Card counting – written to a friend in 2008

The public know nothing about card-counting but think that it is incredibly difficult to learn, but once known, then winning is easy. How would they know? That is just plain stupid. In fact, card-counting is ridiculously easy to learn, it's the winning that is the hard part. Any fool can count cards and most card-counters are fools. Card-counting is just ONE of the things needed to win. I've known a few counters who went broke simply because they failed to understand that there is more to it than just counting.

It takes large capital to make any serious money and it is a real grind, a really slow, boring, bloody job. Losses can be extremely high sometimes, particularly those times when one's big bets keep getting thrashed and thrashed. In a matter of minutes I once lost 13 $500 bets in a row (the card-count was gigantic all the time, but I still lost every hand!). Most people can't handle such losses, either financially or mentally, and that includes some card-counters who have no understanding of just how bad some losing streaks can be.

The game these days is very tough with 8 decks, restricted rules, and heat from the management and monitoring and filming of counters. Also, some have automatic shuffling machines which negate counting. If today's blackjack game had been around in 1973 when I started I would not have bothered with card-counting.

I am saying these things as a warning for a few reasons: