That was the worst way to lose a thousand dollars ever.
Counted through a whole shoe. Running count was around 7 the whole time, so by the end I was betting big, with the true count around 3. But I kept losing the big bets. To the point that I only had a couple hundred left (started the session earlier with a really bad unlucky shoe so I was already low on money). Next hand, dealer has an ace up, the count is 6 and I’m taking forever just looking at the discard tray as much as possible without being obvious. I need to know exactly how many decks are left…
It’s that close to the decision on insurance or not. I can’t tell… It looks like it’s 6/2=3, but is it 6/2.5= tc2? Well, regardless, I’m out of money! I can’t buy insurance! Or I would have. There was a good 4 decks in the tray, so yeah, buy the insurance. Well, I said no since I couldn’t afford it. Of course the dealer had it.
Boom. I’m out of money.
Instead of having a few hundred left for the end of a nice high count shoe, I’m broke. I ran to the car to get money, and 2 minutes later I’m back. On a higher limit table that’s been empty all day, some dumb ploppy is sitting there all happy, and they’re shuffling. (Inside I’m thinking “Dude, that was MY SHOE you just finished.”)
I say, “Hey how was the end of that shoe? It cleaned me out.”
He’s like “Oh it was good, I got a blackjack and a 20!”
Ahhh! So, had I not run out of money, I would have been betting… TC around 3, $300 on each hand, and won $450 on the blackjack and $300 on the 20, so $750… Plus my insurance on my last hand would put me up to $950…
I LOST A THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR NOT BRINGING ENOUGH MONEY INTO THE CASINO.
That’s 40 units.
My EV is about 4 units per hour, so I lost TEN HOURS worth of work in 2 stupid minutes.
The lesson here is: Don’t be scared or cheap. Bring enough money into the casino!
If you bring a lot, you can always decide to stop and NOT spend it. But if you run low and then need it, and have a good opportunity with a high count, and it’s stuck in the car, you’re screwed!
I always bring about $2,000 (80 or 100 units), but today I just had to be chill and bring $1,500.
Thanks for letting me vent! And don’t be scared to bring that money and to put it out there!
A Note from Colin — 2 important things I want to point out from this story:
1. I’ve run out of money at a casino… it’s the worst!
So how much should you bring? Here are some trip bankroll considerations:
5 Hour Trip:
10 Hour Trip:
20 hour Trip:
As you can see, the longer your trip, the more money you should plan on bringing. How much exactly should you bring? I would say that you need to weigh the risk of running out of money with the risks associated with traveling with large amounts of cash. Running low on money on a trip is miserable, but bringing too much money introduces other risks.
2. While it’s frustrating to miss out on what would have been a $950 profit, it can help to think of it in terms of EV.
Missing out on one round of a true 3 ($300 bets) was actually a loss of about $6 in EV ($300 x 1% edge x 2 hands). Then, the insurance decision might have been another couple dollars of EV.
So while this story teaches a great lesson, which is don’t go to the casino underfunded, the actual “cost” in terms of EV isn’t quite as bad as it felt.