when is good good enough?
  • If there were such thing as 60/40 favorable odds, it's probably safe to say that you could quit your day job (intuitively speaking). Whereas 51/49 is another story.

    I can't find my old Revere book -- what is the common wisdom as to the advantage gained by counting (plus correct play, of course)? Suppose with a given set of house rules it puts you at 52/48. This doesn't mean you'll win 52% of the time. I wonder what it does mean...?

    I'm trying to figure out how to state the problem. I plan to write a program; will share findings here.

    FWIW, even if the numbers play out, I believe the intangibles (i.e. getting barred from play) make it impossible to actually make a living.

  • What's wrong with my math?

    A good card counter can get a long run 1.5% advantage, i.e. he can expect to win $1.50 for every $100 bet. Say he wanted to quit his day job and make $100,000 a year. He would have to bet $100,000/1.5%=$6,666,666 per year. If he works 300 days a year, 8 hours a day, 100 hands per hour, his average bet is $6,666,667/300/8/100=$28.

    (here's where I get lazy...) A bankroll of $30,000 ought to easily support an average bet of $28. This just seems WAY too easy.

    Now for reality: With cover, chop down that advantage in half. I bet it's hard to play 300 days a year, and not get noticed - make it 200 days a year, and maybe average 75 hands/hour. Now we're talking an average bet of $100,000/0.75%/200/8/75=$111 and a bankroll of $110,000.

    But I think I'm still missing something - $100k is a lot of money, but not THAT much when you consider the costs of starting a business, or what many people have invested in their retirement accounts.

    What am I missing?

    If you can help me out with my math, please do so. However, I don't think there's that many professional players because if someone has the discipline to be a professional counter, and has accumulated the resources necessary to begin this endeavor, he can make a lot more money with his "day job".
  • About the best a counter can expect is about .48% to .78% over the
    house. It depends on the count system used and to a lesser extent
    on the number of decks in play. The expectations for each count
    system vary with bet spread and the accuracy of the count system.

    I think your right about making a living playing blackjack. When the
    casino can now count your chips, track your bets, scan you face and
    several other underhanded practices, it looks bleak for the future.

    One other thing to consider is the fact that during play, the odds are
    shifting. You may be at an overall advantage or disadvantage for any complete shoe and this is why you have to look at the long-term when
    it comes to advantage determination.

  • Mr Ed, I don't see anything wrong with your math. What your missing
    is the fact that the wins and loses are in large chunks(short periods).

    Make sense???

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