Beating Blackjack, Systematically
Every gambler is expected to have their system, some logical mathematical way of out smarting a game of chance, so I thought long and hard and came up with one for playing Blackjack. I wouldn’t use a system for any other game because I don’t play the other games, they will always get you in the long run. I have combined a bunch of ideas and consolidated them and jokingly named it the “Veiled King of Comps Blackjack System”. I hope you enjoy reading this, and I also hope you try it for yourself. I love using it because it works in every way.
Maximizing your Complimentaries
As you can expect, if you play games in a casino, the casino management will want you to stay as long as possible and if you ever leave, to come back and come back soon, especially if you
play the slot machines
bet large at table games
High-rollers are the cream of the crop when it comes to casinos. These individuals are the bread and butter that pay for all the lights and fancy carpets with their large “donations” to the casino. So, how do they get you to stay? Give you free rooms. How do they get you to come back? Feed you, treat you like Royalty, give you drinks, and gifts. Wouldn’t it be nice to get this kind of treatment without having to loose your money first? Read on.
The Master of Blackjack Ken Uston described in the best book ever written on the subject called “Million Dollar Blackjack” how a person can live high on comps simply by learning to play Basic Strategy and betting $100 hands. The logic there is you are so close to even that over the long run it will cost you less to play large than it would to pay for your rooms and food etc. and only bet $5 or $25 hands. You need about $10,000 behind you to cover the ups and downs, but you will look and be treated like a big shot as your interest payments for that money. In fact, all you need is a line of credit for that money and you can keep your cash in the bank at the same time making real interest. Does it get any better? Sure it does!
The Oldest System in the World
The Martingale. Don’t run away, I’m not crazy. If you don’t know what the Martingale is, let me explain that it is a system that requires a player to double each bet after a loss. This is a very dangerous proposition in the fact that it can wipe all your money out with a long string of losses. What I have done is taken this rattlesnake of a system and pulled its teeth out. Combined with the idea of maximizing your comps with $100 hands played strictly by the Basic Strategy, I came up with this. Get on a table where the minimum is small, $5 for example. Start with the $5 bet and double if you lose, but never go above $100. I use the progression $5 – $10 – $25 – $50 – $100 and when I hit $100 I stay there until I am up one unit of $100. I protected myself from losing four hands of $100 before I got to the $100 bet, but I’m still looked at as a high rolling player because of the size of some of my bets. Split and double as required by Basic Strategy and keep your winnings to one side so you can keep track of how much you are ahead and when each progression is complete.
Enter the Count
There is nothing wrong with the above system on its own, but add a counting method to it, and it is the ultimate weapon. Systems don’t work because they are played against games with fixed odds. Blackjack is not a game of fixed odds. When there are more 10s and Aces left in the deck than 2 to 6 cards, the players end up with an advantage, and they can play any system in the world at this point and expect to win money, as long as they play Basic Strategy that is. So how does a count fit in?
In brief, counting is adding 1 when you see a 2 to 6 card to a running count in your mind and subtracting 1 when you see a 10 or Ace card. Bet more when the count is positive, less when it is negative. When the count is 1 « times more positive than the number of decks left to be dealt, the players have got an advantage. For an eight deck game we are talking +12. When there are four decks left, we are talking +6.
You will notice that the count normally stays pretty low and from hand to hand the count will work its way back towards zero most often. If you didn’t see too many face cards this hand, next hand you probably will. That is a casual way of counting. So what do we do now that we are counting with the betting system?
Start with the $5 bet. Double if you lose and the count is positive. Keep doubling after each loss when the count is positive but never go higher than $100. More often than not you will not have to go this high, but be ready to if you have to. You have an advantage, the more you bet the better. When the count goes negative don’t increase your bet. Say you hit $25 and the count is negative. Stay there until you win then bet $5 bets until the count is positive again. When the count is positive and you win, keep your bets high if you are ahead money. Say you win a $50 bet, maybe just drop back to a $25 bet. As you begin to win money you can take an aggressive advantage of the positive counts. For example, you win a $5 bet and the count is positive and you are up $50. Let the bet ride at $10. Keep letting it ride until the count drops or you hit a set number of wins, say three in a row.
A systems player is treated well by the casino as it chuckles quietly under its breath because they know systems players bet bigger than they should because they think they have an unbeatable way of making money from the casino. A card counter is quietly asked to leave and never come back if they find them out at the tables. A card counter that bets a system that looks like a pattern of doubling after a loss, or a win, will almost never be found out. The system masks or veils the count and the casino gets used to the counter betting from $5 to $100. Normally a counter with enough money behind them would bet the table minimum until the count called for the large bets and bet the table maximum. This is the most obvious sign of counting there is. But when the counter appears to be just following a progression, the casino will love them. They won’t notice a string of $100 bets when the count is very positive, or a bunch of $5 – $10 bets when the count is negative because the pit crew is expecting you to follow some pattern in your mind they think will relieve you of your money.
Putting it All Together
Comps: Find a place or places that have something worthwhile to send your way. Casinos with hotels attached to them are your number one spot to work with. They can show you the luxury you deserve, so try to stick with them if you can. Turning Stone in New York, Foxwoods in Connecticut, and any of the casinos is Atlantic City and Las Vegas you want to go to. Niagara and Rama are close by, but they don’t have much to give, so the trip to the States will be worth your while in this respect.
Basic Strategy: Don’t bother with any of this unless you know how to play the game. No one can out think or out guess a computer, and that is what was used to design the only way to play Blackjack unless you count. There are about ten advanced plays a person can make beyond basic strategy, but they are all based on a counting system.
The Martingale: Don’t get carried away. Set a limit to the number of times you double and stick to it. Maybe you don’t want to go above $25 or $50, that’s fine. You’re still betting more than most people do and will get some recognition for it. Chances are it will work well for you and you will up the maximum to $100 soon enough, but never make that decision inside the casino. Putting a maximum number of doubles to this system takes the teeth out of it, don’t give it its teeth back and get a bad bight.
Counting: Make sure you know your count inside out. Practice like crazy at home, same with the Basic Strategy. Counting is easier than everyone thinks, but it has to be done accurately to achieve maximum benefit.
The Veil: You look like a high rolling systems player, the bread and butter of the casino. Work up your act and keep your counting covered with it and you are on your way to free food, free rooms, free drinks, free traveling, gifts, and an expected profit of over 1% of every dollar you play across the Blackjack tables of the world.