“Why am I losing?”
Talking about losses isn’t the most exciting topic. But we care about really helping you crush casinos at blackjack. And that involves taking an honest look at why players lose.
For example, take this email I received recently:
I’ve recently been introduced to counting. I practiced for about 6 months and then went to the casino. I’ve played for about 20 hours at the $5 table (8 deck shoe). I can keep the count without any problem and do regular drills to check my accuracy. Bankroll management seems to be my challenge.
I’m down about XXX. I’m just starting to realize the depth of the challenge, but I’m definitely up for it. I’m looking forward to having the coaching you offer. Thanks and have wonderful day.
1. Imperfect play. It’s rare that I find someone with a perfect blackjack game. Many people assume they are playing perfectly because you never have a dealer pointing out a counting or betting mistake, and they rarely even point out basic strategy mistakes (if they even know basic strategy). 99% won’t cut it… it’s essential to make sure your game is 100%.
2. Bankroll Management. I always tell people that card counters have 2 assets: Their Brain and their Bankroll. If you don’t protect both, you won’t make it. Getting your game perfected will solve the first part, but you also need to make sure you have an appropriate bankroll size and bet spread to mitigate your risk. That’s what our bankroll coaching exists to help people with.
3. Variance. Many people think that being a card counter means you walk out of the casino every day with more money than you walked in with. Unfortunately, that’s not true. Casinos know that gamblers have winning days. But casinos also know that over time, the casino always wins. It’s the same for card counters; you will have almost as many losing days as winning days, but with perfect play and bankroll management, you will end up with the casino’s money (and plenty of it). So if you have verified that your game is perfect, you just need more time at the tables. card counting is more of a marathon than a sprint… so stick with it and you will see your investment grow over the long haul.
Ok. So if you are having a losing streak at the tables, what can you do about it?
1. Wait until you’ve played hundreds of hours, and if you’ve won more than you’ve lost, you’re a winning player! If not, you’ve got some tragic flaws in your game. [WARNING: This may cost you thousands of dollars].
2. Train with a Friend. If you know someone else interested in card counting, you can train together and test each other. If you can play 5 shoes at home and 10 shoes in a casino without making a single mistake (counting, basic strategy, betting, or deviation), then you should be on track to profits!
3. Invest in your Training. In the dozen or so years I’ve been training card counters (first for my own blackjack teams, and more recently through Blackjack Apprenticeship), I’ve found two types of common mistakes:
So my advice is to invest in your training.
So the bottom line is, time will tell. Or if you don’t want to wait, train like a pro or get your game assessed by a pro. We love training players, and having trained scores of people over the past decade, we’re really good at it. Nearly all bootcamp attendees come in thinking they can flawlessly beat the game, but by the time they leave, they realize how many weaknesses their game still has.
Whatever you do, don’t just blame lady luck.
Until next time, keep generating EV!