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#1
February 4th, 2009, 05:15 PM
 matt21 Senior Member Join Date: Aug 2008 Posts: 368
My final conclusion on card-counting

Hi everyone, i introduced myself to counting just over a year ago and spent just over 400 hours counting last year, as well as maybe another 200 hours of practicing, studying and mathematical modelling. I have now decided to stop my venture into this, as there are more profitable ventures for me to pursue!

I found this forum very very helpful in my journey and wanted to say thanks to all of those who were willing to share some of their knowledge. For people starting out in counting I thought I would post my conclusions for stopping:

Conclusions

1. It is definitely possible to make money by counting cards. The requirements are that the player completes some study and practice, has a sufficient bankroll and finds good playing conditions. 1.5 units per hour is a good aim. But this doesnt allow for travel time or travel costs!
2. Some people will be better suited to card counting than others. People with a good memory, good and fast basic mathematical skills, and who have a great discipline and persistence will be better suited to counting.
3. In terms of bankroll, multiply your standard bet by 1,000 to determine your required bankroll. Thus if you are looking to make \$7.50 an hour then you require a \$5 unit and a \$5,000 bankroll. For \$75/hour a \$50,000 roll and for \$150/hr a \$100,000 bankroll.
4. Preferrably card counters should be living in places where there are numerous casinos within easy travel distance - this reduces travel costs and allows the player to play for more hours across a range of casinos every week.
5. If you are planning to use a large bankroll, say \$100k or more, then BJ is not such a good business proposition because it is difficult to consistently clock up large amounts of playing hours without getting barred.
6. Card counting is really only beneficial over the long-run – i.e. hundreds or thousand of playing hours – only then can the player virtually expect to make money.
7. Card counting can be seen as a “last resort” type if there is an abundance of free time with little else productive to do.
8. A lot can be learned from card-counting – probability & statistics theory, understanding of EV, standard deviations, probability models – understanding of long-run expectancy – much of this can be applied in other games of chance or in the financial markets
9. Additionally card counters will learn patience, persistence, memory, chit-chat skills and will have a lot of fun too.
10. Possible opportunities to increase returns are forming black-jack teams and learning more advanced card techniques.
11. A surprising potential "cost" of counting is the impact on the player’s personal life. Over the year of my counting career I found that many of my friendships suffered – partly because I was playing during times when I would have spent time with my friends, and secondly because I was being secretive about something that was quickly becoming a large part of my life.

So whilst I am up some 600+ units after 400+ hours of counting, I am quitting while I am ahead.

Good luck to you all out there!!
#2
February 4th, 2009, 05:29 PM
 Sonny Moderator Join Date: Mar 2006 Location: Los Angeles, CA Posts: 4,748

What a fantastic post! Thanks for taking the time to give us your insight. I think it will be incredibly helpful for anyone who is considering becoming a card counter. I'm going to make this a sticky post so that all the new players will see it.

-Sonny-
#3
February 4th, 2009, 05:35 PM
 Lonesome Gambler Executive Member Join Date: Jan 2009 Posts: 903

Agreed. Great insight from someone who's learned the specifics, made them work, and decided that it wasn't for them. As I've seen on here a million times: it's a very hard way to make easy money. Still, congrats on coming out ahead!
#4
February 4th, 2009, 05:42 PM
 callipygian Executive Member Join Date: Apr 2008 Posts: 1,853

If you're still around to answer some questions ...

What's the furthest you were ever ahead? The furthest you were ever behind? Biggest winning streak? Biggest losing streak?
#5
February 4th, 2009, 06:12 PM
 RingyDingy Senior Member Join Date: May 2008 Posts: 152

Quote:
 Originally Posted by matt21 11. A surprising potential "cost" of counting is the impact on the player’s personal life. Over the year of my counting career I found that many of my friendships suffered – partly because I was playing during times when I would have spent time with my friends, and secondly because I was being secretive about something that was quickly becoming a large part of my life.
What a great piece of advice.

