Video for “Does Card Counting Work”
I don’t blame people for knowing very little about card counting, or the life of a card counter. However, it results in having the same conversations thousands of times. It has even turned into inside jokes with friends and family (about once a week, my brother sarcastically says something like, “So, Colin, if I gave you $100 to go to a casino, how long would it take for you to come back with $1,000,000?
Assuming the mafia doesn’t burry you in the desert”).
So just for fun, I thought I’d give my top 5 misconceptions I encounter
5. You need to buy a James Bond suit if you want to play professionally. Both Ben and I considered wardrobe upgrades when we first started playing with real money, then quickly changed our minds. Next time you’re in Vegas, walk through some high limits rooms and pay attention to what the people around you are wearing. Rich dudes seem more inclined to wear sweatsuits or Ed Hardy shirts than Versace. There may be a few people wearing suits but if you look like me, you’ll probably stand out more rather than blending in. And there are probably 50 things you could do to appear less like a card counter that have nothing to do with the clothes you’re wearing.
4. You need a photographic memory to count cards. I have a terrible memory. Seriously. My 3 year old kicks my butt at the game “Memory” every time. Fortunately, with card counting, you simply need to drill the charts into your brain (which is doable with repetition) and be able to remember the running count for a few seconds, until it changes again. What you DO need is great focus, which I have. It has more to do with practice and repetition than being able to remember stuff like your room number or parking spot (thank God!).
3. A card counter can turn $100 into $1,000,000 in a few hours. You can blame Rain Man for this one. But as any pro card counter can tell you, your chips don’t simply double every couple hours. It involves large wins and large losses, winning streaks and losing streaks, and ups and downs. In “Burning the Tables in Las Vegas,” Ian Andersen discribes a losing streak so bad, he had a friend verify that he was playing correctly. And unfortunately, any pro card counter who plays long enough, will have one of these streaks. It’s not a get rich quick scheme. However, this brings me to my next misconception…
2. Card counting doesn’t work. There are 3 groups of people that say this: people who don’t know any better, people who have tried and failed, or people who have done it successfully, but assume it can’t be done anymore. To all 3 groups, I’d say that I disagree. In his book, “The Big Book of Blackjack,” Arnold “The Bishop” Snyder makes the argument that there’s no better time in history than now for card counting. Sure the games aren’t as easy to beat as they were decades ago, but there are more casinos than ever. And smart APs are figuring out new ways to beat the games. The cat and mouse game continues. Again, I’m not saying it’s easy, but nothing worth doing ever is! We even made a little video entitled, “Does Card Counting Work,” to get the word out there on the interweb.
1. Card counting is illegal. This is the most common, and unfortunate, misconceptions out there. And I’m sure the casinos love that people still think it’s illegal to use your brain. I’ve been told by everyone from pastors to neighbors to police officers… all of whom I’ve had to gently correct. I don’t even have the energy to explain it again, and obviously you know this, or else you wouldn’t be on our website. But for a more detailed writeup about it, click here.
If you made it this far and think I missed a good one, add it to the comments section!