1,000 hour break even

I’m break even after 1,000 hours (excluding expenses). I don’t know what to say or what to think at this point. It’s just very very depressing. I’ve given up blackjack for the most part and my bankroll has thanked me ever since. I’m still a life time winner at blackjack to the tune of about 100k but I just can’t win anymore. It’s like something in the universe switched. It’s just not the same game to me.


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I'm just curious. Has it been one long break even run or was there a big negative run and slow climb back to even or something like that?

I have had 5 different stretches in my career were I went 40,000 -50,000 rounds (I track by rounds not hours) and was break even over that time. All consisted of a big loss and slow climb back. These runs can be very frustating and your 1000 hours is longer than any of my 5 runs, so I can only imagine the frustration.


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The result is in the neighborhood of two standard deviations. Unusual, but far, far from impossible. Such outcomes occur with 2.3% probability, or about once in 43. So, while, if you're the one out of 43 to whom this happens, you feel like shit, the fact is that it can and does happen.

Sorry for your experience, but, I can almost guarantee you that you next 1,000 hours will be quite different.

Here’s the graph for some context. That big beating there was when during the first reopening. I started playing bigger, about 1.5-2x as big as I had in the past. I’m still betting larger than I use to because my bankroll has grown considerably since, over doubling.
I have more or less given up with blackjack. I still play on occasion to see how long it takes me to get out of this down swing, it’s more of a curiosity thing at this point more than anything else.



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Your graph looks just like the stock market: positive, upward bias, with occasional downswings, some severe. You need to keep playing. Why would you think that you won't just continue to win again, as you did before?

Also, the results can be misleading, because if you increase your stakes at the very time that you hit a losing streak, that streak looks magnified, compared to earlier results.



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I hestitate to tell someone to keep playing if they no longer desire to or have lost that desire, or feel they don't want to deal with the swings that are part of this game. Other than that I agree with everything Don said. Looks like a pretty good graph to me. ;)

I do want to comment on something else Don said, "the results can be misleading, because if you increase your stakes at the very time that you hit a losing streak, that streak looks magnified".

I went through a bit of that last year. I generally play an amount, max betting just under $500 because it is an amount very well tolerated at my regular rotation of games. Occasionally I bump through $500 to $600 or $800 on busy weekends, holiday weekends or big event weekends (playing in the shadows of bigger bettors), but generally for most of my rotation, below $500.

So last year, that horrible year that it was with Covid and all, when the casinos reopned in June, I decided to double my stakes to max bet just below $1000. With masks required and pit personnel with new responsibilities, it just seemed like an opportunity to do so without drawing much additional heat. Well, wouldn't you know, I went on a massive losing streak just as I bumped up. :rolleyes: I was losing so much and so fast, I actually erroneously decided the casinos (one in particular) MUST be cheating me. :oops: Turns out they weren't. It was just my mind running wild, because of bigger swings than I was used to because I had bumped up in stakes.

It took my a while to climb back out of that hole, and because I played off and on last fall and winter, shutting down a couple times, ended up in the black, but way below expectation for the year. My worse year blackjack-wise in my 11 in Las vegas. Actually my worst year since very early in my career (2006) when I was still playing red chip.

I guess the lesson learned is what Don said, a losing period just as you bump up can skew results negatively and the second thing that losing period seems to always occur right when you bump up. That is those those gambling/variance Gods and their harsh sense of humor.
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Thanks guys, you’ve encouraged me to continue playing when I get the opportunity to do so. I’m curious to see how long it takes me to dig out in terms of hours. In real world time elapsed I’m not sure how long it will take since I don’t play blackjack full time anymore and it makes up a very small minority of my AP play.