Characteristics of a Successful Card Counter
Do I Have What It Takes?
The DNA of a Card Counter
How easy (or difficult) is it to master the steps into becoming a successful card counter and to win big on the table?
So, card counting has been shown by the popular Hollywood culture as some high-minded wizardry that only people with special talent or special ‘superpowers’ are able to master or capable of doing. Importantly, this is not accurate. No doubt, casino players consist of people from all walks of life, there are doctors, lawyers, you know how it goes. The essence here is that card counting is so simple that it only takes a very small fraction of time that is needed to master the skill of becoming a doctor, lawyer or any other profession for that matter. It is something that can be picked up quickly, with the added opportunity of being accessible by anyone at any stage of life. You can literally do it as a profession, hobby or investment.
As easy as it sounds, of course, there will be challenges along the way of mastering card counting as a skill. For starters, people tend to underestimate the amount of time that is required for one to master the skill. It is definitely something that takes more than ‘a day or two’.
When it comes to card counting, some people trained long and hard, but still might not be as successful and might have lost all the money with them. So, what kind of person is exactly the ‘right’ kind of person to embark on the journey of mastering card counting as a skill? What kind of individual has the chance to really make it?
Through experience, we think there are 5 (five) distinct characteristics that may or may not help in determining whether a person is suitable in card counting. Do you have these characteristics and if not, what would it take for a person to develop them?
Characteristics of a Card Counter:
Obsessed with Details
When it comes to blackjack, a ‘good enough’ mentality may not be enough. Any error may be fatal towards your strategy. Missing a single dealer payout error can wipe out several hours of perfect play. This may or may not indirectly lead to the player playing a losing game, even when you think you can ‘catch up’ later on in the game.
Therefore, the key here is not to be easily distracted. In the environment of a casino, there will be many potential distractions that will just take a player’s mind off for a quick few seconds. In order to master the art of card counting, you should be aware that any distractions or errors are not allowed when it comes to card counting.
Yes, you read it right. Dissimilarly to a game of poker, a blackjack player cannot be aggressive and the beauty of card counting is all is the mathematical precision of the strategy. Here, a player is playing against a dealer who is forced to make the same decision in all given situations. What this means is that in the game of blackjack, there may just be a single correct way to play the game. Likewise, there will be exactly one running count, and this will give you one exact true count. This true count is the thing that will let you know exactly what you should be betting on, and exactly when it is the right situation to deviate from the basic strategy that you rely so heavily on.
Now, being a successful card counter will require you to be a highly disciplined person. You will have to implement your bet spread precisely, even if you have lost many hands in a row. You cannot be tempted in the slightest bit when you are up a ton of money, this will be to ensure that you do not lose everything again. Will you hit a 15 against a 9, even though you know you are likely to bust? Do you keep records of your wins and losses?
In order to play successfully, one must work like a computer, cold, calculated, emotionless and self-controlled. Now, having emotions is a normal thing to do, but when you let it come to affect your calculations, it is only a matter of time that you are bound to fail.
Handle Conflict Well
We have seen players who are great at the table but just do not have what it takes to fight off aggressive and stern casino backrooms. This kind of fear is something that you should overcome if you intend to succeed in card counting. A player should never allow themselves to be easily intimated. When it comes to condescending dealers who are not fond of your winning streak or other players who are telling you that you have screwed up the whole table, or any dealer mistakes that you are made to go to bat to rectify, the best way to deal with it is to stay calm. There will always be obstacles around us but the important thing is that we handle them well.
If all of the above sounds too stressful, it is perfectly normal. But you should also be aware that this is what it takes in order to do good in excelling in the card counting technique. It goes without saying that some sacrifices must be made in order to reap the benefits out of your efforts.
Won’t Get Ground Down by the Casino Environment
This may sound similar to point 3 above. The difference is this – there may be people who did not mind the conflict whatsoever, but after a year or so, some would just refuse to spend another extra minute in a casino. Maybe they just could not bear the scene of a casino or another slot machine anymore, or maybe they just could not simply stand the scent of cigarette smoke and all the ceiling mirrors. The point is that casinos are not for everyone.
What is important here is that persistence is key in being able to succeed in card counting. If this is what you want to achieve, you may just have to put your head down like a good soldier and just get to work. However, if you are too affected by the environment, you may want to reconsider whether or not card counting is for you.
What this means is that you must have enough capital in order to make the strategy work. Whilst you may not need 5 figures to get it rolling, you should not expect to start with 50 $ as this is not how it works. If you are underfunded, the risks of it may double.
Therefore, the last thing to ask yourself is whether you are the type of person who can first save up a small bankroll that you can afford to invest in the tables? We will conclude with this, the more money you have to begin your journey, the higher the chances for you to avoid all potential losing streaks. Like any investor, to generate high EV, you will have to be properly funded to give yourself a fighting chance.
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