I live in the casino poor area of NC. There’s really only one or two casinos to go to but I’m at the point in my training that I wanted to get out and “scratch the itch” so to speak and find out if in a casino setting I could keep count, play deviations, etc.
I expected crowded tables and that I would be mostly practicing back counting. I was lucky as it turned out the tables were pretty thin and the atmosphere relaxed.
I sit down with two other players at very low limits table and the shoe starts. First hand to one of my table buddies was a 10,10 vs a 6… my buddy hesitates… I double take on his hesitation curious as to what he was thinking. Next thing I know we’re splitting 10’s on a true count of 0…and so it begins.
Now, later into the evening I’m doing ok. Keeping count, playing correctly, which was my goal, and building chips as a bonus.
But my table buddy is kicking it. Standing on 13 vs 10’s, doubling everything, and splitting anything. The dealer, who was a saint and totally professional, looks to me and says, “You should write a book about this.”
I give her a “hell yes I will” nod of the head.
Through the evening I’m sitting in when the count’s up and sitting out when it’s down, but I needed a break. I walk and stretch my legs. Check on other tables. But I was drawn back to the “show”.
Half an hour later I return, and my table buddy is sporting a pile of black and green chips and I’m thinking “wow”. I sit back down to play and watch the show. Over the next 2 shoes his black and green chips are gone and my table buddy’s wife has now stepped in to supervise the remaining assets.
The takeaway for me is we’re in this for the long game. At the end of the evening, I was able to play to the level of my training. I still have much to learn but it will be worth it over time. And if you see my table buddy, use him as cover. I could have made any advantage play possible and have drawn absolutely no heat.
Sometimes ploppies are a blessing.