like a calculated investor. Whether it’s gambling addiction or workaholism, I’ve seen both gambler and professional advantage player (i.e. card counter, hole carder, etc) let their emotions control their lives, resulting in playing far longer than they planned to in the name of chasing losses or EV.
13. Did gambling make you careless of the welfare of yourself or your family?
I don’t care how well you know basic strategy and deviations, how quickly you can count down a deck. If you cannot handle using the knowledge in a way that furthers your life (and life of your family and loved ones). There is no reason to feel disappointed if you decide card counting isn’t for you. And I guarantee that if it effects your life in a negative way, you will regret pursuing it.
Author: Colin Jones