Congrats on your positive outcome Matt and good luck to you in the future
#6
February 4th, 2009, 07:59 PM
 matt21 Senior Member Join Date: Aug 2008 Posts: 368
Detailed Results

Quote:
 Originally Posted by callipygian If you're still around to answer some questions ... What's the furthest you were ever ahead? The furthest you were ever behind? Biggest winning streak? Biggest losing streak?
Yes, no problem. I have attached my detailed results log here.
Attached Files
 Results for the forum.xls (186.0 KB, 6497 views)
#7
February 5th, 2009, 01:01 AM
 PrinceDragon Senior Member Join Date: Dec 2008 Posts: 214

Matt:
Wish you luck and have fun with whatever you decide to do in your future

P.D.
#8
February 5th, 2009, 08:22 AM
 iCountNTrack ChemMeister Join Date: Oct 2008 Posts: 780

Quote:
 Originally Posted by matt21 Hi everyone, i introduced myself to counting just over a year ago and spent just over 400 hours counting last year, as well as maybe another 200 hours of practicing, studying and mathematical modelling. I have now decided to stop my venture into this, as there are more profitable ventures for me to pursue! I found this forum very very helpful in my journey and wanted to say thanks to all of those who were willing to share some of their knowledge. For people starting out in counting I thought I would post my conclusions for stopping: Conclusions 1. It is definitely possible to make money by counting cards. The requirements are that the player completes some study and practice, has a sufficient bankroll and finds good playing conditions. 1.5 units per hour is a good aim. But this doesnt allow for travel time or travel costs! 2. Some people will be better suited to card counting than others. People with a good memory, good and fast basic mathematical skills, and who have a great discipline and persistence will be better suited to counting. 3. In terms of bankroll, multiply your standard bet by 1,000 to determine your required bankroll. Thus if you are looking to make \$7.50 an hour then you require a \$5 unit and a \$5,000 bankroll. For \$75/hour a \$50,000 roll and for \$150/hr a \$100,000 bankroll. 4. Preferrably card counters should be living in places where there are numerous casinos within easy travel distance - this reduces travel costs and allows the player to play for more hours across a range of casinos every week. 5. If you are planning to use a large bankroll, say \$100k or more, then BJ is not such a good business proposition because it is difficult to consistently clock up large amounts of playing hours without getting barred. 6. Card counting is really only beneficial over the long-run – i.e. hundreds or thousand of playing hours – only then can the player virtually expect to make money. 7. Card counting can be seen as a “last resort” type if there is an abundance of free time with little else productive to do. 8. A lot can be learned from card-counting – probability & statistics theory, understanding of EV, standard deviations, probability models – understanding of long-run expectancy – much of this can be applied in other games of chance or in the financial markets 9. Additionally card counters will learn patience, persistence, memory, chit-chat skills and will have a lot of fun too. 10. Possible opportunities to increase returns are forming black-jack teams and learning more advanced card techniques. 11. A surprising potential "cost" of counting is the impact on the player’s personal life. Over the year of my counting career I found that many of my friendships suffered – partly because I was playing during times when I would have spent time with my friends, and secondly because I was being secretive about something that was quickly becoming a large part of my life. So whilst I am up some 600+ units after 400+ hours of counting, I am quitting while I am ahead. Good luck to you all out there!!
Good post, although i disagree with you on a few points:

Your 1.5 unit/hour is a rather very conservative aim, it is also indicating that your are not playing the best games out there. i personally would not chose to play a game where is the expectation is only 1.5 unit/hour. Normally, i would aim for 2.5-3.0 units/hour
400 hours of playing time, is not a lot of hours, it is less than 8 hours a week which is less than half the hours for a part-time job. Yes, granted there is some travel time depending on your location but still that is not a lot of hours. You should be able to rack up more hours easily.

As far as personal life, you don't have to be so serious and so secretive about it. Being AP requires a lot of discipline, but it doesn't mean you can't add some fun to it. You can plan a long weekend with family/friends at a nice casino resort, you can work out a schedule, be able to play 15-20 hours and spend sometime with them.

#9
February 5th, 2009, 10:23 AM
 Brock Windsor Executive Member Join Date: Apr 2007 Posts: 693

Congrats Matt. You have reached the point in your career where it is time to move "Beyond Counting". From your log it looks like you still need to experience pitch games, flashing dealers, and barrings before you can color up for good... but maybe you left out a few details.
BW
#10
February 5th, 2009, 08:58 PM
 celadore Member Join Date: Nov 2008 Location: London Posts: 53

Give it a month or two - you'll be back. Trust me.
I'm sure you are not planning on abandoning card counting completely after investing over 200+ hours in training.
Just cut back to a socially acceptable playing amount, like once a month or so.

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