Casinos don’t want to have the tables turned on them. And that’s just what card counting does.
So is learning card counting futile? Aren’t the casinos just going to change the rules? Isn’t the facial recognition software too good to out-smart? Won’t the shuffle machines make card counting obsolete?
I recently got lunch with blackjack Hall of Fame member, Tommy Hyland. Here’s what he had to say on this topic:
“A lot of people think you can’t really make good money counting cards anymore. But if I worked hard at it, even despite my notoriety, I believe I could generate $400-500k in a year. I’ve done about $100,000/year each of the past couple of years without working very hard at blackjack because I’ve got a bit of a golf problem… There are states with casinos that I haven’t been to in over 10 years.”
Now Tommy is one of the humblest guys you’ll ever meet. So he wanted to make it very clear that his point isn’t that he’s a big shot or has any sort of insider money-making secrets. His point is that there are so many beatable casinos out there and that very little has changed over the past several years.
The funny thing is, I asked this same question before investing my money at card counting, and that was in 2003… and people have been asking this question since the 1960s, and card counting is still here! (A lot of people thought “21: The Movie” was going to usher in the end of card counting… well nothing has changed since that movie came and went).
Yes, casinos have changed things. They used to deal 1 deck with very favorable rules. I would have loved to play those games that people describe from the 60’s and 70’s. BUT, there were only a handful of casinos in the country at that time. And if you got banned from Las Vegas and Atlantic City, your career was effectively over.
Now there are hundreds of casinos across the country (not to mention internationally) offering beatable blackjack games. It changes our approach to needing bigger bet spreads and less cover plays, but I’ve never met a card counter who can’t find a place to play.
Yes, casinos invest in stopping “advantage players”, but I know more independent card counters making over $100,000/year now than I did 10 years ago. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart, but in my opinion, it’s as viable as it was 10 years ago.
Don’t casinos blacklist high roller card counters who win hundreds of thousands of dollars? Yes, but not all casinos are that smart. And I made the majority of the money I’ve made (over $600,000 in profit) AFTER I had been put in the main casino databases. My good friend, Joe748, has gone from $10,000 to 3/4 of a million in profits, simply by not fearing the casinos.
Is card counting easy money? No. It’s a craft that demands perfection. Do you need to be a genius to do it? No. Is it worth learning? Only you can decide if card counting is a good fit for you. Just please don’t use the excuse that there’s no money left to be made in card counting.
Until next time, keep generating EV!