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Split Double Destroy – The Right Expectations

I thought this was a perfect example of expecting the unexpected.

I arrived at a smaller casino resort destination in the west with a handful of casinos. Almost immediately, I ran into another card counter I knew and trusted. We arranged to meet off-property. He had been in town for several days. “This place is really bad,” he said. “I’ve only gotten in five hours all week. I get backed off now before I even sit down.” According to him big action was suspect, backoffs came quickly and flyering was unavoidable. This was his first trip to the state, and it was my 12th, so concerns were amplified. In spite of this, I managed to get 19 hours of play in a day and a half, reaping $800/hour of EV along the way. How did I do it?


1. I found and played decent single and double deck games, whereas he was sticking to shoe games. The betting pattern is way more fluid and believable (at times using only black and purple chips).

2. I assumed the persona that this town accepted as a big player (It’s a resort town). I dressed like I just got off the golf course, and made sure I knew the names of a few local courses to throw around. They ate it up. (Later I learned I had been pronouncing one of them wrong. Oh well, I am an out-of-towner).

3. My friend had a bearded emo-looking friend in a flannel shirt that he brought along standing behind him. Not playing, not saying anything, just watching without expression. It looked weird to me. I bet it looked weird to the casino. Friends of people throwing money around don’t look or act like they live out of a rusty Subaru and just ate lunch off a trash can lid.

4. Rather than avoid the places that blackjack sites suggest to avoid, I chose to dive in at one. Sometimes this pays off, as other card counters are likely consistently following the advice, and in the void, the casinos have gotten lax on their approach when a big money player comes through.

5. Graveyard, graveyard, graveyard.

6. Based on Ownership groups, reported conditions, games offered, most likely to flyer, and everything else under the sun I could find out beforehand, I had created a document that contained all info, and from which I had created a list of the casinos I wanted to hit IN THE ORDER THAT I WANTED TO HIT THEM. My friend was walking in blind. ORDER is key, because if the first casino you hit flyers you, you are toast. Save the ones with a reputation for flyering for last.

7. Strike hard, strike first, no mercy sir. I do short trips with lots of hours, as opposed to longer trips with less hours per day. I think my way is better. Call me on it if you think differently.

—Loudon Ofton

7 Responses to “Split Double Destroy – The Right Expectations”

  1. FelipeV says:


  2. PonyPat says:

    Thanks for all this great information. For a newbie who’s determined to get it right, this stuff is invaluable. I’m wondering what the best sources are for obtaining the info talked about in item #6. Also, does “flyering” refer to the casinos notifying each other about a card counter?

    Thanks again for the info. My intended targets are southern California and Las Vegas.

  3. Matt says:

    I love this

  4. Loudon Ofton says:

    The most notable site that offers a working knowledge of most casinos, their games rules and “current” conditions for card counters is Stanford Wong’s site (BJ21). But I had noticed that the latest conditions (i.e. “heat city” or “takes big bets well”)would go un-updated for years…so I tended to take their advice at the beginning of a trip (especially regarding which casinos are in cahoots with one another) and break their advice at the end of a trip (especially advice that would have tended to keep card counters away in droves for a long period of time and thusly created an environment of unexpectation).

    I also got information from other card counters, forums, and by calling the casinos directly

    Flyering is when a casino warns other casinos about you and sends your picture.

  5. halbruno says:


    How many hours do you pack into one day’s play? How do you stay sharp? Don’t you think that your game suffers once fatigue sets in? I have learned to limit my daily playing hours since my decision making declines late in the day.

  6. bubba says:

    can you elaborate on “graveyard, graveyard, graveyard” please sir?

  7. Loudon Ofton says:

    Graveyard is a reference to the graveyard shift, roughly 2 A.M. to 8 A.M. A lot less people work this shift, and a lot of newbies and fledglings work this shift. They are less likely to monitor your play closely or efficiently, and they are less likely to back you off.

    I worked hard to get hours from 10 or 11 AM until 3 or 4 AM. If that meant one casino that let me play 16 hours, fine, or if it meant fighting for 20 minute sessions all day and only racking up five hours, fine. Your game CAN suffer the longer you go. For me, the game didn’t slip so much as my handle on my emotions started to slip. I would get more frustrated at mounting losses and needed to let my brain rest. I internalized the battle, and that would take a toll. You have to be sharply trained and know when your mind is starting to wander.

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